Type-casting

coaching
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment? Some of you who have done so will have your type memorized and will know what the letters stand for and know what those letters say about them and how they are in the world. Others will think this is total bunk and pseudoscience and to hell with it all. As part of my career change and Jennifer 2.0 project in 2016, I took A LOT of assessments. My coach had me do a DISC profile; the HR person at the university had me do a Strong Interest Inventory assessment; someone else suggested Strengths Finder, which I did on my own. None of these assessments is 100% accurate; none of them function like a crystal ball or are un-erring. But each…
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Failing and Falling

coaching, creative work, productivity
I listen to a productivity podcast (Productivity Alchemy) on which the host, Kevin Sonney, asks all of his interview subjects roughly the same six questions about how they organize their lives, how they stay on track with their goals, and what advice and processes they regularly use. His last question is always "What do you do when you fail?" Kevin interviews a lot of creative people. His wife is the writer Ursula Vernon and they have tons of friends in the art and publishing worlds and those friends give him interviews and let him be nosy about their personal productivity habits. Frequently these interview guests chafe at the very notion of failure. "I don't think of it as failure." "Failure is really just another way to say 'learning opportunity'." And…
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Creative Scholarship

coaching, creative work
I get great ideas in the shower. While I wash my face or scrub my scalp, I think, "oooh what if I offered a writing retreat in Niagara wine country?" orĀ  "I bet a membership site with mini-coaching sessions offered regularly would be a hit!" And then, by the time I'm dry and dressed, the idea has either vanished, or it has paled somewhat under the harsh light of reality. Practical considerations of time and money and influence and reach and acceptability and the like all crowd in around my idea and convince me that, yeah, while it might be an interesting notion, it isn't one for me to consider right now. In other words--I get scared and back away. I don't want to know how many times I've backed…
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Giving it Away for Free

coaching, networking, Uncategorized
A fair amount of my headspace has been occupied lately with how or whether business/entrepreneurial language makes the transition to conversations I have with and about academics and academia. One of these concepts is "giving it away for free." There are marketing gurus out there who talk a lot about the strategy of going ahead and sharing the awesomeness you have (as an entrepreneur or business owner), in the hopes and expectation that your people will find you easier that way and that once they have found you and are paying attention to you, you can sell them more exclusive access to your awesomeness. Because this is a marketing model based on generosity, I find it pretty appealing. It assumes that not all of our interactions--in business or otherwise--are grounded…
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