Woz and Jobs

Perhaps one of the greatest examples of Resourcefulness was the start-up of Apple Computers. Steve Jobs was “a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing,” said Walter Isaacson in his biography, “Steve Jobs.” They were 2 scruffy looking hippies with the potential of greatness if they were willing to put in the long haul.



It was the ultimate left-brain/right-brain pairing of Jobs and Wozniuk in a ‘struggle’ situation that gave Apple Computer its potential. They had a vision, a product, a plan and $1300 in working capital from pawning an HP calculator and a Volkswagon bus. The fusion of counter-culture with engineering made the venture “whole-brained.” They had 30 days to deliver on a $25,000 order that would be made in the garage of Job’s parents home by all available hands. The machines were hand-assembled, marketed and sold by their makers. They were creative in saving money, finding cash flow and part of a burgeoning revolution that transformed the world we live in.


That is the Art of Resourcefulness.


The Magic of Thinking Big

When life gets carried away, busy or difficult I constantly have to remind myself to ‘tune-up’ my thoughts and make sure I’ve made a ‘thought inventory’ list; assessing what I’m asking for in life or unconsciously setting. I ask myself when creating a new venture, art show or just where I want to be in life; “How big am I thinking?”

Resourcefulness is not about how much money you spend on a creative project or venture but rather how courageous and powerful our ideas are when setting it in motion. Sometimes we are afraid of asking for what we truly desire or lack the courage to think big because it involves change. However, I’m never disappointed from my thought results and now over the years, I’ve learned to be more discerning and open-minded with my requests and ideas. Make a list, put it away…nobody needs to know but you!

Here is a list of my favourite mentors over the years who have reminded me to think bigger:

Stored Potential

Creativity at it’s most powerful is when there is ‘stored potential energy‘ that is built up and then released as work. The ‘work’ is the creative output…a painting, a song, a poem, an architectural rendering, an idea, a book or a business. In order to for the creative output to be at its most powerful, the creator must consider what their potential energy is before they do their work.

Mr. Bob Advent was my funny and brilliant Physics 11 and 12 teacher who made physics interesting and fun. Most importantly, he conveyed the concepts of ‘potential’ in a way that could be understood and applied in the everyday world to high school students. Ever since high school, I’ve consciously applied the notions of stored potential to my creative endeavours by witnessing what actions in my life create the most powerful potential just before I release it as creative output.

Potential creates a vector field of forces or a “force field” around us which is one of our most powerful creative tools. Finding ways to amplify your stored potential before you release it into the force field is how we create powerful work. Understanding physics is some of the best homework a creator can do. May the force be with you.


Creative Leadership

Creative Leadership is one of the foremost emerging topics in business today because we are rediscovering as a society that the two are not separate entities, but aspects of the same animal. Here is a great interview of Sir Ken Robinson on “The Principles of Creative Leadership” in by Fastcompany. It’s an excellent example of why creativity is the number one issue in the minds of CEO’s everywhere and how we disengaged creativity from leadership somewhere down the line.

Creative Leadership is a unique opportunity to meld the big picture, idea generating right brain with the strategies and practical foresight of the left brain. Working together, they naturally generate and sustain creative leadership skills. From this perspective, one can’t imagine how the two ever became separated in the corporate world or our educational systems. Most fine art schools don’t teach business and most business schools don’t teach creativity and art so there is a huge disconnect in our society. Future generations need to be taught ‘Whole Brain” Creative Leadership strategies in order for our institutions and organizations to flourish.

Leadership is the art of creation and creation is about the art of leadership.


Superheroe Struggle

My favourite “creativity” guru, Robert Genn posted this letter on May 8th about “Post-Traumatic Growth” , the idea of growth through struggle and how Superheros have resonated with an entire generation because of how they make us feel.  Below is an excerpt from Genn’s post which begins by defining the psychological study of growth through struggle (which I call “Resourcefulness”). How can you turn struggle and limitation into the greatest business or painting or film or song you’ve ever created? That is the Art of Resourcefulness.

