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My Appearance in the Launch: Sundog Internship Video

Sundog, the Fargo-based marketing and technology company where I did my Content Strategy & User Experience internship last summer, recently released a video documenting the experiences of the 2016 intern cohort. It appears this video will be used to promote the internship program at Sundog moving forward.

I had an amazing time at Sundog and would be more than happy to chat with anyone who’s interested in applying for one of the company’s internship opportunities. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter!

 

They Don’t Want You to Know: The Key to Success in 2016

2016 resolution: Live like an internet self-help guru. Keep an inexhaustibly positive outlook on life, tongue-in-cheek platitudes and all.

To whom am I referring? Think of someone like Lil B, the alarmingly prolific rapper whose army of fans will leap to his (or his cat’s) defense no matter how many uninitiated haters miss the joke and call his music sloppy. This is a man who will show up to a nationally televised interview wearing a blouse and sun hat. Why? Why… not? He doesn’t take anything too seriously—his haters, his clothing, his music—but as a result he’s built a loyal following who clamor for his every word. (Fun fact—Lil B once personally told me he loved me in a Twitter DM. That really happened.)

Similarly, there’s Tai Lopez, the YouTube-famous, Lamborghini-driving bibliophile. How did Tai make all his money? Does he have any money? I’m still unsure. But when I look beyond the guy who peddles “67 Steps” to success and claims to read entire books in ten minutes, I see someone genuinely fired up about a life of self-improvement. Multiple Lamborghinis and Hollywood Hills mansion or not, that’s something to aspire to.

Even the final meme of 2015 himself, DJ Khaled, is an unlikely source of inspiration. I’m skeptical that the keys to success could truly be something as simple as washing with exclusively Dove soap or adorning one’s bed with seven pillows (minimum), but certainly there’s nothing harmful about drawing inspiration from someone so unceasingly success-minded.

Both online and off, these people draw devoted followers. Their claims might be grandiose, but they come across as optimistic rather than narcissistic. Goofy, self-aware uber-positivity as a guiding philosophy—it won’t be easy, but I think I’ve found a worthy goal for the year.

Something is Better than Nothing

The best advice I ever encountered for overcoming writer’s block is to simply lower one’s standards.

I should clarify that this lowering of standards should be thought of as temporary. There’s no reason to ever stare frozen at a blank page, debating how to begin. Just write – something, anything. It doesn’t need to be good or even halfway presentable. It doesn’t have to be spelled correctly or arranged coherently. What matters is getting words on the screen, getting the ideas flowing.

I consider it much easier to edit something that’s already been written than write something new from scratch. It’s this principle that I exploit when I write my stream-of-conciousness rough drafts. With every sentence (sometimes keystroke) I cringe, thinking that the words I’m producing are garbage – that if anyone were to discover this verbal eyesore, they’d revoke my writer credentials.

But after my furious scribble sessions are over, I look back and realize oh, maybe I wasn’t so bad. And, as I have many times before, I realize that I’ve underestimated myself. I think, “I’m my own worst critic,” and gain a bit of confidence back, only to think of that one Onion article about the guy who is deluded enough to think he’s his own worst critic. The cycle of self-doubt begins anew.

But hey, I just finished my first blog post on this site, right? That’s something.