How The Iceberg Effect Illuminates How Much We Don't Know


The Iceberg effect is a visual metaphor to help us more realistically face life and work.

Any time we face a project, relationship, friend, employee, church, or anything, the top of the iceberg is what we can immediately see.

For example, when watching a political presidential debate we see the top of the iceberg for the candidates we're interested in supporting.

When we start a new project, we think it will only take 2 weeks, when in reality it's a 2 month long project.

When we have experience in a particular area, we visualize what the iceberg looks below the tip of the iceberg. While we don't know for sure, we can reasonably anticipate the unknowns that are likely and unlikely to happen. This helps us better anticipate the successes and failures we'll face.

No matter how experienced and knowledgeable we are, we will inevitably face the unexpected unknowns in life, work and projects. It's the deep abyss with no end. It could be something or it could be nothing. 

In 2001, numerous New York companies planned for what they knew and what they expected could happen to mitigate their risk and maximize their chances of success. At the end of the day, they did not expect a group of terrorists to attack the world trade towers and change their entire lives.

It is wise for us to plan for what we know, what we anticipate and a little extra for for the complete unknown. Outside of this, it requires we trust in something more powerful than the unanticipated unknowns.

For me, I choose to trust in God. How about you?


10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

As a freelancer, there are times when we need to generate income immediately. In red alert mode, we need to move quickly to get paying gigs. Ideally, we discover what to do in red alert mode before it happens, but for those of you who are in this zone now, here are ten actions to help you move forward and suppress the panic.

  1. Since God knows and is in control, anchor yourself by praying for direction.
  2. Meet with 10-12 people per week, ranging from good friends to people you hardly know and ask for advice.
  3. Call past clients and leads to discover if they have any needs you can help with.
  4. Reach out to people who have referred work your way in the past and let them know your situation and how they can help.
  5. Keep your inner circle updated on your situation and how they can help you overcome it. Be specific about what you need.
  6. Attend 2-3 networking events where you can meet numerous people in a short period of time.
  7. Get exposed online by sharing articles, content, and ideas on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.
  8. Blog daily and share links to your blogs with your network. (If you don't have a site signup for a free account on Medium or Wordpress)
  9. Offer to write a blog for those in your network who have platforms and an audience.
  10. Slow the bleeding by taking odd jobs, research study groups, or becoming an extra in a feature film.
Do You Know Your Four Intrinsic Desires Of The Heart?

Do You Know Your Four Intrinsic Desires Of The Heart?

I've noticed an intrinsic human pattern of four fundamental desires in each of us. 

The first is our desire to survive. It's quite simple, we don't want to die. In America, we're definitely insulated from what it truly means to survive, so survival for us is being healthy enough to work so we can generate enough income to pay our bills.  

Next is our desire for enjoyment.  With some breathing room from survival, we want relief and enjoyment. At some point, we'll find our pursuit of pleasure lacking in significance leading us to seek out our next desire. 
We want purpose and to make a difference. We're seeking meaning, our third desire. When survival and pleasure is not enough, we want to help others. 
Lastly is our desire for achievement. We want to accomplish something difficult or seemingly impossible. We not only want to survive, have fun and embrace meaning, we want to succeed. 
Learning to understand where we're filling these desires and where we're starving is critical to our contentment. 
A trap we fall into is expecting our spouse, work, child or friend to provide all four of these desires for us. We place an unrealistic burden on something or someone who can never be what we expect. 
Another trap we fall into is when we go to the extreme of focusing on only one of these desires while ignoring the others. 
Having a source to fill us when we're empty is vital, and we'll find these desires to be a blessing or a curse depending on what source we choose. 
Are You Working Every Day And All The Time?

Are You Working Every Day And All The Time?

Growing up, I was taught to take a day of the week to rest, release and worship God. For Christians, we call this the Sabbath day. It's so important, it was given as one of the ten commandments to Moses.

"Remember The Sabbath, and Keep It Holy"
The first several years in Atlanta, I adhered to this command. As our marketing company journey progressed, I began taking more control of my destiny and trusting God less. When things got worse, I worked more. This workload was also a way for me to escape the things in my life I did not want to face.
Unfortunately, when business would get better, I did not cut back my workload so the amount of time I worked grew over time. One Sunday turned to two Sundays, turned to every Sunday. Before I knew it, I was working every day all the time.
This road led to chaos, burn out and an overall bad existence.
My way of doing things was not working. I prayed that God would show me a better way.
Then, a friend reminded me of the Sabbath, and asked if I was honoring and practicing it in my life.
NO, I was not.
I decided to take back my Sabbath and began down a road of working less and trusting God to do more. While it seemed backwards, life began to get better and I became significantly more productive.
So, like my friend asked me, I'll do the same for you.
Are you remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy?

Many Of Us Would Not Be Alive If This Righteous Lady Wasn't Born 110 Years Ago


Last night, we visited my great grandmother Maude Plunkett after my wife was compelled to go. All 5 of us loaded into the van, and we spent an hour holding her hand and standing beside her.

A few hours later, she died.

We were blessed with the opportunity to see her one last time, in this natural life. We now anticipate the moment when we too will join her in the presence of the almighty.

In the photo above, Maude is seen with our daughter Madison. There is a one hundred and three year difference in age.

While she had an impact on many, she left a powerful legacy in our lives. 

