Buzz Feeding Time (Matthew Ankerstein, entrepreneur, influencer, podcaster interview)

Once upon a time bees where everywhere, but over the past few generations, we’ve been losing our honeybees to pollution, urban sprawl and host of other manmade factors that effect their environments. It’s a sad thing, considering that bees pollinate a vast majority of the plant life in this world. Where would we be without bees, after all dear readers?

Now this absolutely is not meant to be a depressing post, but I do want to wake you up!

You see creative cuties, there’s wisdoms in studying bees. By zeroing in on an analogy of the bee, my hope is that you’ll acknowledge that hard work and fostering community are invaluable, especially in an era of communication. And to someone like Matthew Ankerstein, bees can bring a lot more to this world as a metaphor. Matthew thinks it’s important to connect with lots of different business leaders, and he’s always been fascinated by business (Bill Gates was one of his idols growing up); on top of that, Matthew was also surrounded by the hardworking farm lifestyle from a young age.

He took this passion for business success, mixed in some neve-rending hard work ethic, and decided to marry the two concepts together during his time at post-secondary. That’s when he came up with the idea for Bee Influenced. His goal with Bee Influenced is to provide business leaders, students, and startups with resources to become better online marketers. By focusing on SEO, influencer marketing, podcasting, and email marketing Matt brings a solid set of topics to the table with his weekly show. And to make it even more memorable, he invites business leaders all over the world to share their stories in an easy to digest format – the podcast.

I even got to join in on the fun for an interview with him this summer!

But when I asked Matthew to get behind the hot seat himself and talk about dealing with the challenges that creative professionals face, he was over the moon. This is his interview, and his topic is working through adversity.

I still cannot believe how much insight Matthew has, and I’ve listened to our interview over and over in the editing booth! He has a great love for technology, an eye for strategy, and a willingness to serve others with humility.

We really do hope you enjoyed watching the back and forth between Matt and I, and highly recommend you share this post, leave a comment, and make a like? And if Bee Influenced seems like something you’d be interesting in visiting some more, check out his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and website yourself! Lots of ideas to pollinate there.

And special thanks to Matthew for being merry, motivating and merciless. His strategies, ideologies, and abilities are a breath of fresh air. Something to buzz about, for sure.


Home Improvement (My New House and Other House Keeping Thoughts)

Where I came from, holding a door open for a stranger was absolutely necessary (especially the elderly), and minding your parents wishes at all times expected, but I also had the great privilege of choosing my career path, focusing on creative acts and experimenting with belief systems as I grew up.

A strange combination of conservative Christian roots and post-modern ideals indeed, dear readers.

Now, in case you are wondering what my interpretation of that lifestyle could possibly look like, I’ll start by telling you some of my thoughts on living life. I have strong tendencies towards moral relativism and pluralistic truth-finding, while my creative energy is highly self-referential and irreverent – this is likely why I gravitate towards satire. And satire is best represented in popular culture (in my humble opinion of course). Also, my humour is starkly dry, and I hate injustice of any kind, so satire lends itself well to those values. But on the other side of that coin, I am fiercely loyal to maintaining family traditions, believe in the importance of a cultivated education that never ends, and I will happily defend that etiquette, discipline, and spirituality have their place in properly developing a human being. Even more-so as I step off the singles ledge and into the deep-end of parenthood.

It might seem contradictory to have those combination of beliefs, but I think of it this way, we should carve out what doesn’t work, always holding onto the core pieces that give us structure.

Also, there is an old adage about sweeping your own front door before you sweep the entryways of others, which make perfect sense to me. It’s a universal truth about minding your own business, that we shouldn’t assume to know the first thing about someone. We live in a world today that is very quick to judge or pass judgment on others without looking at ourselves first. We are quick to judge people based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, how they make an income, what their income level is, based on where they live and even based on their past life experiences.

But life is way too involving to waste time and energy on what other people are working through. I really can’t see how you would ever run out of things to do to improve yourself, which is likely why I happen to think of houses as marvellous objects and excellent metaphors for change.

