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Hanging out with Mr. Dashfire in Minnesota

Day 2 in the twin cities of Minnesota and I got the opportunity to hang out with Mr. Dashfirehttp://www.dashfirebitters.com himself. If you don’t know about Lee and you love old school cocktails, you should definitely check him out. Our time was short but we came across some excellent ventures and concepts in town.

Betty Danger’s Country Clubbettydangers.com

I believe they call it the “Mexican country club” because it has a delicious set of mexican food choices that go really well with their margaritas. I do know they serve some good food and have a unique appeal.

bettybangers-ferriswheelFor example, They have a ferris wheel! A ferris wheel that you can get on and enjoy your drinks or meals while riding. It was a great experience and we had the perfect weather.

I think I also saw a putt putt golf course. I didn’t have a good look though. A country club feel in an urban environment. That is unique.

The Food Building – foodbuilding.com

The food building was got my business mind wheels turning because they have developed on the concept of bringing the production closer to where people are. This is opposite of the position that puts production far away from cities and other people.foodbldg-mpls-salami

In the Food building they have a meat shop, bread shop and cheese shop. It did smell a little “farmish” when I entered the place, but I didn’t let that deter me.

It’s definitely worth a look if you are in town and if you like a unique food experience.

Great time. Great company. This is why I came here

This year I wanted to focus on more doing. I wanted to make sure I get myself up and living a more remote working lifestyle.

I’ve been able to migrate from Shanghai and stay in DC for a few months and visit friends in Minnesota. Next I’ll be heading back to Shanghai to meet with clients and work my way over to Osaka.

This is going to be a fun journey.


Start your Enthusiasm Engine

Three steps to start your Enthusiasm Engine

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you feel enthusiastic right now?

How about this morning?

How about yesterday evening?

Enthusiasm is a powerful “Engine” for success according to Emerson. If you’re not utilizing this it might be time to pause and reflect. In this post I want to take a look at Emerson’s quote and extract some actionable steps that can be applied.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to tune up your Enthusiasm when you want? Read on

1. You gotta be doing a thing

Being static and not moving is not an option. Enthusiasm comes through doing something.

2. Do that thing with all your might and soul

Add a little soul into what you are doing. How do we add some soul? Well just listen to John Legend to get a hint.

When you have soul there emotion and a sense of deep presence in what you are doing. When I listen to John Legend perform it appears as though he is thinking about nothing else. He is here, now, playing that song.

3. Be active, energetic, faithful

Hopefully you’re not trying to be energetic the morning after 12 shots of Jose Cuervo. For me to be energetic and active I actually have to have some energy. This means taking care of my body and mind in order to be prepared to start my Enthusiasm Engine.

Thanks to Emerson for leaving us some clues to activating Enthusiasm in our lives. I’m definitely planning to apply this wisdom in my own life.

Your turn

What would the impact be if you were able to put your soul into most of the work you do throughout the day?

Share your thoughts

picture credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2580/3749673425_324aa42784_b.jpg 
wrigley scoreboard

Scoreboard for Success: How do you keep score at work?

“You have to measure what you want more of.” ~Charles Coonradt

I remember sitting in my former CIO’s office and listening to him explain to me the importance of keeping score. “How can we know we’re winning or losing the game?” he said with conviction. That lesson stuck with me ever since.

How do you if you are getting more of what you want in life?

Why would you want to keep score?

Charles Coonradt, author of The Game of Work, says that scorekeeping in the workplace stimulates us to generate more positive outcomes.

Think about it. Addictive games have flooded the market for iOS and Android in the past 6-7 years. The simplest games (like ninja or stack by Ketchapp) can keep a person entertained for hours. There is a natural inclination in our behavior to want to improve our score.

If we can see that someone else has scored just a little more than we have, the inclination to try and beat their score probably makes it even stronger.

Games work on a subconscious level.

Can the same thing happen at work?

Can we realistically apply game principles to something we do at work? Sales Managers have been implementing point systems for the longest time. Countdown timers and charity goal thermometers have been used to motivate people into action.

