Working with Intent

CHECK THIS OUT! This post in case you missed it, is the first in a series of posts in regards to practicing what I preach in regards to working with intent. In it you will also see examples of the content creation pipeline put into full effect. It’s quite the journey that’s gotten off to a rocky start due to those “things” that are out of one’s control.

One of the things about blogging is that it gives you the opportunity to flush everything out on “digital” paper. This is great because otherwise I’d have probably taken out at least 1% of the worlds paper supply over the last decade. That’s not to say I haven’t done about half of that anyway. You should see the mountain of notebooks, pads and loose stacks of papers and index cards piled up around me.

*** Recommendation Note: At the end of the article you’ll find links to two books I strongly recommend that have helped me tremendously in this portion of the journey. ***

I’ve always been one to advocate brainstorming things out on paper before you ever crack open the microphone or take the first frame of video. The ironic part is, while I do make those notes, I still enjoy the free flow that comes from flying by the seat of my pants. But then comes the missed details that then lead in turn to overthinking things and then a rut of self doubt and fear. It was far less destructive before 2020 but by now (2022) the inner me has a dialogue that goes something like this:

Me pre-2020; “This is a great idea! It makes me laugh! Run with it!”

Me post 2020; “Yeah, but you don’t want to goof this thing up. It needs to be structured and professional.”

Me pre-2020; “You may be right. But I don’t care. Now move out the way, sissy.”

Me post 2020; “You sure are bold. I wish I could be like you.”

Me pre-2020; “Thanks! You can be. Just do it!”

Me post 2020; “But, but, but, but…”

Me pre-2020;” Have fun with that… catch you in post!”

Me post 2020; “I’ll be waiting. With a fine tooth comb, magnifying glass and a giant bottle of self doubt ready for doing shooters.”

That conversation has happened in my head far too often over the past two years and if I’m being honest, a few years prior. It was a slow, trickling process that led to fear induced self doubt and why it can be a bear to break that cycle. Rest assured dear reader that it can be done because I myself am proof in the pudding.

With the evolution of the “Dignity of Work” series going from idea in the back of my head to the notes, to the screen and everywhere else it will be translated into, I came face to face with what I had been self sabotaging myself with; that fear induced self doubt. The kicker was though that I looked busy. Very busy.

I’m sharing this now to hopefully help you break the cycle that you too may be trapped in but not aware of. Let’s start with the basics of it all; “Why am I not getting anywhere? I’ve brain stormed, studied, journaled, experimented and learned so much! What am I doing wring??!?!?!”

Short answer:

Working without clear intent.

To clarify, this goes deeper and more laser focused than simply making a goal to achieve. Working with clear intent is indeed goal setting but more importantly it makes you get very serious about the steps to the end goal, all the while making marked and reaffirming progress everyday.

I’m sharing this with you know not to brag or boast about being back on track but instead to show you that I practice what I preach as we all as creating my own “working with intent” structure to keep myself focused on my own goals. First a little background:

For over a decade, I was in a working environment that left me longing for a team. Wasn’t in the plans or the budget but I refused to let anything like that stop me from seeing a vision come to life. I wanted to create a television show that was normally comprised of at least ten people to handle the heavy lifting (writing, producing, directing, filming, hosting, editing, mixing, graphics, final cut and then distribution, marketing and promotion). I was intent on making it happen so I did it all. I’m still proud of those efforts but man oh man can I see where certain aspects suffered due to the load, especially considering the time schedule I was on. Still, I did it. Numerous shows with numerous episodes, all the while managing my day job duties at the TV station (which included pretty much all of the same multi tasked roles) and being home with the family everyday as close to five o’clock as possible.

It was too much. I can see that now but then, it didn’t matter at all. I had a vision and a regular job to do and a responsibility s a father and husband. I’d be damned to not make it all happen. I can admit that was the piss and vinegar of pride talking. I knew that but again, didn’t care. I was making it happen and eventually it would all pay off. That mindset of course didn’t have a clue about the inevitable burn out that would along with the cuts and bruises of the times that things didn’t go exactly as planned or desired for the final outcome. Also, I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself, my family, the clients and the audience.

In the beginning few years, everything went off without a hitch. Problems on the fly were quickly solved and any bigger issues were handled almost as quick. I brought my “A game” to everything (so I thought) and nothing was impossible or even implausible. I had it all under control. Then the cracks started forming.

