10 Resources to keep you “Inspired” in life and business

photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash.com

After a chat with a fun and quicky realtor James Bruney (if this doesn’t feel quirky – just you wait. ;-P He’s got some big ideas in store! )

We discussed many of the resources that inspire us – and I realized a lot of these people have become integral to my daily life – to staying motivated and to keep the “inspired” in “Inspired Video Marketing”.

If you feel your life and your business struggling due to the affliction of unmotivation or stagnation, the best medicine is to pursue the knowledge that all of these greats have!

Without droning on too much, let’s get to it.

  1. “Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk : BOOK

Because I’m reading this right now, this was the first thing that comes to mind and had me fired up.

In “Crushing It”, Gary Vee shares his usual inspirational messages of Authenticity, Providing value and focus, but also is sharing the success stories of many other entrepreneurs. Many, who have become successful since the release (and purchase, for many) of his book “Crush it”. (Yes, these books are different).

Sample bits of what to expect: “If you’re earning what you need got live the life you want AND loving every day of it, you’re crushing it.”
“You will be a thousand times more successful if you wake up eager to share and create something because you believe the world will enjoy it rather than because you have calculated that this is what you need to do to become an Instagram celebrity.”
“Why not try something new? Be optimistic, exhibit patience, shut your mouth, and execute.”
I’m deliberately taking this book in slowly – to not devour it, but to sample and to digest all of the nuggets of wisdom. It doesn’t matter in which format you consume Gary Lee content, it’s always real and raw and inspiring. I imagine the audiobook of this will be epic, as it’s pretty amazing as is AND Gary will be reading it himself.
For an easy dose of inspiration, try a dash of Gary Vee and “Crushing It”.

“Millionaire Mindcast” by Matty A : PODCAST

While looking for a new podcast to jumpstart my mornings (while waiting for the dog to do her business, ahem) I found this one!
Much like Gary Vee in “Crushing It” Matty A interviews successful millionaire entrepreneurs.  Not only is it just interviewing, but Matt has a way of asking questions to get the interviewees to share the best of their information. As I said, I listen to this every morning and it gets me fired up to get out and win the day!

The blog of Codie Sanchez : BLOG

Conveniently enough, I was introduced to Codie through (above) Millionaire Mindcast. What a powerhouse! Not only is she a woman and Latina, she is kick-ass and in the financial space. That episode was my favorite, easily, of the the MM’s I’ve listened to. So I visited her website, and come on! The first thing I see is “The struggle is NOT real”. Heck yeah girl! We only make it a struggle. Clearly, her blog captures all of her spunk, her zest, her knowledge and her secrets to success.
(side note: Codie! I’d love to listen to you if YOU did a podcast!)

“The Science of Getting Rich” : AUDIOBOOK / YOUTUBE VIDEO  written by Wallace Wattles read by Sandi Maki

Classic! I was skeptical of this book when my dad first encouraged me to read it  – come on, it was written in 1910!- and it didn’t mean that much to me the first couple times I read it/listened to it.
Listen anyway. Read it anyway. Over and over.
Daily I find myself in situations where the power of that book is evident. Despite the book being only a 2 hour listen, something new stands out and is applicable to me each time.
I guarantee this will happen to you (or your money back. JK! It’s free)
Side benefit, Sandi does a beautiful job of narrating it. She is both soothing and engaging.

“10x” by Grant Cardone : AUDIOBOOK

Truth-time. You come to Uncle G when you realize you need to put on your big girl or your big boy pants and when the sugarcoating no longer cuts it because you’re looking for tough love.
I recommend the audiobook version of this, because Grant reads it himself and his intonation and delivery are exactly what they need to be. It’s more like you are having a conversation with a mentor who wants you to succeed, but also has seen you do some seriously dumb stuff. Only Grant would have a chapter called “Don’t be a whiny bitch”.
If you’ve been an ostrich with your head in the sand, you might need a dose of Grant Cardone.

Ask the Pool Guy : YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Sometimes you get a little tough love from the Pool Guy too, but mostly you get the constant reminder, over and over, that you need to be doing what you love, right here, right now. And you need to be doing that in the environment you love, with the people that you love. Yes, there are a lot of technical videos on this channel, but the philosophy videos and podcasts are so spot on. Plus the delivery is done with such passion and warmth and charisma. You can’t not love Al the Pool Guy. And no, I’m not just saying that because he helped make me.

“Secrets of a Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker : BOOK

I have both read and listened to this book a combined 6 times. I feel like it’s about that time to start again…
I love the audiobook – T. Harv Eker reads it himself (he is got such an interesting speaking style… not always to my taste but his enthusiasm and knowledge are on point), but I prefer the book-book because in each chapter he has action items and many homework type assignments that it’s easier to re-visit those in a physical format. I also like visually seeing the the Wealth Files. Man, those changed my life. It’s because of Harv that I’ve committed to being rich and successful. I’m going to die rich or I’m going to die trying. I would bet my life on it – I’m dying either way.

“She takes on the World” Natalie MacNeil   : BLOG/VLOGs

Natalie MacNeil is one of those people I aspire to be! Not only does she give advice on business, but she also focuses on all the aspects it takes to be successful. How to be healthy and be calm, how to navigate life’s challenges… and I just really dig her style.

“Entrepreneur on Fire” by John Lee Dumas : PODCAST

I love so much how JLD has created such a culture! He calls his followers the “Fire Nation” and allusions to fire are thrown in in every podcast. He follows the same format in each podcast – speaking to different successful people (like Matty A does) in around a 20 minute time period. BUT. Here’s the kicker, he puts out a podcast EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I think at this point he is nearing on 2,000. If you need repetition to learn something, you listen to this daily. The people he interviews have different stories but many of the same paths toward success. I love how he ends his podcasts too, “You become like the five people you hang around with the most, and you just spent time with (guest) and JLD.”

Masterclass : ONLINE COURSES

This is the only one of the resources listed that isn’t free, and it’s a funny story about how I stumbled on this online course platform (see the video). But wow!
The lessons in here! It is just so magical to be taught by some giants in the various industries. What is even more magical, is hearing these giants speak so philosophically about their craft. These lessons are not: Do X. Then do Y. Then do Z. (Well, maybe the cooking ones are) but the suggestions are all about feelings and emotions and experiences. Many don’t even have “classical training”. It’s just so humbling and inspiring how far these people have come and the le
 Keep inspiring, and being inspired, my peeps!
I said 10, but I’m lying because I’m throwing some other great stuff in here.
“Yoga with Adrienne” : YOUTUBE CHANNEL – Days I do my daily yoga are worlds better than the days I don’t.
“Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and “Goodbye, Things” by Fumio Sasaki : BOOKS/AUDIOBOOKS – have helped me declutter my space and my mind
The Ziglar Show : PODCAST – Love this one as well. Is it just me, or does anyone hear Matthew McConaughey when Zig Ziglar speaks? Or vice versa?




Do this one simple thing to increase engagement in your marketing

This is going to be SO obvious, so intuitive and so straightforward that some of you might want to just click away right now because you’re going to roll your eyes at me. (Okay, clarification, it’s not just “do a video”, so don’t get your panties in a twist, although that IS a solid suggestion…)

You see which 4 posts did the best?

One of the best ways to increase engagement in your marketing is to…

feature other people.

One of my BEST performing videos on Facebook was this one:

Everyone who made their way into the video shared and tagged themselves.

Any time you can interview someone (and let them know where the content is posted so THEY can share it with their audiences) you are creating so much value. You’re letting your audience in on a great person/service but you’re also letting the audience of the person you’re talking to know about you!

And can you imagine if you and the person you’re highlighting share a similar audience with similar demographics… needs… desires…


The reason I felt prompted to write this blog, was within a half year of each other, I received two emails:



Now what a fancy thing! So how many of their “top 50 video marketing blogs” shared the fact that they were in the top 50??


(I don’t know the answer, I was asking you)


And just WHO would the post lead back to? The creators of the top 50 who were smart enough to get either an audience they want involved, orget the people whose audience they want involved.

In this case, even if all of the blogs don’t highlight their “win”, if some of them do, that’s pretty good exposure and some link backs!



I think, especially if we’re solopreneurs, we forget that there’s a big wide world of people and we think we have to DO everything, BE in everything and build our brands by ourselves. (I can say this because even still, I do this).


