Dead Weight

Lift and flex.

Lift and flex.

One of my colleagues was talking about the need to cut the dead weight (read “people”) out of her life. I’ve had to walk through that too as I mention here, and especially if the relationship was long-standing, you may feel anger, regret and disappointment.

But here’s something about dead weight in particular. Dead weight is a civil engineering term. It’s a measurement used to quantify exactly how strong the structure is while not being used.

Trainers will make you do “dead lifts”, hoisting heavy, stationary weights, to build muscle quickly.
It’s tough, and makes you achy. But your strength is your reward.

If you’ve just cut some dead weight lose, obviously your training is done. Enjoy the freedom of traveling light! Flex those muscles by doing something powerful, and feel how strong you are.

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A special update

This post is special for two reasons:

It's a special day!

It’s a special day!

#1: I am hosting a workshop session for my clients tonight.
#2: And, one of my clients decided to blog about my work with him, so you can get an idea about what I do.

Special #1: I’m going to tell you what we’re working on in this group session.

There’s a story about who you are. Then, there’s the truth of who you are. Get the story to align to the truth and your life will transform. In our interactive group session tonight, we’ll introduce the process of alignment. It’s a bit too deep to speak about here, but feel free to reach out to me for further details here.

Special #2: Here’s a window into the work I do one-on-one.

One of my clients, Michae Allen, is a dedicated husband and father of four who is investing in the launch of his business. Michae talks about my process here.

Want to know more? I answer all questions. (I know that sounds like a setup.) Just comment below.

 

Be A Spider (4 Wise Moves for Entrepreneurs)

This blog post sponsored in part by the yummy food, great service and free Wifi at Gilbert’s on 17th Street Grill

Even though I’m a writer and creative consultant, I’m a scientist at heart. Most of my work comes from the revelations I have while studying nature and physics.

By David Maiolo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By David Maiolo [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On a walk the other day, I saw a huge banana spider suspended between a tree and a building. There was evidence in its web that it had already eaten a few creatures, and it was busy rebuilding the holes that were left.

On another tree close by sat an iguana.

Well, I thought, the iguana will have a healthy dinner.

But then I looked at the spider in the web again and realized I was wrong. There were four things that the spider had going for it that every risk-averse entrepreneur could learn.

1. Make your way by your strength.

Most spiders eat what they catch in their web. Others build traps and eat what gets caught there. Here’s the key: What they build sustains them. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t selling someone else’s products. Build on the things that sustain you.

2. Know what is your bread and butter.

Spiders eat insects. So they build their webs where insects are: flying between trees, or in dusty corners of your house. Spiders test their success by what they catch—so even if a spider mistakenly builds a web across your doorway, once you walk through it, you’ll never see that spider web there again. If you’re not catching anything where you are, move.

3. Take a calculated risk.

Contrary to Spiderman’s web-slinging in the comics, spiders don’t shoot silk out to build webs across a space. They fling themselves out there, spinning silk behind themselves during flight. Even baby spiders build tiny little parachutes in a process called ballooning (aww) after they hatch and fling themselves into the wind to find new homes. They do that so that they can test the viability of the places they attach their web to. You can’t judge your market or your products with theory. You’ve got to get out there. One of the first things I tell my clients to do is look at what’s already working— but to use that to push themselves deeper into their market. I talk about that on my TEDxTalk here.

4. Stay on the Web.

The spider’s best strength is on the web. Its food gets caught there. It has a great vantage point on its environment. And the spider’s legs are so sensitive to it that any movement on the web alerts the spider immediately. That iguana would have to leap off of the tree in order to catch the spider… unless the spider comes off the web. Once you’ve found the work you are good at, get better at it. Use the gifts and strengths you’ve been given to protect yourself.

And here’s a bonus tip!

5. Have faith in the world around you.

Spiders that are ballooning were at first thought to plan their trajectory. After many years of research, scientists concluded that they don’t really have a plan. They just know they need to move, and move farther than they can jump. When you understand who you are, and what your strengths are, don’t be afraid to jump into the world. Wherever you land, you’ll bring all of that with you.

Be a spider. Just don’t get caught in my hair.

6 Things Leaders Can Learn From The World Cup

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1. True fans will follow you everywhere.

I was watching the #ivorycoastvsjapan match and was amazed at how coordinated the fans were. They had a choreographed dance, shakers and costuming. This is an important game for the country. People knew that their “Elephants” needed their energy, so they came. The Ivory Coast did not disappoint.

Are you encouraging your fans to come along on the ride with you? Nothing great happens alone.

2. People love the story of an underdog.
Continue reading

How weird news teaches us great storytelling

Your best stories are those where the results surprised you. Read this article by Guy Bergstrom to get some insight.

The Red Pen of Doom

Every day, there are real stories in the morning newspaper that make you snort coffee out your nose or choke on a blueberry muffin. Note: This is why journalists call such pieces “muffin chokers.”

Yet the daily weirdness is more than funny. If you dissect these stories, you can learn deep storytelling lessons from the shallow end of the journalism pool.

Here’s a real story that just happened in my state: Man steals RV from Wal-Mart parking lot, leads police on wild chase. Swerves into sleepy little town where he knocks cars into front yards and such, then blasts through a house and crashes. Runs out, strips down to his underwear and invades a home to steal girl clothes. Cops catch him and haul him off.

This is pretty typical of a weird news story, and not simply because it started in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart — and yeah…

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Give In To Your Fear

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Back when permed hair was in, and Halle Berry hit the scene.

Me and my mom are really close.

No one really knows you like your mother. She’s seen me grow and evolve. She’s seen me succeed and she’s seen me fall miserably.

Our relationship has grown past mother-daughter into friendship. As least, that’s the lie I try to tell myself.

I figured out what a faker I was after church last Sunday. I had an appointment to plan world domination with one off my business partners later that evening, and wanted to stop by my mom’s house to visit.

I saw Mom at church, and she said she was going straight home. I had a short meeting with the minister (more world domination in the works), and headed over to her house.

When I got to her parking lot, her car wasn’t there.

That’s weird, I thought.

I waited for a few minutes.

Maybe she took another way home, I thought.

What if something happened? I called her cell phone. No answer. Continue reading