https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxkl77v4XuE It’s a funny story, but not unusual for me. Our church, Christ’s Church of the Valley, was hosting their Saturday and Sunday Easter services at Azusa Pacific University so they could accommodate what ended up being around 16,000 people….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkNJwTne-60 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ycX9HVrNMU Poverty Resolutions has released 2 new videos I shot and edited for them. For each we set out to help answer questions, “Why come to Haiti?” and “Why build greenhouses?”. They are doing some i…
http://youtu.be/VG31egzno6M I’m really excited to share this video I made for Kasnak Restorations in the Indianapolis metro area. Bob Kasnak is a friend of the family and over the years had mentioned to my dad that he wanted to eventually have a video made. So while home for Chri…
Getting things done is what I was made for. I’m a producer in the most literal sense (not like those in the film industry who are producers in title only and don’t do much of anything).
I’ve spent so much time learning how to do create and fix things. How to edit. How to build websites. How to photoshop. I’ve learned how to make lots of things. I’m a creator.
Making things like these is necessary and good, but it’s the second step in the process.
The first step is knowing why you are making anything in the first place.
If you’re thinking about trying to market something, you first have to answer a few questions. Who’s the target audience? Why will they care about this?
Simon Sinek (author of Start with Why) states that when you meet someone, they want to know two things: What do you do? And why should I care?
So why do you do what you do? Why should I care?
It’s OK if some days you just have to get stuff done. We all gotta put food on the table.
But why should we all care what you do? Why do you care? Determining this is the first step.
- Why do you do what you do every day?
- Why should we all care?
- Have you been on autopilot, just getting things done? Or do you have a personal sense of mission?
[Edited and enhanced by Caleb Waggoner]
“Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.”
– Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Work Week)
If you’re like me, you think being productive means always being busy and that being busy always means you’re being productive. You think more work will always produce more results. You dream up potential work to do when the load gets light, and only later wonder what your goals really are, where the time went, and if this is really what you want to do with your life.
If that’s not you, feel free to check out now. I won’t be offended by it.
But if you do feel like you just go-go-go, give-give-give, and question your motives and ambitions in the few moments you have time to breathe, then I’d like to share something that has helped me over the last few months.
CREATING A LIFEPLAN
Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, has recently launched several new resources, including a conference, small group materials, a life-planning course, and a branding agency. In an interview on Platform University, he laid out a one of the best processes for implementing a marketing strategy I’ve ever heard. I tried it and saw immediate results with a campaign I was running for an event.
Because I found his process so helpful, I decided to try out his online course Creating Your Lifeplan. The basic idea is that we are all living a story, so why not determine what yours is going to be? This involves three main things: (1) finding redemption in the problems of your past, (2) being in healthy relationships, and (3) doing work that matters.
FOCUS ON ROLES
What I want is to focus on now is the last two, Relationships and Work, that combine to create ROLES. In his course, Miller asks you to write out all the roles you play, such as father, mother, employee, artist, blogger, etc. He then asks you to answer this question:
“What roles am I meant to play?” Or more specifically, “What are the roles only I can play?”
Then you must choose only five from the list you made. These five will become the roles you will focus on. Not that the others will completely disappear from your life (you may always have an inner dancer that will come out at a moment’s notice when the right Ke$ha song comes on), but they will naturally take up less of your time. This will free you to focus on the roles that matter most.
What is great about narrowing it down to five is that this doesn’t require you to make an impossible choice about THE singular thing to base your life on, especially for someone as highly and broadly interested as I am. We don’t live that way, or shouldn’t live that way at least, with only one thing we let ourselves care about and work on.
The final step is to find a project to work on in each role you identify. I connected especially well with this part, because I hate meeting people while just standing around at parties, and would much rather work alongside someone to get to know them. In the roles that are highly interpersonal, like father or spouse, having work that matters to do together is really valuable.
MY TOP 5
Recently, I’ve been caught up in a constant state of restlessness, driven by a desire to be productive and achieve results. But that hasn’t delivered much fulfillment beyond checking items off a list. I don’t just want to aimlessly put in work, wear myself out, and check items off a list. I want it all to matter. Choosing five roles helps me to identify what matters most, sharpen my focus on them, and then give even more with the space I’ve carved out for those people and projects.
Here are my top 5 (I am also looking to identify projects for each one).
- Boyfriend to Colbeigh
- Spiritual Man
I may feel some remorse for giving up my former lives as a hardcore sports fan, musician, actor, speaker, athlete, political activist, screenwriter, and sound engineer, but I can’t be all of those at one time. And because I’ve greatly limited my involvement in them, can give much more of myself to the five I care most about.
The story I’ve started telling myself: Stop just looking for results and start playing your roles.
What are the five most important roles you play?
What are some roles you need to let go of to leave more energy for these top five?
How can choosing your five most important roles help you increase your effectiveness?
[Edited and enhanced by Caleb Waggoner]
YOU WANT NOTHING FROM ME?
