Riffs Archives - The Winding Road

Becoming Better

How could I have done that better? Like creativity, learning, and becoming better at something is an incremental process — bit by bit. You learn one thing, and that sparks questions, more curiosity, and you dive a little deeper. You begin to uncover edges you never knew existed. Once you’ve done something, ask yourself, “how could I have done that better?” Even if you only find one little thing, that would make it better, right? Then, what happened if you found one other little thing? And on and on. Incremental changes, over time, add up to significant change and improvement. …

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Imposter Syndrome’s Kryptonite

Imposter Syndrome and Curiosity Recently, I was talking with a friend about imposter syndrome and making career pivots. We explored a lot of different angles and examples of this topic. I’m not big on the term “superpower” to describe our core strengths, but I’m warming up to it. During our conversation, I came to realize that one of my core strengths or “superpowers” is actually not knowing what I’m doing. At least the feeling of not knowing what I’m doing or the feeling of not knowing enough. One thing I know about myself is that I’m extremely curious and love …

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What Do Brand Line Extensions Have to Do with Your Career?

You may be asking, what are line extensions? Well, the next time you go to the grocery store or Walgreens, take a look at the toothpaste aisle. What do you see? The reason I picked toothpaste is that I had to buy some a few weeks ago, and I was left confused and overwhelmed. Crest had three rows, Colgate had two rows, and the bottom row was every other brand. There were more choices of Crest toothpaste than I have teeth in my mouth. I’m not sure how many different kinds of fresh taste combined with whitening most people need, …

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It’s a Side Project, Not a Side Hustle

They’re Projects, Not Hustles Recently I’ve been hearing more buzz and conversations around side gigs or “side hustles.” Personally, I hate the term “side hustle,” and I don’t particularly like “side gig” either. Side projects or just projects would be better. As the economy (and world) changes, the way we work will also change. The way companies hire is myopic and transactional. It’s nearly impossible to pivot your career at any point if you feel it’s not going down the path you’d like. Networking, Not Applying Especially if you don’t know anyone working at one of your target companies – …

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Are You Seeking a Career or a Job?

Seeking a Job vs. Seeking a Career A few days ago I posted the following on LinkedIn and Twitter: If you’re "spraying and praying" and applying to jobs without any curiosity or interest in the company that posted it, you’re looking for a job, not the next step in your career.And that’s fine. #careers #CareerDevelopment— Travis L. Scott (@509marketer) July 7, 2020 Some people confuse a job as being part of their career, but I disagree. After watching Elizabeth Gilbert break down the difference between a career, job, hobby, and vocation, it all became more clear for me. Here’s the …

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Should We “Brand” Ourselves Professionally?

I’ve been thinking a lot about brand marketing, brands, and the concept of personal (or professional) brands. In the past, I’ve ignored branding and brand marketing because I didn’t think I was creative enough to be involved with it. Now I’m starting to realize that branding isn’t about being witty and creative in that way.  It’s about crafting a story in a way to shape people’s perception of your products or services. It’s like a guiding hand in helping them form their own stories about your brand. It’s why storytelling is such a valuable skill to have and to practice.  …

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What does it mean to ‘make the most of each day’?

Making the Most of Each Day? Are we really making the most of each day? When you hear someone say that, what does it even mean?  Does it mean we’re effectively utilizing every minute of each day?  Or, does it mean have we properly prioritized the things in our life and then focusing our energy on getting the highest priority things done? Or, does it mean if we had a chance to take a break that we didn’t take because that would mean we’re ‘lazy’ or unfocused? Does it mean we sat at our desk for 8 straight hours today …

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The irrationality of fear

It’s been nearly a year since I spun up my site The Winding Road to talk about careers. I didn’t quite know exactly what I was going to talk about but I knew it would have something to do with our careers and the non-linear trajectory that’s the reality for so many of us.  One of the first things I wrote about was fear.  Little did I know that fear would be such a prevalent feeling or so many of us a year later and not only as it relates to our careers and willingness to try new things, but …

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Who’s it for?

Who’s it for? That’s what was on my mind as I was running this morning.  This is an important element of any marketing strategy or campaign. I’ve always thought of it as complementary to the question of “what’s it for?” Usually putting more emphasis on the latter question, probably because it’s usually easier to figure out.  That’s what I’ve done with the writing and content creation I’ve been focused on over the past year.  This is on my mind because I don’t think it just applies to my content or marketing projects. It applies to nearly everything we do. It’s …

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Your Harshest Critic

We’re our own harshest critic. That’s a fact. Sometimes the criticism is more stinging than at other times. Sometimes we brush it off, but usually, that’s when the stakes are low.  The higher the stakes, the bigger the critic.  If we’re stretching our capabilities, learning something new, the nasty critic will show up again. Always trying to talk us out of whatever it is we’re doing.  It’s a big reason people don’t learn new things – adults at least.  We’re afraid to look like a failure at something we’ve never done and have zero experience doing.  Think about that for …

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