How important is Creativity in your career?

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I love this message from Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Chairman, in her fireside chat at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Enjoy the interchange between Ms. Nooyi and CEO Doug McMilon of Walmart.

I think there are many important points you may take from their talk. There are a couple that got my attention. Part of this is due to my background which consists of Fashion, both retail and wholesale, being the CEO of my own corporations for many years, and the importance of presentation and design in the marketing of my past products and my current business–writing novels.

Fashion: well, of course, that’s easy. We know design and creativity are integral to fashion.

We don’t have to think about it all. And we all know the expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” But we still do! The marketplace is saturated with competition for your reading dollar. So if my covers don’t stand out from the crowd, no matter how great the stories will be, my work will not be noticed. Packaging is important. It’s really that simple.

When Indra Nooyi took over PepsiCo, she had a history to live up to, a brand image that was doing well, an iconic product.

So her challenge in 2006 was to set the tone of change, moving forward with the times without rocking the financial boat in the process. She set about doing this by gentle persuasion. Many silently ignored her and kept on doing what they had always done. But that wasn’t good enough. One of the comments Ms. Nooyi made was she wished she had done more executive buy-outs sooner instead of waiting, hoping that she could persuade the people running different parts of the company, for the need to move forward, the need to change.

I was quite fascinated by this chat. One of my ongoing challenges as an author in this era of fast-paced-technology is how quickly things change.

When I think I’ve mastered a way of doing something, someone moves the bar, and I need to learn a new approach. The task is challenging. But as Indra Nooyi states, it doesn’t matter how successful you are, the market is continuously expecting you to be miles ahead anticipating new tastes, trends, and styles.

At minute 14 she discusses design.

It jogged my memory of this summer when the hype for FIFA2018 hit the marketplace. One of the first things I noticed was how Coca-Cola–my brand of choice–immediately had their design team incorporate the soccer ball onto their product packaging. Subliminally it reminded us of the excitement we all felt here in Mexico and the pride worldwide for our teams who would be participating in this amazing event.

The history of change is openly and transparently discussed.

At the beginning of her tenure, the board and executives were hesitant for change. They didn’t see the need. But slowly over time, they got it! And now, not unlike you and I in our prospective careers, the market is moving so quickly the common challenge we all face is that we aren’t running fast enough to keep up!

I also enjoyed listening to the banter between Ms. Nooyi and Doug McMilon, CEO of Walmart. I’ve been out of the fashion business for many years now, but I admire the job that Walmart has done to update, stay current, and provide what the consumer wants in the manner the consumer expects to get it in today’s fast-moving marketplace.

This video is well worth the time you may take to watch–or in my case, I listen–while getting ready to start my work-day.

 

 

Read more about Lynda Filler in her highly-acclaimed memoir on healing LOVE The Beat Goes On.

“Powerful and unforgettable” JackMagnus, 5 Star Readers’ Favorite

“This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.”J. Sikes

When your cardiologist tells you to “Get your affairs in order, your heart condition is incurable,” what do you do?

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29 Life-Changing Lessons That Will Make You Successful And More Strategic

There is this myth that mentors are people you have to know and see.

That it is some official designation to seek out. I’ve never met Tyler Cowen, the bestselling author, economist, and thinker. We’ve never spoken on the phone. Our longest email conversation might have been three sentences. Yet he has been one of the most significant influences in the education and evolution of my life. By every definition, he’s been what you would call a mentor.

Lately, I’ve been trying to write about all the ways people have helped me. It’s been an exercise in gratitude but also articulation — in writing it down, I am remembering it and codifying it so I never forget the lessons. Below are just some of the things I’ve learned from this polymathic professor of economics, voracious reader and contrarian philosopher. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet him one day (I hope I am) but even if you don’t, he can still be your mentor.

Below are 29 lessons I learned from Tyler over the last 10 years. Hope you gain from them as much as I have.


1. See Yourself Afresh — This is one of my favorite quotes from Tyler: “Treat yourself like a piece of your writing which you set aside for a week so you could look at it fresh.”

