Your Baby Is Crying Again. Too Hot or Too Cold?


We all remember the lyrics to the popular nursery rhyme:

Bye, baby Bunting,
Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby Bunting in

Since it’s initial publication in the U.K. in the late 1700s, parents have wondered if their baby was bundled up enough. But do babies need to be bundled up all the time? And how do you know if a crying baby is too bundled up or if they are actually crying because they are too cold? Here are a few things to look into:

Are you cold? or hot?

Temperatures can change quickly, especially as we move between indoors and outdoors. A doctor’s office may be overly drafty, but the park down the street may be sweetly warm. Some climates start out chilly in the early morning only to be blazing hot in the afternoons. You may have dressed your baby based on the temperature in your home or the weather at the start of the day, but things may have changed since then. Always keep a lighter set of clothes, sweater or a swaddling blanket in your diaper bag.

What are you wearing?

If you’re comfortable with what you have on, compare it to what your baby is wearing. The general rule of thumb is your baby should be wearing, at most, one more layer of clothing than what you have on. So, if you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans and feel comfortable, your baby is probably fine in a light, longsleeved onesie and soft pants.

Is your baby crying when swaddled?

Swaddling is a great way to calm a newborn crying baby, but in humid weather or hot climates you may want to take extra care. Use a thin, breatheable cotton blanket so the baby stays comfortable and doesn’t overheat. You can also pull out a hand and not let it be captured by the swaddle — this helps keep the baby from getting too hot. (Note: Some babies actually prefer this anyway, for their own comfort.)

In colder weather you can use a heavier swaddle blanket, but don’t pick anything that’s too puffy and make sure you aren’t blocking or covering their nose and mouth as you swaddle. Some parents prefer to always swaddle with the same thin cotton blanket and just adjust for warmth with the clothes the baby is wearing. In really hot weather, that may be nothing at all other than their diaper.

Are their extremities cold to the touch? Are their chest and back cold?

In general, your baby should be rosy and warm to the touch in both their extremities (hands, feet) and their chest and trunk. If you discover your crying baby has very cold hands or feet, but their chest and back are warm and toasty, first try mittens or a footie. Check again in fifteen to twenty minutes to see if things are better. A cold chest or trunk is not good — in these cases, bundle the baby up or add on layers of clothing so that they can stay warmer. Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so put on a hat. If your baby still feels cold to the touch after taking these precautions, contact your pediatrician for further guidance.

Is the baby fussy or sleepy and disengaged?  

Your baby is much more likely to cry if they are cold then if they are hot — cold makes babies uncomfortable and fussy, but heat makes them lethargic and sweaty. If you have a crying baby, it’s much more likely they are cold than that they are hot. If your baby is nodding off more than usual during the day, they may be too hot and you can pull off a few layers of clothing to make them more comfortable.

Don’t forget, there are many reasons for a baby to cry. So, make sure you consider hunger, comfort, dirty diaper, or illness as well as temperature.

Featured photo credit: Aurimas Mikalauskas via

The post Your Baby Is Crying Again. Too Hot or Too Cold? appeared first on Lifehack.


Book Review: New Routes to Library Success by Elisabeth Doucett

Elisabeth Doucett with her new bookI recently had the opportunity to read the new book by Elisabeth Doucett entitled New Routes to LIbrary Success: 100+ Ideas from outside the stacks published by ALA Editions.  Elisabeth is the Director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, and the author of the blog The irreverent librarian.  Even though the book is by a public librarian, I think it is well worth reviewing by librarians of all disciplines.

Elisabeth states in her preface, “As library professionals I think we miss out on opportunities because we do not often enough tap the ideas, innovations, and way of working of different professions,” (preface, p. x)  Bravo!  This belief really resonated with me and reflects a good deal of what we at have been trying to do since our inception. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Doucett arranges the chapters of her books around major themes: entrepreneurship, creativity, customer service, trend tracking, content curation, etc.  In each chapter, she found a business leader whose achievements personified the theme at hand and interviewed them to discover how they accomplished their success in their respective businesses.  Resonating with the feel of “A Day in the Life Of” type interview transcripts, Doucett presented their stories, and pointed us in the direction of how we might apply their wisdom to our own professional arenas.  The book’s organization made it ideal as an idea book that could be picked up, a chapter chosen and easily read in a short amount of time.  Sometimes I chose my chapter based on the chapter theme, other times, by the business professional interviewed (hey! let’s read what Chris Wilson from L.L. Bean has to say… they have great customer service!).

The first chapter I read was on content curation.  This was the real reason that I had first picked up the book: I am preparing for a presentation on content curation as an outreach tool for academic librarians and was eager to hear what another librarian had to say. What I found was another librarian who shared my view: “Content curation is useful to libraries because it can help them build relationships with new audiences in their communities.” (p 187).  I was so excited that I wrote Doucett what amounted to a fan letter. :-)

After I finished the rest of my preparation of my presentation, I returned to read more of Doucett’s book.  Each chapter had nuggets that I could glean for later thought and inspiration. Chapter 2 on Entrepreneurship with Josh Davis of Gelato Fiasco, offered many ideas about how to create a “culture of controlled experimentation.” Chapter 3: Creavitity with Walter Briggs of Briggs Advertising, urged us to “foster resilience.”  I found out that Google gives employee’s 20% of their time to focus on creative development… can you imagine what we might create if librarians had the same opportunity?? I really loved the list of creative thinking/prompting tools that were included with this chapter.

