Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘BOOKS: Learn and Grow’ Category

The Grass is Always Greener (for making green)

In Author: Melissa Snoza, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Interesting Articles, Legal, Marketing, Money on September 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

First, a big thanks to fellow ETA blogger David Cutler for featuring Fifth House Ensemble in his new book, the Savvy Musician, advance copies of which are available on his website prior to the full release in November. If you’ve been reading his posts, you know that David brings an incredible energy to the concept of being a working, entrepreneurial musician, and his book is sure to be a great resource all of us who are working to create new opportunities in the field.

In an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, David’s mention of 5HE’s dual business model was mentioned. When we formed in 2005, we created both a 501(c)3 nonprofit (Fifth House Ensemble) and an LLC for our private events business (Amarante Ensembles, LLC). Same folks, different purpose.

As a young group, we knew we wanted to provide a wide variety of services, including those that would serve the public good (performances, educational programs), as well as those that would help to keep us fed (weddings, private events). We formed both businesses at the same time in order to be able to keep these activities separate financially, and in order to be able to market them in completely different ways.

Since the article was published, I’ve been getting many inquiries from arts organizations both established and emerging about how and why we did this, wondering if the same model would work for them. Interestingly, in most cases the concern is less about the types of services being provided and the best business structure to manage them, and more about how to raise the most money in the shortest amount of time. Inevitably, those who began as a for-profit think that they will raise more from donated funds as a non-profit, and vice-versa.

My first question is always, “why do you want to do this?” A business structure is about the most effective way to manage the types of services you want to offer, so you have to consider what is a good fit for your goals, not just your bank statement.

If you are a performing arts organization that is committed to work in the public schools and bringing performances to underserved audiences, changing from not-for-profit to an LLC will not help you raise funds from venture capitalists, unless something changes about the services you offer. What will you tell them about their return on investment? And do the people you are serving have the resources to pay big bucks for what you do?

Conversely, if you are a for-profit company that has been successful selling tickets to shows, merchandise, and DVDs, and you are attracted to the extra money you think you will bring in as a non-profit but loathe paperwork, is switching to 501(c)3 status really a good fit? Given that you don’t want to be the one to do grantwriting, annual reporting, financial management worthy of public scrutiny, board agendas, and all of the other tasks that go into managing a nonprofit, you may end up paying staff a large part of the added revenue you would see from changing structures.

The only real reason to have a split structure (in my opinion) is if you have services that are distinctly different enough to warrant that. If there is overlap, not only is the purpose for your choice not clear, but you also risk running afoul of the IRS. I remember fondly the conversation I had with Mr. Botkins, the IRS agent who reviewed our 501(c)3 application, about how we had created these two entities for the sole PURPOSE of keeping for- and non-profit activities separate. The IRS doesn’t like seeing for- and non-profit organizations to be connected in any way, via common control (similar officers/managers), contracts, or other financial arrangements.

Know yourself, the type of work you want to do, your tolerance for paperwork, and the types of people you want to serve. Be realistic about how much you have the potential to earn or raise. If the structure you are considering isn’t a good fit for your services, don’t be tempted to follow what you perceive to be the greener pasture, or you may certainly find yourself out in the cold. The best way to get more green is to make sure that what you do is serving the people around you in the best possible way, which will inspire customers to pay for your work, or donors to support its creation.

Melissa is the flutist and Executive Director of the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble. Like what you read here? For more music entrepreneurship tidbits, visit, brought to you by members of 5HE.

Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot on Creativity and Innovation after 50

In Author: Lisa Canning, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea on June 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

Bill Moyers interviewed Harvard educator Sarah Lawrence- Lightfoot on May 11th, 2009 on his show Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot is an American sociologist who examines the culture of schools, the patterns and structures of classroom life, socialization within families and communities, and the relationships between culture and learning styles. She has been a full professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since the 1970s.

Sarah recently wrote her ninth book called The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. The book is about redefining your life, later in life, by learning how to take risks, be more creative and innovative and why it is becoming increasingly an important priority for many. Based on two years of research, the topics she shares in this 35 minute interview include the psychology behind what she describes as a new way of learning in this stage of life, the value of mentorship, artistic expression and how to learn from generation Y. This is a worthy investment of your time.

