Guest Post: Three Tips to Unleash the Creative Entrepreneurs in Your Community

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Three Tips to Unleash the Creative Entrepreneurs in Your Community

By Alice Loy

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. If you are wondering how to take on the challenges of a shifting global economy, investing in creative industries entrepreneurs tackles economic, civic, and social challenges and is found in every community in every corner of the globe. From Boston to Bangladesh, creative entrepreneurs are building companies at the cutting edge of digital fabrication, augmented reality, design and entertainment.

The creative economy is huge. And growing. It generates close to $3 trillion in economic output annually. That’s more than the global telecommunications industry. What’s more, creative economy revenues are expanding 8-12% annually, varying by country. In the USA, the creative economy grew straight through the Great Recession, as opposed to all other sectors. Growth will continue as a global middle class rises, expanding demand for entertainment, digital media, and original content and experiences. Consider this: Cirque du Soleil was founded by two street performers who grew it into a global phenomenon and sold it for $1.5 billion to investment firm TPG in 2015. Lynda.com, acquired by LinkedIn in 2015, was started by Lynda Weinman, a graphic designer turned educator. Fashionistas, filmmakers, and foodies are launching creative companies that drive value for investors, and create high-wage jobs.

However, the creative economy is a sleeping giant because leaders and investors, community and economic developers have mostly left the creative economy on the sidelines, its full potential sitting dormant. Many leaders think only of “the arts” when they hear the word creative. However, today’s creative companies are anchored in technologies and digital innovations. Take for example Embodied Labs, a VR film company whose films help medical providers understand patient experiences, reducing costs and improving health outcomes. Or Beacon Hill VR, a software firm with artists and gamers on staff who create and bring to life animated AR characters. We suspect leaders overlook the creative economy because they are unfamiliar with its numbers.

Creative entrepreneurs are market disruptors building a better and more inclusive future. The innovators behind creative companies are designers, coders, gamers, musicians, and engineers. Akin to tech founders, creative founders are driven by a desire to disrupt a market. Unlike many tech founders, most creative entrepreneurs are also inspired by social outcomes such as engaging disenfranchised communities, providing a living wage, and building culturally connected communities. The creative economy is being built by visionaries who strengthen regional identity, increase livelihoods, and build connected communities.

So how can you unleash the creative entrepreneurs and talent in your community? Here are three tips to get you started:

1.) Find ambitious creative entrepreneurs who have been overlooked. They might be building the next Cirque du Soleil but everyone else sees them as clowns. With fresh eyes, you might see a billion-dollar business in the making. I have worked with startups who became extremely successful entrepreneurs who have told us that early on “no one took them seriously” because they were designers, or filmmakers, or musicians.

2.) Host a small gathering with innovative creative founders and investors and ask them to share where they believe your regional creative economy could be more competitive. What assets and competitive advantages do you have that entrepreneurs and investors have already discovered? When we do this we find investors who are already working with creative companies. They are usually interested in further building out their portfolio along these lines. And the founders are excited to meet investors who share their vision for the region’s future.

3.) Assume you just don’t get it–yet. Creatives are disrupting markets and they see a future the rest of us don’t see. Take for example the story of Meow Wolf, an “artist collective” based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When Meow Wolf started out, they sought business support but were told more than once their venture should be a non-profit. They are artists, after all. Today, with over 1 million visitors and $15 million in revenues in less than two years, Meow Wolf’s out-of-this-world exhibit helped multiply their first investors’ funds within three years. They recently close $17 million with a lead investment by Alsop Louie Partners from Silicon Valley. Meow Wolf is not alone in their ability to see a market before it has fully convened. Lee Francis, Founder of Native Realities, launched the world’s first Indigenous Comic Con to give indigenous youth a chance to see themselves as superheroes. Today Indigenous Comic Con and Lee’s publishing company Native Realities, are leading a global movement to reframe how indigenous youth see themselves in pop culture. 300,000,000 indigenous people are eager to move with them. Ivonette Albuquerque, Founder of Galpão Aplauso, in São Paulo, Brazil, believed she could build a world class theatre company employing youth living in São Paulo’s favelas. Today, she has trained over 10,000 youth, nearly all of whom go on to find well paying jobs after the program.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, like all good revolutions, is disrupting social and economic structures, forcing leaders to rethink old strategies and adapt to new realities. Relentless creativity and imagination will win the day. Fortunately, a giant ally is waiting in the wings. All you need to do is wake it up.

Alice Loy is CEO and Co-Founder of Creative Startups and author of Creative Economy Entrepreneurs, From Start Up to Success: How Entrepreneurs in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy. For more information, please visit, www.creativestartups.org.