I’ll keep the minute details to myself, dear reader but know that all of those cracks did indeed lead to many holes growing and needing patched. They were, but the overall durability of the dam was being compromised. I never saw the full structural failure until 2020. Even then the damage itself wasn’t realized completely. Not until now that is.

You see, what had been an Achilles Heel of mine was the subconscious need to audition and prove myself over and over and over again no matter that I had been doing the thing for decades to great success. But every project and client HAD to be shown that I was capable NOW. Yesterday’s good wasn’t good enough. Talk about a toxic relationship with yourself.

There are some positives to all of that. In needing to fill all of those different roles, learning was incredibly important. Thankfully books and the internet exist so as a need would arise, I could hope online and find an answer, tip, trick or lessons that would get me to a solution. Once again there was a touch of gray on all of those silver linings. Getting overloaded with too much knowledge and arrogant in the same. Think of it as a spiral that leads to quantity over quality.

Again though, there is always a bright side once you can be honest with yourself. The bright side that evolved for me is that while I had overloaded myself with so much knowledge that every idea would branch of way too far and wide, thanks to the past couple of years.

Here’s what I’m getting at and what I’m giving you today:

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of my content creation pipeline.

This pipeline maps out what I see as a logical way to progress from idea to multi platform outlets. Not to be a hypocrite considering a lot of what I’m saying in this post, but what I am saying is that sometimes you have to do things as a solo act and this method will help.

In a team environment it’s also extremely helpful as it allows you to easily get and stay organized when delegating out the roles and duties for the members of your group.

It’s not the only way but it’s my way… and it works 🙂 Click the pic to listen the podcast that walks you through the method of the madness.

To show how my head works further, (forgive me for doing exactly what I said I was trying not to do anymore, but YOU don’t know me so an audition is in order PLUS it’s a great strategy for businesses, organizations and hobbyists to add value to their existing efforts ) here’s my long term plans for that one simple PDF form.

First off, I’m using it as you read this or after listening to the podcast OR you may have came into contact with it and me by way of the link that was shared on a featured video posted on YouTube and embedded on the JTB homepage.

Proof in the pudding.

I had been working on a book that covered all of this tentatively titled “Adding Value”. The problem was that the book got bigger and bigger and bigger because I wanted to ensure that I gave a potential reader as much bang for their buck as possible. That would be an unforgivable form of hypocrisy on my part.

Admittedly I was overthinking the book. However this blog and the pdf being the end result of the many months of back and forth,rewrite, repeat, reuse and recycle it all showed me the message that I’ve shared today. Work with INTENTION and YOU WILL get whatever you are wanting. For me it is a book and training series because of the many passions that I have, to teach, inspire, encourage and motivate are certainly the top of the charts for your old buddy Jimbo. I just had to get myself on track to help you do the same.

To get to the book and training series, I discovered I needed a pipeline. Now I have it and now you do too. Everybody wins and this is the closest fastest way I can get back to work doing what I was born to do: Inform and Entertain. This content creation pipeline is the best starting point I have generated for myself that I know can help you too. Plus, you can’t beat the price. On that note, if you found value in this blog, the podcast or the pdf, feel free to drop a tip in the jar or subscribe to any of my outreaches to learn more about all of these avenues tackled in the pdf and when the larger format editions will be released.

Until next time my dear readers, I’ll leave you with this quote from former U.S. President, Civil War General; Ulysses S. Grant that I think is a great personification of how the best intentions can get sidetracked by mistakes in process.

“My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent.”

Ulysses S. Grant

Now, Go Play!

Jim 05/10/2022

Thanks for reading this entry. Please be sure to visit Jim’s Toy Box daily for all kinds of informative and entertaining blogs, articles, interviews, podcasts and videos that I hope will inspire, encourage and motivate you to live life to the fullest right NOW. Also, thank you for shopping the links listed as well as ordering products from the site. Those are what keep this ship afloat and I truly appreciate your support of this journalistic and entertainment outreach.

*** Here are those recommendations along with some great reviews that I found helpful***

Atomic Habits

James Clear has written a book that is by far one of the best of the best in helping you break old bad habits and create new good one’s in a manageable and attainable way.

Best seller for a reason!
Clark does some great work in his videos. Highly recommend his stuff.


Chandler Bolt and his Self Publishing School is pretty impressive in how they have stream lined the publishing process. I haven’t used the SPS servie but the book has helped me tremendously in getting my own works outlined and in the works.

Want to writ a book but don’ know where to start? Here you go!
This is the video that hooked me and also got me a free copy. Legit offer if it is still available as of this writing.

