How Could I Have Been So Stupid?

How Could I Have Been So Stupid?

Ever say that to yourself? Maybe silently, maybe out loud? I know I have.

Most of us have a negative voice inside our heads. We created this voice either from something we heard or something we were told early on. Some of us listen to it daily because we made it a part of our lives. It became so engraved within our daily thought routine that we allowed ourselves to use negative thinking as a form of keeping us in line. To be the best creative you, it is imperative to take that negative voice and teach ourselves to look for positive alternatives.

It’s so important as entrepreneurs how we talk to ourselves and how we see ourselves. Calling ourselves stupid because we left out a segment in our marketing campaign or our project “failed” because no one bought into the value we believed it held is counterproductive. Maybe our product launch was held up because there is a mistake somewhere along the line that we caught but tell ourselves we should have been better at catching that mistake and now we have to let our potential clients know our launch won’t happen when we said it would. If we go down the rabbit hole of telling ourselves we’re not good enough then we’re going to have more days where we make critical mistakes. I’ve been there.

Let me tell you a true story. My partner and I have a free “Video Creators Workshop” teaching entrepreneurs how to make videos on their cell phones with an app we have. From there we created a full day workshop for entrepreneurs to come and shoot a 1-minute video of either their product, service or story of their company, download that video to their computer and create an intro and outro leaving with a product they could use for their business marketing. Long story short it was a bust! So many things went wrong and for several days after, my partner and I were so depressed thinking how stupid we were. But what we learned was so valuable. It wasn’t that we were stupid; it was that we learned by breaking down the segments of what we wanted to teach over the course of weeks, not a day, was what we needed to do. But boy, it was tough going from negativity to feeling positive.

We asked ourselves, “What did we learn? How can this benefit us in the long run?” When we could re-frame how we spoke to ourselves and took responsibility then we remembered, “there is no failure; only feedback.”

Would love to hear about a time where you felt stupid and how you overcame that negativity. Please leave a comment below.

Images to Videos

Images to Videos

Patty here with my first blog post. I have always been fascinated with how images can enhance a story or add to the details of documentation. Taking photography in high school set the stage for my life long attraction to visual communication. Pursuing photography did not get my family’s support, so off to college as an English major became the agenda of the day.

A year and half and two colleges later, I realized it was not for me. Then I stumbled on a career path that would take me exactly where I was meant to go. Medical Photography was an actual profession. I applied and got into a program at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. The first year was all about taking general photography courses in schools around the Boston/Cambridge area. My second year was at the hospital itself with internships at Brigham & Women Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

After graduating, my first job as a medical photographer was at the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital. Our department photographed surgeries, specimens, microscopic cells and also produced multi-media presentations and for the physicians.

My favorite physician,”Doctor Van, the Snake Man,” as I called him, took care of snake bite victims and while I photographed many wounds for him, what I liked more were the specimens he brought me. I loved capturing such unique images like an alligator fetus or a snake that had swallowed two light bulbs.

While working at UF Shands Hospital, I became a Registered Biomedical Photographer. This intensive program honed my skills in all aspects of photography from shooting to developing film to printing for publication to video production.

Nine years later, I took a position at Shriners Hospital in Tampa, Florida to work with physicians and researchers that were publishing articles in scientific journals. While I provided all types of photography, I had a propensity for shooting gross specimens. Researchers used the photographs to illustrate the disease process from overall specimen all the way down to the cellular structure.

I have to say the best part of my job was when a physician I worked with called me to Busch Gardens to photograph or film a procedure. This particular physician would perform orthopedic surgery on the animals. In return, when an animal died of natural causes, we would dissect the specimen, taking photos along the way to see if their were any correlations between their bones and those of humans. The doctors could then rule out or formulate possible treatment options.

So, while images have played a major role in my life’s career, I found that moving images could convey information more efficiently and more effectively.

Video can be used for so many things, such as promoting a product or service, but what I like the most about video is it’s ability to entertain and teach at the same time. Teaming up with Kaytlin to pursue a business in video marketing has been a natural progression. Her teaching style and my background in visual content give us a unique edge. As Do-It-Yourself(ers), we love helping others learn to shoot and edit thier own videos. It’s empowering to take a concept and create a visual project.

If you’ve been thinking about using video to promote a product or service, yourself or your business, give us call. We’d love to kick around some ideas with you.

Who’s Listening?

Who’s Listening?

Did you know – on average we spend 70-80% of our day in some form of communication whether it’s talking, writing, speaking, using our body language or our listening skills. Wow!

When I was growing up and it was time to correct the errors of my ways, my parents would gather around the kitchen table. Dad on one end, mom on the side and me at the other end. The conversation would revolve around a discussion of “what I had done wrong” in their opinion, how my behavior would change and what was expected next. Though this would replace other forms of punishment, I learned at a young age that I could travel elsewhere in my mind, not pay attention to what was said and come back when the one-way conversation was over to agree to whatever the end result had been decided. Can anyone else relate?

What that experience taught me was to rely on the ability to take my mind elsewhere when conversations were uneasy. I would avoid confrontation at all cost and shut down mentally and emotionally. It wasn’t until I was teaching that I began to understand the importance of listening skills.

When I began to understand the difference between active and passive listening skills, I became a better communicator. I became a better leader as well as a student. We can all benefit from more effective communication skills that build relationships with our customers and business partners.

Here are the things I practiced and you can too:

Ask Questions – I do this in the form of “help me understand…” This way I am letting the person know I want to understand what they want to convey.

Repeat – this is a great way to paraphrase what you think you heard the person say. Ex. – I heard you say… or let me repeat what I think I heard you say. This way you aren’t taking anything for granted.

Be Attentive – make eye contact, add gestures such as a head nod, a smile. Let the person know you are listening to what they are saying even if you may not agree. There’s time for discussion. Re-frame from interrupting another. Great communication works both ways. And defer judgment because we can always agree to disagree and still respect the other person.

Developing great listening skills takes time and is an art. However, you and your business will flourish when great listening skills are incorporated.

I’d love to see your comments on your experiences. Are you a good listener? 

To Teach or Be Taught

To Teach or Be Taught

Hi, Kaytlin here. If you’ve checked out our “Who We Are” page then you know I was once a teacher. I consider myself a “recovered” teacher. In other words, I didn’t fit the mold. After only two years in the school system I believed I had wasted four years of college. All that time and money I wouldn’t get back. For a long time that feeling of loss would haunt me and I hid that part of myself from the world.

But life has a way of showing up just at the right time. Enter Special Olympics. I was asked to be a coach for a group of individuals of all age ranges and abilities. It was both terrifying and exhilarating because I never had the opportunity to engage with individuals living with a physical, emotional or mental challenge. I again found myself taking on the role as a “teacher” or was I?

I remember one very special athlete I worked with. We were training for the softball throw for competition. We’d spend hours throwing the softball back and forth, each time stepping back and throwing further and further. Teaching technique was one thing, but during our time together I began to understand just how much I was changed by the determination and willingness to learn from him. He ended up qualifying for International Special Olympics. What an accomplishment! And though he didn’t win any medals, he was a winner to me. I’m so grateful for each and every athlete I was involved with who taught me about resilience, being themselves, their desire to learn and my willingness to be taught.

Today I embrace I am a teacher. Maybe not in the classroom which was once the only way I could see myself using my skills. I’ve learned there’s a balance of teaching and being taught. I now use my teaching skills with our video image marketing company to help you and your business uncover what’s missing, where you need help and how I can be of service. In return, I get to learn about you and your business. A win/win relationship all the way around.

I’d love to read your comments about a time when you remember teaching or being taught!