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tracking wonder - collaborate

Tapping into Creative Collaboration

tracking wonder - collaborate

Collaboration, it turns out, is essential for creative productivity and innovation.

The New York socialite Mabel Dodge knew something about putting talented, engaging people from different backgrounds and creative media in the same room. With the right atmosphere and combination of people, ideas could ignite that might inspire creative action (including even, a few love affairs). Read more

Tracking Wonder - Your Brand Story

Content Marketing: Ideas for Shaping Your Brand Story

Tracking Wonder - Your Brand Story

Image: Unsplash.com

If you can make people feel something you can generally grab their attention. Your brand story matters because your why is the powerful driving force getting you out of bed even on the days you’d rather roll over, ignore what needs to be done and binge watch Netflix.

It’s also a pretty compelling reason for other people to notice and ultimately invest in you, your book, your brand or business.

Whether it’s a personal story or the inspiration behind what drove you to create your business, story is what as humans, we’re wired to we resonate with deeply.

My work with clients involves lots of field research and study of models so we can iterate, emulate, and innovate. In a nut shell, see what works. Here are 3 surprising sources for inspiration for story I think you;re going to enjoy.

1. Johnny Walker

Yep, the bourbon. Actually, two German university students submitted this 90-second film on spec to the bourbon brand legend. Watch how it piques your curiosity, raises questions in you about the men’s relationship & who’s speaking, and where – if anywhere – they’re wandering.

The product isn’t the Story. The brand Story here is how the product is entwined in people’s lives, memories, and celebrations. Even the tough-minded are likely to shed a tear at the poetic script’s truth and beauty. In 90 seconds.

My questions to you: The next time you shoot a program or product video, how can you pique curiosity instead of being obvious? How is your product or program or service entwined in people’s lives for the better? You don’t need a 6-figure production budget.

2. Starbucks Upstander

Warning: There’s a not-so-subtle political drive behind these stories. Still, it’s an example of how real stories of real people can drive home a point. If your brand is justice-related or if you’re a social entrepreneur, take stock.

My question to you: How can you tell stories of “ordinary” people who are fulfilling a mission or the core values your brand stands for?

3. Jonathan Fields: One Author’s Quest to Plant 10,000 Trees

Jonathan combines his passion for nature with his quest for a good life in the “10,000 Tree Good Life Forest” Project. Here he tells the story of his book and his personal quest in a context that matters.

My questions to you: If you’re launching a book or product, what larger mission that might involve partnership or collaboration can you imagine? Tap into both your core values as well as the book’s or product’s content. Remember, your book is not your Story. It’s only a part of the brand Story you’re living.

If this blog speaks to you I invite you to join our The Tracking Wonder Quest Community. Our community is comprised of professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, teachers, coaches, and consultants dedicated to doing Business As Unusual. I’d be pleased to have you join us.

Source: Unsplash

Learning: The New ROI

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Whatever it is you’re building, creating, or advancing, when you think of your return on investment, weigh it on what you learn in the process. This is often over looked or not calculated into the final ROI at all.

Backstory

I laid out rows of three acorns on the lawn.

Me: “How many rows of three are there?”
7-year-old: “Foherr” (she rolls her ‘r’s as if she were French).
Me: “So, how much is 3 times 4?”
7-year-old: “Twelve!” Read more

Image: Unsplash.com

Use Writing to Discover Your Brand and Business

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

Whether you tag yourself “writer” or not, writing can feed the ideas you’re obsessed with and the questions you’re living and that your brand and business is delivering on.

Writing can inform your brand’s integrity. And if you’re in transition – in life, business, brand – oh, yeah. Writing is an ally there, too.

Someone asked me recently about the work I do and how I help to  build brands and the brand stories they’re based on. The answer. I do build a brand the same way I build a life: An idea consumes me. I write, research, dive deep, create, test. Through that process, I unfold a brand and business. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Persistent Sprints Build Books & Businesses

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Are you time-strapped or focus-challenged, but keen on writing a book or have a business to build?

It might seem counter-intuitive – even threatening to your cherished beliefs – to imagine writing a book or building your signature business Story 15, 30, 45 minutes at a time. But that’s how you can do it.

Fantasies trap us.

When we imagine writing a book or building our newest business artistry endeavor, we conjure images of languid, lush hours mulling, creating, wandering, and – eureka! – you’re writing that brilliant book or launching that extraordinary endeavor. It’s terribly romantic. Read more

Boost Creativity Shape Time

12 Riffs to Help Boost Creativity & Shape Time

Boost Creativity Shape Time

I know that finding time to do the stuff you’re most passionate about is hard.

In these times, it’s hard to ignore the shifting cultural causes that call you to act.

As creative thinkers conventional planners and time management systems don’t cut it. Neither do random sticky notes plastered on your computer.

In light of this fact, I created a productivity tool and time management system designed for professionals, thought leaders, business owners, and creatives called the Mind Rooms Guide. It’s been developed based on the psychology of creative thinking and productivity.

Here are some thoughts on how to boost creativity and Shape Time to Act.

