education reform

Daniel Blanchard – Teaching the Whole Child: Making the Case for Education Reform (AoL 136)

When it comes to your everyday classroom teacher, a lot of them feel like their hands are tied in a similar fashion.

They’re not allowed to teach the way that they believe they should.

Because of this, the average time that someone works in the public education system as a classroom teacher is 3 years.

This is a horrible statistic.

That said, students are paying for this lack of competency just as much as teachers are.

It’s producing people who simply aren’t ready for life and the real world.

In this session, I talk with author, speaker, and teacher Daniel Blanchard about what’s causing this and what can be done about it.



  • What was school like for Dan growing up compared to today? 8:58
  • What came first for him – college or the military? 13:29
  • How did he get into teaching? 21:07
  • Where does Dan see himself as a classroom teacher as the entire industry is changing? 26:17
  • Are schools realizing how much they’re failing kids and trying to improve? 30:44
  • Where did he get the inspiration to write his first book? 38:23
  • What’d he learn from writing the books? 41:56
  • Is there one takeaway that he’d want his audience to get from his books? 44:14
  • What are his academic books about? 45:16
  • What’s he looking forward to in the not too distant future? 47:22
  • Who are his 3 Favorite Influencers? 53:01
  • What’s something Dan has been learning about recently and he’s excited to implement? 54:11
  • In the last 5 years, what belief, behavior, or habit has most improved his life? 55:23
  • Is there something that he believed as a 35 year old but today believes is completely inaccurate? 57:27
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 58:54

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Dan Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
Session Sponsor: Fizzle – Get 1 Month Free to get access to Practical Courses, Coaching, and a Community that won’t let you quit!
Uncover Your Personal Mission (Personal Mission Guide)
School Sucks Project
Bill Parcells
Dan’s books
Q-Collar (helps to prevent concussions in sports)
Tony Robbins
Teddy Roosevelt
Brendon Burchard – Golden Ticket


Daniel Blanchard on Connecticut Style

Jeff Davis Reviews 2 of Dan’s Books

Dan’s “We’re Here for a Reason, Not a Season” Speech

Leaderships Takeaways with Rachael Orchard

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


patrons only

Patrons Only! – Making Past Seasons of the AoL Podcast “Pay to Listen”

As I mentioned in the last podcast, I’m going to start putting past “seasons” of the podcast behind a Patreon paywall. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to flip the switch until late December… and I’ll only be asking $3/mo to have access. 🙂

It’s a result of a lot of strategic reorganizing I’ve been doing recently.

This week, I’ll be pushing out session 134 with Antonio Smith, and as I said in the last session with Dom Brightmon, it just feels with all that’s going on with New Inceptions and Amplify Indy – I feel like it’s time to actually get over the hurdle of going from strictly FREE to PAID content.

Personally, I feel that $3 is a good number for a monthly patron fee. It surely isn’t going to break the bank, and frankly, one typically can spend more on drive thru food. Since what the show has to offer is comparably more beneficial, I think it’s a fair starting price.

That said, you might be wondering what has taken me so long to pull the trigger on this decision.

Well, I’ve been struggling with what’s called the FREE to PAID hurdle.

This hurdle involves a few questions:

  • How do you make something that starts off free into something you pay for?
  • Will the audience still be there once it goes behind a paywall?
  • What’s the right price point?

In this post, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts after hearing a podcast over Fizzle awhile back.


Marketing Plays to Our Buying Habits

When it comes to what we think of the “traditional” offline world of business, NOTHING is free. However, since the mid to late 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized how marketing is done. No longer do we first hear something on a show or commercial on a major network or channel, then determine if we want to buy from there.

Instead, when we hear a name, product, or service we go look to see what’s on the web about said item or person. We look for reviews in Angie’s List. We look to see if they have any other content. Or we go to Amazon to see what others have thought about the item in question.

Usually, the more content this person has out there or the more good reviews they or the product have, the more we pay attention to it.

Eventually, there’s a good change we will buy whatever is being sold.

Podcasts in the past have been a part of this marketing. Inherently we think that most shows are free. But are they?


Monetization of Efforts

No content or work is free. It takes resources to produce a good or service. Shows that are on TV are powered by the sponsors of the network through commercials.

Big podcasts are typically sponsored by ads as well.

