Marketing is not magic.

There’s this weird misconception when I talk to people about Marketing; they seem to believe its some kind of performance. Like an illusive feature to business that not everyone needs. But, that is completely wrong. It’s a complete misunderstanding of what marketing does for a business. Every single person that tells me they have not been marketing their business is the liar. They are the magician that does not self identify as a performer. Just because you do not understand the thing you are talking about, does not mean you are not a participant in the act. Let me give you a very simple example.

The very foundation defining marketing, is what textbooks define as the “marketing mix” or the five (5) P’s. These are:

Product

Place

Price

Promotion

People

At a very basic level, when someone hires me to handle marketing these are the things I am concerned with developing. These are also the things that people are already handling. To do business, is to have a marketing mix. You must have a product (or service) to sell, you must decide where it will be available, the price you will charge customers, how you will let people know it exists, and who the people are that both sell and buy the product. You may call that owning a business. I call that marketing. And anyone that understands business, should too, call that marketing.

If you own a restaurant. You chose the location of that restaurant. You chose the prices of the food and drink that will be sold. You chose the wait staff and kitchen that would prepare the items. Now, you might think at that point you haven’t done marketing. Did you hang a sign outside the business? That is promotion. Did customers come in? Those are the customers.

Marketing is a verb. If you own a business, you are Marketing. If you don’t value marketing, then you don’t value the work you have done in opening your business. Period. Stop galavanting around as if “marketing” is something beyond what you have already done.

Why hire me? I will refine your marketing. I will optimize it. You may have defined the first four P’s in the list that lead up to people. I take those things, deal with the people, and help you refine all 5 P’s. It’s not rocket science, but it is very complex.

In my head exists a labyrinth. I can’t just hand over the labyrinth. Instead, I can show you how to build your own labyrinth. That’s why you hire me. You hire me to help you guide customers through the labyrinth that is your brand. We call that the customer journey. The decisions you’ve already made – maybe you call them operations – have created a labyrinth already. Many times it can feel like a maze rather than a labyrinth. The problem is customers need guides.

Many people think that the purpose of marketing is to “trick” or “influence” someone into doing something. That’s incredibly wrong. The purpose of marketing is to find market fit – to find customers that have the same beliefs as the brand and influence them to join the brand. In doing so, together we can find what’s best for the customer.

Its not a matter of what’s best for the business. What is best for the customer should be what’s best for the business. Of course, there are outliers. Not everyone is you customer. In these cases, there is an equilibrium where the transaction happens: what is best for the customer is also what is best for the company. This is equitable exchange, and it is what every company should strive for: true market fit.

It’s no coincidence that both an army and a business are called companies. The only difference is the target. With a brand, the company is looking for targets to join the company as customers. Customers can become advocates and even ascend the ranks as employees, managers, and investors. Brands are social entities where armies protect social entities. Both are supposed to be in service to society. Both require loyalty to endure.

And so, I too endure as a marketer. But, I am not an advertiser. I bring people together in company and community to endure the social experiences we call life. That’s what a marketer does. Marketers are not magicians, their not con artists, they are only one thing: they are people that understand people.

If I don’t understand you, you cannot be my customer. If you are my customer and I don’t seem like I understand you, it may be possible that I do understand you. I just can’t relate to you. And, if I cannot relate to you I cannot do my job. Which means, I am not your business developer. I can’t be a business developer for everyone. Just as not everyone can own business. And, more importantly, not everyone can be a customer.

Writing #ThePlan 001

I’ve made the decision to use this blog as a way to adopt writing as a habit. In doing so, it will allow me to both practice writing for my book: The Plan. And, supplement the book with additional content. It will also aide in documenting the process.

Thus far the process has been…. well… there has been ideas of process. But, nothing has stuck. I can blame my ADHD, but I can’t blame my ADHD. In the end it is the ability to hyper focus that will see me through to the end. Finding the path to get there has been…. WILD. The real problem: I don’t think I was quite ready. Now, I am.

The past three years I was working in sales in the “corporate world.” I knew it would add great value to the book and my plan. I underestimated just how frustrating the experience would be. But, as I’ve said and will say many times more: you have to go through hell to get to heaven. If I am going to work with people in going through hell to get to heaven, I needed to be willing to walk the path alone. After emerging from the corporate world as a severanced employee, I came up for a breath of fresh air and had plenty of time to write a book.

