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Blend and The End

This week has been all about change. And “blending.” 

What’s that?…

In my interview with Thriving Collective CEO Cameron Brown, he talked about this cool concept. It’s the idea that the sum of all our experiences and the skills that emerge make us impossible to replicate. The art, he says, comes in finding ways to successfully blend and share it with the world. You do that, he says, and then you can create a only you can fill.

Seems reasonable enough, right?

Coincidentally, I played with this same idea on my show, but called it “Value X.”  (Check out the 00 Episode) The quality, as I saw it, was the sum and soup of our lives that makes us unique. I made it the key driver behind alot of my questions early on. My hope was that by having guests go there listeners would start taking credit for their uniqueness too. 

Why I am telling you this?… Ok, I have to bring you to now to bring this concept full circle. 

So plainly put, I’ve been struggling as an entrepreneur. I’ve gone months without a break, 16 hour days, and crammed in mini yoga sessions between energy drinks at the office. So I decided taking some time off would be wise.

And so that’s what I did. Just a couple days of magic with the family.  While in the midst of it I had an aha moment. I’d come up for air, finally, and had a chance to take a good look around -metaphorically. I realized I’d had a vision to start with.  And when I’d tracked my progress it seemed like I was way off track from that original vision. And by that I mean with my show and brand. With the Pioneers of Insight podcast, my first production, I’d hoped to plug people into the powerful wisdom that comes from surviving the “extraordinary” experiences. You know, real gut-wrenching, soul-twisting adversity, which I believed is magical and scales. But I concluded I hadn’t delivered on that concept.

My first instinct was to search for where I’d gone wrong. Here’s what I came up with, and maybe you can relate if you’ve taken a risk to build something in your own lives;

  • I felt like I’d compromised.
    •   For me that meant bending my vision. Instead of having extraordinary stories to work with, I felt like I was using my skills to turn ordinary experiences into the extraordinary for my guests. 
  • I felt like I was doing alot of things out of my fear of disappointing others. 
    • I am not afraid of putting myself out there, so in the early running I managed to generate a good amount of interest.  Great people with cool missions and enterprises had tossed their hats in the ring right off the bat. Being a people pleaser, I did not want to turn anybody down. And so I didn’t.  On the odd occasion I did consider it a voice showed up. Kinda nasty, and it said,”who the hell are you to turn these good folks down? They’re influencers, successful people with audiences, man. Stop being a egotistical jerk!  

So, in coming up for air I had an oh shit moment.

I imagined myself on a bicycle going off trail and then quietly off a cliff. Essentially, instead of celebrating what I’d accomplished I chose to beat myself up.  I blamed it on old insecurities, mostly.  But then it got worse as I imagined how my decisions were impacting my brand. A brand honestly nobody really knows about yet.  I saw myself as abandoning what life had prepared me for. My blend. I was cheating my Value X! I knew I didn’t have a cure for this situation, and I didn’t want to cry about my perceived failure, I just I decided I needed to turn it around before it’s too late. 

But then after a couple days of processing this ridiculous reaction, the real magic happened. 

I realized the disappointment I was feeling was my own. Which is always the case.

The truth was I hadn’t gotten any negative feedback. Actually, I only positive.  I hadn’t landed any huge wins, distributors, or advertisers yet, but it was all good signs so far. The show was slowly growing. 

So what was happening? Expectations zombies had emerged and were eating my brains.

I’d just plain whiffed on recognizing the beautiful thing I was helping to create! Sure, it wasn’t exactly what I’d imagined, but life had already shown me that’s typically works in my favor.  So I stopped and thought about the wonderful guests I’d met, and realized how much I’d learned about about what works and doesn’t, for my audience, myself, and the brand.  I saw the opportunities and new directions I’d never imagined that were showing up everyday.  

What dawned on me when I gave myself permission to shut fear off was the truth of a bigger process. I came back to reality, more of less. Process is the soul of life, which  I choose to believe is always working in my favor, more or less. With this came the life affirming and sobering conclusion – I’d stopped listening to soul. This was shocking to me. I realized I needed to put soul at the center of my work again. I’d kind of divorced myself from soul by clambering for attention with my brand. Soul of course never went anywhere, I’d simply lost touch with her guidance. 

So let me wrap this by giving you a sense of where I intend to go with this fledgling brand. 

As the Buddhist’s like to say, I will simply start over by focusing on the next breath. 

First, I’m retiring this blog. 

First off, it’s called the Daily Insight. While I somehow managed to crank out posts daily for over half a year without killing myself, I’m saying no more. I tell you, it’s no bueno being in the office at 4:00 am just to crank out a blog and vlog that gets read by 50 people. Perhaps choosing the word read here is an overstatement. Thumbed, maybe is more accurate. There was a lot of crazy notions I bought into early on when I separated my soul from my ambitions. Or maybe I should say, swallowed. Honestly, my business and family suffered because of it.  And honestly, I was just plain missing the mark with what I produced. I was hiding parts of myself -and was falling into the trap of the social marketing machine; which is be everything to everyone. -But while not being obvious that’s what you’re doing. And I grew up being an expert at that, so that was becoming an issue. At I’m not blaming social media, this just points back to my own life long habits. I realized there’s a business of selling sales culture out there, which was good to learn.  I refuse to go there. So, I’m readjusting my choices to honor my life and family, and soul, as opposed to continuing to strive to meeting some crazy outer-limit expectation.  

So basically from this point on I intend to lay down the light.  I’m a deeply spiritual guy.  I care. I’m creative.  I have a family which I love. And I eat tons of spicy foods. I need to share all of that.  So soul will sit at the heart of my brand and everything I produce.

Overall, I think I can do alot by bringing art to adversity. The wisdom of soul to media, and tools that promote continuity between our inner and outer lives.  I can and will make a stand for more heart in business and culture by writing about it. And I believe I have the skills to do all those things, and feel blessed for it. 

So, with the new blog, I’ll be doing a little of everything. I’ll be talking to you folks, not down, sideways, or from beneath. Right at you. I’ll be sharing what I learn as I go along, about soulful brand-building, marketing, and the business side of building a heart-based media brand. I’m also a trained marriage and family therapist, so no escaping that. And I’m a dad to a boy I’m crazy about. His name is Gus, so good chance you’ll hear about parenting too. I’m also a healer, like I said. So I’ll share what I’ve learned from some of the great people I know. I’ve made alot of friends in the healing and creator worlds, and on the business end too, as I’ve led and co-led workshops professionally for awhile now. Some of these folks are mind-blowers, so it’ll be fun to sharing insights and stories there. 

As for the new blog title…

I hope to write and produce a series of books and videos with titles like “A Soul’s Resource Guide to Overcoming Challenges Big & Small, and A Soul’s Resource Guide to Relationships, etc. So I think I’ll go with A Soul’s Resource Guide… for now.  

So, if you choose to follow along, here’s what’s on tap;

  •  The ups and downsides of crowd funding, as I eye a possible campaign with Kickstarter and IndieGogo down the road
  • The challenges of attaching a social mission to a brand -which I get advice from Thriving Collective’s CEO Cameron Brown on ways to successfully do so.
  • I get advice from Moth GrandSlam Champ Shannon Cason about what to look for in a podcast distributor – and how to find a fit that boosts your brand, as opposed to tanking it
  • And more, like ‘is it wise to pivot early after launching a brand?’ And as stated, I’ll come at this from a soulful operator perspective. 

Ok, that’s it. See you in the new blog.

Wishing you grace to fill your sails today and everyday, 


About the Author Gjgaura7970

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