Beware of random collisions with unusual suspects. Unless, of course, if you want to learn something new. In that case seek out innovators from across every imaginable silo and listen, really listen, to their stories. New ideas, perspectives, and value creating opportunities are in the gray areas between unusual suspects. It seems so obvious and yet we spend most of our time with the usual suspects in our respective silos. We need to get out of our silos more.
It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people exactly like us. We connect and spend time with people who share a common world-view, look the same, enjoy the same activities, and speak the same language. We join clubs to be with others like us. I want to belong to the non-club club. The only tribe I want to be in is a tribe of unusual suspects who can challenge my world-view, expose me to new ideas, and teach me something new. I founded the Business Innovation Factory to enable random collisions of unusual suspects.
I am reminded of the power of this simple idea as my friend Bill Taylor launches his new book,Practically Radical (a must read for all innovators). Bill is a magnet for innovation stories and a master storyteller. I’ve been a Bill Taylor fan since he founded Fast Company and was surprised when he showed up at BIF-1, our very first Collaborative Innovation Summit, back in 2004. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Bill loves searching for compelling innovation stories among the unusual suspects. He has attended all but one of our six annual summits to-date including co-chairing several of them. There have been countless random collisions. As I started reading Practically Radical I was immediately hit with a powerful reminder.
Read the rest of… Saul Kaplan: Practically Radical
Learn exactly how to approach social and dating skills in a way that gets results.
Even though natural attraction may sound like an inherent gift — that you’re either born with or not — it is no such thing.
The truth is that like anything worth building, natural attraction is simply a skill.
I have found that when men develop a strong and benevolent sense of self, they can’t help but attract women who are a great match for them.
I’ve seen it over and over again, with men who didn’t think they could even get themselves out of the work-home-work cycle, much less attract a beautiful girlfriend.
By following the steps I’ve outlined for you below, men consistently defy the supposed odds and attract amazing women.
So how do we get YOU attracting women naturally and successfully?
Whether you want to have more light and fun dates, or whether you’re on the search for a beautiful, inspiring woman to partner with, there are three steps you need to take in order to become a naturally attractive man:
Step One: Discover Your Vibe
Since you’re in Julie’s community, you already understand the importance of how you come across in terms of your dress and presentation. That gives you a huge amount of leverage in social and dating interactions.
That said, are you aware of what makes YOU uniquely attractive as a man?
That’s something that not a lot of guys know about themselves, and yet it is the fundamental starting point for attracting women naturally.
This is because once you know what makes you a wonderfully attractive man, a few things happen:
First, you instantly have more natural confidence around women.
Second, you know what your strengths are, so you can style yourself and your conversations accordingly, all while being 100% authentic.
Third, you’re able to recognize and receive women’s respect, attraction, and eventually devotion.
Once you have a core understanding of who you are and why a woman would love you for you, you can finally discern and receive a genuine sexy romance when it comes your way.
Step Two: Develop Core Skills
Once you’ve determined what’s sexy about you, it’s time to build your core skills.
This starts with the basic skill of confidence: an assurance within yourself that gives you the strength to become more of the man you want to be every day.
With confidence comes the ability to build key social skills, dating skills, sexual skills, and partnership skills.
That’s all it is – skill-building. Your current level of skill is in no way a personal reflection on your inherent worth. It is a linear, logical skill to be developed.
This is often the biggest mindset shifts my clients experience.
Step Three: Find Your Flow
You’ll know you’re pretty well in your groove when you’re enjoying genuine comfort with yourself, others, and beautiful women.
You’ll know you’re REALLY in your groove when you’re comfortable being intimate with beautiful women and being in close relationship with gorgeous women who deeply inspire you and are deeply inspired by you in turn.
That sounds amazing, right? If you’re wondering whether you can actually do that, it would be understandable. Many men have asked the same.
I can tell you right now that after working with dozens and dozens of men 1:1 – you CAN.
You absolutely can.
Once you discover your vibe, develop core skills, and find your flow, you can’t help but attract women naturally.
Sarah Jones is the founder of Introverted Alpha, where she helps smart introverted men attract women naturally by building core skills and confidence. Learn more and download her Free Welcome Gift at Introverted Alpha.
One of my secret weapons for up-leveling a guy’s style is to mix in new colors, textures and patterns. With the cold weather upon us, now is an excellent time to do this because there are natural ways to change up your style — and do it well. Below are some of my best tips for how to do this.
How to Turn Heads
To get the women around you to take a second look, you need to change up how you dress. If others are used to seeing you in solid blue shirts day after day, and you all of a sudden show up in a purple check, it’s going to make a real difference. (Now of course, not everyone wants their style upgrade to be immediately noticeable. If that applies to you, go for a subtler change, say a switch to a blue check.) Certain colors, textures and patterns are more seasonably appropriate than others, and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today for Fall and Winter clothing. I’ll break this down for you into three main categories: color, texture and pattern.
Fall and Winter is the right time to start incorporating darker, richer colors like olive green, bright red, deep purple, royal blue, chocolate brown and rich navy. Think about these tones for sweaters, pants (like the green AG cords above), shirts and sportcoats. These are the colors we typically associate with cold weather, so it makes sense.
Thicker, heavier textures like in my client’s jacket above are also more appropriate as the weather cools down. These include flannels (for dress pants, suits, sport jackets and also shirts) tweed, corduroy, suede, quilted outerwear and thickly-knit sweaters.
In these thicker fabrics, Fall and Winter-friendly would patterns include houndstooth, windowpane, glen plaid, and regular plaid.
The beauty of cooler weather is that you get to incorporate more layers as the weather cools down, which in turn means more of these colors, patterns and textures can become part of your outfit. And as a result of that, your outfit becomes much more interesting.
How do you plan on mixing up your wardrobe this season?
It is time to get to work. Most everyone has fitness on their mind when discussing their plan for 2015. Hell, even I have fitness related goals I would like to focus on for the next 360ish days. Most of my goals have a common theme and today when discussing 2015 with a client something hit me like a ton of bricks. It was an epiphany of sorts. While trying to simplify the process, I discovered the most important word for the the process, consistency. Without it, there is no workout plan, juice cleanse, yoga retreat, treadmill known to man that will create the results MOST are seeking out. Consistency is everything when discussing fitness. Those that do not have consistency have no results. Its a fact.
“So specifically what are you talkin bout JB?”
Most everyone would agree true, long lasting results take time. Even the the January resolution crowd that is showing up at your neighborhood gyms know that results take a while. So what are the keys to results? In my opinion it falls down to consistency. Those that are consistent in their workouts, eating habits, keeping stress low are more successful than those that are sporadic. Lets simplify this even more:
Here are the four areas I see where the results start to wane and frustration starts to set in because of lack of consistent habits.
Plain and simple, if you do not work out on a regular basis you are not going to achieve the maximum amount of your goals. Start small, commit to 3 days per week to go workout (whatever combination you would like) and be consistent. You do not have to have the craziest of workouts every time you workout (leave those to me) just be consistent ( are you tired of reading that word yet?) Side note: Do not cancel on your trainer unless you absolutely have too. If you book an appointment, keep it. You will not be disappointed.
A huge gaping hole for most people is how they eat. Most are neither consistent nor nutritious which leads to no results. We may need to start small by simply making it a priority to prepare our lunch every day. It literally could be the same meal all week if you would like. Any thing to start a consistent behavior pattern.
I do not sleep enough some days. It is a goal of mine to achieve at least an average of 7 hours of sleep a night. My body needs and your body needs it. There is a correlation with happiness and the amount of sleep one’s gets. Let that sink in.
Huh? Yes I am going there. If you have negative people in your life, get rid of them. They are detracting from what you are trying to accomplish. They are in your way, consistently. It is preventing you from reaching your full potential. Say goodbye!
Resolutions are great, declarations are better. Declare 2015 as your year and keep the theme of consistency in the forefront of your mind as we process through this new year. Victory will be yours.
