Posts by Shaun Novak

The Comfort of Feeling Uncomfortable

Oh, comfort.  It’s actually quite a versatile word.  The number of things and situations it can be applied to is almost limitless: in terms of fashion (leave it to Allyn to come up with a metaphor involving sweater weather and your comfort zone), being around people, your position in life, how much of yourself you put out into the world, etc.  The phrase “stepping out of your comfort zone” is so overused and cliche at this point that it’s easy to dismiss as useless rhetoric.  But it’s not. If I’m being honest, I think it’s some of the best advice a person could ever receive.  Why?  Because, as humans, it’s in our nature to get comfortable and stay put.  Can I blame anyone for feeling that way?  Absolutely not.  I’m just as guilty of it as anyone else.  As a general example, I love to come home and immediately slip

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How To Battle Perfectionism + Not Let It Break You

I’m not perfect (gasp).  No one is.  No thing is.  It’s a simple idea, and something that should be chalked up to common knowledge.  So, why is it so difficult for me to admit?  Why do I cringe when I read what I wrote to open this newsletter? I’ve long struggled, and continue to struggle, with the idea of perfectionism (our previous Gem of the Week, Steffi Keung also opens up about this in her interview here).  When I was young and naive, I was convinced that ‘perfect’ was something attainable; that I could someday be the perfect person to everyone.  So I worked toward that goal.  I planned to be the perfect son, friend, student, worker, and significant other.  Every detail of every area of my life would be covered.  I would be accepted by all, and I’d excel in everything I attempted. Related Read: 3 Questions to Help You

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From Self-Destruction to Self-Discipline: 5 Tips for Structuring Your Life

My name is Shaun Novak.  Most of you probably aren’t familiar with that name, so allow me to introduce myself.  I’m currently the COO of The Gem.  I’m a musician, vocalist, and music producer.  I’m a dreamer.  Most importantly, I’m a struggling entrepreneur who’s been battling depression for 10+ years.  I’ve been helping Allyn behind the scenes with the development of the site and Gem Nation for awhile now, occasionally peeking my head through the curtain (with a few blog posts here and there), but I’ve recently decided to take center stage on a regular basis.  I’ve racked up countless stories and struggles over the years, so my hope is that someone reading about them can relate and benefit from my experiences and mistakes. Related Read: 5 Powerful Ways Your Business Grows When You Use Your Story (+ FREE workbook inside)  There was a time when I felt like my self-discipline

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The Get Off The Couch Playlist

Now that summer has arrived, we should all be jumping at every opportunity to get outside and be active, right?  Eh.  Maybe not so much.  While the sun and the warm weather certainly give me an extra incentive to be active, sometimes it’s just not enough.  So, what do I use to give me that little extra push?  Music, of course.  I’m sure everyone has their ‘go-to’ songs when it comes to being active, but I’ve compiled a list of fun, upbeat songs to help get your ass off the couch.  Feel free to insert your own choices where you see fit! Chocolate – The 1975 From the opening guitar riff, it’s clear this song is just going to be a joy to listen to.  From the music, to the melodies, to the lyrics, there really isn’t an element of this song that isn’t fun.  It gets your feet moving

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Must-Know Secrets to Effective Advertising

Believe it or not, branding, marketing, advertising and promotion are all different and necessary components of a successful business. Many, many people think they can just interchange these words (which drives us nuts). Long story short, branding is your voice and identity, marketing is your game-plan, and advertising is the action of publically communicating your product or service to consumers through creative positioning and paid media spaces. Advertising should be a part of your overall marketing and awareness strategy, not in a category on it’s on! Is you’re head already spinning? Don’t worry, we’re going to walk you through how to make the most out of you advertising campaigns! Brand Before You Expand: Advertising is ineffective without having already established your brand/branding/logo.  You will undoubtedly do more harm to your business than good if you decide to advertise before you have a solid logo and branding strategy in place.  If

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Workout Playlist: 10 Songs to Sweat To

Here we are, already at the end of August. For a lot us, that means summer is winding down and our ‘summer bodies’ are beginning to take a backseat to other priorities. It can be difficult to stay dedicated to working out when the temperature begins to drop (especially for us near the Northeast), but I’ve found one thing that helps keep me on track: music. For anyone who knows me, that comes as no surprise. However, I strongly believe that the right mix of songs (which varies for each person, obviously) can give you that extra kick of motivation you might need to get yourself started. After all, we all know that getting started is the hardest part. So, here’s a small sample of some of the songs I like to listen to that help get me started and get me through my workouts. These are almost always on

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Stay Organized, Earn More, and Stress Less with the Freelancer Planner

How many of us can honestly say that we feel like we manage our time the way we’d like to?  Most likely, very few (if any) of us actually feel that way. But that’s okay! This whole time management thing is not easy to get a grip on. As entrepreneurs, we have so many ideas, tasks, and projects constantly planned that it often feels like we need more hours in a day. Sure, most of us (everyone should!) use a planner, but is it really doing what we want it to? Michelle Nickolaisen wasn’t satisfied with the traditional planner, so she decided to create The Freelancer Planner. This re-imagined and improved take on the planner we’re used to not only helps improve our time management skills, but it also makes us BETTER as we work! Michelle can explain it better than anyone, so continue reading to find out how and

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How to Use the Power of Music to Gain Control of Your Mood

Think about the last 24 hours and the different moods you’ve experienced. How did those different moods influence and change your behaviors? You might find that through all of those mood and behavior changes, there was one constant: music. For most of us, no matter what mood we’re in, we have a type of music that either encourages or shifts that mood. Personally, I have a song or type of music that accompanies or relates to every mood, activity, and event in my life. For many of us, we might not even consciously notice how quick we are to turn to music for comfort. It often becomes a sort of second nature. Some might even call it a dependency. When I’m feeling sad, I’ll almost always listen to slower, sad acoustic or R&B songs. When I’m angry I have a tendency to put on some heavier rock or metal music.

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