• November 2015

The Resilience Issue

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” writes artist and author Vivian Greene.

That quote is one of the little inspirational plaques that adorns my office in Richmond, VA, which is filled with similar sayings to remind me of what I know at the core of my being: Resilience rules.

I believe actress Diane Lane said it best when asked how she’s stayed resilient through the ups and downs of her decades-long career: “It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling. The key is having an appetite for going toward the light. When the light is harder to find, you have to pedal even faster.”

In this month of giving thanks, we feature 16 columns on the art of bouncing — back from adversity, forward to the next big business opportunity, and sometimes in place when you just don’t know what to do.

To guide you in the process, we turn to beloved children’s book author Sandra Boynton (pictured here). In this month’s interview, we focus on “Frog Trouble,” a CD-songbook that hit the New York Times best-seller list just weeks after it was released. Scroll down to find out what keeps her creative juices flowing, how a chicken helped her convince a handful of country music stars to play with her, and how she deals with “Frog Trouble.”

Also in this issue:

  • We welcome our new client, chef and premier cooking teacher Ann Butler, and learn more about how she is helping America’s kids to cook real food with her company, Edible Education.
  • And, if you find yourself sitting in traffic — again — you may not be feeling so resilient. In fact, you may be fantasizing about where you will live once you retire. Egan, Berger & Weiner CFP® Howard Pressman suggests not rushing into your decision. “The notion of a true paradise may be misleading, so be sure to identify what’s most important to you in your idyllic locale.” Click here for key factors to consider.

We leave you with this parting thought from one of our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Wood:

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things! Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs! They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! Images of Tigger, public-domain

Happy Thanksgiving! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • founder, Inkandescent PR

Got Business Troubles? Sandra Boynton Teaches Us to Sing Away the Blues

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH: NOVEMBER 2015

Hang on to yer hat, cowpoke. One listen-to and read-through of Sandra Boynton’s illustrated country-music songbook/CD combo “Frog Trouble,” and you’ll be humming your way through the day.

By Hope Katz Gibbs Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine

When it comes to embracing the art of resilience, it’s wonderful to look to successful people who continuously reinvent themselves. Such is the case for illustrator, author — and now songwriter — Sandra Boynton.

Created for children ages 1 to “older than dirt,” the fun yet poignant title “Frog Trouble” is Boynton’s fifth foray into merging music, words, and art. Like the others she’s created with keyboard player Michael Ford, it’s likely to become a certified Gold, and an award-winning New York Times best-seller.

This collection of ditties is packed with star-power — including musical performances from Linda Eder, Brad Paisley, and Dwight Yoakam — and the message of the book is as charming and iconic as the lyrics and illustrations by Boynton herself. From “I’ve Got a Dog,” to “Deepest Blue,” and “More Frog Trouble,” this 64-pager is filled with wit and wisdom — as well as lyrics and sheet music so readers can sing and play along.

We wouldn’t expect anything less from the successful artist and author, who has been writing books and drawing charming animal illustrations since the 1970s. “I love illustrated books, and I’ve always been smitten with records, so I guess it was inevitable that I’d eventually want to put the two together,” Boynton tells us from her home office in Connecticut. “I think I’m happiest in a recording studio, working with great singers and musicians. Making a record is pretty much the most fun a person can have. Though drawing confused hippos is way up there, too.”

How did the native of Orange, NJ, make her way to the recording studios of Nashville? “If you love recording, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in Nashville,” she believes. “And y’all might even start saying ‘y’all’ without even realizing it.”

Boynton admits that snagging stellar singers as Eder, Paisley, and Yoakam for “Frog Trouble” wasn’t easy. “It took foolish optimism on my part. But they all said they really loved the songs, so that helped.” To seal the deal, Boynton sent each country star a gift of a stuffed animal (Mr. Chicken, to be precise). “Surely there’s nothing so persuasive as receiving an unexplained stuffed chicken,” she says.

Being clever about accomplishing her goals has long been Boynton’s style.

As an undergrad at Yale, she started designing gift cards and Christmas cards, which her Uncle Bill, a printer, made copies of. She then trudged around to various East Coast stores selling them. The cards took off — and so had her love life.

“Jamie McEwan was a tall, swarthy, and cheerfully subversive Yale wrestling captain/1972 Olympic bronze medalist when we met,” shares Boynton, who married and moved with him to a farm in the foothills of the Berkshires. “Then we collaborated on four perfect children and two quirky books.”

Those stories were “The Story of Grump and Pout,” and “The Heart of Cool.” Dozens of books by Boynton followed. Then, in 1996, she met her professional partner, Michael Ford. “We’re a very lean team,” she explains of her collaboration with the Pennsylvania-based music man. “I write all the lyrics and most of the melody, and from there, Mike and I create each song together in our own small New England music production studio, with Mike playing scratch instrumental tracks on keyboard and helping with all the technical stuff, which he’s masterful at. I call him The Computer Whisperer.”

What is Boynton working on next? She’s reinventing an old classic. “I re-researched, rewrote, and re-illustrated my 1982 seminal work Chocolate: The Consuming Passion, which Workman Publishing just released last month.” And, she has started working on a new album of infectious-beat dance songs, which is tentatively titled, “Hog Wild!”

How can you stay as clever and as buoyant as Boynton? Here are six tips to keep the bounce in your flounce.

Resilience Training: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ability to Bounce Back

If you’d like to become more resilient, consider these tips, courtesy of mayoclinic.org.

1. Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by volunteering or joining a faith or spiritual community.

2. Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.

3. Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your future behavior.

4. Remain hopeful. You can’t change the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.

5. Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, or prayer.

6. Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event, or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work at it.

Click here to learn more.

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

– Steve Jobs

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”

– Steven Schussler

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

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