By Lauren Mayer, on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Not only is E.L. James’ fan-fiction’ trilogy a runaway success, the movie version is also setting box office records. Meanwhile, critics, literary analysts, BDSM experts, and all of us with any basic sense of logic and writing are scratching our heads. How on earth could so many people embrace soft-core porn that expects us to believe a beautiful 21-year-old English major has never been kissed, has never thought about sex, and has never decided to use her supposed experience reading Thomas Hardy novels to update her vocabulary from “jeez” and “triple crap”?
Since women are the bulk of the audience (including those of us who read a book or two ‘just to see what all the fuss was about’, honest!), it’s easy to dismiss the whole phenomenon as an illustration of suburban sexual frustration, of lonely moms yearning for some kink in their lives. But I’m firmly convinced it’s really because the books tapped into the suburban mother’s deepest fantasy – of having someone ELSE take charge for a few hours.
For that we’d put up with awful writing, a hero who is more abusive-stalker than charming, and a lousy representation of consensual sexual experimentation. Just think how successful we’d make any example of ‘mommy porn’ that skipped the contract delibrations and references to “my inner goddess”?
By Erica and Matt Chua, on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Wine regions rarely disappoint. The combination of the visual, well-tended vines climbing towards the sky, and the experiential, flavors of the wine and food, will excite the most dull among us. Almost universally wine regions are worth the trip, but being situated literally halfway around the world from most people, Argentina’s Mendoza region needed to offer something more than tours and tasting rooms. Mendoza has succeeded in creating a food and wine experience worth the trip.
Mendoza is one the world’s most improbable and unique wine regions. Naturally it is a barren, as precipitation is kept on the Chilean side by the highest part of the Andes range. It should be a productive agriculture region as little as it should be a wine destination. Therein lies why it is successful though, generations had to work to make it happen, never taking for granted natural gifts. The culture of hard work that led to the irrigation and cultivation of the land has since been put into creating an international tourist destination.
Fulfilling it’s duty as Argentina’s largest wine producer by volume, Trapiche offers the gold standard of large-winery tours similar to Mondavi in California. Informative and thorough, the tours walk visitors through the entire process, albeit closer to the process than you can get in many other places.
What makes Mendoza special? It is the overall experience of European indulgence meets Latin America. It has incomparable views of wineries nestled against the tallest mountain outside of the Himalayas. It offers the expected wine tasting, but also locally produces the unexpected: world-class gelato, chocolate, honey, olive oil, and much more. It blends a historic town center with thousands of acres of parks and modern amenities. It even has adventure sports including climbing of one of the Seven Summits. In short, it has everything.
Read the rest of… Erica and Matt Chua: Why Wine Taste in Mendoza
It’s rare that a book so enhances your world-view that you think the author has taken up residence in your head. Henceforth What Technology Wants shall be known as my new playbook for understanding technology. It’s a must read for innovation junkies trying to sort the infinite possibilities of the 21stcentury. Many have tried to help us understand the meaning of technology. Few get below the buzzwords.
What Technology Wants captures the essence of our technological revolution and provides a lens to understand its origins. It provides a unique view from technology’s perspective shedding light on what technology wants and where it can take us. It’s a call to action reminding us of the opportunity and responsibility to remake our world in a way that deeply honors technologic potential around us. I expected the book to be great. Kevin Kelly has been an innovation hero of mine dating back to his days as the founding editor of WIRED. Every story during Kevin’s tenure at the magazine was a voice from the future that seemed to be speaking directly to me. It was a thrill to spend an entire day with Kevin when he came to the Business Innovation Factory recently to discuss What Technology Wants. Talk about being a kid in a candy store. My head is still spinning.
Kevin Kelly’s visit and book discussion stretched my thinking in both comfortable and uncomfortable ways. Let’s start with the comfortable leap. Kelly clearly asserts that humans are the evolutionary conduit connecting the cosmos, bios, and technos. He paints a compelling narrative arc asserting that the concentric creation stories of the universe, life, and the man-made world all share the same inexorable evolutionary path. I now know what Stephen Johnson meant by taking a long zoom view. Kelly traces the four billion year history of life through transitions marked by ever-increasing complexity of information flows. From molecules to single-cell organisms to language based societies to writing and printing to agriculture to scientific method, to mass production to ubiquitous global communication. It’s all one grand evolutionary arc and we are center stage.