I couldn’t. I felt I needed to be back on that path I once walked. I needed to go walk with the people who could use my help. I needed a refresher on the pain points they are facing. I needed to analyze what was once muscle memory. I could feel this each and every time I sat down to write.

Well. I’m tackling those hills once again. I REMEMBER. I am not going to make the same mistakes. I am going to find new problems, sure. Maybe some I hadn’t noticed. I am going to find new routes. Those new routes will have their own set of problems. But, I now have a new sense of the wisdom I possess. No man steps in the same river twice – or something like that – I have more perspective this time around.

As I write this book, which may not take form as an actual book – it may only be a blog – it will take form as the chapters of life. And at the very least: Those chapters will be documented here. Hopefully, so that you may learn from my mistakes.

The Process I have adopted is this: I will write everyday. After I write, I will make an X on the calendar I have purchased and hung on my wall. The calendar goes through December 2023. I will not break the chain. Even if all I write is a sentence – I will not break the chain. The hope is that it will start with one post that takes a little bit of time (I’m at two posts tonight) and turns into something where I dedicate 2 hours per day on writing that book.

If I do not write the book – Know this: I am authoring the plan in real time. I am carrying out the plan. I am planting seeds as a Gardener. I am ascending to new heights as a Co-Pilot. I am Building tied.house enterprises.

Fight or Flight. Continued.

I find myself in a situation, today, right now, in this moment – this moment which both you and I share at different times, yet in both moments the sentiment rings true – where I only know one option. That option is to fight.

I have nothing to lose. Even if you are reading this in a time where my success is beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself. Even if it looks like I am someone who exemplifies the ideals of what one may call a role model. Even if that means you are reading this in a time where it seems I have peaked and there is no higher I could be. Even in that moment. I assure you. I still only have one option: That option is to fight.

Flight is for those who believe security exists outside themself. I am not going to sit here and pretend that I have never flown. I have. However, all the flights I have logged have been in the vain of fight. I’ve flown when the people I fought next to, didn’t see in themselves what I see in them. I was not strong enough a person to carry their weight while they learned how to fight. I flew so that I could lead by example.

Now, did that example pan out? We shall see. I do believe it will. I believe there are some that will come back to fight by my side again. Not because I am the greatest leader. But because not only do I believe I can learn to be a great leader, I know the only reason they were willing to fight by my side in the first place is because they saw something in me that I could not see in myself.

I believe I now possess much of that clarity. Do I possess all of it. Nah. I mean how narcissistic would you need to be to claim you have all answers? I don’t. If I had all the answers, I’m not sure if life would be worth living much longer afterward. You would probably try to tell the world the simple truths and get crucified for it. Maybe the problem is we all want to have all the answers, but we don’t want to go through hell to get them. So, instead, we pretend we have all the answers and posture as kings, when we’re just a bunch of dickheads that don’t know how to love one another for who they are. Setting expectations that cannot be met, because we don’t have the words to accurately articulate and we don’t have the emotional IQ to be vulnerable enough to allow someone to be more wounded than us. So we meet them in a place where their outward expression is first filtered by their internal experience.

When someone is wounded, their external expression can feel like a transfer of energy. That transaction can feel like it is aimed directly at us – as an attack. It takes a lot of understanding to realize that the attack is simply the way the “assailant” processes the experience.

To put it another way: It’s not about you. It’s about them.

You must forgive them. Because, they know not what they do.

Just a thought. Hopefully I am wrong. I really don’t feel like being crucified today. I mean, I’m no god. I’m just a guy that wants the best for people. Do I think I know how to give people what’s best for them? I hope so. I mean everyone thinks they know what’s best for the people they judge… I just hope I have the best solution for the people I love. I have a plan to find out. The best part of all: Even if it fails the people I love will have generated great wealth. And, very few will ever read this post.

If it succeeds?

Well, you read this blog post, didn’t you? 🙂

Thank you for reading.

Love, Jeff

I am Tired.

I am so tired.

I am so tired from just thinking about everything I WANT to do. It’s exhausting just thinking about how much work it is going to take. Yet, I really don’t know how much it will take. I don’t know how much time it will take. I don’t know what it will cost. But I haven’t even really started yet, and… I’m tired.

All I have to give is time. And so that doesn’t really matter. It will take as long as it takes. It’s not a matter of whether or not I have time. It’s a matter of giving that time and not expecting anything back in return. Some call it a gamble. Some call it a risk. Some call it hope and some call it faith. All I know is that I can’t wait around to find out. I gotta get rested up and chase these dreams!

No need to stress.

They say “Life is what happens when you’re planning for something else.” But they also say, “the chase is more fun than the catch” and that’s why happiness is not a destination but a journey. Because our dreams are way to limited to ever imagine the true possibilities life has to offer. Stress is a limitation our body and mind impose on our spirit. Anxiety is our bodies response to a spirit longing to be elsewhere. Our mind, body, and spirit must work in harmony to practice patience and learn how to ascend the next rung in our pursuit of happiness and freedom. It is here, in harmony, that we find we are exactly where we should be. And where we heading will be even more marvelous than where we came from. Moment by moment and place by place. We are on a journey. We will get there when we need to get there. For now, there is work to do. Some of it will be fun, some of it will be maddening, and some mundane.

Be you. Do you. Love you.

I am off to the gym to continue learning how to gain energy. It’s a matter of learning how to manage time when you don’t know when you will accomplish your goals. The ability to fall in love with the process so that you do not make a decision based in fear of your limitations. Rather than pushing the boundaries to learn exactly what you’re limitations are. Right now, I am loving that process in the gym. When it comes to writing, the process has not yet emerged as a pattern I can tune into. Instead, I find myself jumping back and forth between planning – thinking about what I am going to write – and doing – writing. The planning, or thinking, is winning. Even though I know that the best laid plans turn out to be better than expected. I need to trust in the process. I need to lay down a process I trust: just like I do in the gym.

What will that be? Whatever it is, needs to be just like the process for the gym:

Improve each time.

Training Intervals.

Templated

Regular Checkups (weighing in, mirror)

Goal not dependent on time.

Fight & Flight

People often espouse the notion that fight or flight is our instinctual supposition in a state of stress, but no one has yet -at least not in my presence – talked about Fight and Flight as existing in the same state. When we frame the characteristic attributed to “Fight or Flight” the use of the preposition “or” as a choice rather than a relationship that exist in conjunction of the same spectrum. Those that have experienced Fight & Flight in a united state knows of its immense power and debilitating affect. However, those who understand it wield a power like none other. You too can wield this power…. I caution you though, you will need to understand that its mystery is one not to be taken lightly. Do not proceed unless you are comfortable with a state of “I don’t know.” This power cannot be mastered. It can, however, be learned. Once you learn it, you will have no choice but to teach it. And, when you teach it the learning has only just begun. This mystery is the unknown. The unknowable power that you may only know by understanding that you will never understand its mystery.

Okay, Ready to begin?

The concept of Fight or Flight is a belief that you hold. You’re probably asked which you are: In a stressful situation do you run away or do you act and move toward it? Let’s say a dragon is attacking the city. Do you run? Or do you fight the dragon. Whether an individual chooses to run or fight, both individuals are acting with the same purpose and aiming for the same outcome. Both individuals in this scenario want the situation to end. But, there is also a third person. This person confuses us when we see them in movies. The third person is the deer in the headlights not knowing what they should do, so they cower and get killed. This third person’s actions also got the desired result.. The situation ended!

Many of us act as that third person. Though, the scenario we want to change does not end. It drags on and on. Until one day we wake up and say, hey I’m tired of fighting and flying at the same time. So, we choose one. We go somewhere else or we fight the dragon that is terrorizing our world. We know that we have a power unbeknownst to the rest. We know that if we wield it, we will be victorious. We also know that the dragon lives on top of a big mountain. Once we slay the beast, there is an even bigger mountain for us to climb. But, we can’t see that mountain. We wonder if the mountain is somewhere else entirely. Because that bigger mountain is where our intuition tells us to go, we are fighting the boredom of the lower mountain while wanting to fly to find the true mountain.

To conquer the dragon, we must learn when to fight and when to fly otherwise we will get swallowed whole. For some of us fight and flight is a constant game of tug of war. Fighting flight and flying fight. There is no choice. You’ll recall from your elementary math that Zero is not a real number. We are always flying and fighting. And, when you get close to where zero theoretically resides you will find the third person. Fighting to fly. It’s in this third space where we master the art of discernment.

