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Artisanship and Premium Prices in the Digital Age

“Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success…”  – Jiro Ono (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) *   *   * For the past two months, my wife and I have been traveling around South East Asia. We’ve spent the...

Life is for the Unreasonable

For the past two months my wife and I have been vagabonding through New Zealand. Vagabonding is probably the best word for it – the majority of the time we’ve been living out of our backpack and a tiny red hatchback (The Getzya!). The first weekend here, we rented a car (buses are too expensive and a car would give us more flexibility).  Since then, we’ve managed to see more of New Zealand than...

Art, Death and Hope

The Start and the End Finally, it was over. For the past four years, John fought the inner creative war… Four years of writing, editing, cutting, scrapping and starting from scratch… Four years of uncertainty, doubt and fear… Four years of painful creative struggle – the kind only a fiction author can truly appreciate… But in February, the war was over – John had finished his manuscript.  He had...

How to Find the Strength to Continue When You Feel Like Quitting (a letter to those in the trenches)

On the Pain of Creative Work Creative work is hard as hell. If you’re a writer, entrepreneur, or anyone else challenging and pushing boundaries (read: instigator), you know what I’m talking about. In fact, creative work is probably the hardest work there is – something only those bold enough to create can appreciate. But what makes creative work so hard? 1.  Creative work is uncertain Doing...

The Brutal Reality of Excuses and How to Conquer Them

What Do You Really Need? Do you really need more money in your bank account before you can create something worthwhile? Do you really need to develop a routine before you can start making something great? Do you really need more time in the day before you can dare boldly? Or is it possible that you can create something worthwhile regardless of the number of zeros in your checking account; or that...

Winning Your Inner Creative War

The Pain of Creation Every act of artistic creation (business, blog, book or otherwise) begins in the mind. They begin as acts of love (we care about our ideas) and defiance (challenging what is with what could be). But being inside your own mind isn’t a pretty thing.  It’s nasty in there; what is right seems wrong; up is down; and every course of action can be rationalized (adding to the...

The Enemy Defined (part 2: Negative Self-Talk Propaganda)

This is part 2 of a 3 part series explaining the Enemy (the thing stopping us from creating our epic work). You can read part one here. If you are new, read my new book: The Art of Instigating; this article will make more sense, I promise.   In the first part of this series, I explained the conventional forces of the Enemy: the Army of Bad Habits (the accumulation of years of individual...

don’t be a commodity

People complain about blue collar workers being out of work (they are), or finding a way to bring manufacturing back (you can’t), or some other way to revitalize our 20th century view of the middle-class. Sorry, it’s gone.  It’s not coming back. In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing.  In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible. – Seth Godin...

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