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Summer Camp and Living a good life

27 Sep

I went to summer camp as a child. We didn’t go too far from home but we were without our parents. It was a good exercise in learning how to reach out to strangers for help. We also were continuing to learn how to connect well with others (something I relearned as an adult from Scott Dinsmore’s Connect with Anyone course at WDS).

Summer camp as an adult is much the same to me. Yes, I did say summer camp for adults. You haven’t heard of such a thing. If it wasn’t Camp GLP, I’m sure there are others.

I usually pick and go to events for a sense of connection. I seek to be around other people that are doing amazing things. I want to connect with others I can learn from and grow with. I also seek those with similar values and beliefs. The older we get the clearer these get (in theory and hopefully in practice). That’s not to say our values and beliefs don’t change but they do hold more importance than when I was 10. I have less tolerance to be around people I don’t believe in or that don’t believe in me.

I went to Camp GLP this summer and it was fantastic. I met so many awesome people and there were so many more that I’m sure were just as awesome that I didn’t get to connect with. I laughed a lot. I cried multiple times. I co-created art. I listened. I sang. I talked till I was hoarse. I exercised. I broke down some of my walls and barriers. It was a very vulnerable and raw experience and I loved every minute of it. The one thing I didn’t get was a lot of was sleep.

Why did I choose to go to camp as an adult?

Some very good friends of mind encouraged me to go. They told me that for them it had been life changing. I have similar values and interests to them. The price seemed like a good investment so I signed up. Then slowly I met more and more people online and in person that would be there. It just kept getting better and better. Although, I still felt a bit like I was coming to the party a little late since this was year two. But the more people I met the more I knew I belonged.

We were going all day long, from six in the morning till after midnight each day. We had speakers, workshops, group exercise, meditation, meals and a whole lot of other activities to occupy our mind, body and spirit. It was a different kind of “conference”. It wasn’t just about the speakers or the content, in fact that was my least memorable part, it was about living a good life in mind, body and spirit. We learned new exercises, meditation practices, how to be more vulnerable, new ways to connect with people and show up. We learned how to be more grateful to ourselves and connect with others on a much deeper level than you do outside of camp. It’s like you are in a bubble of love and you never want to leave.

If you are the 5 people that you most surround yourself with, you must pick wisely.

What did I learn for business at camp? 

The most practicable, actionable, content came from Derek Halpern on how to launch a video course. Will I be launching one? I’ve seriously considered it even before camp so that may be happening. When? I’m not sure since I just launched my new website (most blogs posted there now) and my first ebook. I have so much I want to do! So much I want to give to the world.

At camp, I also learned how to have more confidence, how to have better relationships, how to get in my writing groove and so much more. But mostly what stuck was how to show up with my authentic self and really, deeply, truly connect with other people. Something that is so important to me. It’s a big value. Just like vitality. To live life now, because tomorrow may never come.

What do you want to be remembered for?

P.S. I wrote this post before I learned of Scott’s passing. I can’t believe the impact he had on me and so many others. He is all over this post and I didn’t even realize how much until I re-read it to post after his passing. I am in shock learning of his death.Without Scott I would have not some of my best friends that I have been in a mastermind group with ever since we started his passion course over two years ago. Thank you Scott!

I hope you all know how precious life is. Do something that matters…and remember to look up.

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10 tips for better photos

1 Sep

Here are my top 10 tips to help you take better photos

1. Avoid distracting elements such as too much light / dark, light / dark elements. Try to set either a light or dark tone for your overall image.

2. Eliminate distracting elements that draw your eye in a bad way. Examples: If things are too close to the edge they will create unwanted tension because your eye wants to close the small gap. If there’s red in a picture it usually is the brightest element and can draw your eye even if it’s not what you wanted the viewer to focus on.

3. Don’t center things, it creates more interest when things are off center. Asymmetry moves your eye around the image more than if things are exactly centered. When things are centered rather than in thirds, your eye just looks and rests only in the center.

4. If you want to really impact people with your work. Think of how to photograph the subject from a different view (physically or emotionally).

5. Depth of field matters. You want to illicit emotion and movement of the eye. You want to focus on one subject and let the rest fall away / become the background. Your other option is to have everything tack sharp (everything all in focus). For sure, one thing in your picture has to be tack (meaning REALLY) sharp in the photo. Pick your focus: all in focus or only one element that’s focused really well, that will create your one emotion.

6. The fewer the elements, the stronger the composition. As you don’t need too many words in a sentence, you don’t need too many elements in a photo. It gets distracting. Have a resting place like the sky or the ground. Plus, if you have that space you can create images like this for your brand:

Light Our Own Way

7. Give scale by not all things being the same size. If everything was the same size in the photo it wouldn’t be as dynamic. Same goes for a headline in an ad. If it was the same size it wouldn’t draw you into the article.

