Seth Godin (demi-god) On Being Remarkable

What might it look like for you to stand out online and offline from the crowd? This is what we are tackling week after week and this will be the theme of the new series starting February 29th. And once again I return to a virtual mentor of mine whose message is always helpful to hear again and again and again. He’s as purple a cow as can be.

Purple Cows Forever

Seth Godin on Standing Out

This TED Talk from 2003 in Monterey, is for me evergreen. Technology mentioned by Seth aside, has changed SO MUCH since Seth gave this talk. He mentions getting on the home page of Google might be important, or these days first on any of the major search engines?  He speaks to the TV Industrial complex as being “dead” but the state of TV seems healthy and has healthy competition among the bevy of cable channels and distribution sources Provided you are a member…( Hulu, Netflix to name the two I access.) I still see ads. Clever. Shorter. And Frequently.

Provocative. Shocking. Different. Can you present your ideas this way, somehow?

Timely. Infused with enthusiasm. With total belief. Can you write and speak to your subject matter Just in Time and full of conviction for it?

One video or post at a time we COULD create a tipping point. One person sharing with another and being a champion or advocate, we will create a tribe that follows us with devotion, opens our newsletters, our specially time emails, BECAUSE they care, BECAUSE we speak of something that matters to them.

And, this is not to say that the random non-sequitur is not appreciated. It is. For it is surprising to a reader expecting another Power Writing Tip to get something different from time to time. As a recipient of many newsletters (for I like research to come to me) I too can fall asleep at the wheel of monitoring marketing activities of admired colleagues. (Truth be I really appreciate the Power Writing Tips! and hence they come first to mind as an example to share. Good form and great content.)

As creature of habit, we like to be soothed with what we like and expect and I propose we appreciate a shake-up every now and then. It reminds us that Change is a Part of Life.

Being Remarkable could appear as us being more transparent than normal, or sharing an extreme viewpoint we are prepared to back up; Something other than towing the line of public opinion.

Being Remarkable to me says that we are saying: “I am comfortable in my own skin. I know first my personal brand and I know when and how I will deviate from the formula.”

Take Significant Relationships (where we work, who we date, who we marry): classically it is suggested they will eventually grow dulled and grey, UNLESS, we shake it up and stay conscious/awake and try new things from time to time to mix up the mix of what works.  Surprises are always revitalizing in life and can be in business.

For example: Let me just say that there has been nothing boring about raising a child from Zero to her current age of 12 (and to think I have 6 more years officially as her “ruling parent” (smile).Parenting is my greatest teacher where it comes to writing, negotiating, marketing and politics and it is a gift I treasure daily (even when I had to restore my balance with another walk!)

If you were to think of your business venture as a relationship you wanted to stay “awake, fun, profitable, productive, enjoyable, interesting ( to you and others) and meaningful (again to you and others)”  WHAT would you be prepared to do? To create? To maintain? To keep fresh and relevant. (Or in otherwords, P.U.R.R.fect)

My mission remains to create enthusiasm for the written word, penned by us, the thinkers of the thoughts and ideas. I’ll do this one person and client at a time knowing when I do remarkable work, the impact I have is amplified. I invite you to learn to do for yourself, the same.

Why? It helps more people all around when we do so.

And if you have already read Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, The Dip or all the other Seth Godin offerings, but not this one yet, go ahead Poke the Box and jump in.

We can’t be reminded to do the key things that are crucial to maintaining awareness where marketing and promotion are concerned. And with all the DIY ways to start up yourself, why not?

A Writing Challenge May Be Just The Ticket.

How does writing every day (or intending to), affect your sense of your creative self, your communication skills, your sense of motivation?

Simply Effective, Small Business Coach, Leona Rehm’s post on December 7th STILL causes a warm electric shiver in me from head to toe! It captured the foundational themes, issues and beliefs that so many reticent writers have.

It is also why the weekly Writers Circle exists: as a face to face meeting for those who can, as the Community Blog space to share and overcome these themes, as a proactive solution for the individual (who may also be a business owner) who wants to enjoy and embrace and excel at writing for themselves confidently!

