I am writing this post from a public library that rests along Main Street in one of Maine’s quintessential small towns. For what it’s worth, it could be a stand-in for Main Street, USA if producers truly cared about places removed from the population centers on the left and right coasts.
Driving “down” the coast from Woodward Cove, the morning’s radio waves were crammed with news of another shooting. Even sports talk wasn’t immune from the hosts adding their two cents worth of political grandstanding.
Libraries are always full of little treasures.
Where I live, if you want to know what the conservative talking points are for any given day, just head over to the AM side of the dial and WGANwill let you know the pulse of the angry, white (predominantly male) pitchfork-bearers in five minutes or less.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been repulsed by the ugliness of humanity. Mark would have had an antidote for me, but in case you’ve forgotten, Mark’s no longer with us. Continue reading →
Because I follow a few people via Medium, I now get a daily email and digest of content published on the platform. Most of it’s crap, but a handful of stories stand out and I’ll read them. Like this one, about a musician, Mike Posner.
I’d never heard of Posner, actually—at least not until I read his post.
Like a lot of young performers that ascend fame’s ladder, the ride to the top changed who he was, or at least magnified things about him that he found he didn’t like. Of course, the ride back down celebrity’s hill can be equally as dramatic (as well as ego-deflating). To his credit, Posner possessed some measure of self-awareness and took time to reflect and reconsider. Not every young man facing the crash-and-burn of his career would have had his presence of mind, and taken steps to right himself.
After he had a worldwide hit in 2010, with a song called “Cooler Than Me,” he ended up being dropped by his label. Five years later, he had to redefine and yes, reinvent.
Fashion dictates planning for the upcoming year on New Year’s Eve—that’s if your fashion sense tends towards procrastination. But, is the second week of November, especially a month dead set on maximizing the mildness of the season, the time to begin thinking about 2016?
If you’ve played the resolutions game with a fresh new calendar staring you in the face, then you know that the first six weeks of any new year is the duration of most people’s plan for success, and their implementation phase. How do I know this? Past experience. Also, I used to be a member of Planet Fitness in Auburn for a couple of years while working out of the CareerCenter on the other side of the river. I got to see firsthand that six-week spike played out with a flurry of new members crowding the gym during some New Year’s promotion. By the middle of February, however, people were falling by the wayside and by the end of the month, there was no more waiting for machines. Come March, it was the same old regulars grunting and sweating at 5:30 in the morning, another great anecdotal example that the wait-until-the-start-of-the-year approach has serious shortcomings.
In considering the past year, I now realize how often and mistakenly have characterized it as an unsuccessful year in my own perception. I’m now recognizing that this hasn’t been an accurate frame. A better way of looking at the past 11 months might be one of gaining valuable experience and some new perspective. The key to maintaining a success mindset involves building on a foundation set on these essential learnings.
I’ve been putting up regular content here at the JBE since 2012 when I first launched this site. The primary purpose of creating this WordPress platform (my first time designing my own website, btw) was launching my personal brand. At the time, given what was happening—basically, getting down-sized—plus, I was reading Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, and others; personal branding seemed to be the proper exit ramp to free agent nation.
The most important aspect of the JBE now looks like it’s been centralizing where I blog. That’s one reason why I chose to include one as part of the website in the first place. At the time, my plan was to write about reinvention and other things central to my personal brand.
With all that’s transpired over the past three years, the blog remains the primary reason I keep the site up and running. My efforts the past year to reinvigorate my own freelance writing is the reason why I also maintain another site where I post my freelance writing clips and keep my online portfolio up-to-date—something that seems like it would be a requisite for a free agent writer these days. The personal brand thing—I’m not as bullish on that anymore. Continue reading →
Seeing contrasts and picking out patterns often requires time and distance from the object. Perspective is often missing in the short-term. Comparisons and even side-by-sides appear strikingly different 10 months later, versus one day later.
Sometimes life presents vivid examples—we just require months (and even years) to recognize them.
Coming to the same place (Rangeley) every other week for 10 months has allowed me to observe this in snapshots of the natural world. Continue reading →
Having a generalized set of skills can be an advantage if you’re an entrepreneur, a free agent, or someone who has already become fully immersed in the new economy of the 21st century. While colleges are abandoning liberal arts majors in droves in favor of specialization, the inherent value of what higher education offers is also coming under increased scrutiny by some.
What are these “general” skills that I speak of? Is there a core toolkit of skills that someone looking to make it as a free agent should have? What are the skills that I’ve been able to cobble together and master, or at least become proficient at many over the past 10 years? Continue reading →
A year ago, my life was filled with uncertainty. The nonprofit where I’d been for six years laid me off—not for performance issues or anything related to not doing my job—but because they no longer had the money to support someone who was really good at business development, partnership-building, and managing multiple projects. Continue reading →
I receive Seth Godin’s daily email. His stuff is short, but packed with power.
Some people don’t get Godin. Generally, those that don’t can’t see the efficacy of change, or why effective change entails taking a risk. If you’re vested in maintaining the same old, same old (aka, the status quo), then Godin doesn’t resonate with you. Continue reading →
Finding balance in this life isn’t easy. Work, family, hobbies; all of these clamor for our time. The first one, work, is happy to eat up all our waking hours. Work is who we are; at least that’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe. Is it possible to break free of that conditioning and find a life of greater substance?
There’s another side to that question. If work fails to deliver meaning, or at least a path towards something greater than ourselves, it’s easy to become disillusioned, cynical, or worse, tuned out. Continue reading →
Having the right people in our lives can help enhance our journey towards success. I’ve been fortunate to find some special people along the road and they always seem to pop up at the perfect time. Continue reading →