optical illusion flipping the image inside the ball

An Introduction To Constructive Developmental Framework + Related Resources

After learning from the Leaders Lyceum about Constructive Developmental Theory for the first time, I was fascinated to learn the stages of development we humans all go through (or at least have the opportunity to do so) on our journey called life. While it's not as simple or clear as the five-stage visualization infers, the framework does provide a helpful way to understand our maturity path and how we effectively accelerate our progress through it.

I'll introduce you to the theory (began by Lawrence Kohlberg and continued by Robert Kegan, Michael Basseches, and Otto Laske) and share a variety of resources (Articles, podcast, videos, and books) to help you explore the psychological concept in detail.

Continue reading about Constructive Developmental Theory

hubspot user group event

[Event] A Powerful Plan To Move The Chaotic Marketing Firm, Frustrated Creative Team, and Floundering Freelancer Forward [For Hubspot]

The Jump: From Chaos to Clarity for Your Striving Small Business publishes September 28th, 2019.

To share the message and promote the book, I'm seeking speaking opportunities at events around the Atlanta area. If you know of any opportunities, please share them with me.

My first scheduled event will be with the Atlanta Hubspot User Group in early October. Explore the details below. Register (for free) soon, space is limited.

Learn more about this upcoming Atlanta HUG event

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The Jump Is Available For Preorder on Amazon + Project Updates

I’m finished with The Jump manuscript!

The book will launch on September 28th, 2019 in honor of my wife (it’s her birthday) whom the book is dedicated. 

You can preorder The Jump on Amazon here. If you purchase the physical copy, you get the Kindle edition for free so I recommend the print option.

I’m also giving away a free digital copy of Path of the Freelancer to those who purchase the new book. Fill out the form on this landing page for details on how to redeem. 

the jump book cover jason montoya

Continue reading about the progress of my second book

boats in the middle of a large ocean

My 2019 Mid-Year Checkpoint Plus My Massive Collection of Quotes

It happened. We’re now over halfway through the year 2019.

Unlike last year, I’ve pulled back from the pace at which I reflect back and look forward (at least in writing them on this blog). This created space contributed to my focus on finishing the repayment of our student loans, and the completion of my next book.

And, it allowed me the energy to work on writing out my second longest article ever (The first being this one about the Last Jedi) as I reflected on the college repayment journey.

This student loan completion step is part of the creation of our new life. On top of rebuilding my career and building a strong financial foundation (while writing two books,), we’ve also bought a house, purchased a minivan, had two MORE kids (five total), and switched churches/communities.

This was done in five years, which is a bit baffling (and awesome) considering we were financially starting from scratch to make it happen. God was doing a great deal of the heavy lifting, and I'm super grateful because it's been hard even with His direct and indirect influence.

For the remainder of this checkpoint update, I'll revisit the initial goals set up for the year in January, the progress I've made (or not made), and a series of quotes I've been collecting. Let's start with the completion of a major financial milestone.

Continue reading about my update for the year and what's happened so far

Montoya family celebrating Jason's college graduation

Student Loans Finished! Lessons Learned, The Cost Of Borrowing, & My Loan Forgiveness Thoughts

It's done.

We made it happen.

Our student loans are now paid off.

$154,771.83 In Ten Years.

  • Base Loans: $95,993.38
  • Capitalized Interest (while attending college): $13,028.59
  • Accruing Interest (post graduation): $45,749.86

We’re incredibly grateful for the people, opportunities, lessons, and development that have been a part of this journey towards greater financial freedom in our life. 

But, this complex journey comes with a bit of anguish.

Explore our journey through college, student debt, and thoughts on loan forgiveness

Matthew J. Diaz

The Last Day Of Regret: Interview With Matthew J. Diaz

"I don't want to live anymore!"

Those were the words, Matthew heard from his younger sister. It was a milestone moment he'd later recognize as part of the tragic unfolding over the following decade, ultimately leading to the death of his younger sibling. As part of my inspirational people interview series, I explore Matthew's story in this discussion below.