Truth time! We don’t. And when we connect with people, in whatever capacity, we ultimately make this world a better place. ESPECIALLY when by connecting with them, we are helping them AND ourselves! Besides the content that comes out of it, isn’t it just FUN to chat and hang with another, similar thinking/feeling being?

So go interview someone in your industry, better yet, interview a BUNCH! Go compile a list of the best companies in your area, do a vlog highlighting how AWESOME someone is, or go to a trade show and feature lots of the coolest booths.

In the meantime, wanna look at my award?

To knowing what’s in focus,



Thanks Feedspot and NG Data! 

When you lose your lenses in Amsterdam, you buy new stuff and unbox it online

I mentioned in my last blog that I lost my lenses on my and my husband’s honeymoon/1 year trip to Amsterdam, and that I ordered new stuff and would do an unboxing. Ta da! Done.

In this video, we look at a Canon 80D body, Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, Sigma 10-20mm 3.5 lens and a Canon 24mm 2.8 lens.

Awesome photographer mentioned: http://jacobinphotography.zenfolio.com

80D : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BUYK04A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

50mm: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009XVCZ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sigma 10-20 3.5: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002D2VS9U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Canon 24mm 2.8: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NI3BZ5K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


For the record, no one paid me to talk about this stuff – BUT! I’m open to that sort of arrangement. 😉

When you lose your bag in Amsterdam

Some of you probably saw my vlog two weeks ago (hint: it’s this one)

Then radio silence:

And now, I’m back!

With interesting stories to share.

The biggest one being that, on my way from the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam into Amsterdam Centraal (the main train station) I left my day bag (sorry Jesse!)(not featured in the video as I added it later) on the train. I had taken it off and set it on a luggage rack while having to stand on a fully packed train.

At the station, I was in such a rush to get off before the doors closed that I somehow forgot it.

And didn’t realize until I was crossing streets into the downtown.

My husband and I rushed back – sadly knowing the train would already be gone worse, we didn’t even know which platform it was at. We went to lost-and-found, filled out a report, and checked back there and at Schiphol as often as we could.


Despite my equipment looking like this:

I never did get it back.

Guess I should have put something other than my phone number on my equipment – because, go figure, the number does not work when you lose something in a different country.

That, or someone really needed a wide angle lens and a nice 50mm portrait lens.

Thankfully I did not leave any money in that bag, nor passport, nor credit cards or anything that would have been a real struggle for me to get back.

Just 2 camera lenses, an iPhone charger cord, notebook (sorry Ryan!), my first aid kit, camera battery and external battery. (Oh, and a half eaten meringue. But I didn’t sweat that, and honestly was glad to be rid of it. How in the heck are we supposed to eat that much sugar?)

So what do you do when you lose a bag in Amsterdam?

While it stinks to not be able to use your wide angle while in Bruges, the key after losing your bag in Amsterdam is not let it ruin the vacation. You figure out how to replace or live without what you’ve lost, and you move forward.

Truly, this goes for any vacation and any situation in life. Unsavory things are going to happen. You’ll lose something, something is stolen, you won’t recieve the promotion, the dog dies (please not this one!), someone yells at you, you get sick, a deal falls through, your equipment breaks… and it sucks. It really does.

But that is one small piece of this whole big adventure of life. The way you handle your bad situation and the lessons you find from it, as well as the stories you are now able to share, usually end up making the whole situation worthwhile. Not in the way that we would actually CHOOSE to suffer, but the suffering leads to breakthroughs in thoughts and beliefs that might have had a hard time happening without a catalyst.

That night, I laid awake in bed, and I envisioned myself years from now, on a stage, speaking to a packed audience.  I related to them my experience. I spoke to my audience as if the situation had passed long ago, and as if I had learned valuable lessons from it. I talked to them of how, yes, that set me back financially but that it was okay, because it prompted me to upgrade my equipment. And work harder to get the money back. It was okay, because now I could use that story to share with them. It was okay, because my losses could have been worse. It was okay, because I was with my husband, both of us were in good health and we were in FREAKING EUROPE. How can such a thing NOT be okay?

I told my audience, as I am now telling you, that any moment, we have so many, SO SO MANY, things to be grateful for. The delicious sandwich on fresh bread. The sun shining through a chill morning. How great we feel in our new outfit. Our family loves us. Our homes are filled with posessions we adore. The fact that we have a home AND it has plumbing, heating and electricity. We are breathing right now. Our dogs are alive. Our computers work well. That computers EXIST. That we live in the 21st century where it’s possible to do meaningful work from almost anywhere. Internet, dare me. Dare me to go on. Because as an assignment, I made a list of 1,001 things I was grateful for and could have kept going.

What is losing 2 camera lenses (etc) compared to that?


Money and stuff can be regained.

The memories we COULD HAVE MADE cannot be.


It sucked. When I kept checking back and there was nothing, when I checked my email and there was nothing, when I went to use something then realized it had been in that bag, there was pain. Mostly pain at my own stupidity. Oh how it would have been nice to go back in time and put that dang bag on my shoulder. There was some pain too, that someone decided to keep that bag instead of returning it.

So I spoke to my future audience, and I spoke to my current self, late that night.


My husband and I went on to make crazy awesome memories on our 1 year/honeymoon vacation.


Having just gotten back, I’ve ordered new equipment (super excited for!) and plan to share it with you on Saturday’s vlog.


Nothing has changed, truly changed, except my perspective. I became even MORE grateful for our ability to travel and in the fact that me OWNING those lenses period was a blessing. Plus, I had been using those lenses to do work that I loved. How lucky to be doing work you love.

I hope that, in a similar situation, when you lose your bag, you can find the silver lining in your experience and figure out a way to turn it around.


To knowing what’s in focus,








The 4 Questions to be Asking Yourself on the Daily

Gorgeous Garden of the Gods in Colorado, pictured above


Going back to boot camp a couple of weeks ago, (seriously, some days you learn more and have more ideas in one day than in many spans of days!) I came up with several questions to live by and so far, when applied, they are doing me well.

Perhaps you saw the “why” video, the first two are along that line.

When dealing with current clients, potential clients, friends and anyone in your life, ask yourself:

#1 Am I MORE after dealing/interacting with this person or situation?

I don’t care how you define “more”. Happier, maybe. More knowledgable, inspired, entertained etc etc, I think you can FEEL what it means to be more.

Answer that question. If the answer is “Yes! Of course!” then good! Continue your dealings with this person. If the answer is “well… no, not really, I mean, maybe?” That situation needs a bright light (I have some recommendations ;-P ) and for you to evaluate why you are still involved with this. There may not be fiscal costs and may even be fiscal benefits to certain people and situations but there are ALWAYS opportunity costs. Time spent with someone draining your soul is taking away from a chance to feed said soul. We only have so much energy and time in this life. Let’s put it toward experiences and people who invigorate us – clients included!

Piggy backing off of that, when sharing your marketing material, social media comments or even the stuff coming out of your mouth ask yourself:

#2 Will my audience be/have/feel MORE after interacting with this?

If yes, post it! Say it! Share your joy and knowledge with the world! It doesn’t have to be life changing – but many small positive actions and feelings lead to big life changes.

If not, if it’s a rant, complaints, gossip, offensive (unless of course this happens to be your brand…) don’t post or say it.

We don’t need the negativity, and you do not need the small hit satisfaction that quickly turns sour and counterproductive.

(Side note – anything where the answer is neutral (neither more nor less) why take the effort to share in the first place?)

#3 Is this situation controllable?

You don’t need to change the world. You cannot control what the world does. But you can change your world, which can in turn (uncontrollably) affect many more lives. If you can fix the problem, fix it and don’t worry about it. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.

On Monday I was flying to Colorado for the amazing Superstars Writing Seminar and due to weather, my first flight was an hour and 40 minutes late to leave – which put me in Chicago 10 minutes too late to get on my connecting flight, but with just enough time to watch my plane get de-iced with the doors sealed and kiosks emptied.

Thanks to the staff in Detroit, I knew the next flight to Denver was not for another 6 hours.

Ultimately, that situation was not controllable. No good would have come from being irritable, angry or mad. And the effort I would have had to put forth to attempt to circumvent flights and airlines to get to Denver sooner would not have been worth the effort or time.

So instead of changing the world, I changed myself and made use of 6 hours of almost (I did make a chatty friend) uninterrupted time. I worked, and I was as productive as being in my home office.

