060 – The Long Game

People are often confused about the long game with life or their business. It’s easy to get distracted or feel like you’re losing momentum on your path when you see people “flying past you”.

However, there’s something you need to think about, are you in this for the long game or the short game?

There will always be people willing to cut corners, willing to do things cheaper and quicker just to make a quick buck or gain a quick connection. Yes, that can lead to quick short term success, but it’s unsustainable, and will eventually come back around to haunt them.

If you cut corners to grow, you will set an unrealistic expectation from yourself or others, that will burn you down the road. The people and big companies at the top spend time and money making things right, you need to adopt the same mentality.

Doing things right and in a sustainable way may make growing a slow process, but you will have created a bulletproof and stable foundation for your work, which can’t be taken away easily, and that’s what the long game is.

Always remember to stick with you believe and play the long game, and likeminded people will seek that out, giving you larger and longer-term success.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

059 – You are your own self

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Look at others to get inspiration, but don’t compare, because it never adds up.

Looking at someone else and thinking “they are my age, and they are doing that, why am I not there” is unrealistic, because chances are you both have different circumstances and life paths that led you to your own unique place.

You can’t look at someone else’s habits and simply copy them, you need to adapt them to your own life, your own skills, and your own natural flow.

Some people can work endlessly, others need more breaks. Some people can remember everything on their todo list in their head, others need written lists to stick with. Some people need structure in their day, others like not knowing what’s going to happen.

Always remember to look at yourself and realize what you need, maximize on that, and be the happiest and best version of yourself.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

058 – Re-energizing my creativity

This past weekend I went on a trip to Apex Mountain Ski Resort with 11 friends, some of which I knew quite well, others I hardly knew at all. Over the weekend we met some new friends and overall had an amazing time.

We rented an Airbnb a few minutes from the slopes, which had a hot tub, sauna and a wood fireplace. It was really cozy and accommodated all 11 of us.

Some of us spend 1 or 2 days skiing, a few others didn’t ski at all and sat in the hot tub all day, but everyone got what they wanted out of the trip. While everyone was so diverse and fun to be around, the fact that there were a number of creatives there really made this trip amazing for me.

My friend Zack and I both make youtube videos and vlog, Dan is a videographer, and Brian is a photographer. On the first night there, the 4 of us sat around discussing cameras & lenses for an hour or 2. Because there were 4 of us, everyone just left us to do our thing which was really nice.

Being surrounded by other creators is very refreshing. When you have others to pull that energy from, instead of feeling like you are holding others back. For example, on our way up to the resort, we pulled over and Zack and I took a bunch of photos and drone footage on the side of the road. Even though our girlfriends were just wishing we would get back on the road, we had each other to lean on and we ended up getting some amazing footage.

These interactions really help re-energize my creativity. The trip was a nice removal from day-to-day life, relaxing and fun, but I also was creatively fulfilled. I often find myself very antsy during “vacation” trips because I feel like I haven’t done anything and wasted my time (that comes from being a workaholic) but after this trip, I came home fired up to get back to creating more.

Always remember to take time to yourself, but do what you love with no pressure other than self-fulfillment.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

057 – Snowy Vancouver

Winter finally feels like it’s here, but so does global warming with the fact that the weather these days is just a mess.

I was just in Ontario for almost 2 weeks, visiting family & friends and working on some projects and while I was there we had a couple of days of rain. Not only was this rain strange to begin with, but we actually got more rain in 2 days than we normally get in a month. There were little lakes on people’s lawns, and the town river was overflowing significantly.

Following this, I flew back to Vancouver, and I am greeted with a couple of feet of snow! For Vancouver, this is extremely unusual. In the winter, Vancouver just rains, lots of rain and gray skies, but it never really snows in the city. Having this much basically shut down the city for a few couple days.

When it snows in Vancouver, the city is unprepared to deal with it. The roads don’t get cleaned very fast, no one knows how to drive, things you don’t think about when you are from Ontario and everyone is used to lots of snow.

Of course, this is happening as Australia is basically on fire, and it really makes you think about the situation we are in. That could be a whole other post, but for now, just remember what’s going on in the world. 

If you have snow, be sure to go enjoy it and make some snow angels or snowmen and go skiing.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

056 – He quit his job!

Many people always complain about their jobs, people who don’t like what they are doing, and who are unhappy waking up and going to work. Some of you may be in this position right now or may know someone who is in this situation. 

