People Pleasing

People pleasing is a disease. Click To Tweet

I've suffered from this my entire life. The desire to make anyone and everyone happy. Whether that is in my personal life or business life, I've gotten myself in a lot of trouble because I want to make those around me happy. Today I was able to have a much-needed come to Jesus moment with a few close friends and with myself. This brings me to the deeper question of what it really means to say "no." I'm horrible at this. However, what makes a good leader and an even better boss is being able to say no. I did some soul searching and wrote down a few things I observed about saying no and how I can be better at setting personal and professional boundaries.

  • A question is simply a question, not an obligation.
    • Just because someone, maybe someone of significant importance to you, presents a question; doesn't mean you are obligated to say yes. Saying no even when it's uncomfortable shows that you're taking steps to create boundaries.
  • It's not personal. 
    • So many times I think that if I say no to someone they are going to take it personally. No doesn't mean you're saying no to the person. You're simply saying no to the situation.
  • People Pleasing sets unrealistic expectations.
    • If you're in a situation where you're always the "yes man" this creates a cycle of unrealistic expectations not only in your business life but personal life as well. Add money into the mix of this one and you're destined for a horrible meltdown at some point.
  • People Pleasing will take you down.
    • Let me balance this by saying, people pleasing isn't hospitality. It's the abnormal desire to always say yes, always be available, and always be the one to turn to – but none of this in a good way. Over time people pleasing creates passive aggressive tendencies, reduces the ability to enjoy people and activities, and lastly creates burnout. I realized in most of my people pleasing that I was forgetting about the most important person, and that's myself.

Taking care of yourself is essential. In your personal life and business life, people are expecting you to be the best you there is. It's hard to take care of yourself if you're always on for other people. So how do you combat this? I've taken a few steps this year to get my people pleasing under control. Here are a few things I'm doing that might help:

  • Turn everything off.
    • I've started segmenting my time. At the office my phone and all social media stays off for a period of time, then once I complete x, y, z, I take a break. The most important example of this is my mornings. I like having time to myself in the morning. This means I've had to get up earlier and I don't even look at my phone until about 8A each morning. By waking up around 6A(ish) this gives me a solid two hours to read, reflect, and invest in myself before I start the day.
  • Email isn't everything. Communication is. 
    • If you're like me and work in an environment that requires constant communication, it can be hard to not instantly respond. I've found that making you schedule clear to your friends and clients is essential. For example, I've started a series of "days" at the office. Design days, communication days, fun days, etc... If we're having a design day, I'll simply post an away message on my email informing everyone what's going on. It's simple. Clearer communication.
  • Forget social media.
    • My life and about half my income is dedicated to social media, so it's impossible to actually forget. However, if you're wanting to be productive and get things done, limiting social time is essential. Social media creates fragment in our leisure/productive balance. I was getting to the point where I'd check twitter while I waited for a browser to load, next thing you know, 10 minutes later, I finally managed to get back on task. These fragments add up and you're ability to achieve deep work dwindles.

Wishing everyone a Happy Monday! Thanks for following along on this journey to be come more productive and produce more work that matters.



This will be the first time I've posted since May. I wanted to do a really cool photo set with this post and have everything planned out nicely, but as always, that's not how this will go. Recently I've been so scared. Scared of where my life is at, where it's going, and the person I'll end up being. The word Legacy comes to mind. What will my Legacy be? If you read my blog you know I travel a lot. For those of you that just landed here, I'm no stranger to traveling and submerging myself into other cities and cultures. I was born and raised in Fort Smith, Ark. It's my hometown and currently where I reside. My community was once known for being a dead, boring place. This is simply not the case anymore.

I've got a long line of failed ventures and harebrained ideas that just didn't work. Maybe it's because I didn't have enough money, seek enough counsel or they just weren't timed right. Starting and creating is in my DNA. Even if it doesn't end well, creating is a passion of mine.

With all of that said, it's time for a new chapter, a new beginning, a new baseline if you will. In typography, a baseline is where most of your letters sit. It's the starting point or a point where something begins. I'm at a baseline moment in my life.

Baseline Collective is the biggest risk I've taken in my adult life, all 24 years of it. Up until now, I've played it safe. I mean, I've taken risks but only those I'm 90% sure of the outcome. This risk, however, I'm not sure. Time will tell.

In October of 2015, I set out to create an entity with enough room to grow and scale as my brain could dream. That statement sounds much more magnificent than the current state of the company. Nonetheless, I took the risk.

Zero to one is the hardest step you will ever take. Click To Tweet

With all that said – almost a year later, countless clients who have stuck with us while I worked a full-time job and put in full-time hours (sometimes at their expense), and endless support from those in my life – it's here. Baseline Collective is finally a thing. Alongside my fearless co-pilot, Megan Young, my zero to one now turns into one to two. The next hardest step I've ever taken.

Why Fort Smith?

The past few months I've finally been able to tell those around me about this career transition. The most common question I get is, why Fort Smith? This answer is simple, and if you'd like, I recommend taking notes on this part.

  • Fort Smith is a safe place to fail. We have a strong community that will pick you up, lend support, and be there at a moments notice when trouble hits.
  • Fort Smith will be the center for Art, Culture, and History in Arkansas.
  • Did I mention we have a strong community of supportive people already? Because we do.

What is Baseline?

The second question I get asked a lot is what is baseline?

Baseline is a collective of individuals working to tell brand stories through creative direction, live experiences, concept development, and content creation. We create for a purpose.

Simply put, that is what baseline is. The heart of this organization is building a better community, creative and economical alike while raising the standard of excellence in this region. We haven't gotten far yet, but we've only just begun.

The opportunities are endless when pairing creation with execution. Join me. Let's create a better world.


Live Unbalanced

We have this idea that we should live balanced lives. Half work, half play. Yesterday I made a rant (or two) about how we as a society champion the weekend. This ties perfectly into a work/life balance. I'm a firm believer that living a balanced life is one of the biggest lies society has told us.

If your goal is balance, how do you really give something 100%? Have you ever thought about that? In order to make great ideas and dreams happen you have to be all in, right? I can't be all in if I turn off that idea after 5P? Let me put a disclaimer on this for those out there that would fuss at me – you need downtown, this isn't what I'm addressing. Anyways, back to the post.

I believe you should be 100% present where ever you're at. If that's at work, be there. If that's at home, be there. Be 100%. 50% at work and 50% at home doesn't cut it when you're trying to get an idea off the ground. Be present.

Be present. Click To Tweet

So how is this possible? It's time for a list and a few practical tips to living an unbalanced life!

Tip #1 - Have The Guts to Say No.

We as humans are bad at this. Myself in particular because I'm a people pleaser. When I know I'm about to pursue something big, I tend to say no to more things. This allows me to be more aware and present on the important tasks I'm pursuing.

Tip #2 - Step Away From Social Media

Nothing eats away at time like social media. I find that this is the number one cause of interruption when trying to be focused and aware. To combat this, I have every notification turned off on my phone. The only notifications I receive are text messages and phone calls. Everything else can wait.

Tip #3 - Slow Down, Focus, and Think

You'll be amazed at what happens when we slow down, breath, and think about what we're trying to focus on. Clearing your head to be able to handle the current task is important. Understanding full circle where you're headed on the project at hand is key as well. This cannot happen with a cluttered mind. Slow down, focus, and think.

Tip #4 - Change Perspective

Step away from your desk, go to a coffee shop, an airport, somewhere you can feel challenged to create via the environment you're in. Changing perspective doesn't always just mean location either. When I can't fully grasp a concept or I'm working on something I'm new to, I always ask for help. I ask those around me and those who know more to help open my perspective to things.

Tip #5 - Be Present

The key to being present is not being somewhere else. It is so easy to be somewhere else. Whether that is digitally or mentally. It will shock you how much you remember and absorb when you're simply present. This is something I've always struggled with. As I tried to be in so many places at once, I got nothing accomplished.

Be all in, no matter where you are. Living like this is easier said than done. Once you start it, you'll realize living unbalanced is the only way to get the most out of life.

Happy Tuesday! Today is the cheapest day to find airline tickets, go fly somewhere!


Apple Always Wins

When I woke up this morning I knew it was going to be a good day. Now, I'm not a tech expert, just an enthusiast who loves technology. Today was the unveiling of the new iPhone. If you haven't heard by now, Apple released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Two beautifully designed smart phones that you can read more about here. Apple also unveiled the much longed for Apple Watch, but I'm not going to talk about either of those in this post.

Today I want to tell you why Apple Always Wins. I have several friends who are heavily invoked in the tech industry from design, to production, marketing. I get flak from my friends who are windows and android users all the time because of Apples restrictions and ability to customize ect... What I'm going to address today is not why Apple is better, but why Apple always Wins even if its products doing initially seem, well, better. 

Apple Always Wins because of one word, Culture.

No other company on the planet has a culture like Apple. They has created an entire ecosystem of products that integrate seamlessly with one another. Going even further, Apple has created products that seamlessly integrate with everyday life. We saw this today Apple Watch. Companies like Samsung, and Motorola give it their best shot, but no other tech company has products that integrate so seamlessly with daily life like Apple. The amount of though, design, and effort that goes into these products far surpasses those of any other. You don't see hundreds of thousands of people waiting in line for Samsung Products? Maybe just a few hundred. haha Apple is all about experience, no other tech company puts as much thought and design into experience as Apple.

You can say what you want about Apple, and vis versa, but no one does it better than Apple. It's all about the details. No one does it better. 

Highlights From Today's Event:
- iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus
- All New Camera
- Apple Pay
- Apple Watch

Here are a few shots, from todays event and the products to come.

Five Signs Your Company Culture May Actually Suck

When I read this article I knew I had to share with everyone, these are some things that when starting Southern Hospitality, we tried to avoid when creating the identity of our culture. This is a great read for anyone who is struggling to get their company culture off the ground!

Great company culture is visceral. We’re talking about the type of culture that is so real, it envelops you from the minute you step into the office. It’s refreshing, like splashing cool water on your face in blistering hot weather. It radiates from every person in the business.

Having a strong company culture is the secret ingredient to modern success. Airbnb’s Brian Chesky has gone so far as to proclaim company culture as the sole subject of a company’s legacy. Company culture, he says, is the foundation for all future innovation. It’s that important.

Related: Time for a Company Culture Audit

Most companies want great company culture, but only a few do what it takes to actually have it. It certainly doesn’t come easy, but pinpointing your weaknesses and shifting your work environment will put you on the right path.

The first step of improving your culture is to identify where it’s lacking. Here are five indications that your company culture may actually suck, and solutions to make it better.

1. Your culture relies on perks. It can be tempting to say you have good company culture since you have a company-sponsored happy hour every Friday or because you recently hired an in-house barista to make lattes every morning. But culture does not come from perks, it’s rooted in a shared philosophy that brings your people together. Perks are used to empower your culture by supporting the company philosophy.

Buffer, for example, has a philosophy of transparency. One of the company perks is a free Jawbone’s Up wristband so that the whole team can share their sleeping, eating and activity information in full transparency. In this case, the perk supports the philosophy while helping build strong relationships among a remote team.

2. Your company has a generic mission statement. It’s not enough to simply plaster a mission statement from your first business plan across the office wall. Your company must have strong core values and a noble cause at the foundation of everything you do to achieve great company culture.

noble cause captures your company's higher purpose and what your team is working to accomplish every single day. It is a statement that defines the direction of the company, everything from business development to new employee orientation. The company’s core values and shared beliefs are the soul of a company and its foundation for outstanding company culture.

3. Your culture only exists at work. Great company culture doesn’t drop off when you exit the building, it is carried out into the world by your people, ambassadors and witnesses of your culture. It is internalized and adopted by your team, shaping them as people and helping them to evolve at work and beyond.

Related: Creating and Keeping a Positive Company Culture

At Digital Telepathy, we empower employees from the inside out through betterment bonuses. Every year, our team members each receive $1,500 for a project to simply better themselves or others. They choose something they have always wanted to do, work on the project throughout the year and share their experience with the whole team.

Betterment is a core value at Digital Telepathy, so as our team betters themselves, they are evolving our culture inside and outside of the office.

4. You hire skills, not people. Every person you hire either adds or detracts from your company culture. Employees who don’t fit into the culture, no matter how talented they are, will not contribute to the longevity of your business.

study from RoundPegg found that new employees with strong cultural fit were 27.2% less likely to leave within their first 18-months on the job. If you don’t have job applicants going through intensive, culture related interviews before you hire, you may want to rethink your hiring process. Consider using a personality profiles, in addition to a skill tests and reference checks, to help decide if an applicant is a cultural fit.

5. You discourage risk. Part of learning and growth is trial and error. Not everything can be predicted, practiced and projected. If your company culture awards short-term performance and punishes risk takers, you’ll be cultivating a norm of anti-innovation. Allowing employees to fail quickly without repercussion encourages your team to explore possibilities and be more innovative. Your team will feel more valued when it has a voice and that will benefit your business.

The bottom line: Building great company culture is about being inclusive of all employees, creating a shared philosophy to guide your decisions and protecting that foundation by bringing on and empowering the right people.

When you have great company culture, you’ll feel it, and so will everyone in and around your company. It is not easy to achieve but, once done right, it can't be ignored.

Original Article Link: