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. […]

Owning a Third Place

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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 […]

Culture Guru: Be Authentic. Also Culture Guru: But Not Like That.

authenticity

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been surprised that the person staring back at you was so much OLDER than you feel inside? That cognitive dissonance could be the result of a poorly defined self-image, but more often that not it’s because our core being doesn’t really age. Even as time passes and life presents new challenges and opportunities, who we are at our core remains unchanged, timeless. I call this the Authentic Self. The term authenticity is overused and hackneyed, yet it has always been and continues to be the bedrock of my ethos. My work as […]

The Lonely Ballad of The Someday Guy

someday guy

The other day I was having coffee with someone who is in the field of video production and he brought up an interesting question. He asked: “What do you do when you’re meeting people and they keep telling you that they don’t need your service right now, but to send your information because they could use it someday?” He explained how this dynamic was causing his business to have a lot of hills and valleys. He’d have a big project and then nothing for a while and then a medium project or no project for months and the inconsistency was starting […]

Pitch, Please.

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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 […]

A Team Called Love

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For many solopreneurs, the idea of building a business team is anathema. Creative control is one of the driving forces behind the decision to go solo. Freelance writers, designers, producers, and marketing consultants—I’m looking at you. I’m also looking at me. And I’m looking at me looking at you. Meaning I speak from experience. For most of my career, I’ve been a solopreneur. First, I was a freelance graphic designer and climbed the ranks to become an art director. When print media began to decline, I found solid footing in marketing as a consultant. After 10 years of marketing work […]

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 […]

Don’t Knock The Hustle

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How to Use Storytelling to Create Trust and Build an Authentic Network for the Shy, Introverted, and Sleaze-Averse As a shy child I dreaded any activity that required an introductory game. Birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and youth group mixers were attended with the resignation that the first half hour would involve enduring some sadistic adult’s idea of fun. I would do my best to disappear against the wall or attempt to excuse myself to the bathroom. Eventually, I would be shamed into compliance, made to sit cross-legged with all the others as I rubbed my damp palms on the knees […]

February 2018: Establishing Teams

angela hennessy - black hole

“I need a place and I need a team.” This is what I would say during my last few years as a full time consultant, with escalating urgency and to anyone who would listen. It was clear at the beginning that I wouldn’t last long as a solopreneur working from home. New York City was not conducive to coffee shop meetings, and my apartment lobby was a medical office waiting room that was probably last decorated in 1979. It was before the era of the Ace Hotel in NoMad and other hot meeting spots where camping out with a cappuccino was […]

A Life of Purpose

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The purpose of life is a life of purpose. —Robert Byrne How do we keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds? How do we overcome the dark forces of self-doubt and self-criticism which can sometimes cripple our ability to create our best, most purposeful lives? How do we rise above the sometimes ungenerous, unkind stories we tell ourselves as we go about our lives? Sitting around the table at our morning coaching session, teas and coffees in hand, these were some of the questions we explored. Three of us—all creative solopreneurs, writers and designers—shared our fears and doubts, goals […]