The week in review – nell’s dish style.

Good morning all.  It’s a foggy day here in NYC and I’m excited to be sitting at my desk, drinking a big mug of coffee and dishing.  Lots to talk about today – but we’ll start with an awesome video that Adam posted on his blog the other day.

Great right?

I do several of these things on a regular basis…

  • drink coffee
  • make lists
  • sing in the shower
  • get lots of rest
  • write down ideas
  • listen to new music
  • be open
These are the ones I want to work on most: 
    • Get away from the computer
    • Collaborate
    • Allow yourself to make mistakes
    • Break the rules
    • Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect
    • Clean your workspace
    • Finish something!! 


A good list of goals to focus on this summer!

Meanwhile, I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been blogging as much lately.  Since the end of my 365 project, I’ve been finding blogging everyday (or almost every day) to be a bit overwhelming.  I’d like to have a little more time to digest my days/moods/experiences and process more what I want to write about before I share with all of you.  I’m also trying to work on some other projects and it’s amazing how fast the days just zoom by!  Plus, I’ve been feeling the need for a little more structure and regularity lately.  Therefore, I’m going to try a new blogging schedule – twice a week – on Mondays and Thursdays.  Then you’ll know when to look out for my next dish and I’ll have time to marinate my dishes so they’re even tastier!  Sound good?  
Anyway, last week was a productive and exciting week.  Tuesday night I had the first of twelve group workshops (via conference call) with my career coach Maggie Mistal.  The “Mastermind Program” is made up of a small diverse group of clients whom Maggie has worked with in the past.  The purpose of the group is to “help us master the right mindset to enable, encourage, and support us in achieving our career goals.”  We’ll go over things such as:
  • Regaining focus
  • Envisioning success
  • Committing to follow through
  • Asking effectively for what we want
  • Redefining how we spend our time
  • Transforming our inner critic
For the first call we had to prepare a kind of elevator pitch – who we are, what we do (or what we want to do) and what we wish to get from this group.  Of course, this gave me anxiety!  Anytime I’m asked “what do you do?”  or even “what do you want to do?” for that matter, I get stressed out.  Right now… I do a little of everything!   What do I want to do?  I’m not really sure… a lot of different things!  I remembered a book that Maggie had me read when we first started working together:

When I read it the first time I had an “AHAH!!” moment.  Other people make this work – amazing people… like Benjamin Franklin!  Here is an excerpt from the book that I enjoyed:

Just for fun, let’s imagine that Ben [Franklin] is alive today.  How might his friends and family react to his revolving-door approach to careers?  Having played his key role in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, they might expect him to head for a tenured position at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.  But what about his strange fascination with kite and key experiments?  Fine, his wife might say.  Why don’t you go to MIT and pursue a nice stable career in science?  But no, it turns out that Ben also wants to go abroad to study French culture and language!  Okay, his friends suggest,  he can work for the United Nations or Berlitz.  But wait – he also has plans to design a post office, invent bifocals, and print his Poor Richard’s Almanac!  Looking at Ben’s life this way reminds us that a life can look scattered and fragmented while it’s unfolding but still go down in history as a smashing success.”

Isn’t that fun?

I digress.  Anyway… for my elevator pitch I decided to say that I was in transition career-wise, but I want to create success for myself (including financial compensation) as a Renaissance Soul.  I want to continue to explore many of my interests – writing, photography, helping people, food  – and I want to be able to make an income in at least one of not all of these areas!  That way I can keep things fresh!  I can take opportunities as they come – as they excite me!  I can use many of my skills and talents simultaneously!  I can grow in multiple ways, cultivating different aspects of my personality!

I was afraid I would come across as unfocused and flaky with this response, but when I was finished talking two of the other group members instantly spoke up with support saying they felt the same way!  One of them actually told me I was her “Renaissance Soul sister”!  It felt good.  I felt accepted and energized to follow my non-traditional all-over-the-place dreams.

