The Modern Entrepreneur

I used to think that there were natural-born entrepreneurs, those bold and unconventional types that could never be tied down to the monotony and predictability of the 9 to 5. These entrepreneurs are the mavericks, the rule-breakers, the kids who didn't do well in school, either because they were bored silly by what was being taught or they couldn't sit still long enough to actually learn the stuff, boring or not. These entrepreneurs walked fast, talked fast and made fast decisions. Their...

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Stretch, Don't Settle

Whether you're looking for a romantic partner or searching for your next job opportunity, we're essentially talking about supply and demand. Having something to offer (aka being "marketable") is obviously important, but so is what we are thinking about our situation. One of my clients is a 47-year-old man who is changing jobs and my 20-year-old niece is single and looking for her next boyfriend. I'm struck by the similarities in their unconscious beliefs about themselves and the world, even...

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Have you ever heard the expression 'whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right'? When I first started hearing people say it, I thought it was some kind of a trick saying, meant to confuse people and make them look foolish, so I didn't even try to figure it out. After a while, I guess I had heard it so many times that I got curious, and whenever I'm curious about something, I can usually figure it out. Well, it turned out to be a pretty useful expression, after all. The...

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Be a Guide Dog, Not a Pack Mule

Wednesdays at 5:30 AM, my favorite gym class is totally insane. It's hard to believe that many people in the Portland suburbs are willing to get up at the crack of dawn to stake out a 3'x5' piece of territory in a mirrored room, but it's true. I take this same class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the same time, but the Wednesday instructor has a following that borders on celebrity status. By 5:15, it's literally wall to wall people, jockeying for position and laying claim to the...

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Unnecessary Suffering

So much of human behavior is tied to morality, even if we aren't a card-carrying member of any known religion. Be a good boy. Good girls don't. We want to do something because of the way it will make us feel. And we are shamed out of doing it with the threat of feeling the opposite. Manipulating the feels is big business. The music I grew up listening to had lyrics like "How can it be wrong when it feels so right?' and I heard plenty of marketing slogans like "If it feels good, do it.' No...

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Taking Your Creativity for Granted

I never really thought of myself as creative. In fact, I used to scratch my head while watching my son, a musician, homemade kombucha king and electronic DJ and daughter, who designs and sews totally unique Halloween and Burning Man costumes and truly memorable Christmas gifts for friends and family, wondering where the hell they got their creativity from.

Even though my collection of handmade pewter crosses was stolen from a display case during Back to School Night in high school, my poems,...

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Quick Hits & Big Wins

One of the biggest changes I have made in my life in the last few years is to recognize how much I have focused on immediate gratification.  Not the obsessive-compulsive, addictive definition where you can't stop yourself from eating, drinking, shopping, Facebook scrolling, or whatever, but more of the chasing after things that I knew I could get and fast. Examples of this are: over scheduling my days by booking too many appointments and then having to race from one to another, just...

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Just Say No

When you meet a woman who has good boundaries, bears no resemblance to a people pleaser and carefully considers her own needs before agreeing to take responsibility for someone else's, time seems to stand still and you're admittedly in a bit of shock as well as admiration. I am not talking about a woman who is a genuine bitch, who actually doesn't give two shits about anyone but herself, that's a different story. I don't mean a Disney villainess either. I am talking about a woman who is...

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You Can't Hurt Anyone's Feelings But Your Own

In order to have an emotionally healthy life, we need to understand where feelings come from, and it's not where most people think it is. It's such a common misunderstanding and the source of many dysfunctional relationships, broken friendships and even divorces. It's also not our fault, because we are being taught to believe that we are responsible for other people's feelings and they are responsible for ours from a very early age, at home, in school, and in our religious institutions.

Once...

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It's OK to be Extra

I have always been high energy, goal-oriented, ambitious person who simply can't stay in one place and have been on a lifelong adventure of continuous personal evolution. But, I didn't always label my drivenness as a positive trait, as I do now. In fact, it took me many, many years to fully embrace who I really am, without trying to slow down or play small to make others more comfortable. And I got lots of negative feedback that told me I was not OK the way I was. 

Like most kids who...

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