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Are you the right key?

June 29, 2015

If your ideas and visions are not appreciated in your environment, it is not a reflection of you, but of your environment.

Your imagination and vision is like a key. ALL keys open locks equally well, however, all keys don’t open ALL locks.

Life is a matter of finding the right locks for your particular key. 

  
If opportunities don’t unlock for you in one environment, remember there are hundreds of other environments waiting to reach their full potential because of YOUR key.

Now go out and find a lock you can open!

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Stewardship and Air Travel

June 27, 2015

I have done my fair share of travel over the years, and I even remember when air travel was an experience rather than a pain.

So I wonder, when did the words stewardess and steward become derogatory terms?

The “PC” term Flight Attendant has taken root. I was even reprimanded on my radio show once by a “flight attendant” who took offense at my use of the term stewardess.

Now, to me at least, the term stewardess has certain flair about it… it commands respect. A steward is someone placed in charge of something…given authority over a thing or area. In the Bible, we are even called to be good stewards. So what is the beef with the term?

In an AOL.tv article I read, like what a former Pan Am stewardess had to say…

“Oh absolutely we were stewardesses,” said Leslie Paine Anding, a Pan Am stewardess from 1965-74. “I wasn’t anybody’s attendant, thank you very much.”

So it seems at least now that the flight attendants that insist they are not stewards or stewardesses are demoting themselves for the sake of PC. Although you could say the entire industry is not what it was… maybe we don’t have a place for a true steward in the cabin. Gone are the days of class in the airline industry. Society has made pilots into bus drivers, stewardesses into attendants, gourmet meals into peanuts, and as we all know, passengers into cattle. 

Could it be that taking the stewards and stewardesses out of air travel has been a part of making air travel the pain it is today?

Tell me what your take is on the issue and while you are at it, check out my friend Chris Brown speaking about stewardship at http://www.stewardship.com/show

 

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Intention does not equal retention!

June 15, 2015

Just a thought today. 
Intention does not equal retention. 
If you plan on …but never get around to… engaging with your customers on a personal level, they won’t stick around.
Make sure you move beyond intent… and apply!

Attention equals retention!

#CustomerService #UX

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Newness and Pride

June 15, 2015

Much of today’s society seems to be disposable. Use something for a little while and then throw it away. I’m wondering if this mindset has jumped over to our daily lives into areas that have historically not been disposable. It’s not that I’m necessarily noticing more things being thrown away as much as a lack of care for the things we do keep. Something as little as a broken license plate frame on a car, to as big as house with worn faux shutters, and many things in between. When new, I’m sure much pride was taken in keeping these things looking good… And then time sets in. Focus turns to “bigger and better” things, items around us become so familiar that we end up not even realizing they are there anymore. We have essentially thrown away the item from our mind, just because it is not something shiny and new anymore. So that’s where we are today… we don’t have the patience or attention span to keep something we already own in shiny and new condition. We have projected our disposable mentality upon everything…even those things worth saving. So the next time you get a free second or two, look around and find some things you have forgottten about. I think you’ll find in some cases you will re-discover a love or passion that may be worth some of your time again. What was old, really can be new again… If you only take some pride in it.  
 

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Why I’m Ditching Mac.

May 9, 2015

  I have always been pretty computer agnostic. From my childhood, I remember playing with both the Commodore 64 and the Apple IIe. I helped set up early Macintoshes for my school library, but I also was just as comfortable setting up Windows boxes for my school computer lab. I eventually settled on Windows for my personal computing environment for several years…that is until 2009. I began working for a company that was mainly Windows, but my department was all Mac. To ease the strain of making everything talk, I broke down and bough a Macbook Pro so I could share resources with the company and edit  video on the road using the same codecs and programs that  were used at work. 

Fast forward to Final Cut Gate as I call it. Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X. This is fine except it didn’t have all the capabilities of the previous version needed for many people editing. When introduced it worked well as a one user platform. The obvious choice (since my workplace had a mix of Final Cut 6 and Final Cut 7 computers was to upgrade everyone to 7 and wait until X became more mature. Upon the introduction of X, Apple ceased selling 7 licenses causing our team to drop Final Cut all together and go with Adobe Premiere Pro. We were not alone in this and I believe Adobe owes Apple a thank you for forcing so many creative to actually notice the capabilities of Premiere.

Meanwhile on my Macbook, everything was fine and I switched to Adobe Premiere as well. Adobe also introduced Audition for Mac, so everything was great… until a few weeks ago.

My Macbook has started to lock up for 15 minutes at a time, and while editing on Premiere, the audio suddenly sounds like I’m fast forwarding all the time. Only a restart will fix the issue for a little bit, but then it starts again. A complete wipe of the system and a new SSD install didn’t fix the issues either. So now its time to get a new laptop.

Now I’m used to a terabyte capacity system drive and a terabyte capacity secondary drive in place of the optical drive in my Macbook. I use the secondary drive as an edit drive and also run a Windows partition on it for programs I can’t find for Mac. When searching for new Macbooks, I find that the new Pro line uses an MSATA SSD and not the conventional 2.5” form factor. The new Macbook Pros also “boast” no space for a secondary drive. You have to lug around an external drive if you want more space…how is that progress? I didn’t even mention the part where Apple now solders in the RAM so you can’t upgrade or replace it later!

So the current crop of Macbook Pros do not have enough internal storage space for my needs, and even maxed out at 1TB of internal storage, the price is $3100 for comparable specs to my current Macbook Pro. This leaves me with the option of  of getting a refurb 2012 Macbook Pro (the last year they had space for 2 internal drives) , but that will cost almost $3000 as well…for old technology!!!!!!!!!

Now stepping back from the situation, we are in a slightly different world than 2009. I can now get the ProRes codec for Windows to support any legacy projects I may have, and Adobe Creative Cloud runs just as well on Windows as it does on Mac. I have a greater selection of programs to choose from as well… from Software Defined Radio (not available on Mac) for my ham radio interests, to Sony Vegas (an old favorite not available on Mac either), to any number of utilities and apps that will do anything I could imagine. The Mac ecosystem seems to have priced itself and feature limited itself out of my ability to use it any more (I still like my iPhone, but thank goodness I can sync that with a PC).  In my view, Apple is sacrificing usability and functionality for the “illusion” of portability.

Companies like Dell are coming out with laptops that beat the specs of the Macbook Pro line while coming in at a much reduced cost. For those of us that have invested in Thunderbolt peripherals, Dell is also embracing  Thunderbolt ports while Apple just does not include it in the regular Macbook line. Many question if the next generation of Macbook Pro will even support Thunderbolt? Apple has a history of introducing products that work for enterprise level businesses, and then just dropping them (leaving companies and individuals with very expensive paperweights). 

For now I can get a Dell  (like the M3800) that kicks the pants off of the specs of a current Macbook Pro, has space for both an internal 2.5” drive and a 1TB MSATA SSD…and it gives me a 4K Touchscreen! The best part is that this computer is almost half the cost of a Macbook Pro with fewer ports and slower specs. Gone are the days of needing a Mac to be creative. Some motion pictures are edited on Windows these days. Dell, ASUS, and other PC manufacturers all have a number of very capable multimedia laptops and desktops.

$1600 vs $3100  and the $1600 gives me more ports, more storage space, a higher resolution display, a sleeker body, and a touchscreen. I guess the decision has already been made for me.

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Is it too late?

March 17, 2015

I recently heard someone I greatly respect wondering where life had gone. He said, “Before you know it…you are old.”

life-passing

He began to think about all of the things he hadn’t done yet and all of the ideas he just kept in his mind. I myself began to think about how time flies in this fast paced world. If you are not careful, life can pass you by…and for the majority of society, it does.

Life doesn’t have to be this way.

In this day and age it is easy to “float through life.” Instead of making life happen it seem most of society lets life happen to it. All adventures can seemingly be lived simply by turning on the computer or television and the will to stand up for things one believes in seems to be almost extinct. Don’t rock the boat seems to be the mantra of the day…in fact as long as we are on a boat at all, no one seems to care how we got here or where we are going.

In today’s world it seems like life can run on autopilot. It’s the same thing over and over again, day after day… the same routine. Get up, go to work, lunch break, back to work, go home, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, get up, go to work, and on and on and on.

We have become a nation of consumers, but there is an imbalance because we were also all born as creators. The problem is that creating takes work and consuming does not. Sure, you work for money to spend on consumption, but what do you put back into the creative pool? Are you really content just living your life through watching a fictional tv or game character? Eating food someone else cooks? Only listening to music someone else writes or sings?

Now I know some of you are thinking, “I’m not creative!” I have news for you. We all have an inner creative spark. We are all created to be creative! What inner creative spark lies within you? What makes you smile when you think about it? Go back to your childhood…what did you like to do and how much more did your imagination guide your life back then?

If your are doing what you love and truly making a difference in the world…then great, that is what this post is about. If you feel trapped in a routine from day to day then I encourage you to break it and find your true spark. I’m not saying quit what you do, but I am saying find time to nurture your spark and let it grow. We each have creative gifts that life tends to squash in order for us to become part of the crowd. Nurture your spark, shine, become great at what you love, foster your passion; make a difference in the world!

You are here for a reason. I said you! You are not an employee number, you are not a cog in a machine, and you are not replaceable. You have something unique to offer that no one else can do the way you do …if only you feed the spark.

Now, you can sit on the couch wondering where your life is going or where all the time has gone, or you can get up and do something about it. You are only limited by your determination. Life will throw you obstacles and excuses every step of the way and you can choose to embrace them or defy them. Obstacles are part of the journey, they should not stop you. Don’t give up.

Write your own music, take acting classes, write a book, sing, find a way to incorporate what you love into your job, find out what policies politicians are pushing through and then get involved in your community to make sure your ideals are represented. Follow your dreams and make them reality! BE LIFE and pour into other’s lives, don’t just watch life go by from the sidelines.

The secret is that life is a balance of consumption AND creation. The other secret? “Before you know it… you are old” does not have to be a phrase or thought of regret. You are never too old to start being something great!

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Success

August 18, 2014

Growing up in the entertainment industry I learned that no overnight success happens overnight. My parents discovered Alan Jackson when he was working in a mailroom and Sawyer Brown playing small venues and clubs for years.

Generally, people see the end result and have no idea the work and determination it takes to get there. We live in a now society. Video on demand, instant coffee, 24 hour news, the internet at our fingertips 24/7 on our smartphones. We don’t see the building blocs of success because we see how big things already are. The final product overshadows the work it took to get there.

I say this to encourage you on your journey. Every failure or stumbling block is a learning experience and one step closer to success. I would even argue that overcoming a road block is the definition of success. Success is not the final product; it is the years of work you invest into becoming the final product.

If you stay the course and follow your passions, you are a success. Your hard work will change the world around you…its worth it!

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