Heck, even when you look at big channels on YouTube, they’re doing some sort of monetization – even if you can’t tell up front how they’re making an income doing what they do.

When I thought about how I was going to monetize Angles of Lattitude, I originally thought that affiliate marketing was going to be the best way to do it. But as online streaming of podcasts has become more common, we’ve all grown accustomed to skipping past parts of interviews we don’t want to hear – including the pitch at the beginning and end. (For example, I know Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss usually take 5 minutes to get into their conversations!).

Because I’m not a fan of midrolls, I’ve opted not to use them in the show. Yes, I know they’re the only marketing that people don’t always tune out during podcasts – I just personally don’t care for that jump in the conversation.

So trying to think of an alternative to doing midrolls, I thought about how people on Twitch make their income.

And what I found out is that it typically is done through two ways:

  • A handful of large sponsors or
  • many individuals supporting the show through donations. Many times those donations are through a Patreon or a similar service.

After checking with a sample of listeners, it sounded like that last one was something you guys would prefer. A show for the listener powered by the listeners.


Action Steps

So there’s my reasoning for getting my account started on Patreon. Again, when you go on there you’ll see that there’s actually 2 categories of support. The first one is for supporters of the show and the the second is more for partners.

Remember, that I’ll be implementing this change before 2019 rolls around. So make sure you binge on shows older than a year before Christmas. I’ll let everyone know through the show when the official landing page is up.

Also, be sure to check out the post from Fizzle called The Hurdle Between Free and Paid if you’re thinking about making something you now offer for free into something you collect money for.

the junto

The Junto – 10 Month Update

So, almost a year ago, I thought that things were progressing smoothly with the New Inceptions sphere of influence. The podcast was seeing more and more listeners, I had met several people in town who I partnered with, and I had just recently started the Junto. We had a pretty good weekly plan – including doing weekly videos discussing the life of an entrepreneur.

Well, fast forward a handful of months, we lose the building we were doing our videos in (Collaborate 317). We also lost several key people who were building the community – due to, well, life, really. (The aliens got them!)

So, after these changes, those who were left of us in our local group started wondering – “What’s next? How do we do the things that we set out to do with C317?”

Well, long story short, the heart of C317 has been transplanted into Amplify – which we now refer to as Amplify Indy. It’s a prototype of what we want to help other cities do around the country.

For the last 2 months, we’ve been holding monthly events where we highlight nonprofits, business, artists, and musicians.

However, because it’s been so Indy focused – I wasn’t sure how to capture it in a group like the Junto that is for anyone across the globe to be a part of.

Also, I got burnt out of Facebook for awhile. (I think I touched it once or twice a week for marketing purposes.)


So, if you were wondering what happened. There ya go.


Lessons Learned

There was a couple of things I learned from this experience.

1. Don’t Be Vague

When I originally set out in creating the Junto, my idea was to create a safe space where people could “debate questions of morals, politics, natural philosophy, and to exchange knowledge of business affairs.” I was looking to make it a place where people could come together as opposed to being segregated into silos. Facebook is very good at separating us.

What I found out is that having these types of talks are much easier to have in person. Not only because it’s a bit more intimate and people feel safer in real world settings. But also because finding groups on Facebook is all about keywords. And if people aren’t looking for things they’re not aware of, they’re not going to find the answers, let alone ask the questions, about those topics.

In other words, to do what I wanted to do on Facebook might not have been the best idea. Facebook isn’t a platform designed to create an organic following while talking about somewhat vague topics. People don’t know what they don’t know. And they’re not going to search for things they’re not thinking about or even aware of.


2. Don’t Make Busy People Admins of a Vague Idea

They simply don’t have the time.

If someone is hugely busy offline, then they don’t usually have the time to do things that aren’t directly impacting them. They especially don’t have the time to put the time and effort into an “online experiment” such as the Junto.

I’ve noticed that as other groups have gotten to be more populated, the founders usually promoted those who were already contributing. Or they hired someone to be the community leader.

When you’re first starting out, you don’t have that.

Tied to the vagueness of what the group was intended to help people with, people weren’t ever sure if their content was helpful to the group.

So that was a failure on my end.


3. Play to Your Strengths

While I make a great connector, I’ve come to realize I’m not the best when it comes to promoting things to the masses. Thankfully, I’ve come to know people who are. They’re much better at being online more regularly, whereas I tend to randomly disconnect from the online world as a whole. Sometimes, a couple days at a time.

