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Creative on Purpose Blog

Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference

Reaching the "Right" People

personal development Jul 02, 2019

When you create something and put it forth into the world, it's easy to fall into the "reach trap." "How can I get this in front of the most pairs of eyeballs possible?" Social media only amplifies the seductive delusion of  "reach."

Your work doesn't need to reach everyone to make meaningful change happen. It merely needs to reach enough of the "right people" you intended it for.

Share something that delights the right people so thoroughly that they can't help but tell more of the right people. This is how you achieve the viability and sustainability necessary to allow you to get up again tomorrow and continue to do the work that fulfills and energizes you.

Yesterday I put my latest work into the world. The Creative on Purpose Handbook is a $1 guide for discovering, developing, and delivering enterprises worthy of your time, talents, and effort.

I wrote this handbook for you. If you grab a copy and it helps, please tell the others so we can all continue to fly higher in...

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How to Change Your Mind

personal development Jul 01, 2019

"Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

You're a lousy listener. So am I. It's a human thing. We're just not programmed to tune in and understand someone else's perspective or experience.

You and I are telling ourselves stories; stories about who we are, who other people are, what our circumstances are, what the situation in general is, and on and on.

The problem is, most of the time the narrator in our heads is composing works of fiction, not scientific or mathematical proofs based on irrefutable facts. And when we bump up against someone else's story in a conversation, we unconsciously and immediately stop listening and start judging their position and defending our stance.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." - Viktor Frankl

No wonder we almost never change our mind.

The problem though is that unless you learn to change our mind, you can't ever truly improve or develop...

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personal development Jun 28, 2019

When is the "right" time to step into possibility, develop excellence, and start making a difference in an endeavor you're building?

Most often we decide it's "later." We convince ourselves that we need to learn more, think about it, get our ducks in a row, or wait for the "right" moment.

The thing is, we already possess everything we need to get started. You are sufficient even as you strive.

It's in the starting that we get to test and tweak and iterate and improve. Doing our work "out loud" and "in person" not only helps us refine what we do, it helps us "find the others." You enhance your life most through work done with and for others.

So, what does it take to start? Choose to start and then do it.

It helps to have fellow travelers on this journey, a destination in mind, and a plan for getting there, but nothing happens until you decide you're ready to go and you take that first step.

Turns out, at least in my experience, that the others show up and the...

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Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should.

personal development Jun 24, 2019

We live in a time of abundance. Everything you want to have can be delivered to your device or door instantly. Anything you want to share can be delivered the moment you think it or make it.

And yet...

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

But when should you or shouldn't you?

In The Marketing Seminar we approach this challenge by asking three questions:

  1. What change are you seeking to make?
  2. Who are you trying to change?
  3. What promise are you making?

These three simple questions can help you discern if your motives are promiscuous or generous, selfish or of service, a waste or worthwhile.

Properly employing ability and abundance to your endeavors requires you do so with intention and integrity.

When you are thoughtful and deliberate about what you choose and what you don't in your endeavors, you improve your chances of doing work worth your time and effort and everyone else's.

What should you do today? As important, what shouldn't you do?


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Being Creative on Purpose - It Makes All the Difference

personal development Jun 21, 2019

I was about to turn 50. I was a husband, father, teacher, and musician. In each of those endeavors, I was doing well enough by anyone's standards.

And yet...

I knew I could do more. I believed I could do better. I was ready to do both more and better in all my endeavors.

But how?

I began by looking inward. I reevaluated and reconnected with my core values, my inherent talents, and where I belonged. 

Then I started looking outward at how I approached what I did, how I did it, and who I did it with.

And I decided that I need to change and that I could change right now.

I changed my mindset by simply acknowledging all the goodness I already had and all the possibility right in front of me. I changed my posture by deliberately engaging with others with greater empathy and generosity. And I started flying higher by intentionally engaging in meaningful endeavors done with and for others.

It was terrifying and it was thrilling. There were a lot of false starts...

