Some Distractions Can Actually Help You Be More Creative

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Today, the world is filled with distractions. Email and social media are two of the biggest culprits that rob creative people of focused concentration. There’s also listening to music, watching TV, or allowing people to interrupt your work. I’ve written plenty on this blog about how to avoid distractions, but to be fair, I need to mention that certain distractions can actually help creativity. The fact is,

Be Careful of the “Failure Fad”

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There’s something happening out there that I’m starting to call a “failure fad.” Social media is being flooded with quotes about how great failing is, and how much it can teach us. Quotes like: “Failure is success if we learn from it” by Malcolm Forbes or “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. It’s ok to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing” by H. Stanley Judd. I don’t disagree with their sentiments. Learning from

How To Increase Your Influence

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Influence isn’t about ego or celebrity. Too often we dismiss the idea, assuming only raging ego-maniacs are interested in influence. But the truth is, if you want to share your message, get your creativity known, or impact the world, you need to have influence. It’s the key to getting your work, vision, and ideas into the marketplace. So the question becomes, how do you increase your influence? Here’s some ideas that will make a dramatic difference:

Are Creative People More Easily Distracted Than Everyone Else?

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Over the last year, more and more books are being published that deal with how creative people handle the distractions of modern living in a hi-tech age. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings recently reviewed the book “The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius” by neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen. Toward the end of the review she mentions the relationship between creative people and distraction:

Stop Believing Talent Is Something You’re Born (Or Not Born) With

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Far too often, we give up projects and even careers because we’re convinced we just don’t have the talent. “I wasn’t born with the gift of writing.” “I’m not a good public speaker and never will be.” “I not a born leader.” But recent research has dramatically disproven the idea that talent is innate. A new study in the journal Science by Sarah-Jane Leslie, a philosopher at Princeton University, and Andrei Cimpian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois was focused on why fewer women and African-Americans were successful in certain fields. The results of the study indicate that

The Power of Using Action Words

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Action words inspire. Action words motivate. Action words get things done. So why don’t we use them more? Long ago I discovered the power of using action words in my email correspondence, meeting notes, to-do lists, and more, and it’s not only made me more productive, it’s streamlined my life. Here’s a few places where you should consider inserting action words into your daily routine:

Creatives: Do You Struggle With The Question: “So, What Do YOU Do?”

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At parties or other social events you get the question all the time:  “So, what do YOU do?”  If you’re an struggling actor, producer, director, or other media professional, it’s an awkward moment.  Even after decades of making TV programs, documentary films, online media, and consulting with large organizations, it’s still tough for me.  It’s called “Status Anxiety.”  It comes from discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves being judged or evaluated by others.  If you’ve struggled in your career, and have trouble with the “So what do YOU do?” question, you need to watch this video:

Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First

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At times, we all get frustrated or just plain tired of the way we do things.  Maybe it’s repetition, maybe it’s competition, or maybe the culture or markets have changed.  But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a re-brand, or if you just need a vacation:

Your Ability To Influence Depends On Your Personal Style

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The truth is, change happens because of influence.  My wife Kathleen and I created The Influence Lab because if we’re going to change the culture, we need to influence it in a positive way. That’s why I was intrigued when I discovered that in 2009 and 2010, Discovery Learning, Inc. and Innovative Pathways conducted research to identify and measure styles of influencers. They created five categories. See which one is your style: