Live Your Legend. Ditch Your Fears. RIP Scott Dinsmore.

Minutes from boarding a 16 hour flight in Istanbul to San Francisco I got a text from my friend Ann Rea.

Shivers went down my spine, goosebumps covered my body, my eyes filled with tears that wouldn’t stop — I immediately texted my Mom, Dad and Brother telling them I love them.

Ann had delivered terrible news. That Scott Dinsmore had died on Mt. Kilimanjaro. He was on a round the world trip with his wife Chelsea — doing what he loved — Traveling the world and creating a life he wouldn’t regret.

If you don’t know Scott  — you should. His mission was to change the world by helping people find what excites them. Check out his website and take time to get to know him.

I was lucky to meet Scott when I produced Ann Rea’s Fulfill Your Creative Purpose on CreativeLive.

“Scott Dinsmore was true a bright light, inspiring, kind and generous” Ann Rea reflects “I remember being in the green room with him when I warned him that my CreativeLive course that he was about to join was controversial. He said if you’re not doing something controversial you’re not doing anything that’s of much importance. He and I both escaped  the corporate cubicle to create a life and business that we loved. Although he was smarter than me because he didn’t stay in a place where he was unhappy for a very long. He went outside of his comfort zone, sought mentors, and walked his talk — inspiring people all around the world.”

Watch Scott’s appearance on Ann’s show:


He left for his around the world trip only two days after this appearance. At the time his words moved me and watching it now is overwhelming with the news of his death.

This exchange on the show was particularly poignant for me:

Ann: You don’t want to look back on the landscape that was your life and say I wish I would have taken that chance and I wish I would have gone for it.

Scott: You just touched on the biggest risk in the history of the world. The risk that you regret you didn’t do it. That is how I run my life, my decision making process, everything. It’s not like you won’t fail because you will always fail, things won’t always work out, the best things happen that you didn’t plan.

Ann: Is that why you decided to go travel around the world? Because you’ll look back and you and your wife would have been really regretful if you didn’t go for it?

Scott: For Sure!! In 20 years, 30 years. I am 80 years old and I’ll look back wishing I wouldn’t have traveled around the world. I mean come on!

Sadly Scott didn’t live to be 80. He died at the age of 33. But he left his mark on the world. He had created a global community of people who refused to live mediocre lives and that community will continue after Scott’s death.

Scott’s mission was to bring people together and he did that.

Scott’s death is sad for so many reason — But it has inspired me to ditch my fears and make the most of every moment I have, knowing it could be my last.

“Death is our inevitable fate and ironically it can stop most of us from living fully.” Says Rea ”It’s Better to pass climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and touring the world inspiring others than to leave this earth getting a gallon of milk at the Safeway.”  

Our lives are all hanging by a thread. We never know when our time is up — so make the most out of every moment. Call your family and tell them you love them, go and mend that broken friendship, tell the barista that you like their haircut, say hi to the person you catch eyes with on the street, leave that job you are not happy at. Don’t wait for next year to take that dream trip. Create that business or art piece that’s been on your mind. GO. NOW.

In honor of Scott, I invite you to do four things. Go read Scott’s favorite book “The Alchemist”, read Scott’s blog, reflect on what parts of your life where fear is causing paralysis and remember:

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist .

RIP Scott Dinsmore 1982-2015. You left a powerful mark on the world.


 Opening Night of the First  Himalayan Film Festival. 

Opening Night of the First  Himalayan Film Festival. 

Three years ago, I was sitting on the outdoor patio of an organic tourist cafe three stories above the bustling streets of Kathmandu. I was enjoying a masala infused potato salad and an over sweetened iced coffee when I heard the very familiar sound of a Californian accent. Curious—“Are you from California?’ I asked, striking up a conversation with Kendra Capece and her friend who were enjoying their iodine washed salads at the table next to me.

The right question to the right person at the right time was the true catalyst of the Himalayan Film Festival here in San Francisco. A festival that launched in May 2013, only four months after that chance meeting in Kathmandu.

Kendra and I teamed up with Human Rights Film Focus Nepal and an amazing lineup of sponsors to present the first annual festival. We were very ambitious in the first year. We had 15 films, screened over 5 days in three cities. The festival was a huge success seeing blanket media coverage, selling out screenings and rallying a community of supporters.

That first festival wouldn’t have happened without dedicated volunteers and a group of organizations who believed in our mission. Center for Asian American Media and The Asia Foundation were our earliest financial supporters. KALW radio and East Bay Express were our media sponsors while organizations like Amnesty International, Curry Without Worry and Bay Area Friends of Tibet provided critical resources to make the festival happen.

This year, we will celebrate opening night of the 3rd Annual Himalayan Film Festival at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center sponsored by CAAM. This year’s festival starts on May 1, 2015, is only two days, but it is more potent than ever.

This year opening night will feature a full Nepali meal from Curry Without Worry, community networking and a screening of Sunakali, an inspiring film about a female soccer team from one of the most remote regions in Nepal. A panel discussion about progressing womens rights in the Himalayan Region will follow.

While Kenda and I were coordinating the festival in 2013 Himalayan Fair in Berkeley—we didn’t realize that  Bay Area based organization Sahayeta were planning their own Himalayan Film Festival. A screening committee was gathering and venues were booked for August that year. Sapana Sakya from CAAM introduced us Amisha Hada and Nisha Thapa, who were leading the charge at Sahayeta.

The second we met the folks behind Sahayeta were eager to hand the reigns of the festival to them. Now, the festival only happens because of the hard work of volunteers at Sahayeta. They are on a powerful mission to educate and inspire.

If you have ever doubted the power of a small group of committed citizens I would invite you meet the folks who drive the mission at Sahayeta and who you can meet at Opening Night of this years Himalayan Film Festival. We hope to see you there! 6:30 pm at Ninth Street Independent Film Center in San Francisco.


6 Lessons I Learned Working At CreativeLive

 The Producing Team at CreativeLive 

The Producing Team at CreativeLive 

I just spent the last year and a half at the one of the most modern and entertaining education institutions on the web — CreativeLive.

In September 2013, my freelance work had slowed to a snail’s pace. The previous three years had been booming, but that year was a tough one. You know — work comes and it goes. I was looking for a full-time job that suited my skills as a media producer. I got a call from a former co-worker who said there was an awesome company who is looking for a producer. “This is the perfect job for you. You’ve got to apply.”

I did apply, and two weeks later I accepted a position as a Content Producer at CreativeLive — an opportunity that would change my life.

Fast forward to March 2015 — the month I decided to leave CreativeLive. Why would I walk away from the job of my dreams? “Crazy,” people said. “Why the hell would you leave?” Others asked.

I decided to leave CreativeLive for one reason: I was deeply inspired to create my own thriving enterprise from all of the knowledge I had gained. I was lucky to befriend and collaborate with the world’s top thought leaders. I worked with 45 instructors and produced over 400 hours of original education content.

Check out some of my favorite moments from courses I produced at CreativeLive:

Today, I am back in the same cafe I spent so many hours working from as a freelancer — but things are different. I went into CreativeLive as a producer and left ready to start a business.

One of my favorite things about CreativeLive (other than the people I had the honor to work with) was the knowledge I gained every day. No matter what I was producing — a quilting class or a marketing course — I walked away with amazing tidbits that built my confidence and understanding of the world.

When I think about the top six ideas that moved me during my time at Creativelive, these are it:

It’s not about you. It’s about them. Whether you are creating a website, business plan or bio — You might think its about you and your accomplishments but it is not.It is about how you can serve your audience and how your skills and knowledge can solve someone else’s pain or problem. Thank you Ann Rea !

Copyright your work. Go do it now. Intellectual property laws were made to protect creative people and their work. Whether you are a photographer, entrepreneur or designer— Rachel Rodgers convinced me about the importance of copyrighting your work. For $35 dollars and a simple online form you can protect yourself from people stealing your creative work. You could be compensated $35,000 if they do.

You are not your numbers. Whether its your weight or the amount of money in your bank account, don’t be defined by your numbers. Petra Kolber helped me realize our numbers don’t shape your reality —The spirit inside of us does.

Instagram is the place to connect! Instagram as the best social media platform for creatives to create community and build relationships. Tag people, change the link in your bio often and be authentic. Sue B Zimmerman helped me increase my Instagram following by 500 people with her strategies.

You can’t do this alone. Isolation is a huge issue for freelancers and creatives. The sooner you build a community, join a mastermind and start connecting, the more likely you will flourish. Online or in person, build a strong network – but not necessarily with like minded people. If you only spend time with people in your industry how can you make a living? Get out of your comfort zone and find people that will help you grow professionally and financially.

Share your knowledge and you will prosper. The age of industrial secrets is over and rise of the teacher is happening now. Share what you know, mentor people, be open about the knowledge you’ve gain in your field and you will prosper. CreativeLive was built on openness and part of the growing movement of knowledge sharing and celebrity educators.

Take a CreativeLive course. Seriously. As a storyteller and freelancer I have learned so much from all the CreativeLive courses I have had access to. Here are the four must watch courses from CreativeLive: Power Your Podcast with Storytelling with Alex BlumbergMake Money Making Art with Ann ReaCommand the Fees You Deserve with Ilise Benun and Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses with Sue B Zimmerman.