8. When taking pictures of people, make sure that they don’t have a tree coming out of their heads.

9. If the photo is a close up picture of a person, make sure their eyes are in focus. That is the most important thing on the face to focus on. It will draw you into the portrait.

10. Remember that posture also matters a lot when taking pictures of people. You want them to shine in your photo, not look like Oscar the slouch that has no figure.

 

If you are trying to figure out what to do for your own head shot session, check out this blog post for tips.

If you like this post I’m coming out with an ebook very soon. It has expanded tips as well as example photos. Leave a comment if you want to know when the book is available.

What world domination means to me

21 Jul

What does World Domination Summit mean to me? Well in 2012 it was a life changing weekend that I will never forget. I have been three times since that weekend. WDS just celebrated 5 years as a “conference”.

The themes of WDS are Community, Adventure and Service. Each of those may mean something different to each attendee as we are all pretty unconventional types. The saying goes, we are trying to live “a remarkable life in a conventional world.” Most of us have non-traditional work or we bring our unconventional mindset to the “corporate” job. To me, we are a bunch of misfits, weirdos and rebels. We buck the system in order to make a better one. We want to leave this world and the people in it better than we found it.

Community

Community to me is the people. They are my tribe. I have never had a tribe that I loved so much before. Even though we are thousands of people, I know that everyone in this tribe is awesome, someone I could talk to and learn from. Someone that would listen to me if I had a problem. Someone that is doing something cool.

Adventure

I love adventure. In fact, I live for adventure. A lot of the members of WDS are travelers. Either they have their own business so they can work from anywhere in the world or they love to travel far and wide when they go on vacation. Chances are pretty good that if you are going somewhere in the world you could run into a WDSer. If they have room, they’ll probably even put you up in their place or find you an awesome local place to stay.

Service

That brings me to the service aspect of WDS. The people in this group are such givers. If you have a problem they’ll help you troubleshoot or connect you with someone that can. They often give you help for free. More of a “pay-it-forward” approach. If you do pay for their services it will be well worth it as I’m sure they’ll go over and above their already awesome contribution. Their work will be great because they love what they do and love that they are working on with you.

If we aren’t giving to each other than we are probably giving it to some other great organizations in the form of monetary donations or community service. The people in this community are just so giving.

#WDS2015 (check out the twitter feed)

This WDS was particularly raw and vulnerable in the main stage talks. I think we were all crying on and off at certain points in time and none of us cared that we were doing so in “public”. We were sharing a moment and that was fantastic. We were listening to someone be real and we loved it.

Volunteering

The past three years I was an attendee but this year I wanted to give back to the community that has given me so much. I wanted to be that helpful person for those first timers or that friendly face to those that knew me. I was thanked so many times. I thanked them right back for coming and being a part of this great space that Chris Guillebeau created for us. I told them I wasn’t working too hard as I was loving what I was doing. Anything I could do to help!

 

Some of my favorite quotables from the weekend:

There is something bigger than yourself. — 

Self confidence grows every time you promise to yourself.

Follow the path. See where it goes. Embrace uncertainty. — 

Don’t trade your voice for things that don’t matter. It’s OK to say no. — 

Loss is what cracks us open. It’s natural and leads to growth. — 

It’s not about what you do but WHY you do it.

Even elephants are born small. —

Adulthood is a process of reinvention.” — 

Abandon your ego and good things will happen. — 

Sometimes you just have to let the tapestry cone completely undone to start again. — 

Love is the only thing that lasts. — 

Don’t make money, make a difference.

When you are an adult, try to be a kid again.

When you see people as just a platform, you eventually stand on them. — 

No label will embody all of your gorgeousness, ever. Get over it. — 

Something I always tell people who wonder why I am a photographer and designer, not just one or the other:

The same principals of design apply to photography. — 

Till next year…keep the magic going!

WDS party

Past inspiration from WDS

WDS 2013

PDX Pioneer for life

4 Apr

Pioneer nation is a small, intimate gathering of people running their own businesses or having an idea of something they want to start. It’s about bettering ourselves, our business and making the world a more awesome place. It’s about having conversations and making connections.

I’m now part of the tribe that says, “Chris G picks my friends.” Chris Guillebeau tends to bring the best and most interesting people together in one place. I’m happy to have these people as my tribe, the place I belong. Thank you Chris for all that you do! And thank you to everyone on the team that makes WDS and Pioneer Nation happen. You rock!

