All posts by Jackie Abrams

Meg Sylvia

Meg Sylvia

Interview: How to make Online Publishing easy with Meg Sylvia

Meg Sylvia, who just made the leap from working 9-5 to working on her own, is the master and creator  of Artful Publications.

Below is a summary of our interview:

Quote

“Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work for it.”

Her Journey

Her dad was a photographer and he was the first person to introduce Meg to art and creativity. He gave her a copy of Photoshop and she would get a hold of all the free tutorials she could. Since she was a  young girl, she had this entrepreneurial spirit. She went to college and graduated with a degree in Marketing. Her goal was to work for herself and she ended up getting a job in graphic design in the construction industry, which was a little stifling for a girl with unlimited amount of creativity.  Her strengths are in layout design specifically with graphic design.  Throughout college she worked in newspaper publishing and with her background in marketing, it was easy for her to make the connection to e-books and online products. So she was lucky enough to find her niche.

Low Point

The biggest roadblock was convincing everyone around her that she was ready to make this leap. The risk was pretty scary. The lowest point is facing the worst that can happen; also, everyone around her was afraid to support it because they didn’t want to see Meg fail. Everyone wants her to succeed, but they were trying to keep her safe. But sometimes you just need to take a risk.

Aha Moment

When she took a blogger through the process of marketing and publishing of a book, the client was very happy with the results that Meg started getting referrals. So she knew that this was going to be very possible.

Meg’s work now  

The purpose of Artful Publications is to make online publishing easy for bloggers who have published books, but need them to look beautiful and presentable. The other  is for the beginner to help them publish and hadn’t published in the past. She takes them through planning and the publishing process.

Meg is currently trying to put processes together so she can grow steadily. She’s also excited to take this from one-on-one client work to classes where she can teach more people.

Lightning Round

Book Meg Recommends

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Helpful Habit:

Making sure she’s asleep by 10:30 every night.

Helpful Person

Danielle Dowling who has her own website. She is a life coach and business coach who helped Meg during a difficult time in her life. Danielle really changed Meg’s life.

Internet Resource

Wave accounting app, which you can get right here.

What’s Your Purpose

There’s no point in not being happy in your life. There’s no reason to let little things get you upset. Meg just wants to keep that attitude and help people feel that way, too.

Where to follow Meg

Meg’s website. Find her on Twitter @MegKSylvia.

And on Facebook through her website.

Parting Words

If you keep pushing every day and put a little bit of action in, as far away as your goals may seem, it really is possible. Meg is proof of that.

Tired of waking up, going to work, and sleeping with no sense of progress? I am offering a free 30 minute one on one career coaching session just for you. In the session, I will help you create a career plan to make more progress in the next 3 months than this past year. Click here to schedule your session

One More Thing

If you enjoy this interview, please take some time to rate and review us on iTunes or Stitcher.

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Hannah Engelson

Hannah Engelson

Interview: How to Make Documentary Films with Hannah Engelson

Hannah Engelson is not only telling her story, but she’s also getting the word out on her friend’s story as a short documentary filmmaker. Her film is based on Jonah, who was born with muscular dystrophy and, as a teenager, learned he had cardiomyopathy.

Below is a summary of our interview:

Quote

It’s the quote by Kurt Vonnegut which is “go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.”

Her Journey

Hannah started out a photographer in high school by working for the school newspaper as a photo journalist, and she like liked that because she met a lot of people and travel to different places. Over time, she got frustrated with the deadlines. Sometimes you’d go on assignment and find an interesting person or story and keep spending time with it, but she’d need months to tell the story. And that had Hannah thinking about documentary filmmaking. She’s doing a project for a piano player, for instance, and he’s very musical, so she needed to transition from documentary photography to documentary video.

Low Point

Hannah didn’t have access to equipment or the connections that would make you a photo journalist. She did freelance as a photographer, but eventually worked her way up.

Aha Moment

Over a year ago, she started working on the project in Boston with the piano player and the more time she spends with him, the more the footage just gets better and better. Hannah always thought if only she had more time to spend with someone to tell their story. So she appreciates the time she spends with someone to create a story.

Hannah’s work now  

Jonah Stands Up is a documentary about Jonah. It’s a portrait of him as an artist and a comedian. He also has muscular dystrophy and at 19 he had a heart condition. He uses his art and humor to communicate his life and his situation. Hannah lived in New Orleans and she met him in a film meet up group and he mentioned that he was looking for help filming some stuff.

Hannah reveals who Jonah is and how he lives with muscular dystrophy with us.

For more information on Jonah’s story, visit Hannah’s KickStarter on Jonah Stands Up. There are only 10 days left to help support this project. Officially, August 28th will be the last day to donate, so hurry.

