What’s going on in your world?

Two big things this week in mine: Wed (the 9th) is my birthday, and I’m also moving. Did I tell you that?

Not far—about four blocks from where I currently live on the Upper West Side. My requirements were that I didn’t want to have to change dry cleaners, coffee shops, or subway stops.

Boom.

So it’s not far, but in many ways it’s miles beyond where I’ve been living.

Why? Because I’m going from a 300 sq. ft studio apartment, where I’ve lived for 10 years (10!) to a one-bedroom that’s over 600 sq ft.

For people who typically eat and sleep in different rooms, this doesn’t feel like much. But in Manhattan, it might as well be Buckingham Palace.

It’s fun. It’s also…physically painful. My back is sore at me, my shoulder feels off its hinges. My right hamstring is balled up like an angry fist. I’m excited. That hamstring is thrilled, too, actually. It just doesn’t know how to show it. So it’s fistbumping the rest of my body.

One thing moving makes you do? Take serious stock. Look at what you have, what you no longer want. It’s a line in the sand, moving. And several bags of forgettable sweaters didn’t make the cut.

I’m also bracing for the vulnerability of having a team of movers, due here any minute, going through my stuff.

I mean, this is intimate stuff–this is your LIFE, being handled, packed, and heaved onto a truck.

I expect zero editorializing from these four movers, whom I’ll guess will be around 27 years old. But can you imagine if they did?

“What is this?”

“Why do you own this?”

“You sure this works with your life right now?”

These are lines of dialogue that won’t occur today. I am guessing, in fact, very little dialogue will occur.

MY POINT:

What makes us a little uneasy about moving is the same reason we’re sometimes uneasy about sharing our stuff—namely, ideas, stories, dreams.

Because sharing them feels…vulnerable.

What if you could share what you do, think, create, and know that NO ONE is going to criticize or judge or question your taste, but instead are going to look at it specifically to explore its genius?

Imagine if one of these movers held out a dress from my closet and said, “OMG this was a great decision.” (That’s not happening. But can you imagine if it did?)

I’m not a mover technically, but I do help people move their work into the world. How? By helping people see and express the genius in all the stuff that’s jammed into their closets, drawers. Things they haven’t looked at in years.

And I do it using a specific method for tapping creative genius, one I’m trained in, called the Gateless Method. And I speak about it and do workshops and retreats all over the place so that people can experience it themselves.

Last week I did a two-part masterclass called Rekindle Your Content, to help people turn content creation from soulless slog to energizing, powerful tool that you LIKE CREATING.

(And I practice what I preach, too—how else do you think these emails get written?)

The response has been so fantastic, so I thought you might want to see it. I’m making the replays available to you right now for a limited time. You can grab them right here (it’s free).

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear.

>>GET THE FREE REKINDLE REPLAYS.

OK. Movers are here. Gotta run.

P.S. Wait til you see Part II–where people I don’t know at all share their stuff with me and everyone on the call (and there were a lot of people on there). I found it pretty powerful. I always do.

If you had asked me last week if I’d be moved by a closing performance by Queen at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, I’d say, umm, probably not. 

But then on Thursday, I watched Bohemian Rhapsody, and that changed everything. 

Have you seen the movie? You kinda can’t take your eyes off Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. He’s mysterious and sexy, and just by being, well, him, he challenges convention and elevates personality to a high art. 

And so when I turned on the TV tonight (you crazy? I wasn’t going to shove my way into Central Park with 60,000 people in it), and saw Queen (with Adam Lambert as the Mercury stand-in), I was…enthralled. And moved. 

Like most of the world, I already have Queen melodies and lyrics baked into my brain. But having seen the movie, I felt emotions I wouldn’t have felt—even a surprising wave of nostalgia. 

One particularly moving moment was when they cut to actual video of Mercury doing that call-and-response thing he was famous for.

There he was, calling out in his bright yellow jacket at the London Olympic Games in the 80s…and 60,000 people in New York in 2019 called back. 

THAT moment struck me, hard. 

Mercury died in 1991. Would he have imagined, from that stage, that day, that three decades later, people would be shouting back at him across that void, even then? Maybe he did.  

It doesn’t matter if you saw the concert, or if you have any feeling about Queen at all. 

The point is that art that moves people lasts. And not nice, neat, polite art that you do to please someone else, or when you have time for it, but the kind of art you’re willing to risk things for. Maybe everything.  