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Press Release: Paws of War Receives Donation, Aims to Help More Veterans with New Location

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Paws of War Receives Donation, Aims to Help More Veterans with New Location

Paws of War will be able to help many more veterans and first responders in their new larger location thanks to community

New York, NY – (October 4, 2018) – Paws of War, an organization that helps veterans and first responders to obtain and train companion and service dogs, is moving to a new, larger location. The new location will help them provide their important services to more veterans and first responders. One local construction company, NDA Construction, lead a community effort that made all the difference. The new Paws of War location will be at 127-6 Smithtown Blvd in Nesconset, New York. They are in the same shopping center, but will now be in a new location within it. The public is invited to attend a grand opening event on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 11:00 am. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served.

“We have long outgrown our space and it was preventing us from helping more people,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “We are so grateful that NDA Construction and the community of sub contractors they brought on have stepped up to make it possible for us have a larger and more functional space. Their donation of time and resources has made it possible for us to help many more veterans and first responders. We couldn’t have made this move without their kind donation.”

The new space will be 3,400 square feet, which is double the size of the old location. It has been built out to provide more areas that will be used to help veterans during their training sessions. The group will now also be able to help those veterans and first responders who are wheelchair-bound or who use scooters. Their prior space was not sufficient for those in wheelchairs to properly participate in the training programs.

NDA Construction and its sister company NDA Kitchens have veterans working for them. The company is owned by Ed Rowland, who started it in 1992. Since that time, they have built a solid reputation for building and design. Through NDA Kitchens, they offer custom kitchen remodeling in the Long Island area.

“It would have been a real financial strain for Paws of War to try to move to a larger facility without receiving some assistance from a builder,” explained Rowland. “We believe in what they are doing and wanted to step up and help make it easier for them to continue doing it on a larger scale. We’re helping them, but then in turn they are helping people who have given a lot for all of us.”

Since the organization started in 2014, they have supported over 100 veterans with service dogs that were rescued from kill shelters and given the proper training. They have rescued 455 dogs from kill shelters and have graduated 102 dogs from the training program. Their mission is to help veterans and first responders who are in need of service dogs, whether for emotional issues, PTSD, depression, or for physical conditions. The new location will make it easier for them to help even more be able to get the assistance they need.

“I started in the program over a year ago,” says William Wurm, who is retired from the US Army and served in Iraq. “And now we are busting at the seams. This new space is going to be so ideal for all of us who make Paws of War a second home.”

Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at www.pawsofwar.org.

 

Image Source: Pixabay

Guest Post: DO YOU SUFFER FROM PANIC ATTACKS?

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DO YOU SUFFER FROM PANIC ATTACKS?

IF SO, YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH A- LIST CELEBS

Here’s what to do to cope without breaking the bank

www.comprehendthemind.com

Over 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety and panic disorders. And as privileged as they are, celebrities are no exception when it comes to panic attacks. Whether it’s a one-time event or something they consistently struggle with, dealing with a panic attack is never easy. Most recently, in the media and her new book, Gisele Bundchen described the debilitating panic attacks she experienced when she was younger and how they almost led her to suicide.  Gisele is not the only celeb who has confessed to former or current panic attacks. Others include Lena Dunham, Caitlyn Jenner, Emma Stone, Ellie Goulding, Amanda Seyfried, and John Mayer.  We turned to New York City-based neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty Member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College for some insight on what average Joe and Janes can to overcome panic attacks. The good news is, recovery is possible does not take an A-listers budget.

What is a panic attack?

Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at any time — when you’re driving a car, at the mall, sound asleep or in the middle of a business meeting. You may have occasional panic attacks, or they may occur frequently. Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within minutes. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides. Dr. Hafeez states that “One of the worst things about panic attacks is the intense fear that you’ll have another one.  A panic attack occurs when the body experiences a sudden surge adrenaline out of proportion to any perceived danger or threat.”

What is a panic disorder?

You may fear having panic attacks so much that you avoid certain situations where they may occur. It can become so severe as to cause agoraphobia where people become housebound.  When this occurs, it is known as panic disorder.” She adds, “the word ‘attack’ is actually a misnomer as nothing is being attacked. Panic occurs when the body goes into a state of fight or flight even when no real danger is present. A person can be sitting at their desk typing, yet feel as if they are being chased by a lion and the body is responding with adrenaline appropriate to a dangerous situation, but not realistic for the situation the sufferer is actually in.”  Dr. Hafeez stresses to those who suffer from the panic that, “Nobody has ever died from a panic attack! A person may feel as if he/she wants to die, or death is imminent, but it simply will not happen!”

How did Gisele Bundchen reduce her panic?

As Gisele Bundchen has mentioned, her panic attacks subsided when she made lifestyle changes such as not drinking a bottle of wine per day, stopping a pack a day smoking habit, incorporating meditation, yoga, and cutting out sugar.  After a few months, she says she stopped experiencing any panic attacks and had a new outlook on her life and her health.