Continue reading

Eric Tivers

Interview: How to be an ADHD Superstar with Eric Tivers

Eric Tivers is a clinical social worker, productivity coach, and podcast host of a show called “ADHD Rewired.” He dedicates his life to working with autistic individuals on the podcast.

Below is a summary of our interview:

Quote

“Fail forward” is the first one.

The second quote is “The hard thing and the right thing are often the same thing.”

His Journey

When Eric was in preschool, one day he came home and told his mom his new name was “Don’t, Eric” because that’s what all the teachers would say to him. Logically, he thought it was his name. Fast forward to when he was a Sophomore year of college and diagnosed with ADHD.  After he almost failed out Freshmen year in college, he had to try again. So after persuading his parents, he worked at college again for 4 years.  But he wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD because he didn’t have the Hyperactivity part. He worked in Autism after graduating with his undergraduate degree in social work. And he went back to graduate school with a focus on Autism, and realized he didn’t really love working in the schools. It was too much politics for him.  Overtime, he had worked in a behavioral clinic for about a year. and then he was licensed in clinical social work. The week that his wife and him closed on his mortgage, he got laid off. This was the catalyst to start and open up his practice.

A Low Point

Let’s call it the “Don’t, Eric” or the week that he got closed his mortgage and when he was diagnosed in college, he started taking medication for it. So he realized that this was what “normal” was. He was successful in school after he started taking medication, and he’d spend 12 hours in the library.  But doing everything you’re asked to in grad school is impossible. So he had to learn productivity skills.

Aha Moment

A chance meeting with a friend who told him she was diagnosed with ADHD and while she was describing it, he realized she was describing him. This Aha moment caused Eric to get an appointment with the school psychiatrist.

Eric’s work now  

He is a clinical social worker. He focuses on people in the Autistic spectrum. A not so politically correct term is low functioning autism. There were a lot of similarities between the challenges that Eric was having and that the children were having. When they had to transition to move onto something else, it was hard for them and for Eric. He saw he was late to  meetings and parties.

What’s Exciting Eric now

He’ll be launching this Facebook group and is in pre-launch phase. He’s super excited about the group that he created that he’d want for himself. He’ll have themed days like “Motivation Mondays,” Timed Task Tuesdays” and “Wait no more Wednesdays” and will be working with accountability partners. And there’s a 30 minute video that goes through the entire program. He did his pre-launch already.

Lightning Round

Book Eric recommends:

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Helpful Habit:

Checking his calendar every day, almost 50 times a day.

Helpful Person:

There were many people who helped him, but someone told Eric to meet people within a 50 mile radius that are doing the same thing he was doing.  But he actually did a 10 mile radius.

Internet Resource:

CHADD.org

November 13-14th, Eric will be speaking at the CHADD International Annual Conference

What’s Your Purpose?

Life can be fantastic when you know who you really are.

Tired of waking up, going to work, and sleeping with no sense of progress? I am offering a free 30 minute one on one career coaching session just for you. In the session, I will help you create a career plan to make more progress in the next 3 months than this past year. Click here to schedule your session

Where to follow Eric

Find him on Facebook or the website and a group on Twitter.

Parting Words

Always do your best and your best will be different every day.

An awesome way to spread the word

Follow @purposerockstar

Irem Eren, Ayza Wine

Irem Eren

Interview: How to pair Wine and Chocolate with Irem Eren

Irem Eren is the lead marketer for Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar located in New York city. She currently lives in New York City  working with wine and chocolate; a match made in heaven. And, she’s the fourth guest included in “Jackie’s Fave 5.”

Below is a summary of our interview:

Quote

Favorite quote from Ghandi, “Live as you were to die tomorrow and learn as you were to live forever.”

Her Journey

Originally, Irem never planned to end up in the restaurant industry. She was born and raised in Turkey until she was 19. Her background had been in chemistry and engineering. She always loved chemistry and it was important to find the fundamentals and basics of all materials. But she never ended up working in the chemistry field. She did an internship in chemistry in Germany and realized chemistry wasn’t really her favorite thing to do. Everyone, including her parents, asked Irem, “what do you want to do?” Well, you can never know what you want to do in your life, but at least you can know what you don’t want to do. So when that moment came, Irem decided to study something different; her study was International Business and Marketing. And she went to Spain to do just that. Meanwhile, her cousin had moved to New York, and she planned to visit her cousin for a few months. And that vacation turned into living in NY for the last 3 years.  By coincidence she met the owners of Ayza, she was offered a job and Irem said “Why not? I love New York, I love wine, I love chocolate.” Finally, Irem ended up eliminating what she didn’t want to do and found what she did want to do.

