Personal / Inspiration

Why Hibernation is a Good Thing. (Sometimes)


2 Comments

Have you ever been burnt out?

Of, course you have. 🙂

Over the past several months I have been in what I am calling a “Period of Hibernation.” That is why you have not seen ANY posts for awhile. You see, with a full time job, side business, home improvements, and leading worship every week, I have been going full speed this year. Not to mention, my wife and I have been making preparations for the arrival of our baby girl!

This year has been full of many exciting adventures!

I made a New Years Resolution in January that I would blog on a consistent basis this year. Like many of our New Years Resolutions, I have failed to keep this one.

But no longer.

I have come out of HIBERNATION!!


I have recently been studying habits and learning that small habits on a daily basis can lead to a HUGE change over time. I want to push myself to be better. A better husband. A better friend. A better family member. A better co-worker. I want to be a good dad.

I want to be the best version of myself. Not just for me, but for the people I hold close to me. For my daughter. I want to be a father that she will be proud of. I want to lead by example. I want my actions to speak 10 times louder than my words.

I have taken these past few months and reflected on the things that make me… well, me. My life’s journey is about to take off! I am glad that I have spent the last few months to prepare for the change!


Advertisements
Personal / Inspiration

To My Beautiful Wife.


2 Comments

Dear Morgan,

On this Mother’s Day I have set aside time to look back on life. I look back on all the major milestones that helped shape my life today. Looking back on decisions I thought were life altering; going to college, deciding to pursue a career in the arts; moving to a different place. All of these things, I believed, were going to fundamentally change everything about me. I have realized that the most important life decision I have ever made was bringing a life into this world.

The day I met you I knew that we were destined for this great adventure. I know that this has not been a very smooth road. However, I know that God was grooming and molding us into the parents we will be. I love you and I want you to know that whatever challenge comes our way, we can face it together. You are beautiful, talented, caring, and I am excited to see what God has in store for you… and for us. We are going to have a baby! I am so excited!

Please be patient with me. I will probably make so many silly faces, make up so many songs, and entertain our child in soooo many ways it could get annoying! I love you and you are going to be the best mother to our child! I cannot wait to bring in another member of our team! We are going to conquer the world!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love,

Wesley

Personal / Inspiration

Monday: Funday


No Comments

YOU CAN DO THIS

Monday is often viewed as the most miserable day of the week. You here it time and time again. “My weekend was too short” or “Ugh, this week is going to be sooo long.” It’s actually quite sad.

Mondays are PHENOMINAL.

You have the opportunity to start over. To make something. To change.

I look at Mondays as a launch into the week. Yeah I get it, when you get to the office you have all those emails and phone calls to catch up on from the weekend, BUT you have the opportunity to be BETTER.

I use the Monday morning commute to not only analyze the previous week’s accomplishments but I also use it as a way to motivate myself to be a better person, better worker, better friend, better mentor, and so on.

Mondays are a time for MOTIVATION. You should get excited that you have been given another chance to CONQUER your life. Sometimes it’s difficult to go into a monday morning on the “Up and Up.” What helps me get my Monday morning off to a good start is making sure the people around me are off to a good start.

Smile at everyone. Give High-Fives. Motivate them to accomplish something BIG during the week. By focusing on others, you will begin to see how that shapes your feelings about the day.

Make a list and ATTACK it! Start your week off with extreme productivity. Look at the week ahead and do something BIG!

I always tell my wife “DO BIG THINGS TODAY.” It has been the motivating force within my life. I hope that mentality spreads to the people around me.

As a team, you can accomplish BIG THINGS. Those things usually start on a Monday!

Now, Go and Do Big Things!

Personal / Inspiration

LIFE HACK : Staying Organized is as Easy as ABC


26 Comments

Understanding the Life Cycle of Every Decision Made in Life.

Life is made up of choices.

We make choices everyday. There is no getting around them. You can choose to do something or not to do something. Either way, a choice is made. Most of the time your decision process is broken down into 2 choices.

THIS way or THAT way?

Think about it. Every step you take, every move you make

Sorry for that interruption. Where was I?

Oh yes, break down every action that you take throughout the day and let’s begin to analyze the life cycle of that decision. Let’s not make this too difficult.

Example: The Life Cycle of Wearing Shoes

A. Decide to wear shoes.

B. Put on the shoes and wear them.

C. When you are done wearing the shoes for the day, put them back where they belong.

You can break down this process for every action you take during the day.

A. I decide to eat a candy bar.

B I eat the candy bar. (It was delicious.)

