Facing our Time: The City of the Future

A Night Of Ideas; One Theme, 120 Cities, 70 Events, 65 countries; Feb 2 2019

This year, Night of Ideas will take place in five U.S. cities culminating in San Francisco at the San Francisco Public Library – Feb 2. 

A Night of Ideas is 7-hour marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings & music

I happened across this event announcement in my monthly issue of The Library and it stimulated my thinking.

According to the website for NIGHTSOFIDEASSF

With keynotes, panels and presentations by diverse voices including artist JR, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Tristan Harris, Co-founder of The Center for Humane Technology, Mayor London Breed, Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to the United States, John Law, Founder of Burning Man, architect Nicola Delon, designer of the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale,Dominique Alba, director of the Paris Urbanism Agency,Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s Forum program,  and Alison Arieff of SPUR, the San Francisco edition of Night of Ideas expects thousands to participate in the evening’s exchange of ideas and creative dialogue. 

Note: Night of Ideas is free to the public event but guests should register online here to guarantee a spot.

For more details visit https://www.nightofideassf.com

Or visit them on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/785700691822035/


It’s no secret that I’m a planner and journaling junkie.

Posted December 18, 2018 By Frank Strona

In fact, I’ve written about my love of journals in the past… 

Not mention how useful they can be for the professional as well as the those recovering from illness or setbacks. I have collected many different styles over the years.  Some end up as favorites and some I had less than stellar experience within the style,  from expensive to handmade, limited edition finds. I even go so far as to create decorative bookmarks and planner/binder keepers for friends and clients from random thrift store finds.

In the last two years, there’s been an influx of electronic versions adaptable for both the laptop and the mobile device. Many of which offer monthly subscriptions as well as an annual or limited free plan. I dabbled in a few of them as well.

But in the end, “I keep coming back to the reality that I still like mapping out my ideas using pen and paper.” I even have this year’s personal planner/journal ready to go on January 1, 2019. It is one I picked up in August from TEDxProvincetown when I did the recent TEDx talk on size, body Image and how we shape our social success and yes, that is the repurposing of an old school record as the cover.

Well, it seems I am not the only one.

This is exactly why,  much like the search for the perfect fitting pair of underwear or favorite pair of footwear, I’m always on the search and often meet up with folks who express the same need for a “fix”. Now, before you say – “ah this is an affiliate promotion“, it’s not. It’s just my geeking way of saying “I found a new one!”.

The newest kid due out and currently in Kickstarter phase is called The Content Creators PlannerMy promotion of the Content Creators Planner is not as a paid affiliate or is being offered because of samples or promo material. I mention it because I really felt that it spoke to me and my need to balance how I create contentAccording it’s developers Kim Doyle and Jodi Hersh it can help those of us looking for more balance and adaptable support to create a strategy that supports our creative and business goals.

The elements in the Content Creators Planner is said to help it’s users “define our goals, map out our content strategy, shape content, schedule it and measure it!

After listening to Kim and Jodi’s pitch and seeing how strong they are with content development themselves, with only 16 days left in the Kickstarter, I figured now was the time to get mine. If you are looking for an “I deserve it gift” for yourself or someone else – the Content Creators Planner is a definite “try it” for those of us looking to capture and wrangle our content creation using old-school pen and paper coupled with designs coming from content creators themselves.

Check out The Content Creators Planner Kickstarter page, the website or the Content Creators Facebook Group. Kim also has a great podcast called The Kim Doyal Show



Tips for Returning to Work After an Extended Break

Posted December 13, 2018 By GuestSpot

While the causes of extended work breaks can vary, it’s no secret that returning to work after an absence can be tricky. There are many factors that can contribute to an inability to work, including a physical or mental disability, an injury, chronic fatigue, or even stress. As you prepare to return to work, you may be experiencing feelings such as stress, anxiety, excitement, or nervousness. All of these feelings are normal and valid, but there are several things you can do to ensure that your return to the workplace goes smoothly.