We take flight when we’re open to the possibility of a second mountain beyond the grasp of the dragon. We fight when we’re closed to the possibility that the second mountain doesn’t exist at all. The third person is closed off to the world but open to discovery of a new world. The third person doesn’t always get swallowed. They don’t have to. It may be that the third person who gets swallowed is just experiencing it for the first time. Those who have experienced it, they aren’t caught up in the moment. They are ecstatic to be back in the driver seat in a theoretical state of zero. It’s a white canvas situation for these guys.

These are the guys that scale the mountain. Kill the beast and have a new vantage point for discovery of the second mountain. They are are closed off to the idea that this world cannot ascend above the dragon’s layer. While the dragon was terrorizing the peasants, it may have seemed a mundane existence. Those in power were powerless to their own greed to gain resources they could never utilize in their lifetime all in the name of racing against the clock. It’s inevitable that the dragon will kill you. Most fighters and fliers are content to spend their life playing games and collecting their winnings.

Not the third person. The third person looks for games to introduce that help people fly toward the second mountain and fight to ascend with their loved ones in tow. The third person is given what feels like a curse in the form of a gift. The third person is an explorer. Fighting their urge to fly to somewhere unknown. Flying to fight for what is equally unknown but doing so through the known mundane world occupied by the overseeing dragon.

It takes a village to raise a child. All villagers deserve to get what they want. The dragon believes “people don’t know what they want” and he is therefore safe from any person that would wield the courage to fly up to him and fight. But the third person knows something the dragon does not: “People know what they do not want.” The third person does not want the second mountain to not exist. If the dragon is not slayed, the opportunity to discover the second mountain is threatened. Flying away to discover a second mountain does not guaranty that the village is blessed with a new mountain.

The third person must serve the cause rather than their ego’s desire to be the founder of the second mountain. All that matters is that the second mountain is realized for the good of the village. If one flies away and finds the second mountain but does not return to show the village the way, what is the point?

The power to sit in an unknown state and accept it as now. That is the gift. The present will not last. It will pass, but it can be a gift that keeps on giving. Fight and flight is always a choice until it is not. Learning how to avoid the choice – dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee – is the learning lesson. To go in faith always persisting to reach the second mountain and realizing that you are never alone. Your persistence is in the name of God. Ultimate Reality is not beyond you.

This ultimate reality is the third person’s nature. Because it is their nature, they already exist from the place for which they are trying to return. They access this place in the subconscious of their mind while their consciousness is living in the world that you and I agree is the physical places we observe today. The third person is not from this world. They are from the ultimate reality. Their purpose is to help the world find their way to the ultimate reality.

The third persons only need make one decision: Fight the dragon or hope someone else does while they go chill in the woods.

Some third persons cannot help but fight the desire to fly to the woods. Sometimes they bring the woods to the village. This is problematic. They are caught like a deer without headlights to wake them up. They walk around like cattle, barely awake, playing cow games to fatten them up. The third person must become a GOAT. They must scale that mountain. Time is of the essence, but is no matter. The dragon must be slayed so that the people can find Ultimate Reality.

Be a GOAT. Just Do it. Life’s a mountain. Not a Beach.

Claire and I broke up

The reason:

Claire and I broke up because I was prioritizing one dream over the other. I didn’t realize this was what I was doing until it was too late. (at least it looks like it was too late at this juncture). I have a mental disorder. This particular one disordered my ability to prioritize.

I began dreaming about how to become a “millionaire” at the age of 13, which became the dream of owning my own business. However, I cannot tell you when I began dreaming of the woman I would marry. I can’t tell you, because I don’t remember not thinking about it. I think I always knew that I would get married and have a family. As a kid, I just knew that’s what people do. Of course, it wasn’t that black and white. At some point, I regularly fantasized about the life I would live with a beautiful family. I recall a time in my pre-school daycare where the kids wanted to play “house.” I distinctly remember telling the group of children, “We’re going to have to do that when we’re older. Let’s go play on the tree.” And those kids who intuitively knew this to be the case followed my lead.