The problem is, there are always reasons to stay. Health Benefits, salary, the corporate ladder, retirement plans, and many other reasons. 

Most people who say they don’t like their job, have no idea of what they would rather be doing with their time that would allow them to pay bills, because, let’s be honest, those still need to be paid.

I couldn’t be more excited for a friend of mine, who recently took a leap of faith and left his corporate job. I can’t speak to his feelings about his previous job, but he always wanted to be pursuing his passion and giving it a chance. He knew he didn’t want to be stuck in a job he didn’t like, even though he was good at it. 

So, he started off the new year by leaving his corporate life and starting his freelance videography business.

The important thing to remember is, he did it with enough of a plan and savings that he wouldn’t be on the street within 2 months. Some kind of vision is key to being able to succeed.

Until you take the leap of quitting your job, you will never know what awaits you on the other side. For example, because he quit, he has much more time available, which has already lead him to other opportunities and accomplished things he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. Was there any way to plan these? No. But the will happen if you work hard and put yourself out there.

It’s truly inspiring, but for me, it’s also fun to have someone to discuss the freelance life with, help each other out, do projects together.

Others need to take away from this. If you are unhappy in your job, figure out what you would rather be doing, and how to get there, then start doing small steps to make it happen. If you aren’t doing this, then don’t complain about your situation. 

If you aren’t helping yourself get out.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

055 – I went floating

I tried something new. Something that is apparently for my soul, for my brain, and for my well being. Something to help my mind calm down, slow down and be quiet. 

I tried floating.

For those of you who don’t know, floating is where you go into a tank with saltwater, and when you lay down, it supports your body and you effortlessly float. The tank is fully enclosed, with lights in the water (you can turn them off as well) and speakers, where you have the option of some relaxing music, nature sounds, or a guided meditation. A session is 90 minutes, where you are alone with just your own thoughts and no external stimulation (not even jewelry or clothing) to allow you to dive into your thoughts and into your mind.

So how was my experience? Well, through the 90 minutes it changed multiple times. At one point, I was in a state of zen, I had “nature sounds” playing, and sometimes all I could think about what my breathing and the way my body felt floating weightlessly. Other times, I was thinking about business, about work, about life plans and organizing my thoughts. I came up with some ideas and I organized tasks with action plans to get off my plate. It was interesting to think about my problems and my struggles, and just let my mind wander and sort through things. It was a way to go into deeper, uninterrupted thinking.

This may be amazing for some people who do this on a constant basis, like a weekly session to help plan your week, or even escape life and mediate. For me, my mind is often thinking about work (and I love that), so I am not constantly looking for an escape, but I do know many people who are.

Overall, I’d say I enjoyed myself. I’m not certain whether it was the floating that allowed me to think and relax or the fact that I had set dedicated time aside in my day to sit and relax. Either way, it was a very fun experience and I think people should try it at least once. I don’t think it’s something I will be doing weekly, but I can see myself going again in the future when I have something I want to explore in my head and think about solutions in a different way.

For anyone interested in the place I went to in Vancouver, it’s called The Float House in Gastown.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

054 – The Power of Accountability

This goes along with the theme of my last post. Recently, I was with some friends, and we were discussing productivity and motivation to move forward with projects, something that we can all find difficult sometimes. When it comes to personal projects, it’s so easy to put it off and say “I’ll do that tomorrow” but that just keeps repeating, and nothing ever seems to happen because there’s no real deadline.

There is a great solution to this, something I like to employ myself. When you tell someone your goals, they become much more real.

One of my friends had a great way of doing this, he has something he calls “Sunday Sessions” where himself and 2 of his friends get together for coffee or breakfast and discuss their past week, and what they want to accomplish in the following week. They help each other brainstorm ideas to move forward, giving an outside perspective to help others accomplish their goals effectively and offering help where they can. 

Most importantly, this meeting provides accountability. They know that by telling the others what they want to accomplish in the next week, they then have a deadline of the next “Sunday Session” to accomplish that, or at least show their progress. It takes away that feeling of not having a deadline and helps hold you accountable to actually take action on your tasks. 

That is the little push someone needs when sitting on the couch thinking “I’ll do it tomorrow” and instead thinks “I should do it now because I can’t put it off too long or I’ll have to admit I didn’t do that, and for no good reason”.