Some of my biggest takeaways from Pioneer Nation are in the “slogans” I heard.

Here are some of my favorites and what it means:

You are not alone. — Stop doing it all. Ask for help. We aren’t good at everything and you can’t succeed on your own. You can try but I’m pretty sure it’s impossible. I mean, really, do you want to be your own plumber, cook, gardner, mechanic, accountant, lawyer, business partner? Need I go on? I think you get the point. We all specialize and we all need other services that people specialize in.

Your heart is your compass. — If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you don’t want to finish the movie or book you started because you don’t like it, you don’t have to. Find something else you like better and do that. If something feels good, do it…all within reason of course. You don’t need to drink the whole bottle of wine or drive like a race car driver on the highway. Be kind to others. Come from a place of kindness but also with intention.

Take those crazy bets! — Crazy bets are the ones that pay off the most. If given an opportunity, take it! What’s the worst that will happen?

A shot of Fernet can lead to a lot. — You’re sitting next to someone in a bar. Maybe you should talk to them. Maybe you should buy them a drink. You never know where it can lead unless you start that conversation. Maybe they become your best friend or your business partner but you’ll never know unless you approach people as potential friends. Don’t be nervous. We’re all in this together. We all belong. We all offer value of some kind.

Hurry up and fail. Fail more often. — Successful people have failed a lot. You just don’t know that about them. They’re known for their success and you can be known for that as well. So, the faster you fail, the faster you can succeed. Make it. Ship it. Fail. Try again until you succeed.

Power pose it up! — If you don’t know what this is check this out. It really works! Try it every morning. You can also check out Cold Shower Therapy. Great for getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Nick offers daily wisdom to help you along the way. Things to think about in life and in business to make you better. Who knew you could get this from the shower?

Mostly I just rip off other people’s stuff. — It’s all been done before but you are what makes you and your offerings unique. Give your business your own personal style. Make it yours. Give your business a personality. Your personal brand. If you need help, call me. Ok, well I’m not really going to give out my phone number to everyone on the web but you get the idea. I’m here for you. If not me, find another designer that likes what you are doing.

I have nothing to lose. — What’s the worst case scenario? You fail? We’ve already covered that above. So, you’ll try again or they say no. Ask someone else. Refine it and try again. You only lose if you never enter the race.

Fail the fu*k out of life! — Again, fail. Fail faster. Fail a lot. If you don’t fail, you’ll probably never succeed.

Think big, talk small. — You may have grandiose dreams for yourself and your business but if you don’t talk to the people that are actually using your services (or products), you’ll never know what you’re doing right or wrong.

Do no harm. Use your powers for good. — As stated above, you don’t need to harm others to do good in the world. There’s room for all of us to succeed. In fact, your mentors will probably help you if you ask.

Say yes!! Say no! — Kind of another way to say some of the above. Say yes to the things that excite you or that feel good. Say no to the things that bore you. You only have one life (I know this is debatable), make it a good one. Make every day count!

Don’t survive, THRIVE! — Don’t just sit back and survive or be a passenger in life. Go out and do things, take action, create things and live your dreams. If you aren’t living outside your comfort zone, you aren’t really living, you’re surviving.

 

Whew! I think that’s a wrap. For now.

So thankful for all my new wisdom and all my new friends. #pdxpioneer for life!

Roux Roamer tweets

Some live tweeting from PN

For more tweets and awesome adventures follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter @rouxroamer!

For more about WDS 2012 and 2013.

Nomadtopia!

9 Feb

I just helped Amy Scott launch her ebook, Destination: Nomadtopia. It’s a great guide to help people travel more on a part time or full time basis. She walks you through all the things you need to think about in order to create your own personal Nomadtopia. I actually connected with her online and offered to help in any way I could since I am an aspiring nomad and I think it’s awesome that she wants to help others. It was really fun to see her launch!

I would love to have a location independent business and be able to travel more than I do now. I am experienced in graphic design and marketing, yet I somehow have a hard time marketing myself. I love helping other people market and helping them to launch their business yet I have failed in launching my own. So, here and now, I am giving you my vision. Since I love helping other people launch their businesses and seeing them succeed in putting their product out for the world I would love to do marketing and design for them. I want to do graphic design and marketing for startups and small companies. I love being around people that are inspirational. The good energy just radiates.

The other group of people that I am most interested in helping are artists. Art is something I have done since an early age. I think that most artists have a hard time with graphic design. I would love to help! I want to give artists a professional brand. I love branding and I think it’s so important. It helps you stand out and let people know you are serious. You don’t want to look like the starving artist but the professional artist. I think all artists deserve to unique brand.