Considering that none of my content is made beforehand (I like to stay current and keep you guys informed on what’s going on NOW!), sometimes it’s difficult for me to get content out. Last week was a good example. I was starting on a course that I’m excited about finishing. It fits into my strengths and I’ll be able to serve local folks in a different manner than I would have ever considered.


Where do WE go from here?

While New Inceptions’ main focus will always be to help those who have missed the mark on their personal mission, I have personally started focusing much more on local things.

This is something that I really didn’t pay attention to when I restarted this entrepreneurial adventure in 2015 – engaging with local established folks.

Sure, I had Laila as cohost of the podcast and yes, we lead the local Fizzle meetup for over a year. But really, we weren’t making much, if any, of an impact outside of ourselves!

However, with these new events and the doors that are beginning to open up locally (including some REALLY good opportunities) my focus has shifted to being more of a local impact.

Why? Because it’s pretty fulfilling to be part of something that is bigger than just me!

So where does that leave the Junto as a group?


A Few Options

After having my second 12 minute conversation with Engel Jones (on Facebook) I realized that there were a few options that we could run with:

  • Shut it down all together and restart with something new. (Not my favorite choice. I love the idea of the group still.)
  • Just start off again as if nothing happened (Yeah, that’s not going to work.).
  • Or, we can rebuild it with a some new admins but refocus on what we’re really helping people with:
    • Help people find their personal mission and
    • Excel as an influencer once that mission is found.

The third choice seems to be more practical.

However, this time around, I’ll be looking for some admins that are in the same niche as NI and Amplify AND that can actually contribute.

So, for the foreseeable future, the Junto is going to be going through some under the hood reworkings – but I think they’ll be for the better. I’m really looking forward to bringing what we’re doing here locally in Indy to the rest of the world.


Action Steps

If you’d be interested in working with me on the next iteration of the group, connect with me on or offline. I want to make it a great experience for all. And I know I’m going to need help doing that!

dealing with grief

Dealing with Grief: 5 Ways to Commemorate the Loss of a Loved One

I mentioned in the Junto last week that I’ve been struggling with some things since my return from Honduras in late January.

For one, 6 hours after we got back, Maria and I were in a pretty serious car accident. Luckily our ride took the brunt force of the impact – because it might have had much worse results.

Car was pretty much totalled.


Unfortunately, the bad news didn’t stop there.

It wasn’t long until we found out from our vet that our two aging labradors weren’t doing all that great healthwise. One was having seizures while the other one was starting to not eat.

There’s a good chance that the one with the seizures (Sable) has a tumor in her head. We were able to start her on medication.  The second one, Sadie, who wasn’t eating – well, apparently, cancer was getting to her too.

More specifically, she had developed liver cancer. I imagine it was already stage 4 by the time we figured out that anything was wrong. When the results came back from her ultrasound, the veterinarian said that it had spread all throughout her body – including possibly her lungs and bladder.

Our hearts dropped. But we were committed to keeping her comfortable in whatever form we could.

After a few weeks of trying to feed her things we thought she’d like, it finally got to a point where we were having to force feed her Ensure by injecting it into her mouth.

Not only was this difficult for us, but Maria and I were pretty sure that it was traumatizing for her.

This couldn’t be comfortable. So it was about this time that we had to make the decision to euthanize her.

Last Friday was her departure day. It’s now Monday. And I’m moving forward without one of the angels that mom left me.

RIP Sadie. We’ll always love you.


4 Ways to Cope with Grief

So, this post could totally stop there. But I don’t want to leave you all on a downer note. Sure, as someone going through grief, I have the right to just lock myself in a room with no contact to the outside world.

I don’t see how that is beneficial to anyone. Personally, doing that too long drives me crazy. I tried it again this weekend by pretty much “Netflixed and chilling” all weekend. I can only do that for so long before losing my mind!

As a creative, I feel it’s necessary to take action to get through my grief. And in fact, it’s through action that I was able to get through the passing of my mom back in 2010-2011.

Of course, I’ve learned a few things since then about how to cope with grief. So here’s a few things that I plan on doing myself or things I know others have done after losing a loved one.


