All Fired Up: A Love Letter to the Future Me!

All Fired Up: A Love Letter to the Future Me!

Patrick Rife Startup Soirée

Closing in on personal potential

I'm so stoked! There's little else to say. I'm so fucking stoked! Life hasn't always been this way. It took some getting there to get here. It took some furrowed brows; some glares in the mirror. Sometimes sober, sometimes not. But I got here, and I'm so fucking stoked!

I'm writing this letter to future me so I won't run the risk of forgetting what it felt like when I finally arrived. (or I was past me?) I'm happy to say I hold myself to high expectations. I've always wanted and strived for something just beyond my reach. It's not that I wasn't grateful for everything I had so much as truly knowing what my core potential is. And more importantly when I'm underserving it.

Some of the lowest points in my life have been the moments when I've stared at myself, bleary eyed and wondering how all of the potential I saw in myself shown so dimly to the rest of the world. It was an overwhelming feeling and one that I didn't think would shake free. I didn't know if I'd shake free.

I must confess, it took a few maneuvers and the right cast of characters to help me re-find the path. There's no arguing with the power of the right support coupled with awesome resources but I have to be honest when I say the magic had been there all along; I just gave it too much shit so it stopped fucking with me. I can't say I blamed it.

The thing is, I'd always been confident. Then I lost the path. Lost the nerve. Lost my swerve. I think for whatever reason my understanding that I could own 100% of my shit wasn't on lock. It was at like 60% and dipping. So I second guessed myself. Tail spin ensued. Smoke. S.O.S. and whatnot. 

Why all of this detail you ask? I get it, it's a little verbose but..... I want to splash it out in fuchsia paint so you can feel the depth because understanding that makes the light so much brighter, the air so much warmer. Confidence is a beautiful thing. Everyone should have it, and everyone should share it. If it weren't for the positive that lifted me up I can't say where I'd be. But I'm here, and so are you, so let's pay it out in buckets. 

The community of Baltimore has been through a lot these last few months, years, decades..... I think it's time we start taking things back. Lifting each other up. Setting the confidence in this city in the right direction. Carrying ourselves with intention. Channeling our energies with purpose. 

That's what I'll be doing anyway. If you need a hand or a chat let me know. If you want some positive light, I got you. Let's get coffee. Let's exchange stories. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Get in touch with me on Twitter and Instagram @PatrickRife!

RECHARGE BEFORE YOU BURNOUT: A CRUCIAL PRACTICE FOR ALL ENTREPRENEURS

RECHARGE BEFORE YOU BURNOUT: A CRUCIAL PRACTICE FOR ALL ENTREPRENEURS

Seven-day workweeks, unpredictable work hours, business development constantly on the mind, and little to no personal time are just a few things every entrepreneur becomes very accustom to while enduring the hustle of starting and growing a business. 

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff. Things every Human (especially Entrepreneurs) should do every day.

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff. Things every Human (especially Entrepreneurs) should do every day.

We all know there are certain actions, habits, and behaviors that we should be doing each day to be a successful entrepreneur. I’ve read countless blogs, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and observed my mentors on the subject.  I know that to be a successful and productive entrepreneur, I should be and need to be reading one great business book a month, exercise daily, drink water, wake up before 6 am, check emails before 7 am, eat healthy, find a mentor, plan your day, set goals, save money….and I completely agree with every single TO DO.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage: Part 3

Show Your Face.

Rule #1 in Gaining a Competitive Advantage is business is to create an edge over your competitors and to have something that no one else in the industry has.

Well guess what? Unless you’re a twin, no one else has YOUR face, so show it and use yourself to your competitive advantage.

My business partner and I are pretty much connected at the hip. We go to every networking event together, make decisions together, biz dev together, partake in happy hours together… anything, we do it together.

A LOT of people tell us we aren’t being efficient with our time, we say we are being strategic. People know us and our brand because of US. Whenever we walk into a room together, people know it’s @EventsIntrinsic

It’s not a bad thing when you walk in a room for networking and people start saying, “Those @EventsIntrinsic girls”, “Those girls, are they sisters?” “Those girls, what do they do?” “Oh those are the girls that are partnered with those @Pixilated guys”.

We are two (fairly) young blonde girls who like to spiral curl our hair on occasion. We like to have fun. We like to talk and laugh with each other as business owners. We like to tag team a conversation not only because it’s fun but because we don’t want to repeat conversations. We value ourselves as the greatest marketing tool in our box. We celebrate who we are as our brand, Intrinsic Events.

It has been so critical for our business development and growth to get our faces out there, especially as a service based business. Even in those moments when you feel ugly or sick or tired, just get out there and show your face. People remember YOU more than they remember your website or tag line, trust me.

It is hard for me to network, I’m introverted, I am around people all day long planning events and at the end of the day, I just want to go home. But guess what? That’s not how you gain a competitive advantage. You gain a competitive advantage by putting on some mascara, black eyeliner, and power heels, and getting your face out there.

And believe me, it’s not just about showing your face. That’s just the first step. It’s about being consistent in showing your face and building relationships with your face, consistently.

As a service based business, our greatest leads and customers have come from referrals through networking or from direct networking contacts. 

We keep the referral funnel plentiful because we are in front of people all the time, not over email, not over phone, but over good old fashioned handshakes, eye contact, and a smile. Not just once, but CONSISTENTLY.

There’s something to be said for the old tag line, “Put Your Best Face Forward”.  I encourage you to use your face as the greatest marketing tool you have in the coming months. It will do wonders, I guarantee it.

Action Vs Inaction: Engineering Movement

Ideation: Entrepreneurial Gold

I thought I'd start this blog off by talking about how you engineer yourself into a place that's different from where you currently are. Or maybe I should say how I go about it. How do we actively choose to create a watershed moment, a dramatic change, a moving towards our ideal self?

The ideal is to start with intention. A more thorough thinking through of what the goal actually is. There's absolutely a series of steps that I take myself through to ensure that I successfully end up where I've set out to go. More importantly, that I accomplish my goals along the way.

Fundamentals

I can't stress enough how important it is to actually do the hard work. It doesn't matter who it is that you want to be, or what it is that you want to do. It's important to have the right insight and the right tools and skills at your disposal to make you successful in your pursuits. 

Whether we'd like to admit it or not success comes at the hands of being a good practitioner. Whether your desire is to communicate with people as an Influencer, tell a story that promotes truth as a journalist, or become a web marketer, the basic access for those roles is by becoming an expert practitioner of your craft. Whatever that may be.

Entrepreneurship is sexy; don't get me wrong this dude looks so good and smoldering in the mirror some days. Put on the flippity flip, this shit is also a whole lotta hard work and there are tons of times where things are not sexy, not one bit. I mean who the fuck thinks a Facebook Ad Group is sexy? I don’t, but I rock that shit.

I find that day in and day out I try to spend more time focusing on the fundamentals of my craft. Whether that's via blogging or advanced advertising techniques, trying to figure out new ways to grow my list or drive traffic to my offers it's always, always in the forefront of my mind. The more skills I master in the pursuit of success for my businesses, the more of a businessman I become. 

A Plan

Once you get your fundamentals in place the next most important thing is to put together a plan. When I say a plan I don't mean something loosely sketched out on the back of a napkin. I mean a serious hard-hitting plan that tells you step-by-step what you intend to accomplish and how you're going to do so.

The thing that makes having a plan so valuable is that as entrepreneurs we’re often willing to jump in line for the bucket brigade and start throwing buckets of water on the fire without necessarily realizing the most valuable place to apply our efforts.  We take Action ya know, so sue us :)

Violent thrashing is great in the early days; it's important to get the ideas out; push the ones that aren't going to survive down to the bottom, let the other one soar! But... there comes a point in time when that will no longer be the best fit for your business. That my friend is the point in time when you turn to your plan. 

A System To Put In Place

Once you've developed a plan it's time to test your hypothesis. There's no easy way around putting a system in to place to produce the best results for your project. Unfortunately, it's a long and tedious process of applying ideas, seeing how they perform and then adjusting. Don't get me wrong there's prosperity on the other side of it, you just have to get in the trenches first.

You'll most likely go through a few iterations of your system before you find something worth trying on a larger scale. Often times we assume that our first hunch is the best hunch but that’s not the case. Don't be afraid to try something and fuck it up and try something else again. The route of perseverance is really the key here.

Applying A Focused Pressure Test

Once you have a system in place it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to stay your system forever; or that It's going to be your system for the time being. The thing about systems that are designed to perform a specific objective is that if they don't perform that objective well enough we fire them. No sympathy.

One of the best ways to find out if your system will actually stand the test is to perform a test at high-pressure. That's right, once you get an idea of how things are going to work, and you know that from the beginning to end it actually transitions through, the next step in your journey is to apply pressure and see how it holds up. #Cringe.

If you can scale the volume of the system that you're trying to test and it performs well in small and large capacity then you've got a winning recipe; now it's time to hit the afterburners.

Scaling Your System

Scaling the system that you've built is where all the real fun comes in because you've already proven your idea is good and you've developed a way to bring it to fruition on a larger scale in a manageable system. The fun comes when we get to apply a greater effort and it compounds, giving greater results. This is where all the hard work pays off.

Now you can take your system and begin to scale it by changing out minor variables to have that system apply to more than one persona or demographic that you've identified as a vertical for your business. Quite simply this is the application of multiplicity across a proven idea that more importantly has proven return as you invest more of your energy.

When the energy you invest in a project starts to return to you in multiples the value of proofing your idea and taking the time to understand your product in the beginning will be obvious. Then, you do it again. And again. And again.....

So, how do you proof your ideas? Leave me a note in the comments below! I'm looking for a few great practitioners profile in the coming weeks.

Until next time.....

For more Marketing Awesome Follow a dude on Twitter and Instagram @PatrickRife!

 

Is Fear the Ultimate Motivator for Entrepreneurs?

COMMONALITY AMONGST ALL FOUNDERS

After our first StartUp Soiree back in January, my business partners and I received an email from a well-known business owner in Baltimore who had attended the event. He thanked us for the invitation, complimented the execution of the event, and said he was honored to be in a room full of other Founders. All really kind things, but it was what he said at the end of the email that really stood out to me.

He said that as he made his way around the room, he started to notice that many of the Founders he spoke to all shared a common emotion – fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the next step. Fear of balance in their lives.

A profound observation that really got me thinking. Is fear the ultimate motivator amongst entrepreneurs?

AM I THE ONLY ONE?

When I left my corporate job to pursue Intrinsic Events full time, I experienced many different emotions. I was excited, extremely motivated, very focused – and scared out of my mind. I often wondered if it was just me or did all entrepreneurs feel this way? Did all entrepreneurs experience fear?

The answer is yes. All entrepreneurs have fears. We are human after all. But it’s the way they handle their fears that makes them different. Fear makes us feel uncomfortable and tends to invoke a fight-or-flight response. I’ve discovered that great entrepreneurs step out of their comfort zone and almost always take the fight response.

BE BIGGER THAN YOUR FEARS

The thing is, fear can make or break you as an entrepreneur. The key is learning and mastering the art of turning fear into a positive energy and never letting it control you.

As a business owner, it’s important to constantly evaluate yourself so you are able to grow personally and professionally. Over the past year, I experienced fears that were hindering my company’s growth. Instead of fleeing or becoming paralyzed by them, I attacked them and turned them into my ultimate motivators.

Here are some of those fears and how I handled them.

FEAR OF REJECTION

Ok, so who likes to feel rejected? Yeah, that’s right…NO ONE. We all long for acceptance and approval from others and when that doesn’t happen we tend to be crushed. It’s hard not to feel that way.

Business owners put so much time, energy and passion into their work. So when someone comes along and doesn’t like what we have to offer or chooses to take their business somewhere else, it sucks. And I don’t know about you, but I always used to take rejection personally. Key words, “used to.”  

As an entrepreneur I had to learn that not everyone is going to want what I have to offer and that’s OK. Don’t let rejection be a fear that consumes you. Instead, use rejection as a motivation to do better next time. When a potential client turns me down, instead of getting upset I ask them “why?” Obtaining this feedback helps me improve my processes and services and I know that there is another opportunity right around the corner.

FEAR OF NOT BEING PERFECT

We’ve all heard the saying, “Nobody’s perfect” right? Well how come we don’t apply that same concept to ourselves in professionally? No business is perfect, bottom line. This is why entrepreneurs are constantly innovating, pushing the envelope and figuring out how their business can stand out from the rest. It’s what makes being a business owner awesome.

I’ve always held myself to a very high standard professionally. My work has to be perfect and if I make a mistake and my work is sub-par, I am my worst critic.  This mentality has made me an excellent worker, but isn’t the best mindset to have as an entrepreneur.

Instead, we must acknowledge that “perfect” doesn’t exist. We as professionals are always going to be evolving and the same goes with our businesses. So what I have learned to do is set deadlines, put my best work out there and to not get hung up on whether I think it’s perfect or not. Know that you can always go back and improve. If you obsess over perfection nothing will ever get accomplished and in time you will fail.

FEAR OF FAILURE

Ah yes, the fear amongst all of us entrepreneurs, whether we like to admit it or not.

None of us want to fail. We all want to produce an amazing product or service that our clients find useful and we want to run a profitable business, end of story. But when we all decide to become entrepreneurs, we are signing up to take risks. We don’t know if we are going to succeed or not.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. We don’t know how long we are going to be here, so it’s important to make the best of the hand we are dealt. This same concept can be applied to running a business.  

One of my StartUp Soiree business partners recently shared a piece of advice, which was, “The only way to fail, is to not try. Just give it your everything.” (Thanks Nic!) His advice has stuck with me and really puts things in prospective when dealing with the fear of failing as a business owner.

We as entrepreneurs cannot stress over the possibility that we might fail. This will get us nowhere. Yes the possibility will always be present but the chance to build something great won’t. I’ve learned to focus on the building instead of the fear. This has helped me stay positive and true to what I was meant to do.

It sounds simple because it is. It’s a mind over matter thing and is a mentality necessary for all entrepreneurs to have.

PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE

Being an entrepreneur has its scary moments, but that’s what makes it exciting. Fear is going to be a part of your journey, just remember to explore those feelings and use them to your advantage. Don’t let fear discourage you or throw you off course.

 “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.” – Author Unknown

FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 


Action vs. Inaction | Launch That Podcast!

Launch Wagon

Very excited to announce the launch of the Startup Soirée Podcast! We've had this project in the works for a few months and I'm excited to say that it's finally come to fruition. We did a soft-launch a few weeks ago so we could test the waters and make sure we understood how things were working and so far we've had a pretty great response.

The Startup Soirée Podcast will be waiting for you every Monday morning; eager to bring you the most awesome founder chats this side of Kentucky. The format for our podcast is short and sweet; a one-on-one stream of Q&A's by a founder (yours truly) to a founder (maybe you?) with the sole purpose of capturing a snap-shot of what makes us tick. tick. tick. 

BOOM

We've predicated the entire concept of Startup Soirée on the understanding that we as founders deal in a secret language; one that is expressed and articulated by challenges unique to our set. At Pixilated we meet with amazing business owners everyday and it's always the best part of my day. Those conversations are inspiring, re-affirming and fun and that's exactly what we're aiming to bring you with the Startup Soirée Podcast.

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Who the Hell is Whom?

The first three SoiréeCasts (as I like to call 'em) were guested by three diverse founders from our Baltimore community so when you head over to the iTunes store and SUBSCRIBE you're gonna have three excellent episodes waiting for you. Then you'll have something to binge on. Your welcome! Wait, you wanna know whom? Ok, ok, ok.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 001 | Marc DeLeonibus | QuotePie

Marc DeLeonibus is the Founder and CEO of QuotePie and a Graduate of the Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business B.S. Finance. Before starting QuotePie in December 2013 he spent over 4.5 years in the commercial insurance industry on the broker side.  During that time Marc realized that the process that a business has to go through to buy insurance for their business was terribly inefficient and confusing. Marc knew that this process could be drastically improved, and that is how QuotePie came to be.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 002 | Lee Morton | Clickspark | Mozell

Owner and Chief Storyteller at Clickspark & Mozell. Winner of international competitions, featured expert in Baltimore Bride magazine, and awarded #1 wedding cinematographer in the DC/MD/VA market. Regularly speaks at local colleges and universities. Leads a passionate and collaborative team of 4 associate cinematographers and editors. Dreamer and creative at heart inspired by family, strong coffee, and great stories.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 003 | Max Sobol | Idea Evolver

Max is "Passionate about startups: getting them built, staffed, supported, optimized, growing and then some. He is a twenty year industry veteran and progressive thinker with extensive experience leading Internet technology companies from startup mode to more efficient and profitable operations.”

SoireeCastFedThrill.jpg

Show Notes, Extras and Add-Ons

Alright homies, you get the idea, here are the rest of the details. You can SUBSCRIBE to our podcast currently in the iTunes store or by using that fresh little Podcast app Apple graciously places amongst your IOS devices out there. We'll also be live on Stitcher, BB and the other major Podcasting platforms soon. 

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You can also find a secondary blog on www.startup-soiree.com that our podcasts will publish to called, wait for it, wait for it, Podcast! There you'll also be able to check out any show notes or cool tools we refer to in each episode as well as all of the pertinent contact info for our wicked awesome guests.

SUBSCRIBE, Don't Make Me Yell!

When you SUBSCRIBE you do a ton for our efforts when you take a moment to go and leave us a REVIEW you make a unicorn smile, a baby laugh and the stars twinkle. How's that for ROI? No seriously, if you like what you hear let us know!. If you have questions you want asked, let us know! If you wanna get on this thang and chat, you get it right?

Alright folks, until next time...

Follow me @PatrickRife for Info, Hugs and PhotoBooths...



If You Can't Please, Appease

IF THE WORLD WAS PERFECT, IT WOULDN’T BE

In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as a bad day. We would never feel defeated as professionals. We would produce nothing but our best work at all times. Everyone would always be completely satisfied with the results we produced. In a perfect world, there would be no pissed off clients…ever.

Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect. Not everyday is going to be great. We do at times feel defeated. We don’t always produce the best work and live up to our full potential. And every now and then we come across clients who are unhappy, dissatisfied or downright angry with us.

MAKE IT RIGHT OR MAKE IT BETTER

I would be lying if I said I never made mistakes or never had a client upset or angry with me. The truth is, it happens. But what I have learned over the past few years working in the events industry and especially as an entrepreneur is that if you do mess up and a client is upset you have to either make it right or make it better.

Dealing with a pissed off client is never easy, but as entrepreneurs we have no choice but to take handle these situations quickly and with some finesse. Here are five steps that will help turn your unhappy client’s frown upside down…

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1. REMAIN CALM…I REPEAT…REMAIN CALM

When you are dealing with an angry client, the last thing you want to do is freak out on them. It’s normal to feel a little defensive. We all work hard and have our client’s best interest at heart, but sometimes things get missed or miscommunication occurs. When a client is upset with something you do, the worst thing to do is react. When we react we lose control and give the other person the upper hand. 

2. ASK QUESTIONS, AND LISTEN CAREFULLY

When people are upset no matter what the situation is, they usually just want someone to listen to them. This holds true when dealing with your clients. Clearly if your client is upset, they are going to have some things to say. So listen to them. Show them that you care about the issue at hand.

3. TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY

I have found success in dealing with unsatisfied clients by first taking a look at myself and taking accountability for the issue. Before you do anything else, you have to stop and take accountability of what you did wrong or could have done better. As entrepreneurs, we must consistently take a look in the mirror and make a change in order to learn and grow as professionals.

4. SUGGEST A SOLUTION AND RUN WITH IT

Conflict resolution is what event planners do best and it should be a common practice amongst all entrepreneurs. When there is an issue we need to evaluate all of the variables and act quickly to come up with a solution. Don’t sit around and think, “shoulda, woulda, coulda.” Just FIX IT.

5. ABOVE ALL ELSE, DON’T POINT FINGERS

When shit hits the fan, the worst thing you can do is sit around with your thumb up you’re butt and point fingers. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was, what matters is that there is an issue and it’s your job to find a solution.


FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 


YEAR ONE: LESSONS LEARNED

RachelRobinsonStartUpSoiree

HAPPY BIRTHDAY INTRINSIC EVENTS

Next month, my business partner and I will be celebrating a huge milestone in our business. In February of last year, we both left our corporate jobs to pursue our passion to build an event management company full time as entrepreneurs.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost an entire year already. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how I felt this time last year. Feelings of excitement, anxiousness, and enthusiasm were constantly running through me. Although most of my emotions were positive, I remember being a little scared of the unknown – which I laugh about now because that never really stops.

PLAN TO HAVE A CHANGE IN PLANS

As an Event Planner I’m constantly told that I’m extremely Type A. I always have a plan A, B, and C for everything and rarely do I fly by the seat of my pants without thoroughly thinking things through. When you’re an entrepreneur you absolutely should have a plan, but it’s important to know that things are going to change…a lot.

Taking the leap from corporate employee to entrepreneur is no easy feat. It takes a lot of self-awareness, dedication and hustle to succeed.

LESSONS LEARNED

Over this past year I have learned many, many lessons as a businesswoman and as a person that I wish I would have known as I was starting out.  Here are some of them from me to you:

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1. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

Entrepreneurs are very passionate people. We love what we do and it shows in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to always have “why you started” at the forefront of your mind.

There are going to be times when you are scared, or you are unsure of what to do, or you’re insanely frustrated…that’s OK! No one said it was going to be easy. And if it was, everyone would work for themselves.

2. USE YOUR CORPORATE EXPERIENCE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

I didn’t start out as an entrepreneur right away. I worked in Corporate America straight out of college for several years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I learned SO much working for a large company. I gained insight on what it was like to run a successful company. I learned what to do and what not to do, which I’m very thankful for.

When I first entered the startup community in Baltimore, I was afraid of coming off as too corporate. But now this is something I embrace. It is important to me to have a certain level of professionalism and it has ultimately helped our business grow.

3. BE PREPARED TO HUSTLE

I knew working for myself was not going to be a walk in the park. Growing up, I saw my parents busting their asses running their own businesses. This is something I always admired in them.

The fact is you need to be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life. You are building something from fabulous; it’s going to take time and lots of elbow grease.

If you thought entrepreneurship was going to fit inside a typical “9-5” schedule, you’re wrong. The hours will be long, the work will be tough, you may miss out on some social events with friends from time to time, but it will all be worth it.

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4. DON’T BE ASHAMED TO ASK FOR GUIDANCE

Even the best business leaders seek guidance. All entrepreneurs should at some point seek out a business mentor. It’s important to have someone who can provide first hand experience and knowledge and act as a true sounding board while you’re building your business.

I’m so fortunate to have many mentors in my life. I value their opinions and seek out their advice and guidance and it’s been a true eye-opening experience. You aren’t going to know everything starting out.

5. EMPOWER OTHERS ALONG THE WAY

I realized that over the past year I cannot and will not become a great leader in my company and community with out the ability to empower others. Whether it’s a peer, an employee, an industry partner, or an intern make sure you take time to help others reach their goals and grow. We will all benefit from this.

FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 

 

 

What Motivates All Entrepreneurs

Have you ever been woken up by your alarm, and all you wanted to do was hit the snooze button and take the day off? Have you ever had a meeting scheduled that you wanted to just blow off? Or have you had a huge project that you let sit untouched until it was too late?

“AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!”

We’ve all been there at some point in our professional lives right? No matter how you label it – whether it is procrastination, laziness or downright exhaustion…entrepreneurs don’t have time for that.

Luckily for us, we as entrepreneurs all possess a special phenomenon deep inside that keeps us going. A feeling that continuously feeds our passion from within and fuels the drive to accomplish our goals each and everyday.

This beautiful thing is called intrinsic motivation.

ARE YOU CRAZY?

When my business partner and I first started our event management company, many people thought we were crazy and were pretty vocal about it too. We were often asked how we were going to make it on our own and how could we leave Corporate America; giving up a consistent paycheck with benefits. 

I always thought it was interesting that everyone seemed so concerned about our financial security. They didn’t seem to understand what was truly driving us to go follow our passion.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

We all have things that motivate us throughout life. Some are motivated by money, some are motivated by gratification and approval from others, some are motivated by power, and the list goes on and on.

 

WHAT MOTIVATES ME

I absolutely love what I do for a living. I get up every morning excited for new challenges, eager to meet new people and continuously find ways to build my business. Wanting to produce great work and to help people is what motivates me.

A lot of people ask me “Why did you name your company Intrinsic Events?”

It’s simple.

My business partner and I follow a simple belief that motivation from within produces extraordinary results and success. We also believe and agree with entrepreneur extraordinaire Steve Jobs, that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

ENTREPRENEURS ALIKE

Since going off on my own as an entrepreneur, I have had the privilege to meet so many inspirational business owners. I’m always so wowed by the level of intelligence, extreme drive and amount of passion each one possesses.

Every entrepreneur is different in the sense of what he or she brings to the table and how they go about running their own business. But the one common link we as entrepreneurs all have, is that we love what we do and are passionate about our work.

THE INTRINSIC WAY

I’ve said it before; starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears but if you are intrinsically motivated from within I promise it will evolve much easier.

Don’t worry about the money, the fame, and the power that comes from owning a successful business. Never lose site on why you started in the first place. Focus on that passion that led you to where you are now and the rest will fall into place naturally.

FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 

 

Make That Change

Jes Gignac

Make That Change.

I am an event planner first and foremost. I spent 10 years as an event planner before deciding to take on entrepreneurship.

When most people are asked, “What makes a great event planner?” The answers are usually along the lines of - organized, detail-oriented, friendly, hard-working, creative, …

Never once are the words intelligent, smart, or genius used as descriptors.

Thank you Mr. Hawking for setting the record straight.

Stephen Hawking, one of the most notorious physicists, academics, cosmologists, and author of A Brief History in Time, once stated, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

For all the event planners (and now I know, entrepreneurs) out there, let me say, “Thank you Mr. Hawking.”

You see, all my life I was told by family and friends that I was intelligent, smart and destined for success. I thought I had people fooled in my skills somehow. Clearly my outstanding SAT score of 1090, my GPA of 3.0, or the multiple accounting classes I failed in college did not warrant extreme intelligence. But now I know, they saw in me an ability that eluded intelligence. An extreme ability to adapt to change with grace, a PLAN B, and a poker face.

Then I became an entrepreneur.

As an event planner, I never thought anyone understood what I went through on a daily basis when it came to change. So many colleagues and partners would look at me, shake their heads with a look of guilt and say, “I don’t know how you do what you do.”  It was like they knew I was on a rollercoaster ride that was never going to end.

Then I became an entrepreneur and I realized, THESE people know what that rollercoaster ride is all about!

They knew the ups, downs, twists, turns, queasiness, dizziness, thrill, and LOVE that I knew.

I have met many entrepreneurs along my journey. Some of them I find extremely intelligent and can’t wait until my next chance to learn from them. Some of them, not so much.

I’ve realized that the ones I feel not so much about, are those that do not embrace and adapt to change. They don’t look at what is happening to their business, analyze it and make a change. Or in the worst cases, these entrepreneurs aren’t changing themselves to adapt to their partners, employees, competitors, and overall, world around them.

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Change isn’t easy. Love what others don’t.  

Nothing is easy as an entrepreneur, we all know that. Change can either challenge us and make us great, or threaten us and make us weak. As an entrepreneur, you HAVE to learn to not just accept change, but to LOVE change. LOVE it so much that you can’t wait for the next big change to hit you in the face, knock you down, and then hit you again as soon as you stand up.

Entrepreneurs are used to doing what others don’t, being what others won’t, and loving things others can’t.

I love change, but I understand that not everyone does. From one entrepreneur to another, I want you to love change much as I do, because it’s awesome – and it’s something that non-entrepreneurs can’t love because they don’t have to.

Here are a few ways I encourage and challenge you all to love change as much as I do this year.

Accept that change is constant.

It’s the same reason people love or hate surfing. It takes you so much time, skill and discipline to learn to get up and get moving, only to get knocked down again and again. You can never learn to always stand up because the waves and tide are constantly changing. Great surfers learn to adapt to the changing wave, accept that each ride will be different every time, and just keep swimming.

Believe that change brings something greater than the old.  

This is always the case, whether you know it right away or not. Just believe. I’ve practiced keeping a journal of times when I thought change was the most horrible thing in the world. I document monthly how my life or situation are different because of that change. I challenge you do to the same. I guarantee over time, you will realize that change brought about something greater that what it was.

Focus your energy on fostering the new, not fighting the old.

Instead of trying to fight why things changed or who made the change, focus all of your energy and time on fostering the new that the change created. If you change your attitude, you change the entire outcome of the change itself.

Trust that small changes pave the way to big accomplishments.

The Baltimore Ravens didn’t magically get into the playoffs this season because of game changing moments. Joe Flacco’s completions to Torrey Smith for touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns for their success is a result of small changes every practice, every day, every week, every minute of every game…throughout the entire season. As entrepreneurs we need to keep this thought in mind at all times. Big accomplishments are the result of small changes every single day.

Wear a poker face. Move quickly. Make a change.

Changes happen at the drop of a hat. Our reactions and decisions in those moments, as well as the perception of how we deal with change to others are what define us and our intelligence. When sh*t hits the fan in your business, you have no other choice but to keep calm, wear a poker face, move quickly and make a change– whether it be the right one or wrong one at the time. As an entrepreneur, no one else is going to do this for you. The worst thing you can do in a situation where change needs to be made is do nothing.

If nothing else, remember the words of Stephen Hawking, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

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Blood, Sweat and Tears

Nicolas China

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Startup On A Shoestring - Part 2 of 6

For your startup business to survive, you need to give it everything you’ve got.  Let me reiterate… Everything. You've. Got.

My first and most important tip in 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget is:  “Pour blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Starting a business can be daunting and isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you can muster up the courage to dive in to entrepreneurship, you’d better do so head first! And if you’re bootstrapping, you’re business will not survive without blood, sweat and tears.

Blood is thicker than water.

Your support system is integral throughout the life of your business, but it’s completely essential for survival in the early stages of launching your business. Whether it’s your family or a tight-knit group of friends, make sure everyone is on board.

Let them know your goals. Talk about your aspirations and ideas. The people who love you are the ones who will support you. They’ll have your back through thick and thin. These people want you to succeed as much as you do (or in my Mom’s case, even more!)

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Most importantly, your close friends and family will give you a sounding board. So if you have a strong support system in place already, heed their advice! It will help you “see the forest for the trees”.

No goal was ever met without a little sweat.

This one seems a little obvious, but I’ll say it nonetheless. Without action and effort, nothing will happen! Acting with a purpose and giving your business 100% effort all the time is not easy, but it is crucial. 

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”

Not only will constant action and effort propel your startup, you’ll also find that you’ll gain irreplaceable experience along the way. Learn the game, practice the game, and then master the game. Never quit.

A tear is made up of 1% water and 99% feelings.

Passion is immeasurable. It’s a feeling.  A fire that burns deep. 

Although you can’t quantify it, it is absolutely necessary. If you don’t love what you’re doing or the direction that you’re headed, stop now! Refocus. Figure out what motivates you and ride the wave.

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For true success, you must love what you do. Not just what you do in business, but in totality.

Go ahead! Pour blood sweat and tears into it!

DOWNLOAD THE STARTUP ON A SHOESTRING EBOOK BELOW


Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks!

  

This article, Blood, Sweat and Tears is part two of my six part Startup On A Shoestring series. 

Part one, 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget can be found HERE.

Part three, Lean, Mean Cash Flow Machine can be found HERE.

Part four, Master Social FREE-dia can be found HERE.

Part five, Lean Startup Founders: The MacGyvers of Business can be found HERE.

Part six, The Startup Scene Is The New Wild West. Be A Gunslinger can be found HERE.

For more tips, follow Nicolas China on Twitter @Nico_C7.

Nicolas China is Co-founder and owner of Pixilated (@PixilatedPhoto) & Startup Soiree (@StartupSoiree).

Action – Reflection – Repeat

AULD LANG SYNE

It’s that time of year again! The New Year is right around the corner. And you know what that means – making a new year’s resolution, right? You know the drill, resolutions to be healthier, happier, more successful, etc. All great ideas, but personally I take a different approach.

I used to make them too, until I realized…they don’t work. In fact, studies show that more than half the country begins the New Year with one or more resolutions, but only 8% are successful in keeping them. 

Like everyone else, I look forward to each New Year being healthier, happier and more successful, both personally and professionally. But what I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, there’s only one real “resolution” that works 100% of the time! No matter what dreams, aspirations or goals you have for the New Year, this simple 3-step formula works every time: Action-Reflection-Repeat.   

IT’S A LIFESTYLE

As business owners, it’s natural for us to look ahead and plan for the New Year. But for me, the process of Action-Reflection-Repeat is more than a New Year’s resolution; it’s a way of life. 

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

Action is the first and most important step, yet this is where many of us get stuck. Why? Because as entrepreneurs no one hands us a blueprint or a roadmap outlining the steps necessary to make our businesses work. That is totally up to us and only happens through action.

So why do we get stuck? Could it be because we think we have to make it happen all at once? Or because each step has to be perfectly in sync or we get paralyzed? Or maybe it’s because we aren’t certain which step to take next.  Sound familiar? As business owners, we’ve all been there. But what we know for certain: success lies in action.  So take the first step, no matter how small, and remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Even one small step forward will take your further than doing nothing at all. It’s that simple.

A TIME TO REFLECT

While action gets us moving, it’s equally important to pause and reflect. For you see, life and business can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards.   As entrepreneurs we are always moving forward into the unknown.  It is only through reflection – looking back and assessing what worked, what didn’t – that we find our inspiration and next steps. One tool I’ve used for years is journaling. What started out as a young girl’s diary has evolved into a business plan for life. It’s a practice that continues to serve me well, both personally and professionally. 

REPEAT, IT’S EASY

So there you have it:  once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of action and reflection, repeat is the easiest step in this formula. Being an entrepreneur is like a dance. We do it because it’s exciting and fun and we love it, even in times of uncertainty. And perhaps it is that uncertainty that leads us all to make New Year’s resolutions in the first place. To look forward, make a plan, chart a course, and strive for new goals in the New Year. As entrepreneurs, we don’t limit ourselves to just one New Year’s resolution, because every day is a new day to make a plan, chart a course, and achieve greatness.   

 

 

Action vs. Inaction: Letter To Mom (and everyone else, too!)

Breathe In

I'm sitting here watching the color in your face. It's the most wonderful color I've ever seen. You did it mom, you made it through.

You stood up to a challenge so daunting most people would demure from starting. I can't describe my pride. I can't describe my glee. 

Breathe Out

When it comes to personal health, admitting to ourselves what the facts are and what needs to be done is often the most difficult challenge. 

The space between Action and Inaction narrows; ballasted most by the emotions inside. Driven in no small part by our greatest fears. 

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Action Baby, Action!

Recognizing the fulcrum, the point of transition, becomes near impossible. It takes faith and trust, two things I'm lucky you have in abundance Mom. 

Many have chosen not to take their future back. Many lack the courage you embody. You've become my hero all over again. 

Pour One Out

I love you Mom and I can't say it enough. Your impact on me is immeasurable every day and every minute. I’m left feeling a little foolish it’s taken this event to remind me. But I’m okay with that.

