Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yes, You Can Schedule Creative Time

Somewhere along the path to adulthood, many of us lost our creativity – or we think we did. With a little planning and a regular schedule though, you can get it back, as counterintuitive as that might seem when talking about being creative!

And don’t think you simply don’t have it in you to be creative. All you have to do is look at kids or think back to when you were a child yourself to see the proof of your own creativity. Did you ever have an imaginary friend? Make up your own game with your own set of rules? Design a Mother’s Day card or a Christmas ornament? That was you being creative and that's just a few examples. The list goes on and on.
So why is it so hard as adults to be creative when as a young child it came so easily?

One of the reasons creativity is harder for adults is because we have so much on our minds and spend our mental energy focusing on that needs to be done, or this problem and that. We don't have any 'clear space' to let the creativity flow.
That’s where having a schedule can help

It may sound like a strange solution but once you get in the habit (and remember it takes approximately 21 days for a habit to form) of a schedule and doing things (including creativity time) regularly, you're brain will begin to kick into creative mode just when you expect.
Let's say for example that you've created a schedule and blocked off 30 minutes a day from 6:30-7:00am to let your creative juices flow - whether it be painting, drawing, writing, or another outlet. On the first day you wake up excited and ready to go but find that you couldn't clear your mind and wasted those 30 minutes thinking about the laundry that needs to be done, dirty dishes, work problems, etc. And then the same thing happened the next several days. You begin to feel discouraged but you made a commitment to at least stick to it for 21 days. And then suddenly you find that one morning you get lost in creativity and your 30 minutes fly by.  The next morning, and the next and the next (you get the picture) you find that as soon as you sit down at the spot you’ve designated, creative thoughts just start pouring out onto your paper.

It's because you have trained your brain that every single day at this time you're letting everything else go to clear the mental space for nothing but creative works. Your brain has gotten used to working this way every day and now it expects it – maybe even craves it.
This is exactly how the world’s most prolific authors, painters, and others manage to accomplish so much, and you can too. Simply block off time in your calendar for creativity, and before you know it, you’ll be able to turn those creative thoughts on and off at will.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The New Gurus - My Top 10 List Revised and Updated!

Back in 2009, I posted a list of the people I considered to be the top 10 internet "gurus".  The internet is loaded with self-proclaimed experts, all waiting to take your money and deliver little of value.  I wanted to share the people I knew and trusted.  These were the people I had studied; the ones whose lead I followed while taking my beginning steps as an entrepreneur.  Well, here it is six years later and I have had much success.  But I am also still learning!  There is always something more to learn and you still want to go to the masters to learn it.  So once again I'm sharing with you my list of the top 10 internet gurus.  Some of them you may recognize from my previous list but they still have much of value to offer.  Others are brand new.  All are the best in their areas of expertise and come with my whole hearted recommendation! 

1. Ken McArthur - Ken is an author, marketing expert, legendary creator of Impact, and the resident expert in forming partnerships and collaborations.  Thanks to Ken, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with amazing people.  And I learned a very important lesson - no matter how prepared you think you are, you can still mess up!  Bad!  Epically, in fact!   

2. Felicia Slattery - I met Felicia many years ago on Ryze and came to admire and respect her long before I had the opportunity to meet her in person. Felicia taught me the value of being able to communicate effectively in any format.  Since our initial meeting, I have had the opportunity to participate in her coaching programs which have truly helped to perfect my skills as a speaker.  Too bad I didn't do that a bit earlier!  (See above!) 

3. ProBlogger (Darren Rowse) - I discovered ProBlogger through a teleseminar that mentioned a man (ProBlogger) that was bringing in a six-figure income simply from blogging. I immediately went to his site and through his teaching, entered the world of blogging for myself. From a blog with 1 or 2 hits on a good day, I now have multiple blogs with hundreds of hits. 

4. Ken Evoy - Creator of Site Build It! for web building and hosting. In addition to discovering an absolutely fabulous tool to help create and host websites, Ken taught me the importance of a content-rich site for business.

5.  Andy Shepherd - Would you believe I used to be terribly shy and self-conscious?  It's true!  I am a bit - irreverent - at times, and was afraid that others wouldn't take me seriously. So I avoided speaking or even photos that allowed any sign of that side of me to show through.  Well, thanks to Andy, that is no longer the case.  If you have something that is keeping you from the success you seek, let Andy help you break through the barrier. 

6.  Carrie Wilkerson - I only met Carrie Wilkerson once at a jvAlert event. But she made a powerful impression on me with her reminder to focus and that nothing gets accomplished without massive action TO COMPLETION!  It is a message that still resonates today.  And one I teach everyone of my clients and team members.

7.  Larry Hochman - I have learned so much from Larry, I can't even begin to list it all here.  From providing business advice and guidance to giving me a gentle nudge (or swift kick) when needed, Larry has helped me excel both professionally and personally.  (And he captured the hearts of about 25 little Girl Scouts by helping them set up their first ever websites for cookie sales.  Thanks, Larry!  They sold THOUSANDS of boxes of cookies, which enabled them to reach their goal for a donation to YouthBridge, which helps troubled kids locally).   

8.  Brian G. Johnson - Author, speaker, and poodle wrangler.  His book, Trust Funnel, has been on the corner of my desk since the day I bought it.  I like to keep it within reach for easy reference.  Oh, and he taught me one of the most valuable lessons of all.  Be yourself, even if that self is a little bit crazy!

9.  Debra Jason  - Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.  Need I say more?  Buy it.  Read it.  Put it into action.  Make money.  Oh, and she's not bad at copywriting either! 

10.  Brian Basilico - Brian has taught me more about the use of social media in my business than anyone.  He is the expert on social media and marketing and when he speaks, I listen and then do exactly as he says. 

There you have it - my newly updated top 10 list of internet business experts. Did I leave someone off that you think should be here? Post a comment with their name, website and why you recommend them and I will definitely check them out.