Make Sure You Are Really Ready

There are many reasons people have to take a break from working. Some are more personal than others. As such you should make sure that whatever took you out of the workforce for a time is resolved. As this work injury consultant explains, many work-related injuries affect your ability to do your job, or future employment, and even small injuries can become more debilitating over time. So it’s important that things are resolved. If there was a workplace accident that caused it, make sure any personal feelings against your company you may have won’t affect your ability to work. If your break was caused by a physical injury, make sure your job understands your physical capabilities and will accommodate.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Make sure you prepare mentally for returning to work. Understand that, although there are many causes of extended work breaks, your coworkers may ask you for specific information. Decide how much information — if any — you plan to share. Keep in mind that office dynamics may have shifted or changed while you were away. This can be a bit tricky to deal with, but learning to interact with your office coworkers once again is important.

Understand Your Current Duties

If office policies or procedures changed while you were away, make sure you brush up on your current duties. Try to develop an understanding of what is expected of you as quickly as possible. This will help reduce stress, anxiety, and frustration as you begin to navigate your office once more.

Focus on the Job

While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with your return to work or with your coworkers, try to focus on the job at hand as much as possible. When you focus on completing your work efficiently and properly, you won’t be worried about what people are thinking or how frustrated you feel over your return to the workplace. This health and wellness specialist explains, if you focus on your work and do a good job there are many health benefits! People who work hard, and feel they accomplish good work at their job tend to be less stressed and have greater job satisfaction.

Reassure Yourself

Sometimes, taking an extended work break can be a confidence shaker. You might feel anxious about the idea of returning to your old job. Maybe you question yourself. This is okay! These feelings are normal, so it’s important that you focus on reassuring yourself. Remind yourself that you’re good at your job and that you were hired for a reason. When you focus on your credentials and abilities, you’ll begin to feel more confident in your position.


p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>No matter what type of job you have, remember that returning to work can bring with it many different emotions and feelings. Regardless of what you’ve gone through, it’s possible to return to work and to feel great about it. Just remember to take things one day at a time.


Do College Degrees Still Mean the Same Thing?

Posted November 18, 2018 By GuestSpot

College costs in the United States are on the rise, and many graduates are moving back home with their parents because they can’t afford to be on their own. Graduates are struggling to find a lucrative career that fits their degree, which leaves them in danger of falling behind on their student loans.

In fact, their salaries may never meet their expectations. One has to wonder: Is a college degree still worth it? While it may seem like colleges are simply making you pay a fortune for a piece of paper, the evidence suggests that a college degree still matters.

A College Diploma Proves You Have What It Takes to Succeed

While you may feel like the liberal arts portion of your college experience is a waste of time, it proves you have a diversified learning experience. You may discover a particular area of strength that will help you choose your area of focus.

Most importantly, your college degree proves that you have the knowledge, work ethic, and skills that are necessary for your career. Many jobs require a two-year, four-year, or master’s degree before you can even be considered for an interview.

Your Future Employer Will Recognize Your Credentials

As you sit down at the table for your interview after college graduation, your employer will look at your past experiences. This will include your performance in college. Your recommendations from professors and other mentors will provide you with a network of opportunities for promotion.

You will be able to get your foot in the door when you have a recognizable degree. Without a college diploma, you may not have as many opportunities.

Statistics Prove You Are Going to Earn More With a Degree

College may be expensive, but it will pay off. This holds especially true if you have a versatile degree that can be applied to a variety of positions. You also need to consider choosing a degree that will match you with viable opportunities for employment.

When you look at the research, you will find that college graduates make more than those with only a high school diploma. Don’t give up, regardless of how difficult it might be to pay off your student loans.

In the end, your college degree can be your ticket to the job of your dreams, though you may have to pay your dues by starting out at the bottom. With persistence, you can work your way up.

Consider grants and scholarships that can lower the costs of higher learning. You may be fortunate enough to have a free ride that will pave the way to a lifetime of success.

Struggling to finish your college degree? Get affordable and powerful mentorship with my assistance. Sign up today for powerful individualized learning opportunities!


The 3 Unexpected Ways a Life Coach Impacts Your Life

Posted October 29, 2018 By Frank Strona

A Life Coach?

From time to time I ask folks to offer thoughts and experiences that connect with the MentorSF themes. This week we have some great content that builds on my previous post how to be the best we are meant to be with a guest spot from Kristie Santana, founder of the National Coach Academy (NCA) whose book “Walks of Like” book I purchased some time back


Ask the average person what they think the average life coach session is like, and you’ll probably receive an answer like this:

“Well, first you explain to the coach your problem or challenge, and then the coach listens attentively and provides feedback on how to best tackle the problem. Then you leave the session feeling empowered to take on any challenge life throws your way.”

While all of the above is true, it doesn’t tell the complete story. Coaching is about much more than solving real-world problems.

Don’t get me wrong, solving problems out there in the real world is a core component of any reputable coach training program you enroll in when you first learn how to become a life coach. But experienced coaches know that before any external problem solving can happen, their client must feel internally prepared first. This is the part of coaching that is often overlooked.

Here are three unexpected benefits of coaching most clients receive after working with a life coach.


Expectation: A life coach is a stranger who provides objective guidance on solving problems, but in the end I’m on my own and must make my own decisions.

Reality: While it’s true that only the client can make the important decisions, forming a relationship with a life coach creates a whole new layer of accountability that will follow the client every step he takes.

And far from being a stranger, a coach becomes a trusted friend and confidant from the moment the client shows any degree of vulnerability. It is simply human nature: we tend to grow closer to those who see us struggle, and after just one session the coach is no longer a stranger. The coach becomes someone to be accountable toward, and this can make all the difference between losing control and taking control.

Self Discovery

Expectation: I will tell my coach the problem I’m facing and the coach will tell me how to overcome them.

Reality: Before tackling anything specific, a good coach knows the first true battle is always in the mind. I like to bring up one of my favorite quotes by Will Smith. He said, “The question isn’t ‘Can you handle the situation?’. The question is ‘Can you handle your mind?’. Can you manage the thoughts and the emotions that are trying to poison your progress?”

This is the most valuable takeaway message any coaching client can take from their coaching session–almost regardless of what the session was about, specifically. While coaches are trained to tackle a variety of different situations and challenges, it is the ability to manage your mind that will empower a client to success.

This is very different from what most clients walk into a coach’s office thinking, which is usually externally focused–”How can I solve this problem?”


Expectation: A coach will understand how just how important this challenge is to me, and if I don’t overcome it, my life just won’t be right.

Reality: While understanding your priorities and respecting your position, a coach will help you realize that you can overcome even worst-case scenarios, and the challenge facing you at the moment, while important, does not and will not define your life as a whole.

When you walk out of your first coaching session, instead of feeling a sense of dread or nervousness to face the challenge before you, you’ll have a renewed sense of confidence, knowing that your life is not defined by the outcome. That is a powerful mental shift that many students do not expect before making their first appointment.


The best coaches I’ve met understand that clients already have what it takes to overcome challenges. They understand that their purpose, more than providing clarity to any external challenge, is to empower clients and bring out their sense of self-efficacy. Once that is achieved, the client is ready to tackle whatever life throws their way.


Kristie Santana is the founder of National Coach Academy (NCA). She is a Master Certified Coach with over 15 years experience coaching clients all over the world.



5 Creative Ways to Solve a Problem

Posted October 26, 2018 By GuestSpot

Problems !?!?!?

Solving problems is a part of life, whether you are a problem solver at work or with your entire household. Implementing creative methods to solve problems helps make tasks less daunting while allowing you to view your goals as much more achievable.

Take a Break from Work

Hectic, stressful, and long work days have become commonplace in many industries today. While it is optimal to remain productive at all times, it is not feasible for most, even if you love and have a passion for your career. Take a break from work to unwind and relax your mind. Get some exercise by visiting the gym or taking a walk around your neighborhood. Spend ten minutes each day meditating to clear your mind without constantly feeling distracted or busy. Meet up with friends to socialize while disconnecting from work to feel more refreshed once you are back to the task of solving problems again.

Keep an Idea Journal

Keeping an idea journal is a great way to monitor and track your thoughts, ideas, and goals without losing or forgetting them. Idea journals come in handy during business meetings, conferences, and even when brainstorming on your own time. Use idea journals to doodle, create lists, or even share personal thoughts and opinions about relevant issues in your life. With an idea journal, you have the luxury of instantly looking back on dates to recall thoughts and memories that are helpful and useful for what’s at hand.

Read Relevant Business Books

Read relevant business books by authors who specialize in inspiration, motivation, and running successful companies. Seek out mentors in your industry or in the field you want to be a problem solver in. Spend time reading to disconnect from your hectic schedule while learning more methods and techniques that are suitable for you when approaching problems in your life.

Watch Motivational Videos

Getting inspired is one of the best ways to boost your creative juices while remaining focused and ready to tackle problems. Use communities such as Ted, YouTube, and Vimeo to seek out motivational videos that keep you on the right track for hitting your goals.

Host a Brainstorming Session

Host a brainstorming session with friends, co-workers, or employees regularly to discuss problems that require attention. Jot down ideas, thoughts, and opinions to learn more about solutions that are on the table.

These same techniques work for any creative process: art, writing, music, etc. For all those times when problems or creative roadblocks seem to stress you out, it’s best to put on something comfy and stylish and take a timeout. When you need to get creative with your problem-solving techniques, use the suggestions above to avoid feeling burnt out or unable to continue with any goals and plans you have in mind.

If you have a desire to grow personally or professionally, have a need for training, facilitation or other consultations, curious about technology and social media, have a “gut” feeling that you are out of step with yourself and others. You are in the right place.

Find The “Right” Partner

Lots of folks exist that can be available to help you solve problems. Some of the best ways to get clarity and help you strategize an action or see a solution is the use of mentors and coaches. Be on the lookout for next week, when the Engage Guest Spot post, that builds on my previous post how to be the best we are meant to be with share some insight from Kristie Santana, founder of the National Coach Academy (NCA) whose book “Walks of Like” book I purchased some time back.



Stress and Struggling with Debt? Try These Tips

Posted October 19, 2018 By GuestSpot

If you are facing student loans, credit card payments, or other types of debt, trying to repay those balances can feel overwhelming. You are not alone. According to Blytzpay, there are over 44 million borrowers in the United States, with a total of over $1.3 trillion in total debt. That’s a lot of debt; fortunately, there are strategies to help you manage your own. It is important to not let the stress of your debt get to you. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can stay calm and work through your debt issue in a steady and timely manner.

Create a Plan to Get Out of Debt

Finding a debt reduction method that works for you is critical to your success. Many people choose to use the snowball debt reduction method because it allows you to start making progress quickly. When using this system, you start by paying down the lowest balance first while making minimum payments on other balances. Once the lowest balance is paid off, you pay down the next lowest balance until they are all paid off.

Don’t Let Stress Be an Excuse for Poor Decisions

It is easy to use the stress of being in debt as an excuse to make poor decisions. For instance, you may decide to take out another credit card or go to dinner when you can’t afford to. While it may work to comfort you in the short-term, it will only make it harder to get out of debt. If you’re a student or a former student, you can easily get stressed with student loans, but you have to continue to be as frugal as possible. Use different types of student budgeting techniques, and attempt to talk to family, friends, and even counselors to help identify ways to help the situation.

How Do You Make Good Decisions When Under Financial Strain?

Getting out of debt is a lot like losing weight or starting a new exercise routine. As NOLO.com points out, the goal at first is to simply start learning and applying good habits that you can use for the rest of your life. While your debt won’t go away in one day, understanding how to manage money can prevent debt from being a constant problem in your life.

Find Healthy Ways to Manage Your Stress

When you are feeling stressed, you should take a walk to clear your head or go to the gym to let off steam. It may also be a good idea to watch a movie at home or spend some time playing with your pet. The goal is to get your mind off of your stress until you no longer feel like going on a retail binge or otherwise engaging in unhealthy behavior.

While debt is not always avoidable, it is important that you don’t spend more than you can afford to repay. If you do, it could lead to stress and other negative consequences. Ideally, you will find a way to repay the debt and learn strategies to avoid borrowing too much money again in the future.

Dealing with financial stress and learning to handle money wisely can be overwhelming to handle alone. Contact me for mentoring services that can help you turn your life in a better, more successful direction!


TEDxProvincetown Final Playlist is now available

Posted October 18, 2018 By Frank Strona
Speakers image list from TEDxProvincetown

That’s right.

Now you can see all of the presentations from TEDxProvincetown on one screen by checking out the TEDxProvincetown playlist.

Scroll down and see it here.

You can find out more about TEDxProvincetown on its website:  www.tedxprovincetown.com 

Read more about the other speakers:  https://tedxprovincetown.com/tedx-provincetown-talks-performances/.

The hashtags & social media accounts for TEDxProvincetown include: 

#TEDxPtown, #TEDxProvincetown

Facebook: [@TEDxProvincetown

Twitter:  [@TEDxPtown Profile, hashtag: #TEDxProvincetown]

Instagram: [TEDxProvincetown– profile, hashtag #TEDxPtown]


Sharing is as easy as One-Two-Three:

This is how it’s done! Thanks, David


One: Copy and paste the link to one of your favorites talks into the social media of your choice.

Two: Add a comment of your own that you think your followers and friends would get intrigued by and want to watch it

Three: Add a few of the “hashtags” (Those words followed by a #) to help it show up in searches.

The  2018 TEDxProvincetown 10

Bear meets bear

It’s Scary & Exciting

Just when my life could not get any more interesting with all the balls I constantly juggle; earlier this year,  I was asked to do an actual licensed TEDx Talk as part of the first TEDxProvincetown that would address the concept of surviving and thriving in  “differentness” in a world that supports “sameness”.
Several months later, I was one of the lucky 10 people participating in Provincetown’s first TEDxProvincetown series this summer and sharing the stage with an incredible group of people. I am excited to say the full set of speaker links have finally gone live. Including mine!


But why TEDxProvincetown?

Sharing who I was has never been an issue. I learned early on, to be the best I can be today, meant often owning who I was in the past. So, in this case, it played out on the TEDx platform. 26 years ago, I left my life, commuting between Boston and Provincetown for an opportunity to work in San Francisco. I was then working in progressive sexual adult content mediums and communication structures addressing often ignored, overlooked, marginalized and underserved communities. Some of them included men like me, gay & bisexual men who didn’t fit with the then gay male archetype; who often struggled to find to a sense of identity with so few role-models to draw from.
So what happens? 26 years later I find myself talking about those very same issues to a wider audience! Of course, this partner’s perfect with the push in my efforts with MentorSFCA.com to support all people in making the “best fit” choices for themselves and creating what they need when they don’t see it offered.
So it was an honor to share my experience as a gay man on body shaming, invisibility, resilience, and lessons learned from a “bigger” perspective with an incredible group of people.

And here it is! 

Did you like it?

I Need Your Help

I am proud to have been able to address body shaming, invisibility, and love beyond limits as part of the TEDxProvincetown program to audiences that extended beyond just gay men, including people of all types, ages, genders, and orientations.

I want to spread the word spread. Help me share the message to all audiences. This talk is one of the first licensed TEDx talks that actually addresses body shaming, sex, inclusion, and visibility from a bigger-bodied gay man’s experience. Because of this, it has the potential opportunity to reinforce that desire and love can blossom no matter the body type.  The more views the talk gets, the higher it ranks and the better the chances that it gets picked up for wider distribution. I’m asking that you include the link below in any announcement lists, email, newsletters or websites in an attempt to get the widest scope.

bear word cloudComments from viewersHow Can You Help?

Simple. Share the video link with your friends. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Anywhere you think people will see it. Don’t hold back to only LGBTQ audiences. This is a message for everyone. If you liked any of the other talks – share them too!

 Want more of it?

