Q&A Blog

Ask me anything, I'll answer.

Q&A post: Jaimee - Are you still at MartianCraft?

Helloooooo Friends! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!

I've been hearing this question a lot, so I'm writing to share some exciting news. As of today, I am stepping out of my role as Chief Operations Officer at MartianCraft in order to put focus on Picture This Clothing (picturethisclothing.com). 

PTC unexpectedly went viral about a week after we launched (Launched August 17, 2016) and after seeing how it was going to play out over the last three months, it's clear that this is where I need to put the bulk of my attention. I did try juggling two full time gigs (plus being a mom and whatnot) there for a couple months, but whoosh! Doing all that is more than I can sustain for any greater length of time.

I will remain an advisor/coach with MartianCraft's C-level team, which is how I originally started with MartianCraft more than a year ago. It's a bitter-sweet change for me because I absolutely adore MartianCraft and the amazing team there. At the same time, my new thing is also pretty exciting and it needs a great deal of love if it's going to thrive.

Ben Brooks will be taking over the Chief Operations Officer role at MartianCraft, all will be in great hands with him and Kyle.

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Chris M. asks: What Kind of Coaching Do You Do?

Q: WHAT KIND OF COACHING DO YOU DO? ARE YOU TAKING NEW CLIENTS?

A:
Chris, this seems to be one of those questions I get asked a lot. And since I started offering my services as a coach, I've spent some time refining and targeting my offerings based on what I've been able to help clients with the most. Let's start with your second question first!

YES! I'm almost ALWAYS taking on new clients. If you're curious about how that works, there's a Q&A form to the right, under my mugshot, let's schedule some time to talk!

As for what kind of coaching I do, I've broken it into 3 chunks:

CORPORATE/ENTERPRISE COMPANIES 

Many of my corp/enterprise clients have worked very hard to embrace rapid and collaborative development processes via Agile and UX methodologies, or are seeking to fold more design thinking and multi-disciplinary collaboration into their companies, products and teams. Sometimes making such shifts is a big challenge. Sometimes teams resist or don't understand the value. Sometimes it's the teams that want the change and it's the executive level team that doesn't fully understand the value. And often, my corporate and agency clients offer my individual coaching as a benefit to their employees, so I can help them stay engaged and growing professionally, and personally.

I bring insight, perspective and practices proven to improve the culture, collaboration, and product processes. These teams do the hard work, I am there to help keep them pointed in the right direction. 


DEV/DESIGN AGENCIES

My agency clients tend to have very nimble, efficient teams but run into team-client communication challenges, and/or team development challenges. Smaller teams tend to wear many hats, and don't often have time for building team development strategies. THIS is where I come in.

I have experience growing design and development teams as a unit and on an individual level, evolving interpersonal communications from interns to C-level execs. I help these companies by tailoring improvements around their specific needs. I work with them to create happier/healthier team ecology and vastly improved relationships with clients. 


INDIVIDUALS

My individual clients range across writers, developers, musicians, interior designers, UX practitioners, managers, directors and C-level executives in pursuit of improvement and growth, personally and professionally.  

Often my corporate and agency clients offer my individual coaching as a benefit to their employees. Many of my individual clients are independent professionals seeking to change careers, find focus and passion, take their career to the next level, get through burnout or improve overall life rituals and habits.

I hope this answers your question, Chris. If not, though please feel free to ask for more!

Mr. @Hay Asks:

Q: Could you share your reason to record at 0430?

A: YES! As a matter of fact, I get this question a lot and I have a beautiful 15-minute window right now, so let's answer this! 

In regard to my 4:30am YouTube video journal series.
Last Oct-Nov I had 3 back-to-back trips: Florida, then Ireland, then Boston. Somewhere along the way we also had the time change (Fall back an hour), and ever since my body clock has had me waking up somewhere between 4-4:30am PST.

On Nov 30, I decided to kick December off with a daily writing project called #31days31people. Every post was started at 4:30am, as well. My household begins stirring around 6:30am, so this ended up being PERFECT.

I've been wanting to try all these things - write MORE, figure out how to make a YouTube channel even if it isn't pretty, and a whole bunch more stuff that I plan to continue unfolding throughout the year. But like many of us, life gets in the way and I kept finding all the reasons why I COULDN'T do all these things I wanted to do. Then the whole body clock shift happened so I seized the moment and have been running with it ever since. I don't know if it will last but so far, I am kicking off every day by putting something positive out into the world, which feels nice. Then I either run or do yoga, depending on the day, and by 6:30a the household is waking and it's getting kids ready for school then settling in for a day of work, which varies day-to-day.
By 8:30pm I'm mostly pooped.

Also, I've received the question:
"If you're waking up at 4:30am, what time are you going to bed?" 

Typically around 9pm. Later when I'm worried about something, slightly earlier if all is well. 
I believe heartily in getting plenty of sleep,  that is also a thing that my body decided to do pretty much on its own in June of 2009. Another story for another day.

 

 

 

Susan Asks...

Q.
What is this #31days31people thing all about?


A.
Excellent question, and thank you for asking! First, if you've not checked out the articles you can find all so far, here: MEDIUM

The easiest way for me to answer this one is to kind of evaluate where I'm at, and how it's going. So let's go with this:

#31days31people - Three Things I’ve Learned From This Project (A mid-point update)

On Nov 30, 2014 I committed to writing every single day in December between the hours of 4-6:30am, a post about a person in my life for whom I am grateful. 31 people over 31 days. 

The only rule I gave myself was that I had to write something, no minimum or maximum word count. So far, each post has averaged around 375 words and has taken anywhere from 20-60 minutes to plot out, write and post. An easy 2-3 minute read per post, for folks interested.

The only thing pre-planned was a list of about 45 names that I’d put together on November 30. Each morning I look at the list and see what my heart feels compelled to write.

Some days I write with a huge grin, letting go of audible little giggles as I hash through snippets of my memories. Other days I find myself teary with emotion and a swollen heart recalling every feeling as if the moment were happening again.

The project is an exploration in gratitude. Tons of studies have been done on the health and psychological benefits of gratitude. I’ve been doing a lot of research and experimentation on the topic and how it can work to make us better human beings, personally and professionally. I’m 16 days in, half-way, and the #31days31people project is teaching me some really neat things, here are three that I’d like to share:

1. Gratitude is both Selfish and Selfless
It starts with the best intent. I simply wanted to express my gratitude for some folks who’ve made my life better in some way or other. But I noticed that starting my day with the expression of gratitude for someone not only felt really good, it seems to also surprise and brighten the day of the person I write about, in the instances those folks are still alive. Seeing and hearing that surprise and delight, in turn makes my day even better. So every single day I follow through on this commitment, my day is starting off on the best possible foot. I’ve felt better mentally, I’ve felt better physically. So much so that I also decided on Dec 1 to fold in one of those “30-day Squat Challenge” things. So I write first, do my little exercises then get on with my normal day. Good stuff! 

2. I Can Make Time to do Anything I Decide is Important Enough to Give My Time to
It’s true. I run into excuses and bumps in the road just like many people. During this project alone, I’ve been up through several nights with sick kids, been sick all night myself, couldn’t sleep because my mind wouldn’t rest, but the days must go on. There's work to do, a home to keep clean, lunches to pack, music lessons to get kids to and all the sorts of day-to-day things life presents. But I’ve found this really neat rhythm, not just in this project, but for the last almost 2 years, a rhythm in owning my time. No excuses. If I really WANT to do something, I figure out how to do it. I’m dedicated to maintaining this rhythm. It’s really important to me.

When life or weird stuff knocks me off my game, it can take a minute to figure out a workaround or to figure out if the path I was on is in need of a shift. When life pushes, it’s not always pleasant but I’ve found that if I will move through it with focus on what I know is important, like gratitude for the people in my life, everything continues to fall into place. Life seems to get more spacious and clear, and my opportunities to design it my way become more abundant.

3. I Don’t Want to Stop
Feeling good is addictive. Making others feel good is even more addictive. So here’s what I’m thinking: I’m going to keep something going. I’ll change the content a bit but, to kick off the 31 days of January, 2015 I’m going to start another #31days project. I’ll announce what it is on January 1.

It’d be awesome if folks wanted to try their own #31days project. I’d love to see what people come up with!

//
My #31days31people project: MEDIUM

 

H.G. Asks...

Q.
I’ve read your advice on making time, but what if I really DON’T have time? 

A.
This makes me smile. While I don’t know the intricacies of your individual situation, in my last post I noted that we are all working with different puzzle pieces. This is the truth. Blanket advice can be a challenge for this exact reason, but I can tell you that in every coaching engagement I’ve had where the phrase, “I don’t have time” has come up, we’ve been able to work through things and squash that thinking. 

I still stand very much by what I wrote in last week's post but here are a couple points of focus I’ve broken down a bit further:

1. Prioritization is key.
I start with What’s Important. What’s important to you? What’s the MOST important thing to you, right now? This is what we must never lose sight of. The answer to that question may change from one day to the next, one month to the next or one year to the next. That’s OK. But keeping your sights on the answer, no matter how often it changes, and shifting all your actions to support the ‘What’s Important’ list, is how you solve the problem of making enough time.

2. Seriously, seriously examine WHY you don’t have time. 
The most challenging time of my life that I can recall, was becoming a single mother to a 4 yr old and a 7 month old while working full time at a new job (with a 1 hr commute each way), after closing the doors on a company I loved.

Emotionally, I was a wreck. Time wise, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to make a great impression at my new job, I needed to be there for my kids - I had no family near that could help.
The first thing that got lost in the shuffle for me was my health. Prior to this moment, I was a super active and quite healthy person. While at first, all my life goings-on were a really legit reason, after a while I realized that I used it as an excuse for a prolonged period of time. It took me 5 years to put my health back into priority. 5 years to realize how important my health for me to hold my shit together. And 4 years to see I had turned a legit reason from one moment in my life, into an excuse that infected years. 

Once I realized, I started figuring out ways to change it. If it meant making more money to afford a sitter, I tackled it; if it meant only working out at home for 5 minutes every day until I could figure something else out, I tackled it. I tried dozens of different things until I found something that worked. Once I found a rhythm, I moved my health out of the top spot on my list. It still visits the top of the list from time to time but it no longer leaves the list entirely.

Life will drop bombs. I’ve had jam-packed but beautifully planned days get shot off the rails at 6am. Days where there’s no hope of getting to the list of todos. If you’ve got a method in place that guides you, prioritizing starts to become second nature. Always evaluating what is important RIGHT NOW. Always asking yourself, does THIS ACTION support what’s important? If yes, how quickly can I get it done? If no, how quickly can I get it off my plate. Please note, that by getting it off your plate, I do not mean buying time to do it later. That’s the beautiful art of procrastination. I mean clearing it from your list of future tasks altogether. This is a cycle that takes practice but once you get into the swing of it, things start to fall into place more gracefully. When life knocks you on your butt, get up. Keep going.

They say, it's not what happens to you, it's how you deal with what happens to you. I couldn't agree more.

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