How to Reach an Amsterdam-Like Dream

It seems every other week someone is publicly making a mistake. Whether it be an errant tweet about getting slizzered or trying a new way to reach an audience with less than stellar results being wrong is a part of reaching for your dreams.

No one is perfect. This is a pretty well-known mantra right that we're all supposed to subscribe to right? As a kid who grew up trying to be perfect all the time to make her parents happy being wrong was one of my deepest agonies. Abhorring it made me shrink away from being my most. I didn't take as many challenges. I knew the right answer.

I would have told you that being wrong was just a part of life. As long as you're the one who is wrong and not me.

I'm not sure there was a big epiphany where I decided to change this like always seems to be in movies. You know the one where the person suddenly changes after a cab nearly hits them or a bad date. Life isn't always like that. Change is often a series of small moments rather than big ones.  As the years passed I think I just got tired of watching other people succeed. One thing they had in common was their willingness to take risks. And when you take risks guess what happens? You're wrong sometimes. IMG 4771 300x300 How to Reach an Amsterdam Like Dream

I guess I wanted my dreams more than I wanted to avoid being wrong. That was the change. And it took time. So I'm going after my dreams
and occasionally I'm wrong. I don't like it, I don't wish for it but I'm at peace with it because my dreams are worth it.  If you have Amsterdam size dreams that you want to reach, you're going to have to have a thicker skin. You're going to have to toughen up in order to achieve them.


Are you willing to put yourself out there in service of your dreams even if it means being wrong?

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The Power of Introversion on Creativity

Susan Cain's TED talk on The Power of Introverts is thought provoking, honest and funny. It's become so well received that she even made the NY Times. She highlights the belief that creativity comes from being gregarious rather than "solo flights of thought." I'm often seen as an extrovert but that's actually not the whole story. I consider myself an extroverted introvert (what Cain calls ambiverts). As an ambivert I often need a mixture of crowds and alone time to bring my creativity to fruition. To wit, Cain claims that solitude is often a crucial ingredient to creativity.

Even if you're an extravert, a little quiet time can likely help your creativity and productivity.  Let's curl up and watch shall we?

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Are Your Dreams as Big as Amsterdam?

I'm not on Facebook very much these days (more of a Twitter girl myself) aside from getting news from friends in far flung places. Well, those places became even more far flung this morning with the Facebook announcement that a couple I'm friends with are moving to Amsterdam for her dream job. It was shocking. Thrilling. And thought-provoking.

After working until 1am last night this got me thinking. Am I dreaming big enough? Are the fruits of my efforts bringing me closer to my dreams so that a year from now I can say that my life is much better and my dreams fulfilled or at least on the horizon?

Here's a smattering of the big dreams my friends have accomplished just since the New Year.

  • NextIce Castles Sunshine 300x300 Are Your Dreams as Big as Amsterdam? weekend I will attend the wedding of a friend who was dreaming about finding the right person just two years ago. She did meet him–just mere weeks later.
  • Two friends moved to NYC to pursue their startup.
  • A girlfriend and colleague of mine is always dreaming big and having an impact on her local community. This time with an event next weekend, Tellerpalooza.
  • Another friend has been traveling the world for two years, recently checking Dubai and Nairobi off his list.
  • A couple finally sold their home in another state and bought a place in their new city–something they'd been dreaming about for over 2 years.
  • Australia was the destination for a couple of co-workers who married and had kids. 
  • A good friend of mine finally finished the book he's been writing and is submitting it to book publishers.

And finally, to bookend the dreams…a friend is working from Amsterdam this month just because he wanted to see if he could do it.

All this stupendous news has me pondering. What are my dreams? Are my dreams big enough so that if you stacked them up they'd reach the sky? Am I working towards the exciting lifetime dreams or just grinding through the to do list for the day?

While I know all this big news isn't every day and won't continue at this pace, it excites me. It makes me want to go after my dreams and make sure that if I'm working until 1am that it better be on something that's moving me down the football field to my goal line.

What about you? Are you dreaming BIG? Are you actively pursuing your goals like a dog with a bone? Are you working on your own dreams or those of someone else?

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Creativity, Education & Entrepreneurship

"If you're not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with something creative." Sir Ken Robinson

Although this quintessential Ted talk by Sir Ken Robinson is focused on education, it's also highly relevant to entrepreneurship. Being open to being wrong allows us to take chances, to fail, to learn. It also gives us the chance to find new and creative solutions to problems which is critical for entrepreneurship. Our education system encourages being right and learning facts rather than taking chances and following our natural instincts. It takes courage and a good bit of effort to go against this educational training.

If you're an entrepreneur or would like to unleash the one waiting inside of you this is a much watch.

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Radiohead’s Creep: A Must Listen Rendition

Since I've had my head down with these past few weeks managing communities and writing content for clients I've had less time to actually post here. I have a bunch of posts in progress but in the meantime I thought I'd share something I love. Lately I've been really into interesting covers of cool songs. Radiohead's Creep has been covered many times but this haunting rendition by Broadway maven Carrie Manolakos is by far my favorite.

Listen. Your ears will thank you for it.

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Somebody That I Used to Know

I'm so in love with the Gotye song Somebody That I Used to Know that I've had on repeat lately. This is an a capella version of the song. I spent most of childhood singing so I really appreciate when a song is done  a capella as I know how hard it is to stay on tune! Add video and I'm in. Besides the beautiful lyrics and lush vocals I love the king kong impression. Look for it.

Thanks to Alejandra Owens for bringing it to my attention.

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A Letter to My Neglected Blog

Dear blog,
You've been neglected. Frankly, you've been starved lately. I'm sorry about that.

We need to talk.

It's like this. I've got lots of clients lately and they've asked me to blog for them. And? It brings in the bacon. So I've been blogging–just not on your pretty digital pages. I've missed you. I know, I know. Everyone says that. But I really mean it. The thing is, I'm just not that good at balance. I tend to swing from one extreme to the other. I don't say this as an excuse. This is more of a reality check. There are times when my client work is just going to have to come first. I hope you'll take solace with the fact that I have been blogging.

Here are a few of the things I've been blogging about lately.

  • Perusing Twitter helps me find unearth cool new gems like the fact that the new SimCity will be rad with alternative energy sources and other cool additions. Thanks to Miss Courtney O'Rourke for the tip.
  • Earlier this year I walked the High Line in New York City. When I heard about The LowLine a The LowLine300x200 A Letter to My Neglected BlogKickStarter project that aims to re-purpose an abandoned trolley station into an underground park I just had to write about it. And? They're using innovative new fiber-optic solar technology.
  • Apparently there's a World Water Day and we recently celebrated. I wrote a little piece about how to  save some water !
  • I also wrote about the cool new 918 Spyder hybrid sports car from Porsche. Um, it's a sexy car. That plugs into the wall. And it goes 0 to 60 in 3 seconds.

Let's see. I've written about saving the planet, playing fun games that help save the planet and a sexy sports car. You have to admit–it's pretty cool right? No? Does it make you feel any better that it was for a good cause?

You can take your time to make up your mind on that one. In the meanwhile I hope you'll forgive me for needing to focus on client work and be happy that at least I've been blogging. A lot actually. And? I promise to make more time for you–ok?

Now, what have you been up to?

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How to Kick Ass at Customer Service

Screen shot 2012 04 02 at 9.39.19 PM1 300x146 How to Kick Ass at Customer ServiceAs you get older even if you've had perfect vision, glasses become a necessity. Think about the market for glasses. Just about everyone will need them at some point. But while we need them we still want to look good right? As for me…I'm finally at that point where after a long day (14 hours some days) on the computer means my eyesight is a bit blurry without reading glasses. So, I went to startup Warby Parker

Why I Selected Warby Parker
- Buzz.
They were the talk of the town at SXSW so I figured it would be good to learn more.
- Charity. When you buy a pair they donate a pair of glasses to a needy person.
- Great pricing model. Each pair costs only $95!

What I learned as I ordered my pair was that they're fantastic marketers. The best part of their marketing is that it feels so natural and organic to who they are as a brand. They strike just the right balance between being cool and being too earnest. Of course they have a product that is just ripe for kick ass customer service and yet…they still knock it out of the park.

The Evidence

Video. When I mentioned how excited I was that my very first Warby Parker glasses were coming soon I got this message in reply.

High Touch. They have high-levels of engagement on their facebook page. People consistently post their Home Try-ons with multiple people giving feedback. Warby Parker weighs in on every. single. post.

Screen shot 2012 04 02 at 9.48.34 PM1 How to Kick Ass at Customer Service

 

 

Sense of Humor. Their April Fool's Day joke was just brilliant, well done and super fun. Take a look yourself.

Yes, this post has far more dogs than it really should. I know, I'm shameless like that. But c'mon. A dog–wearing a monocle? How could I resist?

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Genius & the Creative Spirit

I happen to be a big fan of creativity and memoirs. One of my favorites in this genre is Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes, the author of that book, Eat, Pray, Love that is equal parts loved and hated. She's a brilliant writer who I admire for 1) her ability to turn a mean phrase 2) her willingness to use her life as her muse. I adore what she's done with her creative spirit that if I could suddenly take the place of any writer it might just be Elizabeth Gilbert.

Clearly this woman is bright. Like off the charts smart. And incredibly talented. As a creative at heart, this is a very inspiring talk. It's a bit long but if you want to feel understood, learn more about the creative spirit and laugh it's well worth it.

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