Tool Time

As you may know, I’ve been making lots of changes to this brand ever since I started this timotheories business back in November 2014, and for many, it seems like a natural progression to buy property after a certain period of time renting a space. Many people rent for a few years and then pick up a mortgage when they’ve tucked enough savings away.

I decided to to buy a property too. But I did it because I want to have more freedom over my daily life

Buying a house meant finding a mortgage broker who would approve a loan, searching through hundreds of listings, and then viewing more then twenty of them, before finally making an offer. After I put my offer on the table, I was approved. Which meant I could move forward with the next step – I had an inspection of the property done, I put down a deposit,  worked with my insurance company to set up the house insurance, got the lawyer to draw up some paperwork on the sale of the house, and finally closed on the deal.

As I mentioned already, I bought this particular house for a few reasons, one of which was to convert the bi-level bungalow property into two rental units. And I’ve already started that process by replacing the old furnaces and hot water tank with brand new energy efficient models. You see creative cuties, I want to rent both properties and luckily the house came with two furnaces; furnaces that were 20 years old mind you. So rather then continue a string of repairs and having to coordinate with handymen, I signed up for a lifetime warranty plan and replaced those machines. That way I can just give any heating and plumbing concerns over to Always Heating and Plumbing whenever a tenant has an issue. For free. No surprise bills, and the annual maintenance schedule should help keep them alive for many years.

theories Summarized

I also want to pay off the house faster, and turn the house into a source of passive income. That way, if either Mysticque and I lose our jobs, we still have money coming in which could be used to buy another property, build a studio over the garage of our primary residence, or any number of big expenses. It’s a lot of work, but as I’ve said before, home improvement is essential if you want to make a difference in this world. You work with what you’ve been given, but each of us has an opportunity to improve on what came before, by mixing the old and the new.

And if you can keep up that habit, you’ll find you don’t even have time look at your neighbours house, let alone try to sweep up their front step. Leave that mess to the Jones’ and start planning to put in your hot tub instead. Just a theory to consider.



Art Tricks, Money Traps (Work-Life Balance)

We did it dear readers. We finally got through it.

We made it to the end of my series on the Wellness Factors of Life, AKA addressing the OECD index, or if you prefer, the Postconsumers series. What started out as a wild bid on my part in considering how to live a life with less and yet fuller than you could ever imagine, is now closing out with a topic more then fitting – work-life balance. The last factor that can directly effect your over-all state of being in this world of ours.

Because let’s face it, the average global citizen doesn’t even realize they have a creative component of who they are. Creativity that should be nurtured like all of the other things.

Your creative spark absolutely needs to be considered, and it connects quite well with areas of health, spirit, work, family/friends, environment, and personal fulfilment. When all of these things come together, your life will sing with excellence. Or maybe it’ll all fall apart if you ignore any one of those things for too long.

Yikes, that is a depressing thought to fathom. But I’ve been there creative cuties, and yes I may share that story in full one day. The story which led to one of my greatest theories on the importance of pursuing your purpose, it could be a campfire theory even, but not today is not that day friends.

I’ve got a different kind of wisdom to impart.

But first, let’s put a cap on that pen, and bring out the fundamental of life once more.

The Bare Knuckle Necessities

I’m going to make a bold statement.

You cannot achieve the perfect balance of life:
career (work),
spirituality (spirit, creativity),
space (home, studio, environment),
relationships (romantic, family, friends),
health (exercise, meditation, reading),
and fulfillment (hobbies, recreation)

All of these are noble pursuits, and completely attainable, but most definitely not all at once, and never more then two or three at a time. I know you’ve tried to accomplish this on your own, and you may have even fought against the theory because you wanted to disprove it. But like many idioms, adages, and metaphors of life, life hits back, over and over.

It’s not about besting life friends, it’s about taking it all in, giving it your best shot at a few areas at a time, and then continuing onward.