“Post-traumatic growth is a relatively new area of psychological study. It deals with the positive changes experienced by some people as a result of a struggle with challenging life circumstances. It’s not simply a return to the way things were before the suffering, but the welcome experience of a profound improvement.

The idea that suffering can be channelled to make us stronger runs through the history of philosophies and religions. While most of us no longer believe that artists need to suffer to make good art, we do know that a lot of good art comes from people who have suffered.

Dr. Robin Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist based in Stanford, California, has introduced an interesting method whereby sufferers can grow their way out of trauma. Much like Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces Rosenberg thinks folks can gain strength by following popular superheroes and their stories. We’re talking about the sort of characters in the current blockbuster action/ violence/ heroism movie, The Avengers–Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and Nick Fury. She also thinks we should pay attention to Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Joker. This is good stuff–I’ve often thought there’s more in comic books than meets the eye.

Dr. Rosenberg’s superheroes teach us a variety of life lessons. Among them:

+ We all have alter egos

+ We need to wear the costumes of our heroes

+ Being different can give us power

+ Adversity can be overcome

+ No matter what our abilities, life is frustrating

+ To overcome our fears, we need to run toward danger

You can find more of Robert’s insights on-line at http://www.painterskeys.com


Tony Robbins on Resourcefulness

Tony Robbins does an amazing job explaining that missing resources are NOT the defining factor of our failure to reach goals.  In this TED Talk, “Why we do what we do and we can do it better”, he asks what shapes our ability to contribute to society when some people seem to have all the resources and end up in rehab and yet others who struggled from a place of limitation and lack of resources managed to contribute the most to society. What is shaping your ability to contribute?

His famous quote that I love is around the 6 minute mark of his video presentation on :

“The defining factor is never resources, it’s resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins

Watch the video for yourself here:


Communicating a Vision

Communicating a vision is essential for clarity in any effective team environment. Without clear and concise descriptions, translation is lost, creating the opposite effects of confusion and frustration.

How does one communicate their vision clearly to others? By outlining a detailed strategy.

Strategy is the Yin and Vision is the Yang in the “wholeness” of creation. Both are needed, both are essential. They are both susceptible to “Flow” and the magical unfolding of the universe. This is how the captain steers the boat. The vision is the big picture goals and ultimate manifestation; the strategy is the GPS directions on how to get there; but the actual steering, the driving, the living, the breathing of doing the work to get to that ultimate vision is the fine Art of Allowing.

The “Art of Allowing” is the actual process of Flow which takes Wisdom and Faith to execute well. This is the essential ingredient for Leadership. You must understand Flow to be a truly successful leader and for this one must be strong in Faith and Wisdom.

4 Roles of Leadership

Tonight I read a post from Marci Shimoff talking about the TV show ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ On Monday nights, this dancing show rakes in 24 million viewers topped only by American Idol’s singing program which at it’s 2005 second season peak averaged 30 million viewers per episode. Since 2006 when CSI dropped off the scene as the second most watched television viewership, singing and dancing have reigned the modern television media in this decade.

Marci says that the reason for this is the formula for happiness which she attributes to her “4 M’s of Happiness”: Mindset, Meaning, Movement and Membership

She says it’s about being optimistic and positive, grateful, inspired and meaningful purpose, movement of the body, outdoors and fresh air, and connecting with others who share your values.

Stephen Covey calls the same things the 4 Roles of Leadership: Vision (Pathfinding), Passion (Empowering), Discipline (Aligning) and Conscience (Modeling). He says that in Pathfinding we use our MIND (IQ), in Empowering we use the HEART (EQ), by Aligning we are using the BODY (PQ) and in Modeling we use SPIRIT (SQ) all to build trust and inspire greatness by unleashing human potential. When we falter on any of these components, we settle for mediocrity and lose our voice.


Why is Resourcefulness Important?

Resourcefulness is a perspective. How you see the world is how you live it. Being happy where you’re at is the only way to raise your frequency and change your perspective.