One of the best lines in the movie is delivered by Mercury to famed manager John Reed, who asks him what’s so different about Queen. 

Mercury doesn’t say, “oh because we’re passionate about what we do, we love it, we love playing music.” Nope. 

He says: 

“We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, playing to the other misfits…who are pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.” 

If you want someone to fall in love with what you do, with what you offer, they have to feel it belongs to them, too. They have to love it so much, they’d shout across decades, just to keep the song alive. 

Art doesn’t last because of that one person’s passion, or because of its “owner.” If art (in whatever form yours takes) is to last, someone else must feel they own it, too.

Art lasts because you own a piece of it; it’s yours to keep. The question is, do you have something to share that someone else wants to keep?

 

HOW SERIOUS ARE YOU ABOUT THIS? 

…If you want to spend more time creating things that matter, you need to make the time to do it. You can’t wait for inspiration to strike, or someone to ask you for it. You need to push aside a lot of things and people so you can have SPACE to do it in. 

I can help, if you want. 

I’m talking about 30 Days on the Page.

This 30-day audio program will help you break new ground on your new ideas, and gain momentum in developing, fleshing them out, and making them real and ready to share with the people you most want to reach.

It draws on the principles of the Gateless Writing Method which is designed to quiet the critic and invite ease into your creative process. All you have to do is show up, press play, and write. I keep you company the whole time.

Seriously, check it out. The sense of accomplishment you get from spending time on the stuff that matters to you is like nothing else.

And it’s $1/day! So don’t wait.

There’s a song by recording artist and folk singer Mary Gauthier that guts me, every time. 

It’s called “Mercy Now,” and the song moves, achingly, through concentric circles of forgiveness: Starting with her father, who could use some mercy now…and ending with her country, which could most definitely use some mercy now. (Lord have mercy, indeed.) 

You listen to a song like that, and it’s artistry in action: It’s what I imagine a soul sounds like.

Now, you and I are not Grammy-nominated singer-songwriters touring the globe with a new album like she is (unless you are and you didn’t tell me). 

And you might think you have nothing in common with her because that’s not you. But that’s not true. 

Because what it takes to be courageous in her work is precisely the same thing it takes to be courageous in yours. There is no difference.

Sure, the platform is different; hers is stage, lights, theater, and yours might be office, classroom, co-working space, Adirondack chair). 

I don’t care what that work is—to get up and go and do it, every day, is important work. It’s your work. And what threatens that work? Self doubt. Fear of criticism. Comparison. 

We put the kibosh on our most creative ideas, more often than not.

I recently interviewed Mary, at midnight, because that was the only time she had (again, rock star), to talk about how she fights the demons of self-criticism, judgment, fear in her own work and why it’s worth fighting it in our own. 

“The ever-expanding waves of putting work out into the world may never be measured, but something could happen as a result of me doing my work,” she said. “Comparison gets in the way of all of that.”

(Watch the interview here.)

She’s so good. 

And the reason I was up late interviewing Mary, when I usually just text her, is because I have a big announcement to make:

Mary Gauthier will be co-leading The Intensive with me Oct 17-20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. 

Yeah, I know you’re busy. You have a life and obligations, and things booked (a meeting, a lunch, a long-put-off task). 

But six months from now, what do you think you’ll remember most? The weekend you spent catching up on shows or emails (that never happens), or the one you spent uncorking a bottle of brilliance stowed away in your mental basement? That’s one hell of a vintage. I say, drink it!

>>Read more about The Intensive. 

If this speaks to you, then trust me, it’s worth jostling schedules for. (Ask anyone in this video who attended.)

WAIT, WHAT IS IT AGAIN? 

The Intensive is an intimate, all-inclusive three-day event where a small group of leaders, writers, speakers, creatives, and pros of every stripe come together to work on their ideas, their stories—the things that will move their brand and work forward in a bigger way. 

The point is to dig down into your own work using writing as our tool—but NO RED PENS. No criticism, no judgment. Period.

Because if you want to create work of meaning and get a better handle on what that work is, it starts on the page, where all great work begins. 

“What happens on retreat is transformative,” Mary says. “Because the group is naturally inclined to root for you. We get close to each other thru this vulnerability, and there’s this building up of affection for each other that happens really quickly. You end up with a group of people who really want you to succeed.” 

Attending Gateless Writing retreats changed my life, personally and professionally. They helped me catapult my writing and my work in dramatic ways, and I have no doubt it can do the same for you on The Intensive. 

So let’s talk. Apply for a spot here (no fancy pedigree required!). 

 

P.S. Here’s what Intensive attendee Jenn Barrett had to say: 

“The retreat helped me find and develop my voice and discover how powerful and persuasive it can be. I left the retreat inspired and energized with a clear understanding of how I could use my voice and my writing to advance the ideas I care most deeply about.” 

–Jenn Barrett, start-up exec, journalist, and financial literacy advocate

 

I was in Whole Foods the other day, browsing the gluten-free cookie aisle, and I heard this little voice pipe up. 

“Hi!” 

And there, parked in a stroller by the almond milk, was an adorable baby girl, waving emphatically at me. 

“Hi! Hi!”

“Well hello there,” I said, delighted, walking over. “What’s your name?” 

And then the baby fell silent. There was an awkward pause. Then she looked past me to someone else ambling up the aisle. 

“Hi! Hi!” 

I had reached the apex of her engagement skills. Granted, she was like two. But still. Once she had my attention, she was moving on. She simply didn’t have anything else to say. 

I laughed, grabbed a box of something made with rice flour, and walked away. 

Sure, she’s a child. She doesn’t have a vocabulary for engagement. But we do. 

And it struck me that this is exactly—exactly—the problem with efforts we make to attract and engage people for our businesses and brands:

We love waving people in. We love getting them to pay attention. We love getting our stuff “out there” and “raising awareness.” 

We invest tons of time and money, to GET people to notice, thinking once they notice and like us, they’re ours forever. 

Nope. 

If all we do is try to wave people in, we’re no better than that baby in the dairy aisle, waving hard and then turning our attention to the next person. 

Because once you stop making that effort, to show relevance and value, they walk away. Sometimes even when you DO make the effort, they walk away! 

Take this blog, for instance. 

The minute that thing happened with the baby, I got excited, because I knew I wanted to tell you about it.

You might be entertained by this, but someone else just said to themselves, “What is this drivel,” and dealt the death blow to the “unsubscribe” button. It’s fine. 

To keep the right people engaged and in conversation with you, you have to let everyone else move on down the aisle toward what they’re looking for. 

So what is the magic that DOES keep people engaged? It’s not offers. It’s not discounts. 

It’s content. But content is not a platform. It’s a conversation. 

Email, wordpress, social—these are platforms.

The platform is the body; the content is the soul. And if marketing efforts feel empty to you, it’s because they’re dead inside. 

I know you’re busy. Content feels “extra,” like another thing you have to do that you’re not getting paid to do. 

But in fact you are getting paid to do it.

Every time someone engages with you, reads your stuff, understands who and what you represent and offer, you are paid handsomely in the one thing people are the most stingy about: Their attention. 

Ready for the invite? Here it is. 

I’m teaming up with my digital strategist and branding pro Cass McCrory to offer a two-part webinar, a free one, unlike anything I’ve done before online, actually. 

This (free) 2-part master class is called “Rekindle Your Content: How to fire up your creativity and fuel your marketing efforts.” 

>>You can get the replay here.

This (free) two-part virtual event is great for you (and/or a team member) if you:

  • Want to generate more and better content, but are tired and bored of doing it
  • Are paralyzed by a blank page and hate sitting down to “write copy” 
  • Want to refocus your content efforts, but aren’t sure where to start (or restart)

(Can’t make both, or either, times? Register anyway. We’ll send you the recording. But due to the very dynamic nature of this thing, you’ll get far more out of doing it live.)

Part I: Rekindle your content is about aligning those efforts with intention and purpose, rather than firing off posts with a t-shirt gun. 

Part II: Reinspire your work is where we roll up our sleeves and DO the work, yes, right then and there. 

This isn’t a pitch fest; it’s a master class. And I wouldn’t do two parts if I didn’t think it would be powerful and worthwhile. 

>REGISTER for “Rekindle Your Content” replay (for $0). 

 

P.S. You do NOT need to be a professional writer or have a blog to make this worthwhile. If you have ideas you want to share, a brand you want to build, this will help you focus that effort. Join us!