The Mastermind group will continue to meet once a month for an entire year.  I am excited for this… it is a tool which will keep me on track, focusing on what I want out of life and giving me the guidance and support to help me get it.  Our first homework assignment is a fun one that I will have to give much thought to.  You can participate too if you like.  For next month I have to come up with a list:

  • five things I want to DO
  • five things I want to HAVE
  • five things I want to BE
all before I die.
When I complete my list I will share it with you!  I’d love for you to share yours with me as well. 🙂
Last week was also a big week for photography.  On Friday I photographed that anniversary party I was hired to shoot.  It was definitely a challenge but I’m satisfied with the job I did. The most difficult part was adjusting for the environment.  When I first arrived, the entire wall of windows made for beautiful natural-light photos of the flower centerpieces, the cake, the room, the hors d’oeuvres, the details. Then all of a sudden the small room was very crowded with people hugging and chatting – this made it difficult to get great people shots – but I did my best.  I always feel a little weird interrupting conversations to get a photo… but that’s part of the job! Then, as it got dark outside, the room shifted to being dimly lit with candlelight and very warm-toned overhead lights and the wall of windows was now a nuisance as it reflected everything indoors.  TOUGH!  I used my new flash, I did my best and I took a LOT of photos.  Of course, there are things I’d do differently next time – but that’s the whole point! Everything’s a learning experience.  Here are a couple of my favorites (haven’t delivered them to the client yet… so no people shots).
On Saturday I did another entire day of shooting with my friend Amie.  She brought home gorgeous hand-woven textiles from her last trip to Guatemala and made dozens of beautiful one-of-a-kind pillows out of them.  She wants to create a website to display and sell her pillows so we were shooting individual pillow shots as well as scenes (like out of an Anthropologie catalog).  This proved to be quite ambitious and after an eight-hour shoot day, we were a little disappointed with what we were able to get done.  After reviewing the shots however, we both felt better as we got plenty of GORGEOUS images and again… we learned a lot for next time! For example, I want to get a cable to hook up my camera directly to my computer so we can see the images larger while shooting. It’s too difficult to tell what you have when viewing it only on a three-inch monitor on the back of your camera.  Looks like another trip to B&H is in my future!

So all in all a very productive week.  I’ve become even clearer that shooting events is not my favorite thing – though now I feel more confident and it’s definitely a good way to  make a little money!   I can probably cross ‘wedding photographer’ off my list of possible careers though.

I definitely enjoyed my shoot with Amie even though it was extremely hard work.  I loved collaborating with her!  It was fun having a stylist and being able to focus on getting the shots.  I felt good as I realized that I actually have learned a lot over the last year.  I was pretty impressed with my knowledge of the advanced camera settings… and I was using Adam’s 7D, which is even more complex than my Rebel!   Anyway, it was exciting and Amie and I are already planning the next shoot.

Blah blah blah… sheesh – when I post less frequently I have so much to say!  I hope I haven’t bored you to death.  So I’m putting my new blog schedule in effect.  Stay tuned for my next dish on Monday and have a fabulous weekend everyone!  I’m going to be enjoying a weekend-long bachelorette extravaganza so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about. 🙂
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3 thoughts on “The week in review – nell’s dish style.

  1. Love hearing you dish Nell! And so glad to see you embracing your renaissance soul. The world needs you and your many talents. Can’t wait to see what you want to do, be and have (before you die!) I too and working on my list. So far I want to retire to Spain and get fluent in Spanish again. A bit of a long-term goal we may not get to in our 12 months of calls but I am excited to see what YOU come up with. You’re an amazingly talented, inspiring and fun person Nell – the world is better just because you’re here. Speak to you next month on our mastermind call!

    • Thanks so much Maggie! Very happy to be working with you (and the group) for the next 11 months. Your support and enthusiasm is incredibly helpful while navigating this whole process. I’m glad you did your own career change to become the awesome coach you are today!

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