My mentors include both well-known and not so well known people. Long before I knew of  Julia Cameron or Natalie Goldberg or Brenda Euland and many others I have discovered as an adult, my Writing Self was caused by a contemplative little girl that “had to write to work out concerns” who lived in me.

Then came my 9th grade English Teacher, John Calvin Dotson. He took an interest in me that has never waned. He is a masterful writer of many forms: essays, poems, plays, memoir, biographies of his mentors and more. He is a life time student of langauge itself and storytelling and painting pictures. Best of all he believed in me 100% and told me so, often. Through the years I had him for English, Creative Writing and Speech. After high school he and I stayed in touch and he continued to encourage me.

Who has supported, inspired and encouraged you? (…besides me…that is part of this community?)

The Contributors/Authors of this blog are exquisite in my eyes for a multitude of reasons. I watched and read as “fear and hesitation” left and “creativity and the spirit of spontaneity” entered. I watched writers emerge from cocoons. I heard that writing daily improved moods and Google rankings! I experienced people developing their tone and style and sharing not only who they are and what they did for a livelihood but who they authentically are.

The experiment was about developing the stamina and drive and genuine enthusiasm to write frequently as whole selves: 100 plus words at least five times weekly.

In November 240 posts were published.
WELL over 100,000 words collectively!
And the themes numbered 33 +.
And there was “dialogue” through comments as well as post ideas created from what was published.

In December 153 posts were published.
Again the way we write, 100K words easily.
We stretched ourselves to do a little more than we had the previous month.
We would talk about what was working for us and why.

We are now into January and the posts keep coming. And the writing…well, check it out for yourself.

Creativity CONTINUES to spark creativity. Activity CONTINUES to spark activity. Dialogue CONTINUES to spark deeper dialogue. We think we are on to something. And it is best of all:

Organic.Personal. Authentic. Fun. Playful. Pertinent. Honest. Timely. Golden. Heartfelt. Wisdom. Packaged in Storytelling.

Our (growing) community of writers as a whole stretches YET AGAIN and takes more risks as they feel encouraged and supported.

I keep asking each Tuesday in one form or another, “What exactly are you able to say is different for you now?”

As a writer, I invite you to PAUSE and take inventory about the writing you do:

WHAT specifically is happening for you?
WHAT specifically  is making the difference?
WHAT is your new story about how enjoyable or useful blogging can be?
WHAT lessons have you learned from others?

I look forward to reading each and every comment and response you “choose” to publish for it just may inspire others who find this space and place of a blog!

Write On!

Deborah Drake – Catalyst and Enthusiastic Facilitator
Authentic Writing Provokes 

P.S. Care to join us as we write in community, challenging ourselves? Join us. To RSVP visit Biznik.com or contact me directly if you are not yet a member of Biznik (an awesome community to be a part of) at deb@deborahdrake.com or call me at 425-223-5335.

Cultivating your self-expression in authentic ways is my dharma. I never tire of catalyzing that part of you!

 

It’s about finding TRUE enthusiasm. First yours. Then theirs.

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Are you FABULOUS at what you DO and CARE about but hesitant to boldly express and market yourself?

I look forward to supporting you with…

Writing Coaching (Interested in enjoying writing for yourself?)…
Writing Services (Developmental Editing, Ghost Writing, Copyediting)…
Practical Marketing Coaching (Let’s determine what works for you!)…
Extremely Productive Brainstorming (will surprise you)…
Market Research (My favorite hobby!)…
Social Media Marketing Strategy…(It’s always about being relational)

It all starts with saying yes to an exploratory conversation.

Your Authentic Voice for Self-Expression will thank you for it.

To your thriving and success as defined by you.

SONY DSC

 

Deborah Drake ~ Catalyst, Writer, Editor
deb@deborahdrake.com
206.250.1855

Because Authentic Work represented by Authentic Writing and Self-Expression is Magnetic…

The good ideas that run away OR find me.

Writing is an activity that I personally do as easily as breathing.

And yet, there are those who “dread” the very idea of having to write a thank you note. I often wonder where the resistance to writing comes from each time I hear someone express having it.

And then there are the good ideas that we’ll have that run away like the Gingerbread Boy on a mission not to get caught. One trick to making writing an easier task for business and personal development that I use ALL the time is to be ready catch the idea, the phrase, the brilliant conversation overheard in the moment.