When you come across a snag or something that you don’t know how to get around, you then have those friends to help brainstorm different ways to move forward, which can be very comforting, and you know that you’ll get that help at the next meeting.

Are you going to try this? Set up a regularly scheduled meeting with some friends that you feel would be good for brainstorming and keeping you motivated and see how it works!

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

053 – Vancouver Social Media Mastermind

The other night I went to an event where I was not sure what to expect, but what I walked away so inspired and thrilled!

I went to something we called the “Vancouver Social Media Mastermind”. Ever since I moved to Vancouver I have been looking for a group of people that I could nerd-out over social media related topics and strategies for business growth on social media. These are things that very much interest me. I spend a lot of time researching strategies for growth and ways people can use social media to build their brand.

The ironic part about working in the social media world is that it can be a very lonely business because so much of the work is done alone. Sure, you go out on adventures to capture content, but then you go home to edit, research, write, strategize, all by yourself. Not all of us are Gary Vaynerchuk and have a team of people that do these things for us. Most people see the glamorous photos which are essentially the “highlight reel” but what they don’t see is the hours of work to make that happen.

During the other night’s event, it was very refreshing to discuss and talk about things we’ve learned, help others with their strategies, collaborating over ideas, and getting feedback on your own ideas.

There were 6 of us, which was a great number because it allowed time to get to know everyone. We went around the table each talking about who we are, what we do, what we bring to the table to help the others. We then discussed the problems we are facing and what we would like to achieve. We ended off with an accountability statement, so we said what we hope to achieve in the next month before our next meeting. We all went away with new ideas and things to work on based on the feedback.

Overall it was amazing to meet people who are interested in social media and content creation and to get those different perspectives on ideas and problems we each face. I love collaborating on struggles and ideas, helping others do their best work.

I am very much looking forward to the next one, the only thing I wish was it had lasted longer and that the next one wasn’t so far in the future. I came away with many extremely inspired to step into action.

Thanks to everyone that was there, and to Alayna Joy who organized it. If you don’t know her content you should check it out!

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

052 – My friend Cat Clyde

I’ve talked about keeping in touch with old friends, how you never know where they will end up, and it’s a great feeling to be able to catch up from time to time. Some friends just naturally fall by the wayside as your lives change, but other friends it’s always nice to catch up with. My friend Cat Clyde is like that to me.

Cat Clyde is an old friend who I went to high school with. We shared many music classes, band projects, and I even started recording her as I was getting my feet off the ground in my recording career. We spent much time together bonding over the creation of music, late-night studio trips and we worked on many projects over the years. 

I still remember many nights going out to “The Swamp” (a studio I worked at just outside of town) to jam, create music, hang out with Cat and our friend Katelyn, and various other friends that would join us. We would spend hours there, returning home at 6-am many times with the rising sun.

Upon finishing high school, we saw less of each other, but still the occasional visit from time to time. When I was at school, Cat came to visit with her guitar in hand. When I moved to Toronto, Cat would text me whenever she was playing a show in town so we could catch up, and it was always a treat to go see her play. As we both kept pursuing our passion in much, we slowly saw less of each other. She’s always been someone I’ve kept an eye on and I knew she would take her incredible talent to great places.

The other night, I finally got to see her play again. This is the first time I’ve seen her play in 3 years or so, and the first time I’ve seen her play under the “Cat Clyde” name, even though I have been following her amazing growth with the project since it’s inception.

As I stood in the crowd and it really hit me how proud I am to call her a friend, how happy I was she was doing what she loved and knowing I was there since the early years of her growth. I watched a packed room full of people sing along to her songs and cheer, unable to take their eyes off the amazing stage performance and beautiful voice. She put on a great show with her fantastic band, and it was such a treat to hear a show that was so accurate, sounding exactly like the record. It makes me happy to see her succeeding doing what she loves and staying true to what she wants to do. Her style is the same as I’ve always known her to be doing and you can tell it truly comes from her soul.

I did get to catch up with her backstage before and after the show, and it was fantastic as always. I can’t wait to see her again, and hopefully with less of a gap between visits than before.

If you haven’t heard her, you should check out her music and what she’s been up to as she finishes this tour.

Always remember, if you stay true to yourself and do what you love, you will make things work. I can’t wait to see where Cat goes, and I think this is still only the very beginning for her.

https://www.catclydemusic.com

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex