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Kirk Loftin

Always Be Learning

Are you the greatest [insert your job title here] of all time? Probably not (I’m sure it’s hard to believe, but I’m not the greatest writer of all time). This isn’t a bad thing though, it just means that there’s always something else to learn. By constantly reaching out for new knowledge you can improve, increase your value (for both yourself and your career), and keep your brain active.


Read a Book

There are two reactions I just got. Either you thought “yay, I love books!” or gave a grumbling “uuuuuggggghhhhh” that rose from the depths of your soul. I’ll just say, there’s a reason books have stuck around for as long as they have, and it’s because they’re useful. Reading new books about topics related to your job (and sometimes not related) can keep you up to date, and help prevent your brain being covered in cobwebs from underuse. Of course you can buy books, but that does tend to get expensive quickly. That’s why there’s this AMAZING thing called the public library. Most people know you can check out books, but you can also check out audiobooks, DVDs/Blu-rays, CDs, and equipment. Audio-books and e-books are also available to check out digitally. There’s even database resources you have access to with your library card. Libraries are heckin’ awesome, and everyone should use them! 


Watch a Video

This can be on YouTube, or maybe a LinkedIn Learning/Lynda course, or some other webinar or DVD. Depending on your field of study, you can find lots of helpful video content that can teach you things you didn’t know, and review things you did know (but maybe haven’t thought of in a while). When was the last time you picked out a training video yourself, rather than having to watch the safety video at the start of the quarterly meeting from the mid 1990s starring Vanna White (for some reason)?


Create a Log

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy complicated, just a simple Word doc (or heck, pen and paper if it’s easier). You can even do it in a google doc. Figure out a time period that makes sense (day, week, month) and track what you’ve been doing to learn more. If you finished reading a book, log the title/author. If you took a LinkedIn Learning/Lynda course, log it. If you went to a class/seminar/training/webinar/presentation, log it! Even if it’s just one thing at a time, over time you’ll see a constant string of productive growth you’ve been investing in yourself. If you haven’t done anything to learn in the past six months, and you start doing at least one thing a week, imagine how much you’ll learn over the next six months! And remember, it’s never too late to start. It doesn’t matter what you haven’t done up until now, what matters is what you do with the time now and ahead. 



Since part of human nature is always wanting to improve, it’s important to include that in your overall career path. Too often, people land in their job and just plateau. Then, the next thing they know, they don’t understand the new technologies, they’re behind on terms, and it feels like they’ve been left behind as everyone else has moved on to bigger and better things. Keep learning, because you don’t want to be the person walking in to the office in 2020 going “Have you seen this ‘Facebook’ thing? It’s wild!” If it helps, you can imagine Alec Baldwin yelling at you, “A. B. L. Always be learning!”

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Always Be Learning

Are you the greatest [insert your job title here] of all time? Probably not (I’m sure it’s hard to believe, but I’m not the greatest writer of all time). This isn’t a bad thing though, it just means that there’s always something else to learn. By constantly reaching out for new knowledge you can improve, increase your value (for both yourself and your career), and keep your brain active.

From Pre to Post: Producing Live-Action Video

Although similar to the process for creating animated videos, creating live-action videos have their own unique process. The basic skeleton of pre-production, production, and post-production is still there, but the inner pieces may be different. Even among live-action video, there is a difference between narrative and interview style (especially in the pre-production stages).

Ten Easy Tips for Shooting Better Videos with Your Phone

Short-form videos for social media are becoming increasingly important to businesses. One of the best ways to get real, authentic content is to shoot with your phone. But how do you make it look like...well...not garbage? Here are ten easy tips for shooting better videos with your phone, whether it’s a cheap prepaid smartphone or the latest and greatest offering from Apple.

How to Make More Time

Time is a lot of things. It’s a Pink Floyd song, the fourth dimension (except maybe not), and a finite resource (unlike money, which there are ways to make more of). You are allotted 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for as many years as you’re alive (sorry to be depressing). You can’t buy more time, can’t craft more of it at home, can’t borrow it from someone else. The only way to “make” more time is to better manage the time that you have.

What Kind of Video Do You Need?

Often, bosses will come in with an idea: let’s make a video! And...that’s it. That’s the end of their idea, but there’s so much more to it. Knowing precisely what kind of video you need helps tremendously to actually get it done. Not every video is equal. If you want proof of this, just look at the filmography of John Travolta (sorry Mr. Travolta).

How to Start a Project

We’ve all been there: staring at the blank sheet of paper with no idea how to start. There’s a massive project, but where do you even begin? Sure, twirling in your chair eating Goldfish crackers for an hour was a nice distraction, but that doesn’t mean you’re any closer to the project being done. I’m going to use writing as my main example, but the concepts can be applied to almost any kind of project. 

Should You Include Audio in Your Video?

Videos are made up of two main components: the visuals and the audio. But, in a time where auto-play videos are muted on social media, what’s the best way to effectively use audio in your videos so that your message isn’t lost on mute, but is improved when included? How do you know which options are right for you to use for audio in your video content?

Don't Be a Jerk or: Ethics in the Workplace

It can be tricky sometimes to navigate the business world and stay completely ethical. Maybe you found out a piece of information no one else knows that you can use to your advantage. Maybe you don’t correct your boss’s incorrect assumption about a co-worker who’s also up for a promotion you’re trying to get. Maybe you stay on the clock after you’re done with work to answer Facebook messages. Keeping a strong sense of personal ethics is more than just not stealing from the company (which is also a no-no), it’s about being honest and doing what’s right in all aspects of business.

The Universal Appeal of Video

What makes video such a powerful medium? Why is it that even small toddlers natively understand videos? Why are “how-to” videos more popular than “how-to” books? Why are movies and television more popular than radio or novels? They’re easy for any human to comprehend, even children that can barely talk seem to just absorb Elmo videos (over and over and over and over again). Every single day, 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube.

The Why of Marketing

If there’s one universal truth about marketers, it’s this: we’re all trying to sell something. It might be a shiny new product, a service to a business, or a political candidate, but it’s all about sales, right? Not quite, because marketers need to understand it’s not just about selling something. Understanding what your audiences really want is vital to your success. 

Avoiding Some Common Writing Mistakes

Not everyone in the business world studied English in college. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume most didn’t. Unless you’re a writer, editor, or just have a random passion for grammar, it’s likely that once you slogged your way through Macbeth and To Kill a Mockingbird (or at least watched the movie versions or skimmed the Sparknotes), you felt free. Because of this, the professional world is rife with grammatical errors, misspellings, and other things that make English teachers’ brains twitch.

Welcoming New Employees

Adding a new employee to a company can be an awesome, exciting event. It can also be an awkward nightmare. There’s a fine line between a good and bad experience for a new hire, and balance is absolutely vital to welcoming the newcomer while not scaring them away either.

Staying Healthy While at Work

Celebrities love to post pictures of their healthy meals and videos of them working out with their personal trainers in the middle of the day on Instagram. It’s easier to stay healthy when you have the time and resources of a celebrity. But what about the rest of us? How do we stay healthy while typing on our computers for hours and sitting through way too long meetings? How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in an office?

Dressing for Success at Work

Keeping up with the latest and greatest fashion trends is exhausting (not to mention prohibitively expensive for those of us that don’t have our own line of rocket ships). Luckily, in a workplace setting, we’re not being judged on the same level as if we’re walking a runway in Milan. Still though, you don’t want to be known as the office slob, so here are some super easy, basic tips for dressing professionally and looking good at work.

From Research to Release

Usually, when people hear the word “animation,’ they think of cartoons. When we talk about animations, especially for businesses, we mean so much more than just cartoons. Animation can be 2D, 3D, a blend of both 2D/3D, or things like motion graphics. Animations can be used to announce products or services, explain complicated processes, tell stories, or even just to make a fun, lively showcase for whatever message you’re trying to share with the world.

The Password is...Safe

With the increases in identity theft, cyber crime, and hacking these days, it’s best to keep yourself as protected as possible. Although sentences like these are usually followed by ads for expensive anti-virus or online protection services,

Increasing Your Productivity

You may have heard the oft-quoted statistic that when Google made their doodle a playable version of Pac-Man, the US economy lost an estimated $120 million in productivity (although that number has been criticized). That’s a loss of productivity on a massive scale. How do you address your own productivity, and make it better?

The Importance of Letting Go

At work we’re surrounded by people we may not have necessarily chosen to be around, which makes it easy to feel like we lose control of our environment. The good news is that we do have control over how we respond to it.

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