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Serious Business

Make creativity, career, family and fun work better together. Join your decidedly unserious hosts Mike Morrow and Toni McLellan as they discuss creative work, life in the sandwich generation, and being a person.
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Serious Business
2018
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Jan 2, 2018

Happy New Year! Toni and Mike ring in 2018 with a lively discussion on how to turn your expectations into action.

Instead of blindly setting unattainable resolutions for yourself, take time to really think about the past year. What did you learn? What can you take from the past year to deepen, grow steady, and then create change? It’s a subtly different way of thinking about setting goals for the new year.

What will 2018 look like for you?

Show notes:

 

Nov 28, 2017

Toni and Mike discuss the value of critical thinking skills and how to measure success before getting to the heart of this week’s episode: getting started, showing up (even when you don’t want to), and envisioning your own version of the finish line.

Show Notes:

Nov 22, 2017

You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. This week, we touch on the upcoming holidays and the sensation of mandatory fun and enforced renewal. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Team cake!

Nov 7, 2017

This week, Toni and Mike take on the insidious Impostor Complex, and it's evil twin, Inferiority Complex. BUT ARE WE QUALIFIED?

Show Notes:

Oct 18, 2017

This week, we turn to beauty, joy, and delight. It’s a celebration of things that make us happy, the little dopamine hits and attention resets necessary to thrive in today’s chaotic environment. +

Show notes:

 

Oct 10, 2017

Yakspo! We're trying to turn our emotions from the tragedies of the week into being part of the solution (or at least not caving to the continual chaos and outrage). Turn on Do Not Disturb and stay to the end for our special tribute to the late Tom Petty.

Show Notes:

 

Oct 3, 2017

We needed some comforting last week, so we turned our attention to fur pants and comfort-food genre media. Toni and Mike talk at length about the new series, Star Trek: Discovery, and its (frustrating) distribution model. We touch upon the value of genre, “lowbrow” media and outrage fatigue.

We might have made the Trekkies mad.

Sep 25, 2017

We are back for Season FOUR, and we're going back to our roots. That is: tasteless humor and occasionally insightful observations on making creativity, career, family and fun work better together.

This week, Toni and Mike catch up on what's new in their writing lives, Toni's Nested Set of Skills™, and the power of empathy in communication. We discuss reward system and getting kids to help out. Also: vengeful peanut stains and Letterman's beard.

May 22, 2017

It's our 50th episode! How is this possible? While we ostensibly talk about being a parent in the Internet age, balancing keeping an eye on your kids while giving them autonomy to make mistakes, we’re also discussing all the tradeoffs we each have to make to stay sane.

Mike and Toni revisit classic themes of feeling overwhelmed, getting involved, and how to keep the demon dogs at bay.

Mar 20, 2017

Toni and Mike continue their ongoing conversation about how we cannot limit external inputs to help us focus on what matters most. They push back against the notion that not being on social media makes you somehow less “real” of a person, and building your platform before you build the project your platform is designed to promote. The discomfort is were the work happens.

Show notes:

 

Feb 13, 2017

Toni’s on a 30-day social media hiatus, which is our starting point for a discussion of the intentional consumption and sharing of news and content. Ask yourself: “Is what I’m sharing furthering my priorities? Is it useful?” And “How do you know which hill to die on?”

Mike and Toni share their favorite daily and weekly news sources among the shock and awe of American life in 2017 (see show notes below).

Here’s our recipe for fighting overload and prioritizing your own thoughts instead of others’ when you’re “emotionally porous.”

  • Turn off the fire hose
  • Firewall higher quality sources of information
  • Consume them intentionally
  • Take action accordingly

What about you? How do you manage the media onslaught? What are your go-to resources?

Show notes:

 

Jan 30, 2017

To all our many enemies, we’ve handcrafted an episode about priorities — discerning and setting them, managing, and living with them.

Show notes:

 

Dec 27, 2016

In the final episode of the dumpster fire of 2016, we discuss Christmas traditions and examine our privilege. This time, we don’t shy away from current events and our feelings about them. We reflect on how we can resist the current state of afairs with a unified collective narrative and action plan of our own.

Also: Mike is confused about who’s who.