Let me know if you fit into one of these groups or you know someone that does. I’d love to help.

And this is me, taking steps to live my Nomadtopia.

Cheers!

Convergence

6 Aug

I have so much to give and I don’t know where to give it…

Convergence is very hard for me when it comes to business. I love helping people and I would love the freedom a business venture could give me but I have no idea what that business would be. I could be a consultant in the blink of an eye but for what? What do I have of value that you want?

I have struggled with these questions for far too long. I don’t feel it should be this hard but it is for me. I can help others find their passion and tell them what to do but for the life of me I draw a blank when thinking about myself and what best to do for my own business venture.

People ask me about vacation destinations, hotels and things to do. People ask me where to eat or what to see in a certain city. I know all this stuff because I enjoy knowing it and if I don’t I look it up.

Planning a trip to Vietnam? I can tell you the name of a reputable taxi company that won’t take you the long way to your hotel and many more useful and fun tidbits.

People always tell me I dress nice. I enjoy shoes and dressing nice because it makes me feel nice and I like to present myself that way to others. And maybe I do stand out a little because I wear red shoes or yellow shoes! I’m not afraid of color or mixing it. I draw on my art background to know that yellow and purple are complimentary colors and look nice together. I know that an all black suit is too dark and not as fun and sassy as I am so I pair it with bright pink shoes. I suppose that my dress matches my personality. Although, some would say I could use a little more fun in my life.

Do you need help figuring out what to wear with what even if they aren’t name brand clothes? Who helps you? Can I?

I like to encourage people to be green or to eat healthier. I like to share what I know about being green, eating healthy and exercising. I feel all those things are important for people to know. Especially since cancer runs in my family. I like to spread all those things I’ve researched to anyone who will listen and wants to make a difference in their own life.

Green smoothie a day, yep, thats me!

I like taking photos, especially of my travels. I like writing and talking about all things travel. I would say travel has to be my favorite topic of all. I live to travel. I love to travel and I love helping others to travel. I think travel opens your eyes to things you may never experience here in the US. I feel that travel has made me a better person and a better photographer.

Marketing, I’m good at that too, except for when it comes to marketing my own skills. Marketing is what I do professionally but may not be what that second venture is primarily about. But I know it will come in handy!

What do I want for myself: to make the world a better place. I want to help others. I want to travel more. I want more freedom and more security. I don’t want to depend on others for those things, that to me is not secure or free.

Someday, I hope that something I’m doing leads me to the business venture I’ve always wanted. Something that makes me say “hell yeah!” Side gig, part time, full time, the “hell yeah” factor is what I’m looking for.

If you’re still looking, I wish you the best. If you’ve found it, that’s awesome!

Cheers!

WDS

12 Jul

It all started years ago when I started following Chris Guillebeau’s blog. I’m a huge fan of Chris and what he does. I too would like to see every country in the world. I just have to speed things up. Two-three weeks of vacation a year is not enough to see the world. I need more time to dominate.

I somehow missed the first World Domination Summit but heard about the second one. I knew I couldn’t miss it again. When I told people the name of the conference I was attending, they weren’t sure what the hell I was doing. I explained it and most people got it and understood it. Some even wanted to come. Note to self: hang out with that last group more often.

WDS is a great way to connect with like minded individuals. I want to make sure I stay connected to those I met throughout the year, and hopefully many years after. The stories you hear from these individuals are so inspirational. Even if people haven’t made it “there” yet, you still want to be friends with them because they are going “there”. I hope the people that I met believe the same of me. I’m not there yet but I want to be.

Chris, besides your inspiration, great books and amazing conference you are full of love and gratitude. You believe in all of us even if we haven’t found “the right path”. Thank you! Thank you for your generosity, passing on your knowledge and of course the $100 you bestowed upon all of us. You are truly an inspiration!

Lessons for the next summit:
1. Arrive on Thursday afternoon or very early Friday to take advantage of some of the meet and greet activities. I think this makes it easier than showing up to a room full of 1,000 people. That was a little overwhelming.
2. Turn third place into first and look at the unconventional race earlier. This shouldn’t be a problem since I now have a twitter account. Thank you WDS! And thank you husband for driving me around to take all my photos and letting me know that I’m not just third, I beat out 997 potential players.
3. Introduce myself and meet more people. AND bring “business” cards.
4. Make friends, especially with those people that will check in and make sure I’m working on my goals and meeting them.
5. Be able to share the goals I’ve completed since the last summit.

Looking forward to next year but hoping to enjoy every day until then!

UPDATE on my journey since WDS 2012 and my goal update from WDS 2013.