 

My friend Paula Rizzo looks like a sweet little cat. 

She’s neat and orderly and totally adorable, a petite, pretty brunette with a laugh like a bell. 

But don’t be fooled. Inside that kitten facade, the girl is a pit bull. 

She cut her teeth in newsrooms (which are not for the faint of heart) where she spent nearly two decades as a TV news producer, and now has an Emmy on her mantle to show for it. The girl doesn’t think in days or hours, but in seconds. 

So while the rest of us are doing things like, you know, blinking, she has already studied, learned, and mastered whole skill sets.

And when the girl had a stomachache for days, she ignored it.

For a delicate flower, she has an extremely high pain tolerance. Then the stomachache abated for a bit. You know why?

Because her appendix had exploded inside her. 

She lived to tell the tale, and while she was on the mend, she used her ninja list-making skills to rejigger what she would and would not be doing.

She and I were putting plans together to do a live event at the time, and when this disaster happened, she said, “We need something that will last even if body parts explode,” and so we launched an online digital course I’m quite proud of, called Lights Camera Expert.

The thing you might not guess about Paula is that she has an addictive personality. She gets into one thing, and THAT is what she’s into. Oatmeal for breakfast? All other breakfasts can go home now. Genmaicha green tea? Every day. I’m just glad she never tried meth. 

The girl is also obsessed with lists.

I don’t just mean “tasks for today” lists, but like, “stuff we need to talk about today over maki rolls,” including, “What’s going on with what’s-his-name?” 

(That is a question for me, and the answer is, nothing. Nothing is going on). 

She launched a blog about lists. Then a book about lists (Listful Thinking, bestseller, translated into umpteen languages, including whatever they speak on Mars). 

While I was doing laundry and trimming my nails and trying to figure out what to do for lunch, she released her second book, Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You. 

It’s pretty and practical, bound in an adorable package. Just like her. But there’s more to it than that.

Anyone can write down what they have to do today. But that’s just one use. Because what’s the point of all of the effort you make if you don’t know where you are right now, and where you’re headed. 

Lists give us control, reduce piles of to-dos into a clean, straight spine that can stand and move. She’s a list chiropractor, helping align the pieces to ensure that the to-dos align with the what the what-fors, and don’t forget the WHAT-I’M-NOT-DOING-ANYMORES, which is equally critical. 

If you could use a tool for helping map out your next steps—in your life, career, project, check out Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You. 

You’ll end up doing things you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about, or done, and that’s key. Trust me, when Paula tells me to do something, I don’t ask questions. I do it. 

 

Ever go on a church retreat? I did. 

Antioch Weekend at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland, New Jersey. In the 80s.

You got to wear your Jordache jeans and sleep over at host houses and hang out with kids you didn’t know (read: boys you didn’t know) from public school. Hot. 

We sat in the school classrooms, but it didn’t feel like school. We had prayer groups and discussions, talked about life and faith. Then we’d stand in a circle and hold hands and sway to Led Zeppelin (because it was a “cool” church weekend). 

Maybe someone would cry. And it was totally normal to hug a lot, which provided an off-the-charts oxytocin-addled high. 

It was the first time in my life that I felt like an adult. Not a student, not a kid, but a person, with  feelings and opinions and ideas that mattered.

I felt closer to the other kids after a single weekend than I did with the kids I’d known my whole life. I felt seen and known. We all cried when it ended. I learned that bearing witness for another person was one of the most important things I could do. I believe it still is. 

A few years ago I attended a different retreat—a writing retreat, led by a woman I’d never met. We were in Rhode Island, the leaves starting to turn, and I woke up the second day and felt it—that same elevated, energized, happy feeling.

Only this was way better. I wasn’t fumbling through prayers and awkward teenage hugs. 

I was writing. Writing in ways I hadn’t written in years—free of judgment, free of fear and criticism and self-doubt. I was absolutely high on it, on the energy in that room. 

I left that retreat changed. It was an intoxicating blend of feeling totally new and yet returning to something familiar. 

That’s the goal of a retreat, the best kind—to discover and remember. Both things. 

I still go on those retreats, led by the fabulous Suzanne Kingsbury, who’s become a close friend. And she trained me to lead my own. 

Thing is, not everyone can get away for a four-day retreat. (If you’re reading this in April 2020, no one is going anywhere.)

