Tag: new business

Books and Other Teachers, The Journey

Jack Canfield, Jen Sincero, Artists WayBooks and Other Teachers

Along the way of this 55+ year ride, I have spent much of my time learning from books. Teachers and mentors of the human sort have often seemed messy, flawed, and not always entirely trust worthy. As a result I found most of my wisdom in books. I read anything from science fiction stories of authors like Spider Robinson Marge Piercy, and Robert Heinlein to philosophers like Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, and Camus .  I explored the “WooWoo” worlds of Carlos Castenada, Joseph CampbellClarissa Pinkola Estes and so many others whose basic premises were the acceptance that our perceptions are mere agreements, not the Newtonian reality we have been trained to accept. While these explorations have always carried for me the seeds of greater potential, I have, up until most recently enjoyed them with a semi hopeful, passive view.

This transitional journey seems to be bringing me back, full circle, or perhaps more accurately, full spiral, towards those more “WooWoo'” or spiritual explorations, but this time with a less passive bent. I am feeling called to harness the lessons of the commercial worlds of advertising, marketing, and networking and blend them with a deeper call. A call towards exploration, and authentically sharing these explorations with fellow travelers. It is a call towards connecting with a tribe of courageous, & wholehearted  explorers who want to dig deep, share encouragement and wisdom, and be willing to engage truth with compassion in an effort to be more, and affect more of our world(s).

Our teachers are everywhere, in books, on You Tube, podcasts, Facebook & other Social media venues. They are just outside our door in our brushes with the natural world. They are our neighbors, and coincidences, joyful moments, unexpected encounters, and even our houseplants.

Working with a Mastermind Group

The Mastermind process has connected me to a new type of investigation, into exploring some of the so called gurus of Personal Growth. Despite some trepidation I have found that working through these processes within our group, has been both fun, and life changing. For those that are unfamiliar, a Mastermind Group is an intentional and committed group of people that agree to, “meet weekly, monthly, daily even if it makes sense, to tackle challenges and problems together. They lean on each other, give advice, share connections and do business with each other when appropriate. It’s very much peer-to-peer mentoring.” (Forbes: 7 Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group). Our particular group allows for the sharing of leadership roles. We rotate who leads, and vote on the subjects we explore which alleviates some of the ego and power struggles that can distract from growth work.

We started with the Jack Canfield book, “The Success Principles.” This is a book that every person in transition should be gifted with. Though little of the information is truly new, the progression of principles, and the compassionate way they are presented will have you believing that you can actually succeed at changing your life. Working through this process has be a literal life changing event. I have often thought where our world could be if every school child had access to these techniques and principles.

Our latest book to work through is Jen Sincero’s, “You Are A Badass At Making Money”  Written in the irreverent style you would assume from the title, Ms. Sincero challenges your attitudes about money, where it comes from, and how you can get it. It’s a fun read & let me note that it is most important to actually work these books. If all you do is read them,  and even highlight all your favorite passages without doing the exercises, you will likely get less than what you would hope out of them.

Another classic “workbook” for creatives is Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way  “A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” Though her book was originally published in 1992, and she has taught these principles of creativity recovery since 1978, the concepts and techniques are still as potent today as they have ever been.

For fun reviews of various “Self Help” books check out “By the Book” podcast, “Join comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her skeptical friend Kristen Meinzer as they live by the rules of a different self-help book each episode to figure out which ones might actually be life changing.” Sometimes helpful, sometimes full of their own #AhaMoments , often hilarious, these two women commit to each process for a 2 week period, and report back with their results.

Self Help books are easy to make fun of, easy to dismiss with a knowing and cynical wink. It’s a huge industry. When using them as tools, & being willing to share your vulnerabilities and dreams with others (& yourself) they can be a powerful way to move you in new directions. Ultimately, it’s up to you, & it sure helps to have voices of support holding you up when it gets hard.

Our teachers are everywhere. A teacher is one that for that moment, lights a fire, or opens a door to new awareness.  Let each door opened bring with it it’s own challenges and joys. Allow us to muddle through our own next steps as we “Dance towards our greater becoming.” Here’s hoping that your journey brings you joy and heart-opening awareness as well. Happy Exploring!


An Obituary for TBD

AHA Moments, One door closes another opens, aha moments, Inner Voices Outer Vision, treebranchDESIGN, TreebranchDesign, Treebranch Group

Not All AHA Moments Feel Good

They say a business partnership is much like a marriage, and in certain aspects they are right. First and foremost, both parties must desire the relationship to continue. There is the necessity that all parties maintain respect (at least most of the time) for one another. A willingness to be truthful, ethical, and to negotiate and compromise is also needed. While I am taking the risk of sharing this potentially “Sour Grapes” moment here, my desire is to have said , be done, and move on.

I recently discovered that my now ex-business partner decided to close the business that we shared for the past 5 years. All references to my name, or contributions  made towards the success of what we built together have been eliminated.  As with any “Divorce” both parties will have a list of grievances that will support their own view of events; while it was ultimately my choice to leave (based on the above), I was thoroughly blind-sided by the lengths to which my contributions were to be discounted.

Though the name is moderately changed, the company has basically regrouped with the people that we brought together and the business relationships that I was directly involved with developing. While not the only one involved in the successful growth of the company, I am proud to say that I was instrumental in the 400% growth during the time I was involved. I helped to connect with and developed involvements with larger scale businesses and non profits, new revenue streams, trained my replacements, & helped create and implement many new ideas.

There are some days that I have the feeling of being bounced off the “Sit & Spin'” with my butt in the dust, a quivering lower lip signalling my distress. Other days I feel such freedom and joy at being able to at last move in the directions of my own next steps, my own becoming. There is grief though over the loss of what was once a treasured relationship, the company (& brand) I helped build, and a bit of faith & trust in my own judgement.

The past 5 years have taught me quite a bit, some productive- how to build a WordPress site, how to create and manage a Google Adwords campaign, how to negotiate with someone with a very different opinion than you… Being married to the same man for over 28 years taught me quite a bit about that as well. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, knowing when to let go of an unsupportive relationship. When unconscious and unrecognized, behaviors, communications, and actions are in service to a myopic desired outcome, manipulation, dishonesty, distrust, and the desire to control direction of all outcomes becomes a constant obstacle to growth, both professionally and personally, it’s time to go. Having expressed that disappointment, and yes some resentment, I do ultimately believe that we are always where we need to be from the larger view.

This time moving forward is somewhat of a challenge. Normally I would take some time to gestate a new idea or direction, form a plan and move in to the new incarnation with cautious steps forward. With this, I am experiencing something a bit different. It’s like walking through a thick fog, each step into the unknown reveals the next. The in-between is and has been a journey of it’s own.  Radical faith is what is being asked of me. In the depths of this transition I find I am deep diving. I am reconnecting to those themes and threads that have ever guided my journey; Faith, Trust, Spiritual Exploration, Art & Soul, Healing, Authenticity, Truth, and Teaching.

While my way is not entirely clear I am grateful to honor the pull of these tidal forces of my life. My AHA Moments continue to unfold. I hope to share this journey of discovery, and perhaps we can explore & mine together this transitional, in-between space.

So here’s to the next chapter, and practicing #RadicalFaith #AHA Moments