This doesn’t work so well if I am in the shower BUT even that can be worked around with a handy digital recorder.  (Some of my most creative ideas have come while washing my hair. I will admit that. How many can relate?)

The phrase CARPE DIEM comes to mind. Seize the day (or better still the moment.) Is there a napkin in the house?

Saturday mornings I take my tweenager to classes in downtown Seattle as she aspires to be an entertainer and her involvement in Youth Theater is a start. She begs for more training so assuming grades are kept strong and chores are done, we grant her wishes.

Opting to spend an hour or so at a cafe “observing life in action” while she learns Monologue and Improvisational Script Reading is a PERFECT opportunity to carpe diem and observe many a caper of daily life (not my own). At these times, I challenge myself to connect the dots creatively or find insights and wisdom to share with readers or clients.

Take today for example: After parking the car on the street and prepaying for the time as needed, I headed to the cafe that I spend the hour I have to myself.

A favorite writer of mine Doris Lessing, was a fan of sitting in cafes and capturing life around her. Her short stories, rich with emotional detail and human psyche themes, were often based on lives being played out in dialogue around her.

In one short story, she made even a traffic jam at a four way London corner seem like the most human of experiences, as the cars (not their drivers) argued with horn and turn signals and passive-aggressive maneuvers.

The Third Avenue corridor of Seattle is a busy one between the cars, the busses, and the less fortunate citizens of Seattle. Having needed to park a block and a half farther away than usual, I found myself walking in the transitional neighborhood between Belltown proper and Downtown proper. On the corner a block from my final destination, two were locked in an intense “conversation” of sorts.

A tall and overweight woman carrying many bags and dressed in a hodgepodge of winterwear was screaming like a banshee at a smaller and also plump and very weatherworn woman clinging to her rolling walker.

The air was thick enough to cut with a butter knife. It would be necessary to listen to this “monologue” for a good “long” minute as I and another woman had just missed the legal right to walk across tthe street. I know I could have dashed to avoid having to experience this moment of humanity BUT I opted to stay put and say a silent prayer of calm and resolution on behalf of these two beings who struck me as “related.”

I got the distinct impression it was actually a mother yelling at her daughter. The smaller woman seemed younger than the older.I breathed in the suffering I was experiencing outside of me as Tonglen Meditation would have me do, and imagined myself transmuting it into something neutral and accepting and positive.

My eyes caught the eyes of the woman beside me waiting for the light to turn green for legal crossing and we smiled weakly and sympathetically at one another. We said not a word though. And when the light turned green, we both stepped on and moved forward. I was still saying prayers of peace for the pair still locked in a passive-aggressive verbal battle. The young one was muttering she was sorry. The elder was screaming how tolerant and patient she was.

As a mother of a young woman in the making, this mean moment on a cold afternoon struck me as poignant and heartbreaking. It also leaves me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the health and well-being and comfort in my seemingly simple life and lifestyle.

Not only do I have peace of mind and body, I have a circle of support that seems to grow not shrink. I have a business that is growing doing work I choose. I appreciate all that I have, even the small sadnesses and heartbreaks of romantic love and new business lost from time to time. In truth, the amount of goodness I experience daily outweighs any sadness and disappointment.

A brief walk through a cold city can itself offer me a gift of awareness to appreciate  what is always before me. We really are surrounded by many things to write and reflect upon. The good ideas (not always happy though) find us and want to be shared, when we are willing.

May we take each opportunity to stretch our authentic voices and make a difference.

What’s the Story Morning Glory?

Say it with me people, “I welcome a fresh new writing challenge for January, because my business and I are worth it!”

Our community writing project is working and rather elegantly for some. With each month I see writing from people who are clearly enjoying their process. And I am enjoying you enjoying yourself. “Thank you sir (and madams) may I have some more.”

In November, those who committed, did in fact make valiant efforts to write daily 100 words or more, with the spirit of National Novel Writing Month like a wind beneath our wings.

In December, those of us who continued on opted to continue with daily writing, respond to writing prompts offered, make a point to stretch ourselves and set new and personal goals. How did you do?

Now comes January. Are you feeling even a twinge of resistance? I sure hope not. Truth is when altering behaviors for good, it is only natural to experience resistance that must be addressed.

Speaking for myself, I am missing some voices that we had in November and December who for one reason or another wandered off to ski, or move, or engage in the holidays with a vengeance, deal with life issues, travel some and “sabbaticals” are good when they are restorative. Here is hoping you are feeling restored and ready to take on some new and exciting challenges from yours truly.

Who among us now is ready to entertain this next writing challenge and commit to it with renewed intention? Your mission should you choose to accept it is:

For the month author at minimum four posts that feature you and your business from the perspective of lessons learned not only in this last year but in all the time you have been in business. Incorporate story and sharing of somethings you’ve not  yet shared.

Make these posts good fodder for an article to reprint and post online elsewhere beyond your site.

Get real and stay honest. How much transparency can you manage?

Begin to “imagine as if” your business goals and marketing plan not only exist but can be realized and that fresh content expressing your 2012 and beyond intentions exposes new readers/prospective clients to aspects of you and how you do business.

What goes in the Circle that represents your 2012 Goals/Plans/Intentions? Map it out graphically and start writing those stories.

This is not to say the daily musings and sightings of things odd and inane and down right ridiculous don’t belong in this month’s writing, but let’s intentionally turn our attention to some compelling and vivid writing about our businesses (if we have not already started).

As for the Blog Title, I can feel you all wondering so I will share with you what inspired me.

What’s The Story?

Last night my daughter and I watched a film and I remembering thinking, “I want to see that while it is in the theaters.” Point is I finally saw it Morning Glory (2010) with Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton as well as a stellar ensemble cast, quick and clever writing and some very memorable scenes illustrated comically the power of being vulnerable while being authentic and taking risks:

The Storyline

Becky (Rachel McAdams) is a hard-working morning TV show producer, or at least she was until she got fired. Desperate to get a job, she finally gets an interview with Jerry (Jeff Goldblum) – who is desperate to hire a producer for the struggling show “Daybreak”. Becky accepts the job and it proves to be more difficult than even she might be able to handle. She has to fire the sexist co-host, then try to convince egotistical news reporter, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), to take the job, and then try and get him to actually do the job, properly. And she has to do this while falling for handsome Adam (Patrick Wilson), and trying to save the show from plummeting ratings. Will Becky be able to hold on to her dream job and her sanity?

That Scene I Can’t Forget
Becky is determined to get re-employed and after sending her resume FIVE times to probably everywhere (only in the movies eh?). She gets a call from Daybreak Morning Show’s Executive (Jeff Goldbum) who does a fine job being so Jeff Goldbum as he interviews her. Or rather at her interview, she gets nervous and rattles off way too much cheerful banter BUT at the very point she is about to give up hope that the job could be hers because even the Executive is dissing all aspects of the show: its ratings, its content, it’s budget, its staff etc.  she goes for broke, takes a stand and says, “I think this show needs a producer who BELIEVES in it and I am that person.” His response, some version well that is sad/embarrasing…and thanks for coming in. She storms out of the office only to have an embarrassing and important moment in the elevator with two other key characters. (I’ll let you check out the film and review it yourself from this point)

Have you ever reached that point of caring so much you go for broke and make a fool of yourself with a lot of heart?

Becky Fuller got offered the job before she left the building. She had a wild ride over the next six weeks and like all Hollywood movies after twists and turns and ups and downs, there is a lovely happy ending for all the main characters…Ah, the cinema!

It is her passion, her determination, her belief in her self, her out of the box thinking, her fly by the seat of her pants and survive way of handling crises and overwhelm and humanity that makes her my hero.

Made me glad I came to my own senses and said yest to myself and this business I do for a livelihood. And so I preach “authentic self-expression” in all forms and that is what I am AGAIN talking about.

January is about symbolically starting a Fresh Year, on a Fresh Canvas, keeping the Best of 2011, tossing the Rest, embracing 2012 and marketing and promoting ourselves with vivid vigor, tantalizing transparency and curiosity inspiring content. Weave yourself into your business writing. Weave business into your personal writings, as best you can.

It can not only be done. It can be done WELL. Are you game? If so, ante up and let me know who I get to watch for in the coming month!