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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Secret Ingredient for More Press, More Sales, and More of What You Want



The secret to getting more of what you want lies in two questions that you must ask yourself.
  1. “How does what I’m asking for benefit the other person?”
  2. “How can I help the other person achieve what they want with what I want?”
It’s that simple. Ask those questions before making your ask. Then follow through with figuring out how to help the other person with your ask. If you can’t make the connection to how your ask can help the other person, then don’t make the ask.

I.e. You’re working on a new show—TV, film, fashion, whatever. You need big press to cover the event. Part of the profit proceeds of your show is going to cancer research. You reach out to the health & wellness editor at the NY Times. Because of your thorough research on Twitter, Wikipedia, and some Facebook stalking ( ;) ) you know that the editor runs in a cancer marathon every year and has a soft spot for funding cancer research. You mention that when you ask her to do a write up about your show in the weekend health & wellness section of the Times. 

This procedure works in the selling of insurance, sponsorships, shares in a new venture, and networking. 

Be as specific with your ask and with the kind of help you’ll be providing the other person. Be generous. Give a little more than you anticipate getting and don’t keep score. Be succinct with your ask too. Long winded explanations are hard to hear and the old adage “Ain’t nobody got time for that” comes into play. 

Get more of what you want by being thoughtful and giving. Pass on that secret ingredient to everyone you meet. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the Midst of Chaos There is also Opportunity






"In the Midst of Chaos There is also Opportunity."


- Sun Tzu

When things aren’t going your way, when the enemy is swarming you, when all you’re hearing is “no,” when the order of things seems more chaotic than settled—these are places where opportunity lies.

Rarely do we accomplish personal greatness when we are comfortable. But when the stakes are raised, when the going gets tough, we—the tough—get going.

That doesn’t mean you need to install a painful set of circumstances to achieve success.

However, we can use the energy of those inevitable chaotic moments against itself and toward our favor—much like a great aikido master would use an assailant’s energy against himself. 

Spending time getting upset is time wasted toward finding a solution.

Why is the enemy attacking? What is their strength? What is their weakness? What is a good part of the enemy I can emulate?

Why is everyone saying “no?” Is it in the way that I ask? Is my ask beneficial to the other person? Do I even know what I’m talking about? What can I learn for today and in the future from this experience?

There are no right answers here. Only big thoughts, experiments, and expanded horizons. 

Chaos isn’t a time to curse the sky or wonder what we did to god to make our lives this way. Chaos is a time to kick it into high gear and use our mental training and conditioning to help us out of chaos and toward what we want.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Evolving Being


This week I’m posting a piece I did as a guest article I wrote for Evolving Beings. I thought it was good enough for my BLOGospel peeps to read. I hope you enjoy :)

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My journey of awakening and personal expansion
When I look back at my twenty-nine (and-a-half) years of existence, I see lots of little moments that led to big shifts. Some would call these memorable moments, signposts. For much of my life these little moments and big shifts were generally reactionary. I didn’t influence the significant happenings in my life until they were already in my face.
In 2009 and at the age of twenty-five I lost my father to suicide. At twenty-seven, unhappy with the state of my life—my acting and writing career was not where I wanted it to be, my longterm girlfriend had broken up with me, my personal relationships were nearly non-existent, and I was undergoing a terrible clinical depression—and I started contemplating suicide. Thankfully I reached out for help in the nick of time.
Recovering from clinical depression in the early half of 2011, I started to see things in a new light. Success was derived from the strength of my personal relationships instead of my career accomplishments. Because of that change, I started to have the greatest personal and career success of my life. I also began to understand that happiness, success, failure, frustration—each of these are a mindset and not a state of being. I can choose to be happy or frustrated, to call myself a success or failure. Each of these mindsets can be cultivated. I want to cultivate the good things and so I plant those seeds in my mind, water them, and pull out the weeds on a regular basis. This is a much more proactive approach to my life and is a much healthier way to live.
My Positive Life Changes
Realizing that everything happens for me and not to me. It’s a simple shift in my mind. Stomping my feet and yelling that something is not fair isn’t helpful. If I choose to learn from the bad things that take place in my life, I have an opportunity to learn from them. I can use those bad things to become a better person. I can use my knowledge to help myself and others avoid the same pitfalls in the future—a much better spin on it than wallowing in negativity and self-inflicted despair.
Self care. I can work like a maniac, juggling five big projects at once and producing results in a short period of time. But at what cost? My mental health is important and it is not being taken care of if I’m working eight five hours a week. Taking on less work means I can have richer friendships, I can go to the gym, I can cook for myself, I can date, and I can rest. Now, success is defined as functioning at a high level in my work while keeping it in balance with the rest of my life. 
Learning to become detached from outcomes. This does NOT make for a bland emotional life. This simply means that I understand that there are many factors outside of my control that can contribute to my perceived success at a personal or professional goal. Learning more about the factors outside my control and appreciating them for what they are helps me refine my Jedi reflexes (don’t be hatin’ on Star Wars).  
My Next Steps as an Evolving Being
Through book signings and online events I’m working on raising money for charitable organizations with my new book The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah. These non-profits I’m working with involve mental health services, men’s health, child protective services, suicide prevention, entrepreneurship, and the arts. The second round of this fundraising plan includes bringing the one-man show version of The Gospel According to Josh Off-Broadway in New York City in May 2014 to help these charitable organizations even further.
I also wrote and am associate producing a new Spanish language Christmas musical Rescatando la Navidad opening in Miami in November 2013 and then going for a six city tour in Texas. This one is a comedy with a lot of heart and I can’t wait to bring it to some thirty thousand Hispanic American families at Christmastime. I envision it as becoming a new family Christmas tradition. Now and in the future I want to use the show to partner with charitable organizations as well to make sure children and families can have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Lastly I was to continue evolving as a human being through strong personal relationships, my relationship with myself, and I want to leave the world better than when I found it.
My Advice to Others
  • Give of yourself and do it often without keeping score.
  • Take some time to really stop and take care of yourself.
  • Find something you truly love and cultivate it and pursue it and work hard at it. It doesn’t have to be a job and it doesn’t have to be about money. But it has to push you out of your comfort zone. And it should force you to tell yourself to “stay the course” every now and then, even if the course is a little hazy and 
  • Put the act of worrying away. Stop doing it. There is always a solution. Either you fix or find a solution to your problem, or you don’t. Worrying is wasted energy and inefficient. The longer you worry the longer it takes to adjust to what you need to do next.
  • Surround yourself with people who make you a better person.
  • Learn to communicate well—this means listening more than you speak. Oh, and while you’re listening you’re not thinking of what you’re going to say next.  
  • Face your problems head on. Don’t avoid them. Live in the fear and uncertainty. The sooner you face your problems, the less heartache you will face. 
  • There’s always hope, help, and a solution. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sneak Peek #8 From (the book version of) The Gospel According to Josh: A 28 Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah


Hey there friends, amigos, amies, This here is another sneak peek into my book The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah. If you've been following along previously, you'll know that Ghost Dad (referenced below) may or may not be the ghost of my dead father. This portion of the book comes a few months after he passed away and when I take a solo road trip up to Vancouver, Canada. Thanks as always for reading :)


Chapter 14
Welcome to Canada, Eh?


I figured that I either I was going crazy or Ghost Dad had followed me clear across the country. But I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out. I scrapped my plans to stay in the Seattle area for a second day and was back on the road by 8 a.m. the next morning, destined for Vancouver. I arrived at the Canadian border a little before noon. The lines of cars waiting to exit the United States weren’t terribly long. My lane featured an overzealous border services officer, Officer Aaron, who may have gotten his training from one of the Police Academy movies. 
“Do you have alcohol, firearms, or tobacco?” he barked as I pulled up to his booth.
“No, Officer A, eh? I left all that stuff back at the compound,” I said with a smile. 
His face turned the color of a maple leaf. “Excuse me?” he asked.
“I was just being silly.”
“You were just being silly, what?”
“I was just being silly… sir?”
“That’s more like it.” He began to thoroughly inspect around and under my vehicle. “Did you drive all the way from California?” 
“No, I just rented this in Portland, Oregon… sir.”
“What’s your purpose of the visit and where are you staying?”  
“My father just died and I’m taking a little trip to Vancouver to honor his memory.” I had to make full use of the sympathy card in my back pocket.
“How did he die?”
“Terminal gonorrhea,” I said with a straight face. It was unthinkable that this guy had the audacity to ask me such a personal question. 
His face turned to horror. “Seriously?” he asked, looking down at his crotch and then back up at me.
“No. It was suicide.”
“Wow,” he said, squirming in discomfort at hearing the “S” word. “You’re not going to do that up here, are you?”
“Only if I have to keep talking to you.”
“Alright, get out of here, eh.”
Douche. Bag. 
After crossing the border, I drove a short spell through farm country and over a few large rivers until I found my way into downtown Vancouver, a beautiful and culturally diverse city that felt quaint and friendly despite its multipurpose high-rises, skyscrapers, and its half a million people. I explored as much of the city as I could and at the end of a late dinner, I went for a long walk at the edge of the waterfront. The moon was peering from behind some clouds, shining off of the seaplanes and oil tankers that were resting up for the night. The grunts and groans of two junkies fornicating on a sidewalk off in the distance made for a sweet melody that capped off the end of a magical night.
  Back at my hotel and completely drained from a full day of walking, sightseeing, and a live junkie porn show, I promptly fell asleep, fully dressed in my travel clothes. While I slept, the brawny Specter of Scandinavia, my dead father, appeared to me yet again. 


Chapter 15
No Escape

Once again, we were on opposite sides of the ravine. This time we were both seated cross-legged facing one another and he was crying. His tears flowed down into the gorge, causing the river to rise to the level at which we were sitting. As the water touched my toes, he placed his right hand in front of his chest and the words “TELL MY STORY” in black capital letters appeared above his outstretched palm again. But before I could question him, a strong gust of wind blew into my nostrils, causing me to choke and wake from my slumber. 

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Thanks for playing y'all. To read more, pre-order your autographed copy at http://gospeljoshbook.eventbrite.com . 15% of proceeds go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention . Full release on September 24th, 2013.