Posts in Creativity
Dream. Explore. Build. The Fairy Trails of Traverse City are Now Open!

Stephen King once wrote, “The road to hell is paved with adjectives.” But sometimes an adjective is warranted. Sunday was a magical day.

That’s the day we opened Traverse City’s new Fairy Trails, an enchanted forest (now full) of fairy houses. Despite some cool, damp weather, hundreds of people turned out to celebrate.

Heather and I spent the morning getting our fairy house installed and then putting up wood markers on trees near other artist built dwellings. In the afternoon we were so busy getting things set up for the Spring Fairy Fling event that coincided with the opening of the Fairy Trails that we didn’t actually venture back into the woods until close to 2 p.m.

It was (with apologies to Mr. King) magical. Children everywhere, scampering about, checking out fairy houses and building their own. Exploring, discovering and, most importantly, playing in the forest, which was bursting with creative energy.

There were nine fairy houses created for the start of the event. By the end of the day there were at least five times that many – some simple, some elaborate, all enchanting. It blew us away.

Special thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, but especially – all of the artists, Rachel Jezowski who created the beautiful wood carved signs for the event, my mom who not only built a fairy house but helped in many other ways with the event, Gary and Allison from The Little Fleet for quenching our thirst, the whole team at ELF for being awesome hosts and collaborators, and Pete Farmer and Hot ‘n Bothered for the great performances! Thanks most of all to all of the families who turned out and helped make the day so special.

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Focus on Creation vs. Consumption to Crack the Code on Your Day’s Challenges

Yesterday was one of those days – busy but not particularly productive. That kind of day eats away at me, and they happen more often than I’d like to admit.

As I’ve mentioned before, Heather and I work together from home. Working from home has many benefits, but also drawbacks. We have flexibility, there’s no commute, and it helps keep business costs down.

But there are costs, just not financial ones. And, ironically, the flexibility that comes with working from home is one of the main culprits of the costs we bear. The biggest challenge we face is focusing too much on work which leads to focusing too little on our personal lives. That challenge is multiplied by working together. It’s easy to be physically present, but not mentally so, when your office is your home.

It’s also easy to get distracted. It’s nice to be able to throw in a load of laundry or get dinner started when you’re at home all day, but if you’re not careful you can get consumed by household activities and neglect work. Bouncing back and forth between work and personal responsibilities means that neither get the attention they deserve.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home and don’t think I’ll ever go back to working at an off-site physical location. And I’m not alone. A recent survey by MoneyTips found that 86 percent of Americans who work from home love or like their set-up, and 67 percent report that they are more productive working from home than they are in an office.

Like most things in life, it’s all about striking the right balance. {tweet that} While working from home enables the type of life I want to live, at times it can lead to the exact opposite. I like to think that I lead a productive and purposeful life, but my vision of myself and my actual self are often wildly divergent – just ask Heather. Days like yesterday remind me how easy it is to get off-track.

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Live Bold, Live North: Introducing the Traverse City Fairy Trails

There’s something serene, peaceful and tranquil about Up North that is hard to describe to someone who’s never spent time here, but is instantly recognizable to someone who has. It’s a feeling, a smell, a breath of fresh air, and a peace of mind that is ubiquitous and lasting.

The point is that some places are more than places. They occupy more than physical space, they occupy space in people’s hearts and minds. You don’t have to be there physically to, in fact, be there, because such places embody a spirit that stays with you long after you’ve left.

Traverse City is such a place – one that empowers people to live purposeful, meaningful and active lives. But you don’t need to live here to live this way. Anyone, no matter where they call home, can Live North.

That’s because Living North isn’t just about living in Traverse City. It’s about a state of mind that values experiences over things, revels in the majesty of nature, and passionately chases big dreams.

At its core, Living North is about living boldly – in whatever you do, and wherever you do it.

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How to Run a Virtual Business from Anywhere

When we first started fantasizing about moving to Traverse City, we kept bumping up against a brick wall: We could live there, but how could we make a living? Big problem. We could never get past the fantasy phase if we couldn’t figure out how to make a buck.

It’s a problem that many people face when looking to start over in a small town, particularly one that is a popular vacation spot. Real estate prices are high, but there aren’t as many high paying jobs available as there are in high population centers of business and commerce.

Our situation was a bit different – we didn’t have jobs, but we had a business. And our business had a building, employees who all lived in metro Detroit, and clients primarily located in Southeast Michigan. It wasn’t realistic to think that we could pick up our business and move it to Traverse City, keep our employees and clients, and maintain – let alone grow – our income.

Or so we thought.

 

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Creativity, LifeJay Harrington