In this particular tree, we would imagine we were playing a video game. The tree had a stubby branch at the base that looked like a joystick and its trunk grew at an angle of about 20 degrees. We would imagine the kids walking out on the trunk were the characters in the game, while one of us sat at the joystick and used it to dictate what the characters actions. I was much more interested in learning how to play with people, then pretending to do what my parents were forced to do. When I was old enough to go to school, the first complaint my mother received from a teacher was, “Jeff day-dreams too much.” I’ve always followed my dreams.

There are lots of reasons why my dreams evolved toward Entrepreneurship. I’ll spare you most of the details, but one reason is because of play. I never seemed to realize that I was still prioritizing my life the same way I did at a young age. I was always competitive, even at a young age. I believed that the better we played, the more fun the game at hand is to play. Kids that weren’t good at sports, I had no idea were bad simply because they weren’t talented. I thought they just didn’t care enough about playing the game. I remember wondering, “Why does his dad make him play baseball? He obviously doesn’t like it.” I had no idea his dad was encouraging him to follow his passion. To me, the kid clearly didn’t have it. Passion that is. I always saw the good in people. I imagine, that if you went back and explained this to me at a young age, it would have baffled my mind. To me, sports were life. Because of this, I held the belief that before you could play house, you needed to be the best you can be at the sport you’ve chosen to play. This way, you can support your dream of playing house – in the funnest way possible.

My disorder does not allow me to fully understand time. Like the “Absent Minded Professor” I hyper focus on the current dream. The other dream? It may be knocking at my door… But, I won’t realize there is anyone knocking until I am the one doing the knocking. When I was younger – maybe I didn’t know to do it – I forgot to set an alarm to tell me to check the proverbial door for incoming callers. It turns out that some dreams can’t be put on hold. I believed that in order to get married, I needed to be able to provide a life where my wife did not need to work.

And, what’s wrong with that goal? When you don’t realize that you can be married before you are able to meet that goal. That if it’s the right person, you will obtain that goal together in matrimony. Maybe, in the end it won’t matter. But, to sum it up in the case of me and Claire, I guess the record would say, “I did it my way. It just so happens that ‘my way’ is not necessarily the most optimized way to do it. I might look disordered at times. Because, at times I am. I am not perfect. Claire and I broke up because I have ADHD. It caused me to look through two lenses: broad range of rejection sensitivity and a scope aimed at providing for my number 1 dream: to build a family and play the most fun game of house ever.

I write this here, now, as a reminder to myself that thoughts are dreams. Be careful how you interpret your dreams. Discern your thoughts as dreams. Realize, that nightmares are there to teach you something. And most importantly, they are there because you have created the night terror. Therefore, read the dream for what it is:

A Reflection of You.

Dreams are always a reflection of you. Like a fun house, they do not always reflect an accurate physical image. You must interperate the message reflected back to you with the understanding that your fun house was built by you. The dream represented in the mirror has been warped by something you did. In a relationship, you are allowing someone inside your fun house. When their image is warped, you need to explain why they are seeing a warped image. When you go into their fun house, you should work together to understand why the images are warped.

When Claire was a reflection of me, I didn’t understand how to un-warp my reflection. In other words, I did not love my own fun house. I didn’t understand how I had built the mirrors. I’m now discovering new tools to un-warp the mirrors to bring order back to the funhouse. And, only now, am I learning how to re-build the funhouse into the house I really want to craft: the funnest Donnelly household imaginable. And, if you knew my Grandfather, you would know that that is one hard goal to obtain. I guess this goal required me to “Do it the Hard Way.”

I am a reflection of you. I hope that when you look at me, you can see that my mirror may seem a little bit warped, but I will always be able to explain myself. I know that you are the best person you can be. My intent is always to help you see how and why that is true. No matter who you are.

I broke up with my girlfriend to learn the hardest lesson imaginable:

Reflections depend on accurate Interpretation.

Communication is key. But, the door will only be opened if you knock.

Edit 11:11pm:

The door will only open if you knock… back. That’s the secret to the code.

Meaning: You ARE One with The Universe.

You are one with the universe. The Gurus present this fact as if it were some kind of deep revelation. They seem to believe that if they repeat the same mantras, it will become cliché. You know where the word cliche originated, right? It’s the distinct sound of a rivet gun installing or binding one material to another material. The guru believes that when you hear the sound of this string of words as distinctly as they do, that you will simply… Wake up!