C. I thow away the candy bar wrapper.

___________________________________________________-

A. I decide to go to work.

B. I drive my car to work.

C. When I’m done with work. I park the car back in the driveway.

You really can break down this process for everything you do. Most of us find it easy to complete tasks A and B. There is something about C that is a challenge for most people (including myself.) If you ever find yourself in a dirty/cluttered room or space, it’s because the Cs are piled up.

Recognizing the clutter as individual Cs is the first step to becoming more organized. Find a “Home” for each item. Then, when you have finished with that item, place the item in that home. If you find yourself saying, I will do THIS later or THAT later, recognize that by doing those things later you will have to do other Cs immediately.

 messy-desk1

Clutter happens when you can no longer keep up with the Cs you have put off for later.

My challenge to you (and myself) is to focus on each task with ABC in mind. Everytime we make a decision to move something from where it belongs, we need to make sure that it returns to its home when we have completed the task.

When things are getting cluttered, just say ABC (with special emphasis on the C) and act on completing each action from A to C all the time. This fundamental change is an easy hack into becoming more organized in everything you do.

Personal / Inspiration

Laughter


No Comments

Laugh.

Go ahead and try it.

LOL

One of my daily goals is to find a way to make at least one other person laugh. I think that we take life a little too seriously and I want to remind others to take time to enjoy life. Laughter creates memories. Laughter creates stories.

When I am with some of my old college friends, we usually remember the things that made us laugh the most… which was a lot! We were a bunch of comedians who enjoyed being creative around one another in the most absurd ways.

We were a group of individuals who came together with the intention to make others laugh.

I held onto that quest to make others laugh as part of my daily life. Focus on bringing a smile into someone’s life. You never know what sort of impact it will have on yours.

Personal / Inspiration

EVERY HUMAN BEING IS MADE TO SUCCEED.


No Comments

There, I said it.

Inside us all lies one thing that clearly defines who we are at our greatest potential. Failure is trying to be something you are not. We are one big complex solution and we can spend our entire lives finding out what makes us successful. In order to discover who or what you are, you have to first go through discovery.

Webster’s Dictionary defines Discovery as

the act of finding or learning something for the first time : the act of discovering something

THE ACT OF….

This tells us that we have to DO. We need to stop being Human BEINGS and start being Human DOINGS!

In order to find out what makes us a Success, we have to try many things for the first time until we begin to see a pattern in our choices, loves, passions, and anything else that clearly defines us.

That seems easy, right?

It’s not. As children we are taught to Dream Big! We all wanted to be the President, Astronaut, Fire Fighter, or War Hero at one point. It is the act of finding or learning those things that reshape our dreams. I quickly learned that being good at science would be a determining factor if I could be an Astronaut. Science wasn’t my thing so my dream shifted.

Sometimes people have a certain dream because they are told by someone else that they should do this or they should do that. They feel that if they want it bad enough that it will just happen. That they are entitled to it. They don’t put in the work. Big dreams, you know the ones WAY up in the clouds, take much more energy to get to. You have to put in the effort and realize that you may come up short.

Sometimes you’re a cylinder block trying to fit in a triangle hole.

Remember that game when you were an toddler. You would spend forever trying to fit the wrong block shape in the opening on the board. Hopefully you can picture it. You would turn it, flip it, bang it into the space in hopes that it would fit. Guess what, it never does.

The success came from trying to figure out if a different shape would fit in the opening several times and then coming to the realization that the cylinder block goes in the round hole and the triangle block goes in the triangle hole.

Successful people realize what their “shape” is.

I am spending this week with many high school theatre students who’s dream is to be on Broadway. They say “after college my dream is to go to NYC and be on Broadway!” I am not a dream killer, but shouldn’t we be setting realistic goals for these students. I’m not saying tell them they will never make it! Broadway is a sky scraper! What I am saying is, isn’t it more beneficial to give them stairs to climb instead giving them a cape and telling them to fly to the top? Some may figure out a way to build an elevator to the top but some will have to make that steep climb step by step. Give them tools and options, should they get to broadway, fantastic! If not, at least you have given them an opportunity to DISCOVER themselves.

I am still discovering who I am. It changes day to day as I learn about the things that I am NOT. Find your Passion, be Persistent, and have Patience. These are three things you will want to have in order to find Your success.

Remember, we are made to succeed. Failure only comes when you have stopped discovering what makes you…YOU!

Branding, Personal / Inspiration

Art is NOT DEAD


No Comments

Art will finally be taken seriously.

Back in 2009, I began working in newspaper advertising. I worked with many local business owners on several marketing strategies to help push their message in a loud, noisy world. This was during the thick of the recession and price was the big marketing idea to get the consumers into the store.

At that time, Twitter was only 3 years old and just starting to build momentum. Facebook rolled out the Facebook Fan Page in 2007 and brands were becoming more and more aware of the power of social media.

But Wes, I thought this post was about Art, not Social Media?

I wanted to give you a little background on how social media has evolved and enhanced the NEED for great artists, designers, writers, filmmakers, and all other types of creative minds.

ART is becoming just as “important” as business. In fact, my prediction is that they will be working hand in hand within the next 3–5 years.

I had a discussion with one of my clients back in 2009 where I told him that he needed to create a facebook page and YouTube Channel to begin engaging in conversation that is going to appeal to the consumer’s emotions. It was difficult to convince someone that consumers were going to buy from a business that they connected with. This would take time and energy but would be well worth the investment. The results would happen over time, but he was worried about this quarter’s earnings so he didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. His business may be at a different level had he acted at that time.

I saw that the culture was shifting and shifting fast to this type of experience. I knew that people wanted to be a part of something. People wanted to collaborate and get to know the people behind the brand. The recession made us lonely. The growth of technology made us stop connecting in “real life.” Now people want to connect with people in the social network atmosphere.

Social Media (as we know it) is still a pre-teen.

As humans, we have 5 senses. Hearing, Seeing, Smelling, Touching, Feeling. What we are doing, as an international society, is imposing human sensory into technological devices. People are wanting to connect online using their senses. The internet may not have all 5 human senses, but we desire to create our cyber world with human traits.

What an artist can do is create beautiful imagery and story to help create a human-like atmosphere within a cyber world.

Forbes released an article in 2012 called The 10 Worst College Majors. About half of the 10 worst majors were Arts Majors. I know that over the last decade (if not longer) if there were federal or state budget cuts, the first to be cut was the arts. Cutting the arts then discouraged students to pursue an Art Career. As an Arts Recruiter, I have seen many articles like the Forbes article and I say to myself:

“You guys are all wrong!”

Not because I am an artist myself, but because — how could a person of any intelligence not see that ART will become one of the necessary fields to maintain this cultural shift in technology? Every business owner, every brand, every organization, and probably every person on this planet will need to be it’s own media company first, then business second.

Businesses will need artistic photographers, writers, graphic designers, and other artists in order to operate in the technological world. They will NEED experienced and talented designers and artists to stand out.

Going back to the 5 senses.

In order to develop a human sense of Touch or Feeling in the tech space, you are going to have to do it EMOTIONALLY.

Your content, visuals, and sounds will need to be superb. A task only a true artist can take on.

Personal / Inspiration

Remember that Super Bowl Commercial that made your television ACTUALLY go out?


1 Comment

Remember that Super Bowl commercial that made your television ACTUALLY go out?

The 2015 Super Bowl got off to a great start. Not Really. Well…for us.

You see, I was looking forward to not only watching the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots going head to head but I was so incredibly pumped about watching this year’s Super Bowl Ads.

It is a time of year where brands actually take the time and spend the money in making some of the most creative ads or (mini-movies) that we will see all year(Which is probably because this is the only night all year where everyone is watching live television.) More on that later.

As we turned on the TV to watch the opening kickoff, we saw the first set of Super Bowl commercials. The commercial appeared to be the opening shot of the stadium. The television started flickering and then went out and read:

“What would you do if your TV went out?”

You can see the commercial here:

2015 Chevy Super Bowl Commercial: 4G LTE Wi-Fi 

You see, all the viewers watched this and said “HAHA, you got me!!” for like a second.

NOT US.

My wife and I went over to her aunt’s house to watch the game. They have satellite tv and the television froze on the phrase:

“What would you do if your TV went out?”

We were like… “Wow, whoever paid for this TV spot spent a LOT of money on this.”

About 2 minutes into the phrase being on the television we began throwing conspiracy theories into the mix. Was this payback from North Korea? Were we alone in this or was everyone experiencing this tramatic event?

We soon discovered that the TV in the living room was the only one that malfunctioned. We had to restart the receiver (which took forever!) and had to watch the game on an iPad Mini for most of the 1st quarter.

What are the chances that the TV would actually go out at THAT moment?

Slim, very slim. I was very nervous about it, but I am glad that we got the TV working again.