I have always been fascinated by biomimicry, a design discipline that emulates or takes inspiration from nature to solve human problems. In What Technology Wants, Kelly helps us make the connections and intellectual leap necessary to see evolution as a connecting process, seamlessly working its magic across both the natural and man-made world. Technology doesn’t just mimic nature it’s a natural evolutionary extension of the human mind, which in turn is a direct extension of our cosmic beginnings. Kelly invites us to become one with technology. It’s a far easier invitation to accept knowing we share a common evolutionary process and limitless opportunities to explore the adjacent possible together.
The leap I am less comfortable with and still trying to process is Kelly’s assertion that there is an inherent direction to the evolutionary process. He claims evolution is a predictable process with predetermined tendencies. His argument isn’t theological but science based. It’s enough to make your head explode. Kelly claims there is an aspect of structural inevitability or predetermined outcomes built into the evolutionary process. He suggests that if somehow we could replay four billion years of evolutionary process over again we would see roughly the same outcomes. How can that be? The notion goes against everything I am wired to believe. I grew up incessantly arguing with my mom, who must have said a million times, if it is meant to be it will be. To which I always countered in full-throated argument, the only things meant to be are things we make happen. I never bought into mom’s fatalistic life view preferring the self-deterministic outlook that has shaped my life.
And yet What Technology Wants advances a compelling argument that complex adaptive systems will converge into recurring solutions given enough time. Kelly is claiming that evolution is reproducible. He sites the convergent evolution of eyesight as evidence. Evolutionary biologists have determined that a camera like eye evolved not just once but independently six times over the course of life on Earth. It seems that eyesight is an inevitable evolutionary outcome not a random event. Many other examples are highlighted in the book pointing to similar evolutionary convergence across the natural world including flapping wings which evolved independently three times in birds, bats, and pterodactyls.
Read the rest of… Saul Kaplan: What Technology Wants
Ah, chocolate. The albatross of Valentine’s Day. Snarky online articles will chide you for taking the easy route of buying your lover such clichés as flowers or a heart shaped box of sweets. But let’s be honest. Chocolate is pretty amazing. As the poet Rita Dove wrote about the treat, “dark punch/ of earth and night and leaf, / for a taste of you/ any woman would gladly/ crumble to ruin.” Who would turn up their nose at that?
If you’re starting to squirm over what to lavish upon your valentine, relax. Whether it’s a friend, sweetheart, or family member, most people’s hearts are warmed more by a thoughtful tidbit than by an outlandishly expensive trinket. And you can make your offering that much more meaningful by taking the few minutes to whip it up yourself.
Don’t worry. I haven’t chosen something complicated or time-consuming. We’re going with classic chocolate truffles. Sound boring? Not when you taste them. And here’s the best part: they only require four ingredients, unless you get crazy with the toppings. And you may want to, because it’s pretty fun. Chopped nuts offer a savory balance, or for a pop of color and unexpected flavor, try pink Himalayan sea salt or pomegranate seeds. With any luck, your amour will be as smitten as Rita Dove. Assuming you don’t eat them all yourself first.
1 pound dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of bourbon or liqueur (I used Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream liqueur)
Coatings: Chopped almonds or hazelnuts; cocoa powder; pomegranate seeds; pink sea salt
Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water.
Gradually stir in cream.
Gradually add bourbon, stirring gently to blend.
Cover and chill overnight.
Once chilled, shape the mixture into balls, and roll them in your chosen topping.
(adapted from Bounty of Biltmore Cookbook by Whitney Wheeler Pickering)
With the cold weather here (and here to stay), it’s time to consider the sweater. In case you missed it, my advice was referenced in an excellent Wall Street Journalarticle about how to incorporate sweaters into your look. Even if you’re not typically a sweater-wearer, don’t click away just yet. I’m not talking about the basic sweater-over-a-dress-shirt look — anyone can do that. It’s the non-typical ways to wear knits that I’m interested in. Below are 5 ways to use sweaters to add a fresh spin to your look:
1) Jacket alternative with a casual outfit a.k.a. swacket (sweater-jacket combo) – Leave the North Face in the closet and put on a a chunky sweater instead. As I’ve mentioned before, outerwear is key to pulling together an effective outfit, as it sets the tone for your look. And wearing a sweater as outerwear is a great way to mix things up. The cardigan above from J. Crew is an excellent option (similar here) is an excellent option, as is this one from Billy Reid, which is lined the same way a regular jacket is and therefore provides good protection from the elements.