Ultimately, this was MUCH better than stewing, crying or eating out the food court.

And finally:

#4 Is this the MOST IMPORTANT THING I should be doing right now?

If you are constantly checking in with yourself (and being honest about how NECESSARY checking your email for the 15th time this hour is) you can keep yourself on track to accomplishing your 2018 and lifetime goals.

The most important thing can vary from day to day and even hour to hour, minute to minute. It might be going running because you’re stir crazy, upset or unfocused. It could be finishing and sending off a work project, or finishing and sending out thank you cards. It could be spending an hour TRULY BEING with your family. I don’t mean physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Just ask yourself the question and do some shifting if necessary, but do not be afraid to really FEEL what your next most important thing is. You’ll know. You’ll KNOW what is truly priority in terms of this moment. Health related, family, world even your video marketing… you’ll know, And THAT. THAT is what you need to shift your focus to, or plan out the moment when you are able to give that your complete focus, lest you go through life, never doing the important things and wonder where all the time went and why are you only where you are.

Let me know what you think and if you use these questions to good effect!

To knowing what’s in focus,


What is my “Why”, and what is YOUR “Why”?

Why do you do what you do? And the answer is not “for money”. At the core of it, WHY do you do… anything? Everything? What you’re doing?

Here is my answer to that question. In case you were interested. 😉

Happy #VlogsonSaturdays y’all!


Slowly but surely, I am getting on track and figuring out the best way to get regular content out there. Stick with me, peeps, we’ll get it!


To knowing what’s in Focus,





Thank you Simon Sinek! (To see the #TED talk, visit here: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action#t-149616)

Also referenced is the book “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles. Here is a beautiful version of it online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrRPeuADvNM (Seriously, Tom Hiddleston​ was this you?)

and you can buy the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Science-Getting-Rich-Wallace-Wattles/dp/1535444630

Thank you 2017, Hello 2018!

photo by… myself! teehee

One year ago today I launched “Inspired Video Marketing” as my full time gig.

(Okay FINE, hecklers, it wasn’t called “Inspired Video Marketing back then).

I don’t remember what thoughts I had going into it. What I DO remember is that half of January 1, 2017 was spent on my bed, listening to an audiobook, wondering what the heck I had done in quitting my full time job to pursue video marketing. I remember being scared, I remember needing to go through the “What’s the worst that can happen?” exercise. I also remember being hopeful. We all dream of doing that one thing, of not being beholden to someone else, but free to pursue whatever it is that we want. And this day one year ago was the day where I stared into that possibility and said “yes”.

The first few months were slow, although I made some awesome friends and connections!

The rest of the year sped up with me giving several speeches, making some videos, some business mistakes and learning through it all.

My biggest project was by far the chronicling of the Pirate Pool, called “Living Legendary” (available here), the editing of which is STILL happening.

I shot my first wedding:

I had my own wedding(s):

Plus a lot more.

And now it has been one year!

That was 2017. But now it is 2018. So I have a question for you.

What are you doing in 2018?

I don’t mean the standard “New Years Resolutions” where we vow to overhaul every single habit we currently have. I also don’t demand that it has to be business/video/marketing specific. I don’t care if you think resolutions are hooey. What will you be focusing on this year to make you better than last year? To make your relationships better than last year? To make your life better than last year? What is a step you can take toward freedom? What is something that you can commit to, big or small? Preferably small! That’s where you start. And add-on. And add-on.

We can grow at any time of the year. But I always love this time because it’s fresh and unwritten. Because everyone is thinking about what lies in store for them and some are willing to talk about it. (HINT: If you want to be my friend, don’t be afraid to talk about this at any time with me!)

So what will you do? Make a plan to release JUST ONE blog post a week? And maybe, just maybe, add in a vlog after many successful weeks? How about deciding to unconditionally respect your husband or unconditionally love your wife? – A bite sized version of this would be to decide to think of 3 things everyday that you respect/love about them. Bonus points for sharing these with them!

Will you meditate? Drink 8 oz of water? Call your mom more regularly? Fast for one day a month? We have so many activities we can diminish a bit without losing our standard of living (how about changing from 45 minutes of Facebook a day to 30 minutes so we can do some ab exercises with those other 15?) that there is no excuse to NOT have a THING that we work on to improve ourselves until it becomes a powerful habit that we don’t have to think about doing.

If you see me in the next few weeks, I WILL ask you about your thing. Or things. Or movements. Or projects. Anything.

If I don’t see you in person, I would love to hear any improvements you are committed to making and would love to celebrate your successes with you via these interwebs.

Even if you found yourself still in your bed at noon today, questioning why you chose the THING that you chose, or you find yourself in bed at noon tomorrow with the same fears, move forward with that thing. Day by day. Action by action. Choice by choice. Because when today of next year rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.

To living your best life,


(Oh! And if you were curious about me, I’ve chosen to keep a time log (I find I putz), start my MOST IMPORTANT THING as the very first thing I do in the day (I find I procrastinate) and become clockwork in my marketing (I find… yeah well the first two finds sum up my lack in this arena too) )

10 Legendary Lessons on Video Chronicling a Legendary Pool



This summer has been a whopper! You all know that after having worked Pool Construction for 3 years while doing Video Marketing part time, I made the leap to video full time January 1 of this year.

Somehow this summer I ended up marrying the two and have been chronicling the making of a Legendary Escape these last 4 months. (For info on what a Legendary Escape is, click here)

Each day, my cameras, tripods, mics and I would commute or carpool the 1 1/2 hours to this Legendary site and capture the magic unfolding while, yes, helping out as needed.

The goal was and is to make a video series on just who and what Legendary Escapes is and how it operates.

What an undertaking! What a blessing to be a part of it.

While filming is almost done, I still have 10 Terabytes of data to process and edit. (For an understanding of what that is, a lot of today’s phones hold 16-32 GB. 1 Terabyte is 1,000 GB.)

What then have I learned and what can you learn from it?

If you were looking to chronicle something of what you do, here are 10 of my suggestions:

1.  Have a clear idea of what you want to end up with. Like anything, planning with the end in mind is what assures finishing with the end in mind! Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the purpose of this video? This will help you guide your shots and the equipment you buy. If you want to record an hour seminar, don’t buy a camera with a 10 minute limit! If you want to teach people to do something as your end goal – don’t forget to speak through what you’re doing or get close ups especially of the confusing parts. Think, “if I were watching a video someone else did having the same goal I do, what would I expect to see and hear?” Then film THAT and save your time on shots that’ll never make it into your film. This leads me to #2. ( See why Legendary Escapes wanted a video chronicle and what to expect:

2. Edit BEFORE you edit. I mentioned before, I have TEN TERABYTES. That’s 10,000 GB. So far. I have to go through it all to tell a coherent story. At the beginning, I was filming everything, not sure what exactly to get to accomplish our goal of authentically showcasing  a “Legendary” experience while having a Legendary Escape being made. As I edited it, I realized I didn’t need 10 various shots of X when I only used ONE shot – the best one. If I set up my shot and got ONE, the one I’d use, I’d save myself the time shooting and then LOOKING through all 10. Edit before you shoot- take the time to set up the shot exactly as you want it, or edit before you edit and delete a shot that you took but didn’t work out or KNOW you’ll never use. On that note, if something is happening that you know you won’t include in your chronicle, don’t feel you have an obligation to shoot it. It can be frantic thinking you have to capture EVERY MOMENT. But seriously, you’ll only use a VERY small fraction of what you capture, so maximize what you do by focusing on the good stuff.

3. Saving time while shooting – if you’re getting mostly okay shots and awesome shots (but not god awful ones- I hope you deleted those), save yourself even more time by taking notes. I created a record sheet and each day checked off the list of setup to-dos (to make sure I’d do them) and would write down what I wanted to accomplish and all the things that happened.  







If someone fell, I made a note of who/what/when/where. If I captured something particularly beautiful/cool/fun, I’d write it down. I highlighted the best parts or relevant parts or even an overarching look at the day for easy reference for when I have to go back later and edit 120 days of content.

4. Now I’m going to sort of contradict all that I said above, so bear with me. You know what you want, yes, edit before you film and yes, save time with notes, but also, don’t be afraid to set up a camera on the action… and leave it. For hours.