1. Reach Out to Others

We don’t have all the answers. So something you can probably do right now using the same device you’re reading this on is to hop onto online message boards, Facebook groups, or even jump on Meetup to find a support group in your area that you can check in with. Often, another person who has experienced loss is better suited to understand what you’re going through.

That said, if your grief is preventing you from functioning, perhaps you can take it another notch up and seek professional help. You might be suffering from depression and if that’s the case, it’s usually pretty hard to get off that slippery slope on your own.


2. Perform a Good Deed

A simple thing you can do is donate in their name.

When my mom passed, I told the funeral home to donate anything people sent to the local animal shelter. This weekend, Maria and I did the same for Sadie – we contributed to a dog food pantry in her name.

That said, perhaps you want to put a bit of time into it. I know plenty of people who have done a 5k or 10k in memory of a friend. I also have heard of folks who started volunteering in place of their missing friend.

If you lost a pet, maybe it’s time to start caring for other pets. One option is volunteering. Or you can actually become a dog sitter on Rover.


3. Perform a Ritual or Spiritual Ceremony

Depending your own personal beliefs, there are a few different ways to mark the end of your loved one’s life in a special ceremony.

If your friend has been cremated, there’s a few options you can take.

You can go as simple as planting a tree. Tree planting ceremonies are pretty common these days. I think that’s a great idea because in a way, your friend continues to live on through the new tree.

Want something a bit more permanent? Perhaps a headstone might be a better option.

Maybe you’re religious. If so, perhaps you and your loved ones can say a prayer as you scatter ashes in a favorite place. While I haven’t spread ashes myself, I know if I was going to spread my mom’s ashes, I’d do it off of a sand dune near Empire, Michigan.

Here’s a third option that I thought was pretty cool for pets: open their collar. I heard that this allows their spirit to run free. Then take the collar and put it in a place that you see regularly so you don’t forget them – such as where you hang their leashes or your keys.

Finally, you could create a time capsule. Stick all kinds of things in it from them. If it’s a pet, it could be their favorite toys, a stick from their favorite park, or maybe a rock from their favorite walking path. Five or ten years from now when the grief has subsided a bit, you can take it out and reflect on how much they brought to your life.


4. Create Something!

If you’re a creative like me, then perhaps exercising that creativity is what will help you out. For me, writing this post is soothing. Once it’s posted, I know it will be out on the web helping others cope with their grief.

If you’re not the writing type and more of a maker, there’s tons of things you can do! Just off the top of my head, here’s a few things: creating a scrapbook (if you have Google Photos, that will help you organize all the pictures in your phone), a quilt (my mom was a huge fan of quilts), a portrait (had one at my mom’s funeral), or heck – maybe making jewelry or creating a garden is your thing.

Guess it really depends on what you feel comfortable doing… but I’m almost certain that “tributing” whatever you create to your friend will help.


5. Positively Fill the Void Left Behind

Even if you’re on this healing path, there’s always going to be a missing part of you when your loved one moves on. There will be times where you just want to be with them but can’t.

Perhaps the reason they were in your life in the first place was because they filled a void you had before they were in your life.

I know that this was the case with Sadie. Mom got her because she shared a house with our emotionally unavailable cat. From day one, Sadie did a great job of filling up the void I had left.

If you have your own void, perhaps it’s a good idea to consider finding a new friend or companion. Of course this is a very personal decision and when to do so will vary from person to person.

More specifically when it comes to pets, it may be tempting to rush out and get another one.

However, in most cases, it’s best to mourn the previous pet first. Wait until you’re emotionally ready to open your heart and your home to a new friend.

Again, you may want to start by volunteering in your local 4-H dog group, a local shelter, or rescue group. Spending time caring for pets in need is not only great for the animals, but can help you decide if you’re ready to own a new pet.


Action Steps

Thank you guys for dropping in on this post. As we all know, death is one of those certain things and we all deal with loss differently. I hope that these ideas help you move forward in your life after your loss – whether it be a person or a furry friend.

If there’s anything that you’ve heard people do during their grieving period, I’d love to hear about it. As I said, I want this to be a bit of a “internet memorial” for Sadie, so the more good advice the better!

healing therapy

Rinna Mai: Finding Harmony in Healing – How Music Lead to a Journey in Integrative Healing Therapy (AoL 075)

Pains and sores are something that many of us have to put up with. In our day to day work, we find ourselves doing repetitive tasks that lead to these chronic pains.