Click to listen or watch the interview about the Last Day of Regret

boy pushing large round object

Fall In Love With The Process Required To Sustain Your Business

In the Greek mythological story of Sisyphus, the king of Ephyra is punished by the gods for overly promoting himself as powerful and vital, and for his greedy and deceptive nature. For eternity, he's forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down when it nears the top. For all time, he's cursed to push and re-push the rock up the mountain.

And, I can relate. When owning and operating Noodlehead Marketing, I felt this burden, specifically when it came to our new project sales. To survive (make payroll, among other things) required a large amount of effort each month. But at the start of the next one, we had to start over from zero. It was brutal, and a process that consistently overwhelmed me.

Interesting enough, accepting the reality that this is how life works, is our stepping stone out of the curse. For visionaries who hate the mundane, this drudgery is the path out of the eternal cycle.

Why we should turn the curse of maintenance into a process we love

arrow in the white sand

How To Effectively Transition From Freelancer To Small Business Owner [For StartupNation]

After launching a small business, and effectively tackling freelancing, I've discovered a powerful way to position a business from strength. Not wanting to build another company was the constraint that illuminated this strategy.

Debt is a great parallel to this reality. When we buy things with it, we are doing so with a short and long-term disadvantage. Not only do we pay interest, but when we finish paying for it, we start from scratch financially. This usually perpetuates us leveraging debt to get what we want, causing us to pay significantly more for everything. It doesn't have to be this way, and you don't want to start your business from this position.

In this guest article for StartupNation, I explore how I'm uniquely positioned now as a freelancer to build a strong business (even though I don't intend to), and how you can learn from that dynamic to do the same. Or, to discover how wonderful freelancing can truly be.

Click here to visit their website and read the article.

passion led us here, sign with feet

Memorializing The Small Business Transformation Process From Chaos To Clarity

Ideally, we prevent a chaotic and rogue oriented business from ever happening in the first place, but the reality is most of us won’t. And, sometimes this rogue approach is the very thing needed to pioneer in an uncertain and competitive marketplace.

But, it should be our mission to translate that chaos towards a state of order. That is where to find the value, and where we maximize profit. 

Continue reading the highlights of what's required to transform your small business

4 pillars of a building with people around

The Four Pillars Of An Effective Small Business Strategy

The mission is how you move your business forward, live out purpose, and trek towards the vision. Within this mission lies the strategic guidelines directing us forward. And these guidelines contain four key ingredients for an effective small business mission.

  1. Offering Strategy. (Our Solution to the Problem)
  2. Positioning Strategy. (Our Unique Target Audience Focus)
  3. Leverage Strategy. (How We're Uniquely Tailored To Deliver)
  4. Promotion Strategy. (Our Ongoing Acts of Persuasion)

As we explore these four facets of our mission, it’s helpful for me to first visualize them in a metaphor of changing a tire on a car.

In this visual, we’ve got a problem, a flat tire and need for a working one. We have a wrench to tighten the bolts and switch it out for the spare in our trunk (offering).

When we use the wrench on the lug nuts, the position we choose determines if and how easy the process of loosening the bolts will be (It's hard to do so when the end is near the ground).

If I’m loosening the bolt and I place a long pipe over the wrench, I’ll have significantly more leverage to loosen the lug nut. What may be doable but hard with the wrench (even with good positioning) is easy with the pipe.

The final of the four pillars is the promotional piece. How do we effectively communicate the problem we solve (offering), who we solve it for (positioning), and how we're able to uniquely address that issue (leverage)? The answers to these questions are what transform a small business from a mediocre to top tier.

And when you as a small business can answer these four questions, you'll be far ahead and tremendously more focused than any of your competitors.

Let’s practically explore these four ingredients using my consulting practice as a living example.

Explore the four pillars of a strong business missional strategy

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