365 Days. 365 Experiences Journal

I created this one to 1. Learn how to self publish using Amazon’s KDP platform and 2. To encourage everyone to learn new things and then journal about the experience as well as brainstorm adventures to take action on. If you order one know that I appreciate it. More importantly take the idea for yourself and run with it… no matter what you write in.

What happened to the dignity found in “The world of work”? I have an idea…

The world of work sure ain’t what it used to be. Even in the “slacker” 90’s we Gen X’ers always did what we had to do in ensuring we had spending money in our pockets let alone paying for our own stuff. But my oh my how things have changed. Did we and the following generations get lazy, apathetic or just over it? That’s what we’ll explore today in the Toy Box with the help of my favorite slacker poster children: Dante and Randall from Clerks and made by Diamond Select.

Dante Hicks and Randall Graves: Model Employees? Stranger things have happened. At least Dante would show up even on his day off.

Thinking about it, Dante and Randall were actually great workers. Despite the whining, foul language and general indifference or disrespect to the customers they served, they still showed up. Even when it was Dante’s day off. That says a lot when you think about it in hindsight.

Also in this vein, is considering the nature of Kevin Smiths own work ethic. You figure he was working at the Quick Stop when he was writing, producing, directing and acting in the movie. It’s that gumption that really attracted me to and be influenced by him as a filmmaker and storyteller.

Funny how looking back helps you see those things.

Also, it’s that work ethic that allowed for him to really thrive as the online world progressed. While I’ve not been enthusiastic about his non Viewaskew efforts, I do applaud his efforts in conquering the new medias as they were rolling out: multi media whore.

I haven’t seen “The Batman” yet. Nothing against Robert Pattinson, but I don’t know how if I’m ready to commit to the run time. I’ve got a goal of being productive, ya know?

Back to the topic at hand, (the world of work) it is certainly interesting to think about all of the changes we’ve seen in it over my 48 years. As a kid, I watched my dad get up every morning, go through his morning routine of coffee and cigarettes (that was breakfast back in those days) and then rollout to get to work on average 30 minutes early, which is a trait that is pretty much frowned on these days. It wasn’t lost on me. To this day I have a tendency to be like Pop in that. Despite those around me thinking I’m nuts. The previous day job however changed that though.

These days I’d been working from home. Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch considering I have been involved in so many freelance projects over the past 10+ years but this was different. I was working for a company, slave to the clock… in my own home. It was weird. Very weird. More than that, uncomfortable and surprisingly stressful and hard on the physiology (more on that later). However, this particular job and company did allow for me to do a lot of fact finding and make some interesting observations from numerous and various businesses. Especially on this topic.

Being business to business sales, it gave me the chance to put a real finger on the pulse of what all is really going on in my state. The general consensus is that they’ve got plenty of business now that things have opened back up and the majority of restrictions and such have lifted but the problem that is consistent among all forms of goods, services and trade industries is the lack of help. They simply can’t find people who are willing to work.

While there’s all kinds of debates that can come from that reality, in the end and the deeper issue in my opinion is that folks today aren’t so much lazy as they are apathetic and indifferent to the dignity of work. In fairness, who can truly blame them?

In retrospect, how demoralizing was it to be deemed “non-essential”? The PR on the pandemic was certainly lacking. Not a way to win friends and influence people for sure.

Over the past couple of decades, society has pushed a college education and degree as a must with the promise of a “better life”. The post March 2020 reality revealed that the degree would do you little good in an environment that was deemed “non essential” let alone a heavy student loan burden. Who would have thought that someone willing to work at a fast food joint could make more money hourly and be in more demand than as a beginner in a skilled trade that was basically shut down due to various restrictions?

This isn’t a bashing of higher education. It’s also not pushing for it. I for one have always been a huge proponent of continued learning and vocational education. Being pragmatic versus philosophical has proven itself to be far more practical to living a “better quality of life”. Now however, some things happened that’s taken what I would think would be a pretty obvious assessment seems to escape people nowadays, no matter what “generation” they’re attached to. Frankly speaking, we need to get that in check before the situation gets worse.

That was a pretty heavy rant but truth itself tends to be like that. Having pledged to myself after disengaging from social media interactions to not offer a rant without a solution, I would like to offer this line of thought with my own intent and dedication to get life back on track as well as a recommendation for continued reading.

What I feel would be in everyone’s best interest is to take the time to be active in improving your mindset and habits as well as pushing yourself to engage in the real world again with everyone else you come in contact with. A smile, a nod and or a friendly; “Howdy!” while looking someone in the eyes goes a long way these days. The opportunity to start a conversation in the real world can help us all connect again on a human level that got bombarded by two years of fear based social distancing. That stops with action and kindness. We can all do that so lets!