They think you’re asleep. You’re not. And, if you were asleep this noise they spew won’t wake you up. Something so intuitive as “you are one with the universe” will never snap you out of the state you are in. You are in a place between sleeping and awake. You are dreaming. Intuition is already running on all cylinders while your thought patterns resist your natural ability to simply open your eyes, take a deep breath, and look at your existence. Your thought – whether you call it dreams, or strategies, or visions, or analysis – is also a natural ability akin to intuition. And so, you are constantly playing a game of tug of war. This game of tug of war is the ego. Or some may call your deamon. It rises to the surface and plays games with us. So, the guru tries to remind you of your intuition in times where you are stuck in the game of tug of war. So that your intuition can align and work together to co-create the future that you desire. Worrying about something that does not exist prevents us from realizing the excitement life has offered us in our ability to co-create in every moment we share.

The problem the guru has is one of numbers. Audibly projecting “You are one with the universe.” Requires that the receiver be in a state of condition where the acoustics resonate a recall to the feeling of intuition, thought, and reality aligning in the exact same moment.

You do “wake-up.” You just may not realize that you are the guru when you are awake. You know the feeling:

You look around for a moment and realize that you were capable of coming to a place in some time and some place where your dreaming finally took you to where you wanted to go. It seems everyone is chasing and yearning for this feeling. All the people in this post-modern, digital soup of anxiety – well most of the people I meet in Seattle – LOVE to Hike. They can’t get enough of it. They love to get out there and… post it on Instagram. But, they are also doing what? They love to “disconnect.”

This is precisely where we are guilty of deceiving ourselves. I am not trying to make the argument for why nature is better than technology. Both are vitally important for our progression while both could be the cause of impending doom. Instead I want you to think of them as a yin and yang of our time. Both possessing the ability to disconnect and connect human experience. When you feel nature – feel positively in nature, You are not disconnecting! You are connecting. If we take this word, “disconnect” literally in our digital age, then yes: your nose may be disconnected from a laptop or a screen and your hands may be free of QWERTY. But, that’s not what we mean when we say we are disconnecting – there’s more to it. We are disconnecting from the troubles of “the world.” The world that we have created for ourselves. The world that only exists as a construct in our mind.

When you are connected, truly connected, you are in alignment. And, you get addicted to being in alignment. Suddenly, not being in alignment – connected to “the world” – feels wrong. You get addicted to the feeling of power. The woo-woo’s would say that you have aligned your vibration. And, they would be right. You know they’re right, because you feel it. You feel right down through the bones and into a space, maybe it’s a crevice or a container that has finally opened. And you access this space you feel fully open to all possibility. And, you feel RELIEF. You have accomplished so much by simply doing nothing! By simply walking through the woods. The ability to release yourself from the construct of the world is a powerful and expansive feeling. Of course you’re vibrating!

Now when the guru says: “You are one with the universe.” Picture yourself in that moment where you truly felt one with the universe. When you unabashedly, fully accepted every bit of what it means to exist in exactly the place you are at exactly the moment that you got there. Now, realize that you don’t have to walk through the woods to get to that place again. You are already there. Right here. Right Now. This is you, one with the universe.

This is you connecting with your true nature. You are balancing your systems of intuition and thought. So that we can learn to not worry about the future and instead learn to discern our next step. You are balancing them so well, that you are not questioning. You know that it is true. You know your thoughts have resisted to allow you to accept happiness – to accept your true desire.

Why? Why have you allowed this to be so? Because you think you have already discerned the path to your desire. Instead of discerning each step along the path – putting one foot in front of the other – not realizing that detours are okay. And, it’s not your fault! Your thoughts – tugging at your intuitive nature – have disconnected you from true desire.

The only true desire is the desire you have right now. You don’t need to worry about the desire you will have in the future – it does not exist yet. Remember, the other cliche: “It’s not about the destination, its about the journey.” Well this is only half true. Because the journey has many destinations along the way! Haha. None of which, take you away from the universe. They only expand your world so that you may come to understand that:

You are one with the universe.

Don’t create a world that disconnects you from your true potential.