Thanks Anne Breeden from Arts At Large for passing this along.

The Organizational Actor: Presence and Peter Senge

In Author: Amy Frazier, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Creativity and Innovation, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on May 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear Peter Senge speak. This was a real privilege, as one of his books has been instrumental in helping me along my path as an (organizational) entrepreneur in the arts.

A few years ago, I had a big “ah-ha” that what I had learned through years of being a professional actor could be very useful to the non-acting (read: “organizational-slash-corporate”) world. The vision sprung up full bodied: take theatre skills into corporations.

Yet I had lived my entire professional life outside their walls.

So, while I possessed a certain amount of certainty that this new calling was useful, there was also a fair amount of uncertainty as to how I would face up to the faceless (as the artiste viewed them at the time) suits.

Upon doing a Google search for the hopeful name of my business (Stages of Presence), I happened upon Senge’s Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, which he co-authored with Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers.senge-presence

 The book is a soulful conversation among wise and canny businsess philosophes, who are working their way toward becoming (if they’re not there already) wisdom sages to the corporate psyche.

Their book has an attention to interiority, open-heartedness, deep dialogue and concern for life that asserts itself from the very beginning. It stood my assumptions of  “the business world” on their heads. I thought, if these sorts of ideas can find expression and purchase in the organizational world, even though they may not yet be commonplace, then I have a path into this work.

When Mr. Senge was in town, I took the opportunity to tell him the role his book has played for me. When I mentioned the basis of Stages of Presence, he reminded me of something I knew but had forgotten: one of the founders of the field of organizational development, Richard Beckhard, began his career as an actor.

Senge told me that Beckhard’s work teaching relational presence had made a big impression on him, and others, when they were in the formative stages of their work, which has become so impactful in its own right.

When I think back to my early days as an actor, remembering all-those-exercises where we were to do nothing more than be present to what was unfolding (and how hard it was!), I feel tremendous gratitude for having been shaped by that experience.

Now, many years later, to hear a leader in the field of organizational change recount the impact this type of work had on him—not in the guise of training to become an actor on the stage, but in learning how to act broadly in the world—was a blessing.

It feels like it comes full circle. The book has become a touchstone for me. A quote over my desk reads:

The entreprenurial ability is an expression of the capacity to sense an emerging reality and to act into it. This inward-bound journey lies at the heart of all creativity.

Here’s to being present to the journey.

a spoonful of sparkles

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow on May 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Together with a colleague, we’re developping a new concept ‘a Spoonful of Sparkles’. It’s a process to make your messages contagious. What kind of message should you spread to make sure that people will hear the message and that they will remember it. A lot of our inspiration comes from the book Made to Stick from Dan and Chip Heath (two brothers). They have done some research why some urban legends stick in your mind and other, very important messages don’t survive longer then a day. They found 6 principles that help to make your message sticky:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible
  • Emotional
  • Storystick

The principles are very clear and they don’t look very special but the combination of the principles makes an idea special so people will remember it. Sometimes it isn’t necessary that an idea complies to all the principles but the more principles are covered, the bigger the chance that the idea will stick.

Now the interesting part (the principles are already interesting by itself ;-)) is that we have done several brainstorm sessions to explore different kind of methods to answer the HOW question. It’s very good to say that something has to be unexpected or have a story but how do you do that? We have come up with hundreds of ideas and worked out 3 or 4 methods in detail. So far so good and we thought that we were ready for our first real client (last Friday). What happened that there was still a bigger gap between ‘our theory’ and ‘the real stuff’. It went well but we had to improvise quite a lot and noticed that the audience reacted quite different on some techniques then our expectations. We are both experienced facilitators and I had some presuppositions that it would be an easy job. But we had to work quite hard to get a good process and a happy client at the end.

For me the biggest lesson is that entrepreneurship is something you have to do in the ‘real world’. You can make the most beautiful business plans and foresee all kind of reactions of the market (audience) but the only proof of the pudding is doing it in the outside world.

Imagination Killers

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Creativity and Innovation on March 12, 2009 at 9:56 am

Ever wonder why some days you feel more creative and imaginative and other days it seems to have disappeared, like flipping a switch?

In a book called Return on Imagination: Realizing the Power of ideas, written by innovation expert Tom Wujec and co-author, retail marketing expert Sandra Muscat, I discovered the results of an imagination survey they created back around 2000. In this survey they uncovered the key factors that interrupt the flow of imagination. Thousands of surveys were collected on the web, all of which are reflected in this diagram. The larger the word and circle, the more frequently the factor appeared in the responses from those surveyed.

The entire chart would not fit in this post so I divided it into two halves so you could see all of the results.

At least for me, the large circle were no surprise at all, but some of the smaller circles were. How many of these do you think contribute to disrupting the flow of your imagination?


The Arts and The Creation of Mind

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow on January 30, 2009 at 12:24 am

9780300105117Although we all know that the arts are often thought to be closer to the rim of education than to its core, they are, surprisingly, “critically important means for developing complex and subtle aspects of the mind”, argues Elliot Eisner.

In this book, he describes how various forms of thinking are evoked, developed, and refined through the arts. These forms of thinking, Eisner argues, are more helpful in dealing with the ambiguities and uncertainties of daily life than are the formally structured curricula that are employed today in schools. Offering a rich array of examples, Eisner describes different approaches to the teaching of the arts and the virtues each possesses when well taught. He discusses especially nettlesome issues pertaining to the evaluation of performance in the arts. Perhaps most important, Eisner provides a fresh and admittedly iconoclastic perspective on what the arts can contribute to education, namely a new vision of both its aims and its means. This new perspective, Eisner argues, is especially important today, a time at which mechanistic forms of technical rationality often dominate our thinking about the conduct and assessment of education.

About Eliott Eisner
Elliot W. Eisner is Professor of Education and Art at Stanford University. Widely considered the leading theorist on art education and aesthetics in the United States, he has won wide recognition for his work both her and abroad. Among his many awards is the Palmer O. Johnson Award from the American Educational Research Associaition. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, and has served as the President of the National Art Education Associaition, the International Society for Education Through Art, the American Educational Research Associaition and the John Dewey Society.

The Dream Switch

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Risk, The Idea, Writing on January 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

OK, well call me a sucker for punishment or better yet, just addicted- isn’t that what artists are, on some level?

I have been feaverishly working away on the beginning of another book with sports psychologist Jason Selk. The book we have agreed to write together is called The Dream Switch. The name, this time came right away to me. Who knows, maybe now that I have “birthed” one book, I suppose I now know the ropes a little bit better.

While I am still unsure if I am going to self publish Build a Blue Bike, The Dream Switch will be off to Susan Schulman to try and sell next month.

0071600639Anyway, Jason wrote a book that was release last September, called 10-Minute Toughness: The Mental Training Program for Winning Before the Game Begins (McGraw-Hill).

Jason currently is considered one of the top performance coaches in the world because of the star-studded line up of athletes he regularly works with which include: Olympic gold medalists, NCAA scoring leaders, Major League All Stars, NASCAR drivers, golfers in the PGA and LPGA, NFL Pro Bowlers. Jason trained the St. Louis Cardinals the year they won the World Series. He also has recently been working with a few symphony musicians. We met through one of them.

Here is a video of Jason talking about his book.

Jump Start Your Life- I have the spark plug

In Accounting, Art, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Customer Service, Employees, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on January 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

dreamstime_3139037One of the reasons I want to write books is because books, art, poetry and film, as examples, all intrinsically are built to last. Their very form offers easy “spark-creating-experience” access, like a hand full of nourishment going right into our mouth. Love that rush of energy that follows, don’t you? You know, the part before you get tired?

While it is impossible for a memory to replace the actual real time experience of ephoria, or intense joy, anger or sadness– only the kind a work of art can deliver, it can be waiting eagerly for you on a shelf, if it’s a book, or hanging on your wall.

What a basic concept entrepreneurship is for artistry, and yet without this simple “must have”, generations upon generations have defined who we are and what we are capable of creating for others in life, through a very narrow, confining, and as I see it, rather destructive single lens.

In honor of the power of the written word to enlighten and transform, here is my recommended reading list to jump start your very best you in 2009.

Do You Want to Become More Entrepreneurial?

* Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham

* The Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki

* Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies,
by Michael Gerber

* Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life, by Richard Florida

*The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live, by
Scott A. Shane

*Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success, by Barry J. Moltz

*Birthing the Elephant: A Woman’s Go-For-It Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business, by Karen Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman

Marketing Maven
* Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin

* The New Marketing Manifesto: The 12 Rules for Building Successful Brands in the 21st Century (Business Essentials) by John Grant

* The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

* Coercion: Why We Listen to What “They” Say by Douglas Rushkoff

* Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

* The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing by Emanuel Rosen

* The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

Organizational Development
* The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market by Michael Treacy

* Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

* The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

*First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham

* Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham

* Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

* The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Financial Health Check
*The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical & Spiritual Steps So you Can Stop Worrying by Suze Orman

* Finance Your New or Growing Business: How to Find and Raise Capital for Your Venture by Ralph Alterowitz and Jon Zonderman

*Conscious Finance: Uncover Your Hidden Money Beliefs and Transform the Role of Money in Your Life by Rick Kahle

*The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life by George Kinder

*The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life by Lynne Twist

Reaching for Greatness
* The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

* This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love by Tama Kieves

* Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland

* The Everyday Work of Art by Eric Booth

* The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

Closing “The Gap” Inside of You

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Emotional Intelligence on November 25, 2008 at 9:33 am

Today I was working with a clarinet customer in the shop. She is a graduate student and next May will be out of school. This talented clarinetists who besides playing well, knits, sews, paints and makes jewelry, was telling me how most of her friends are unhappy and lacking in the know how to be more entrepreneurial, and as a result are working day jobs they hate.

Ironically, on the way home tonight in the car, I heard this author Michelle DeAngellis, speaking about her new book: Get a Life That Doesn’t Suck.

Given that Thursday is Thanksgiving, and with this rotten economy we might all need to dig a little deeper to find a place to feel thankful, maybe a good place to start is with giving a little bit first to ourselves to get us in the mood. Sometimes the quickest way to feeling better is to get a grip on what’s bugging us in life.

According to Michelle, life sucks because of “the Gap.”

The “Gap” is the measurable difference between your thoughts and your actions; it’s the difference between what you think and what you do. It is also known as the place where misery lives. Your Gap points out how in or out of sync your behavior is with your professed beliefs. A big Gap means they’re out of sync, which sucks.

People who are unhappy generally have a lot of gaps. They don’t speak the truth, they hide who they are, do things unconsciously, wait for something to happen “to” them, and search for meaning but don’t take the steps necessary to achieve it.

Here are the symptoms of a Gap just begging to be closed:

You don’t have much love in your life, not even for yourself.
You don’t hold yourself accountable.
You have no faith.
You feel uncertain and anxious.
You have “your way” of doing things and that’s it.
You live in fear and lack.
You are rigid and inflexible.
You don’t have good boundaries.
You don’t take care of yourself.
You think everything and everyone is a pain in the neck.

Want to learn from Michelle how to start to close your own gaps? Click here and take her quiz.

3 Weeks to Start Up

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on October 23, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Are you wondering how to take your dream- the one you are writing about for the soon to launch Entrepreneurial Artist Contest- and turn it into reality?

You can now fast track your business step by step using Tim Berry and Sabrina Parsons high speed guide to starting a business: 3 Weeks to Start up.

So can you really start a company in 3 weeks you might ask?

According to author Sabrina Parsons, Yes and no.

“You can get your business going very quickly these days. There are tons of tools online that can help you get everything set up and started in 3 weeks with no problems at all. But will you be selling and bringing in revenue in 3 weeks? Maybe. The book helps someone focus on starting the business the right way, without extra cost and time going into the logistics of their business. It was a fun book to focus on and a fun book to write. The internet has provided a new way of getting your business started and has made the process cheaper and faster and we outline all these new ways to get your business started in the book.”

Sabrina said that writing her book was just another way for her to continue to support entreprenuers- keep the love coming Sabrina!

Learn How to Innovate like Thomas Edison

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, WEBSITES & BLOGS on October 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

How did Edison innovate and what can we, as artists, learn from his best practices?
Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great grandniece of Thomas Edison, in this past year has written a wonderful book titled Innovate like Edison, that can teach us his most important principles of innovation.