This is the point where I’d like to share with you dear reader, my own resolve to get my butt back in gear and do what I was morn to do: tell stories and encourage others to share theirs. Hence this new look and feel of the Toy Box. There’s a ton of stories inside of that story, and we’ll get to those soon enough but I’m rambling so let me focus back in ….

In a nutshell, in 2020, I never contracted Covid but I was diagnosed as being a Type 2 diabetic. I knew I wasn’t feeling great more often than not but didn’t realize the physical reasons why. I was 46, so the body was slowing down and the line of work I went into, retail management (the TV station was flat lining and I was burnt out on chasing down freelance video gigs) that however became “non-essential”. I was not on any prescription medication for the Type 2. I had tried one of the more common drugs and it sucked. The side effects in no way outweighed the benefits that were promised so I gave up on that after a few days and promised myself to be more mindful of my food intake and try to move around and exercise more.

While my Doc was no Hannibal Lecter, he was pretty intense and serious about me taking the Type 2 diagnosis seriously. Only now am I heeding the severity of the situation. Join me in this journey as I share my new doctors recommendation (that doesn’t involve prescription drugs btw).

I did okay with that but wasn’t dedicated nearly as much as I should have been. Still, it wasn’t terrible or what one would deem “out of control”. That is until I made the decision to take the “remote” job I mentioned earlier. It required me to sit on my duff for the majority of the 8 hour work day. Then over the span of 90 days, the last 30 found my blood sugar soaring. It was staying at 200 and spiking to 400 and in some cases 500, no matter what I ate or drank. It’s at that point I realized a change was in order… and it needed to happen immediately.

The decision that was made is what you’re reading now… or listening to.. or watching. After so many months and now years of self realization and actualization I’ve come to reconnect with my true purpose and calling: Storyteller. To inform and entertain, there is no higher purpose for me. Even though over these past few years I got that messaged confused in my own mind and intentions. That’s been course corrected now thanks to many things but one in particular I want to point out right now is the following book I was recently introduced to.

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear is a great read full of lessons for those who are feeling scattered and overwhelmed as they attempt to reconnect with their internal drive and ambition, one little habit forming step at a time.

There’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you truly want it and understand that small steps are even more important than the big ones. Those will come but in the end all that matters is the destination. It all starts with one step. Take yours NOW!

Shout out time.

I learned about “Atomic Habits” from Clark Kegley via one of his many helpful videos on YouTube. The main focus of the video is how author James Clear suggests in “Atomic Habits” the idea of rewriting your script into the 2.0 version of yourself (you should totally watch it ). I had been wrangling with that concept without; 1. Knowing I was and 2. Getting no where fast in those pursuits. Thanks to Clark’s video, it shook me and helped me realize that in all my efforts of trying to get back at what I was meant to do, I was digging myself into a deeper rut instead of actually escaping the old one.

Until now.

The “365 Journal” is the end result of my learning and taking ACTION using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I’ll be sharing more about this opportunity as well as publishing more non-fiction and fiction titles throughout the rest of this year. You can order one from me and I will truly appreciate it but more importantly start journaling TODAY! It’s an amazing exercise in self realization, mindfulness and getting those goals from idea to reality. You’ve got nothing to loose and everything to gain.

I can’t recommend both the video and the book enough. I also can’t stress how important it is for you to share this blog and those links with everyone you know because you never know who may be suffering from these issues silently. This is how we get back to making forward motion in life and specifically in regards to the topic at hand; reconnecting with, then getting back to and dare I say loving “The World of Work”.

Rosie represents more now than ever, IMO. Roll up your sleeves ladies and gentleman and let’s all get back to work with self respect, dignity and determination to make this world a better one, one day at a time.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 04/25/22

Clicking the links and various ads that are embedded in this post or gracing the site helps out tremendously in my operations and growth. In the event you have an issue with any of those, please let me know immediately. While I take no responsibility for any third parties actions or lack there of, I can and will boot them off the site and say mean but honest things about them. Again, I truly appreciate the support and encouragement as we all work together for a better, more loving, empowered, creative, inquisitive and enlightened world. -Jim

BIG UPDATE: The Jim’s Toy Box Channel is available NOW in the ROKU store! Download to your ROKU device today and join me in exploring some of the most interesting stories that I can cram in my Toy Box!

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