I’m serious. You will not use 8 hours 59 minutes and 55 seconds of your 9 hours of footage – nor should you give serious consideration to that footage unless inspiration strikes, BUT. The point of this “standby camera” is to capture those five PRICELESS seconds. In our cast, the standby camera has captured a piece of wood hitting me in the face, my dad dumping concrete on his head, my uncle Rick falling off a truck, my cousin stepping in a bucket of water, my sister nearly falling off a waterfall, my aunt ungracefully crossing a barrier, my dog making an awkward move and more. This camera is NOT for watching all 9 hours of every day. It’s to be there in the event that something you think is interesting or noteworthy happens. It also serves as good filler if you didn’t actually get the shot you wanted of something specific for one reason or another. This system has helped me immensely – how often does the funny thing happen WHILE you’re actively filming? This way, you don’t have to feel regret for not having caught it on film – instead, make a note of what and where it is. Be prepared for a lot of hard drive space. (Side note – we also put external microphones on everyone – not to listen to them curse to themselves but to pair the audio of those 5 seconds with the accompanying video if necessary)There was concrete all over his head and back from this

My dog is a klutz
These are just a few of the captured funny moments

5. If you get inspired by something on the spot – a fun spoof, a good short, a story worth telling, yes start shooting it. But also, take a moment to think it through. Watch the skit in your head and shoot all of what you see. It would suck to get back to edit AFTER everything is done and realize you don’t have a crucial shot and all your work was for naught.

6. Of course, all is not necessarily lost just because you don’t have something you had wanted. Say you filmed and DID miss something crucial. Time has passed and you can’t get that moment again. What do you do? It’s time to be creative. Can you shoot a voiceover for missing audio and use the visuals you do have? Can you get a shot that is timeless and LOOKS like it could have been at the same time? Close-ups are great for this! Getting only the thing in question, we don’t focus on all the differences in the background. Can you maybe add a cutaway animation? Can you change the original intent of the video slightly where you don’t need the shot you missed but can use others you did get? The magic is in the pre-production, but with some creativity you can make up a lot of magic later.

7. Be a stickler about your audio. If you don’t know how – LEARN . Learn what equipment to buy and how to monitor audio levels. I’ve made too many mistakes where audio sounded horrible or the mic crapped out and I didn’t know. It sucks when you go back for audio and you realize the mic wasn’t on because the batter had died. Just be diligent. Like anything, there is a workaround, which is to put on subtitles for less than stellar audio, but if possible, the 1 minute inconvenience of checking the audio (before AND after the shot – in case you need to reshoot) is worth the frustration and 10 minutes or more in subtitle writing to only “sort of” fix it. Especially if even YOU have no idea what they’re saying.

See all that red? If you were to listen to it, it would hurt your ears!

8. Every day of filming, push yourself. It’s actually this concept that has led me to a new series I’ll be starting (stay posted, it’ll be the next blog out). I had to ask myself often, “this shot looks okay, but how can I make it stellar?” Out of focus into focus? Up close? Wide angle? Use a drone? Do a slow-mo? Zoom in? Zoom out? Pan? Film a reflection? Etc etc. Of course, we need the standard wide shot to establish what we’re doing but a lot of far away, confusing action shots without much variety is not super interesting, no matter how cool your project or service is. Alternatively, with some cool shots and thought, you can turn a potential boring subject into something neat. Yes, we will still watch that master shoot of you doing something amazing, but thinking a bit harder and doing a bit more camera work can turn an average video into a Legendary one.

This shot is probably not worth filming. I won’t be able to use it. There’s too much movement and even if there wasn’t, we’d get bored quickly. I mean, what is he REALLY doing?

However… these two shots take a little more thinking but they add something cool to the story!

9. Be consistent about storage!! I cannot stress this one enough. Everyday while carpooling, I would transfer the 100-200 GB of data from all the equipment (time lapse cameras, my Rebel, my 70D, the XA10, the XA30, six external microphones, the drone, various phones, the 4K camera and/or the go-pro) into folders with those names under a bigger folder of the date it all was taken. You do NOT want to end a video chronicle having lost footage you THOUGHT you imported then deleted but didn’t, or have 5 days of hodge-podge material that you imported after 5 days of not importing/sorting/deleting. Terabytes of footage is daunting enough. Don’t make it worse by not having it where you can easily find something. It IS annoying to have to transfer byte by byte over and over again, but it will ultimately save you. With the editing I’ve done so far, I’ve been so grateful for the breakdown in conjunction with my notes. Taking this a step further, after importing everything from all equipment, do NOT clear your SD cards until you have copied the full folder of data to a DIFFERENT hard drive. Have backups on backups. Maybe you have one set of data on your computer and one on an external hard drive- that’s fine. But heaven forbid you only had one copy and that hardware crashed… it would be horrible.