  • If she had not been born 110 years ago, I would not exist, nor would her children, grandchildren, other great grandchildren, and numerous great-great grandchildren.
  • She lived in Atlanta where her wonderful daughter, Judy Kreklow, took great care of her. Her son also lived down the street. If it were not for them, I would never had visited Atlanta in 2004.
  • If it were not for their presence in Atlanta, it would be unlikely that Cait & I would have moved to Atlanta in 2005!

Within a year of us moving to Atlanta, Great Grandma turned 100. This celebration is captured in the photo below. 


Moving across the country, Cait and I felt as if we were on our own in the first several years in Atlanta. Judy & Great Grandma's house was a sanctuary for me. It was a safe place I could go to escape the difficulties of life and not feel the need to perform or be anything.

I could just be me.

Great grandma would have been 110 on this upcoming February 16th. Interesting enough, her 110th birthday is the due date of our fourth child, Elihu. While grandma endured much suffering in her final moments of life, it is the words of Elihu, from the Bible, that illuminates her inspiring example of enduring this suffering. Elihu had this to say the following about the matter.

Suffering may be decreed for the righteous as a protection against greater sin, for moral betterment and warning, and to elicit greater trust and dependence on a merciful, compassionate God in the midst of adversity

"We are [righteous] with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are." - Paul the Apostle.

Through her relationship with Jesus Christ, my great grandmother Maude Plunkett was found righteous before God and now lives in harmony with Him in heaven.

For this reason, we celebrate her passing and new life!

Proactively Find The Need And Offer To Fill The Gap

Proactively Find The Need And Offer To Fill The Gap

Here's a simple mindset that helps me help my clients.

Constantly find and capture opportunities for improvement.
When I begin working on my client's most pressing need, I now have the visibility to see other ways I can help improve their business and marketing.
This vision allows us me to suggest additional ways I can add value until there is nothing more for me to give. The key is to see the opportunities and have a mechanism to capture them. 
This simple activity can be the difference between short term failure and long term success.
Define Success

This One Thing Helps Us Stop Wondering If We're Failing


When we don't know if we're failing or succeeding at something, we tend to feel like a failure. We could be giving a great effort and making progress but still feel this way.
There's a simple action to stop feeling this way.
Define success.
When we know what it means to succeed, we know when we're succeeding or failing. We no longer wonder, we know. Knowing allows us to do something about it.
When it comes to my work, success on a weekly basis is the number of paid hours I execute. Success for me is logging more than 23 hours of paid work. At the end of the week, this number let's me know if I succeeded or failed. If I failed, I change my actions for the following week to achieve the goal. If this failure negatively affected someone else, I apologize.
So, next time you feel like a failure about something, ask yourself what it looks like when you've won. From there, ideas will come to mind on how to move forward.


Take Your First Step Towards Saving

Take The First Step Towards Short, Medium & Long Term Savings

As I mentioned in my blog about 2015, our full water tower has empowered us to save money. As a freelancer, I don't have the luxury of a company and HR department taking care of this for us. So, we've got to learn and appreciate the intrinsic wisdom and make a decision to act on our own accord. For us, we've established short term, medium term and long term reservoirs (accounts) to channel our watertower overflow funds into.

  • For short term savings, we've setup a new Chase bank savings account to house this reservoir.
  • In exploring options for our medium term reservoir, I discovered Barclay's Dream Savings account with great savings account interest. I easily set one up and funded it with $55 from our Chase account last month.
  • Thanks to my father-in-law, we've had an education investment account through Edward Jones for our kids. With this relationship already in place, it was easy to get an additional investment account setup for our long term savings. We've got $130 in there now.
Our current top priority is to start slowly moving money into these three accounts. As we develop momentum, we'll revisit how we can be more effective. For now, just consistently doing it matters more than how we do it. 

This Simple Idea Will Help You Keep Your Blog Active

While fruitful, maintaining a blog is hard work and can be time consuming. To make it easier, I've begun testing the idea of doing "quickbits" which are short direct and helpful blog posts. This idea helps us quickly create content for our blogs.

In conversing with others, we tend to have insights, ideas and epiphanies. The next time this happens, capture the insight and spend 5-10 minutes writing it into a short simple blog post. The difficulty of writing is usually thinking and challenging the insight. Since we're doing this in our conversation, the hard part is done. Let's harvest our fruit by writing and sharing it.
This blog post is an example of this idea in action and came as from a discussion with my friend Jim Karwisch (Applied Improv Strategist). In fact, this idea is so quick, I was able to rewrite it after I accidentally deleted my first draft.

Three Simple Actions To Benefit From LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a robust resource and for this reason, it can be overwhelming to know how to use it effectively. Here are three simple actions I take with LinkedIn that have been fruitful for me and others.

  1. Share Resources: For those of us already reading and consuming great digital content, sharing on LinkedIn is only a click away. This is easy and helpful, just do it!
  2. Say Happy Birthday & Congrats: With birthdays every year, we have the opportunity to connect with everyone in our network at least once. Make them feel special and keep them in mind with a simple Happy Birthday. For people I know better, I'll also congratulate them on new jobs and promotions.
  3. Interact with others: Like, comment and share on what others do in LinkedIn. It's great for relationships and helps keep us top of mind. 

5-10 minutes per day doing this three simple tasks helps us connect with people we know, and it keeps us on the top of their mind should they need our services down the road. If you're not doing this, ask yourself why.

Do you like the content I've shared above? Subscribe by email and get the latest posts when they're published.

Grow Your Life With Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia
Copyright © 2013-2018 | Interested in Working Together?

*Some links on this website are part of an affiliate program, which means I get paid if you click and purchase.