You are not one with that world. There you are the only one within the world. Now, that’s a lonely place to be. And as my favorite quote states, “Man was not made for himself alone.”

You are one with the universe.

Remember Clarity

We are all one. And we are connected. Re-connecting, really. Which means that if Claire was one I could connect with, there is another version I can connect with. A refined Claire is out there. Where is she? When will I find her? That’s the game. She will be right where I need her to be when she needs me to be there.

Time is not real. She exists. She’s just not here, right now. She’s not ready to be here. Right now she’s over there. Where is there? Not here. So I cannot stay here. I cannot get stuck looking backward. I need to look forward and go toward the light. Behind me is my shadow and though it may chase me, it will never define me.

What are we afraid of? It’s not our shadow, we’ve already been where our shadow exists. We are afraid of growth. Because growth requires us to reach for unknown heights. This requires us to put faith in the unknown. The unknowable – the future.

This is faith – to have the Clarity required to move forward while our deepest beliefs manifest our reality into being – and faith requires that when we do make a mistake or a wrong turn that we trust there are no wrong turns, and there are no mistakes. There are only detours and learning lessons. Without which, we could not experience faithful acceptance. Allowing faith to be your guide is a test.

Faith guides us in understanding that everything happens for a reason. That reason, well it may be beyond our intellectual anxieties of the moment – and thats usually is the way it goes. Then, these anxieties may extend into many, many moments and cause stress on our faith.

Never the less, our deepest belief will be realized… When? That is the game. That is the unknowable secret. Time is not real, so when is not a matter of worry. All that matters is why. Faith, like throwing caution into the wind, can ease our anxiety by not questioning the path we’re on before summiting the mountain.

If you look inside, you already have the answer to “Why?” So look inside. Do you see your vision? Keep looking until you do.

We are all entrepreneurs. We know this because we all have dreams. Our success as entrepreneurs is not any amount of money, or anything materially measurable. Our success is determined by our ability to realize our dreams.

When you’ve lost sight of success – true success – and you’ve taken your eye off the prize – your dreams – and instead measure your self-worth based on someone else’s idea of success, look for your Clarity.

“Remember the Alamo!”

Learn from the detours you took while distracted by a dream that did not belong to you. Sometimes, as the case was with Claire, one of your dreams may be dangling right in front of you. Dreams are not cut and dry. Dreams do intersect and they do not need to be one in the same. Recognize the many dreams and the drivers of others. But stay true to yourself when you are in the drivers seat. We are usually more powerful than we think we are. That’s for good reason, but you must trust yourself to be able to handle your dreams simultaneously.

Dreams that are dependent on another dream, requires you to prioritize the dependent variable over the independent variable. This is counter-intuitive. But if you truly have faith in the independent variable, then you should put all your faith in the dependent variable.

In this authors case, building my family did not have to wait for me to build my company. Sure, I (now) have nothing to lose. But, having something to lose makes winning more rewarding. Besides, who throws away something – especially something special – for nothing?

Well, that question cuts the ego real deep… The answer, though, is someone who has faith that it will all work out beyond my knowable dreams!

Faith is all I have to hold onto.

Remember this For Clarity.

Follow Your Passion.

Have you ever noticed that no one tells you how to “follow your passion?” Have you also noticed that the people spreading this rumor never seemed to have taken the advice? Well that’s because most people do indeed follow their passions. Most, however, do not find their passion in a career.

I’m not convinced that we really know how to define passion. According to Mariam-Webster, the word has many definitions. Almost as if passion can be found in multiple states of consciousness. It can be the event of Jesus dying, it can be a measurement of external forces, an emotion of anger or love or affection, sexual, or the object of desire.

We seem to be full of passion. We have so many interests and hobbies; How do you choose one? How do you know what your passion is? That answer might be found in one of my top passions.

I have a thirst for knowledge. Not the kind of knowledge where I can rattle off facts. I don’t want to be so specialized that I can’t understand the macro level of society. I don’t want to be smart. I want to be wise. I want to know the deep truths that are not dependent on conditional factors. The deep truths are often overlooked. Often, they are labeled as common knowledge. These fundamentals, however, should not be confused with common sense.

Where you seek wisdom is where you find true passion. The kind where all four (4) plus definitions of the word “passion” make sense.

Don’t follow a passion. Follow your truth and look for wisdom.