Browsing Tag


Spirit of the Gulf Coast Exhibition

October 14, 2010

My experience with Spirit of the Gulf Coast is culminating in a public Exhibition tonight (10.14), and I’m feeling the incredible rush of energy that I only get when really big things are on the horizon.  The night before our trip down to the coast in August, I stayed up very late and got barely any sleep before we left.  It’s now 4:08am, and I’m still not ready to call it just yet.  See, when I sink my teeth into something, it’s hard for me to let go, even if it means pushing myself beyond anything I think I’m capable of.

Spirit of the Gulf CoastI’ve been fortunate to have some incredibly passionate people around me throughout this process of learning and discovery.  Perhaps most exciting to me is that most of them I have only known for a short time.  It’s been very rewarding to meet people with similar passions and have them jump right into something as challenging as this initiative.  I feel extremely lucky to have this incredibly inspirational creative energy in my life right now.

Today is a big day for me.  The auditorium that we’re holding our event in seats ~350 people, and I’m expecting it to be pretty full if not over capacity.  This will mark my first time speaking to a group this size and there is definitely some pressure there, but for some reason, I’m really not worried about that aspect of this experience.  I feel very comfortable with the material, and I am looking forward to getting up there and sharing my truth in front of a crowd of people that are coming out to hear about our experience along the Gulf Coast.

I have to continually remind myself that everything is going to work out perfectly, and I don’t need to second guess any decisions I’ve made up until this point.  I’m really good at beating myself up for the ‘should have done’ or ‘could have done’ things, but this time around I really don’t know how I could have done much to make this any better than it’s turning out to be, given the resources I had to work with.

Spirit of the Gulf CoastPart of this for me is pushing the envelope on what’s possible.  I’m pretty good about that actually, and what we are producing (with essentially no budget) is quite remarkable, all things considered! I have to remind myself and the rest of the team often that this is a volunteer initiative and the fact that we’re doing it in the first place is a big deal.  Whatever we can do to make it great from here is the icing on top.

Nothing I’ve ever worked on in my entire life has felt this fulfilling or important.  It’s been an incredible journey thus far, and I know that it’s only going to get more exciting as the day unfolds.  I haven’t really given myself much of a break lately, and that part of it isn’t healthy for me, no doubt.  I can’t imagine not doing this actually, so waking up on Friday without a major rush to produce something like this event is going to seem pretty unusual I suspect.

Earlier, I had the opportunity to look at one of the film edits that Nathan has put together for tomorrow’s exhibition.  I am honestly blown away by how powerful the documentary is turning out to be! There is one section that I got a little emotional over, which I was really not expecting.  Nathan’s a very talented individual, and it’s been amazing to work on this with him.  I also got some great input from Kim on the action items that we’re going to leave people with at the end of tomorrow’s event.  She’s been burning the midnight oil as well, and I know she’s really excited to see all this come together.

On that note, I’m going to call it a night (or morning), and get a few hours of sleep.  If you are in Atlanta Thursday night (10.14), I really encourage you to check this out.  It’s going to be quite a night!

Thanks for following along.

Photos courtesy of Terrell Clark

I Am Not Superman

April 19, 2010

This is a post that is weeks in the making and one that has been pinging around in my head consistently as I’ve been going through some big changes.  Despite loving the REM song back in the 80s, I’m in fact NOT Superman.  This is hard for me to accept, but alas, it’s true.

I was reading Chris Brogan’s post a couple of weeks ago on Redrawing, and it really resonated with me.  I’ve never been able to wrap my head around how he has kept up with everything he has going on for this long.  My hat goes off to him not only for keeping all the balls in the air, but for realizing something needed to change and taking steps to make the situation workable for him.  A couple of days ago, Chris posted another entry about the importance of story in our lives.  Immediately I knew this was going to be an element of this blog entry.

Stacks Tower LoftI have been doing a bit of redrawing myself lately, and I have come to some pretty big decisions on what I want to get out of life, my career, etc.  The biggest of these decisions is that I’m selling my loft, which is the place I’ve lived for the past 8 years – the place I’ve lived the longest of anywhere except the house I grew up in.  You see, I have become attached to it and it’s been a large part of my persona, and for good reason – it’s a great space!  But what I realized is that the attachment to it was no longer healthy for me and I need to move on in order for the next chapter in my story to open up. This is huge for me, and I could not be more excited about this decision!

I have worked for the past 6 weeks on prepping the loft to put on the market, and if you know me, you probably wonder what I could have possibly been doing all this time because the loft has been pretty much ‘done’ for several years now.  But I’m a perfectionist, and I wanted to make things a certain way before I invite the next owner in.  After much thought and careful consideration, I decided that I was going to list and market the property on my own, without a real estate agent.  I came to this decision because I know that I’m the best person on the planet to tell the story of my loft and to truly give it the best push it can get.  I also figured this would be a good case study for my business, as it will give me a great example of using digital/social media to spread awareness and find the perfect buyer for the property.  There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best way to go, and it feels like it’s done already – all I have to do it let it unfold.  My long silence here is due to the immense work that has been occurring on that front, and the fact that I was advised that a strong push right out of the gate was the best option for generating buzz.  Now it’s out there, so I’m off to the races!

So, what does this have to do with being Superman?  For one thing, I have had to be gentle with myself during this process, because I have been going in a million directions all at once and trying to achieve big things on multiple fronts.  I wanted to believe I could do it all, but the truth is I am only one man and I have limits.  What I did realize however is that for me, it’s truly about being present and paying attention to the signals that I’m getting.  Sometimes I have to say ‘no’ to opportunities when they are not the right fit for me, and at the same time be willing to say ‘yes’ to others that might not seem proven or guaranteed.  I trust my heart more than ever before, and the work that I’m pursuing is truly the kind of work that I want to do moving forward.  I have been presented with some incredible opportunities to work with amazing people that are doing meaningful work in the world, and these connections are part of what is propelling me forward along my path.

I was talking to my good friend Lewis Perkins last week about being gentle with ourselves when we get frustrated that we haven’t accomplished everything we want in the time we think it should happen.  We came to the realization that for us, if we start doubting whether or not we are accomplishing anything of if we’re on the right path, we need to step back and look at the past 30 days.  This was a big realization for me.  I’m great at looking at a 24 hour period and beating myself up for not getting everything done that I wanted to get done.  But when I look back at a 30 day snapshot, It’s amazing the level of achievement!

Just in the past 30 days, I’ve done considerable work on my loft (installed additional lighting in 3 rooms, painted, cleaned, organized, installed shelving, developed a website, Facebook page and Twitter account for it, and 45 other things that I checked off the list I created), worked on a consulting assignment with an agency that resulted in another 4-week contract for April, connected with Lisa Dee at Vista Caballo, my newest client and all-around inspiration, and made several other client connections that I’m in the process of nurturing.  Also during that month, I helped my aunt and uncle move into their new house in SC, which involved two Uhaul trips and a lot of driving, and I participated in the Hunger Walk where my team exceeded its fund raising goal significantly.  So, while I would love to have everything ‘done’ on my list, the truth is that I’m making great progress and have achieved some fairly remarkable things.

We all have our dreams, our desires, and our life’s work, but it’s not always obvious what we should be doing about it.  For me, it has taken a lot of trial and error, but I believe I’ve come through the process with a sense of clarity of purpose that I didn’t have before.  I know that I can’t be all things to all people, but I realized that I can do my best with what I have to work with if I pay attention to the signs and stay present.

Lately, I’ve connected with some incredible people that are helping me realize that the story of our lives has so much more potential than we often realize, but we have to get still and be ‘present’ in order to make these connections count.  We don’t have to chase everything that appears in front of us, but we do need to pay attention to the signs along the way.  We don’t have to be Superman (or Wonder Woman if you like), but we just need to be our very best self.  For me, that means helping to develop community around shared interests and causes, while aligning relevant brands and organizations with these communities.  This is what I’m best at, so it’s what I’m doing.  Who’s with me?

Photo: My Loft at Sunset