Why DIY is a Lie for Entrepreneurs & Creatives


Now perhaps more than ever creatives & entrepreneurs have access to more knowledge, resources, and apps that empower us to take things into our own hands. But it’s also where we often get trapped.

Maybe we think that because we can kind of sort of figure things out on our own that we should do it on our own and that we’re skilled “enough” to figure it out on our own. Read more

Four Truths of a Brand Story


Courtesy Unsplash

People get confused about brands and branding. Some people think branding means pretty or sassy logos. Some people think branding means smarmy marketing. I have a different take. From my years of research, working with clients, and shaping Tracking Wonder’s own brand story, four truths have become evident.

1. Story bonds us.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – author Phillip Pullman.

Story-based brands linger in people’s hearts and build stronger communities. We spend money on stories we want to be a part of.

2. Branding is personal growth.

Shaping a brand story can accelerate self-knowledge more quickly than a year of personal growth classes.

To shape the elements of a brand story requires deeper ways of exploring and problem-solving than simple writing exercises or “doing a website.” They require mounds of self-knowledge and confidence. And they typically require perspective from trusted colleagues or mentors or advisors.

The most valuable brands and businesses – including personal brands and personality brands – are not simply self-expressive. They are self-expansive. Read more

Your mind is vast. Love & use all of it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.02.30 AMYou might be at war with your mind. And you’re not to blame.

I talk with a lot of smart people, accomplished people, talented and sensitive people who want a different approach to problem-solving their projects and lives. They want to make changes in how they advance their endeavors, how they engage their audiences, how they earn a viable right livelihood doing more of what they are best at.

Yet as they problem-solve, they often only bring small parts of their minds to the table. Those parts usually fall into two extremes. There are the business-leaning people who have learned to spread sheet and project manage their way to success. In reaction, there are the “authenticity-leaning” people who expend a lot of time trying to trust their gut, and then second-guess their gut, and then trust it again.

Both groups diminish vast parts of their business artist mind that together could be rallied as allies instead of as foes.

You might have been fed misguiding messages not to trust your mind but to trust your gut. Or to write from your heart not from your mind. Or that you spend too much time in your head.

Those dualities – mind/gut, heart/mind, head/body – don’t really make sense. Unfortunately, these well-intended admonitions can create civil wars within your mind. I’ve witnessed those wars over and over again in the people with whom I’ve worked and talked with.

Your mind is vast and contains far more than the little worrier. So much more than the analytical processor. So much more than the emotional processor. Your business artist mind is gut and heart and head and body and imagination and dot-connector and synthesizer and self-motivator and more.

Your mind is a veritable brigade. Rally it.

Your business artist mind is vast. Love all of it. (Click to share this. Thanks.)

That’s what we do in our ArtMark ™ program for business artists.

I shot the video below on the Hudson Valley’s Shawangunk Ridge earlier this year. The Ridge overlooks the Catskill Mountains.

Maybe there’s something I say that will help you be a little less at war with parts of your mind and a little more back in love with all of it.

Let me know if something here resonates or triggers a reaction. Read more