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

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

Content Marketing: Lead With Your Story

Tracking Wonder - Brand Story Strategy

How a local clinic and an alpaca farm benefited from brand story strategy.

I see a lot of businesses (as well as online entrepreneurs) make the same mistake when they build a website and venture into content marketing and social media. Business owners unintentionally bring old assumptions about advertising & marketing to online content and social media.

Traditional advertising is about pushing your product or services onto customers or potential customers.

The ads might be clever to get attention. You pay a premium for advertising and invest in expensive print collateral, and you just sort of hope somehow by virtue of advertising’s messenger pigeons that the right person will get the mail and show up at your door.

So what happens when a business owner steeped in traditional advertising and marketing ventures into the brave new world online? Read more

The Power of Consistency For Business Growth

Tracking Wonder - Consistency for Success

Consistency is your ally to steady growth in creativity, business, and life.

While it may sound unsexy, you know and I know the best laid plans will fail without a dedication to consistency. If you’re running a small business or you’re a solopreneur, the power of consistency for success is particularly relevant. Here’s a few ways that consistency will fuel growth for your business and life. Read more

How to Use Writing to Track Your Big Ideas

Tracking Wonder - Big Idea

People often ask me what I do as Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder. I help people think. It’s that simple. Except it’s not. Thinking means that we don’t only come up with new and useful big ideas.

It also means my idea-collaborators and I think through how to translate the most viable of those ideas into actual endeavors, entrepreneurial experiments, brand-aligned websites, start-ups, pitches, books, community-building efforts.

Really, I help people chart a path to earn a reputation, earn respect, and earn revenue for their beneficial or artful ideas. Not simple but profoundly rewarding.

This current journey all started with writing. Writing has been my way to discover what I think I’m thinking, to make meaning, to discover what’s behind what I’m feeling, and to participate in shaping a future.

If you have an idea that lights you up, writing might be a tool to help that idea get traction. Read more

Books That Matter to Author & Consultant John Jantsch

YCB-BooksThatMatter-header-JohnJantsch

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

John Jantch offers consistently useful, grounded marketing advice for business owners and thought leaders who want to attract and engage their customers with real value. His blog is among my go-to for practical know-how. John’s influence skyrocketed when Thomas Nelson Publishing brought out his book Duct Tape Marketing in 2007. He has since built a team of certified consultants and produced more useful books, including SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Website Designers, and Entrepreneurs. I wanted to know what books stick with the “sticky” marketer. John’s influences range from an architecture design philosopher to Holden Caulfield to Deepak Chopra. Enjoy. Read more

Why Are You Writing Your First Book?

pexels-photo-46274There are some generally held misconceptions about writing your first book, specifically the first novel.

There are two schools of thought on first novels. Some people believe your first novel is essentially practice. First novels are sometimes referred to as “Juvenalia.” Consider William Faulkner’s first two novels, Soldiers’ Pay and Mosquitos, both almost forgotten. Critics generally believe his third novel, The Sound and The Fury, only achieved greatness because he dumped his “precious darlings” into the first two failures.  Read more

5 Stages of Confidence in Writing a Book

Tracking Wonder - Confidence Curve

A funny thing happens to a writer’s level of confidence in writing a book. It shoots up and down seemingly as erratically as weather.

Part of what makes confidence so unreliable is what we base confidence on. We try to base confidence on nebulous emotions such as passion and a blind belief in our own abilities & authenticity and bull-headed willpower.

If I just believe in myself, I can write this stellar book. Just gotta believe! Just gotta write, write, write. Practice, practice, practice.

What if your confidence in building your book could be grounded on something solid, authentic, and heart-opening at the same time? Read more

5 Ways to Advocate on Your Path to Publishing

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

You’re writing a book. You’ve written a book. You’re looking to publish your book.

Your options are not just the Big 5 or self-publish or bust. The publishing world is so much more diverse than that.

What’s cool but confusing is that as a business artist, writer, executive, or professional, you now have more viable options than ever to publish.

But options can create anxiety.

Beyond my screen sits a table stacked with books. Yes, I still prefer print. So do most Americans. And so do most children and college students, by the way.

Read more

Books That Matter to Author, Consultant & Speaker Jenny Blake

Tracking WOnder -Books That Matter-Jenny Blake

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Few people bring joyful mindfulness to entrepreneurship and to pivoting toward the next best thing the way dynamo Jenny Blake does. When corporate life nearly spent Jenny’s soul, she discovered the power of meditation and other mindful practices to help be her best during the most demanding career transitions.

Jenny’s book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One (Penguin Portfolio) lays out a clear 4-part Pivot Method for high-net growth and impact individuals to craft more meaningful work. In this Books That Matter feature, Jenny shares the book that helped her through her pivots and why she’d dive back into Arabic for Dummies if she could.

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