An example of scorekeeping my admin work

I use a timer when I have to complete boring tasks like doing administration or preparing thousands of documents that are made from templates. I set a timer to see how many I can do within a certain limit without making mistakes. The game is simple and I repeat the cycle trying to get better each time.

Soon enough I realize that i’ve gone through most of what needs to get done and can now take a break.

Your Turn

How have you implemented scorekeeping a task or project at work?

Pancakes and Carrot Cake get in a fight

If Pancakes and Carrot Cake had a battle, who would win? If you’ve been around me the last decade you probably know that I love these two dishes with a passion. I’m on a secret mission to introduce Carrot Cake into the lives of those who never experienced its goodness before. Pancakes are one of my simple pleasures to enjoy with a friend and have discussions about life purpose and philosophy. I like both.

Both are sweet.

Both are filling.

Both are fattening.

Truth is I shouldn’t be eating either one. I’ve rationalized that I can enjoy on occasion if I am doing the right work with my diet and exercise. Do you have any simple pleasures?

The thing is that these two simple pleasures could be destructive or extremely motivating. It all depends on how I use them.

Do you have any pleasures in your life like that? What are they?


Fail Faster and Better

When was the last time you failed at something?

Or have you settled into the safe and steady zone?

I read articles from startup ventures and entrepreneurs that talk about all the learnings that come from failures. Failure is something we rarely talk about. I mean, look at your Facebook feed for a minute. How many of those posts are about failing at something? I see tons of posts of accomplishments and milestones but not much about when someone has failed at something.

My guess at why we don’t want to talk about failure

1. an uninvited pity party may emerge

2. feelings of embarrassment may rise

3. we really want to forget about it.

The reality

We learn most when we fail at something. It becomes part of who are are on the road to success.

Others can learn from those failures. It might be time to share a little more about those downturns.

You might actually get more support and help when you let people know what is going on.

All the business books talking about failing forward. Should we do the same in our life?

What if we learned to embrace failure as a positive thing, we learn to fail faster and better. There is a thought?

Attituning: Business

Are you getting on or off the train?

An interesting short piece from Seth Godin relating marketing to a train.

via Seth Godin on Typepad

Internet marketing mistakes creatives make

I meet a lot of artists, videographers and other creative types and they ask me about getting online. Most quickly fall into the “i have a site” response. Found this nice little piece on common mistakes to avoid when getting online.

via lateralaction.com

Attituning: Personal Development

What happens inside the mind of a procrastinator?

This TED talk dives into the mind of a procrastinator. I’ve been there before and battle this mindset regularly. Maybe by understanding what is going on inside we can change the result outside. You think?

via TED

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Do you know when to STOP?

I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Keith Battle over at Zion Church. He was talking about six reflective questions for those that “got work to do”

One keyword that stuck out in my mind the most was STOP. Do you know when to take a break and just stop doing work?

Last week I was not able to get the attuning weekly out because I was sick in bed and just couldn’t get everything done. This was a time to probably stop and take a break. I felt guilty. I just battled through food poisoning and the flu, sick in bed and yet I still felt guilt for not being able to get all the work I wanted to do done. Crazy, right?

I was feeling anxiety to get my free training series over at https://simplewp.co published and available. I wanted to make sure that I could publish the official course on time.

At the same time I fell behind in marketing and was trying to play catch up. Plus a few other client things that needed to get done.

In retrospect I should have just taken a pause and rested. There are a few things I’ve reflected on in the past two weeks.

  • Just because you can be contacted by clients doesn’t mean you need to respond and do stuff immediately
  • There will always be more than enough work to do. You might as well make sure you take care of yourself.
  • Working remotely has its own set of benefits and challenges to overcome.
  • If you can’t give 100% check whether you need to take a break so that you can.
  • Get good at starting and stopping. Know when and how to do so at the right time.

Think for a minute: On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at stopping and resting from your daily work?

While you think, here are some handpicked links for you.


