You already know everything.

 
 

You already know everything about …

Love.

Hint: Be patient. Be generous. Be kind.

 

You already know everything about …

Being in a relationship.

Hint: Be their biggest fan. Have their favorite snacks on hand. Don’t be a nag.

 

You already know everything about …

Being fit.

Hint: Move your limbs around in a way that feels good. Try to make little droplets of moisture appear on your skin.

 

You already know everything about …

Business.

Hint: Perform little miracles for people.

 

You already know everything about …

Marketing.

Hint: Keep performing little miracles for people. Soon, people will talk about you.

 

You already know everything about …

Success.

Hint: Follow through on your commitments, to yourself + others.

 

You already know everything about …

Happiness.

Hint: Say YES to things that feel right. Say NO to things that do not.

 

You already know everything about …

Writing a book.

Hint: Wake up a little earlier than usual. Start writing. Keep doing that for a while. When you’re done, stop.

 

You already know everything about …

Being a good person.

Hint: Leave everything — apartments, national parks, people’s hearts — in better condition than you found them.

 

You already know everything about …

How to figure out things you don’t know.

Hint: Google.

 

You already know everything.

How amazing!

You can stop searching, circling and over-complicating … everything.

You are not confused.

It’s nice to be you.

 

xo.

 
 

Let it hurt. Then get to work.

 
 

When I see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance, I cry.

When I hear Placido Domingo sing, I cry.

When I watch Michelle Kwan skate, I cry.

I cry, because watching a true master at work can be painful.

Painful, because it illuminates — with shocking, piercing accuracy — all of the ways in which I have chosen not to live up to my highest potential. All of the places where I am holding back. Marking time. Committing halfway. Giving my some — but not giving my all.

I enjoy this particular flavor of pain. I want the tears. I love the way that mastery startles me.

The way it forces me to assess my own life, make the necessary changes, re-commit to what matters.

I love feeling compelled to do better.

If you, as I often do, wonder why you are not yet the artist, the writer, the person that you could be …

Seek out the people who move you to tears. Watch them closely.

Let it hurt.

Then get to work.

xo.

 
 

Just the right words. Just the right time.
Three stories to inspire you to SAY them.

 
 
 

When Gil was 37 years old, the doctors told him, “It’s cancer, and it’s bad. You have one month to live.”

He accepted the diagnosis, and prepared himself to die.

The stranger lying in the hospital bed next to Gil had other ideas.

“What are you in for?” The stranger asked.

“Cancer,” said Gil. “I have one month.”

“That’s what they said to me, too, when I was about your age. Guess how old I am now?” he asked.

“65?” said Gil. The stranger looked youthful and vibrant.

“Nope,” the stranger said. “I’m 85 years old. I’m in here for just a few days, and then I’ll be out. So will you. Hang in there, kid.”

That was nearly forty years ago. Gil is very much alive.

Thanks to a stranger who said just the right words, at just the right time.

 


 

Kevin was exhausted and sick of being a teacher.

Nobody respected him, most of his students were hormone-addled terrors, and retirement felt like the only option.

Then he went to a rock concert — starring his all-time favorite musician. He wore a t-shirt that he’d printed himself.

After the show, he walked up to the rock star and said, “We study your lyrics in my classes. My students love your music, and so do I.”

The rock star looked at him and said, “I have so much respect for teachers. You are the real revolutionary. I just sing about revolution — you’re creating it.”

Kevin’s heart almost stopped. He didn’t quit. He’s still teaching to this day. And he loves it, too.

Thanks to a rocker who saw the true star in the room.

 


 

Dale wasn’t sure she wanted to be an opera singer anymore.

It was her passion, her dream, her calling — but some of the people she trusted told her to stop.

“It’s a hard life,” they said. “Long nights, tough rehearsals, weeks on tour, on the road … that’s no way to live. Especially when you’ve got a child.”

Then she met a young attorney who loved opera more than just about anything in the world. He asked her to sing. She did.

He said, “You have a beautiful voice. It’s a gift. Don’t quit.”

She didn’t. She went on to have an illustrious career, singing at some of the world’s legendary opera houses, playing the leading roles.

Oh, and she married that guy. (He’s my dad.)

 


 

Never underestimate the power of a perfectly timed compliment … a word of encouragement … a moment of truth.

Just the right words. Just the right time.

A blog post can rock someone’s world.

A heartfelt email can create miracles.

A sentence can alter somebody’s destiny.

If you feel them, say them.

Don’t hold back.

You never know who is aching — even dying — for the words in your heart.

xo.


 

PS. Who needs your words, today? What will you say?

 
 

Everything is marketing.

 
 
 

Over the years, hundreds of smart, passionate people have said to me:

 

“I love everything about my work! Except marketing.”

 

I used to feel that way, too.

But my whole attitude about marketing shifted when I stopped thinking about it as “separate” from the rest of my work.

It’s not.

 

Everything is marketing.

 

Writing a blog post … is marketing.

Sending out an email to friends + family … is marketing.

Blowing a client’s mind, so they can’t stop talking about you … is marketing.

Being visibly enthusiastic about your work … is marketing.

Making someone’s day … is marketing.

Leading by example … is marketing.

Being YOU … is marketing.

 

Like I said …

 

Everything is marketing.

 

So if you’ve already decided that you “hate” marketing, you’re pretty much saying, “I hate everything.”

Which is ridiculous. You don’t.

In fact, you love your work SO much, that right now?

You’re going to send an email to somebody (or thousands of somebody’s) who could use a little miracle today, and say:

 

“Hey. I know that you’re struggling with _________, so I made this for you. I think it will help.

Enjoy to the fullest. There’s more where that came from. You know where to find me.”

 

Look at you.

You’re marketing.

xo.

 
 

Don’t “write blog posts” or “launch products.”
Create little miracles.

 
 

Want to make helpful things that people actually want to read, watch, use, buy and share?

But … not sure what your people actually need?

It’s simple.

Ask them:

 

What would feel like a miracle right now?

 

That’s it.

Ask that question.

And listen closely.

Maybe your people will say …

For me? A miracle would be …

: Completing a half-marathon.
: Falling back in love with my partner.
: Finishing the book I’ve been sitting on for five years.
: Fitting into my clothes + feeling at home in my own skin.
: Having a chance to unplug + get out of town for a few days.
: Knowing how to throw the ultimate dinner party, like, tonight!
: Knowing how to say to my boss, “I’m not doing that.”
: Knowing how to get my teenager to cooperate.
: Really believing that I can do ____________.


Then?

 

Go be a miracle worker.

 

“Great! Here’s a toolkit that will help you to do EXACTLY that…”

“I hear ya. Here’s an inside peek at how I accomplished that, step by step…”

“Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you’re dealing with ____________. Here’s something that will help…”

 

Serve up the exact flavor of “miracle” that your people are praying for.

Not the miracle you wish they were praying for.

The miracle they’re actually praying for.

 

Create little miracles. Or big ones. Daily.

 

Do that, and you’ll never have to “convince” people that your “stuff” is high-quality, insightful and stupendously valuable.

They’ll already know.

xo.

 
 

PS. What’s the miracle that your people are praying for?