A Low Point

In Turkey, majors are really important and getting the title was important and that led her to keep studying chemistry for 5 years, longer than she wanted to. But she needed to find a job. That time in her life was difficult.

Aha Moment

When she was in Spain, the end of 2009, but it was getting difficult to find a job in Spain. Living in Spain was difficult, but then she found her dream job and had a long interview process over 2 weeks. In the end of it, she was hired. But the next day she needed to head to the office to bring her passport and all the documents she needed. Then they told her that they couldn’t hire her because she is Turkish.  And turned around and said they couldn’t hire her. When she came to New York, knowing it was like a jungle, she knew New York is very tough city. When she met the owners of Ayza and the concept of wine and chocolate, she thought it was perfect. This was like her dream job. She could live on wine, cheese, and chocolate.

Her work now

Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is the first wine and chocolate bar in NY; the one and only. They’ve been in business for almost 8 years. One location is in Midtown and the other one is in West Village. It began as a small wine and coffee shop, in which the owners enjoyed wine and chocolate together or chocolate and scotch together. So they came up with the concept where they can sell chocolate and pair chocolate with wine. The first name was Ayza Wine and Coffee Store. After a few months, the wine and chocolate pairing was selling more than the chocolate and coffee pairing. After this receiving this feedback, Ayza decided to change the concept to wine and chocolate. They’ve been experimenting and getting things to happen in 1 year. So they’ve opened the second location 3 years ago. They have a wide international wine selection. In the beginning it was very small. Now, there are many things you can not find in other restaurants such as their chocolate fountains, chocolate drinks, and chocolate martinis, especially their chocolate wine shot. A small shot glass which is made of chocolate and you drink the wine first then you eat the chocolate.Wine and chocolate can be a “match made in Heaven.”

Some suggestions Irem had for wine and chocolate pairings:

If you are looking to have a celebration drink, it can be a sparkling wine or a prosecco paired with white chocolate or milk chocolate with cocoa level below 40%. When it comes to red wine, choose Pinotage, a variety grape from South Africa and pair that with dark chocolate.

AYZA Signature drink:

Raspberry Chocolate Martini

Raspberry Chocolate Martini  – chambord, kahlua and 80% dark chocolate truffle

 

Lightning Round

Book Irem Recommends:

Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course

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Helpful Habit:

Meditating every morning which also helps her to stay in the moment.

Helpful Person:

In her personal life, her grandmother. She’s a very important person in Irem’s life. And in her work life, the owners of Ayza, who have changed her perspectives. She considers herself lucky.

Internet Resource:

Ayza’s website: www.ayzanyc.com/blog

What’s Your Purpose?

To be happy every day. That your happiness goes as far as you go.

Where to follow Irem

Follow Ayza Wine and Chocolate bar. Also find them on Facebook.

Parting Words

Thanks to Derrick for the lovely time and for the interview. She looks forward to having everyone listening to this episode in New York City.

Tired of waking up, going to work, and sleeping with no sense of progress? I am offering a free 30 minute one on one career coaching session just for you. In the session, I will help you create a career plan to make more progress in the next 3 months than this past year. Click here to schedule your session

One More Thing

If you enjoy this interview, please take some time to rate and review us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Follow @PurposeRockstar and tweet at us.

Bill Vitek, Clarkson University

Bill Vitek

Interview: How to think like a Philosopher with Bill Vitek

Bill Vitek is a Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Clarkson University, who tells us the story of how he came to be a philosopher and appreciate philosophy throughout his life with a great many teachers.

Below is a summary of our interview:

Quote

“Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world” by Jean Houston, A Passion for the Possible It sums up what he does in the classroom.

His Journey

Just like all kids, Bill was a philosopher as a kid. But unlike other kids he had a dad who told him and his brothers to do what they loved. Bill took him up on his offer!  He went to college and studied Philosophy. After he graduated with few job prospects,  he went on to study and play music instead in Albany, New York. Jazz mostly, and three jazz albums for kids. But it’s tough making a living as a musician, so he went back to school and got a  Ph.D. in philosophy. He worked in in medical ethics, but when he arrived in Potsdam, NY and his job at Clarkson required him to teach a course in Environmental Ethics, he had to switch gears in a hurry. And one of Bill’s colleagues, Jan Wojcki gave him a book by Aldo Leopold to get him started.  It changed Bill’s life and put him on the path he is traveling today. [easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”0345345053″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KjyQ15iNL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”97″]

A Sand County Almanac

 changed the way Bill thought. And it put him in contact with other contemporary thinkers and activists trying to put Leopold’s ideas into practice.  Since 1990 Bill has been working with the Father of Perennial Agriculture, Wes Jackson. Jackson wants to change the way we’ve growing food for the last ten thousand years.  Bill has been working with Wes on developing the philosophy behind this radical notion. He and Jackson of published two books together, and they are working on a third.