So for you that might mean getting a grip on health, and career for quite a while. At least until you’ve seen some positive gains and have set up some new healthy habits for yourself. I’m not going to devolve this post into going over theories I’ve discussed before on health, productivity and habit setting, but those topics do exist on This is about you being okay with striving for progress in certain areas, and then moving into progress in other areas.

Automation Station

Effectively you are creating rhythms and routines for yourself that your body, mind, and soul will be grateful for. Think about it for a minute, we are so comfortable falling into the same shitty habits every day after work? Ever wonder why we do that? Hint: it’s not because we want to.

Instead of beating yourself up because you didn’t do everything on your list today, focus on a few things to accomplish each day and follow through on them. Once the systems are in place to make those good decisions a reality every day (usually after a 90 day commitment), you will eventually create your own ideal, and balance will now have a new meaning.

It becomes less about having everything in equal measure, and more about shifting attentions on these areas of wellness as needed. So put the time in, build your lists, schedule tasks, and make one concrete action towards your area of focus each day. As Rocky says, that’s how winning’s done.

For me, what that means right now is making art every week, and marketing my business. Those are two simple things, but I’ve been neglecting them for relationships, work, and health. It’s time to focus back on the art and my own purpose.

theories Summarized

Artists of all stripes have to face the same pressures of work-life balance as do those that ignore the creative path. There is nothing wrong with going one way or the other, but when you make art, never assume your failings at balance are due to the pursuit of creativity – we all struggle with this. Skill, determination and a commitment to improvement are essential in moving towards success within the arts, as is true of any field.

The difference is that your path is not set in stone, therefore the risks and rewards are much greater. But I have a theory that you already know what you need to chase.


I’ll Be Back, and Arms, and Legs (Arnold, Successful Body Building)

This is a story in progress.

It’s not finished yet because… well, I’m not dead.

That’s what I said the first time around, when I wrote the that initial entry on one of my personal heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And I have gotten better since December, I’ve slowly but surely increased my capacity for greatness – through writing, reading, disciplined meditation, clean living, and creative pursuits. And especially through exercise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great example of someone who goes after what he wants. I’m paraphrasing but here are some examples of things Arnold has said.

I want to be the greatest bodybuilder in the world. Done. And he went through the rungs to get there. Then he decided, I want to be one of the great movie stars of his time. Done. Thank you Arnie for being The Terminator, and all of the other action hero roles you’ve taken on. And also, he decided, I want to be the governor of California… Guess what? Boom. Done.

Arnold demonstrates that with hard work and following key rules, you can have success. As he famously said in his six rules to success speech,

none of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.



6 Rules of Success

But what are the six rules of success? Well of course, let me lay them down for you, real simple like.

  1. Trust yourself – Many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and teachers and everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourself, who do you want to be? Not what, but who. Figure out for yourself what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
  2. Break the rules – Not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail – Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.
  4. Don’t Listen to the Naysayers – How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it, that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done. I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”
  5. Work Your Butt Off – Leave no stone unturned. Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ’70s when he was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it hurts. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” That’s what makes you a champion.It’s important to have fun in life, but when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. None of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
  6. Give Something Back – Whatever path you take in your life, you must always find time to give something back, to your community, your state or to your country. Reaching out and helping people will give you more satisfaction than anything you’ve ever done.


But he only developed these rules by standing on the shoulders of his own giants, and let me just say, one of Arnie’s heroes should be yours too. Ever heard of Reg Park? The original italian stallion? Except he was actually British.

The Original Hercules

There have been a number of films representing the greek god Hercules, but the one that caught the attention of a young Schwarzenegger was Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (1961), starring Reg Park in his film debut.

Reg Park was an English bodybuilder, businessman and actor. He inspired Schwarzenegger to become a bodybuilder, so if his regimen for beginners can work for Arnold, then it’ll work for us too.

You see dear readers, I’ve been exercising for almost a year straight, alternating between strength and core training (M/W/F) & cardio and meditation (Tu/Th). And while I don’t want to make this post about exercise, because I easily could break down the exercises portion of The Education of a Bodybuilder, instead, I’ll leave this here for those of you so inclined to read it. The writer is on point, and breaks down the exercises of the book really well.

theories Summarized


On this wisdom of Wednesday I leave you with something to ponder, what’s stopping you from committing to exercise time? I have this theory that health, wealth, and happiness are within reach creative cuties, but like Arnold says, remember the six rules.

You can do it. I believe in you, for you too are destined for great things.


Picture Perfect Cravings (Tony Litster Success Stories)

Everyone loves a good success story. It stimulates a part of our brain that is linked to the reward centre. It’s likely why motivational speakers have been really populariz over the past 70+ years, at least in western culture anyway.

Quite a few years ago, I got serious about the teachings of man by the name of Tony Litster. I could have selected from many different coaches, gurus, and experts, but I landed on him. Mostly be accident. Tony Litster is a success coach, who focuses on success over addictions, namely pornography. Now, I’m no chicken, and will admit that I have struggled with this exact challenge in the past.

In fact, I bawked at the idea that I’d ever find someone who understood the struggle. But then I found Tony.

Tony Litster Straight Talk

Litster teaches that pornography addiction is quite often a result of the shame cycle, which comes out of childhood challenges and continues right through our adult lives.

The shame cycle makes you believe that your self-worth is tied directly into what others think of you. And that’s just not true. Each of us is invaluable and infinitely worth our lives. Learning to separate yourself from your behaviour, and more importantly, your behaviour from your sense of worth, is what allows you to move away from stimulants like pornography that ultimately do not satisfy. How you do this is by reinforcing the new idea of who you are:

One of the ways is by speaking positive belief statements to yourself, and repeating them over and over again (through recorded tracks set to classical music) – positive affirmations.

Another way is through meditation, which means settling into exhaustion for only a brief period of time, and then allowing yourself to experience all of the thoughts racing through your head while you focus on breathing in and out.

A third way is through regular and exciting forms of exercise. This could mean time at the gym, rock climbing, playing team sports or preparing for a marathon.

But there is so much more that he teaches then those three concepts. From drinking lots of water regularly, to maintaining a neutral pH balance, to visualization routines, to paying off high interest debts, this guy is in it for the long haul. He really focuses on dwelling within reality, while dealing with the chemical imbalances of serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin that result from a lifetime of pornography addiction. Better yet, there are effective ways to combat these high levels of chemical stimulation from porn watching…

Biological Peacekeeping

Adrenaline is easily fed through competition – sports, games, exercise or frightening activities like public speaking. Serotonin can be kept in check via meditation, and also by practicing Yoga. Lastly dopamine is released when we get creative – writing, playing music, painting, and using our imaginations.

Seems simple right? But it’s just another example of the importance regular exercise, meditation, and creativity play in a balanced life. I only discovered that my body was out of balance because I was constantly drawn to watching pornography whenever I would come home from work, and my girlfriend at the time couldn’t really understand why I struggled with this compulsion (read: the shame cycle). It stemmed from challenges of my youth, which probably deserve a whole other post to themselves, but this is just another layer to purpose of timotheories, and why digitally curating at heart is essential for me to live.

If I didn’t make art, take care of my body, and my mind, I’d be a hot mess. And no use to anybody.

theories Summarized

Maybe this post would’ve been better served for a timely Thursday entry, but when I sat down to write this afternoon, and saw the topic Facebook Success Stories, I thought to myself, no one really cares if I share success stories from other people. You’re all here because of my authentic experiences, and at the core of my stories are tales such as this one that I’ve hinted at. Picking up the pieces and fighting against something which I did not want for myself was imperative dear readers.

My theories all stem from this desire to live a life completely chosen of free will, and pornography was limiting me from doing just that. So I to you without motive or expectation, #liveyourlife and you will learn to #loveyourlife.