creative synergy

The Power of Creative Synergy

“Synergy.  It’s one of the most overused terms in business, but it’s at the heart of every successful endeavor, and as I look back on the career I’ve jump-started at the Trump Organization, I realize it’s at the heart of everything I’ve done as well,” Ivanka Trump begins in the final chapter of The Trump Card.   Ivanka continues, “So indulge me over these final few pages while I wear out the term a little bit more and offer a prime example of the synergy at play in my own career.”

Synergy is defined as a mutually advantageous conjunction of distinct elements.  It could also be described as creating a win-win situation.  Sounds cliché, but it is an essential element to reaching epic levels of success.  It is rare any person or business reaches massive heights without the use of synergy.  You may not have the Trump last name going for you, but with a couple of businesses and an open mind, you can find the same synergy.

Begin with your passion.

Past generations have worked their whole lives so they can fund their passion.  The 20-somethings today are doing the exact opposite.  The first business is usually our passion; our second business is a means to pay for that passion. The emerging trend of young entrepreneurs, that I too followed, is to establish our first business in our passion; then utilize a side business for additional income and funding.

Documentary photography is my passion but there isn’t significant money to be made in that arena, particularly starting out.  Rather than settle with undesirable conditions, our generation of business owners have taken action.  Instead of resorting to the life of a poor artist, I am building businesses in my twenties.  These businesses will allow me to become financially free by 30 and spend the rest of my life making photographs.  Every successful business emerges from a passion.  You must be passionate!  Passion cultivates the persistence and positive mental attitude to always look for solutions.

Don’t focus on just one business.

We have multiple talents!  Cultivate these talents.  Build, grow, dream, and create businesses and endeavors based in your talents and strengths.  Barter with other entrepreneurs in areas you are weak.  If web design is the bane of your existence, like it is for me, then barter with a graphic design firm.  This increases your alliances as well as your people capital.  Which, by far, is the most precious resource as an aspiring business builder.

Make money off of your by-products.

This idea first occurred to me while reading ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

“When you make something, you always make something else.  You can’t just make one thing.  Everything has a by-product.  Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities.”

“Henry Ford learned a process for turning wood scraps from the production of Model T’s into charcoal briquettes.  He built a charcoal plant and Ford Charcoal was created (later renamed Kingsford Charcoal).  Today, Kingsford is still the leading manufacturer of charcoal in America.”

What if you could apply the same principle and build an empire out of your companies’ trash?

Always keep your options open.

Multiple streams of income are essential.  When one business isn’t doing well, there are so many benefits to having other entities.  You have a financial safety net.  The ability to shift your focus from one business to another provides a fresh outlook.  The skills cultivated in one trade will polish those in another trade.

Creatively synergize your businesses!

With the ability to reach millions of people through social media, now, more than ever, we can synergize our passion on a global scale.  Always look for ways one entity can benefit or aid another.  People capital is the most valuable resource when synergizing businesses.  What starts out as one entity can grow into an empire as long as you are growing.  Get out of your box and align with those who will create synergy for you and your businesses.

Ivanka Trump concludes her autobiography with these words, “Call it what you will-but I call it synergy.  Everything I’ve done has led directly to what I’m doing, just as everything I’m doing is tied in to what I might do next.  It’s all of a piece, and it’s the same way with my father and brothers-my mother, too, now that she’s off doing her own thing.  After all, we don’t work in a vacuum.  And we don’t live in one, either, which is why I often think the best approach to life and career is to reach for everything that makes sense and hold on to what works.  As guiding principles do, you could do worse.”

Maria Joyner is a business owner, documentary photographer, social media strategist, and recruiter for a Trump organization.  Follow her on Twitter @mariajoyner.


A Mysterious Request: Writing Prompt

Writer’s Digest posted this writing prompt:

You receive a letter at your workplace from a high school classmate, who is now in prison. “I know I’ve caused you a lot of grief,” the letter says, “but there’s something I need that only you can get for me. Don’t tell anyone about this.”

Here is my response:

I held the paper with contempt. The verbiage, the voice, everything about this letter disgusted me. A confession, a request; what he wanted more than anything was absolution. He began by admitting his fault, followed by an apology. He then had the audacity to follow up his apology with a list of excuses and asked that I accept his apology regardless.

Take an opportunity to make amends and then ruin it.

I imagined I was addressing him. Come humbly, I thought, and you’d get what you want; come to me with entitlement and get this instead. I crumpled up the letter and threw it in the fireplace, allowing the flames to embody my anger and consume his words.

Scene Stealer: Writing Prompt

Write to Done posted this writing prompt:

I’ve been working here for over thirty years and have never seen anything like this.

Here is my response:

I’ve been working here for over thirty years and have never seen anything like this.  Standing there, dumbfounded and staring, I wondered if it was real.  I tilted my head a few different ways to slightly change my perspective, as if this might offer some insight to what lay before me.  I couldn’t tell if it was moving.  I didn’t know if it could move.  I wasn’t aware if I was in any immediate danger.  Unlikely that I’d be able to run if I was; I remained rooted where I stood, aghast, confused and stunned.  Mostly aghast.  I wanted to retch, but I couldn’t move – I was too busy trying to make sense of what I was observing.  Was it alive?  I wanted to step aside, see it in a different light; what if it disappeared as soon as I tried?  Could it do that?  And the smell!  It was sweet, savory, and delectable, but also malodorous, foul, and offensive.  It was gruesome.  No, that isn’t right.  It was beautiful.  But that isn’t quite right either.  It was confounding.  I began to reach out and touch it, but thought better of it – I was taught you should never touch anything that’s wet that doesn’t belong to you.  I put my hand down.  I considered if it was wet at all.  What if it just looked wet?  Was it edible?

Edible.   Did I really just think about eating it?  I must be hungry.  It’s lunch time.  I’ll deal with this later.

Creative training moves at Synergy! Pull-ups while standing on the bar suspended by pulleys. Awesome way to work the back while activating the core for balance.

#creative #synergyfitness #likeagirl #girlswholift #girlpower #femalemuscle #fitnesswomen #aesthetics #beastmode #backday #gym #gymlife #gymlifestyle #grind #fit #growtime #physique #shredded #muscles #NYC #fuerte #maromba #inspire (at Synergy Fitness)

gray’s blood is 99% coffee — his caffeine addiction is legendary. he drinks a lot of coffee to keep functioning. he rarely sleeps at night — rarely sleeps at all. every night he’s kept awake by the distinct noise of the city. he usually wanders the streets & has more than once passed out on the sidewalk in his mad attempt to escape. he has tried to leave the city, but the disconnect was so sharp & severe, gray had thought he had lost a limb for days before the feeling subsided.

he needs the city just as much as the city needs him.

C.L.A.S.S. Brings Sustainable Act to U.S.
NEW YORK — C.L.A.S.S. completed its “World Class Tour” here this month with two days of presentations at the Italian Trade Commission offices. C.L.A.S.S., or Creativity Lifestyle And Sustainable Synergy, is a multiplatform global network that showcases fashion, textiles and materials created using smarter sustainable technology. Giusy Bettoni, chief executive officer and cofounder of Milan-based C.L.A.S.S., said, “The objective is to provide a platform for inspirational materials that are fashionable and have a low environmental impact. We work with companies and fabrics and yarns that add value by having some special quality that’s good for the environment, but still have the highest degree of fashion because without that, the customers — whether it’s a brand, a retailer or a consumer — won’t be interested.” Bettoni said C.L.A.S.S. and the sector of sustainable materials have grown and evolved since the organization was formed in 2007, thanks in large part to technological advancements, such as machinery that can repurpose scrap yarns and fabrics. The tour included similar presentations in Milan, Copenhagen, London and Madrid featuring the latest in sustainable fabrics for spring 2016. In the area of recycled and repurposed fabrics, Italian brand Green Fiber has created a range of yarns, fabrics and knitwear made from

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