Sometimes it takes high stakes to reveal just how rich life is. I for one, am glad to have had the opportunity to have learned this lesson.

Us vs. The World

I urge all of you out there this holiday season to take Action in expressing yourselves. Let the ones who matter know just how important they are every chance you get. Each and every day we act as each others' greatest ambassadors, stewards and caretakers.

Pay attention to the ones around you and lift them up. Take the time to brush them off. Make the effort to let them know. 

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“You're Bill Groundhog Day, Ghostbustin’ Ass Murray!” -Genius Gza

It’s kinda like the Delusion scene in Coffee and Cigarettes with the RZA aka Bobby Digital, GZA the Genius and Bill Murray. Sometimes you just gotta let people know you care.

No matter how ridiculous the situation. Sometimes you just gotta Shout Out Loud! But that's none of my business. (sips tea) See what I did there? 

Stay safe this holiday season friends. I can’t wait to see you all in the New Year. 

Salut,

Patrick

For more Wisdom, Mistletoe and Holiday Cheer                                           Follow Me @PatrickRife on Twitter and Instagram Dear!

Action vs. Inaction: Turn Off the Naysayer

Patrick Rife

fulcrum

[foo l-kruh m, fuhl-]

nounplural fulcrums, fulcra 

1. THE POINT ON WHICH A LEVER RESTS OR IS SUPPORTED AND ON WHICH IT PIVOTS. 

2. A THING THAT PLAYS A CENTRAL OR ESSENTIAL ROLE IN AN ACTIVITY, EVENT, OR SITUATION.

Turn off the Naysayer

Just edit the podcast. "I really need to show my editing chops!" Just edit the podcast. "I have to record the most Incredible voice-over stuff" Just edit the podcast. "I have to write the most compelling questions." Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just …..

I know, right? Wait. Huh? Here we are again.

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The Fulcrum

I'd allowed a project I was helming to become much bigger than was necessary. This lesson goes to show that sometimes our biggest natural talents; talents we know (or think we know) to be our best, can be the greatest hurdles we have to overcome.

In my pre-business life, I was a fount of musical production. Like Rachmoninoff with a stack of Stooges records. I spent all of my time filling up cassette tapes and mini-discs; later piles of hard-drives with tons of musical compositions. In short, I love making music.

For me creating music and producing audio has always come easily; a gift I don't take for granted. But sometimes you get stuck. Or you get away from your confidence. It becomes easy to forget that feeling. That natural confidence that comes from being so in-tune with your efforts that the lines of division disappear.  

You with me? 

What it is

So what's the deal? I don't know really. You find one thing after another that hangs you up. An excuse to delay. First it's the music. Then it's the process. Then the Intro and Exit tracks. Really it's the approval. I get nervous.

Anyway, I love making music right? And I've said so more than enough around PixilatedHQ. You know, that music is my thing. (in jaded cool guy voice) But….I've never really shared that stuff with my Pixilated family. So, you know, the jitters. Approval jitters.

I recently watched a Ted Talk with Dr. Laura Trice speaking about asking for what we need and not being scared of showing vulnerability in doing so. I thought her POV was eloquent and insightful.

It reminded me of a pact I've made with myself. To use humility as an opportunity to grow when it's easy but also when it's difficult; always. A pact to not be shy about needing to feel the support of those around me; and maybe more so, to not shy away from asking for it.

I'm not brave enough to carry myself that openly out of the gate but I'm going to try. If for nothing more than to place my faith in the taking of action, not inaction.

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Salvation in Entrepreneurship

One of the things that entrepreneurship provides me is the opportunity to change direction any moment I choose; a trait I will fine tune as my businesses begin to grow and prosper.

We pride ourselves on agility, on taking things into our own hands, on persevering regardless the challenges that need be overcome. In short, Temerity. Find that hunch, now turn it up.

See you soon, now get to work.

FOLLOW me @PatrickRife on Twitter and Instagram for more incredible Tips, Tricks and Hustle 

 

Believe It To Become It

 Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson

BORN TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

From as far back as I can remember that is what I liked to do. Growing up I was always creating things. I danced and choreographed countless routines, played business owner in a make believe store, taught school to make believe students, and lived by my own rules in my make believe world.

Both my parents were entrepreneurs who worked hard and lived the lives they wanted. I wanted to grow up to be just like them – I know, so cliché.

I always thought this was the way my life would be. I’d grow up, go to college, have my own business, have my own office, have my own rules. I imagined all the projects I’d create and the meaningful work I would do.

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BUT THEN LIFE HAPPENED…

Before I knew it, I was graduating from college, without a business, without an office and unsure where my path would lead.

I wish I knew then what I know now: “Getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you are meant to be on.” – Robin Sharma, Speaker and Author of Lead Without a Title.  Back then, that’s exactly how I felt. I was out of school and at a loss as to what to do next. 

So I did what most newly college grads do, I began the job search. After a few stressful weeks and a number of interviews, I landed my first real job! I was excited about my career path – the chance to create, contribute and do something meaningful.

REALITY SET IN

But soon that excitement wore off. I found myself sitting in a cube working day in and day out. I didn’t have an office, I didn’t make my own schedule, but worse, my creativity was hindered. The reality was I was forced to follow a manual and color within the lines; creativity was not part of my job description. I started to feel boxed in.

Growing up, creativity was at the heart of everything I did.  I was always encouraged to follow my heart’s desire.  So that’s what I did.

I moved on to a new job. I was excited for new challenges and the chance to be creative again. I was part of a team where creating and collaborating was part of my job description. But I still felt hindered by the box someone else had defined.

Don’t get me wrong, day-to-day I really enjoyed what I was doing. However it wasn’t long before I felt the same familiar feeling of wanting more in my professional life.

And that’s when it happened. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I left Corporate America and started Intrinsic Events.

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I BELIEVED I COULD BECOME IT.

Today, I’ve come to realize I was never really lost.  Each step along the way was leading me to where I was meant to be. I believed at a young age, I was born to be an entrepreneur and now I am.