I could go on and on… The Chapters are all set up with nice browsable sections, including action points, implications,big ideas, take-aways, summary of what Doucett learned, resources for further exploration and a list of questions that Doucett used when interviewing her experts.  Her hope is that librarians will use these questions to find their own inspiring experts in other realms to interview as well and add to the insights she has gleaned so far.

The post Book Review: New Routes to Library Success by Elisabeth Doucett appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.

Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians »

075: How to Get Booked and Paid to Speak: Interview with Grant Baldwin

Despite outranking death as a fear, public speaking is a popular life goal for many people. The next worse fear is explaining what they want to speak about.

075 Grant Baldwin

It seems strange to want to be a speaker and not know the why, what, or who behind the drive. There’s an adrenaline rush when you get to connect with an audience, but you’ll fall flat without enough self-awareness.

As a full-time speaker, Grant Baldwin has presented at 400+ engagements to over 350,000 people. Grant knows his purpose, his message, and the best target market.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Grant and I talk about becoming a better speaker and a practical way to make a living with your message. Listen in as we discuss trial by fire and a specific audience that forces any speaker to improve.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

The art of making a bold ask

A few months ago, we got the great idea to host the first ever Tribe Conference just outside of Nashville. Besides a venue and attendees, one of the essential elements of a conference is speakers.

For anyone who watched the closing keynote live or online via the stream, you know Grant killed it. He had the daunting task of being last in a lineup of great speakers and he brought us all home in style.

What you may not know is that I didn’t ask Grant to speak at Tribe Conference. In fact, before that afternoon at The Factory I’d never seen Grant speak live before.

So how did Grant land the closing keynote? He asked. There’s a little more to it than that, but making the ask played a major factor in Grant speaking at our event.

Grant has proven himself for years as a competent speaker with a portfolio of experience and skills. And perhaps even more valuable than that, we’re friends. Grant invested in relationship with no ulterior motives a year before Tribe Conference was even planned.

One of the things I find most interesting about successful speakers is their hustle for relationships. Even full-time speakers will give presentations for free knowing the return on that investment will pay strong dividends down the road.

I think Grant said it best during our interview:

Don’t go after gigs. Go after relationships.
—Grant Baldwin

Show highlights

In this episode, Grant and I discuss:

  • The best thing about being a speaker
  • What practice does to prepare you for spontaneity
  • A trade secret to create a foolproof cue card
  • Practical ways to make a living with your message
  • Continuing the conversation around your content
  • Two essential marketing tools for every public speaker
  • How doing free gigs leads to large paid audiences
  • The art of hunting down leads
  • One type of speaker event planners want to book
  • Diversifying your portfolio of work

Quotes and Takeaways

  • Nothing compares to getting in front of a live audience. It’s all theory until you get on stage.” —Grant Baldwin
  • The best speeches are practiced and rehearsed, but not scripted.
  • People won’t know that you’re a speaker if you don’t tell them you’re a speaker.” —Grant Baldwin
  • You really don’t become something until you start doing it and acting like it.
  • You want to be as good offstage as you’re onstage.” —Grant Baldwin
  • Everybody starts at the same spot. Everybody starts at zero.” —Grant Baldwin


  • Booked and Paid to Speak webinar with Grant and Jeff
  • Get Started as a Speaker free course
  • How Did You Get Into That? podcast with Grant Baldwin

Bonus: Download the full transcript here.

Do you want to be a speaker? Who do you want to reach? What is holding you back? Share in the comments

Goins, Writer

When Friends Die: The Clarity & Confusion of Grief

Two people I knew died this past week. I feel compelled to clarify these were people I met first online and then in real life. But then again, that happens to be just about everyone I know these days.


The first news came several days ago when I received an email from the leader of one of my online mastermind groups, with the subject line: “Brian and his family might be dead.” It was 4:30 in the afternoon. I ignored the email.

That evening, just before my son’s bedtime, I gave in to the nasty habit of checking email when I wasn’t supposed to be working and saw a long string of replies to that first email. That’s weird, I thought. All this for something that was surely a joke.

It wasn’t a joke. Brian and his family were all dead. And sadly, we would soon find out that the cause for what the police called an “apparent murder-suicide” was our friend. Brian killed his family. And then he killed himself.

I knew Brian. Not well, but I had met him before. We chatted about life and business and even shared about our families. He was a nice guy. So how does any of this make sense?

It doesn’t.

A few days later, another member of that same small group of entrepreneurs sent a followup email saying, “The bad news keeps coming: Scott Dinsmore passed away yesterday climbing Kilimanjaro.” This time, I didn’t ignore it. It was true. Scott, another friend from the Internet, had died.

He was on month eight of a year-long, around-the-world adventure with his wife Chelsea. He had just written a blog post announcing he was taking some time to disconnect from technology to be fully present to this adventure he was living.

“Death is still an enemy”

Brian was in his late 40s. Scott was 32. Neither should have died, if you can ever say someone “should” die. And the truth is I don’t know how to process this. I’m feeling a bit numb, I guess, about the whole thing. It doesn’t seem real.

