Personal Development

Disruption Through Distraction: Adventures in Fighting Boredom

When Disruption Takes the Form of Self-Sabotage

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Tara Bradford had everything going for her business, and the majority of her clients came directly from the video marketing she had been doing for a year. Suddenly, she decided to stop doing the videos. She was bored. And instead of finding ways to change her videos, and exploring other options in addition to the successful video activity, she. Just. Stopped.

This is just one example we spoke about in terms of the choices we’ve made out of boredom and being too comfortable, that ended up taking us in completely different directions - and not always in a good way.

Some of us just don’t recognize when we’re bored early enough to change direction with intention, rather than as impulse. Eventually, though, with enough self-reflection, we can start to see the symptoms before they become overwhelming. That’s the first step. The next step must be to consider our own roles in the scenario. And then? We must make the decision to take small steps toward digging us out of the situation, rather than rushing off into something we’re not really sure will take us where we want to go. Tara’s brilliant strategy was to put herself into situations that a) made her uncomfortable, and b) had her interacting with people and industries she would never have otherwise experienced.

How many times have you made a rash decision because you were dissatisfied, bored, or simply in maintenance mode in your life and/or business? What lessons did you learn from those experiences, and how do you choose to tell the stories so you’re learning from them, rather than being a victim of circumstances?


Tara Bradford helps individuals gain clarity on their goals and objectives, communicate confidently about themselves and their businesses, feel more understood in their professional relationships, and reach a global audience with their message so they can become Best Selling Authors, TEDx Speakers and, if we dream even bigger, Nobel Peace Price recipients.

Visit her website to learn more about what she can do to help you move forward - without those lateral distractions! And connect with her on LinkedIn to keep up with her extraordinary contributions to our global community.

Connect Beyond the Keyboard

NLV is a two day professional development opportunity designed with a full curriculum-style agenda to help you and your business thrive. It’s limited to 50 participants, so you have the opportunity to truly get to know every person in the room. Sessions range from brain-science and mindset strategies to building your brand across platforms, hosted by some of your favorite LinkedIn connections.

So why am I recording this video on a mountain in Montana? Because the overall theme of NLV is to connect beyond the keyboard, taking your online connections to the next level in an enriching environment, filled with relevant content.

We humans are designed to use all of our senses to maintain and improve our brains, and our capacity for healthy relationships with others. LinkedIn and other platforms have offered us incredible opportunities to meet, learn from, and collaborate with people all over the world, without ever meeting face-to-face. That’s pretty amazing. 

But there’s a limit to what you can accomplish from behind your keyboard. At some point, if you want to build authentic, powerful relationships, you must experience the world in first person.

You can read about climbing a mountain, look at pictures, and even feel like you’re climbing by watching someone else on a big screen, but you’re missing 90% of the experience.

As I stand here looking out over my little city, I’m breathing clean, crisp, fresh air. I’m smelling the pine needles, the damp soil that will freeze soon. I’m seeing the details of the leaves that have changed color and are barely hanging onto their trees, ready to drop for winter. I can hear the breeze coming up through the trees on the mountain, and I’m feeling the crunch of the rocks and dry grass under my feet.

I can’t experience that through a screen.

Register for No Longer Virtual today; save yourself some money by registering before November 1.

Still on the fence? Check out some of the reviews from past participants:

Join me, learn together – in the same room - with some of your favorite LinkedIn connections. Take your connections beyond the keyboard and create an even more powerful network. Visit elkinsconsulting.com to register, and for more information, and contact me directly with questions. I can’t wait to meet you at NLV!

Our Culture, and How It Colors Our Communication

Using Stories to Uncover Our Deeper Connections

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We know innately that when we find things in common with each other, we forge deeper connections, but how do we do that with intention and true curiosity? And how do we make this the first part of communication, the priority, so our discussions don’t immediately devolve into defensiveness and hostility?

Zach and I believe that if we understand our own perspectives, where they come from, what we’re reading to bring us to certain conclusions, and why we trust the resources we trust, we could make a start toward better understanding and appreciation for others’ perspectives.

One key to starting those conversations is simply finding common ground, and that can be found in culture. During our conversation in this podcast, we discuss a less traditional definition of culture; lifestyle culture. Are you a dog person? A cat person? Are you part of the mountain biking culture? Each of us can live in many different lifestyle cultures, which makes it much easier to find common ground.

Zach Messler knows a lot about communication strategy, and he uses own cultural commonalities to strengthen his work.

Connect with Zach on LinkedIn, and be sure to check out his website to learn more about how he can help you develop your messages, your content, to be clear and compelling!

From Zach’s website:

I help entrepreneurs know what to say and how to say it so they make a bigger impact on the world…and their wallets.

So, yeah. I’m on a mission to help entrepreneurs find relevance…and revenue.

Embracing Life Transitions as the New Normal

We are Living in Transition Now, What Stories Help Us Navigate this New Normal?

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Kris Macchiarola left the corporate world because her activities there just didn’t align with her core values and priorities. What she discovered after leaving that world is a community of women in varying types of transitions in their lives: Divorce, empty nesting, career changes, priority changes, and a general desire for something different in their lives.

There appears to be three responses to these major life adjustments:

  1. People see an open door and choose to turn back around to the known dynamics of their previous jobs, industries and types of partners, regardless of happiness and fulfillment.

  2. People see an open door and freeze, not knowing which opportunity to take because there seem to be too many options.

  3. People see an open door and leap across the threshold, choosing risk over safety and comfort because there are simply no other options for them.

In this podcast episode, we share some of our own stories of transition, the stories of some of our friends, and some important strategies and thought processes to consider in this changing world of transition.

Kris Macchiarola is a consultant, speaker, leader, and coach. She specializes in helping organizations create a culture where employees feel energized, enabled, and engaged, ultimately, giving them a competitive advantage. She is an EQ champion and specializes in Human to Human. Connect with her on LinkedIn, check out her Patreon profile, and visit her website to learn more.

A Spark of Inspiration is Only as Good as Your Response to It

The Spark that Started a Story of Innovation in Education

It was a TED video that caught Don Wettrick’s attention during his lunch hour. He’s always looking for inspiration through reading and videos, and as a teacher, he’s used to fitting that inspiration into little boxes necessary to keep administration happy. But this was different, partly because he had switched schools and his administrator was more open to changes and innovation, and partly because he really wanted to see his students find something they could get excited about.

When his students came to class that afternoon, Don showed them the video. They were not as impressed as he was, it seemed a little dry to them. And yet, as the discussion continued, an idea emerged. Students had often complained that if they were just given some freedom, they had all kinds of interests and projects they’d want to dig into.

“What if you had 30 minutes every Friday to work on whatever project you wanted?”

Don expected students to jump at the opportunity, and some did, but what he found was that a lot of students were so driven by grades and being pleasers, that when it came time to take those 30 minutes, he heard things like: “Well, Mr. Wettrick, what do you want me to work on?” And he’d answer, “whatever you want. What are you interested in?”

Many of the students had a really hard time thinking through that question, sparking an even greater desire for the idea of an innovation class, and curiosity about what would drive students to think more about what they liked, what they were interested in, and what they were good at.

Fast forward a few years after that spark of inspiration, and we see Don making waves all over the country with his work in bringing student innovation to classrooms everywhere.


Don Wettrick is the Innovation Coordinator at Noblesville High School, and is the author of "Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level." Wettrick has worked as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; CEO, and podcast host. He is also the founder of StartEdUp, an organization dedicated to help transform the school culture toward innovation and enable student-led entrepreneurship. 

In the podcast, he speaks about his great kids, particularly Ava and her podcast, redefining (thank goodness) influence and mentorship on younger generations.