2. Being Curious Is a Career — It was crazy to me at first that Tyler got to do what he did for a living: write blog posts, read books, have ideas. That’s what I wanted to do. I think the way you get paid to do that is by making that curiosity valuable to other people: Tyler blogs every day and his links and questions help people do their jobs, his books propose provocative big ideas, his podcast is entertaining and important. You can’t just nerd out — there has to be value creation

3. Complacency Is the Enemy — Tyler’s newest book (which is awesome) is about all the ways that society has become complacent. We accept the status quo, we don’t want to disrupt it. People move less, change careers less, change their minds less, live in less diverse places, riot less than they used to. I’ve done most of those things in my life (except the last one), it’s how you keep things interesting and find opportunities. Point being: Don’t worry as much about disruption and chaos — it might simply mean interesting things are happening — fear stability and complacency because it means decay.

4. Seek Out Quake Books — When I was 19 or 20, Tyler talked to me about the concept of “quake books” — books that shake you to your core. As he wrote in his 2007 email to me: “I would more likely intensively engage with some important book totally full of new ideas. Hayek. Parfit. Plato. And so on. There just aren’t books like that left for me anymore. So I read many more, to learn bits, but haven’t in years experienced a ‘view quake.’ That is sad, to me at least, but I don’t know how to avoid how that has turned out. So enjoy your best reading years while you can!”

5. What’s the Cost of This Fight? — There is a line in one of Tyler’s books where he talks about fighting with a spouse over a couch (or something like that). He says that maybe you like your idea 20% more than her/his idea, so you fight and win. Now you’re a little bit happier. But what did that victory cost you in terms of an unhappy spouse? Is it worth more or less than how much you value your opinion over the couch? I never would have thought about it that way — I can’t tell you how many arguments this has saved me. (The answer is ‘not enough.’)

6. Expectations Are the Enemy in (Long Distance) Relationships — I was in a long distance relationship in 2006 when I read Tyler’s post on them. It was another brilliant perspective that helped me relax and made things better. I ended up marrying that girl a decade later. Thanks, Tyler!

7. Know What is Scarce — “In today’s global economy here is what is scarce: 1. Quality land and natural resources 2. Intellectual property, or good ideas about what should be produced. 3. Quality labor with unique skills.” I framed the longer passage this line is from and I have it above my desk as a daily reminder. It comes from Average is Over — another absolutely amazing book.

8. To Speed Read, Read A Lot — How do you become a better and more prolific reader? I’ll let Tyler tell you: “The best way to read quickly is to read lots. And lots. And to have started a long time ago. Then maybe you know what is coming in the current book. Reading quickly is often, in a margin-relevant way, close to not reading much at all.”

9. Knowledge Compounds — I think what he’s also saying there is that the value of reading compounds over time. Reading more makes you a better and faster reader, learning about stuff makes it easier and faster for you to learn more.

10. Your Life Is Not a Story — Tyler has observed that most people describe their lives as stories and journeys. But giving in to this temptation can be dangerous. Narratives often lead to an overly simplistic understanding of events, causes, and effects — and, often, to arrogance.

11. Move to Texas — In 2013, Tyler wrote a Time cover story about why everyone was moving to Texas. That’s not quite why I moved to Austin but it didn’t hurt.

12. When Traveling, Pretend You’re A Thief — I like his trick when visiting museums: Pretend you’re a thief who is casing the joint. It changes how you perceive and remember the art. Try it.

13. Just Go — Another travel tip from Tyler: “My main tip is simply: “Go, go go!” Go. People have a status quo bias when they make decisions and they don’t take enough chances.”

14. Read However You Want — People are amazed at how much Tyler reads (it’s a lot) but they miss that he has his own set of rules for doing it. He skips around. He quits books he doesn’t like. He might read a novel from only the perspective of one of the characters. He’ll ruin the ending. He just does whatever — and so you should you. This isn’t for a test. It’s for your own enjoyment (he does the same with movies apparently).