Athletes are notorious for getting these sores. Artists as well.

Many times, they, like us, learn to put up with those pains that we get over time.

But that’s not the way it has to be, according to today’s guest.

After developing her own pains from playing instruments, Rinna Mai decided that she had to find out was going on.

She soon developed a method to deal with her pains. Soon, others wanted her to work on them.

The more people wanted her help, the more she sought after new knowledge.

Today, Rinna finds herself going into medical school so that she can help people heal on all levels.

Daniel and I talk with her to find out more about her journey, what advice she has for folks with migraines, and why in the world she would put herself through a college career in her late 20’s.

As always, thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!


  • What kind of formal education did Rinna have growing up? 7:19
  • Why’s it important for the teacher and student to have the same vision? 14:53
  • What kind of support did Rinna have in pursuing her music and healing work? 18:54
  • How did her career get kicked off in her healing work? 29:08
  • After her success in her healing work, why did she go back for a doctorate in her mid 20’s? 40:00
  • What are some ways of dealing with migraines that anyone who has them can try? 47:57
  • What’s her experience been like going back to school in her late 20’s? 59:47
  • How did she get back into music and teaching it? 1:01:40
  • Who are here top 3 favorite influencers or teachers? 1:09:14
  • What are her 3 Favorite top books she tells others about? 1:13:07
  • One gift she likes giving others? 1:14:43
  • One thing all high school students must know? 1:16:12
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their own community? 1:18:04
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Reiki Treatment Session:

Cortiva Institute Massage Demo:

Julia Cameron on Morning Pages:

Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power:

education reform
energy healing
integrative healing
migraine cure

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


life satisfaction

4 Tactics Successful People Use to Get More Life Satisfaction

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

This week, I’m officially going to be launching my second eBook entitled 3 Steps to Leveling Up in Manhood.


Well, for one it’s supplemental info for the most visited post on the New Inceptions blog.

This post is entitled Stages of Manhood: Are You Unfinished? and I just don’t think it’s as deep as it could be.

Two, I’ll admit that there are plenty of coaches out there that help men level up. That said, I think that my story is almost as simple as you can get in making the journey. The way I found Maria is like how most guys go into a store. Go in, find exactly what you want, and get out.

And three, while I could have focused on a resource that isn’t gender specific, I’m a heterosexual guy and to be quite frank, I think that guys have a better chance of successfully learning and teaching this kind of information with and to other men.

If you want to find out more about the resource – it will be up by next week for sure.

In the meantime, I thought I’d put some extra information here that I thought relates very well – to both sexes.

So here we go…

1. Know what’s Important in Life

Many people today (myself included) were told as we were growing up by marketing companies that we need things. The more we saw the ad, the more we probably wanted whatever they were advertising (or at least knew about it). The higher this want was, the more likely we are to buy something – whether we need it or not.

In last week’s post, I briefly talked about Shopping and “Retail Therapy” as a way for people to get a rush.

But, like any beginnings of an addiction, this high is very short lived. And naturally we’ll want more and more of it. Eventually, if it goes unchecked, this addiction can cause us problems in the rest of our life.

So, to deal with this problem, many people believe that the way to solve it is to outearn the problem. This makes a little sense. But is pretty difficult to actually do.

It’s the Relationships, Not the Things

Interestingly, if a person is used to buying themselves into debt at one level, the chances of them changing at a higher income is highly unlikely. Simple truth is that the higher the income a person has, the more they’re probably going to spend on stuff they don’t need.

Whether you’re buying things for yourself or others, this rush always occurs when we’re buying something.

What we really should focus on is what is going to stick with us long term. And what I’ve come to find out is that solid relationships with those that we choose to be in our lives is really the makeup of who we are – not the things.

So if you’re going to spend money, spend money in a way that is investing in yourself and the relationships with others – but not so much that you make yourself poor in the process. We wouldn’t want to be an enabler. (If you are curious about that topic, here’s a resource.)

2. Be Self-Aware of Who You Are And What You Want from Life

Ok, so we learned that money shouldn’t be the total focus in life. And you’ve heard numerous times on the AoL Podcast that being financially wealthy doesn’t measure one’s success.

So if we’re not living to produce money (which, let’s face it, many people do in today’s world), what are we living for?

To find the answer for this question, we need to dig down deep into ourselves. We need to be more authentic – not just to people around us but to ourselves. This is the only way that we’ll be able to find our strengths. When we know what our strengths are, our passion will find us. As we hone our strengths, we start finding our purpose in the world.

I have come to find out that most of us would be much happier if we spent our time living to better ourselves, our lives, and the lives around us. True, having money might be a part of that, but being wealthy is what I really am talking about – and not just monetarily wealthy. I mean the whole shooting match.

The truth of the matter is this: the more compassion we have for ourselves and others (notice I didn’t say just ourselves), the happier of a life we’re going to have. You gotta learn how to give yourself a break when it’s needed, but also know when you need to persevere forward in your journey.

As we go on this journey, we’ll have more and more to add to our life stories. And I’d imagine that you’d probably want your life story to be a best-seller (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this)… so don’t live the same life as everyone else.

3. Demonstrate Passion and Perseverance for Long-Term Goals

One of the reasons why many of us fail to live our passions, besides working for a paycheck, is that we’re not entirely sure of ourselves when it comes to making long-term goals and decisions. Outside of formal education, most of us have never have really made a long-term goal and stuck with it. So that’s why you could look at your scholastic history as a model of how to do long term goal setting and planning.

Now, here’s a problem. The thing is that formal education never asks us what we want to be when we grow up. They just program us to be a cog in the big plan of society. I’m sure like me, you’ve probably at one point asked yourself “Why do I care what x and y are when 3x + 4y = 35”?

You don’t care, that’s the thing. Formal education teaches most of us what to learn and think so you’ll be a good soldier.

That being the case, we can learn to set goals for ourselves by modeling their process – just not the topics that are taught.

Use Familiar Time Frames to Cut Up Large Goals

So what does that mean? Well, for one, you might want to cut your stretches of time into weeks, 6 weeks, semesters, years, etc. And to be truly honest, don’t expect anything great to take less than a year to get off the ground. Those of us who went to college know that there is a big difference between being a high school senior and a college freshman. (Same could be said about moving from junior high to high school, but many of us can’t remember that far back! Haha.)

So you’re going to have to let yourself have some time in getting acclimated to your surroundings anytime you start something new.

Also, don’t forget about getting things done in a day. Don’t try to get a ton of stuff done, but instead, focus on one to three things that you know you can get done. If you have time afterwards, work on some of that other stuff then.

If you have a bad day, don’t worry about it. Everyone does, and in the grand scheme of things, one bad day isn’t going to ruin your life’s plan. In fact, it might give it a good mini-story.

4. Embrace a Growth Mindset

You know, I’ve always learned and read things just for the heck of it. I used to love finding out about new science related stuff, and filling my head with random facts. In fact, that’s still one of the ways that I spend free time here and there. I’m a reddit addict during my idle time.

In the grand scheme of things, there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, you being able to be curious is what is going to help you be of service to other people. The more you can learn about various topics related to your strengths and skill set, the more valuable you become to others.

On top of developing your strengths and skills, you also want to be able to develop your social skills. In college, we always talked about how a graduate’s first job is going to be obtained from the skills they have and their GPA.

After they’ve been in the marketplace for a while, their people skills become increasingly more important. There’s two reasons for this. One is because the skill set they developed at college, tend to become outdated within a few years (especially those in STEM related fields) and two, as they get older they’ll be expected to lead more teams.

So that’s why soft skills are so important. Funny enough, this is why the department I got my Masters from at Purdue existed in the first place. The Organizational Leadership and Supervision was in the School of Technology!

Case Study:

Just a note as we’re looking to check out here, here’s a post from Dane Maxwell (known for starting The Foundation) that I believe embodies everything that I’ve discussed here today.

After reading the post, we should be able to see that he hits all 4 of these ways of having a more satisfying life.

  1. He Knows What’s Important in Life
  2. He Knows Who he is and What he Wants from Life
  3. He’s been able to Plan and Achieve Long Term Goals
  4. And, he’s been able to Embrace a Growth Mindset

If your goal in life is to be happy and satisfied with who you are and what you do, then I believe that you could learn a lot from studying Dane and his continuing journey.