Brian, in the time that I knew him, was always smiling. He was quiet and pensive, more reserved than many members in the group that we both belonged to. To me, he seemed sensitive, like someone would rather listen than talk your ear off. From what I could tell, he was a happy person.

Scott was gregarious. In the words of a friend, he was a “Bro,” a jock who belonged to all the right clubs and sports in high school. But beneath that bravado was someone who was inquisitive and curious and surprisingly humble. He always had more questions than answers. He believed anything was possible and could never wipe that sometimes-ridiculous smile off his face. I liked Scott.

At this point, I am supposed to tell you that some good has come from all this tragedy. But I don’t think that’s fair, and it may not even be true. All too often, I think, we try to glorify death, try to minimize its destructive effects on our lives and pretend that it doesn’t wound us so.

But that is not how you grieve. And that is not how you heal.

I remember once at a funeral, my old pastor was eulogizing his mother-in-law and said the Bible said death was the last enemy to be defeated, “but death is still an enemy.” Those words give me comfort now when I don’t know what I should be feeling. There’s something important, I suppose, in having an antagonist in any great story. It helps you remember that what you’re fighting for is worth the battle. Without an enemy, it’s hard to know what’s really at stake.

The confusion

The first time I experienced death in a very personal way, was when I was a Junior in high school. Doug, one of the most popular kids in my class, suddenly collapsed on the gym floor and died.

We were not close friends, but we had known each other since we were kids. It’s a strange feeling when someone you know dies, especially when that someone seems untouchable, a person to whom nothing bad could ever happen. That was Doug. Tall and blonde and always dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch with his hair perfectly styled, he was who every girl wanted and who every guy wanted to be.

When he died, my friends and I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t celebrate his death as some who had their own wounds to deal with, did And we didn’t spend days crying uncontrollably or sulking through the halls of the school, as his friends understandably did. We were caught somewhere in the middle. We knew this death mattered, but we didn’t know what to do with it.

And that’s often the worst part of grief: the confusion.

We weren’t going to pretend we knew Doug better than we did. That seemed dishonest. But neither could we just go on with life as if nothing had happened. We knew something did. And it was weighing on us, even if we weren’t quite sure what “it” was.

So we went bowling. Just to get out of the house, we’d call up several people and go bowl two or three games, eat nachos, and hang out. We didn’t talk about Doug, didn’t talk about much at all, and certainly didn’t try to comfort one another. We just stayed in each other’s company, which may be the greatest comfort of all.

Years later, I would learn of the ancient rite of shiva, a Jewish custom in which the members of a community sit together with those who are grieving. The point, as far as I understand it, is not to say nice things about someone you didn’t know, eat a casserole, and leave before you miss the evening news. It’s to be together. For a full week, your family and friends sit with you.

That’s what we, a group of nominal Protestants, were doing in the bowling alley three times a week. We were sitting shiva.

The clarity

Some time around then, another person I knew died. It was an old friend’s brother. He died in a horrible car accident, and the rumor around town was drugs were involved. A month or so later, the second of three brothers took his own life. The family was devastated.

My friend and I were no longer close, so it felt weird when my dad suggested we walk across town to give our condolences. I didn’t want to go. “That’s just what you do,” he said. When we knocked on the door, I wasn’t sure what we would say. How could we comfort this woman who had experienced such profound loss?

As my friend’s mom opened the door, my dad started talking from somewhere inside him I didn’t know existed. The piece of the monologue that I will never forget was:

You know, God is our Father. And when one of his children dies, it grieves him. He is grieving with us.

It wasn’t preachy or condemning or anything like that. The woman nodded and said thank-you, and we turned around and walked home. And that was it. I don’t remember us attending church in those days, but I do remember never having felt more proud of my dad.

When someone we know dies, we want to try to understand why, and that desire can create a lot of confusion. But there is a comfort in knowing that when you lose someone, in spite of what you feel, you are not alone.

For me, it helps to remember that death is an enemy, and that every great story has one. But that does not make death great or even good. Of course, there are some who will try to explain away the sadness with pictures of loved ones “looking down on us as angels from above.” And that may or may not be true.

But death is still an enemy.

There are others who would convinced us that we are all just soup and these silly emotions we feel when someone transitions from one state of being to another is our un-evolved consciousness playing tricks on us. And that may or may not be true. But death is still an enemy.

Recently, I reread a book from my childhood called The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. The book is about a bridge that collapses in Peru in the 18th Century, randomly killing five people. The tragedy is witnessed by a monk who was just about to step out onto the bridge and is left wondering, as we all tend to do when bad things happen: Was there some purpose behind this, or was it all an accident?

The truth is always more complicated. The narrator concludes:

But soon we shall die and all memory of these five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Last night, I heard that decided to feature Scott Dinsmore’s talk on finding work you love on their homepage later this week. This was a dream of Scott’s and the result of his fans petitioning in light of his untimely death. So I suppose you could say that good things do come from bad and that life can spring from death. But I wish you could have one without the other.

More on grief

  • Scott Dinsmore I will Miss You Forever
  • Scott Dinsmore, I Miss You Deeply
  • Two Good Friends
  • When an Internet Friend Dies

Goins, Writer

Art Needs an Audience (Why Art for Art’s Sake Doesn’t Work)

For ages, people have been debating the value of art. Should creativity be a vehicle for commerce, or something completely divorced from the marketplace? Is art for art’s sake a noble pursuit, or an exercise in vanity? The truth is a little more complicated.

art for arts sake

Art for art’s sake was a creed of the 20th century bohemians, and on the surface, it sounds like a good idea. We should not create work that is function or commercial, the argument goes, but rather because it is a noble pursuit in itself. After all, what creative would confess to wanting to make as much money as possible off her art? That just sounds greedy.

