Head a few miles east of Interstate 65 on Murfreesboro Road and after a couple of turns you’ll reach “The Sanctuary,” the home and meeting center of Dan Miller, author of New York Times best-sellers including “48 Days to the Work You Love,” “No More Dreaded Mondays” and “Wisdom Meets Passion.”
Down the winding driveway toward Miller’s office you’ll see “Aristotle,” an impressively large eagle statue carved from a cedar tree. There’s a story behind that tree carving.
With Miller, there’s a story behind almost everything.
Miller has made a name for himself as a highly sought after career coach. Through the tools and resources he provides — books, a website, podcasts, newsletters and speaking engagements — he believes anyone can discover their path toward meaningful work in just 48 days.
Once a year Miller offers an intensive two-day event at The Sanctuary called “Innovate.” It’s designed to help creative individuals rediscover their passion, start or grow their business, market their products/services and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Participants trade the sterile walls of an office building for a picturesque country landscape. Horns and sirens surrounding a typical conference room are replaced by the tranquil sounds of nature. This isn’t the kind of event where you’ll walk on coals, but there will likely be a bonfire around which stories will be told.
A peek out of the meeting room window may reveal a rafter of wild turkeys or a conclave of cardinals gathered at the bird feeders. It’s an ideal setting for creative exploration by artists, musicians, writers, photographers and other creative entrepreneurs seeking success through their craft.
“There’s a synergy at these live events,” Miller said. “Instead of being inundated with external stuff like at a typical seminar, this process is internalized. (Participants) formulate personalized applications for their unique situations.”
Miller said that through the format of the Innovate event, basic principles shared by someone like, perhaps, a sculptor can be internalized and applied by a musician for her specific needs or a writer for his, etc.
Chad Jeffers, author of “25 Notes for the Successful Musician,” has followed Miller’s principles for more than 20 years. Now he’s a frequent speaker at the Innovate events. The Belmont graduate and Franklin resident has toured as Carrie Underwood’s guitarist for the past 10 years.
“Around 1997, I took a six-week course offered by Dan at (a local) church. I wanted to meet him personally, but I couldn’t get to him (directly). So, I came up with a plan. I bought a guitar to give him and I wrote a note that said, ‘I know you’ve heard a lot of tunes but you haven’t heard mine,’…