Create Value at Any Job

Floodgate co-founder Mike Maples has been responsible for helping to kick start some of the most revolutionary new companies around: Twitter and digg, just to name a couple. His secret? The ability to recognize talent and value in even the most wild sounding ideas and business plans.

“Great value creation is fundamentally a creative act. Part of that is taking the current job you’re in and doing the best you can at it. But the bigger part is taking only jobs that you’re passionate about. If you don’t have a job you’re passionate about, you’re flunking a cosmic IQ test,” he imparted.

As Mike says, most of us here in the U.S. have more choice than we think about pursuing the things we’re passionate about.

You have to have an authentic voice for what you do. You can be entrepreneurial at any job,” he shared emphatically. “If you think about your product and what you do not as convincing someone to buy something but rather as propoagating the truth because you care about it so much, than you’re more likely to succeed and you’re more likely to create value.”

Creating something valuable that people will be attracted to and want to be a part of first comes from your belief in it, so why waste your energy on something you don’t think matters? True value comes from the pursuit of your passions.

Watch the video version of my interview with Mike Maples below:

Actions That Stop Depression

Depression is 10 times more common than is was 50 years ago–particularly among our teens.  Here are some actions you can take that not only stop depression, but have been found in studies to be as effective as antidepressants.  These are from the book Flourish by Martin Seligman.

1) Do a kindness for someone.This action has the greatest increase in self-reported well-being.

2) Write a letter of gratitude to someone who has changed your life in a positive way (or visit the person and tell them how much they mean to you.)

3) Keep a diary of the top 3 greatest blessings that happened that day and why they happened. For example:
Husband ran to the store for me – I have a thoughtful husband.

Daughter did really well on a test – My daughter is a hard-working student.

I organized a closet so it is much more peaceful – I enjoy peace and am willing to work for it.

It’s important to physically write these down, and keeping a log helps you to review what’s right about your life when you are feeling low. This is great activity to do before going to sleep.

4) Focus on your strengths and tell a story of how you use those strengths.  You can even use a “Strengths Finder”, found at

5) Forgive by acknowledging how negative events strengthened you.  

6) Focus on increasing satisfaction rather than maximizing satisfaction.  What can you do to increase your satisfaction in a situation?  Don’t expect perfection but rather increase.

7) See bad events as temporary, changeable and local.

8 ) Plan pleasurable activities and practice truly savoring them when you do them.  Savoring is a skill.

9) Exercise – Get oxygen to your brain.

10) Set goals that are achievable and achieve them.

11) When you have problems, brainstorm their solution.  Brainstorming helps you focus on the solution rather than the problem and it also helps you recognize that there may be many possible solutions.

12) Acknowledge when you have given value to others.  We’re taught it’s not OK to praise ourselves, but it’s actually very healthy to do this, even if it’s just in private.

My New Production, Peter and The StarCatcher, Co-Produced by Disney

Exciting news: my latest endeavor as a Broadway producer includes Peter and the StarCatcher, which will be co-produced with Disney. Like Wicked, Rick Elice’s fantastical play is based on Pulitzer Prize winning humorist’s Dave Barry‘s book, Peter and the StarCatcher, a wildly popular bestseller by Hyperion/Disney.  It’s the semi-irreverent prequel to the beloved children’s classic, Peter Pan, that provides the backstory of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Roger Rees and Alex Timbers direct the production, in which 12 actors play scores of vibrant characters.  Nancy Nagel Gibbs from Wicked is General Manager, and the cast includes Christian Borle, who’s also currently starring in NBC’s Smash!

Showbiz at its most brazenly infectious.”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

World Business Forum 2012

Announcing that Mark Thompson, Jack Welch, Jim Collins, Richard Branson and many more will be featured at Radio City Music Hall, NYC, for the Oct. 3 World Business Forum. You can register here.