But at the same time, what writer, designer, or musician wants to be irrelevant or ignored? Who really longs for their work to not be discovered? No, what we fear is that in somehow caring about marketing, we might lose the purity of the art. And that’s a valid concern, but not an entirely rational one.

We have, I think, this idea that the more impoverished and unpopular a creative person is, the better their work will be. But that’s a limiting belief. Sure, some artists were poor, but others were rich. Some were social outcasts and others were incredibly charismatic. In other words, there is no such thing as a typical artist.

Today, I hear more and more writers scorning the need to blog or tweet or build an email list. They want to avoid being “self-promotional.” But artists have always had to worry about how get their work to spread. That’s part of the job.

In 1872, George Sand, a French novelist, wrote that the artist has a “duty to find an adequate expression to convey it to as many souls as possible.” To put it more succinctly, art needs an audience.

Money is a means, not a master

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to become a sleazebag to be a successful artist. You don’t have to, as I think we all fear, sell out or starve. There is a middle ground in which you can use money to make art.

Here’s how Elizabeth Hyde Stevens, author of Make Money, Make Art: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career, says it:

If we examine Henson’s work in earnest, we can find an inextricable quality running through it, a constant that we can rightly call character… Now, Jim Henson was always a willing participant in the marketplace, and as Malcolm Gladwell points out in The Tipping Point, Grover began as an IBM spokesman. Which is certainly true, and Rowlf the Dog did films for corporate meetings. He sold typewriters door-to-door in Henson’s early “meeting films,” a peculiar subgenre of the commercial designed for business-to-business sales pitches. It’s all there on YouTube.

Gladwell argues that “Sesame Street” was an extension of these commercials, but he’s got it the wrong way around. It’s the commercials that embody the ethos of “Sesame Street.” I laughed—forcefully, involuntarily and out loud—at one reel in which a character was shot at point blank because he said he didn’t use the product. Later, I couldn’t even remember the product’s name.

These works are not just making a buck for the buck’s sake. There’s a willfulness in them, a refusal to ever place the market’s demands above one’s own values.

In other words, money makes a better means than a master. Don’t give it too much importance in creative work. Sure, we need money to keep the lights on and buy supplies, but it’s not everything. As Steven Pressfield says, “Money buys you another season to create.” It gives you time, which gives you options.

When you leverage the systems available to you to create enduring work, as Henson did, you create the kind of art that impacts a culture. You join the ranks of those who were able to change the world by being both creative and entrepreneurial.

It’s a challenge, of course, to be both a marketer and an artist, but one that many creatives are taking advantage of today. The opportunity to do creative work that also pays the bills is unprecedented with the access we have to tools and technology those before us have never had. To ignore this chance would do a disservice to their hard work. And as long as we leverage these tools in a way that doesn’t compromise our character, we honor their legacy.

Which brings us to an important subject: email lists.

3 reasons you should build an email list

It’s an odd transition to go from talking about Muppets to Mailchimp, but artists have always had to figure out how to get heard. And today, we have an incredible tool that many are still misusing or just not using at all.

I believe email marketing is the single best tool for an artist today. It is what TV was to Jim Henson and what movie theaters were to Walt Disney: an opportunity to be heard. My email list is my most important asset and most powerful creative tool (which was I decided to make some important changes to it recently).

So if you want to do creative work for a living and aren’t building an email list, you’re missing out. Here’s why:

  1. An email list gives you permission. The hardest part of doing creative work is getting people to want to listen to you in the first place. When someone signs up for your email list, they’re giving you permission to communicate with them. That is incredibly powerful. You don’t have to wonder what people want to hear or if they’re going to censure you. In essence, you can say whatever you want. And if people stick around, you know your message is resonating. If not, they’ll tell you. It takes the guesswork out of figuring out “what the market wants.”
  2. An email list gives you attention. Having an email list is like having your very own art museum where you control what work gets shown. It’s the best way to have the most control over who gets to hear what you have to say. You don’t have to worry about playing the political game of appeasing editors and performing for gatekeepers. You are now the gatekeeper. And of course, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with this, but you never have to worry about not being heard again.
  3. An email list makes you money. We all know money isn’t everything, but it’s not nothing either (pardon the double negative). Money gives you freedom. And the verdict is in: the best way to make a living with your words is with an email list.

Of course, there are examples of writers and artists who succeed without an email list. But in my opinion, they are now the exception, not the rule. Having an email list not only gives you permission and attention, it gives you an advantage. You don’t have to wonder if people will listen to you, but when. It takes out all the guesswork.

So why would you even want to try doing creative work with your hands tied when you don’t have to?

For years, I avoided doing this, but when I finally got serious about growing my email list, everything changed. I reached more people, made more money, and got a better idea of what ideas were worth sharing with my audience.

Embracing the power of an email list will change your creative career forever. I promise. That’s why I’m hosting a free online workshop on list-building tomorrow (Tuesday) with my friend Bryan Harris.
Bryan knows more about this stuff than anyone I know. He’s the guy that I go to when I want to grow my list. Together, we’re going to share with you something special we’ve been cooking up for a while and how you can start growing your list fast today.

Check it out here.


  • Weekend at Kermie’s
  • Make Art Make Money
  • Why You Should Start Building Your Email List Now
  • 5 Ways to Build a Powerful Email List
  • Free Email List-building Workshop
  • Try Aweber Email Marketing for 30 Days
  • Giveaway: James Patterson’s Writing Course

Do you think art needs an audience, or is art for art’s sake enough? Share in the comments.

Goins, Writer

074: Why Authentic Performances Steal the Show: Interview with Michael Port [Podcast]

Approximately 6,000 tweets are shared every second. Everyone is talking, but not everyone has something to say. If you want your message to make a difference, you need to know how to steal the show.

Steal the Show Michael Port

Michael Port, a New York Times best-selling author and inspiring speaker, trains anyone with a message to authentically present their best self in each performance of their life.

Often, we overshare in the name of authenticity while complaining that our voice can’t be heard amidst the noise. When we finally get the spotlight, we fall flat on our faces or tremble with fear. The good news is we don’t have to.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Michael and I talk about how to communicate better whether you’re standing on stage, recording a podcast, at a job interview, or presenting to your coworkers.

Listen in as we discuss the hazards of natural communicators and why the gift of gab is a curse.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Practice defines performance

When you start writing people may ask you to speak. I gave my first talk after becoming a blogger (because those are the same thing, right?) and thought “I’ll do this once. And if it goes well, I’ll do it again.”

In college I debated and did some stage acting so I felt like there was some performance experience to fall back on in delivering this presentation.

After preparing my slides the night before, I stood on stage and delivered a 90-minute talk that was supposed to fit in an hour slot. Fortunately, I got some laughs and a few people came up to thank me at the end.

However, I went back and watched the video a few months afterwards. It was horrible. It was painful to watch and it went on for way too long. A performance often feels different than it looks in front of people.

One of the things I found most interesting from the conversation with Michael is that a great performer is rarely the most entertaining. It’s good to make your audience laugh, but you have to give them something more.

Bonus: Download the full transcript here.

Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • One of the most powerful, creative tools
  • The first principle of performance
  • How the greatest performers in the world are the most authentic
  • Why the world doesn’t need to see every aspect of your life
  • The balance between authenticity and knowing what not to reveal
  • Deciding how you want to be known
  • One reason public speaking is intimidating to writers
  • How to avoid wasting your audience’s time
  • The worst way to reduce anxiety during a performance
  • What you must do after introducing an idea
  • Investing in the rehearsal process
  • Getting comfortable with discomfort
  • Understanding a bad choice is better than no choice

Quotes and Takeaways

  • What we do today will lead us to where we are tomorrow.” — Michael Port
  • We play roles all the time whether we realize it or not.” — Michael Port
  • Self-expression comes from a deep sense of self-understanding.” — Michael Port
  • Everything we do says something about us.” — Michael Port
  • You can’t be a critic and a performer.” — Michael Port
  • The big idea doesn’t have to be different to make a difference.” — Michael Port


  • Steal the Show by Michael Port
  • Seth Godin interview with Brian Koppleman on The Moment
  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Bonus: Download the full transcript here.

In what role are you trying to steal the show? How can you better prepare for the next performance? Share in the comments

Goins, Writer

073: The Best Authors Never Write Alone: Interview with Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne [Podcast]

Instant access to a wealth of information and digital tools broke down the walls of traditional publishing. The good news is anyone can write a book. This is also the bad news.

Steven Pressfield Shawn Coyne

The Internet provides the means for anyone to write, market, and launch their own book. Anyone who thinks they are a writer can self-publish a mediocre title with relative ease.

People who fool themselves into believing they’ve found a secret hack to writing success are cheating. And in the long run, cheaters never win.

You wouldn’t want a neurosurgeon who cheated off his classmates to operate on you. Nor do you want to read a book written by someone who disrespects the craft.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a writer.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Steven Pressfield, Shawn Coyne and I talk about the Resistance, what it’s like to write a New York Times bestseller, why rejection is healthy, and how we can find meaning and direction in our work as authors.

Listen in as we discuss the origin of The War of Art, why the ease of digital publishing is dangerous, and interesting aspects of the writer-editor relationship.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

The priceless quality of an incredible editor

The Art of Work, is outperforming all of my previous books combined. The reason is simple. I found a great editor who helped me understand my own ideas with better clarity and context.

I’ve talked before about the key to building your tribe revolving around the concept of finding the “sweet spot”. The intersection of your passion and skill with what the market values.

While writing The Art of Work, I was passionate about the topic and skilled in the concepts. My editor helped me distill the message so it resonated with readers. We make a great team.

One of the things I found most interesting about Steven and Shawn is their authenticity with each other and their audience. They are not afraid to challenge conventional thinking and share their “secrets” with whoever will listen.

“The more we can teach each other… the better we’re going to be inspired to innovate and make better stories.” —Shawn Coyne

Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The self-destructive nature of writers
  • Why an editor is instrumental in crafting a significant book
  • How writers self-sabotage their greatest work
  • Understanding the tension between what you want to write and what the reader values
  • Focusing on a target market and branching out from there
  • The genius behind giving away 10,000 copies of your book
  • Navigating the tension between showing up for your muse and applying proven formulas
  • Why not chasing the New York Times best-seller status is a brilliant move
  • Three simple tenants of launching an indie publisher
  • The myth of the Internet as a magic tool
  • What it means to be a “working writer”
  • Making your analytical and creative side work together
  • How genre works to manage your audience’s expectations
  • Traditional publishing vs self-publishing

Quotes and Takeaways

  • To learn your craft requires a lot of intense effort.” —Shawn Coyne
  • Tension is part of the fun.” —Shawn Coyne
  • A lot of times you don’t even know who your market is.” — Steven Pressfield
  • I always get up in the morning and grind it out every day.” —Steven Pressfield
  • You have to pay your dues.” —Steven Pressfield
  • Failure helps you hone your craft.


  • The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • The Authentic Swing by Steven Pressfield
  • The Lion’s Gate by Steven Pressfield
  • The Art of Work by Jeff Goins

Bonus: Download the full transcript here.

Who is your creative partner in crime? How would an editor challenge you in your craft? Share in the comments

Goins, Writer

7 Trending Project Management Tools to Help You Collaborate With Your Team


Project management plays a crucial role in every area of the business world. Whatever decision you make or whichever path you choose, executing your ideas and attaining your goals is rooted in effective project management.

A company cannot embark on a project before chalking out the essential steps to achieve their goals. This is a major setback for companies that start projects with poorly defined requirements and end up delivering a bad product.

Likewise, all policies are useless if they are not effectively implemented. This only leads to negatives consequences and poor business decisions. The motivation of every company should be to deliver quality results, and this can only be accomplished with proper project management.

When companies previously hired employees, they never used to examine their project management skills. As times change, however, companies have made it more important for their employees to have knowledge about its basic concepts. If you’re looking to take your project management to the next level, then it’s time to take the initiative and explore the online tools available for effective collaboration and project management.

  1. Nutcache


Nutcache is an emerging favorite in the business world. The different features that this cloud-based project management and collaborative system offers are considerably unique.

Nutcache appeals to many businesses because it makes organizing plans and procedures quite handy, and moreover provides a certain degree of advantage in managing different projects. Nutcache offers the following features:

  • Manage your budget and deadlines effectively.
  • Develop client-based projects and also apply deadlines to each of them.
  • Determine each project’s expense, and thus figure out what you’ll be investing in them.
  • Compare the performance of different projects and invite more clients to do business.
  • Allocate separate tasks to different teams based on their preferred management methods.
  1. Casual


Among the most popular management tools is Casual, an online collaboration and project management platform designed for companies which prefer:

  • Teams that are either small or growing.
  • Projects that are developed without any particular manager.
  • Projects which are brand new or recurring.

Project managers can do the following using this tool:

  • Draw project plans with schedules, dependencies, and resources.
  • Observe the big picture, and stay in control the entire time.
  • Automatically document the project and work proactively.
  1. Huddle


When companies need a collaborative system that provides added security along with efficient project management methodologies, then Huddle is the most appealing platform. The UK and United States governments also use this technology to manage their operations.

Huddle makes data encryption possible across shared servers. It also allows professional debates and discussions, which are needed for active changes in ongoing projects. It also lets managers grant permissions to specific people, thus restricting sensitive privileges to select employees.

  1. Freedcamp


Freedcamp is a project management tool that can be used for any type of planning, be it a camping trip, wedding, or office project. It offers a clean and easy-to-use digital interface of systems like task lists and sticky notes.

It includes a calendar tool that allows you to switch between daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.They also provide a lot of free applications with unlimited users, projects, and 200 MB of storage, though you will need to pay more if you want to use more apps and storage.

  1. Redbooth


Redbooth is one of the best project collaboration tools that combines teamwork and web-based management. Its main aim is transforming “company wide collaboration”, which makes it more convenient to get things done.

It also provides a real-time communication platform for easy communication and increased productivity. There are team workspaces, business chats, HD video conferencing, task management, and a mobile app to provide you with ultimate ease-of-access.

  1. Teamwork


Teamwork helps you to manage projects in the most efficient way possible by reducing unnecessary meetings to help get things done. It also allows both your team and your clients to work together and check the status of the project.

It can be integrated with most everyday apps, so that implementing it requires no extra work. Status options are there to give you updates on other team members, and privacy options for senior management to deal with the team.

  1. Proofhub


Proofhub basically provides project management and collaboration under one roof. It helps you plan, team up, organize, and deliver your work with ease. It allows you to stay in constant touch with team members, give and discuss tasks, chat to communicate in real-time, share your files using Google drive or Dropbox, and finally deliver your project on time.

It comes with advanced features such as security, personalization, accessibility, notifications, and a lot more. To try it out you can use the free 30 day trial.

Featured photo credit: Group-Project via

The post 7 Trending Project Management Tools to Help You Collaborate With Your Team appeared first on Lifehack.


072: The Rebirth of Renaissance Thinking and Modern Day Polymaths [Podcast]

Many people recognize Leonardo da Vinci as the quintessential Renaissance man. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, scientist, and musician. Leonardo remains a historical figure because he chose mastery of more than one skill. What if you face the same choice?

The Rebirth of Renaissance Thinking and Modern Day Polymaths

You are not stuck on an assembly line. You have varied interests, talents, education, and skills. The trick is to find where a few key elements intersect and empower you to become more than a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of some.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about the resurgence of polymaths and what it means for creatives. Listen in as we discuss why every entrepreneur ought to think like a polymath.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Follow what fascinates you

If you’re finding yourself struggling with mastering one skill, you may need to develop a few complementary skills. There are opportunity costs in tackling three things versus one thing every day. But if you pick the right few things to do, the results far outweigh the costs.

I am a writer who uses technology and business to spread ideas. Those three areas: creativity, technology, and business, work together to establish the portfolio life not unlike the polymaths of the Renaissance.

Technology (and marketing) take the form of blogging, and social media, and podcasting. The business side involves making things sustainable so that I can make a living and enjoy the freedom to be more creative, write books, and try new things.

I’m not a master of these skills, but their combination creates something unique from what other people do, which causes the work to stand out.

There are complementary areas of interests that can strengthen your existing skills if only you just give yourself permission to do more than one thing.

You might just find that you end up doing that one thing much better when you begin borrowing from other disciplines.

BONUS: Download the full transcript here.

Show highlights

In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

  • Redefining mastery and how your craft is not just one thing
  • Why mastering a solitary skill is outdated
  • The forgotten versatility of Leonardo da Vinci
  • What it means to be a polymath
  • Fearing the challenge of multiplying mastery
  • A secret of “full-time” writers
  • Discovering a hidden energy in task switching
  • What the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have in common with a rich and influential family of bankers
  • A new area of skill I want to explore

Quotes and Takeaways

  • Give yourself permission to do more than one thing.
  • Complementary areas of interest can strengthen your existing skill set.
  • Follow what fascinates you within self-imposed limitations.
  • Forget about mastery. Widen your reach.
  • When you are unique, you give people something to talk about.


  • The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson
  • Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff
  • Designing Your Own Apprenticeship: How to Build a Team of Mentors

BONUS: Download the full transcript here.

What will the world miss out on if you stay stuck in your one area of interest? How are you a polymath? Share in the comments

Goins, Writer

10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath

Cumberbatch Sherlock Playing Violin

We see plenty of depictions of sociopaths in fiction, but they tend to be fairly two-dimensional characters and often play the villains. To make matters worse, they are often just lumped together with psychopaths, and made out to be soulless characters who feel nothing and only speak the language of violence. The problem with this is that, although sociopaths are unable to feel empathy, some respectable members of society in positions of power, including lawyers and politicians, exhibit sociopathic traits.

These people can hide in plain sight, under a mask of normal emotions, and can even be productive members of society – just a part of them are actually violent or have criminal tendencies. It can be difficult to discover a sociopath’s true face, but some of the signs of a sociopath include reckless behavior, a disdain for rules and social norms, and self-centeredness. Here are some things you need to know if you are in love with someone who is a hidden sociopath.

1. They are intelligent and logical (a little bit too logical)

Dating a sociopath is a little bit like dating Mr. Spock – sure, he’s got all the answers when it comes to science and can be a valuable asset in a crisis, but he won’t quite understand all these human emotions that keep brewing inside you. While having a partner who can keep their cool in heated situations and always look for a rational solution may seem like a good deal at first, there will be situations where you’ll just want your partner to let go and share in your excitement or sadness.

2. They don’t really get anxious or afraid

Now, don’t get me wrong, sociopaths have a strong survival instinct and they can experience fear just like the rest of the world – it’s just that they don’t stress about things that they can’t control. They do, however, try to take as much control of a situation as they can. If tragedy strikes or there is a financial crisis, don’t expect them to break down in tears.

3. They are charming, well-spoken, and interesting

It’s tough to spot a sociopath as they do a great job of hiding in plain sight. They have a great deal of charm and can be quite eloquent, with plenty of interesting stories and a number of interests that just make them seem like an average extrovert. Sociopaths tend to be incredibly socially active.

4. They will often take risks

Since sociopaths don’t really care about the repercussions, nor do they have a pronounced fear of failure like a lot of other people do, you’ll often see them making questionable decisions. However, they are not rash and impulsive – each decision they make is carefully calculated – it’s just that they prefer high-risk, high-reward options to the slower and safer low-reward ones.

5. They don’t enjoy the same activities that everyone else does

Gazing out into the distance at the sunset or lying on the grass and watching the star-studded sky are things that most lovers will enjoy doing together. These are the traditional romantic activities that you simply can’t go wrong with. However, for the empathetically challenged, these things can be incredibly boring.

Sociopaths enjoy activities that provide them with an adrenaline rush, something that feels a bit dangerous and engages both the body and the mind. Instead of planning a picnic, you may have to organize a hunting trip or take them paragliding. The thrill of the hunt, the wind rushing pass them – these are the things that stimulate them. In fact, it’s their love of excitement that makes sociopaths so appealing.

6. They feel comfortable lying to you about important issues

You may think that a relationship has to be built on trust, and rightfully so. There are tons of little things that you share with your partner on a daily basis, and big issues need to be laid out and discussed openly. However, a sociopath’s natural instinct is to try and tell a version of the story that pleases others, inspires respect and trust from those around them, and ultimately helps them to get what they want.

They don’t try to put themselves in another person’s shoes, tell it like it is, or do the right thing – sociopaths look past morality and see an intricate web of events, bound by cause and effect, which can be manipulated to serve a higher purpose.

