Creative Discomfort

One of the wisest things you can do in your career and life is to embrace discomfort.  Really, its just about changing/learning in order to make your life a masterpiece.  Once again, a masterpiece is not a respecter of your income, fame, family, car or social network.  There is a masterpiece in you, and only you can get it out.

So what does discomfort do for your masterpiece? 

  • It keeps your senses on fire, as it relates to new trends and new paths. 
  • It keeps you away from group think (a poisonous exercise). 
  • It reminds you that you only have a limited time to get this life right.
  • It reminds you that maybe you were put here to inspire others to discover.
  • It reminds you that true success doesn’t come without discomfort.

Some years ago, when I ran the halls of corporate America, I was teaching a group of associates about the idea of Creative Discomfort.  In that workshop, I had the group (about 20 people) walk down and up 3 flights of stairs-backwards.  It was priceless to see and absorb.  Those people learned that day the cost of being in a state of discomfort.  But what’s inspiring is how they got used to walking up and down backwards.  It didn’t take very long for the group to realize how breakthroughs come-usually where we’re afraid/unwilling to go.

John Moore over at Brand Autopsy has a wonderful post on THE Social Media MATRIX that reinforces my thoughts on Creative Discomfort.  I love his connection to The Matrix.

Google Trends

Today I want to point you to Google Trends.  I may be late to the party, but I’m intrigued by what this tool can do.

I did a search on career management and I think you’ll find the results fascinating.  As search engines continue to grow as the go-to portal for information, these types of results could prove valuable to you in a host of ways…career, business, and marketing to name a few.

Virtual Book Tour with Cube Rules

I am excited to let you know that starting next Monday (February 4) I will be involved in my first virtual book tour for Waking Up In Corporate America.  Scot Herrick of Cube Rules will be the host/interviewer/commentator.  Scot’s blog is one of my favorites and he’s an authentic guide for those in the cubicle world.  He’s a tremendously nice guy too.

Scott will feature me the entire week and each day will have a different interview question pertaining to the book, followed by my answer and then Scot’s commentary.  I really like the format of the tour.

Tune into Cube Rules next Monday.

American Express and Credit-Ability

Last week I received a letter from American Express explaining a credit decision made without my request.  One of those random reviews I suppose.  I decided to call them and ask for an explanation.  Keep in-mind, American Express usually shines when it comes to service-with me.  But on the day I called i was talking with….CREDIT OPERATIONS (hear the foreboding music).

Credit operations at American Express told me the decision was made based on their inability to find my D&B number.  I told the representative not to worry, because I had the number handy.  She gave two distinct warnings:

  • Providing the number might not change the decision
  • Don’t call customer service (American Express customer service) when I check to see the status.

Some might think it would be a little strange for American Express to act this way, but I don’t.  Do you think it was a coincidence that I received a letter around the same time American Express announced setting aside $450+ million in loan loss reserves in the fourth quarter of 2007.  Maybe it was just me being paranoid and upset.

Do you think the senior leaders at credit operations thought about the impact on me-the customer.  Or do you think American Express was just knee-jerking their way to a credit decision?  American Express needs to remember that at the heart of every transaction is the customer.  Their opinions and feelings will impact the loyalty they have for the "brand."  When an organization ignores this, negative consequences usually appear.  Just ask Countrywide.

I still don’t get the "don’t call customer service" speech.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Your Career

Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably the greatest actor of our time.  His approach to his craft is-to say the least-intense.  He is a tremendous example of pursuing what you do with full passion.  What if we did the same with our own careers?  Greatness would be the result.

For better or worse, the choice is ours.

Take a look at the interview below with Mr. Day-Lewis and see if you can’t pick up some career advice.


There is an article in today’s Wall Street Journal that I can’t linked to because they are subscriber only (come quickly Mr. Murdoch, come quickly).  But the article’s about Ludwig van Beethoven and his 9th symphony…his last.  Do you realize he was deaf? 

Which brings me to perseverance and time.  I think Beethoven was 53 when he wrote the masterpiece.  I wonder if he knew that the deafness and frailty of life would be the right elixir for what many consider to be the greatest composition ever written?  I doubt it.  We move thru life taking our blows and disappointments, not realizing that they, not wild success and notoriety, are the keys to the beautiful symphonies we create.  I guess the key is know what’s in your heart.  Beethoven spoke of that…

I communicated today with a former colleague/vendor who I worked with while in corporate America.  We don’t communicate often, but with the release of my book (Waking Up In Corporate America) I wanted to let him know it was out.  My contacting him was part of my strategy to go viral with my marketing…a good strategy for someone in my state. 

Tom and I talked about a lot of things when I roamed the halls of corporate America.  We spoke of funny things, business things, and the deep stuff too.  Some type of symphony was formed, but I didn’t know it at the time.  As time passed, our lives moved in different directions (natural when a season ends). 

Well, I digress, Tom emailed me today and informed me that he bought 5 of my books.  One for himself and 4 to share with colleagues at a sales conference.  Obviously, I’m grateful for the multiple copy sale. By the way, I believe this is what viral marketing is all about.  And viral didn’t start today with Tom, but years ago.  Deposits were made…essential. But even more important was how he showed me that you don’t have to be conscious of all the greatness you create.  You just have to be working in the land of greatness, which resides in your heart. 

So have you stopped to listen to the symphonies?

The Mixture of Triumph

Physically touched my book for the first time today. 

I cried at the thought of how much work, faith and perseverance went into the project.  A great release for me.

I smiled when my wife gave me a great card and a wonderful bottle of 2000 vintage Barolo.

All-in-all a wonderful mixture celebrating a triumph.

Recession Obsession

Was looking at the television news yesterday (local and national) and I thought I was in the movie Ground Hog Day. 

I said to myself; "I’ve heard this before…a recession is coming, a recession is coming."  It was as if I was transported back to 2000 or 1994.  Same panic, same doom.  Isn’t it surprising that we survived?  I don’t think so.

You should be concerned about the following:

  • Am I living out my unique destiny?  You are, after all, one-in-6.8 billion.  You’re DNA proves that point.
  • Do I know what my personal brand is?
  • Is anyone willing to follow me when I don’t have a title and power?
  • Do I know and live out what’s most important to me?  Yes, this will be scary, but the other side of scary is Beauty.
  • Am I changing?  If you’re not changing, you’re not learning.