The term “core competence” was coined in 1995 by global business strategist Gary Hamel. A competence refers to a bundle of skills and technologies which, when mastered, yields competitive advantage. “Innovation competence” is a variation on Hamel’s term, describing the bundle of skills Edison used to generate competitive advantage through his innovation system.

Edison’s Five Competencies of Innovation™ propelled him to a record 1,093 U.S. patents as well as 1,293 international patents. Edison’s approach to innovation not only encompassed the development and launch of extraordinary products and services, it encompassed deep mental preparations as well. The Five Competencies of Innovation are: Read the rest of this entry »

Bite-Size Arts Ensemble- what’s next

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Music, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 15, 2008 at 12:49 am

The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, for those of you following the evolution of this ensemble, had a wonderful first performance and fundraiser, but a few short weeks ago. We raised $2200.00, which given we are a new ensemble without a following just yet, and given the state of the economy, was really a wonderful beginning. Friends, family, business associates, and new audience members from our press efforts and invitations from members of our board, yielded a nice turn out at a first class venue, The Florsheim Mansion resulting in a very interesting evening.

Film maker Kevin Kent was responsible for the creation of a film, with our audience, that focused around what sparks our imaginations, what influences our creative process and how did performances that evening, from members of the Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, act as a catalyst to open the hearts and minds of our audiences. As soon as it is edited, the film will appear on our website. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Entrepreneurial Material?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Risk, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

There is a new book out by Jon Gillespie-Brown titled So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur. The book includes a 50 question quiz which was devised to calculate your “entrepreneurial quotient”.

If you take the quiz you will find out how entrepreneurial you are feeling and acting today. My score was 96, though it appears I skipped a question or two– so who knows if it would have been higher or lower. The quiz is a bit long so be patient taking it. What was your score today?

Was Science or Art First?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea on July 30, 2008 at 5:13 am

Written By Jonah Lehrer

If you are a scientist you could choose to get nitpicky about whether or not Proust was a neuroscientist, or you could sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as Lehrer weaves together stories about art, science and creative breakthroughs. Lehrer argues that when it comes to discoveries of the mind and brain, art got there first.

To prove his point he describes the ground-breaking work of writers, painters and composers from the 19th and early 20th centuries (including writers and poets) and shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that neuroscience is only now rediscovering. Read the rest of this entry »

How do we change and grow?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow on July 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Why do some people reach their creative potential and find a vehicle to share it and others struggle and stay stagnant? Do those who excel have a gene that allows them to flourish?

It seems to me that if you are open to change and growth and not believing your ideas and capacity for change is limited to existing in a box, that you are more likely to be able to create a destiny you desire.

After three decades of painstaking research, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck believes that the answer lies more in how people think about intelligence and talent. She says there are two types of individuals: those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have who approach life with a “fixed mind-set,” and those who believe that their own abilities can expand over time who live with a “growth mind-set.”

Can you guess which ones prove to be most innovative over time?

“Society is obsessed with the idea of talent and genius and people who are ‘naturals’ with innate ability,” says Ms. Dweck, who is known for research that crosses the boundaries of personal, social and developmental psychology.

“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so concerned with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that talent can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.”

The problem is for those having been identified as geniuses, because “the anointed” become fearful of falling from grace. “It’s hard to move forward creatively and especially to foster teamwork if each person is trying to look like the biggest star in the constellation,” Ms. Dweck says.

In her 2006 book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” she shows how adopting either a fixed or growth attitude toward talent can profoundly affect all aspects of a person’s life, from parenting and romantic relationships to success at school and on the job.

This sounds like a pretty interesting book but is it possible to shift from a fixed mind-set to a growth mind-set?

Absolutely, according to Ms. Dweck. But, “it’s not easy to just let go of something that has felt like your self for many years,” she writes. Still, she says, “nothing is better than seeing people find their way to things they value.”

When 1+1= 4

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Emotional Intelligence, The Idea on June 24, 2008 at 8:07 pm

How can 1+1=4? When can you add two parts together and produce far more than their combined total?

In Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility, he share’s this story:

” A shoe factory send two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying:


The other writes back triumphantly


To the marketing expert who sees no shoes, all the evidence points to hopelessness. To his colleague, the same condition points to abundance and possibility.”

So let me ask you, dear reader, how can these two people see things so entirely differently?

Could it be, perhaps, because we allow the world to be seen through our eyes with already predetermined outcomes- stories- and maps- that we know how to read and follow?

We learn through conditioning based on our environment and the individual influences of those around us. And we use what we learn to map out a guided tour to lead us to what we believe is the only possible right conclusion about a situation or even a math problem.

But what if there is another way to think about what you can create? What if the “art” of entrepreneurship in the arts is to recognize the opportunity your creativity has to destroy barriers in your thought, build new models of possibility and create abundance through your artistry in ways that only you can begin to imagine?

So, let me ask you again, When can 1+1= 4……

Making the Impossible Possible

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, WEBSITES & BLOGS on June 3, 2008 at 5:46 am

“Success is the point where your most authentic talents, passion, values, and experiences intersect with the chance to contribute to some greater good. ” – Bill Strickland

The following is about Bill Stickland- the man and his philosophy. You can find it and more at: Bill Strickland’s website:

According to MacArthur Fellowship “genius ” award winner Bill Strickland, a successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create, moment by moment. It is a realization Strickland first came to when, as a poor kid growing up in a rough neighborhood of Pittsburgh, he encountered a high school ceramics teacher who took him under his wing and went on to transform his life.

Over the past thirty years, Bill Strickland has been transforming the lives of thousands of people through the creation of Manchester Bidwell, a jobs training center and community arts program. Working with corporations, community leaders, and schools, he and his staff strive to give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities and tools they need to envision and built a better, brighter future.

Strickland believes that every one of us has the potential for remarkable achievement. Every one of us can accomplish the impossible in our lives if given the right inspiration and motivation to do so. We all make ourselves “poor ” in one way or another when we accept that we are not smart enough, experienced enough, or talented enough to accomplish something. Bill Strickland works with the least advantaged among us, and if he can help them achieve the impossible in their lives, think what each of us can do.

Among Bill Strickland’s beliefs:
People are born into this world as assets, not liabilities. It’s all in the way we treat people (and ourselves) that determines a person’s outcome.

The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Stop going through the motions of living–savor each and every day. Life is here and now, not something waiting for you in the future.

You don’t have to travel far to change the life you’re living. Bill grew up in the Pittsburgh ghetto, four blocks from where he came to build one of the foremost job training centers in the world. He now speaks before CEOs and political leaders, church congregations and civic leaders. You only need to change your thinking to remake your world.

Through lessons from his own life experiences, and those of countless others who have overcome their circumstances and turned their lives around, Make the Impossible Possible shows how all of us can build on our passions and strengths, dream bigger and set the bar higher, achieve meaningful success and help mentor and inspire the lives of others.

The power of social entrepreneurship and the web

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Interesting Articles, Marketing, WEBSITES & BLOGS on May 23, 2008 at 5:31 pm

According to The Edelman PR agency, “around the world, people are becoming more involved in championing social causes and increasingly recognize the need to make a direct impact on a variety of global and local issues, from poverty, hunger and education to the environment, human rights and tolerance. And they are demanding that companies engage with them in “doing something” to make a difference.
Read more

So what can you do to make a difference? Well, one thing is to read blogs and let your voice be heard through the eyes of search engines. Another is to start blogging yourself.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, blog readership jumped 58% in 2004. 7% of U.S. Internet users—8 million— have created a blog. More than one-in-ten internet users (12%) say they have posted material or comments on others’ blogs. That represents more than 14 million people and is a threefold increase from April 2003.

So not only are we increasingly participating and engaging in activities where we can be seen and heard on the web, the first of its kind study by Edelman also reveals that 83% of consumers believe they can personally make a difference by supporting social causes. 57% of consumers are comfortable with the idea that brands can support good causes and make money at the same time, and 78% like to buy brands that make a donation to worthy causes.

In his new book, Giving, Bill Clinton points to a dramatic increase of private citizens doing public good and multiple paths to involvement, from giving money and giving time to giving talent and more.