Business

Why I Wear a Hoodie at Work


1 Comment

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Perception. This is a key ingredient to life. I often ask myself how I am being perceived in any given situation that life throws my way. Perception is a big deal in the workplace. Men and Women dress up everyday in their power suits looking to climb the corporate ladder. I hear from them that they often dream of a time where they can just dress casually and work. I believe that society has put soooooo much pressure on how we dress that it can stifle our productivity.

People spend most of their time in the mornings making choices. Does this shirt match this tie? Does this skirt go with this blouse? Should I iron these clothes? Should my dress socks match my outfit? Should I comb my hair to the side? And so on…

TIME is EVERYTHING

I recently read that many of the most influential people of our time wear the same thing (style wise) everyday. Steve Jobs wore the black turtle neck, Mark Zuckerberg and his grey t-shirt (Google: Mark Zuckerberg Outfit). Why do individuals like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same thing everyday?

Keeping their style consistent frees up time to focus on decisions that actually matter.

The average human spends about 30–45 minutes daily deciding on what to wear to work that day. That is about 3 hours and 45 minutes every week and 195 hours every year. Can you imagine opening up 195 hours every year to make important decisions to further your career or personal goals? In the morning is when I do my best thinking. My brain comes off of a night of sleeping and is charged and ready to go. I create some of my best ideas while getting ready for work and during the commute.

I recently got an assortment of zip-up hoodies in a variety of colors to wear to work. I wear these hoodies over-top of a button up shirt and tie, with dress pants. Really all I have to do is reach into the closet and grab a hoodie and dress shirt with a tie. Not much thought is involved. Recently I was approached by a peer and he said that a hoodie is not appropriate work attire. This made me question my decision to go with this simple decision making outfit. Am I being viewed as too laid back to those who do not understand my decision? Maybe. However, my work will speak for itself.

Wearing a Hoodie Builds my Personal Brand

Just like Jobs and Zucks, wearing similar clothing on a regular basis helps define and build a personal brand. For those of you who don’t know, I work as an arts recruiter for Coker College in South Carolina. When I attend arts conferences in the South East, I wear the same style of clothes throughout the entire conference. During the audition or portfolio review portion of the conference I sit on the front row, engaging and interacting with the students. There are hundreds of other college reps in attendance but I want to make an impact. I sit through hundreds of these auditions and I maintain the same level of engagement and energy with every student who auditions. Afterwards, students have told me that they were glad to have the “bearded guy in the hoodie” there watching the auditions. They even said that I showed them I cared about their performances. They said I made them feel a little less nervous and they hoped that the “bearded guy in the hoodie” would give them a call back.

The Hoodie Helped Brand Me

So, not only do I save time and give myself opportunities to make strong professional choices, the hoodie also helps define my personal brand to make me a recognizable figure to increase my results at work.

For you, it doesn’t have to be a hoodie. It can be a cardigan sweater, polka dots, or any other fashion style, but I would seriously recommend finding a style that fits “YOU.”

Filmmaking

Create Films Like a Music Conductor


No Comments

In order to create a film that “moves” an audience emotionally, you have to do research on how to connect to those emotions in a variety of different mediums. There are many studies by psychologists on theories why we get emotionally invested in a film experience. You can read the opinions by many experts to get to the bottom of it, but I am a more practical person. I tend to seek after those who embody the characteristics of influencing a mass of people to connect with one another in complete harmony, to sing with one voice, and to feel the same one emotion while journeying through a body of work. Those people who influence my filmmaking style are music conductors.

Picture this. You are in Carnegie Hall in NYC. You walk out onstage and stand between a 200 person choir and a sold out crowd. You are responsible for leading not only the tempo and musicality of the choir, but the emotional delivery and connectivity with the audience. This connection with the audience is most effective when the choir is working together as ONE. They are hitting the right notes, they are blending together, and working as ONE to create an experience for the audience.

It all stems from the Conductor.

As I am shooting and editing a film (whatever it is I am filming) I imagine myself as a music conductor. Every camera movement, every cut I make in editing, every bit of audio included in the film is created like I am holding a wand and conducting a choir. Sometimes I even close my eyes and listen for the music while I am filming. My goal is to film like a musician. That may sound strange but to me it is the essence of how I create imagery. The crescendos and staccatos in every film clip help guide the audience to connect with the film. If you are thinking like a music conductor only at the time a soundtrack is placed into a film; it is too late. You have to begin from the script writing stage all the way through post production. Thinking like a music conductor will assist in establishing a foundation in a film. Something you can return to if you are having trouble figuring out camera angles or script edits. Even when I am shooting a wedding film, during my initial meeting with a client, I start piecing together their story and connect with it emotionally. This way I can shoot the wedding day with a clear foundation of the essence of their story.