Blog Inspiration

The Horn and the Dragon

(This post was originally posted in 2012 or so… but I’ve updated a bit. It’s interesting how I find recurring themes in my writings… Common struggles and but also hard fought victories. )

It was the summer between high school and college.

Part child and part man was I…

Preparing for the unknown future, I wanted to hold onto some of my past.

My decision, similar to many others’ my age, was to get a tattoo.

It was to be a mark of independence, a symbol of my passion…

The idea wasn’t truly serious until I ran across this poster outside of Trappers Alley in downtown Detroit.

It looked to be some type of Chinese or Japanese artwork. A colorful scally dragon curled up with a trumpet at its mouth.

…an ad for some musical or opera.

And it was astounding!

So after seeing that poster, I was certain its image would be permanently branded on my chest reminding me to never again turn from my love of the trumpet.

Fast forward fifteen or so years.

I’m sitting in a little restaurant enjoying my tempura shrimp rolls and my guest is telling me his thoughts on tattoos.

I share with him my story of how I “almost” got a tattoo.

(Yeah, I changed my mind – but that’s another story).

The interesting thing was that he gets all prophetic on me.  

Some how saw a connection between the tattoo and how I was living presently.

From his perspective, he aligned the trumpet with my marketing company, and then the dragon to my personal growth content.

He told me that the “dragon playing the horn” was like using my marketing skills to broadcast the personal growth related content, clients, and products.


You see I’ve struggled for years on how to bring more integrity and unity with my life.

Instead of having my passions take the back seat via an unknown blog, (formerly and having my day job/company assume the majority of my time and energy, but lacking passion.

What he saw was a unity or integration of my private passion and public occupation.

The dragon was playing the horn

Could the passion, power, and message that fuels my life, be leveraged by my businesses ability to make noise and get attention?

Could my dozen years of learning and consulting marketing/web/design services all be a preparation that I would end up turning on its head and begin spreading my own message?

It’s kind of like the Bible story of Joseph serving time in Potiphar’s house and then jail, managing and leading — all of which prepares him to manage the most powerful nation of the world through the catastrophe of drought and famine.

Perhaps your life has been going in a direction different than your hopes or plans.

Perhaps you’ve made decisions based on just getting by and thought your dreams were sacrificed indefinitely.

Hold on.

You can never know how things will end up.

Like Joseph, you too must be faithful where you are.

Do your best with what you have, and stay hopeful.

Hope will allow you to see and take advantage of opportunities as they come.

Discouragement, bitterness, and criticism will blind you to the value of your life’s story and hinder you from receiving the gifts that lay right in front of you.

I believe every part of your story, your experience, passions, and skill can eventually come together in a meaningful way.

Just don’t settle. Keep growing.

Create a Great Day! – AC

Check out my book! Only $1 (for limited time)
18 Clarifying Questions for Personal Growth

Blog Inspiration

What is “BSDOM?”

My wife chuckled when I told her I made up a word.

Bsdom” I said.

She stared inquisitively…

I waited to see if she’d figure it out, but she wasn’t in the mood.

I began to explain, “It’s the combination of two words.”


Bsdom! Get it?

LOL. ?

bsdom |  pronounced: biz ∙ dəm. | noun.
definition: 1. circumstantial wisdom postulated as universal, but is actually subjective.
2. any concept that when applied, conceals a truth greater than the truth it reveals.
Blog Inspiration

Personal Growth & Leadership Lessons from Hidden Figures

I don’t always extract profound lessons while watching movies but when I do… I am compelled to write about them! ?

Personal Growth & Leadership Lessons from Hidden Figures

hidden figures

In addition to its entertainment value, Hidden Figures contained intellectually stimulating and powerful life lessons.

The movie focused on three brilliant black women who each play an important role during the early years of NASA’s space program.

Blog Inspiration

Blaine Oelkers’ Interview – Discusses the Jumpstart Experience, Masterminds, Selfluence, etc.

For years I’ve thought of recording some of the amazing phone conversations I occasionally have with friends, coaches and mentors.

Last week I made this a reality.

Meet my friend Blaine Oelkers.

Blaine Oelkers is a very successful entrepreneur and unique individual.
He is the leader of a mastermind group that I’m apart of and he’s launching a new program to help others’ experience a well run mastermind.

I asked him if I could pick his brain as a way to better understand how he thinks and works – as well as promote his new program.

Graciously, he said yes.

Here’s some of the points and places you can skip to.

(3:03) – Discusses Selfluence – The art and science of influencing yourself.
(5:45) – The #1 way to maximize your productivity.
(7:22) – The switch needs to happen inside to start taking control of your growth.
(10:11) – Discusses WYTAYBA – “What you think about you bring about”.
(12:10) – How to build hope, confidence and a vision for the future.
(14:55) – Using afFORrmations to help your brain push you in the right direction.
(17:35) – What is the Jumpstart Experience all about?

[ audio loads below … ☟ … ]


The 26 Day Jump Start Experience (Use code: “Arvell” for 50% off!)


Blog Inspiration

Excerpts from a Powerful Tony Robbins Speech w/Joe Polish and Peter Diamandis

Tony Robbins, Peter Diamandis and Joe Polish

[highlight] WARNING:
The following is message could be hazardous to your limiting beliefs[/highlight].


Inspiration Monday Morning Devo

3 Simple Reasons to Pay More Attention to Others

So I find myself in the midst of revolution.
Maybe it’s just a natural part of maturing or leadership?

It’s a type of awakening, which I can’t recall if ever heard anyone talk of.
The change is developing a conscious effort to better know the need of others.

After many years in what felt like an endless cycle self-help, personality tests, gifts and talents discovery– I am flipping the script digging into knowing other people inside and out.

This has become a glaring blindspot.

It never occurred to me that if I had a detailed understanding about the people I am aiming to serve that all of my efforts to market, motivate or just conversate would go exponentially better.

In this weeks devo – I share a bit about this. And see, just like we need a vision for who we want to be and what we want to do. Having a vision about the people we serve is equally important.

Hope you enjoy.
Create a Great Day! – AC

Blog Inspiration

My INBOUND15 Bold Talk – My Inglorious Feet

Have you ever received the advice or heard the phrase, “use failures as stepping stones to reach higher heights?” 

In my INBOUND 2015 Bold Talk for Hubspot, I shares stories of how stuffing the pain of failure can inhibit true growth and ultimate success. 

Blog Inspiration

The Worst Conversations

When you are critical and judgmental.

When you recognize and acknowledge every fault and intention.

Even if what you see is true, this ability to bring it to the surface of your attention will initiate destruction.

But none of this is the worst part.

The worst part is that you never speak any of this aloud.

This conversation, this talk, dwells completely in your mind.

Plus. It’s likely you are aiming your criticism at one of two people.

Either it’s someone very close. Someone you know well. Maybe a spouse, a parent, a coworker or your boss.

Or even more often, the conversation is with yourself.

For who knows you better than you?

Who can size you up and tear you down, better than you?

This conversation needs to stop.

Honest criticism about yourself or those around you deteriorates the very foundation of trust.

And you need to trust yourself. In order to make plans, goals and commit to keep them.

You need to trust those closest to you. In order to love, and grow, and journey together.

[Tweet “The worst conversations happen within the recesses of the mind and undermine the integrity of an individual.”]

So choose today, to do this:

[Tweet “Take control of your thoughts like you would a rabid dog coming near to an infant child.”]

Or as Paul puts it:

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Or as Joyce Meyer says:

“Don’t reason in the mind just obey in the spirit.”

Create a Great Day! – AC

Blog Inspiration

Building Daily Momentum

In your daily sketches you find the motifs for your greatest art.

In your daily blogs you develop the substance of your book.

In your daily acts of affection, she finds the building materials for your house of love.

Don’t put off the small stuff.
Don’t refuse the momentum built from doing what’s important – daily.

Create a Great Day!

Blog Inspiration

Don’t Be an Original

[Tweet “Don’t try to be an original, just be yourself.”]

Originality is a relative term. Meaning you’ll have to compare yourself to others in order to know whether or not you’re different.

But why should you take extra effort comparing and differentiating when you can just be you?

The most impactful you can be is by doing what’s natural. Even if it’s similar in style and appearance to another, whatever proceeds from your authentic self will always be a trademark and can never be duplicated.

Create and Great Day!

[Tweet “Whatever proceeds from your authentic self can never be duplicated.”]