The First Step Toward a Creative Life

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Today, while speaking at a conference in Singapore, someone asked me the secret of creative output. “Phil, how do you come up with creative material for writing and speaking – not to mention your normal production work?” I answered him by saying that the single most important question for any creative person to ask is: “What time of day am I most creative?” For me, it’s 6am to noon. When I wake up, the heavenly choir is singing, the birds are chirping, and I feel great.  So I write like mad. Everything is sharp, and I’m in a more productive mood.  But AFTER lunch?

Does Your Advertising Betray You?

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Advertising and marketing are about promotion, and promotion is about making you, your organization, or product look interesting, enticing, and simply terrific. But far too often, we’re not as strategic about our advertising as we should be, and as a result, our feeble attempts at promotion end up backfiring. Sometimes it’s just not paying attention like this auto repair shop:

Four Reasons Your Brainstorming Sessions Aren’t Successful

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After the previous post about why brainstorming doesn’t work for many people, I received a number of comments from people who like to do it, but don’t get good results.  If you’re a brainstorming person, and the method works for you, here are four keys that might make it more productive.  By bringing multiple perspectives to the table, your team gains insight you might never have considered, plus you’re adding years of experience to solving the creative problem. But most brainstorming sessions don’t yield much – or fail completely. If that’s your problem, here’s four key reasons you’re not getting more from your creative team:

Secrets For Dealing With Rejection

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I’m constantly reading quotes from famous people about the importance of failure and rejection. Learning from it, turning rejection into action, owning it, and more. The problem is, failure and rejection are HARD, and while everyone tells you it can be a good thing, very few people tell you how to handle it. To that end, here’s a few thoughts that might help you handle rejection the next time you experience it:

Four Steps to a Better Social Media Bio

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The biography you write for your various social media platforms is critical for connecting you with people. In many cases, you don’t have much space, and with platforms like Twitter, an intriguing bio is one of the top reasons people decide to follow you. And yet, most people put very little thought into a good social media bio.  Here’s some key suggestions:

Do You “Underbrag” on Social Media?

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Craig Detweiler, Ph.D. and Director of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University spoke at the recent Lausanne Global Consultation on Media and Evangelism. He talked about the fact that social media platforms have created a generation of people who are experts at “underbragging.” In other words, bragging indirectly. In the church or ministry world you see it like this:

ExFEARiential: The End of Branding?

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Although this promo video from John St. Advertising Agency in Toronto is a parody, it points to the ridiculous extremes we’ve gone to when it comes to branding.   From a religious perspective, when I wrote my original book “Branding Faith” it was a dirty word inside church and ministry circles and the concept was rarely mentioned by pastors, leaders, or church members.  A number of years later when I updated and revised the book to “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media”, I noticed there are

Five Commandments for Becoming a Media Savvy Pastor

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As a media consultant, I have the opportunity to help some of the largest churches and ministries in the country create effective, high quality media outreaches. In most cases, they are experienced, committed Christian leaders who understand the value and the power of the media.  But I also have the opportunity to spend time with less experienced pastors and ministry leaders who feel just as called to use media in a meaningful way, but have serious questions like: