I have a coach. His name is Clay Nelson. Clay has coached me over the years, challenging me to go beyond where I am now and take on concepts in areas I know nothing about – but can quickly learn. He gets me into that area of risk and fear – and holds me accountable. 

Over the years, Clay has challenged me to take on the ideas I’ve always dreamed of doing. I conquered the fear and did them. I admit some failed, yet most succeeded.

Clay challenges me to dream and think like a kid again. He’s made me understand that it’s not what you know now that’s going to move you forward, it’s what you don’t know yet. 

There’s a fear of going into that area of “what you don’t know yet,” even though it’s an area with no rules and no restrictions, where dreams and ideas flourish and you can make up anything you want.

In my last session with Clay, he screwed with my mind and left me with something that I’ve now been questioning for a few weeks. He asked me, “Are you stuck in your own shit?”

I wasn’t sure to agree or disagree, but now I’m wondering if he’s right? Is the talent we have just filtered into a ‘box’ of systems and processes within our everyday roles where we work? Where do our other skills and ideas go? Is there another way to do things? Are dreams going unfulfilled? Are you fighting too many fires? Are you just stuck and stopped?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to get away to dream and make things up, then you may be “stuck in your own shit,” and as the years race on, regret that, no matter how old you are, you didn’t take the time to “be a kid again.” 


Joel Cohen is the founder of CEO Stars – www.ceostars.com – a unique concept with a community of over 105 ad agency CEOs. Cohen is also the founder of Dreamland, USA – ‘An Imagineering Community’ – that helps leaders accomplish their ‘impossible.’