An Actor in the Office: Tips to Making Your Day Job Creative

6 Similarities of Working in an Office and Working on a Cruise Ship

I used to do this:

Now I do this:

As creatives, we have a challenge before us: to live a life filled with joy, connection, and fearlessness, and share those traits with others via our chosen medium of expression. How do we do this? Even in a cubicle?

6 Similarities of Working in an Office and Working on a Cruise Ship

  1. Both jobs involve a performance for an audience. Aren’t all jobs about helping people do something?
  2. Both jobs can become tedious and boring… if we let them.
  3. Both jobs have a dress code. Granted, one is more ‘flashy’ than the other.
  4. Both jobs require skills that can be learned, honed, and perfected.
  5. Both jobs afford to opportunity to pack on the pounds. I’m speaking from experience here. Just sayin’.
  6. All jobs are creative. Really. No, I’m serious.

All jobs require time and effort. I’m a wee bit selfish with my time and the idea of ‘renting’ myself out 40 hours a week feels a bit like a modern form of prostitution… if I let that attitude creep in. We have to choose to see every thing through artist eyes.

Hmmmm. I just looked at those pics again. I really ought to smile more. Although in the “Top Hat Happy” pic, a smile may detract from the beauty of the purple sequins.

What are your tips to keeping your day job creative? How do you think like an artist while shuffling papers, answering calls, or replying to e-mails?

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Two Sides of the Communication Coin

 “After all is said and done, more is said than done.” Well said Mr. Aesop Fables.

OK, so here’s the big secret. . .

I do not enjoy talking.

If you’re with me, stand up and say . . . nothing! Yeah, you know who you are. You’re the person at a party who does a lot of listening. How do they know us? By ‘they’ I mean the people who see us as walking ears.

Problem #1: I majored in speech communications and vocal music.

Problem #2: Virtually everything I have done in the ‘make a buck’ compartment of my life has had something to do with speaking.

Although I don’t love talking, I love communicating. Big difference between mere chatter and actual communication.

I love seeing that moment of connection when mutual understanding, energy, and clarity takes preeminence over just the sound of rambling words. Communicators, like myself, may not love to talk, but we do love to convey ideas, plant seeds, and foster freedom that brings a change in someone else. We also love sharing mutually in a gentle tennis match of ideation, synergy, and positive consequence.

True communication. True connection.

Dating Advice that Will Also Help Anyone in a Sales Career

While Sarah and I enjoyed a ‘Love Boat’ of sushi tonight, we couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation of the couple behind us.First date? Probably.

Possibly a set-up? Seems likely.

Will there be a second date? Not a chance.

Sarah pondered what it would be like if we just sat down and offered some basic advice. How brazen! Though we didn’t, we sure enjoyed discussing what we’d share.

Ironically, I’d just finished training some sales reps the past week and quickly realized that the advice I would give this guy is nearly the same advice I’d toss out to sales reps.

  • 1. Ask a good question. Shut up. Listen. This guy would not. Stop. Talking. He was only interested in himself and learned nothing about his date. He’s probably going to blame his friends who set him up with such a loser of a woman because she didn’t kiss him goodnight. No dude, you don’t know how to sell. Sales application: if one is excellent at asking questions the customer will naturally want to buy your product. The salesperson then learns about what kind of person their customer is and thus, learns how they like to be treated and how they like to buy.
  •  2. What’s in it for Me? If you’re saying something (and remember, that’s probably not a good thing–see point one on asking questions) it better matter to your customer. Dude, she doesn’t care about how you can discern a truck’s gas mileage by smelling it’s fumes. Sales application: when doing your ‘pitch,’ make sure it’s something that is going to matter to your prospect. Stop spewing meaningless information. You’ll end up sounding just like Charlie Brown’s Teacher, and you’ll also end up not getting the sale.
  • 3. Differentiation. Your date, like a customer, can smell your slimy desperation breath loud and clear. How are you different from any other guy? What makes you stand out? Why would she pick you over the other guys with receding hairlines? No really… why? She would pick you because you’re the type of guy that she’s going to tell her girlfriends about.  “He’s amazing. He’s not like all the other losers. No, really Sharon. This one is different! He really listened to me. He also makes his own clothing. Now that’s a little weird, but at least he’s different.” Sales application: if you are like all the other peddlers on the street selling the same product, why would I buy it from you? I’d buy from you because you’re different. Simple rule of thumb: people do not like salespeople. Don’t be one. Be different. Be a person who likes people, finds problems, and gives advice for solutions if it’s needed.

Sadly, I don’t think these two are going to enter into a profitable relationship. She’s far too nice and he’s far too enamored of himself to show any real and genuine interest in her.

He lost the sale.