15. Be a Good (But Quiet) Family Man — Even though Tyler talks about all sorts of parenting stuff in his books, it really never occurred to me that he had kids until I heard him mention something about it on his podcast. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything about his wife. I have a lot of respect for people who have families…but don’t parade them around like some trophy. He has a family, it’s important to him, but that’s his business. It’s how I try to live my life too.

16. Really Understand Other People’s Work — What you’ll hear when you listen to Tyler’s podcast is just how deeply he has set out to understand the work of the person he’s talking to. I think in some ways he understands the arc of the person’s career better than they do. This is a special skill. It requires getting out of your own head and actually thinking about someone else (that’s not something podcasts are known for…).

17. Read Eclectically — Another reading rule: Check out a couple of these most recent “What I’m Reading” posts from Tyler. Look at how diverse the subject matter is. Books about far-right politics in Europe, the diary of a Stalin ambassador, histories of the Irish border, a book on the quartet of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Jay, and James Madison, one right after another.

18. Money Can Sap Motivation — In Discover Your Inner Economist, Tyler writes about how he tried to incentivize his step-daughter to do the dishes so he resorted to paying her, which got her to wash them — but it worked only for a week. “I knew this could happen. I understood that there is such a thing as intrinsic motivation and that if you pay people, you might weaken that. What I didn’t really get was the control issue. That when you start paying people to do a thing, they often see it as control.” (The story has a happy ending: She started washing the dishes for free after reading the book.)

19. Order Weird Stuff on the Menu — If the weird thing wasn’t good, goes his logic, the chef probably wouldn’t have been allowed to put it on there. Sure — I’ll buy it.

20. Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Partner — Tyler’s site, Marginal Revolution, has a co-writer named Alex Tabarrok. He’s the unsung hero of that site and many of his articles are longtime favorites of mine. You don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, you should have intellectual and creative partners. It’s powerful.

21. Write The Opposing View — It’s not just enough to think about how other people might think. One of his more recent opinion pieces shows how far Tyler is willing to go when it comes to empathy: He suggests actually writing — as if it’s you — an article with someone else’s opinion. See if you can explain why Trump is doing this or that, or why your parents believe this or that. Feel those words coming through your fingers — do you understand them better? Are things less contentious? I love this idea.

22. How to Thoughtfully Disagree — I’ve read a lot of Tyler Cowen writing over the years. Tyler is smart, opinionated and contrarian. It occurs to me there is one thing I’ve never seen from Tyler: contemptuous dismissal of anyone else. That’s something I know I need to work on. I take things too seriously, I condescend, I speak with undeserved certainty. Meanwhile, Tyler entertains basically everything. He’s friendly even when he disagrees. He’s open-minded. It’s a great model for any aspiring thinker.

23. Think Rationally, Not Emotionally — Two interesting posts from Tyler stand out to me, both about Peter Thiel. One was after the Gawker lawsuit, where Tyler stripped the emotion out of the debate and just looked at how third-party funding works and how common it is. Two, after Peter’s controversial comments in the New York Times about whether there is “too little” or “too much” corruption, Tyler actually tried to figure out what the guy was talking about (it’s actually kind of interesting). Point being: Don’t get caught up in outrage or emotions, earnestly try to figure stuff out.

24. Cultivate Young Smart People — Like I said, I don’t know Tyler, but he’s nice enough to occasionally answer my emails. I know he answers emails from people like Ben Casnocha and Cal Newport and I’m sure there are hundreds — if not thousands — of young people he’s helped over the years (students or otherwise). He doesn’t need to do this but he does. It’s paying it forward.

25. Watch One TV Show at a Time — Tyler has a great rule about not watching more than one big TV series at a time.

26. Don’t Offer to Work for Free — From Average is Over: “It doesn’t matter how flexible the wage is in the more complex, less brute force jobs. A manual worker who just shows up at your door is probably not someone you want to hire unless it is already part of a preexisting business plan with broad buy-in from your enterprise and your creditors. The worker might say, “I’ll lower my wage demands by thirty percent!” or, “I’ll work for nothing!” It usually won’t matter. The sad reality is that many of these workers you don’t want at all, even if the business plan involves additional labor. Some workers simply aren’t worth the trouble unless the demand for extra labor is truly pressing.”