I am working on the extended version of this talk and it and other presentations will be available online as well as on the road. If you or your group would like to discuss my speaking in your area, please email me at Frank@Mentorsf.com

Sharing the talk is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Copy and paste the link below

2. Add a comment of your own that you think your followers and friends would get intrigued by and want to watch it.

3. Add a few of the “hashtags” (Those words followed by a #) to help it show up in searches.
** Don’t forget youtube also allows you to use the embedded code as I did above if you prefer to have the video sit and play on your websites too.

The link to my talk on the TEDxProvincetown Youtube channel is as follows: https://youtu.be/8J-gaUgztjs

Feel free to tag me in any social media you choose to share using any of these hashtags:

My social media accounts include:

Twitter: @FVStrona,
Facebook: Facebook.com/MentorSFCA
Instagram: @FVStrona
LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/FVStrona

Then What?

Watch the rest.
All 10 of the talks were outstanding and different so you may enjoy checking out one of the other co-presenters by checking out the full speaker’s playlist for all 10 talks here

Curious about TEDxProvincetown?

You can find out more on its website www.tedxprovincetown.com 
Read more about the other speakers https://tedxprovincetown.com/tedx-provincetown-talks-performances/.
The hashtags & social media accounts for TEDxProvincetown include:
#TEDxPtown, #TEDxProvincetown
Facebook: [@TEDxProvincetown
Twitter:  [@TEDxPtown Profile, hashtag: #TEDxProvincetown]
Instagram: [TEDxProvincetown– profile, hashtag #TEDxPtown]

Common Side Effects of Stress and How to Manage Them

Posted August 25, 2018 By GuestSpot

With the fast-paced world that we live in, stress has almost become a fact of life. Being exposed to stress over long periods of time can begin to take a toll on one’s health and well-being. While it is important to address the cause of your stress, small steps can be taken to minimize the discomfort from the symptoms of stress and prevent further damage.

1. Upset Stomach

Chronic stress can leave your stomach in knots. If you’re noticing an increase in diarrhea, nausea, or constipation, it may be due to increased stress levels. Keeping a healthy diet and avoiding trigger foods, such as fried foods, may help temporarily alleviate an upset stomach.

2. Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Grinding of the teeth or clenching your jaw is a side effect of stress that you may not be aware of until someone else points it out because it often will occur while you are sleeping. Clenching of the jaw can be an unconscious reaction to stress and can happen during the day, as well. According to North End Dental Associates, “Night guards are recommended for people who clench or grind their teeth at night to protect their teeth from serious damage.”

3. Frequent Headaches

If you find yourself getting a headache once a day or a few times a week, it may be due to high-stress levels. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may help temporarily decrease the pain. Frequent headaches may also be a sign of dehydration; drinking the daily recommended amount of water may help to alleviate headaches.

4. Low Immune System

A particularly distressing side effect of being too stressed out is being sick all the time. It is important to take the time that your body needs to recover and rest while you are sick. It is well-known that stress lowers the body’s immune system, which makes it harder to fight off viruses and infections. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “General healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.”

5. Low Energy

If your body is constantly in a high state of stress, it will leave you feeling worn down very quickly. Low energy can also be due to not sleeping well at night due to stress. It is not always feasible to give your body rest during the day when it needs it; however, it is important to be getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night at a minimum.

Short-term remedies are enough to treat the side effects of stress temporarily but to truly recover, you must address the cause of your stress. Many people benefit greatly from talking with a lifestyle coach or therapist to identify the cause of their stress and to develop effective methods to eliminate their stress.

Allowing your self to try something new is always scary and many times that makes it easy to ignore or discount it as useful. Yoga, acupuncture and other forms of treatments that you are not familiar with may seem beyond you at the moment. But many times if you can just take the risk and try something – you may find some relief and learn something new about yourself too. For instance, a friend of mine recently shared this video with me about yoga. While I am not a big fan of it for myself I know far too many folks who have success with it to “poo poo” it. So even I am trying it to fight some potential issues with a pesky case of plantar fasciitis before it gets worse.

For more ways to deal with stress, especially regarding your business, check out more posts from this awesome site!