The Art of the Jedi Mind Trick

Carlo Proietto, Carrie Fisher, 2018 Pyrography, 31_ x 30.5

This is a transcript from my “Story Slam” presentation for IDEO U. It’s an excerpt from my longer talk.  I’ve wanted to give this talk for years! Actually, it’s been percolating since I first began teaching. I thought about all my favorite things and realized that I could use my love of Star Wars to teach Personal Branding. I even foreshadowed this talk at the conclusion of my first TEDx “The Price of Pleasing.” So What is the Art of the Jedi Mind Trick?   Before I get to that let’s go back A Long Time Ago….  to 1978. I was three […]

September 2020: Burn It Down

Carlo Proietto

To understate a Covid silver lining, 2020 has been, if nothing else, a remarkable opportunity to rethink everything. My friends have been considering big changes – or taking the leap and going for it. Moving across the country. Buying the house. Doing IVF. Getting divorced. Getting back together. Confronting family members about long-hidden issues. Finally leaving New York. Nothing sparks change like a crisis. Limping along with systems that aren’t working just doesn’t cut it anymore when major events expose weaknesses that threaten core values, connection, and opportunity. Let’s hope our personal reinventions are foreshadowing of change in our country. […]

Aparna Bole on Inequality in Health Issues and Access to Democracy

Aparna Bole

In The Interview: Episode #19, Ciara Pressler interviews Aparna Bole, pediatrician, professor, and environmental health activist. Aparna and Ciara talk about… How children’s health is faring during Covid Downstream health effects of systemic racism and the injustice she sees every day as a pediatrician in Cleveland Return on investment in regards to environmental health How amplified mistrust towards public health is impacting the medical community Her opinion on schools reopening as a primary care doctor Managing risk in a landscape of uncertainty Aparna Bole, MD, FAAP, is Medical Director of Community Integration at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and […]

Michael Anthony on Overcoming Trauma, Vulnerability, and Ownership

Michael Anthony

In The Interview: Episode #17, Ciara Pressler interviews Michael Anthony, International Speaker, Coach, Podcast Host, and Author of Think Unbroken. Michael and Ciara talk about… Creating a career and life free of cultural expectations How your past can be indicative of present circumstances and how to begin consciously identifying these factors Creating a personal development path that fits your values, goals, and freedom Living with intention and holding yourself accountable Giving yourself permission to start a healing journey and the importance of building a community of healing around you Michael Anthony is a trauma survivor, trauma warrior, and trauma mentor. […]

Cutting the Cord

gia goodrich studio

2015: I had no idea I was making a huge business mistake… I was officially a full-time photographer and I signed a lease on a beautiful studio because professional photographers need a studio space right? Mind you at the time I had NO revenue, NO clients, and NO marketing strategy. You might be laughing to yourself, but every day I talk to freelancers, founders and solopreneurs making a different version of this same mistake. “FIRST I NEED……” You might think you need the perfect website, or one more round of revision, the right connections, the right gear, the right representation, […]

July 2020: Awakening

never waste a good crisis

And then suddenly, everyone woke up. Well, not everyone. And not fully awake. But no one can deny that the past month has seen a remarkable wave of increased awareness in America about the perpetual problem of racism, and how society cannot be healthy when we insist on viewing ourselves as individuals whose actions and worldview don’t affect anyone rather than part of a system where everything is connected. To me, waking up is the point. It’s the process. As in, THE process. The purpose of life. To be continually evolving, learning, growing, connecting. It’s difficult because there is no finish […]

Adam Huttler on MonkeyPod, Investments, and What Makes a Great Founder

Adam Huttler

In The Interview: Episode #05, Ciara Pressler interviews Adam Huttler, founder, CEO, and expert in business model innovation and revenue strategies for mission-driven organizations. Adam and Ciara talk about… Running a national nonprofit How to know when to stick with a project or move on to something else Building a product that utilizes a wide skill set but yet specific enough to gain a market share What funders look for in startups Practices that lead to success Red flags to avoid in pitching ideas Adam Huttler is the founder and CEO of MonkeyPod, an all-in-one software platform for nonprofit organizations […]

Making Concessions: Covid While 40 Weeks Pregnant

toilet paper

I am rarely surprised or frightened by the world around me. When COVID-19 first came out and I kept hearing people worry about it, I kept becoming annoyed by it all and saying, “Yeah yeah yeah. Relax people. Why aren’t we worried about the common flu that kills between 12,000 and 61,000 people every year just in the US? Or heart disease, which kills 650,000 people in the US every year? Or car accidents that kill 35,000 people every year in the US?” I kept saying, “this is a media-driven panic, goddamnit! Turn off your TV!” I heard a very […]

April 2020: The Coronavirus Interlude

empty street

And then suddenly, everything changed. We interrupt our regularly scheduled magazine issue to start unpacking the only topic that matters right now. On April 1, 2020, we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. Approximately two weeks from its peak in America. But this is only the beginning. We will be changed, permanently, by this uniquely global event. While it’s difficult to editorialize about the coronavirus as it happens, lacking any clarify of hindsight, we decided to use writing as a sort of therapy to explore what this means now, and what it could mean. We are in […]

The Schrute Room Test

dwight

I’ve spoken before about the many lessons that can be found in the show The Office, but here is one of my favorites: There’s an episode where Michael and Dwight are both at a hotel and Michael finds out that he doesn’t have a hotel room to stay in. After being turned down, Dwight shows up with his reservation number and gets the material for his room. At this point, Michael is begging Dwight to stay in his room with him and says “I’d do the same for you” at which point Dwight looks quizzically at the paper and says that […]