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You may have heard about this little conference in cozy Columbus, Georgia called Creative South.

It’s like a well-kept secret. You certainly aren’t ever going to stumble across it accidentally because—let’s be honest—it’s practically in the middle of nowhere. You’re never just going to “find” yourself in Columbus, Georgia like you would San Francisco or New York City.

But there’s a certain southern charm and hospitality that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You’ve never known friendliness until you meet the generous reception that is Creative South.

Having an audience is a powerful thing. With a relatively modest number of people dedicated to your brand and products, you can easily sustain yourself.

You don’t have to have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers—the beautiful thing about the internet is its ability to bring people with unique interests together. Even if you have a very specific focus, there are a ton of other people across the world that share those interests and that adds up quickly.

Yet, many people worry about narrowing their focus. It feels like you’re excluding a bunch of people! It seems counter-intuitive: What if the niche dries up? What happens if interest suddenly goes away?

The good news is, you don’t need to be afraid to niche down. If you’re about the people and serving their needs, you’re going to adapt naturally without even noticing it. You might suddenly realize you’re in a different industry because you followed the people—that makes you immune to an industry going away or drying up.

Why grow an audience? This is what growing an audience can do for you…

Do you want to set money on fire?

I don’t think anyone does, but most people do something that’s equivalent.

Workers are interrupted once every 10.5 minutes on average.

That’s not even the worst part: studies show it takes on average 23 minutes to regain focus.

7-minute interruptions cost you a half hour in actual focused work time.

Commitment is hard.

I recently witnessed someone say they were going to start a new video show. In an introductory video, they were trying to build up momentum to the launch of the show.

They mentioned it’d be a weekly show, but then they said something that made my heart sink a little: “It’ll usually be on Fridays.”

Usually.

Does that word sound familiar? “I hope to stick with my new blog.” Ever catch yourself saying that? “I’ll do my best to get a new podcast out weekly.”

Have you ever had someone ask to pick your brain? Sometimes they’ll use those exact words, but other times it looks like this:

“Can I buy you coffee?”
“Are you available for a quick Skype call?”
“Can you help me real fast with just a couple questions?”

It’s flattering and at the same time a very strange feeling. On the one hand, it feels good to be asked for advice, but on the other hand, something seems a bit weird about the exchange. Why does it feel weird?

I love the cozy mood my office has in the evenings. I shot this panorama earlier this evening and thought I’d update my gear list from the last time I posted about my office.

I’m most excited about the new insanely cool, color-changing LED strip I got (listed below). It’s ridiculously inexpensive, comes with a remote for changing colors or brightness, and was a breeze to setup. You can even cut the strip to the length you need.

The colored lighting adds such a neat dynamic to the room. I’ve been using it on seanwes tv to color coordinate with the desktop wallpapers that change every 10 episodes on the show.

I just turned 26 on Friday, November 21st.

To celebrate, I wrote a HUGE blog post with 26 things I’ve learned in the past year. I share what’s new with me, what’s changed since 2013, and what I’m looking forward to.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tomorrow, I take a purposeful week off. It’s my second break since starting Small Scale Sabbaticals. Every 7th week, I take the week off to rest, recharge, and pursue my secondary passions.

I apply myself fully to whatever I’m doing which means when I’m working, I’m working hard. I realized if I was ever going to rest, I’d have to be just as intentional about my breaks. Focused work time. Focused break time.

I plan to continue taking every 7th week off and making sabbaticals an integral part of my routine. During my sabbatical, I take a break from my regular commitments and output. I don’t record podcasts with Ben and I don’t shoot any seanwes tv videos.

I’ve long had aspirations to do some form of daily show.

I liked the idea of it, but the reality of planning, executing, and maintaining such a high frequency output is a whole other matter entirely.

This past year has been a year of investment and a year of delegation. It’s been an exercise in eschewing Superhero Syndrome and bringing on help.

My brother, Cory, has moved down from Dallas to work for me full time as Video Producer at seanwes. Later this month, my wife, Laci, will also be joining full time as Administrative Assistant at seanwes.

I have goals. I have things I want to accomplish. Things I’m striving towards.

I have plans. I have blueprints for making amazing things. Things that will help people.

I have aspirations. I have places I want to be. Destinations that I will one day reach.

I have dreams. I have visions of big things. Things that will be but are not yet.

But I am here. I will always be here. Not that I will always be in this place, but here in the sense that I am where I am. Where I am is now.

There was a discussion in the Community chat this morning:

“Hey, haven’t seen you in awhile! Busy with work or busy with life?”
“Busy with both work and life!”

Now I know he’s just talking about his job and family, but I tend to reflect deeply without much provocation.

To me, the meaning and definition of words is an important matter. The use of “work” and “life” here in this context got me thinking.

Our culture believes that work is the opposite of play…

Here’s the truth: I struggle every time I have to show up.

Every time I need to write a new blog post, record a new podcast, or prepare a newsletter—it’s tough for me.

You don’t really ever get to a point where your first iteration of any new thing you make is perfect. It’s always a process. It always takes effort, sweat, and trudging through a lot of failed attempts.

You’re always going to be met with a blank page.

I’ll be honest with you: I have a hard time slowing down.

As an entrepreneur, the work is never done. There is always more that can be done and there is always something left to do.

Where does work end and play begin? This line is even more challenging to define when your job is what you love to do.

What do you do in the evenings?

Doing what you’re passionate about for a living is a lovely idea. But everyone has bills to pay.

We all know someone who quit their job to pursue their passion and ended up hating what they do because it “became a job” to them.

What happened here?

Motivation is a strange concept. We’re motivated by many things. We’re motivated when we’re excited, when we’re scared, and when we’re determined.

It seems like the will to do many things comes naturally but when actively sought, motivation appears to make itself scarce.

You would think we could reverse engineer motivation.

But motivation isn’t something you can conjure on a whim. You can’t fabricate motivation, you have to foster it.

What if you took a moment out of every day to step back from your work and really think about it?
What if you were really purposeful about evaluating what you’re doing daily and where you’re at?
What if every 7th day, you took a whole day off to do the same thing on a slightly larger scale?

Let’s take it a step further…

What if you took off 1 whole week every 7 weeks?