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10 Simple Ways to Be More Creative

By: Kent Sanders, writer, professor, and creative coach at KentSanders.net Creativity is a vital element of success today. Without creative thinking, we have no hope of growing as individuals or leading our organizations and businesses to greater success. Creativity isn’t just about painting, music, dance, or other forms of art. Creativity is about being a person who is growing and learning in order to lead and bless other people. But who feels like they have extra time to be creative? We all lead busy lives and feel pressed for time. However, there are many ways to feed your creative mind. I’ve put together a list of ten items below, many of which you can do with your family. I encourage you to pick one or two that fit your interests, and take the plunge. 1. Watch a great movie. Movies blend storytelling, moving images, and music to transport us into other worlds. Movies can also speak to your heart and mind while sharpening your creativity. There are, of course, thousands upon thousands of movies available, but why not choose a great one? I recommend something from the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. I’ve also compiled a list of ten movies that will blow your creative mind, as […]

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3 Simple Ways to Stand Out as a Creative Professional

By: Kent Sanders, writer, professor, and creative coach at KentSanders.net Everyone is looking for a way to stand out from the crowd. This is especially true in creative fields, where there is a lot of competition in graphic design, editing and writing, music, photography, and other areas. It’s tempting to believe that the way to stand out is to produce work cheaper and faster than others. But the road to success isn’t a race to the bottom. Rather, it’s a race to the top. How do you get to the top? Not by fighting for the scraps, but by setting yourself apart as a true professional. As an artist, writer, teacher, and editor, I consistently see three practices that are increasingly rare. They are rare because they take a little more time and effort than most people are willing to spend. However, these practices will instantly set you apart make you a hero to those you serve. 1. Send handwritten thank you notes. In today’s digital world, sending a handwritten note through the mail seems out of date. But that’s precisely why you need to do it. A handwritten note tells someone that you cared enough to go the extra mile. You know this from experience. When you get a […]

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5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Drama

By: Kent Sanders, writer, professor, and creative coach at KentSanders.net Relationships are the glue that holds society together. No matter if you work for an organization, or if you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, you still have to deal with people. If we’re going to succeed in our families, work, and creative lives, we must know how to relate well with people. However, sometimes things go south and relationships start to crumble. It might be a firing, layoff, controversial leadership decision, or some other event that sets you emotionally on edge. When this happens, it’s easy to fly off the handle and do something you’ll later regret. I’ve been guilty of this, and maybe you have as well. In this post, I’ll share five tips that will help you avoid workplace drama that so often derails careers and ruins relationships. 1. Let people work out their own issues. I’ll be honest: I’m a “fixer.” When I see two people in conflict, my first impulse is to help them fix the problem. However, you have to be careful when it comes to interpersonal conflict. It’s easy to take sides or let others talk us into joining their personal crusade. The more involved you get in a battle, the greater the chance you’ll […]

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Leaving A Legacy

By: Crystal Keet, blogger, designer, consultant and linguist at CrystalKeet.com My life changed one day two years ago in June. Forever. My labor was four days, and I lingered in the English hospital to the threats of a c-section and being relegated to the London hospital for my high-risk pregnancy. But, my daughter is as determined as I am. And, at 4:30am one morning early in June (literally when a c-section had been decided upon) I became a mom. Or mum as they say over here. It changed my life forever. Sudendly, I became a real grown up. My life matters; what I do, how I live and how I use my gifts matter so much more. Not just to me, but to the next generation. I’m in my 30s, and  I’ve seen my share of funerals, and a friend my age die of brain cancer and had two scares myself to know that life is short and we’re not promised tomorrow. Recently,  I’ve become obsessed with the idea of legacy. The idea that how we live today impacts the future. The idea that the life I lead today impacts the life of future generations. And, the idea that time is short. And so, what I would easily have put […]

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How They Think Of You

By: Crystal Keet, blogger, designer, consultant and linguist at CrystalKeet.com There once was a young man. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and got taken over by a life of crime and ended up going to prison. For about 20 years. In prison, he worked hard to rebuild his life, get an education, and learn some skills so that on his freedom-day he could come out and live. And thrive. When he came out, he was so excited to return to his community and show them that he’d changed. He had, indeed changed on the inside. His mindset, his skills and his whole outlook were different. And yet, when he returned to his old neighborhood, they all thought of him as the same. In a bit, his old friends came around and expected him to jon in his old life again. But he didn’t. He got lonely. And felt rejected. And then, one day, he realized something. He needed to retrain how people saw him. Yes, he was different with different skills, a different heart and mindset. But, he needed to ‘prove it’ to the old world so they saw him not as a young troublemaker but as a true business and community leader. So, he changed by living […]

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Potatoes in the Washing Machine

