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It’s not every day that you get to ‘found’ a new art movement. It’s not like you wake up one morning and think to yourself, “This is something I’m going to do!” and yet it happened on September 5th, 2012, and now that it’s in the world it’s hard to see how it not being here.

It began with Hazel Walker introducing me to Kenan Farrell in Indianapolis. He is an intellectual property and entertainment attorney as well as the President of IDADA. We met to discuss my art and after showing my very commercially viable illustrations, I found myself getting defensive when showing my paintings, telling him that some of them might be offensive to him.

After a short while Kenan said to me, “Which one of these is supposed to be offensive”… and it dawned on me that in fact NONE of them were…. not with the right viewer.

As I drove home I spoke to my friend Arifah on the phone. She’s an incredibly talented poet and she’s easy to turn to when I need to discuss creative issues regarding my art.

“so why do you feel the need to defend your art?” she asked me…. and so went the conversation about the “boobs and the balls”… a subject that I spoke on in a previous blog.

As I explained my art out, it suddenly hit me. Although there’s some incredible art and artists out there, the difference in the niche I have is that my art is very relationship driven and intimate. My art talks to the viewer and connects them to a relatable experience in their life. The paintings aren’t trying to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art from a quality of work standpoint. They’re about a connective state. This is why I paint; to make you see that an experience you’ve experienced is not always something you alone have been through. All too often, we’ve been there. We’ve felt that pain. We’ve climbed that mountain. We’ve lived that bliss. We’ve loved that hard.

The moment I saw my art in this new light I realized it was bigger than my work. It was an art movement because Arifah’s poetry has those same sentiments. We knew we’d hit on something big and a lot of cussing ensued!

Without a given title for this movement, the movement was understood by us both clearly! This was something new, or new for us at least, and once realized it couldn’t be unrealized.

From there we had to find a name for it. Not to own it or brand it. It’s not a business that needed a tagline or something we could call OURS. It’s not a club that only some can be in, no more than surrealism is a club, but rather a comprehension. It’s an understanding of an art form and all that was then required was to explain it clearly to others so it could be latched onto and understood… and many have… just from our verbal explanation but to make this grow it needed more.

So here it is, broken down into it’s most tangible form:

INTIMATISM 

And She Stomped On Him Again

If you look at a piece of art and say.

  • Wow…. I’ve been there!
  • I’ve experienced that…
  • I’ve been hurt like that.
  • I’m not alone
  • That’s me

Then that is Intimatism!

  • If you create art capturing a person or people in a life experience, particularly one that stirs your emotions…

Then more than likely you are an Intimist.

  • If the relational emotions of people are at the core of your subject matter as you create…

Then your art may well have an intimistic flare to it.

Intimatism has the ability to be a powerful movement. It’s instantly relatable once you understand it and to the people we have spoken to about it we’ve yet to have someone that hasn’t nodded their head as they saw what it was, smiled in understanding  and realized it as a movement that’s not currently here. For my part it instantly made me less defensive. My paintings are intimistic! Of course they have bodies in the art. I’m trying to connect with you in an intimate, penetrative way; breaking down walls of hidden defenses. I am fully an intimist at my core and I look forward to meeting, searching for, finding and connecting with other intimists and intimistic appreciators in all forms of creation.

That said… Let’s make this movement something special and connect the world through this common fragility.
with love..

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I recently went to a network event and met a small business owner that asked me what I did. I began my habitual speech, ” I’m Adam Parsons, principal of act4;” avoiding the word ‘president’ because to me it sounds so self-elevated. (Personal preference.)

“Nice to meet you,” he said, “what do you do at act4?”

Completely without thought I continued my routined spiel, “At act4 we….”

Immediately and abruptly  he stopped me. “Wait… Who’s “WE”?” he inquired.

Quite honestly, I was caught off guard and momentarily stumped, so replied,  “We is ME!”, suddenly feeling a lot smaller than just a few moments ago.
He was a fellow designer and seemed to get a huge thrill about ‘catching me out on being a one-man-shop.


… So what’s the point of the story?

All too often “we” (there I go again!) refer to our companies  in a plural way, even if we are freelancing from our home offices…. Why?

It’s because there is power on plurality. Not just verbally, but in actuality too. If two people or more believe in a cause or a purpose, incredible things can happen MUCH MORE than going it alone.

It’s strength, support, encouragement, someone to fight the battles with, elevate each other and high five the small initial victories it takes to get great ideas into great businesses out into the world. You can also brag on your accomplishments with much greater resolve because you are tooting someone else’s horn and not just your own.

I’ve experienced the power of one and although its still not to be shirked by any means, more often than not, that powerful ‘one’ is usually supported by at least one more or a network of others.

As you move forward in your business, ask yourself, am I trying to  do this  alone?  Am i consumed with personal elevation, fame, personal fortune or statue? Am I trying to do it all myself because I don’t trust anyone else to do it like I want it or just because you want to have all the glory?

If so, I encourage you to rethink your process.  Find your “WE” and you will see a dramatic surge in every area of your business. – not to mention almost every other aspect of your life.

Have you ever been to the beach and wanted to dig a hole in the sand?
You dig and dig, getting deeper and deeper then suddenly there’s water!
Undeterred you continue to dig… heavy wet sand that you throw out of the hole, but the sides all seem to melt into the water filling the hole. No matter how hard you try the hole just stays filled.

You mind is much the same.

Although there are some people out there that can empty their minds and have nothing in it, it’s a skill far too few of us have perfected – myself included! (Ekhart Tolle seems to be quite good at ‘discarding the noise’ (as he likes to call it.))

So what can you do when your mind seems to continuously wanting to be full with uncertainties? Things to worry about? Drama that needs to be addressed? Oh the worrisome sleepless nights!….

The first thing to face is that your mind isn’t always your friend. Left to it’s own devices it will create problems so that it have have purpose and feel needed. One way it finds purpose is worrying or thinking about problems so it can try to ‘help you’ create solutions. The brain doesn’t like to focus on here and now because most of them time here and now is just fine! The brain would much rather focus on your past and future so that it can actively feel like it’s making a difference, and in turn help you to stew and ponder, worry and fear! – so what can you do?

FILL YOUR MIND. If you don’t…. it’s more than likely going to autofill. – so put something in there that is positive and helping your life missions or goals. Carrie Wilkerson talks in the Barefoot Executive about giving her brain a problem before bed so it can work on solving it. In my case I can’t do that because I’ll be up all night if I do, but her point is sound; better to be up thinking about something that can be positive and challenging than negative and worry-filled. Control your brain, don’t let it control you!

Zig Ziglar talks about this same thing using audio books; things to fill your mind with inspiring, uplifting and positive starts to your day. –

THIS WORKS! … I guarantee it.

You find yourself looking forward to working out in the morning because you know your mind is also going to get fed and worked out too. – Try doing working out without mind input and see the difference. – I was shocked! My mind at least filled up with all kinds of negative garbage until I put a cap on it!

Just remember… Unless you have great discipline over your mind it’s GOING FILL UP – and what you feed grows.. what you starve dies. So be diligent with how your mind is filled. Work out your brain as you work out your body.

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Picture if you would, the Starship Enterprise flying through space… “Space… the final frontier…”

As you do… picture yourself zooming in closer and closer to the Enterprise until you go inside a window and are walking in one of those corridors you’ve seen so many times.
Oh. there’s Captain Kirk!… 🙂 …but you’re not the star… you’re one of the people that’s got a job to do and are just getting on with it.

Can you picture yourself there? Holding a clipboard.. wearing that silly uniform… phaser set for stun. Can you?

Now I want you to imagine your energy in that position you have.

  • How you feel about your job?
  • How you feel about life?
  • How you feel about being a part of something with meaning?

It’s nice right?!

  • Have you ever noticed that no one on Star Trek moans about their job?
  • Ever seen someone complain about not getting enough vacation?
  • Muttering to each other about, “how they didn’t get a bonus this year” or how they need more money?

Now of course this is just a show, but this is where we’re headed… This is where we’ve already started to head!

HEADING FOR STAR TREK

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A few years ago the dot-com bubble exploded. Everyone seemed to be getting rich, or at least “paper rich.” Times were good and the BizJuice (Business needs for creative juices) was at an all time high…. Everyone “needed” a website… Times seemed good as we consumed without a care and lived beyond our means. (Both personally and globally). Businesses became overvalued and the word ‘million’ became minute to the big daddy Billion… or even TRILLION! (It’s coming. just watch… It’s the next thing! 🙂 )

Then the bubble burst. Gas prices rose; Americans would say the prices, ‘shot up’, but  if that’s you and you even think it’s high today… you need to look at what most other countries are paying for a liter of gas. Yes… you heard me… a liter… they don’t buy by the gallon any more… it’s too expensive! England is paying about $8 a gallon… Food for thought.

This was the time of fear… uncertainty. Worry. Stress. Everyone pulled back the reigns and the country suffered because of it. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, as we hibernated into our overpriced homes like mouth-stuffed hamsters – living… no CREATING our own butterfly effect.

The fear became manipulated by the press (shocker), the government, and even on a smaller scale within businesses. More than once I heard ‘bosses’ telling their employees that they could fire them and find 100 other people to do their job tomorrow. Workers were asked to do more for less and new jobs got offered at pitifully low wages. Workers were pushed and stretched and almost dared to try leaving. I remember driving to a Wendy’s and being served by a man in a full business suit…. I thought of him leaving for work in the morning… not having the courage to tell his wife he’d been let go three months ago.

Times were tough… Arguably times ARE still tough for some. Who knows…This might be you now… This is still happening…. but the world is changing… I’m convinced of it.

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So what’s the new thing? We’ve done consumption and in debt up to our eyeballs. We’ve done the fear and the hoarding of losing our ‘stuff’.

The next stage is awareness and ENERGY.

If you look at many of the successful businesses, Google, Apple, Facebook; these companies are cultures more than businesses. These name immediately stand for something much more than the company itself. They are vibrant, thriving ENERGY. They nurture the minds that work for them, which brings out the best in the employees and in turn EXPLODES THE GROWTH OF THE COMPANY!

I was watching an interview recently where Eckhart Tolle was visiting Google and he talked about how great it was that employees were allowed to bring their dogs to work! – WOW… Now THAT’s some good ENERGY.

Think about people you like to work with or like to be in business with or just like to be around. Why??….. More than likely (once again) it’s their energy and this is going to become more and more prevelant as the decade continues. MARK MY WORDS! Nurtured, cultivated environments bring out loyalty, dedication, passion, and drive in employees and the “Star Trek” companies around us SEE that and are quite clearly capitalizing ON IT.

These are the people I’m so fortunate to be around. These are my inspiring five and the companies I seek out to work with.

SO…

BUSINESS OWNERS WITH EMPLOYEES:

If you aren’t a Star Trek company. Just be aware that most of your employees are more than likely as loyal as their options. They dread Mondays. They long for Fridays. You’re a paycheck and nothing more and you’re going to get bare minimum of loyalty out of them.

YOU CAN CHANGE THIS!
Just because you’re in a leadership role doesn’t mean you’re a leader. Inspire and motivate!
Instead of complaining about the staff, change YOU and see what happens to them. (This is a whole other blog!)

EMPLOYEES WITH BUSINESS OWNERS:

Learn to live in your Star Trek. Monitor your energy. Everyone around you associates you with some kind of energy. – TRUST ME!
Don’t believe me? Think of ANYONE in your company… and immediately energy will be at the forefront. Think of someone that moans and complains. – Think of that energy. Think of someone with that can-do spirit – Now think of that energy.

YOU CAN CHANGE THIS.
Just because you’re an employee doesn’t mean you can’t lead at your level. – Inspire and motivate!
Instead of complaining about the boss, change YOU and see what happens to them!

(boy this sounds familiar!)

I believe Star Trek Beams of Energy is coming… did I say IS COMING???? IT’S HERE!!!!- It’s now. It’s us! –  There’s a ton of you out there reading this that are already nodding to this statement.

So be bold and dare “TO GO WHERE NO-ONE HAS GONE BEFORE….”

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When it comes to running a business (as opposed to playing business) you have to be willing and ready to adapt to the climate of the market.

You have to be open to change.

Many people don’t like the word CHANGE, in business, and in their personal life too. I’m sure you’ve heard people at some point or another say, “Why are you trying to change me?” or “Why should I change?”

In some cases that’s an understandable reaction. After all when people are asked to change it could be interpreted to mean that how they are is not acceptable and no-one likes to be told  that who they are or what they do is unacceptable…. Do you? I sure don’t!

BUT…

Here’s a little reality check. – You ARE changing.

You’re ALWAYS changing, as is the market place… whether you like it or not. You CAN’T STOP things from changing. It’s part of life! Once you realize that everything IS going to change… you have the opportunity to CONTROL how that change takes place. – or at least build a way to paddle WITH the current and not against it.

  • People often don’t want to work out… but… If you gouge yourself on food and don’t want to change… Just keep doing it for a while…. Think you’ll change?
  • Businesses often don’t want to change with the times… but… If you keep selling dated solutions to your customers that don’t optimize their needs…. Think things will change?
  • People often like to talk about the half empty glass… but… If you are negative and like to pick things wrong with the people around you….. Keep going… Think things will change?
  • Businesses often want the money without the work – get rich quick!… but… If you don’t give your best to your clientele and just do the bare minimum… Think your business will change?

YOU BET YOUR LIFE IT’LL CHANGE!!!

It’s clear that CHANGE is GOING TO HAPPEN. It’s inevitable – both in your business AND your personal life, but the opportunity for all of us is to direct that change and focus on HOW you will change to benefit you, your clients, your loved ones, and your time on this earth.

I hardly know where to begin with this post because I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
I have found myself returning periodically to both sides of the fence too.
It’s also easy to lecture on being on the side of the fence that I now find myself on because I’m on it!
For the people on this side… they’re all nodding with me… and the people on the other side are all not wanting to listen.

I KNOW YOU’LL RELATE TO THIS….. ALL OF YOU!
That being said, let’s forget about what I’m going to say for a moment; about what I recommend…. and the side that I’m on.

What do YOU know YOU need to do with regards to working out?

Pick your head up, look in the mirror and be honest with yourself for a moment.

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Working out… It’s a sensitive subject… so why am I bringing it up. What business is it of mine you might well ask… “You’re just a brand manager!”

….. and therein lies “MY BUSINESS.” I’M A BRAND MANAGER. – and you are the most important part of your brand.

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Consider your product, your service, your idea or your experience. Everyone falls under this category one way or another as you present yourself in the marketplace.  So let’s be real. Are you suited to your brand?

Let’s give some extreme examples.

  • Would you pick a fitness instructor that was overweight to train you?
  • Would you purchase health foods from someone that didn’t look healthy?
  • Would you ask others to be disciplined if you yourself were visibly not disciplined yourself?

Now here’s the kicker….. ARE THESE FAIR QUESTIONS? – You’d better believe it.

Richard Branson was recently asked what the secret to his youthful spirit and ability to run over 400 companies. Anyone care to guess the answer? – You got it. WORK OUT.

  • How do I get more energy? Work out.

  • How do I get more confidence? Work out.

  • How do I keep from getting sick? Work out.

  • How do I find more time? Work out.

  • How do I stay focused? Work out.

  • and of course… How do I look and feel better?….. well… take a guess.

If you need motivation that’s stronger than your will power alone, consider your brand and do it for that. Be the standard of excellence that you want to present with pride. For motivation, find a partner or join a site like Fitocracy to keep it competitive.

Talk to any life coach and they’ll say the same thing. This is a MUST, not a SHOULD, (to use some Tony Robbins terminology.) so get up, get out and get on with it. It’ll change your business.

Ps: Start with small steps and grow. Don’t dive right in… chances are high that you won’t keep going.
PPs: This is not just about looks. Weight loss and looking great are really just the side effects of feeling great… more energy and much greater productivity.

 

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This is something so profoundly important, I strongly encourage you to consider as you move forward with your business.

Who are the five people you are most around? Consider it for a moment. Friends, family, coworkers, it really doesn’t matter. Now consider the energy they bring to your life…. or in turn… consider the energy they take out of it. As you run through this exercise and figure out where you are and where you want your business to be, is it fair to think that these people might play a large role in the direction you are going?

If you’re caught up in localized drama or gossip, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be focused on things that will elevate you or your dreams.

So who are you 5? – and do you have what it takes to change them?

Your five don’t have to be personal friends or even your spouse, they can be virtual, or just people you look up to or even a child, but they are people that focus you in a mindful, positive and growth-orientated way. They also evolve and change – often at times rapidly. Mine has changed just in the past week, but they still remain on mission to my target.

Here I mine. Some of them you can look up. Go to YouTube and research them. You’ll see why they are who I surround myself with.

1. Tony Robbins – VIRTUAL

If you think he’s a motivational speaker you know nothing at all about Tony Robbins. Dig deeper! – Do yourself a favor! He studies people on an incredible level and has made his life mission to help people find their passion and success in life. I’m on day 9 of his personal power. He’s the reason I get up and walk my dog every morning and start the day feeling empowered. He’s also one of the most sort after speakers in the world… Hmmmm wonder why… Perhaps it’s time to find out!

2. Nikki FineSteps. – REAL

Nikki and I run a Ballroom Dancing company together in England. We market ENERGY – CLEAN AND POSITIVE. Our tagline is “Dance with Passion” and the growth of the school has been explosive to say the least. Nikki inspires me. She’s motivated and dedicated to growing herself and  bringing joy to others. I talk to her often and we definitely make the magic happen. She is a perfect example of act4 (my company) working at its finest.

3. Carrie Wilkerson – VIRTUAL

Carrie wrote The Barefoot Executive which I listen to on audiobook. I love listening to her because she’s “US”. She’s very real and you instantly feel connected to her and her way of thinking. I grow from listening to her daily. I hope to know her personally at some point so I can thank her for all she’s done for myself and for a dear friend of mine, Sayaka Ganz, who introduced me to her. She’s an inspiring person that shows you that you don’t have to give up ethics to be successful. She also makes ‘success’ look very simple.

4. Ramit Sethi – VIRTUAL

Ramit isn’t for everyone, but he’s the single reason why act4 came to be. He’s harsh, BRUTAL at times, but sometimes we all need that reality check and that kick in the ass to make us realize that life isn’t going to come drop in our laps. I’ve never met him and I’m not sure that I want to :), but never the less, he’s able to jolt my system, grow me and immediately realize with tangible results where I can take my dreams.

5. Mike Toller – REAL

Mike is the leader of the Power Circle Network. – YOUR network! I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting with him twice, and once in a one-on-one session and I was blown away by his expertise. Mike’s mind works on a level of business I’ve not seen before first hand. He’s also so passionate about how he builds but it’s not dreamy… It’s REAL. He has a defined plan for his mission and it was incredible to listen to someone as passionate as I am about something talk on a level that took me so far beyond what I could even input, I was left dumbfounded. Mike made me realize that when it comes to business, we can’t do it alone. We all need the brilliance of other great minds.

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NOW…. I challenge you to work on your 5. Don’t just sit there complaining that you don’t have the opportunity. As you could see, the majority of my people were virtual so you have no excuses. Simon Sinek, Chip Conley, Steven Covey, Oprah Winfrey… WHOEVER. Remember… they don’t have to be on YOUR 5…. you just need to have them on YOURS! So get on it!!!

It will change the quality of your success. I guarantee it. Good luck with finding your 5