Telling Me “It’s Just Who I Am” Doesn’t Work

Whenever I teach creative people, one of the most common responses I hear is “I can’t change because this is just who I am.” They’re trying to tell me they are wired a certain way and as a result, can’t learn to write a different way, change the way they express themselves, or look at a challenge from another perspective. I agree that each of us are “wired” with certain strengths and personality traits, but too often, we use the “It’s just the way I am” response as a

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Three Steps to Becoming A More Visual Storyteller

We are a visually-driven generation, but then again, we’ve always been. Filmmaker Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) says: “Visual storytelling of one kind or another has been around since cavemen were drawing on the walls.” Today, toddlers have iPads and play with cameras. We grow up with cameras in our phones, and people document every aspect of their lives. Just as important, more and more creative people are opting for a career in photography or filmmaking. The fact that YouTube spends about $1 million a day expanding their server space to accommodate all the videos being uploaded confirms the fact that millions are making short films these days. But how can you

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The Truth About Using Ghostwriters for Christian Books

Today we live in an era of megachurches, major ministries, and global nonprofits. In some ways (both good and bad), these large religious and nonprofit organizations have become like international corporations, involving radio and television studios, publishing businesses, international conferences, educational outreaches, and more. And the bigger churches and ministries grow, the less time their leaders have to

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Do You Have a Life Message?

Here’s why it matters…

Corporate-speak uses terms like “Mission Statement,” “Vision,” and “Values,” but when it comes to us, we don’t often think in terms of having a personal life message. In my work consulting with visionary leaders I deal with it all the time, but when it comes to normal, everyday people, not many understand the importance of having a message. But as some have said,

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Are You Too Busy? Read This Before You Answer

Everyone’s “too busy” these days.  Too busy to write that novel, produce that film, visit your parents, attend church, go back to school, get training, read books, follow your dream – whatever. And it seems like everybody waves the “I’m too busy” flag like a status symbol. How many times have you started social conversations with that phrase? And if you have a day job, (especially for us creative types), that extra work is often overwhelming, so even thinking about

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Viewer Fatigue: Getting Your Audience to Respond

If your advertising or media programming hasn’t been getting a response lately, the first place you should look is viewer fatigue.  In other words, is the audience simply tired of seeing what you’re presenting?  Too often, programmers and advertisers (and speakers and pastors) get into a rut.  Our spots and videos look alike, we use the same voice over artist, show the same graphic style, or tend to write the same way – over and over again.  Viewer fatigue means that

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Why Success Takes a Lot More than Just Desire

I actually met a prospective filmmaker recently who moved to Los Angeles to become a film director. I asked him what he’d directed so far and he replied, “Nothing.” But that wasn’t all. I discovered he’d never taken a class, never read any books on the subject, never worked on any projects at all. All he had was the desire to become a director, and he was sure that

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