Was it scary to leave Corporate America and start my own business? Oh yeah. But at some point, it became scarier not to.  Was it the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets? Not one.

No matter where you are on your path, it’s important to remember “we all need to lead where we are planted and shine where we find ourselves.” – Robin Sharma, Speaker and Author of Lead Without a Title.

Great advice.

Listen to your heart. Embrace the twists and turns on your path, even when you’re feeling lost. Trust you are being led to where you are meant to be. It worked for me and it will work for you too. 

FOLLOW my company @EventsIntrinsic updates & upcoming events. FOLLOW me at @intrinsicrach

 

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Been Given.

This is the worst advice I’ve ever been given as an entrepreneur. The last two years of my life have been nothing but hard work. Physical, emotional, and mental hard work. I thought I must be doing something wrong. The words of my restaurant boss in college kept coming to me in my sleep, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

What does this even mean? To work smart, you must first work hard, bottom line. You must first go through trial and error and a little pain before you realize what the “smart” way even is.  

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” - Chuck Close, American Painter and Photographer

For the last month, I’ve been waiting, dreaming, and listening for anything that could maybe give me some inspiration to write my first Startup Soiree blog post.

A topic that would be so interesting and inspirational to all of you potential soiree-ees out there who may or may not read my blog. A topic that would define my credibility as a founder of StartUp Soiree.

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I was looking for a way to “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, by reading endless blogs, by listening to podcasts and You-Tubing commencement speeches given by the great Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs, and Charlie Day.

I thought to myself, “Ugh, this blog writing thing is HARD.” And then it hit me, I was working hard to work smart. Stop searching for inspiration and get to work. Pick up a pen and paper (because I’m old school like that) and just get to work on this blog. And that’s when the inspiration “came to me”.

Lessons in Hard Work

Luckily for me, I learned the art of hard work at a young age from my Dad.

My Dad is no entrepreneur. He is a 30-year Electrician, Union Member, Blue-Collar, Trade-School Graduate, Home-Owner, Happily Married for 30 Years, and an Inspiration of Hard Work to three awesome Gignac kids.  

As the oldest child, I was bossy, impatient, and a know-it-all. I remember becoming so frustrated by my Dad in so many ways growing up. For example,

Thanksgiving Morning Breakfast:

Every year as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would start at 9:00 a.m., my Dad would ask, “Who wants breakfast?” It was immediately met with Yes! From everyone – family, friends, boyfriends - but me. Why you might wonder?  Because it was never breakfast, it was ALWAYS a way too big and ridiculous Thanksgiving Lunch. But, my Dad would go for it because he LOVED doing it, he LOVED the joy is brought everyone around him, and he LOVED the outcome of his hard work.

DIY Home Projects:

My Dad was the biggest early adopter of the DIY craze. I don’t remember a single month in my childhood that our home was not under some construction or project. Drywall, Wall Paper, Fancy Lighting, Sound Systems, Retaining Walls, Sheds, you name it. My Dad did them all, he did them himself, and at the young age of 16, I finally had my own room!  

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It was frustrating and tough and annoying, but you know what, all of my friends and family still RAVE about my Dad’s Thanksgiving Day Breakfast/Lunch and our family home is now valued at three times the amount they paid.  

In my eyes, my Dad’s hard work paid off. He used to always tell me – when I was complaining – “If you’re not going to do it the right way and with pride and enjoyment, then what’s the point?”

So with everything I have accomplished in my adult life, I credit it to hard work and these lessons from my Dad. I have been so inspired by my Dad’s ability to work hard everything he did and continues to do, even if it’s in the most simplest of tasks.  

My Advice to You: Just Work Hard.

If there is one piece of advice I can offer any of you after my two years in business, it is this.

Just Work Hard. Starting your own company is hard work. Just when you think you’ve accomplished something difficult like finding investors or landing your first huge client, something else that’s hard comes along – like blog writing.

But you can’t avoid it, you can’t wait for inspiration, and as a startup you can’t always outsource it right away. You have to get to work and work hard.

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To this day every BIG moment that has happened to Intrinsic Events and every great opportunity has come out of our hard work itself.  

Success and inspiration do not magically appear. They come to us from a story of a time when someone else worked hard and it paid off. And it will continue to be just that until we are able to get out there, do the hard work, and become an inspiration for ourselves, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us.

FOLLOW my company @EventsIntrinsic for updates & upcoming events.

 

Action vs. Inaction: The Beginning

  Action vs. Inaction: The Beginning by: Patrick Rife

The Beginning

The place where you begin. Or don’t. The invisible barrier to starting can be so difficult to break through because for many it’s hard to pin down exactly what it means.

Creating a vision from scratch can be a daunting process, but if you put a plan in place and take things one step at a time, anything is possible. 
  
Daydream Believer

I’m a daydreamer, and that means in a large sense that I’ve spent more of my time thinking of hundreds of incredible things I COULD be doing than actually DOING even one of those incredible things.

For whatever reason, it didn't occur to me that I never made it to the next step of asking myself the “how to," you know? 

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Voices Carry

My internal monologue should have gone something like this… “Ok Patrick, this is a wicked good idea (song, painting, concept, business plan, religious cult), what are your next steps to make this thing actually happen?”

Instead it went something more like “Dude! (to self) That song you wrote is SO GOOD! No doubt the great Musician Finder Satellite will hover over your apartment building in Baltimore and see how many great tunes are on your hard-drives! So stoked I don’t actually have to make an effort.” (insert self-inflicted face punch here)

Blame Game

Maybe it was Catholic School, maybe it was my Dad’s fault. Who knows? Who cares? (I’m looking at you Coach) The point is, I definitely had barriers to overcome but once I was willing to actually look at the writing on the wall they weren’t anywhere near as difficult as I made them out to be.

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 Conclusion: Go forth and thrash

The battle is so difficult because it’s a fight we’re waging within. We have to learn to manage doubt and fear; summon forth our internal power, break free of the negative. Take the first step.

The good news is that you have the power to silence the noise. Take your fate in your own hands and create your vision. All you have to do is start. Take action. Take ONE step. You’re getting closer.

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