Attituning: Inspiration


What kind of legacy will you leave? [Photo] 

via michaelhyatt.com

From 2003 to 2016: The Astounding Growth of Podcasting [Infographic]

via coppyblogger.com

3 Ways To Find The Eye Of Your Hurricane

via pickthebrain.com


Attituning: Body


A 10-Minute Total-Body Workout for Busy Days

via charismamag.com

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SouthernStorm 1000px

A storm is coming. Are you ready?

Have you ever felt like something is coming? Something big?

It makes you feel nervous and excited at the same time. You can plan for it, but aren’t really sure what will happen when things play out. That’s the characteristic of a storm. I’m sure you’ve seen the movies.

This week I was hit with some food poisoning out of nowhere. The worst timing EVER. I’ve got a new video training series about to launch at simplewp.co, was just about to get on a plane to go to kyoto, and a new semester beginning at a college I’ll be lecturing at. This storm was an unexpected one. Getting through the illness was the easy part.

What I’m talking about is seeing the start of of this new training series launch. I feel that it is going to be big. I’ve done a lot of planning in my mind, but I’m not sure how it will play out when everything is said and done. I had someone randomly contact me yesterday about the exact topic I am preparing to release. Funny.

Question: What storm do you see on your horizon?

I’m going to embrace this storm, try to keep moving forward and hope for the best. What else can we do?

I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from Rob V:

I see a storm is coming
I’m gonna walk right through
there’s no right solution
nothing left to do
I’m gonna dive in to my heart  

Want the rest? let me know and I’ll ask him.


Attituning: Mind

If you are your authentic self, you have no competition

When we think about business or building a website, almost ALL of the planning tools have you analyze the competition. What if there really was no competition? Your business is as unique as you are to the world. As a leader of the mission your are driving you bring a certain combination of strengths and skills to the table that you can play with. Maybe we should be looking over our shoulders less and start trailblazing forward more.

via inc.com 

Are you self-reliant? Think again

“a growing body of psychological evidence that indicates that supportive social contact, interaction and inclusion are fundamentally important to a minimally decent human life and, more deeply, to human wellbeing.”

via aeon.co

Attituning: location independence


Officeless work

Internet businesses are starting to move toward having no offices at all. This podcast gives a little insight into what that looks like. You still have to have meetings and collaborate with people, right? Maybe your office can also implement some of the strategies and eliminate a lot of overhead: the building space.

via tropicalmba.com 


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Is Love a verb, noun or adjective?

Is Love a Verb, a Noun or an Adjective?

Since Valentine’s day just past I thought it was worth reflecting on what love is. Here are my sources of wisdom.

The Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

John Mayer:
Love is a verb
It ain’t a thing
It’s not something you own
It’s not something you scream

When you show me love
I don’t need your words
Yeah love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb
Love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

Do you have any quotes or passages that help you define love?


Updates from parisalaw.com

Website Building Training in two weeks

I’m putting the finishing touches on a new online training course for those who want to learn how to build a website that is simple and professional looking. (Secret: There is a free training series for those who are signed up)

more details at parisalaw.com


Attituning: Love


Learn from the children… or not.

Jimmy Kimmel did a short video on what kids would say love is. It’s an interesting watch.

-via youtube

Can love be three things?

There was a hypothesis put out there that says love is related to sex, attraction or long-term attachment. Does that sum it up? It might be pretty close.

via theanatomyoflove.com


Attituning: Love in business/career


Love your….co-workers

Love yourself with compassion. Love your peeps with committment. Love the work you do by becoming more competent. Love everyone around you with kindness. Some really nice advice in this article for taking love to the workplace.

via lollydaskal.com

A manager can love his team too!

Most times managers feel like they need to be tough and rigid to get results. Research has shown that a little love can go a long way. This article taught me a few ways to show love to my team. Saying something as simple as, “I trust you” can go a long way.

via inc.com

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Keep Tuning,



WordPress training series is two weeks away

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’ve working on my own wordpress websites for years. I started helping others build their own. Now I’m releasing a solution that helps creative pros build their own website using wordpress from scratch. This is going to be awesome.

Free gift available

As the build up stage progresses I’m offering a free gift for those who are interested. Head over to https://simplewp.co to get signed up.