Resourcefulness is about being happy where you’re at. It’s the ability to see possibility and opportunity during times of struggle and limited resources. It is the “PUSH” factor or Exit Velocity needed to launch an idea off the ground with such force that it actually makes orbit. It’s the combination of intuition, strategy, vision and passion that hits the home run. Each one is a physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual component of the resourcefulness formula. These four essential ingredients are the successful combination of “WHOLE” systems thinking. Everything on this planet is made up of these four components. A winning book or business, a mind blowing musical or theatre performance and the successful human being.

Resourcefulness is a complete perspective that enables us to read the physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual components of our world. It’s the process of patience in life that allows us to accept the small wins or losses that are guiding us and preparing us for the bigger picture. Failure to accept, acknowledge and grow from these trials and tribulations will lead you down the confusing and frustrating road to nowhere. To accept  and acknowledge our life process builds patience, resilience and stamina which are part of the necessary skill set for playing big. Failure to grow these abilities will lead to an even tougher road ahead. It’s not easy and that’s why not everybody can be an entrepreneur and even fewer will be able to play BIG.


Effective Communication

Effective Communication is essential to any visionary or leadership role. This is difficult because it’s hard work  and takes a lot of “presence” to understand others in order to know what form of communication works best for their personality type. Presence is being “in the now” which is 100% attuned to the other individual. In order to truly be present it means you have to CARE about what they have to say. This is the true art of listening. True listening has levels of love involved.

Articulation is key. Everyone needs and wants to be understood. It’s important for healing and moving forward in growth, benefiting us in the bigger picture. In your ability to help others understand you (aka – speaking your truth or being authentic), you are then able to clarify your message to the world so more will understand what you see (your point of view, your perception).

My unique life experience has given me a unique point of view. This is why some things are common sense to  me and I can’t understand why others don’t understand. I need to articulate what I’m saying/communicating so I can be effective in sharing my message.


One Guitar, Five Musicians and Resourcefulness

The band Walk Off The Earth (WOTE) posted their Gotye cover song “Somebody That I Used to Know” on January 5th, 2012 to You Tube. I remember when vividly when their sensational You Tube video of five musicians playing one guitar went viral on Facebook like nothing I’d seen before. They had over 9 million hits in a week, were flown onto the Ellen Show for an appearance and today are being played on every station I listen to. As of February 22nd, 2012 they now have 59, 015, 106 views on their You Tube video and they are still making rounds through Facebook today.

It took hard work and patience to build up their skill sets but when it came to being creative to launch their talent, they did it with resourcefulness and hit a home run. Their launch didn’t cost a dime and they skyrocketed through the music scene like a shooting star. Another example of a creative triumph launched with limited resources and a lot of love.


Take a look at their video here:


The Art of Moneyball

If you saw the movie Moneyball and truly understood the deeper meaning of the movie, then you’ll get this blog.

The Art of Resourcefulness is the message of Moneyball. It’s the message of thinking differently, of pioneering something that you believe in deeply and going up against the crowd who can’t see what you see yet, but through your struggle, your determination and your passion…they will, even if the message is in disguise.

The Art of Resourcefulness is about hitting the home run when you didn’t even know you hit the ball out of the park. It’s about trusting your intuition and playing a different kind of ball game because your resources were limited and you had to. There was no other way to play but for everything because there was nothing and everything to lose.

The Art of Resourcefulness succeeds because the goal was to create a game changer.  Game changers are the Internet, Facebook, Google Search Engines and You Tube. They transform lives and give the people unlimited access and freedom to learn, share and grow information that was never possible before without being filtered by another source first. For the first time in history we have information sharing straight from one source to another. Are you open to seeing the next game changer? Do you have the courage to be a game changer?

A home run is a combination of strategy and vision, of right and left brains, of balancing the art and the science. We balance within so we can create it on the outside and power that combination with passion and faith in yourself, your purpose and your gift to humanity. This is how you live life as a whole person. This is how you play ball.