But you CAN get to the page. You can still get that intense satisfaction of spending time on stuff that matters to you. You can still find renewed confidence, ease, and excitement in your writing and work again, no matter what shape or form it takes.

This is why I designed 30 Days on the Page!

This 30-day audio program will help you break new ground on your new ideas, and gain momentum in developing, fleshing them out, and making them real and ready to share with the people you most want to reach.

It draws on the principles of the Gateless Writing Method which is designed to quiet the critic and invite ease into your creative process. Get out of your own way—and feel your own work expanding, instead of feeling constricted by fear and self-criticism.

You get…
  • 30 days of prompts designed to tap your creativity, intuition, memory, and genius
  • A daily audio guide that takes you through the daily exercise, so that you can write in real-time
  • “5 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Genius” download and audio guide that gives you insights and exercises for changing the way you approach your work

And it’s $1/day! So check it out.

Ever hear of a woman named Brenda Ueland? 

She was before your time, and mine. And she did not mince words. 

“I hate orthodox criticism,” she wrote,  “…small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery.”

Oh, she’s not done. 

“…I hate it because of all the potentially shining, gentle, gifted people of all ages, that it snuffs out every year. It is a murderer of talent. And because the most modest and sensitive people are the most talented, having the most imagination and sympathy, these are the very first ones to get killed off. It is the brutal egotists that survive.” 

Hot damn. She’s right. 

This passage comes from one of the most beloved books on writing and art ever written—“If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit.”  

She wrote it in 1938, but it’s as relevant now as ever—maybe more so. 

Ueland isn’t just speaking to “writers” (authors, journalists, etc). She’s speaking to anyone who’s ever had something to say. (Um, that’d be you.) 

I don’t think any of us is ever “out” of stories or ideas. We just stop seeing them. Or we don’t slow down long enough to let them hop on board. 

We whiz by them and say, “Yeah I should swing back around at some point and pick that one up. That’s a good one.” 

But we don’t. We’re busy. We’re leaving our best stories and ideas stranded at a goddamn bus stop.

As a consultant, I make my living by helping individuals and companies expedite the process of metabolizing their messaging, and getting it out there faster. 

And as a workshop leader, I help groups find their flow in the moment and tap a deep vein of creativity, right then and there—without judgment. 

Because criticism is a bitch. A lot of us (me included) are struggling with Stockholm Syndrome for the people who were most critical of our work. 

I won’t call them talent murderers because they don’t always set out to kill. They’re trying to “help.” They’re “just being honest.” They’re being practical. But in fact, what they’re doing is stomping on your very soul just as it’s starting to sprout brave little leaves.

Ueland writes, 

“The only good teachers for you are those friends who love you, who think you are interesting, or very important, or wonderfully funny; whose attitude is: ‘Tell me more. Tell me all you can. I want to understand more about everything you feel and know and all the changes inside and out of you. Let more come out.’” 

….YESSSSS. That’s it! That is IT. If you have that in your world, your circle of colleagues or friends, your pals from school, fantastic. Get together. Even virtually. And share your stuff, rather than fix it. 

Or, you can come hang out with me. Because when you have the dedicated time and sturdy space to write… when you’re guided to the page with a prompt and all you have to do is write, right then, right there!

That’s 30 Days on the Page.

>>Click here to read more about the30 Days on the Page

Do you have to be a writer? No. 

You just have to feel that impulse to create, to make something that matters. 

This 30-day audio program will help you break new ground on your new ideas, and gain momentum in developing, fleshing them out, and making them real and ready to share with the people you most want to reach.

It draws on the principles of the Gateless Writing Method which is designed to quiet the critic and invite ease into your creative process. Get out of your own way—and feel your own work expanding, instead of feeling constricted by fear and self-criticism.

Seriously, check it out. The sense of accomplishment you get from spending time on the stuff that matters to you is like nothing else.

And it’s $1/day! So don’t wait.

OK here’s what happened: A woman emailed me recently and said she wanted help creating a TEDx talk. I said sure.

In fact, I could do her one better—I invited her to join me for the Pop-Up Story Salon in Manhattan that week. This would give her the chance to roll up her sleeves and start creating the talk right then and there, find a flow around what she wanted to say. Great way to start the ball rolling.

Her response? Nah.

She didn’t think she needed that. What she really needed, she said, was the format for a TEDx talk.