When I came across the official website for Adam Grant’s new book Give and Take, they offered a free download of chapter 1. I thought this was another lead magnate (an incentive to sign up for an email list), but when I clicked on the button the strangest thing happened. It just downloaded. No form. No request for my email. Nothing. They really were giving it away for free.
I realized that this was more than coincidence. They were living out their belief that giving would always return good things in time.
DO GIVERS WIN IN BUSINESS?
Can you be successful in business and also be known as a giving person?
This is the question Adam Grant hopes to answer in Give and Take. I actually heard an interview with the author about this book a few months ago. But what brought me to actually check it out was when Marcus Lemonis (Host of “The Profit” on CNBC) said that this was his favorite book on Leadership and Management.
1 TAKEAWAY FROM 1 FREE CHAPTER
One idea that stuck out to me was the phrase, “The giver advantage grows over time.” Adam separates people into 3 categories–Givers, takers, and matchers–and showcases in chapter one how each plays a different role in business and relationships. Some are effective immediately, while others tend to beat the competition over the long haul.
You might guess from the title (as well as why I loved this book so far) which one comes out on top.
I’m queuing this book up for my Kindle soon, and if that opening chapter is indicative of how the whole book will be, it will definitely end up as one of my favorite reads. You can download Chapter 1 by heading over to GiveandTake.com.
Also, checkout the podcast where Daniel Pink interviews Adam Grant about Give and Take.
Do givers win in business? Start reading to find out.
[Edited and enhanced with the help of Caleb Waggoner]
Somehow, I came across a quote by romance writer Norah Roberts a few weeks ago (I swear I wasn’t reading her latest novel or anything). Its simplicity was so on-the-mark, it stuck with me.
The blank canvas is such an idealized thing. It represents to us that whatever we have in our heads just needs blank space to be told. But in reality, stretched parchment is cheap and in abundance, a blog can be started in a few mouse-clicks, and recording software is a free download or pre-built into our computers.
Why aren’t there so many more paintings being painted? Papers being written? Songs being released? Inventions being patented?
Because a blank page isn’t the beginning of anything. It’s simply an opportunity that, left untaken, barely amounts to the sum of its parts.
A bad page, however, is where almost everything starts.
Ed Catmul, president of Pixar, wrote in his memoir Creativity Inc. that EVERY MOVIE THEY HAVE EVER MADE SUCKED…at least in the beginning. How harsh is that for a filmmaker to hear? Every film by one of the most successful studios sucked at first? Whatever happened to the genius of a great idea that only needs to be realized? Nope. To him, they all just “sucked until they didn’t suck.”
We never want our work to suck, so we play the ideas in our heads over and over before even thinking about starting to actualize them in written/spoken/painted/captured form. We don’t want to leave any evidence of the crime-scene from what we thought was genius, but really just started off as a bloody mess.
This quote by Norah Roberts is messy, but if true, rearranges the list of what’s really most important. And that’s beginning not with empty space but with something concrete to work with and build on.
Here is how I avoid starting with blank pages in my work. While talking to a client about a new project, I’m building a reservoir of ideas, thoughts, and desires in Evernote (note-taking software I can’t live without). As I listen to my clients talk about their company, customers, ideas, dreams, even what gets them up in the morning, I’m collecting any key phrases or words they use, so I’m immediately starting with something from them rather than a blank canvas.
From there, I freeflow a bit, sometimes out loud depending on the client, about ways we can convey their intended message. If something I say sticks with them, we push out other iterations of that idea until we feel comfortable with the concept. When we finally go to script and plan out what exactly we are actually going to create, I’m not beginning with nothing. I’ve already been collecting tons of thoughts that are on the page and ready to be reorganized and refined for me to make “less sucky.”
GET IT OUT OF YOUR BRAIN
Worrying about that bad page of fragmented ideas in Evernote only hinders this process. I need to pull them out of my brain and put them in a concrete place where I can actually see them and explore other paths that connect to or lead away from a given idea. It’s a lot easier to look at actual clips, words, or images and find the thing that has the most emotional impact than it is to try and dream up something you think will be valuable before considering how it can actually be conveyed. Because putting that pressure to be great on the first draft inhibits you from exploring the routes that will actually lead to creating something great.
Bad pages always trump blank pages.
What can I sketch on the blank canvas today?
Do I embrace bad pages, or do I let the fear of my work being bad keep the pages blank? Is there some project I’ve been thinking about and not actually doing anything about? What are some ways I can jump-start my work so I have a bank of ideas to start with rather than from scratch?
What have you been hoarding for yourself that you need to finally give away?
[Post edited and enhanced with the support of Caleb Waggoner.]
Skills vs Gifts
Think about this. Math is not only a skill we are taught from an early age, but it’s also thought of as something an individual can be really good at. Something you could be “gifted” at doing. The reverse of that then is we commonly say, “I’m just not good at math.” And we accept that premise.
But let’s take another skill we were taught: reading. At no point were we given a pass on learning to read. No one in modern American culture would admit, “I’m not any good at reading.” They might say they don’t read much, but never is it qualitative about their skill level.
So two elementary skills. One we deem as necessary to basic survival as a human being. And the second we leave to professionals and electronics to do for us.