10. Pace yourself. Don’t expect that you can create a masterpiece, film said masterpiece, and edit a masterpiece of the original masterpiece in the time it took me to write this sentence. I will admit that I thought I could do just that. I thought I could film, help out on the project, transfer data AND edit all of this consistently AS it was happening. What I joker I was! This turned out to be far too massive a project for one person to do both well and timely. I’m a little ashamed that I’ve had to sacrifice a bit off both ends so I could at least get some content out. Even still, there is so much more to edit and more to learn! If you expect too much out of yourself, you will get frustrated and probably give up. Have realistic expectations, set your goals and set time tables. It’s also okay if you go over time on these – we often vastly underestimate the time something will take. As long as you keep making progress and do honor hardfast deadlines (you told Facebook your video would be out by X date… get it out by X date), you will be right on track to creating your own documentary/reality/show/chronicle of whatever amazing awesome thing you do and life you lead.

As I get closer to done I will release a part 2 article for those interested, in the meantime, check out the episodes we have done of this Legendary Pirate Pool!

For advice for your own video chronicle, you can contact me through email or Facebook.

Stay inspired and keep inspiring. 🙂



Katie’s Down and Dirty Guide to Clean Video on a Smart Phone

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Many of us know that doing video is an important aspect to our social media strategy, but it just seems so hard and daunting! We may be able to present in front of a big group, but the thought of speaking alone to a camera is… well, scary. We think so because it’s an unknown; we don’t know how to take good video, we worry about needing to edit it etc etc…

Not to fear! It’s easier than you think!

  1. Check the lighting. By a window will most likely give you your best and easiest light.
  2. Check the sound. Do you hear anything in the background? Is there a lot of wind? Is an air conditioner/ furnace blowing? Can you close a door? Audio doesn’t have to be perfect, but many would argue that it’s even more imperative than the video itself! If it makes sense, buy a cheap lav mic to plug into your phone.
  3. Steady… Video devices do not smooth out motion like our eyes and brain combo do when we move our head side to side. If you start waving your phone around while filming, we, the audience, will get sick and probably stop watching. Whether using your hand, a selfie stick or a tripod, just hold still as best as you can.
  4. Hold your arm/tripod/selfie stick slightly above your face, getting your whole face in the shot. You’ve seen it before, when tourists and teenage girls take their selfies, it’s always holding the phone slightly higher than eye level and taking the photo from a downward angle – this gives a more flattering view of yourself than does holding your phone  head on or worse, below your chin (can anyone say “double chin”? or in my case, “triple”… )
  5. Now that you’re holding it above you, flip that phone! Unless of course you are doing something live, the conventional way is still to have a horizontal image. The winds ARE changing and it is not a deal breaker if you keep your phone vertical (there is something to be said about the shotgun feel of a vertical video) but on the whole, keep it landscape.

Decent light, decent sound, steady film, landscape and flattering view – can you handle that?

Good! Now go for it! These are 5 super simple techniques to get you STARTED with your video marketing (and you know, you may never even need to move past this!) but the key word here is “started”.

Keep inspiring!



What is Vlogging?

So you don’t have to watch me ramble for 2 1/2 minutes, vlogging is just a video blog. Instead of reading the content, you are watching it.

Most vlogs take place using a computer webcam or in a situation that LOOKS like a computer’s webcam, but sometimes the person is on site, narrating something. You’ll find a lot of vlog style videos on Youtube.

What another vlog looks like
And another


For a small business to get into vlogging, I recommend you find some nice lighting (like by a window) and share a bit about who you are, what you do and why you do it! Then, if you have any frequently asked questions, you can make any number of vlogs addressing those issues, or a plethora of others.

Once you’ve made your own vlog, link it down below so I can check it out!


Happy Editing!