“This rising thunder for social action, involvement, and good citizenship is more than just a passing trend”, sites Edelman. “The popular culture is showing an overall influence of and commitment to the social purpose zeitgeist, from Al Gore winning the Nobel Prize for his revolutionary take on global warming, to the recognition of world influencers like the Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, to “cause celebrities” and leaders like Jolie, Oprah, Merkel, Branson, the Gateses and Bono, to social crusaders on the blogosphere and “mega-moms” on community networking sites.”

Through the lens of artistry, we too can make a difference. What passionate cause can you embrace? How can your art form change and shape the world we all share?

Achieving The Changes You Want

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Networking on April 9, 2008 at 5:04 am

Maybe you have not made it yet, the changes you want, but you know what it will take to. Hard work. Willpower. Self-discipline. And if you have been working on trying to make the changes of your dreams without success, you may think its because you are not trying hard enough.

In a new self-help book by Alan Deutschman, called Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Deutsmann explains that failure is not a byproduct of laziness or lack of self-control. In this book, Deutschman, was determined to get to the bottom of what makes people and corporations able to change- especially when they have tried and failed. What he found is that people get unstuck not through willpower but through finding a mentor — someone who’s reached that same goal; so that the “if they can do it, so can I” mentality will take over.

By identifying and learning the new skills necessary from your mentor, this will allow you to “reframe” who you are — a thinner you, a successful salesperson, an artistic entrepreneur — instead of the one, in your own mind, who failed over and over. By shadowing the person you identify as a mentor, your chances for true and lasting change dramatically are altered.

Ironically Deutschman’s book title comes from those who literally have to change or die–its reference comes from people like heart-bypass patients, who must change their lifestyle or face surgery after surgery or death. Astonishingly, nine out of ten of these individuals Deutschman, through his research, learned don’t make the changes that would save their lives, though the stakes couldn’t be higher.

After Deutschman came upon this statistic, he heard about a doctor who had turned those numbers upside down. Dean Ornish, M.D. a San Francisco Bay Area professor of medicine, requires patients to make the most radical changes of all, including switching to an extremely low-fat vegetarian diet and doing regular yoga and meditation practice. Yet nearly eight in ten of his patients- many of them steak eating CEO’s- make those major changes and maintain them for years after they’ve left Ornish’s program.

According to Deutschman, the key to the program’s success is the relationships his patients develop by showing up to support groups and classes that are the program’s hallmark. They find others like them going home to chant “om” or munching on kale and realize it can be done.

So think about the parallels to this story in your own life and desire to change. Change is a result of allowing yourself to truly be influenced and surrounded by those who are “walking the walk”, so you too can learn how to.

Maybe this means surrounding yourself with new people that are achieving what you dream. Or maybe this means seeking out several mentors who you will shadow and heed their every word of advice until you have achieved your vision.

If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten….

Do we learn from failures or success?

In Author: Lisa Canning, BOOKS: Learn and Grow on February 14, 2008 at 6:10 am

I am not sure there is a concrete lesson to be had from either unless you can learn to objectively look at both and accept that failure just might stink and that a success may not offer a whole lot more than a few moments of glory. By letting go of the idea that something to learn comes from failure, or that you can always duplicate your success, you have the opportunity to let go of the shame of losing or the enlarged ego that comes with a big win. Perhaps a far more valuable lesson!

According to Barry Moltz, author of a new book titled Bounce, “if we let go of whatever the last result was — we can actually Bounce! We can learn what — if any thing — from the last success or failure and get ready by bouncing to the next decision that we have to make.”

Barry claims that any success or failure is just a part of the entire business lifecycle. Individually, a particular result or outcome actually means nothing. No event will guarantee the same result in the future. By learning to bounce through this repetitive process of “success and failure, failure and success”, you will develop a resiliency that will lead to the true business confidence that ultimately determines which ones of us succeed.

More importantly, it allows each of us to have passion and enthusiasm regardless of where we are in the cycle. It allows us to get ready for our next great success!

I consider Barry Motlz both a friend and mentor. I met Barry for the first time over lunch. As a result of our initial meeting he convinced me to write a book. Barry lead me to my next success and I would encourage you to buy and read his book to help you get to yours.

Bounce is just about to be released and can be ordered on Amazon. Here is an excerpt from Barry’s new book, Bounce.