The 5 Arts of Resourcefulness

The common denominator between the most successful people on the planet is one thing: Resourcefulness.

When Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started out in the their basements, they had to be resourceful. When their friends and family yelled at them to get a job they had to believe in their resourcefulness. They struggled when they were told that their ideas were stupid. They had to struggle a little bit more to communicate their vision with others who couldn’t see yet. They had to push even harder when connection with the world about their ideas and creations was the next step.  And when they had nothing left but faith in a vision that no one else could see…they needed compassion to understand others so they could keep going without being destroyed from within.

The greats had to make do with what they had until they had the ability to BE. They started from the ground up and pioneered their niche where no one else had charted a course. It took courage, passion, and the resilience to brave the struggle that would be necessary to build and create that which was not yet. They had a vision and in most cases not much else. The artists, creators, innovators and inventors of our time sail in unknown waters on a daily basis. They are brave captains of our future, re-defining our world with the slightest of hands.

How do I know this? Because mine is a story of struggle. Of being different, misunderstood and chastised for seeing what others haven’t. I know what its like to live the life of the artist, the innovator, the entrepreneur and the inventor. I know what its like to work through pain, fear, loss and financial struggle. I know what it takes to be in that place where you can see what nobody else sees, and still you must press on through the struggle with skills in connection, communication and compassion to reach success.

And not just any success…success of the greats, the masters, the pioneers of our future and visionaries of our time. The greatest creations from the most revered visionaries come from humbled beginnings. Why is that? What is it about being resourceful that catapults great ideas and minds to unheard of heights?

To understand the powerful notion of resourcefulness and its true heir to the throne of success, you have to look deeper into the five arts of resourcefulness:

  1. The Art of Creation
  2. The Art of Struggle
  3. The Art of Connection
  4. The Art of Communication
  5. The Art of Compassion

Pencil Sketches for Gramps – Curiousity, Strength and Spring

Curiousity, Strength and Spring were the three words chosen by Amy Raes in New Jersey for her Pencil Sketches for Gramps pieces. Knowing Amy and how perfectly these words supported her personality, I wanted to find matches in the natural world that would convey these traits.

For the word “Curiousity”, I had to sketch a Chipmunk. These cute little critters are running around my yard, over my feet and playfully chasing each other everyday and I couldn’t help feeling the joy and curiousity that they spread when I watch them. The word “Strength” was inspired by a pair Loons. They were mating in a dance that was amazing to watch…completely in tune with each other in a natural rhythm that couldn’t be anything else but the strength of love moving them.

My final image for “Spring” was a mother sheep with her lambs which is my favourite time of year for that very reason. I’ve had lambs born on my studio porch, under my car and in beautiful open fields and I can’t resist the beauty of these little miracles and the joy they bring each spring. Thank you Amy for all your support, kindness, curiousity and strength over the years and thank you for supporting Pencil Sketches for Gramps!!



To view the entire Pencil Sketches for Gramps show click here.

Your Mistakes Are Your Style

What makes you different and unique is also your “style” or competitive advantage as they say in the business world. As a creator, someone who builds companies, communities, writes books, computer code, music and blogs or draws and paints to make a future for yourself and others, you need to find your style. Your style is what makes what you do authentic, real and valuable…it’s what sets you apart from the crowd and competitors.

How do you develop a style? You don’t. You make mistakes by putting in the time, long hours and patience to build your skill set and then your style finds you. It just happens…you can’t copy it or force it.

Robert Genn, my absolute favourite mentor on creativity always says, “Go to your room and paint.” Go to your office, studio, workshop…pick up your tools and use them without fear or mistakes or failure. Find your unique style and competitive advantage by developing your skill set…putting in your “10,000 hours” and finding what makes you truly different.

To listen to Robert Genn’s Interview about this topic on Blog Talk Radio




A Different Perspective

Are you looking at the problem or are you looking for the solutions?