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Embracing Dissonance

personal development Jun 17, 2019

The history of music, Western music at least, is the story of growing more and more comfortable with dissonance. Over time, our ability to embrace, appreciate, and dance with this tension has increased.

Listen to a Gregorian chant and then tune in to composition by Ornette Coleman and you'll get a sense of how far we've come in what level of discomfort we're able to tolerate, and even expect, in the music we listen to.

Dissonance is a signal. In music, in life, and in your work, dissonance lets you know that change is about to happen, that this is worth paying attention to, and that it's time to lean in.

Those butterflies you feel. The noise in your head. They arise when you're about to do something different. Something that might even make a difference.

Dissonance isn't something to ignore or shy away from. It's a reminder that the tried and true need to be tweaked. It's an invitation to join in making change happen.

When was the last time you paid attention and leaned...

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Stuck or Trouble Starting Your Endeavor? Go Small!

personal development Jun 10, 2019

For those that endeavor, the conventional wisdom is "go big or go home." Following this advice is precisely why so few enterprises ever get started or off the ground. Instead of "swinging for the fences" and then quitting when you "strike out," why not strategically "settle" for "base hits?" Why not go small?

It's so easy to "hide" in big dreams. Big plans too often lead to spinning cycles collecting dots and getting your ducks in a row. You don't need new tools or training. You need to put yourself on the hook and get going. To get where you want to be you need to start where you are and take the next smallest step into the possibility you're aiming for.

The SVS (Smallest Viable Step)

This idea comes from a chat I had with my friend, Marie Schacht. Sure, you need to have an end in mind, but when deciding what to do next, choose the next SVS (smallest viable step). Your next SVS is your best guess at the next best step that will propel you and your work the furthest and...

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What I've Been Reading - Summer 2019

This article contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase, Creative On Purpose receives a commission. Thank you!

"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

Books are my go-to source for inspiration and information in my endeavors. Here are four books that currently inform my journey in developing Creative On Purpose and help me enhances the lives of those who collide with it.


Happy: Why Everything Is More or Less Fine, by Derren Brown

Derren presents a no-nonsense approach to living the good life that touches on Stoicism, positive psychology, and pokes holes in some of the more silly sides of the self-help genre. This is a profound, entertaining, and funny read for those ready to stress less and thrive more in life and work.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Sheila Heen et al

This is a topic I took...

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Endeavor Better - A Quickstart Guide

personal development Jun 03, 2019

At the heart of any endeavor is the idea that you enhance your life most through work that enhances the lives of others. Some know what their next project is and who it's for. Others are seeking both an enterprise and an audience for it.

Whichever group you align with, there's always room to endeavor better. But how?

The answer is not by signing up for more learning, purchasing more tools, or looking for more options. You already possess everything you need to begin and grow an enterprise that serves people you care about. The essential thing is aligning who you are with what you're good at and find collaborators and clients who share your values and need your talents to help enhance their lives.

But where to start? Here's a quickstart guide.

First, stop getting hung up on the idea that the “right” project or audience even exists. It doesn’t. But an alright project for a group of people you already know does. Start where you are, with what you have, and who...

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Ready? Aim. Let Go!

personal development May 27, 2019

"One’s ultimate aim is to do all in one’s power to shoot straight, and the same applies with our ultimate goal." - Cicero

What is the goal of the archer who steps onto the field, notches her arrow, draws it back, and takes aim at the target?

Most assume that the goal of the archer is to hit the bullseye. For some archers, that may well be. But not for the archer whose aim is to excel. That archer's goal is to put forth her best effort.

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within our control and some things are not." - Epictetus

Here's the thing. The wise archer understands what is and and what is not within her control. The archer also knows that some of things that are not within her control are within her influence.

She understands and accepts that while she does not ultimately control the outcome of that effort, she does has agency over her aim and her effort. The aim matters far more...

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I'd love to share the Stepping Into Possibility guide and two additional resources with you. Where should I send them?