6 Unexpected Benefits from Boycotting Busyness

Boycott Busyness and BenefitBeing super busy, crazy busy, busy-busy, and filling every waking moment (and then some) with to-do’s has become a socially accepted form of martyrdom.   Everyone is so busy adding new apps, hacks, and systems so they can basically do more faster so that they have time for, well, doing even more!

We wear busyness like a badge of honor. If you are busy, you must be important. If you’re not, then who are you? If you have a moment of breathing space, it must mean that your business is on the verge of collapse. What else could it possibly mean?

I’m not suggesting we all renounce doing anything at all and start staring at the walls. Not even close. What we do brings meaning and energy to our days (ideally). As a business owner you will always have things to do. I know I have plenty of things to do.


You can eschew busyness and find yourself remarkably happier, healthier, and more productive.

I used to go through my days trying to cram as much as humanly possible into it. I would be working on the computer while talking on the phone and waiting for the laundry to finish. I would schedule my calendar without even enough time to pee between client calls and find myself working late into the night to finish “just one more thing!”

I had enough of it and over the last few years have continued to prune where and how I invest my energy. (Check out my posts on “Simplify”, “Shed, Sift, and Savor”, and “what really matters” for more)

Along the way I’ve discovered a few surprising gifts of boycotting being busy for the sake of being busy. [Read more…]

My Favorite Podcasts – 2016 Edition

Favorite Podcasts 2016I’ve been listening to podcasts since they first hit the airwaves over a decade ago. In the last year or so I have been listening more and more.

In the last year I’ve listened not just as a consumer of the episodes but also as a podcast producer myself. That dual-listening perspective has me marveling about what I consider worthy of my time (or not). No matter how hard I try, I can’t put myself into a “podcast box” and frankly I don’t want to be in one.

The following roundup are my favorite must-listen-to’s of the past year and remain there as 2016 hums along. I can guarantee you will not find the usual list of business podcasts here. My mind is saturated with business talk and frankly weary of the latest, greatest, hottest, “must-do” tips. While I may peek in and out of some business podcasts from time to time (a great topic, interesting guest, etc.), very few are on my “always listen” list. I prefer to learn tactical business implementation by reading or self-selected classes so I can get it done quickly and only tend to what is essential.

I believe there is an awful lot to learn about business success and living a good life from unexpected sources. It’s why I love purposeful tangents so much. It breathes new life into what I’m doing and reignites what I already know while opening my eyes to something new and overlooked.

Here are my current favorites (in no particular order): [Read more…]

What Really Matters This Year

The Real Secret to Making 2016 Best Year YetOver years and years of studying what does and does not work when it comes to living a happy life, achieving goals, and generally enjoying the journey, I’ve radically changed how I approach each New Year.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work though like crazy people, our society ramps up for the rah rah rah and gung ho of them each year. I ignore the collective cheerleading and know with certainty that by the end of January I’ll have more elbow room in the gym again. THAT is something I can count on.

You see I used to be a hard-charging, goal-setting, achieve at all costs type. Until I realized that is a fast path to self-abuse and a big hollow empty feeling when I “win” (aka achieve said goal).

I’ve gone through various evolution over the years and my current approach for the last few years has been setting an overarching theme.

This year my theme emerged organically and clarity arrived during a weekend getaway for my birthday right before Christmas holiday. (Fun to combine some business retreat and a lot of pleasure in this way!)

While the first part of it was not a surprise because it has been part of my theme for the last few years: Simplify

The rest of it did surprise me. What kept showing itself in various forms were the words:

Lightness and Curiosity

With the desire to re-discover and discover anew.

You might be wondering, well, that’s nice, but what do you actually DO with that? [Read more…]

How REI & #OptOutside is Getting it Right

REI Closes Stores on Black Friday OptOutside

In October REI shocked the retail world by announcing that it would be closing all its stores on Black Friday (one of the most lucrative shopping days of the year) so that employees could opt instead to go outside.

Not only is it closing all its stores on the busiest shopping day of the year but it is paying all its employees to go play.

REI Closes for Black Friday

And they are encouraging other retailers to take a stand against the madness that has become Black Friday.

Make no mistake about it.  This is a costly move. Closing 143 stores on such a high volume day and paying all its employees.

But to me? It is music to my ears and balm to my heart.

To me Black Friday is an iconic day that singularly represents so much of what causes the most pain, dissatisfaction, and suffering in our lives. The rush to consume, get “more”, and keep up with what we think others are doing.  So the fact that a major retailer is taking such a strong stand against the material and for the beauty of experience in nature does the world a bit of good.

While REI is a member run co-op and does not have the same pressures of public companies mired in the short-term reward and perception game of the financial markets, that doesn’t make it immune to the need to be profitable.

Here’s why this move will ultimately work for not against REI in the long run and what you can learn from them to apply to your own business. [Read more…]

What Fine Food & Drink Can Teach You About The Art Of Doing Business

I am a total foodie. I also love craft beers, wine, and top shelf spirits. I’ve spent years exploring, traveling, and educating myself on the things I love. In the process I have noticed 5 things that fine food and drink can teach business owners about designing a successful business.

What Fine Food & Wine Teaches You About Business

Ingredients and Process Matter

[Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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