sing-along sunday #76 – tom petty

As per this instagram post, “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers has been stuck in my head all week.

Not to mention, all of the rain we have been experiencing in Southern California is making this place bloom like crazy. What used to be brown hills are now lush green landscapes covered with wildflowers.

“Wildflowers” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

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the one success factor

one success factor

The Importance of Being Believed In

I am increasingly convinced of this:

the only absolute factor for success is having others believe in your ability to accomplish your dreams.

The truth is, entrepreneurship is hard. Following your dreams is really difficult. All the odds seem to be stacked against us and the biggest obstacle of all is ourselves. The negative self talk that bounces around in our heads minute by minute is one of the biggest deterrents for good ideas being executed in the world.

We live in a culture that says, “Try harder”. “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and make it happen.” “Figure it out.” But you will eventually hit a wall, and the perception of your own superhero abilities will crumble. Mine have, consistently.

The only thing that has allowed me to continue marching forward are the loving voices of friends, coworkers, and family that believe in me more than I can believe in myself. And it’s a commonality shared across humanity. I’ve seen this internationally through my work in poverty alleviation as well. Women in developing countries are a POWERFUL force when they realize the potential they possess and are surrounded with a supportive community rooting them on.

This is the one success factor. We start out by believing in ourselves, but we will fall short and the only way we’ll be able to believe this core truth again is if there are others there to remind us.

Takeaway: Don’t be an island. Be an encouragement to others and be a recipient of that same encouragement as it comes back to you.

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monday motivation

Special Delivery

Hey there,

It’s Monday. I got this flower for you. You’re beautiful. Have a great week.


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the mathematics of collaboration

mathematics of collaboration

Better Together

The success of your project isn’t equivalent to how competent each individual is on your team, but the how well connected and collaborative that group is toward a common goal.

Sufficiently inspired this morning by Marty Neuheimer’s book The Brand Gap. Even it’s layout is a source of inspiration.

Go turn it up to an 11 today.

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combinatorial creativity & why it matters

combinatorial creativity

Stop the Insanity

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” – Albert Einstein

Though there are dozens of quotes similar to this attributed to Albert Einstein and others, the core thought is something we can’t be reminded of enough. We too easily fall into the same patterns of thinking, even as we are confronted with new problems and challenges.

I recently learned a term that has helped me to process through this age old paradox and encourage me toward healthier problem solving. I wanted to share it…

Combinatorial Creativity

The basic principle is that, nothing is truly original and all newly created things are put forth by innovators borrowing from a variety of thoughts, perspectives, and designs to create something new from the COMBINATION of those influences.

Even this statement has the tendency to come across as elementary or cliche, but how often do we think “harder work” will allow us to solve new problems? In fact, the more we consciously dwell on a problem that requires an innovative solution, the more likely we are to corner ourselves into the nooks of the familiar, entrenched in habitual patterns of thought that lead where they always have.

If we believe this to be true we need to stop reading more business books to find our solutions. We need to stop adding more meetings to gain the necessary perspective on the problem we’re trying to solve. What we must do instead is pursue our interests outside of work as fervently as we do the success of our vocation. It’s very possible (dare I say probable) that the solution you’re looking for is within your next visit to the museum, or when you’re playing your guitar and trying to write a song.

If you want proof, read biographies (or watch them on Netflix) that cover someone you truly respect. What you invariably will find is that this person took a very winding and circuitous path to arrive at the point of their prestige. They were able to borrow ideas from their broad array of experiences and interests to create something we all view as new or revolutionary.

Go do something different. Go do something that inspires you.

{NOTE: If you’re interested in reading further about combinatorial creativity, you can read this great article on Smithsonian Magazine’s website}


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