7. They don’t feel bad about the emotional pain their actions cause

Apart from a few select people close to them, sociopaths don’t really care about hurting or manipulating others to achieve their own goals. While a romantic partner may be exempt from this cold-hearted and calculated behavior, acquaintances, friends of friends, and co-workers will often be left emotionally scarred, used as stepping stones by an ambitious sociopath trying to improve their own social status. It can be difficult for a person who loves a sociopath to come to terms with such seemingly ruthless behavior.

8. They are very good at reading and faking emotions

Most people find it hard to read sociopaths, as they train their whole lives to become good actors. As far as they are concerned, they could go through life with a straight face, making sarcastic comments or just not caring, but they know that it’s not socially acceptable. If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to blend in with the crowd. So, sociopaths do their research and try to take on a personality that people around them find agreeable and trustworthy.

This is why people who love sociopaths have a hard time accepting them for who they really are, and are confused when they see their partner’s true face. However, when sociopaths reveal their true colors to someone, it is the ultimate gesture of trust and respect – if they take a huge risk by letting you past their shield, it means that they feel that the price of your companionship is well worth it.

9. They can actually love someone, but not the way most people do

People will tell you this and that about sociopaths, and they are usually painted in a negative light. However, you’ll find that emotions have a sliding scale – just because someone doesn’t exhibit the same amount of emotion in the same way, doesn’t mean that they don’t care about anyone. I always like to use the example of the infamous mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, who was reportedly a paranoid sociopath and an extremely violent man with a few other interesting psychological issues thrown into the mix, but the way the man talks about his wife and children is truly endearing.

Is it love in the sense that most people understand? Probably not, but a sociopath can have a strong connection with another person – it’s just difficult to tell when there’s truly something in the depths of their logical little hearts when they are so comfortable with lying and faking emotion all the time.

10. They can be very self-centered and incapable of admitting mistakes

It’s not so much that sociopaths won’t admit mistakes, it’s more about them not even realizing why something should be considered wrong or bad. It is perfectly natural for a sociopath to engage in Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead. They won’t exactly push anyone under a car, but they might give someone bad advice, use misinformation, blackmail, and manipulate people to get what they want. If you point out that these things aren’t moral, or even confront them about being disrespectful and hurtful towards others, don’t expect them to show remorse.

I hope that you can see that sociopaths are not all violent criminals, nor are they closer to a race of emotionless aliens than to other humans – they are just people who happen to be different. The way they feel, think, and live is a bit unusual to a lot of people, but that doesn’t make them monsters. It’s important to remember all the points mentioned above if you truly have strong feelings for someone who is a sociopath, as it can be incredibly difficult to get close to someone if you aren’t ready to see their true self.

The post 10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath appeared first on Lifehack.


Attributes and Procedure of Getting CPD Accreditation Status

The term Common Professional Development (CPD) is a well organized approach to acquiring the pre determined specialized education, knowledge, practical training practice for pursuing a certain profession that is mandatory in many countries including the UK. CPD requisites can pertain to several professions such as medical, judicial, research and fellowship programs, logistics and transport etc. as per the regulations in an institution or governmental laws. For instance, according to the CPD rules in practice in England and Wales, a legal executive or solicitor executing full time legal practice in the country (working 32 hours or more in a week), needs to complete at least 16 hours of CPD every year that will earn them 16 CPD points.

Obtaining CPD Accreditation

There are several authorized organizations that offer CPD accreditation programs. Before you proceed to acquire your accreditation it is mandatory to complete your CPD program with minimum attendance fulfillment, participation in several activities as a registered college/university candidate etc. Completing this formality will bestow the recognition of an accredited CPD provider status. More or less the following procedures are adopted by all major organizations that offer independent CPD accreditation to a professional.

Application: The first step is to register and apply for an independent CPD provider accreditation status. While applying the candidate will have to submit proof of attending the CPD program, details, of participation in activities, hours completed etc.

Review: The institute awarding accreditation will take about a month of time to review the certificates and credential submitted to verify the authenticity of the documents before processing the application to the final stage where the accreditation awarded to the CPD provider.

Accreditation Awarding and Conditions: The final stage is the accreditation awarding when the candidate is assigned a particular date when he will receive the status of accredited independent CPD provider and gain the privilege of promoting himself in the professional domain to set a milestone in his career. He will then have the facility to approach potential clients or join any institute as an accredited member. To ensure that the accreditation remains valid for lifetime, keep updating it as and when there are any changes in the terms and conditions introduced in the regulations of the particular profession.

  • Gain better client prospects as an established accredited professional
  • Beat the competitors in the professional world and get exposure to premium career opportunities
  • Explore the new job opportunities for which you meet the criteria of accreditation requirements
  • Build a network of clientele with whom you can keep pursuing your profession with peak high progress

The CPD obligations are formulated in accordance with requirement of the essential and advanced skills and education to pursue any said profession with complete accuracy. Many organizations have strict codes for CPD fulfillment of the all the recruits. However the independent professionals not yet associated with any organization or enterprise, in their own interest can opt for taking CPD to ease out their way to getting hired and setting firm foot in the professional world.

Apprenticeships are also another route you can go down and with Gordan Franks Birmingham apprenticeships it is easier than ever before.