But what if we had to be good at math? Could we all become not just competent, but proficient at this skill?
At some point, we all evaluate what our purpose is on earth. What we do, and how that measures up with other people. Am I really as gifted as the guy with the YouTube channel who does the same thing? Or is what I do just good because I spent so much time doing it over and over again?
The truth is, most of what people create that we love took a long time of slow growth over time, even if they had some natural ability. There is no shortcut to creating something people want. It’s about small incremental changes. Learning new tricks. Finding new ways to do things better, more efficient, with more wow factor. And when I want to shortcut that, that’s when I get most depressed. Most anxious. Most future oriented towards the brink of mental exhaustion trying to envision where all my hard work is really taking me.
Making more skills
What this conundrum about math vs reading first got me thinking about was this idea that maybe there are more skills in my life I’ve been writing off as weaknesses. I’ve been thinking I should just hand them off to other people, when really if I would spend more time in the trenches struggling I could make them into something I was actually good at. So I wrote this piece about 45 different ways to try to get that point across, when I started realizing that writing is one of those crafts that I know I have no greater ability at then most people, and this process was killing me to figure out. I was literally showing myself that maybe that wasn’t true. I couldn’t force a better post out of this thought.
After taking some time off I realized that my nugget of fascination was truly on the skill vs gifting paradigm, and my own desire to finally figure out what in this world I’m suppose to spend my time crafting. Because right now I have so many “activities” i’ve engaged in and at the same time feel unpurposeful in my pursuit of all these skills. Marketing. Business. Social media. Writing. Building an audience. Cinematography. Photography. Editing. Sound. Podcasting. Email Marketing. SEO. ROI. Analytics. All or most of these things I can convince myself are valuable for my business, so I keep pushing into them with the idea that the more I can do, the more I’m valuable to other people (translated: money-money-money).
Can you really be good at everything?
What I’m seeing is that with the mind of a problem solver, I can find ways to get better at most skills I have intrigue and at least some natural ability for. Marketing, business, filmmaking, photography, most the digital visual arts, writing, and some performance. With slow growth over time, I can become pretty good at each of these.
However, should I invest more time in those areas of opportunity as apposed to that which I am greatly gifted at? NO. To be purposeful in life, you need to invest most heavily and regularly in what you believe you can be truly great at, then continue to offer it to people over and over again. After putting your primary time and energy into those things, then you can invest in the skills you can take from average to competent, or competent to pretty good.
What are the skills you are putting primary and secondary investment into developing in your life? Are some of the secondary ones taking up way too much of your time?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Because we all need to read and do math, but we don’t all need to be A Beautiful Mind.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_html]JTNDZGl2JTIwYWxpZ24lM0QlMjJjZW50ZXIlMjIlM0UlM0NpbWclMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwJTNBJTJGJTJGamJ3YWdnb25lci5jb20lMkZ3cC1jb250ZW50JTJGdXBsb2FkcyUyRjIwMTQlMkYxMCUyRkNhc3QwMV8wMV84MDAuanBnJTIyJTIwaGVpZ2h0JTIyMjk1JTIyJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI0MDAlMjIlMkYlM0UlM0MlMkZkaXYlM0U=[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]Nothing happens quickly in making movies. So in the time between projects, Ragamuffin director David Schulz wanted to do some comedy. So together, along with Groundlings acting school peer writer/actor Michael Klimkowski, a skeleton crew, and a revolving door of cast members, we launched a new YouTube channel.
When it’s something small and nimble like this, we all get to wear several hats, and so my responsibilities are as a producer, editor, special effects, color grading, mixing and mastering, AC, grip, sound recording, web design, channel graphics and artwork, and the list goes on. But I’ve been really happy with how the edits have turned out with me cutting a first take, then the two of us working together on fine tuning it, finding better performances, and getting the tone right.
KIND OF A SHOW
We released our first sketchisode earlier this month, just in time for Halloween, called, “Do you believe in Ghosts.” And then this week we finished the first episode in a mini-series called “Friend for Rent.”
If you are expecting something akin to Ragamuffin, please don’t… This is mostly absurdity. But well-worth the ticket price (FREE) as we feel together there is a talented group of people giving their time to make this something funny and special.
WATCH THEM NOW
So please checkout one of our first two videos I helped produce and edit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”http://youtu.be/3JZ39haE2eQ”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_video link=”http://youtu.be/S_cpM5exmhs”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_button title=”Visit Our Website” target=”_blank” color=”btn-primary” icon=”wpb_anchor” size=”wpb_regularsize” href=”http://www.kindofashow.com”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_button title=”Subscribe on YouTube” target=”_blank” color=”btn-primary” icon=”wpb_video” size=”wpb_regularsize” href=”http://www.youtube.com/kindofashow”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”http://youtu.be/HUJ1GPSvHOw”][vc_column_text]We all have things we know we should be doing. Working out. Getting up early. Remembering to always [fill in the blank]. But the key to that is making it a habit. So how do we make it a habit?
This is a super simple idea that I think rocks. Convenient Habits are most likely to Stick.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]