Show Notes:

 

Nov 23, 2016

For our annual Thanksgiving episode, we grease the wheels for your holiday travel with the perils and pleasures of Black Friday, getting into the end-of-year contemplative mood, exploring ways to broaden our mindset, and finding peace in stressful times.

We definitely don’t talk about current events, nope, not at all.

Mike’s notes for how to survive this week  

  • Read
  • Walk
  • Relax
  • Limit or no social media
  • Make progress
  • Smile
  • Plan

Daniel José Older’s tweet/advice

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

 

Sep 26, 2016

Much to Dan’s chagrin, we recorded this episode during a Bears game. Unsurprisingly, Pinterest is making Toni sick in the brain. Mike got roped into being the math parent, so he complains about homework…which leads into some discussion of education and opening your kids (and yourself) to new possibilities. Also worth noting: Toni’s innards haven’t been right since she rode the chia train.

Show notes:

 

Sep 12, 2016

We’re back! The third season begins with Mike’s new office and what happens when you get everything you wanted. We talk about Toni’s recent move and how asking more of life has meant life has asked more of them in return. Plus the usual doses of parenting, productivity, and navigating your life by the beacon of a fecal fast food franchise.

Show notes:

 

Feb 12, 2016

Mike and Toni spend some time remembering ashtrays before continuing their discussion of stuff and how we release our attachments to it. They also share some thoughts on making your projects a priority when life gets in the way, setting realistic goals, and how forgiveness can help you forge new patterns of productivity.​

Show Notes

Feb 2, 2016

Mike and Toni consider the slightly silly world of smart appliances before the bulk of this week's discussion on going through Stuff, paper "hoarding," and how we decide what to keep and what to eliminate from our lives.

We touch upon Mike's project, the Life Changing Art of selling a lot of self-help books and ask the burning question, "Where do all the scissors go?"

Last, but not least, we discuss our unabashed affection for The Force Awakens and which Star Wars characters would be good at golf (spoiler alert: probably not Chewbacca).

Show notes:

Jan 18, 2016

Back for 2016, Toni helps Mike to get a better handle on overreaching for personal development goals, and to instead focus on what he can be curious and playful about. Toni explains her position on the law of attraction, magical thinking, and pattern recognition.

And that’s not to mention the horror of caricatures, the eldercare shitshow, operating within systems, and kids using tech for unintended purposes. Here’s to a great year ahead, friends!

Show notes:

Dec 14, 2015

Holidays, man! This week Mike and Toni talk about the annual onslaught of holiday overwhelm. Even as we’re Christmas shopping for more stuff, we discuss breaking free of our attachments—be they to physical objects, social media interactions, or information—and avoiding the inevitable disappointment of overly specific expectations.

See you in 2016!

Show Notes

Nov 30, 2015

A shortie from the holiday week-that-was. Toni and Mike talk grocery shopping and food delivery before diving into the rich world of ideas—generating them, capturing them, and making room for new ones. The problem isn’t usually too may ideas, it’s which ones to chase. Also: believing in things you can’t see, trusting our instincts, and the difference between stroking and petting (spoiler: one sounds dirty).

Show Notes

Nov 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving week! Toni and Mike send you into the holiday with a discussion on social media completionism and how early is too early with holiday lights. More seriously, they discuss Toni’s adventures with ADD, how people come back when they don’t get what they want, and how small inroads are the only way to make progress on big audacious projects.

Show Notes

Nov 16, 2015

The importance of pauses: it's not a failure if you need a break from everything. Accepting, delegating, and rejecting perfectionism can help you "go pro." Toni and Mike discuss balancing ambition with appreciation, completionism and media overwhelm, and a few minutes on what the hell is wrong with Tumblr (and, frankly, all social networks).

Show Notes

Nov 9, 2015

The all-new second season of Serious Business begins with Halloween and cosplay shenanigans before taking on Dan's aspirational chaps purchases. We also talk spoilers, anticipation and recent sci-fi/adventure movies, including X-Files, Star Trek, Star Wars, Prometheus and The Martian, Jurassic World, James Bond, and the possibilities for a a plea for a Serious Business fan fiction marketplace.

Show Notes

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