Music, too, is a passion of Bill’s.  His parents  loved music and there was always plenty of it in the house. His dad played trumpet and piano, and his brothers played drums and organ.  Bill tried them all, but fell in love with the piano, and the sounds of jazz.  He found people who encouraged him and taught him to love music: Ray Bozenski and Richard Fragomeni, among many. In college, he decided that jazz would be his area of study. He made a living playing jazz piano in Albany, N.Y. His music won some national awards, but he quickly decided he wasn’t going to be good enough to make it big, so Bill kept it as a hobby and side job.  He currently plays 50-60 performances a year with A Fine Line.  They will be releasing their second CD, Conversations, this Fall.

A Low Point

The life of a philosopher is a good life, but it’s not the highest paid among university professors.  With four kids it wasn’t always easy financially.   At times, he thought he could be doing something to make his family a little more financially secure. And sometimes it’s hard to tell his own children what to do after college. Part of him wants to tell them what he was told by his father, but then he wonders if he should tell them to “get a job with a good salary, and make sure you have health insurance.” A second low or risky point in Bill’s career was when he decided to work with Jackson on the fringes of professional philosophy, forsaken the usual path of the academic philosopher.  Especially before he received tenure.  But it’s all worked out.

Aha Moment

The way Aldo Leopold connected philosophy and the natural world gave Bill his calling, but meeting Wes Jackson, and after bringing him to Clarkson’s campus to talk, Vitek was hooked on thinking deeply about social transformation that begins with our food systems. Jackson’s a “big picture guy. And fearless.”  Jackson  inspired Bill to think big and not to worry about pleasing  those in his profession that always kept the focus small and narrow.

Tired of waking up, going to work, and sleeping with no sense of progress? I am offering a free 30 minute one on one career coaching session just for you. In the session, I will help you create a career plan to make more progress in the next 3 months than this past year. Click here to schedule your session

Bill’s work now  

Bill has been talking and writing about new ways of imaging humans and nature in a living and creative universe. He’s focused on the “ism’s” of the world: the big systems of religion, government, economics that shape what we think before we even know we’re thinking. Whether it’s religion or capitalism, we become part of a community which tells us what’s wrong or right. We live in a world that leads us to believe we can live in it and do whatever we want. So now we find ourselves on an overheated planet with lots of problems. So Bill is trying to help get the world out of that jam by using philosophy to rethink our major assumptions, the ones that all “ism’s” have but that we rarely see. Not unlike Jackson’s work on reimagining agriculture, Bill is looking at how the big ideas in philosophy can feed our minds in a new and healthy way.

What’s challenging Bill now

The biggest challenges for a philosopher is to getting the attention of her/his audience, and then speaking in language that can be understood.  It’s a dangerous business.  Historically, philosophers have either been ignored or, worse, killed.  Remember Socrates? But new ideas keep the world running, and the philosopher has to make efforts to engage audiences.  Bill works on his skills in the classroom and when he has the chance to speak to the public. It’s challenging work, but Bill is optimistic about our chances.  He sees the changes we need to make going on all around the world; especially young people who are eager to think and act differently and with the planet in mind.  “If you take the long view, societies have been in similar jams before.  The creative energies of the universe are on our side, and we can see them at work in a new generation of thinkers and leaders. It’s an exciting time to be a philosopher!”

Lightning Round

Books Bill Recommends: Wes Jackson’s book: [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1582437009″ cloaking=”default” layout=”right” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”purposerockst-20″] Another book which will even be used in his classroom this Fall: [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1584201436″ cloaking=”default” layout=”left” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”purposerockst-20″] Helpful Habit: A habit of walking without things in your ears or talking on your phone.  Pay attention and make eye contact with the world. Helpful Person: His 10th grade teacher, Walter Bydiark,  Also, his mom and dad. His dad who had ideas about what’s right and wrong; his mom who loves unconditionally. Great teachers all around. Internet Resource(s): Favorite websites: http://www.gratefulness.org/ It’s all about the philosophy of being grateful. http://www.landinstitute.org/ For environmental stuff and neat articles, check that site out. What’s Your Purpose? To make the world a little more beautiful.

Where to follow Bill

Bill’s webpage: www.clarkson.edu/~vitek/home.html.

Find his music on Facebook at A Fine Line Jazz

Parting Words

“When you’re washing dishes, wash the dishes.” Be present in whatever you’re doing.

An awesome way to spread the word

Follow @PurposeRockstar