The Art of Resourcefulness is about a shift in perspective…from narrow or defeated to seeing a bigger picture and better more complete perspective.  When your perspective changes from focusing on the problem to focusing onto the possible solutions, a shift happens and the direction of your life charts a new course. A different perspective gives you options you hadn’t seen yet and didn’t know existed.

But the real question here is this: What IS perspective??

Perspective is the wavelength or frequency that you are resonating at. Like attracts like because it’s resonating on the same wavelength. Everything is energy, everything is formed of atoms that are continually vibrating. If you understand music you have learned the Law of Resonance…so the real question of self-awareness and thus perspective is actually “what is your vibration?”

Change your vibration and you change your perspective. Change your perspective and change the path you are on.



Original Branding in Business

On this start-up consulting job I was creating the marketing and branding with a loose feel for the concept of “WILD”. It’s a coffee shop in Victoria BC which was being opened in a saturated market and neighbourhood so it really had to stand out and fill a unique niche for the target audience we were looking for. The SLOW food movement is very prevalent on Vancouver Island and since there were two wild coffee bean suppliers to hit the market, it seemed like a great angle to gear towards a SLOW food coffee shop (seasonal, local, organic and wild).

For the logo, I did a series and sketches of the wild products that would be on the menu and created a hand drawn medley that in itself had a “SLOW” food feel and was a but raw and earthy. A few sketches later and “WILD” coffee shop had it’s first image for the public. The interior furniture was the real icing on the cake though…(you’ll have to have a coffee there to see it first hand!!) Leanne







Citizen Induced Change

Resourcefulness is not just limited to things…it is also the foundation of movements spawned by Social Innovation. Citizen induced change is the most powerful change in the world and it starts with the grass roots, shifting us to models of resiliency and community engagement.

“Vulnerability is a great strength and creates sources of new ideas.” says Stephen Huddart in a CRC Research Interview for Sustainable Community Development on Social Innovation. I have had the privilege of sitting on this Board of Directors since 2004 with these amazing minds and big thinkers. The insight and information  at http://www.crcresearch.org is valuable and free!

Check out the series of You Tube interviews for Dr. Ann Dale’s Chair and produced by Robert Newall, including Robert Bateman’s “Small is Beautiful” just released today!

Pencil Sketches For Gramps – “JOY”

When I started the Pencil Sketches for Gramps fundraiser, I asked people to send in a single WORD which I would then use as my muse for the creation of their sketch. This was the second sketch in the series that went to Chris Dirk of Vernon BC. My appreciation goes out to Chris for taking part and sending along the word ‘JOY’ to which I sent her this sketch of my Grandparent’s strawberry patch. I couldn’t help but radiate with joy upon every visit with my baby girl Sophia who absolutely LOVES picking strawberries and mushing them into her mouth as fast as possible!! There isn’t much else I can describe than going through the berry patch on a sunny afternoon that brings me more JOY and that is what inspired this pencil sketch!!


To view the entire Pencil Sketches for Gramps show click here.

Trash into Treasure

The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is true when it comes to marketing for the resourceful business. For this consulting start-up I was working on in Victoria BC, my client had purchased the entire contents of a pizza business that had gone belly up…dirty old pans and all!! What was going to go to the dump ended up becoming part of a pretty cool marketing strategy for a rock bottom price. I found an extremely talented artist, Gary of Tideline Sculptures, with an eye for welding who created this “Pizza Pi Man” which became the sign and sandwich board for Douglas St tourists and locals. Every time I looked out the front window, someone was getting their picture taken with this handsome piece of reclaimed, recycled Art!!! (Plus we had fun dressing him up on random days and rolling him around town!)

When you’re looking for idea with limited resources in your business, check the junk pile for cool clues!! This guy has rolling pin arms and fingers to go with his Pizza Pan body.


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The Root of Resourcefulness

Contradiction is the root of resourcefulness. The combination of left and right, vision and strategy, big picture and details, is the wholeness of one’s creation.

Contradiction needs to be embraced in order for any creation to achieve greatness. Ones’ ability to create shifts with their gifts depends on it. It’s the contradiction of life that fuels the potential to create all things.