Performative Reciprocity

performative reciprocity

I have a friend who really loves to do calls where we get into the weeds of relationship-building methodologies. He enjoys digging deeper into the frameworks I’ve developed and in all our calls he gets me to go even deeper into the work that I do. And before I get into the topic he brought up, I’ll also add that having someone like this in your circle can be incredibly valuable to the rigor of your work. There are those who will take your ideas at face value and then there are those who will challenge your ideas with questions. […]

The Courage to Interrupt

Pregame Group Action 7-13-39

In many of the interviews I do, I like to discuss the idea of turning points in people’s lives and the moment that things really changed for them. And of course, in my own life, I have many of those stories, but the one that came to mind recently was how I ended up getting started in producing and in a room with Broadway producers. Back when I was teaching, I was producing small shows at the Off-Off-Broadway level and used certain venues often. There was one venue that housed multiple theatres and I got to know the manager of […]

Owning a Third Place

Pregame PDX Clubhouse 2016.08 (1)

When I was in high school, a large portion of the focus of the funding was on sports. Our teams always had new uniforms and the best equipment, we had pretty big pep rallies, and there was always money for trips, etc. The English Department was another story entirely. We had books that were reused year after year, very few actual trips, and even fewer actual supplies, so as a student I decided to do something about that. At the time, I had a band that I was singing in and I knew a lot of great musicians and other […]

Referral Repellant

KNUTSON_Lara_SoftChemistryGlow1200

Over the years I’ve done a lot of work with people who work in the self-improvement business and many of them encounter a similar problem when it comes to getting people to refer business to them. In many cases, a referral feels natural and exciting to the other person you are talking to when you, for example, refer a restaurant that has great food or offer to help connect someone to a lawyer who can review a complicated contract. But there’s also the referrals that don’t feel very natural and may actually feel a little invasive. If you’ve ever been […]

Just Keep Knocking

Truong Tran, When It's Not About Race It's All About Race

The other day I was chatting with a client in the entertainment world who was dealing with an all too common problem. His career wasn’t moving as quickly as he would like it to. When I prodded a little bit about the folks he had reached out to who could help his career and the introductions he received, I found that he had connected in person with some really solid people or been introduced to some decision makers but hadn’t “heard” from them since the initial interaction. So naturally, I asked if he had followed up with them and he […]

Pitch, Please.

dive
Fiona Aboud

A question I get a lot is: “How do I pitch myself to ___________ podcast, article, investor, etc.?” And this for many people is the holy grail of attention. If you can get someone to share your ideas with their audience or invest in you it certainly does help. But I see many people going about this process all wrong. So here is my most important rule about pitching anything: Create curiosity first.  Most pitches fall flat because the person doing the pitching spends all of their time telling us everything we need to know about them, the product or the […]

The Life Changing Magic of NOT Tidying Up

08askesther

Sometimes I’ll be asked a question like this: “What is the one thing I can do today to change my network?” And the truth of the matter is that the answer is it depends on what you want to change, but since most people don’t like that one, I do know of one thing that has always: Led to more opportunities Gotten me more introductions Helped me think differently  and the list goes on and on. I simply look at the person I’m meeting with, ask myself do they spark joy and… Just kidding. But seriously, the one thing that […]

The Day Rosa Parks Went Viral

Anna Hentschel + Invisible Playground Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 8.02.41 PM

As I have continued making my way through Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit, I happened upon a very interesting anecdote about Rosa Parks. Most of us have heard that name and one specific story about the woman that is taught to us in our history books which is that she did not get up when asked to by a white passenger and was eventually arrested. BUT What most people don’t know about is that she was not the first in history (or even that week) to do this. So why is she in the history books? Her […]

The Power of the Pause

Alexander Reben

When you spend as much time as I have on studying relationships, you notice a lot of patterns and there is one pattern that I see time and again whenever a relationship goes south. Someone says something that does significant harm in a moment of passion. In some cases this has led to deals falling through, friendships crumbling, or just general frustration on both sides and in other cases it has led to awkward conversations for years. We all have moments when we fly off the handle or get triggered by something someone has said and here’s the most important […]

But Would Anyone Buy a Ticket?

Jackie Battenfield, 
Crabapple Blossom, 2018, 48 x 210in. 
Laminated Glass
MTA Arts & Transit, Avenue P, Brooklyn, New York, Permanent installation

When I was raising money for Broadway shows, I was approached by a LOT of creatives who would ask me to consider raising money for their project. In many of these instances, these individuals would spend most of the meeting explaining to me how their show was a “surefire” hit and how if they just had more support they’d break through. Now in some cases, they really did have something great, but more often than not, they had something that they thought was amazing and when I read it or saw it, I felt differently. After a time I noticed […]