27. Command Your Audience — I’ve become addicted to Tyler’s podcast. Aside from the conversations, a secondary pleasure is his command over the audience (‘I will cut you off.’ ‘We will be out of this room by 5pm.’) and his very specific questions. His confidence and directness was not something I expected to hear, but it’s impressive. I can’t tell you how many conferences I’ve been to where I wished for someone like that.

28. For Good Food, Go to The Suburbs — As Tyler writes in his rules for dining out, “I love exploring the suburbs for first-rate ethnic food. Many people consider suburbs a cultural wasteland, but I am very happy searching for food in Orange County, California; the area near San Jose; Northern Virginia, near D.C.; Somerville, Massachusetts; and so on. I don’t always pre-Google to find the best place, and I don’t keep tapping on my iPhone. I drive around and keep my eyes open for dining establishments likely to follow the economic rules for good, innovative, and affordable food.”

29. Ask: Do Your Actions Match Your Beliefs? — The Tyler post that has me thinking the most lately is something he said after the election of Donald Trump. A good portion of the country thought Trump was dangerously unfit for office and would enact terrible, destructive policies…yet the markets have steadily gone up. Why don’t we see more people acting on these beliefs? Why aren’t there more short sellers in the market? More doomsday preparations? His point: People love to talk but rarely match their actions with their beliefs. This is both a contradiction or a potential market opportunity. It’s made me re-examine my actions in regards to both.

I could keep going but it might start to seem weird. Besides, the other thing I’ve learned from Tyler is this: keep it short. Almost all his blog posts are pithy — sometimes just a few sentences long. Even his opinion pieces are tight and to the point. So I’ll end it here. If you want to learn from Tyler, go read his stuff. He’s the best.

Like to Read?

I’ve created a list of 15 books you’ve never heard of that will alter your worldview and help you excel at your career.

 


Read a lot? Or you want to expand your horizons?
Lynda Filler’s new Action/Adventure series on AMAZON:
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xposed

What things should one be good at in order to become a good writer?

Lynda Filler
Lynda Filler, Top Quora Writer 2018 Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

Be Brave. You have to be able to open your heart and pour out your feelings. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re in. Let it flow. Be Brave.

Be Bulletproof. Some people choose not to read their reviews. I read them and on Goodreads thank the writers. But I still remember words used to describe my first JET, an action ex-Mossad female assassin. A reader said I’d turned her into a “horny slut.” Today I laugh, then, it wasn’t funny. I thought I “humanized” her. Don’t let the haters get inside your head.

Be Curious. It doesn’t matter what. It’s curiosity that has kept me traveling the world in my stories. I LOVE taking my characters to different places in my work whether it’s action or contemporary romance. They live in my mind and I live in their worlds. It’s great fun and takes me to places I didn’t know exist. My current WIP starts off in Kyrgyzstan, moves to Paris, then the Maldives… and on and on. Research, photos, travel, it’s all part of my curiosity about people, places, and issues.

Be Passionate. Don’t write it if you aren’t enjoying the words and the process. A friend recently told me he trashed 87 chapters. Now for me, that would be 100k but for him, it could be 250–300k words. That’s a lot of work and love to decide it’s not worthy of finishing.

Be Gentle. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Believe in yourself. Love what you do. Let no one be a bully to your talent or your belief in you. Self-talk is key in any work/game/sport/job.

And most of all, remember the Little Engine That Could, if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t…you’re probably right.

If not now, when?

