Monday, April 4, 2016

I'm going to eat chocolate cake for breakfast!

I was perusing Facebook this morning and ran across an article that my cousin Cindy Dunbar posted. It boasted that eating chocolate cake for breakfast is good for you and may even help you lose weight. Yessssss! Here’s a link to the article from

Anyone that knows me knows I have a huge sweet tooth. So I’ll be doing some serious research on this topic. And to make myself feel better about this experiment, I read more about a Syracuse research study on the topic. Check that out here

I’m a very lucky descendant from a chocolate cake making diva. My mom made the best chocolate cake. My cousins and their kids have dubbed it Aunt Carol’s cake. In an effort to make you a healthier, happier person, here’s that recipe in cupcake form. 


Aunt Carol’s Chocolate Cupcakes

2 C flour
2 C sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 T dark cocoa (heaping)
½ C milk
2/3 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Mix dry ingredients together, then mix in milk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Slowly mix in boiling water until batter is silky smooth. Slowly pour into cupcake liners. 

Bake mini cupcakes for16 minutes or regular cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out smooth. Makes 2 dozen regular and 4 dozen mini cupcakes.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Dream Customer

I love what I do. I love helping people do their best work. I love being part of a team that works together seamlessly and respectfully. My dream customer is one that sees my gifts and talents as a great addition to their work. When you find an organization that shares your values and is focused on doing good for the greater good, you hold on tight. 

For me, that customer is All Hands Raised. I am truly grateful to be part of the team that throws one of the biggest parties and fundraisers of the year here in Portland. This year’s theme was Shine On! And that we did. 

Each year the community comes together at the Moda Center to take a night off, kick up our heels, enjoy a slightly less polite Roast of our community—and raise our hands to support the work to improve educational outcomes for all Multnomah children and youth, and young adults.

The preparation for fundraiser started months ago. We gathered an amazing group of partner vendors to pull off this year’s event. On the day of the event, we spent 14 hours creating an experience that was sensational. I get to sit with the production team and call the show from the back of the room. Its exhilarating. 

Here are some photos from my favorite project!

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Antonio Harris /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What the heck is an avatar?

In a nutshell an avatar your ideal customer. It’s the person you see in your mind that would buy your product or service. Quite simply, the person you are serving. In a lot of marketing firms its also known as a persona. 

Why should I care? 
It’s a basic stepping stone to any business building practice. It’s a key component to many of the entrepreneur courses on the market today. One of my favorites is run by Jonathan Fields, one of my personal business heroes. Its called Revolution U

Defining your avatar helps you focus on who you are talking to. When you know who you’re talking to, it makes it easier to write your brand copy and focus your product features and benefits. You will better understand what people need and how to give it to them or, how to create it for them. Knowing more about this person lets you connect with them in a deeper, more meaningful way.

This seems simple, and it should be. But a lot of entrepreneurs I know skip this step and find themselves talking to too many people, or worse no one. Here are a few things I’ve heard people say:
- I don’t even know where to start? 
- I want to serve everyone, there’s no way I can narrow it down to one person?
- I have multiple things I offer, how do I choose which one to focus on?

I’ve been working with my clients to help them through those exact questions by doing quick workshops, I like to call them Charrettes. We spend no more than 90 minutes and at the end of that time we have a very clear picture of their ideal customer. Its fun, simple and very informative. 

Here are a few examples of the process and the final outcome.

If you are feeling stuck at this step. I’d love to help you. Soon there will be two ways. Right now we can do it together, in person or even via teleconference. The second is coming soon. I’m working on a quick and easy online course. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting more about that soon. You can stay informed by signing up for may email list here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


It’s Day 10 of the QUEST2015 challenge. #quest2016 #amplify. Today’s prompt comes from Productivity Guru Charlie Gilkey @charliegilkey. I’m so lucky to have Charlie right here in my hometown. #CharlieRules

Which element of your best work do you most want to amplify this year?

It’s fitting that my answer to the productivity guru’s prompt is about productivity…

I want to amplify my ability to use my project management skills to help other creative entrepreneurs do their best work. I’m working on a set of productivity Charrettes
(SHuh'ret, noun. an intesive effort to map solutions or finish a project). Little workshops designed to help people Get Shit Done #GSD.

I’m super excited about these, but I’m running into that dreaded “imposter syndrome.” As a project manager, my role within multiple creative agencies has been the person organizing the workshop and the strategy sessions. I’ve been told time and time again by the “creatives” in the agencies that I’m not creative so I should stick with managing the creatives. Super frustrating and one of the main reasons why I’m a freelance project manager today and only choose to work with agencies that value the creative input from the entire team.

I personally don’t think you need to be a designer or writer to be a “creative”. I use creativity every single day with how I motivate my clients and teams. I’m more than just a project manager. I’ve learned and established my own strategy practice over the years. I’m amazing at getting things organized. I’m also amazing at leading people, being a creative catalyst for them for just about anything.

I’ve been working with a call to action that is simply “What do you need?” I’ve worn so many hats that I can pretty much help anyone get anything done and if I can’t I know someone who can. “I got you.”

I love this prompt. It’s wonderful way to stand in front of our work, to put it out into the world. That act simply makes you take a step toward that goal.

What do you need?
I got you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let's play in a treehouse.

It's Day 5 of the QUEST2015 challenge. #quest2016

Our prompt comes from Daydream Visionary: Scott Barry Kaufman who asks us:

What recurring daydream for 2016 inspires you to do business as unusual like never before? #daydream

I’m sitting my treehouse meeting space looking out over the grassy field and amphitheater watching a small group of creativity chasers collaborate and more importantly play together. There are a couple of freelancers up here with me that came out to The Ranch for the day to get our of their daily surroundings in search of epiphany inspiration. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

I would build The Ranch.

I’m a little late with my Day 3 post for the QUEST2016 challenge. #quest2016

Day 3’s prompt wrapping up Week One’s theme “Get Clear with Yourself,” comes from Debbie Millman of Design Matters.

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew - no matter what you chose - you would not fail?

I would build the Ranch.

My creative retreat space just outside of Portland, a place for people and teams to get out of the daily grind and into the possibilities, a place where work and play get it done.

I can see it so clearly.

I am the garden where you bloom where you’re planted.

I am the tree house where you climb to new heights.

I am the field where you bring your dreams.

I am the playground where play really matters.

I am the horseshoe pit where if you try, almost always counts.

I am the theater where you stand courageous.

I am the barn where you never bail.

I am the art studio where you express your vibrant creativity.

I am the kitchen where you nourish inner desires.

I am the table where you gather to build deep, meaningful connections.

I am the place where you come to imagine the possibilities.

I am the Ranch.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What do you need?

Today is Day 2 of my Quest2016 challenge. #quest2016

I am so excited for today’s prompt from Visionary Jonathan Fields @jonathanfields. He is the man behind The Good Life Project

To say my experience with Jonathan and his unbelievable community has changed my life would be a very large understatement.

Jonathan’s prompt:
You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

What is your question?
What do you need? How can I help others bring clarity to their projects.

I’m so incredibly passionate about helping others do their best work. I want to help more folks from my Good Life Project and Quest 2016 communities do the work that their heart's desire. Now that would be one epic way to spend a life AND a fortune!

So…what do you need?