2) Cardigan worn as a sport coat – In lieu of a sportcoat, wear a shawl collar cardigan like the one above from Suit Supply with a dress shirt and tie. This is a smart look for a cozy evening holiday party. You can also add a tailored menswear vest for further visual interest and warmth.
3) Vest worn over shirt and tie – This is a nice choice when it’s not cool enough for a full-sleeved sweater like in #2. Above is another option from Suit Supply which shows how to do this. The teal blue sweater paired with the rust orange pants is a solid Fall color combo. Leave the bottom button undone as you would with a regular menswear vest.
4) Sweater in place of dress shirt – This is a very sophisticated look, especially when done tone-on-tone as in the runway image above from Valentino (the model also has a grey scarf tucked into the sweater).
5) Thin cardigan under suit or sportcoat – On days where it’s not quite cold enough for an overcoat over your suit/sportcoat, throw on a cardigan as an in-between layer. If you want to try this look, make sure that the cardigan is thin and try leaving the top and bottom buttons open for a less “done” look as in the above image.
Two additional notes…
-Because wearing sweaters can get hot indoors, it’s key to dress in layers which can be easily removed and replaced. The above looks work well in this way, as they each have pieces that can be removed and added back as needed.
-Bear in mind that because knitwear has texture, it’s inherently going to impart a casual feel to your look. The less textured the sweater is, the more dressy it will be. So if you’re wearing one of these looks for work but don’t want to be too dressed down, make sure it’s a fine knit with a smooth surface to it.
Sweaters can often feel stuffy and “old,” but if you try them in new and unconventional ways as above, you’ll breathe new life into your look.
2015 is here. Have you started on your resolutions? Have you already given up on your resolutions? Whichever boat you are in, I would like to share with you my mantra for 2015. With a brief description of what each eloquent line means to me.
Warning! Motivation and inspiration may ensue. Enter at your own risk.
To live by choice, not by chance,
We all have choices in this world and by all accounts we are judged by those choices; good, bad or indifferent. Make choices that add value to your life. Be with people who make you better and rid yourself of those that bring you down. Don’t want for things to happen, make things happen.
To be motivated, not manipulated,
Ultimately you are motivated or you are not. There is no one foot in and one foot out. Either you do it or you don’t. And by such we cannot be conned or fooled into living our lives for someone else. We are unique in our decisions and should hold our ground when making them. Be you and don’t let others sway your judgment or motivation.
To be useful, not used,
We are meant to add value to other’s lives, not be used for our unique talents and genuine generosities.
To make changes, not excuses,
Change can be scary. It is a place outside our comfort zone. However, it is important to make change when change is need. It is not important to make excuses for why you can’t doing something because you are scared to change.
To excel, not compete.
Life is about wins and losses. You win some, you lose some. The only competition is the person in the mirror. Only make comparisons to the person you use to be versus the person you are.
I choose self-esteem, not self-pity,
Confidence and the self belief in one’s ability will drive you further in life than feeling sorry for yourself when life doesn’t go you way. Live to fight another day and be thankful to be able too.
I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinions of others.
Your gut will never lie to you. Your heart will, your brain will and your eyes will but never you gut. It is your inner voice that knows all. Always listen to it. It will always tell you to keep pushing and make headway. That anything is possible and all the doubters are wrong.
I choose to do the things that you won’t, so I can continue to do the things you can’t.
The choice to get up early, work late, workout when everyone is asleep, eat broccoli instead of French fries is all ours. We can chose to make the sacrifices necessary to be extraordinary, it is up to us. Do what others won’t so you can continue to do what others can’t.