Stories

“Stories are data with a soul.”
Brené Brown

Give A Damn

“There’s no line item on a balance sheet for ‘give a damn,’ but it’s the most valuable thing you’ve got in the business.”
Casey Gerald

Winning Strategy

Charles Eames

“Design is a full time job
It is the way you look at politics, funny papers, listen to music, raise children”

Notes of “Advice to students” by Charles Eames

On Email

In other words, we may despise our inboxes (and 99% of what’s in them), but we’re neurochemically compelled to make sure that there isn’t something potentially important or pleasurable lurking in there this time. And then five minutes from now. And then again. And again. “The internal stimulus is the one that gets you,” Rosen says. “On balance, [email is] maybe 10% pleasure and 90% fear of missing out.”

Great read on How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever

This:

“Admire those who admire others!”
Simon Sinek

Dominant Thoughts

“Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.”
– Soren Kierkegaard

(via The Book of Life)

The Email Signoff

“Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service or a date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget. The email signoff — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. …”

Great read: Second chance for a last impression, by Liz Danzico

End Goal

“I think all of our end goal is adventure.”
Jessica Lehrman

Something You Love

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
— Maya Angelou

Connection

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Brené Brown

Why You Turn Up

You turn up because of the people around you.

You know, the ones with common interests and sense of ambition.

The ones who want to invent new things and do old things better.

The ones whose distortion of reality present challenges that stretch you.

The ones who give you freedom to do things differently.

The ones you trust not to drop the ball (there are no ball droppers here).

You even turn up for the ones who grate on you (they’re also brilliant).

You turn up because the people around you value what you do.

They believe in you and give you what you need.

Together you create something more than a job.

Don’t settle for anything less.

This Medium Post by Dom Goodrum, Head of Percolate Design perfectly describes why I started my co-working space Friends ( formerly Studiomates).

(Thanks Amrit)

To All Tired New Parents

“For every tired, overworked, bitter parent who tells you how much you won’t get done when you have kids, there’s a parent like John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, who talks about cradling his son in one arm, and picking out melodies on the piano with the other. Or George Saunders, who stole time from his office job for seven years to write the stories that would become CivilWarLand In Bad Decline. Or any number of moms and dads who make it work and make the work. They are out there. Find them. Hang out with them. Ask them how they do it. Let them be your role models.”

On writing post-fatherhood, by Austin Kleon

(via Chris Glass)

Trust

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
– Frank Crane

Success

“Success is liking yourself,
liking what you do,
and liking how you do it.”
– Maya Angelou

(via @tbc_nyc)

Big Juicy Creative Life

“What if you wake up some day, and you’re 65… and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life?”
– Anne Lamott

(via brain pickings)

The Habit of Reading

Habit-1

Lovely quote on this Habit of Reading screenprint.

Enthusiasm and contempt

“Someone who shows up with enthusiasm made a decision before she even encountered what was going on. The same thing is true for the guy who scowls with contempt before the customer opens his mouth.

It’s a choice.

This choice is contagious.

This choice changes what will happen next.

This choice is at the heart of what it takes to be successful at making change or performing a service.

More than you imagine, we get what we expect.”

Seth Godin

Being Defined by What the Create

“We have to stop being defined by what we own, and start being defined by what we create.”
— Mark Stevenson

Watch the CreativeMornings talk this quote is from.

Giving

“No one has ever become poor from giving.”
Anne Frank

Life

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
– William James

Ben Chestnut’s 5 Rules for a Creative Culture

There’s not many CEOs I admire as much as MailChimp Co-founder Ben Chestnut. I keep reminding myself of his 5 rules for a creative culture:

1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don’t just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).

2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.

3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo’d and pierced-in-strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.

4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the water cooler, or their desks. Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralized, top-down meetings. But this is your job — deal with it.

5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).

If you enjoyed this, I’d recommend you watch Ben’s CreativeMornings talk. I guarantee you it’s 40minutes well spent.

Fear

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
– Jack Canfield

Silence

“There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy… the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul… the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.”
– Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman on the Nine Kinds of Silence