Action Steps:

This week, if you haven’t already, I want you to start doing some soul searching. Think about not only what’s important in life, but what you want from it. Also, based on what you know about yourself, think about how you might just get there. You might find out that happiness is actually closer than you think.

Also, if you’re nowhere close to your ideal life, start trying to find and get to know people that might be connected to individuals who are. Start investing in those relationships and helping each other get to where you both want to be in life. Start becoming a Linchpin.

Further Study on this Topic:

Wanting to know more about this topic? Here’s a two more resources:

6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life


Tony Robbins: The Day I Became Wealthy

Don’t Be a Sell Out: What the Modern Entertainment Industry Can Teach Us About Creativity

Growing up, I remember watching the Star Wars movies. I remember how I saw the first one and really didn’t think much of it at the time. As a 7 year old, I saw it as another action flick – boring when people talked, but cool when they shot at each other!

Like most kids at my age, we were too young to have seen the movies in the theatres. Instead we got to see them when they came on at night on the main network’s movie nights. I remember my mom telling me I just had had to watch them. In fact, I think one of the first movies that we ever recorded with our VCR was Star Wars: Return of the Jedi… or least attempted to. (I’m guessing somewhere in 1987 – 1989.)

As time went on, I became more and more of a action and sci-fi geek. That was probably one of the reasons that the Ninja Turtles stuck with me as much as they did. But, I also remember really getting into science as well. Seeing all those planets in the shows really made me interested in Astronomy.

By the mid 90’s, I had finally saw all of the Back to the Future movies. Sci-Fi series that I watched at the time included all the Star Trek shows including syndicated episodes of TNG. In fact, along with the X-Files, I remember Voyager being the shows I looked forward to that would literally help me get through the week. In today’s world, I realize how silly this sounds, especially in an age where so many people use their DVR to watch their shows. But it was the truth back then before everything was On Demand.

Needless to say I was definitely hooked on my sci-fi shows and movies.


The Best Summer Ever?

I remember the summer of 1996 as if it was last year. This was the summer after I got back from my 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.. During the trip, I was exposed a ton to what my peers listened to as far as music. Really, up until that point, when I heard music, it was my mom listening to her oldies music, or what I heard in school for band and music class. I really hadn’t developed an interest in it.

Nope, I was too involved in video games, TV, and, movies to care about music.

Well, when I got back from the trip. Things were different. In fact, it wasn’t very long at all before I signed up for what was called BMG Music Service. And, you might remember, back then being able to get 10 relatively new CD’s for a third of the price was awesome! Especially if you just had to have certain songs you wanted to hear over and over.

Well, again, being fairly new to the music scene, I didn’t really have any preference to what I was listening to. It was all new to me. So what I ended up doing was ordering a ton of soundtracks because they gave me a good sampling of what was popular. I felt that I had my own radio station.

I remember that in one particular catalog, it mentioned some of new releases which were going to be coming out in the next month. One of those was the soundtrack to Independence Day. I didn’t know much about the movie at the time, other than Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum were both going to be in it.

Will had just gotten off of Fresh Prince not too long before and had some success with Bad Boys. Jeff had already been in Jurassic Park, so I knew who both actors were.

Up until the movie came out, I knew it was going to be about aliens invading Earth and the military. I guess I just figured it was going to be something similar to Stargate (the movie) which I loved as well.

So, all of these parts coming together AND having seen a little bit in the making of, I knew that it was going to be a great flick.

That being the case, I ordered the soundtrack along with a few other CDs. I figured, “hell, if this is as good as any of my other soundtracks (especially Batman Forever), then it should be a great album!”

So, July 3rd comes around and I see the movie. I was blown away. (I think I ended up seeing it in theaters two other times – which is actually saying something for me.)

Shortly after, I get my soundtrack and pop it in a CD player and…


Here I was hoping for the songs from the movie and I get the score. I didn’t realize what scores were until this point. But, you know what? Even though I was disappointed the first couple of times I played it through, the score started growing on me – especially as I saw the movie a couple of more times.

From there on, while I continued to order soundtracks from BMG, at least I paid more attention to what I was ordering.


Nice Story down Memory Lane, JC, but So What?

This past weekend, on July 3rd, 20 years later, I saw the sequel of ID4, Independence Day: Resurrection (does that make it ID4:2?).