Hmm.

Format is another word for fill in the blanks. It’s “give me what it should look like and I’ll color inside the lines.” Problem is, that isn’t how you find, tap, or express brilliance.

You can totally google “TEDx talk format.” (Go ahead.) While you’re at it, go ahead and google “how to do a website” and “how to write a sales page.” Or, “how to give a toast at a wedding.” You’ll find tons of templates you can use.

I can also give you a cafeteria tray, and you can spoon every single one of your future meals into those little compartments.

Why does none of this sound fun? Because it’s not.

Your most genius ideas won’t be paint by numbers. And your best meals will not be served on a lunch tray. God willing.

Templates can be helpful. Of course. But they are not a shortcut to brilliant and unique ideas.

There are plenty of people who will give (or sell) you templates to fill in, no matter what you’re trying to create. And I could hand you, right now, a format for a TEDx talk. Then you’d have it. But it would bring you no closer to having a killer talk.

It’s not just this one woman, who I’m sure is a very nice, smart woman. But there are lots of nice, smart people who think that all you need to do to make something worthwhile is a recipe.

Recipes works for cupcakes. But not for creative ideas.

Formats have their place. Especially when you’re ready to finalize a thing. But not when you’re coming up with it.

That lady passed on the Pop Up Story Salon. But 11 other people showed up—and they blew each other away.

They came from a range of backgrounds (management consultants, financial pros, creative copywriters, fine artists, marketing execs).

They weren’t given a template; they were given time and space in which to write something unexpected. And they flat-out surprised themselves.

They shared their work and discovered its power, not its problems. They experienced, in real-time, how their work inspired and affected people in that room—most of whom they’d never met before.

I’m curious whatever happened to that woman though—if she’s still googling recipes, wondering why she’s still hungry.

WHAT ABOUT YOU, THOUGH?

Does the idea of digging into your most important stories and ideas to propel your brand and business with a smart, small group sound like fun? Because it is fun. And it’ll also change how you come up with and express your most creative ideas.

I loved that Pop Up so much I turned around and immediately planned several more all over the country for 2020. The events run 9-5p and attendance is limited to 12.

You can read more about the Pop-Up and see upcoming salons right here.

Stay tuned into for more cool events (online and in-person) coming up in 2020, too. Find me over on Insta or LinkedIn or Facebook to hear about them. Or get on my list (scroll down just a little) for very first word of all things 2020.

Four years ago I gave a TEDx talk called “Stop searching for your passion.” This is not news.

I memorized every word of that talk. I delivered it in a room of around 1500 people. And I walked out of there and thought, “Ok! that was fun. I hope someone outside of that theater ever sees it.”

And someone did. A lot of someones. Not at first, though. 

I don’t consider it a “viral” talk because it didn’t explode over night. It’s much more akin to a chronic disease; imperceptible at first, imperceptible at first, but the symptoms increase, year over year. But in a good way. Ok. bad analogy.

That talk continues to find its way to people on their laptops and iphones, in the dark of night somewhere in Sydney, or during someone’s hard day in Dayton. Young men in India email me at 3am all the time for some reason.

Some people say it changed their lives, which is very humbling. But that talk also changed MY life—it gave me a new platform and a new way of seeing and talking about things.

One thing I’ve always said about any talk is that it should be the start of a conversation, not the end of one. And that talk started a lot of conversations for me. 

I have a new talk, one I’ve test-driven at a few events, and people liked it so much that I’ve been invited back to give it a few more times. I like to think it’s continuing a conversation I started 4 years ago, which is, ok, if I’m not searching for my passion, what am I doing instead?

So I titled the new talk: “Stop Searching for Your Passion (Do This Instead).”  

(I’m no dummy. It worked once!)

I pitched it to SXSW. They loaded it into their “Panel Picker” and they said, essentially, “Here’s a link to share. See if anyone else cares.”

You don’t have to be going to SXSW or even know what it is, you don’t have to give a crap about any of it.

But. 

If you took the time to read this, you’re obviously in my corner, and I’d like to ask you for your vote. Your UPvote, that is.

Just click on over to this page, register to vote (this does not obligate you to anything). And VOTE UP.

…If you DO NOT think I should be anywhere NEAR SXSW, then I understand your decision to respectfully decline to vote. Voting down just seems mean.

Thank you!