1. REMEMBER THE DEAD LINE.

In 1944, Miklos Radnoti knew the Nazis would shoot him and the other Jews marching across Hungary any day, any hour. When his wife later had his body exhumed from a mass grave, they would find a notebook of poems tucked in his field jacket’s pocket. Somehow, he stealthed out a pen, the sound of gunfire rattling like bones, and wrote a series of poems.

Radnoti’s persistence is a haunting reminder of my mortality, of this odyssey’s limited time.

The pressure of time, the fact of mortality, the real dead line, compels me to create, and to create with awareness and intention.

2. TANGO WITH TIME.

All of us creatives tango with time. Most creatives cannot wait until their kids go off to college or until retirement or until divorce or until they quit a job to begin their real work. Gratified creatives with packed lives create before the family gets up or in “pockets of time” – on the subway or in the forty-eight minutes between when their children have fallen asleep and before they themselves fall asleep.

One way or another, we’d be wise to make peace with time, stop fighting it, and avoid bemoaning its scarcity. There’s plenty of time to be had, it turns out, and if we can’t change the way chronological time works, then we can change the way we work with it.

Instead of managing time like some begrudged worker, we can shape it. Think of yourself as a potter more than a manager.

To show up and shape time as a creative has less to do with calendars and more to do with loving the mind. And the body.

Creativity is not about waiting for the muse – despite Elizabeth Gilbert’s charming spin on the Greek muse.

Creativity is about showing up and shaping time for the muse. Read more

dude at desk

How to Stop Fighting Time

dude at desk

We business artists are blessed and cursed with a generative mind – the ability to come up with lots of ideas.

You may be feeling the effect of shifting cultural causes calling you to act. How do you find the time in an already profoundly packed schedule for your deep creative work?

Sunni Brown, named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, nailed the problem this way: “Discerning which opportunities to pursue has been a bogeyman in my creative work for years. I just couldn’t settle on the criteria for choosing.”

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tracking wonder relax for productivity

How to Take Breaks That Improve Creativity & Productivity

tracking wonder relax for productivity

Finding time to do your most creative work is hard.

An optimal work-and-create flow is an extended period of time in which your mind and body are performing at their best when engaged in high-thinking and high-imagining tasks and projects. You sustain focus, your body’s fire stays stoked, your attitude flourishes, your imagination hangs from the monkey bars.

It’s pretty typical to get overwhelmed by obligations and tasks that don’t leave much time for the projects that light us up.

In light of today’s cultural causes, now more than ever you may be feeling called to act.

But most of us know that pulling all-nighters and pumping our bodies with caffeine does not an optimal work-and-create flow make. Read more

quest-blogpost-image-featured

#WhyIQuest: enlightened empowerment & connection.

 

Every December, Tracking Wonder gathers a dynamic group of individuals for a free online program we call Quest: 12 days of collective envisioning with 12 inspiring influencers, providing instigations and insights for those on a quest to do business as unusual in the new year. Together, we seek meaning, integrity, and impact in life and career while remembering that Do It Together beats Do It Yourself.

The Quest community includes hundreds of bold Business Artists: writers, teachers, artists, healers, entrepreneurs, and more. Each one has a different reason for Questing – a different fire that drives them to pursue a new way of doing life and business. As we prepare for Quest 2017, which begins on December 1, we asked a few of our veteran participants to share #WhyIQuest and what Quest has meant to them.

unnamedToday, we’d like to introduce Jennie Benjamin, writer and founder of Realizing Connection. Jennie has been running with us for a while now.  On the Quest last year she strengthened her commitment to developing and helping others to develop meaningful and valuable connections. She discovered useful tools and invaluable support from fellow questers along the way that would allow her to powerfully communicate her vision and ideals throughout the year. With the help of her peers,

Jennie was able to meet the challenges that come with fear and insecurity head on and to envision a year in which she would go beyond them.

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quest-blogpost-image-featured

#WhyIQuest: discovering next steps & mutual support

 

quest-blogpost-image-featured

 

Every December, Tracking Wonder gathers a dynamic group of individuals for a free online program we call Quest: 12 days of collective envisioning with 12 inspiring influencers, providing instigations and insights for those on a quest to do business as unusual in the new year. Together, we seek meaning, integrity, and impact in life and career while remembering that Do It Together beats Do It Yourself.

The Quest community includes hundreds of bold Business Artists: writers, teachers, artists, healers, entrepreneurs, and more. Each one has a different reason for Questing – a different fire that drives them to pursue a new way of doing life and business. As we prepare for Quest 2017, which begins on December 1, we asked a few of our veteran participants to share #WhyIQuest and what Quest has meant to them.

nancy seibel, quest, new year, resolutions, Keys To Change, whyiquest

Today, we’re introducing you to Nancy Seibel, coach, counselor, and owner at Keys to Change,  where she “takes service-centered professionals from burning out to fired up”.  Below, Nancy describes the revelation that came to light during the Quest and how mutual support and sharing grounded a deep and rich exploration of what’s next. To join her and the rest of the Quest community in December, you can sign up at bit.ly/quest2017; then, use the #WhyIQuest hashtag on the social media platform of your choice to announce your participation and your key reason(s) for Questing (and to meet your fellow Questers in the process).

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-10-29-58-am

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