For the most part, I enjoyed it. It was fun. I didn’t expect too much going in, because I knew Will Smith wasn’t going to be in it. It was interesting to see how they approached the story 20 years later.

As I was leaving the theatre, though, things didn’t sit with me right. There seemed to be something missing from my experience. A sense of awe that the first one left me with.

To be honest with you, a lot of blockbusters that have been coming out in the last few years – I’ve gone in thinking this might be the one where I get a sense of awe again.

Nope. No such luck.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I searched on reddit for the discussion of the movie. And then it hit me. ID4:2 was a shell of itself. The franchise had sold out.

Perhaps I’m using too aggressive of a term here. I mean, isn’t that what Hollywood is all about? Going mainstream? Isn’t part of going mainstream trying to appeal to more of the masses?

I tried to rationalize what I was feeling…

It might simply be the fact that I’m older and I’ve seen everything you can do in a movie. That might be it. Because there have been only a few movies recently which were such an experience that after watching it I’m like, “That was cool!”.

Two of them have been animations: Wreck It Ralph and Big Hero 6 were pretty cool. Live action ones included The Martian and Interstellar. Those were pretty awesome. If we went a little further back, the first Iron Man movie was cool. So was the first couple of Spiderman movies.

As far as EPICNESS goes, nothing beats the Matrix or The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

However, I’ve still not gotten any big “Woah!” moments for a very long time.

Has Hollywood in itself sold out even more than what I remember of it in the 90’s?


Finding the Woah!:

A big part of the reason that I think that I haven’t gotten any woah moments recently is because I end up seeing movies that are formulaic. I’m seeing most of the blockbusters – and while these are neat, cool, and have great visuals, they just don’t seem as intimate or real as those that I remember from the 90’s.

Just an example: when you think of the Turtles from the 90’s, they sure aren’t the same guys from the most recent movies. The most recent movies just seem more fake to me.

One thing I’ve thought that it might be is all the CGI. Perhaps, I HAVE become a little too accustomed to all these special effects or maybe it’s that the writing is so much more predictable compared to when I was growing up. It’s hard to tell.

But, one thing’s for certain, it doesn’t just plague movies. There’s formulas for what sells in TV, video games, and especially in music. Everything seems to be a copy of each other.

But just because things sell over and over again does it mean it’s good? Obviously the answer is no. The entertainment industry is giving us very high filler and very low content.

Going back to ID4:2, I really think that’s why I felt something was missing. I didn’t have much connection with the characters. And what connection I did have from the first movie was all but taken out – if not from this movie, then definitely from the next. (Yes, there’s going to be another one.)

So what is Woah! when it comes to storytelling? I think it’s all about having deep connections with the characters, having amazing and out of the ordinary things happening to those people, while at the same time making sense (no plot holes).

When you think of movies like Jurassic Park, the original ID4, The Matrix, and even The Lord of the Ring Trilogy, and even as far back to the Wizard of Oz. What was so mesmerizing about these movies? It was that we, as the audience, felt that we were connected to the characters in the movie. Things started out normal, but when things started to pick up, we were in those experiences with them. And, we weren’t left in the dust to try to figure out how they got from Point A to Point B.


How this All Applies to Us as Creators:

When we’re building our creative business, we need to make sure that those that are from the beginning feel like they’re part of what we’re building. We need to build relationships and engage with as many potential fans of our work as possible.

When we start having success and reaching higher and higher levels of it, don’t forget those who were there in the beginning. If treated right, these can become your biggest fans and help you grow larger and larger.

If you don’t treat these folks right and just try to sell to them and keep stringing them along, then you might regret that in the long run. You might have your own success, but you won’t be seen as some epic people mover.

Also, make sure you’re showing who you are. There’s already a Gary V., a Pat Flynn, and a John Maxwell. Learn to understand and embrace yourself, and your story, like they have. The continuing of that story is what makes you original.


Action Steps:

As your working this week, realize that your story is original. Don’t try to be like someone else out there. It’s not going to work. Even if you’re just starting off on your journey, embrace the moment. Pull it all in. In the future as you meet more and more people, they’re going to wonder how you got started. Telling them that you put one foot in front of the other might help, but being able to give them exact examples will be even better.

Also, don’t be afraid to be authentic. Whether that’s through LIVE streaming apps or simply by writing your blog in a journalistic way. The more authenticity you have, the more people you’ll attract.