Artists, musicians, comics, speakers, trainers, athletes, performers all do it-they “RIFF”. That “rapid energetic often improvised verbal or non verbal outpouring especially one that is part of a performance”.

Most of us remember “Riff’s” of great rock, jazz and yes classical musicians, bands and performers, we listen to and are fans of. What we love about them is the spontaneity, take, variation and interpretation of their passion. That’s classic personal branding.

Who doesn’t know Deep Purple’s memorable riff  “Smoke on the Water” played by Ritchie Blackmore, or Jimmy Hendricks riff in “Foxy Lady“?

I don’t know about you, but I love the whole idea of “riffing”! Whether its writing, conversations, activities or family fun; being able to do something memorable and spontaneous, that may be off the radar or plan is just plain fun and good for the soul.

Here’s 6 Ways to “Riff” daily

Be Spontaneous

Have your daily plan and goals but let things lead you off the beat and path for short busrts that are unexpected or unscheduled. Make sure you document them too in your notebook, journal, blog or make a short video. Here are 7 Ways to be More Spontaneous, that can help you.


How many things that we plan simply don’t go as scripted? No problem. Take what you have and improvise to get the best possible result. This can be with cooking, child care, business events, personal plans, just about any aspect of your daily life where things just don’t go as planned. Don’t abandon things- improvise and finish them. Improvisation can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, or new ways to act.


Who doesn’t want to be happier? Yet, happiness can be difficult to sustain and achieve for many of us. Experimenting with how we create, find and maintain happiness can be a rewarding challenge. Author Gretchen Rubin of the best selling book, movement and program The Happiness Project, writes about her adventures as she test-drives the studies and theories about how to be happier.

Be Adventuresome

So how many things are on that bucket list that you just haven’t made happen? Go sky dive, paint, travel, volunteer, write a book, join a new group, start a business- do things that are new life or business adventures. If not now, when? Make it happen and trust the process.

Seek Out Inspiration

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but “people perform at their best when they are inspired and motivated. Studies show that people are more likely to climb up the corporate ladder or succeed in any venture when they are motivated and inspired“. What are you reading? Who are you hanging out with? What are you watching?  Here are some of the amazing benefits of inspiration and motivation.

Be an Impresario

Author and marketing strategist Seth Godin initiated a project  for college students, where he challenged them to come up with a finished E-Book in 80 minutes. Impresarios are “people who weave together resources and opportunities and put on a show. They see an opportunity, connect people who can benefit from it and make something happen”. Go orchestrate and be a catalyst for a creative and constructive project or pursuit. Here’s the project they completed and the link to the finished book! Absolutely amazing!

Riffing is cool, fun and can yield positive diversion, spiritual awakenings and unexpected and amazing personal discovery!

What are you going to “riff” on today?


Deborah Shane is career author, branding/media strategist, nationally published writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blog and a popular weekly business radio show that has over 42K downloads! She is a regular contributor to several national blogs and websites, including,,, Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart, no-nonsense ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for national media including CNN, CBS, Fox. Engage with her @DeborahShane, and visit her at