 

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Rick Peterson suggests that practicing mindfulness in the way we approach tasks can not only help organize thoughts but reduce stress as well. Here are some mindful tips to try out when looking to get your passion project off the ground:

  • Write it down. Carve out a set amount of time each day to sit down without distractions and sketch, write or otherwise visualize your ideas on paper. You might find writing out your thoughts each night before you sleep helps you unwind at the end of the day. Or maybe you’re a visual thinker and prefer to sketch out your ideas at the beginning of the day over coffee. With either choice, the point is to make sure you’re allowing yourself the time to quiet your mind and focus.
  • Meet mindfully. It can be easy to get side-tracked when you’re meeting with a group of people about a potential idea or project. Whether your meetings are in a formal office or across the table in a coffee shop, practice mindful meetings by closing your laptop, putting your phone away and focusing on the task at hand. Not only will it reduce stress and make your meeting more productive, it will also allow you to apply yourself at a deeper level and show your peers that you care about their time and input.
  • Be intentional with your time. It may seem counterintuitive but taking breaks can help you have a more productive day. When you feel your energy start to wane, give yourself a time-out. Take a 15-minute walk, run the stairs or spend some time drawing in your notebook. Pay attention to your schedule and start to plan your meetings and tasks around breaks so that you’re working during periods of the day when you’re the most energized. Or even try taking an ideation vacation.

 

I love this quick check-up. It’s so easy to say “I just don’t have the time!” We can always find the time.

Thanks, Rick Peterson  Sr. director of global alliance marketing & biz dev @Wacom | Bamboo and chief inspiration officer. Always #MakingIdeas.

Find the full article on THRIVE GLOBAL COMMUNITY, Arianna Huffington’s Website.

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/10252-how-to-get-your-passion-project-off-the-ground?mc_cid=e854fc6639&mc_eid=5ea0c90811

 

And check out mindfulness, inspiration, motivation, and miracles in Lynda Fillers’ top-selling, award-winning book:

If you build it they will not come!

 

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I enjoyed an interview with Ryan Holiday today.  He talked about the creative process. We all love to create, but the marketing, not so much. Just because “you built it” doesn’t mean “they will come.”

His take is: Making the Work is 50% Marketing the work is 50%–Two separate marathons. 

When we choose the life of writing, we want to write. We have to write like we have to breathe. Marketing is a time-suck and we resent it. But when we become authors, we also become authorpreneurs. 

He quotes Elon Musk: Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death. 

Every day I sit down to write/market/blog/learn/improve my skills, I need to organize that day. I need to watch the time sucks–we all know what they are–FB, Twitter, Huffington Post, email. I write the schedule and set a timer to make sure I’m following it!

I’ve added a few more Elon Quotes.

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Do you agree?

Let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to share.

#amediting a JET-Reborn. New Release January 2018

 

 

 

“Meet me at the door naked.”

 

I have the power to chooseI choose LOVE

I’m not the first person to be told I’m dying, or to get my affairs in order, or at most I have six months to live. But there’s something about my story that is resonating with readers. And one person tells another, and another, and buys a book for a friend or a family member. And that’s how it starts.

Birthing this book has been super emotional. How do I write a story that isn’t too personal or what should be kept private? What’s the difference between telling the truth, and telling my truthHow can I be true to myself and the reader without divulging potentially dangerous confidences?

So I waited to write this story. But I realized the time might never be right. I mean, if I waited to be sure that my healing “took” then I’d have to wait until…I never died? I know that’s just too weird. How do you measure a successful healing? When do you determine a safe time to say: I’ve been healed long enough to make the claim that I’m healed and therefore I can/will/should write my story now?

I started this blog, or rambling journal entry, because I think I know why so many can relate to my story. I’m so open, so raw. You can ask me anything and I will answer. I put it all out there, and suggest that you pick out the parts that you think will help you on your journey,  and throw away the rest.

Most of all I remind you that it’s all about LOVE. I have the power to choose. I choose LOVE.

It makes my heart sing to know that you can relate and that I have helped you or someone you love, in some small way.

What I really want to say is thank you.

 

 

Do What You Love…

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I lose myself when I create.

I finished a canvas yesterday. It hung on my wall…incomplete for five years.

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It has a sister coming soon. Here’s the start.

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And here’s my inspiration…taken from my patio…

 

It might be poetry or fiction or painting or photography or dance or fashion or..

Do it with passion and share your joy and #LOVE with the world

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