By: Crystal Keet, blogger, designer, consultant and linguist at CrystalKeet.com I really hate meetings. So much so that I’ll do anything to get out of them. One day, I had yet another middle management meeting for an upcoming school trip. I’d figured in all the details and just completed my presentation. And then, I glanced down at my phone. “The monkeys have returned with a vengence.” My housemate’s panicked text made my heart melt. As a kid in the states, I used to believe that monkeys were cute, harmless creatures. “Come  home now- the house is trashed!!” Living in East Africa, I quickly learned differently. I shared a house with another teacher just on the edge of a national forest. Each morning, a group of monkeys loved to swing through the trees and try to break into our house to steal our fruit. Most days, we remembered to close our windows. That is, until this fateful afternoon. Expect for a few, like the fateful afternoon the primates ransacked my house. Eating the fruit, making a mess on the floor, and even stealing my chocolate, the monkeys had a grand time. We remembered to close the windows after that. We cleaned and complained, quickly laughed and bought new chocolate bars. About […]

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The Dinosaur Backpack

By: Crystal Keet, blogger, designer, consultant and linguist at CrystalKeet.com My daughter is in love with a brand new backpack. Her grandmother gave it her and Grace loves putting it on, finding her favorite books and toys to pack away inside of it, and taking the backpack on our outside adventures. Attached to the end of the backpack is a lead. My daughter loves to pass it off to her favorite person of the day and invite them to walk with her around the block.  What Grace doesn’t yet realize is the lead is there to keep her close to her adult. It’s meant to protect her and keep her from getting lost in traffic or wandering around the wrong stores in the mall. The day this knowledge is discovered, I’m sure the backpack will lose its magical appeal. Like the backpack, we have things in our lives that are magical and comfortable. Like when I started teaching just after college. At the time, teaching was a great fit.  The career path fit my skills, passions, and life stage. I loved the thrill of helping kids learn language, using my passion for languages, and community development to invest in the local immigrant community. Teaching provided me with a decent salary, […]

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Learning From Billy Graham’s Biggest Regret

By Chris Niemeyer, Entrepreneur & Co-Founder, EFMLife.com Billy Graham left us a gift when he said he wished he would have spent more time with his family than anything else.  “I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my family,” said Graham in a 2008 interview reflecting on his life, ministry, family and accomplishments. As an entrepreneurial father, why is investing in your wife and kids the most important thing?  What implications does our time and attention have on their lives and future?  How do you truly delight in your children – and your wife? Maybe massive changes are needed in our life currently to truly see fruit in our most important relationships in life? Are you putting in long days in for work only to come home to a house that barely knows you? Aiming to fill a bank account but know you have empty relationships?   Hear how scheduling intentional, devoted time with each child pays dividends. Work on being present and engaged – fulfilling your family’s needs of your presence and involvement in their lives. Even a very busy person with full schedule, can utilize blocks of time and modern communication to their advantage to be more intentional and present. There is no substitute for a husband […]

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Three Key Tips to Help You Get the Interview and Job You Want

By: Terry Burgess, Midlife Coach The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that at the end of May 2017 there were nearly 5.7 million job openings in the United States.  Many experts say that nearly 30% of all new jobs created are never advertise.  Statistics found widely across the internet suggest 70 to 80% of the 5.7 million job openings in the United States go unadvertised. Therefore, it is no wonder why so many people in today’s job search world are finding difficulty in obtaining work. Many people conducting job searches say I have searched online, submitted applications/resumes with little to no success of gaining an interview much less a job. I can understand their frustration. However, I have found through personal research and online research the one factor that is leading to these unsuccessful job search attempts.  This one factor is NETWORKING. Today’s new internet driven job search machine has created a society which has forgotten that networking and relationships are the key to success in the job search process and career advancement realm. Furthermore, there are increased number of individuals who are below the age 25, who mistake internet networking via social networking platforms just as important or more important than “old fashioned” face to face interaction, actual handwritten […]

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Resume Resolutions and Revisions for 2019

The new year has already started and many of us sat new resolutions or goals.  Some have maintained progress toward achieving those resolutions/goals.  Others, have fallen off and failed at keeping those resolutions/goals. However, I would like to propose that each of you take up a new resolution right now which could lead to a huge difference in your career and paycheck bottom line in the upcoming year.  This simple new resolution is one every person can benefit from in one way or another and involves your resume. Yes, your resume, the one document which you use to sell yourself to future employers for a job.  If you have a resume already, this resume can take less than an hour to accomplish. Here is the resolution each of us should undertake each new year:  I will update, revise, and modify my resume to ensure it highlights all my strengths and skills in a clear and concise manner. You will find that if you update your resume it will build self-confidence as you see what your accomplishments are over the past year while keeping them fresh on your mind.  Updating your resume will also motivate you and help you focus on the big picture of what you want in your life.  […]

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