What can you do to reduce and cope with panic?

Calm breathing

Dr. Hafeez says that “Taking control of breathing is the first step to controlling a panic attack. The goal is to create a slow stream of air by breathing in and out. This prevents hyperventilation and a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood. It is helpful to practice mindful breathing outside of panic attacks. This equips people who experience panic attacks with the techniques designed to stop them. There are apps and YouTube videos people can watch to practice breathing techniques for panic. “

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Another helpful strategy is learning to relax the body. This technique involves tensing and untensing various muscle groups. This lowers overall tension and stress levels that can contribute to panic attacks. Start with the feet and work up to your forehead. Tighten the muscle while taking a deep breath in, hold for a few seconds and then release the tension while breathing out. Move up the body, one muscle group at a time.

Mindfulness

This is the act of accepting thoughts as they come, but not letting them blow out of proportion. It is a mental framework designed to help people stay present at the moment without overanalyzing the stressful elements of life. Mindfulness incorporates many relaxation and meditation techniques.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Panic attacks can originate from thoughts that spiral into deep-seated worries. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an effective, lasting treatment for controlling panic attack symptoms. CBT is a helpful option for people who experience repeated panic attacks. CBT challenges fearful thoughts. What are you afraid will happen? Is there evidence to support these fears? A practitioner trained in CBT can equip an individual with the tools to successfully control and defuse a full-blown panic attack.

Yoga

There are many uncomfortable physical symptoms of panic and anxiety, such as feelings of tension, tightness, and pain sensitivity. Yoga postures, known as asanas, help ease the physical discomfort that is caused by anxiety. Asanas work to stretch, lengthen, and balance the muscles. These postures can assist in releasing built-up muscle tension and stiffness throughout the body.

Cut Down on Sugar and eliminate caffeine

Although many people can’t start their day without a “cup of Joe,” Dr. Hafeez says that “for panic sufferers, caffeine can trigger panic attacks because it is a stimulant and can cause people with anxiety to have palpitating hearts and shaky hands. Sugar can cause blurry vision, difficulty thinking, and fatigue, all of which may be interpreted as signs of a panic attack, thereby increasing worry and fear. A sugar high and subsequent crash can cause shaking and tension, which can make anxiety worse. While dietary changes alone cannot cure anxiety, they can minimize symptoms, boost energy and improve the body’s ability to cope with stress.”

Stop Smoking

“If you think smoking calms you down, think again,” says Dr. Hafeez.  A study of thousands of smokers shows that they are three times more likely than non-smokers to have panic attacks and panic disorder. Tobacco smoke may induce panic attacks in susceptible individuals. “There can be other mechanisms by which smoking induces panic: the effect of nicotine for example,” says Dr. Hafeez. “Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the brain.”

Reduce or eliminate alcohol

There are clear links between alcohol and anxiety, and between alcohol and panic attacks. Alcohol can trigger panic attacks because on a physiological level drinking can cause low blood sugar, dehydration, increased heart rate, and increased levels of stress. Dr. Hafeez offers that, “A drink from time to time is not harmful, but when people use drinking to deal with anxiety and panic, they can experience severe consequences. Like other frequently abused substances such as caffeine or cocaine, the combination of alcohol abuse, hangover, and withdrawal can lead to an increased risk of panic attacks. As a consequence, this kind of abuse can result in both an alcohol addiction and more severe anxiety and panic disorders.”

Medication

There are many anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan, Clonopin, and Xanax that can help keep panic under control when combined with therapy. Antihistamines (such as hydroxyzine) and beta-blockers (such as propranolol) can help mild cases of anxiety as well as performance anxiety, a type of social anxiety disorder. Patients need to keep in mind that benzodiazepines carry the risk of tolerance and addiction and are better suited for short-term or “as needed” usage.

Smartphone apps to assist with panic disorder

There are many great ones that exist such as Dare, Rootd, Anxiety No More, ACT Companion and Pacifica among many others.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz. Connect with her via Instagram @drsanamhafeez or www.comprehendthemind.com

 

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes – Day 4

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Please join everyone at Five Minute Friday for 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes throughout the month of October.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Why

This prompt made me laugh. “Why?” is something that I have asked well over a million times since I learned to speak all those years ago. I drove my mama crazy with the whys. I drive David crazy with the whys. I question everything. Absolutely everything. I question and analyze until there is nothing left to question and analyze.  Why should I accept something as so just because someone told me so?

One of my favorite phrases that relates to this question is, “I have to know the why to apply.”  It’s my own statement and it states how my mind works quite clearly. Just telling me to do a math problem this way does not adequately teach me how to do it. I have to know why it is done this way or that way so that I can apply it and know how to apply it in other situations.

People can’t stand my constant whys, but that is a part of who I am and likely will be until the day I am no more.

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