The Art of Management—For One or Many—With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

The Art of Management—For One or Many—With Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey
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The Nitty Gritty:

  • Why to shift from hiring contractors to hiring employees
  • How to keep your team from becoming overcommitted and overwhelmed
  • How to structure time to enhance creativity

This week, my guest is on the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast is Productive Flourishing founder, Charlie Gilkey. Charlie is a best-selling author, speaker, blogger, podcaster and business strategist. His website has been visited by nearly 3 million people and his tools, worksheets and planners have been downloaded more than 1 million times. He’s taught thousands of people how to go from idea to done using simple, but powerful approaches that tap into their strengths and genius.

Charlie and I talk about the art of management—whether for one or for many including the shift from contractors to hiring employees, how to keep your team from becoming overcommitted and how to structure time to enhance creativity.

From Contractors to Hiring Employees

I hire and select for people who are versatile, adaptable and like to do multiple things.

— Charlie Gilkey

Although Charlie still has independent contractors on the Productive Flourishing support team, he built a core team of five employees who are all dedicated to achieving the same goal. They all wear many hats and are multifunctional to allow for changes to, and growth of, the business. He found it is harder to build culture with freelancers or contractors. Everyone on the core team who are employees already understands the goals, processes and culture which is sometimes harder with freelancers or contractors who must figure these things out in addition to doing the job they are getting paid to do. As your business grows what you actually need is people who fit your culture, can show up each day to dedicate their time to your business and be flexible.

Control the Overwhelm

If we have to wear 17 different hats, at least know who is wearing which hat.

— Charlie Gilkey

When you have a small, but versatile team of people who “wear 17 different hats,” it’s important to have very clear job descriptions and roles and responsibilities. People are in different lanes of responsibility and different projects that they own. Charlie’s team also uses Asana to schedule regular routines and projects. When people aren’t keeping up with their routines, it’s a sign that they are overcommitted. By knowing what the routines are, when they need to be done and who is doing them, a lot of the meta thinking is not needed. The answers are in the routines. When your team isn’t clear about how things are going to get done, the uncertainty zaps your team’s productivity and morale. Plus, in the last year the team has gotten a lot better about determining the projects they are going to commit to and saying “no” to others.

Structure Time to Enhance Creativity

A lot of creative people don’t recognize how supportive structure and defaults are.

— Charlie Gilkey

A lot of creative people rebel against the very things they need the most. High-performing creative people inevitably have these really well thought-out structures and containers to do their creative work. Productive Flourishing is to the point that the processes and structure are set, so the team can use their creativity on the work and not use it to figure out what the work should be and how it will get done.

Tune into the entire podcast to learn more from my discussion with Charlie including how businesses and professionals make things harder and how he articulates his intuitive synthesis to his team. You can learn more about Charlie Gilkey and download his free planners for creative people from his website.

And, listen to the Productive Flourishing podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you listen to this podcast!

List-Building, Discerning Priorities, and Choosing Creative Freedom with Danielle LaPorte

List-Building, Discerning Priorities, and Choosing Creative Freedom with Danielle LaPorte

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • How Danielle prioritizes her rapidly expanding business. From self-expression to impeccability to visibility.
  • Why trying different approaches to publishing helped reveal more about her own expression.
  • How Danielle is growing her team, and a look at her “blue sky” team that is working on secret side projects.

Today, we’re talking with my friend, Danielle LaPorte, creator of the Desire Map and the author of The Fire Starter Sessions, as well as the wildly popular Truthbomb series. Danielle has developed tattoos, jewelry, and day planners all to support her vision for desire-focused, awakened life. Her site,, has been deemed the best place online for kickass spirituality and was named by Forbes as one of the top 100 websites for women.

Danielle spoke passionately about her need to create art, her book’s journeys through the publishing world, and her new upcoming book, The Manifesto of Encouragement.  Listen closely for the unusual way Danielle approaches working with her team.

“Our priorities don’t fluctuate; they’re always the same. I as a human being, woman, person need to be self-expressing or else I’ll die.”
— Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is a writer, thinker, and soul strategist. She mixes personal development with spirituality and business. Her life and ambition revolve around self-expression, which she hones as a skill.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with Danielle many times. Each time, I come away with a sort of burning in my chest. Danielle fuels my ambition. Not blind ambition, but grounded, purposeful, meaningful ambition.

When I sat down for my interview with Danielle for the latest episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., I was prepared again to burn. I was not disappointed.

First, we discussed how Danielle prioritizes her rapidly expanding business. She’s added tattoo, jewelry, and candle collections to her personal development product line over the last 2 years.

Her priorities are simple. Everything revolves around self-expression first and foremost. Then, she prioritizes impeccability. Finally, she prioritizes visibility—or grow the freaking list!

Danielle and I also talked about the many different ways she’s published her work: self-publishing, digital publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing. Each revealed a different form of self-expression she called herself to.

We also discussed how her team has grown—and the “blue sky” team she’s building to work on secret side projects. Wouldn’t you love to have one of those?!

If you’re ready for that on-purpose, grounded burn of ambition too, jump on over to iTunes to listen to this and all of the other episodes where today’s creative entrepreneurs share strategic and tactical components about how to make money, take control of their businesses and pursue what’s most important to them.

liberation is overrated: jumpstart your creative spirit with constraints

Most people focus on eliminating hindrances to creativity. I’m gonna tell you that’s the wrong strategy.

Sure, allowing yourself peace & quiet or keeping your mind & body healthy is an important part of being a creative person. But:

Removing every barrier to your “great idea” will only repel it.

Constraints and limitations force us to rethink assumptions and reconsider the status quo. Identifying the actual constraints of a problem help us to generate ideas that might otherwise stay hidden by vast possibility. Invented constraints push us beyond “next step” and into “next paradigm.”

Constraints push us to the edges of what is possible. Into the improbable. Maybe even the impossible.

What constraints can you adopt to push your business and your creative thinking to the edges?

Here’s some big ones on my list – add your own ideas in the comments below:

  1. Time – What if you had to execute an idea in 3 hours? 3 years?
  2. Money – What if you had a $10 budget? $10,000 budget?
  3. Personality – What if your project was serious? lighthearted?
  4. Mechanism – What if your product was completely digital? physical? live? pre-recorded?
  5. Materials – What if you design had to be made with paper? metal? cloth? recycled glass?
  6. Teamwork – What if your idea had a team of 10? 100? 1?

The possibilities are endless.

What constraints are you working with right now? What constraints are confusing you right now? Leave your response in the comments below.

PS Group coaching kicks off again November 3. Want a framework for product development, decision-making, and marketing? Want to connect your creativity & intuition with the very foundations of your business? This is 5 weeks of collaborative experience you won’t want to miss. Click here to join me.

personal power fuels your creative power

Nothing stifles your creativity like doubt.

Think you can’t? You won’t.

What separates you from those who succeed is not a staggering difference in ability; it’s the know-how to set aside uncertainty and embrace personal power.

What outside influences are you allowing to have sway over your ability to commit to your creative impulses?

What past experiences are holding you hostage?

Are you directing your inner monologue to keep you offstage?

You can’t hide when your business is powered by the “thing” you love.

Passion-driven businesses are built on the awareness of their own fanaticism.

Customers are attracted to the power you draw out of your own enthusiasm. Friends, too.

And when you’re comfortable with your own zealous tendencies, you’re more comfortable creating.

Create more: stories, branding, content, service, products, opportunities, relationships, wealth.

Personal power fuels your creative power.

It’s a beautiful cycle.