Go Advanced Search
 

Subscribe to this:

Podcast
Podcast
iTunes Podcast




Podcasts in These Categories
Find More Titles by
This Author: Kevin Chung

Cracking Creativity Podcast by Kevin Chung

Cracking Creativity Podcast

by Kevin Chung

Product Details

Description

The Cracking Creativity Podcast shows you how creatives turn their ideas into action, create interesting projects, and build an engaged audience through shared passions.


People Who Liked Cracking Creativity Podcast Also Liked These Podcasts:
  Writing Show Podcast
by Paula Berinstein

  Challengers & Icons Podcast
by Jonathan Ford

Reviews & Ratings
User Reviews         Rate this title  

Podcast Episodes




If this Podcast isn't working, please let us know by emailing us and we will try to fix it ASAP:

Podcast Feed URL:

 Podcast Website:
http://crackingcreativity.org

[Recap for Episode 70] Kent Sanders on Taking Breaks, the Obstacles That Hold Us Back, and Changing Our Money Mentality


Wed, Mar 22, 2017


A recap of episode 70 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Kent Sanders where he talks about why breaks are important, some of the biggest things holding us back, and changing our mindsets about money.



Download File - 6.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



70: Kent Sanders on Taking Breaks, the Obstacles That Hold Us Back, and Changing Our Money Mentality


Tue, Mar 14, 2017


Kent Sanders has lived a life full of creativity ever since he was young, but it never occurred to him that he could make a living from his creativity. When Kent was young, he separated his love of creativity from his love of religion. It never occurred to him that he could combine those two interests.

After working in the ministry for a few years, he decided he wanted to go back to school to teach. He wanted to challenge himself by doing something new.

While finishing up his master’s degree, a realization dawned on him. He realized he could combine his two passions for art and religion. So he became a professor at a religious college where has taught everything from technology, to art, and film.

In this episode, Kent talks about why breaks are important, some of the biggest things holding us back, and changing our mindsets about money.

Here are three things you can learn from Kent:

Breaks are Extremely Important

One of the things that plagues many workers today is our pull to always be working. Society has led us to believe that we must work all the time in order to be successful. Kent believes it’s not about the number of hours you work, but how effective you are in the hours you do work. “The more that you work, the more people tend to look on that as a good thing. Where ‘Oh, this person has worked so much. They haven’t taken a vacation in so many years, and they’re working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, and that’s such a great thing, and they’re so devoted.’ We kind of have a messed up culture, I think, in the Western world in that regard. Where we believe that the more you work, the more effective you are, and that’s not true at all. It’s not necessarily about the number of hours, it’s about how effective you are, how you are using your time, and are you focusing in on the right things?”

Instead, Kent believes we need to set healthy boundaries for for how much we work. “We kind of have to set these limits four ourselves so that we can have some healthy boundaries.”

Because when we work so many hours, we can become distracted. We tend to lose focus. Half the time we are working and half the time we aren’t. Kent believes we can prevent this by setting up times to complete different tasks. “Sometimes we operate in that space where we’re kind of working, we’re kind of not working… to me it’s much better to set a clear, delineated line. And have specific times for things. That can be a real struggle because we can work any time and anywhere. To me it requires more self-discipline and more clear boundaries that we have to set because other people are not setting them for us.”

The Biggest Thing Holding Us Back is Us

One of the false perceptions people have about creativity is that restraints are a bad thing. Many artists believe restraints hold us back from doing our best work. Kent believes restraints can be helpful in our creative work.

An example of this is how Kent uses timers when working. Instead of giving yourself unlimited amounts of time, you should set time limits for your work. “Actually if you set a timer and you only focus intently on that one thing, it’s amazing how fast you can get something done. The problem is that it requires a lot of focus and mental energy, and sometimes we don’t want to spend that mental energy because it’s hard. It’s really hard to focus on one thing for even ten minutes or a half hour. So that’s something that has been helpful to me, just placing that limit on yourself. But also, I think, other kinds of limits can be helpful too… because you’re forced to find other solutions to get something done.”

Kent also believes our resources are not holding us back. What we are missing is a tenacious spirit. “To me the issue is not do I have enough time to get something done or do I have enough money to get something done. To me the issue is, am I going to figure out a way to get it done no matter what, and that to me seems to be the single biggest key to success for almost anything. It’s not about the talents or gifts that you have. It’s not about how much money you have or how much time you have. It’s about having that really tenacious spirit where you say ‘I’m going to get this done no matter what. I’m going to find a way to make it happen.’ It may take longer than I want. It may not exactly be the way I wanted or it may not get done the exact way that I envision it, but I’m going to make it happen. And that to me is the most critical thing of all. You’re willing to kinda plow through the obstacles and figure out creative ways to get things done and just make it happen.”

We Need to Change Our Mindsets About Money

After talking to many artists, I’ve come to realize that many artists struggle with the idea of making money from their art. They believe marketing is a necessary evil instead of a tool to help progress their careers.

Kent also had these same struggles until he realized that giving doesn’t pay the bills. “I just like to give. That’s just part of who I am, but giving doesn’t pay the bills. You gotta charge for things at some point. And once I kinda got past that initial discomfort, I think my mindset began to shift a lot on just what it means to sell things and to think more in terms of business.”

This is often times the biggest obstacle artists face. So changing your mindset can make a huge difference. “Once you understand selling things isn’t bad, that selling things is actually good, then your whole mindset kinda changes because you have to support your family. You should be compensated for the work that you do. But it’s really not about you getting paid. It’s really about doing the best for the person who you’re selling to.”

The best way to look at it is by realizing how much value your work has. When you don’t charge for your work, you devalue it. What Kent realized was that if you want customers to get real value from your work, you have to charge for it. “People just don’t tend to emotionally value things that they have not personally invested in. So really the best thing we can do for people sometimes is to charge them for what we do because then that person is going to value it more. They’ll probably be a lot more likely to follow through with what they have bought, whether it’s a book or a course or something. So I think once you get past this idea that making money from something is bad, you know, you’ve got to kinda ditch that idea and understand that making money from something can be a really good thing because when you have money, it lets you do more good in the world.”

Read more shownotes from episode 70 with Kent Sanders



Download File - 32.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 69] Bob Baker on Following Your Curiosity, Being Persistent, and Finding Success as an Artist


Wed, Mar 08, 2017


A recap of episode 68 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Bob Baker where he talks about doing things that interest you, why you need to be persistent, and what separates successful artists from unsuccessful artists.



Download File - 7.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Replay] Tim Lawrence on Growing Through Adversity, Minimalism, and the Power of Listening


Wed, Mar 01, 2017


This is a replay of episode 23 with Tim Lawrence. With so many people going through adversity, it is important to remember that we can grow through even the most trying circumstances.

---

Tim Lawrence is a copy editor, writer and adversity researcher. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Barclays Center, and Lincoln Center, and has copyedited for New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling authors. In this episode, Tim talks about growing through adversity, the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, and the power of listening.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Tim:

You have to challenge yourself if you want to grow

When we grow up, we do everything we can to make life easier on ourselves. We are taught to seek comfort instead of adversity. While this may lead to an easier life, you will also stagnate.

Challenging yourself is the only way to grow as a person. It forces you to be in the moment. You become more aware of you body and mind, and grow outside of your comfort zone.

Otherwise you will be left unfulfilled and bored. Instead of running from adverse circumstances, confront them. That is the only way to grow.

The benefits of a minimalist lifestyle

One of the great revelations Tim had was the power of owning less. When he was making a lot of money, he also owned a lot of stuff, and was still unhappy. Now that he is making a lot less, he also owns less, which has made him a happier person.

What he has come to realize is that by owning less, you are able to serve people more effectively. You have less distractions and you are able to focus on what is truly important.

Instead of owning more things, he recommends saving money so you can have experiences. When you travel, you come face to face with cultures that are different from our own. And you realize that things like possessions, status, and power are valued a lot less than they are in the Western world.

The power of being a good listener

Early in life, Tim discovered that listening was a very important aspect of connecting with other people. When people were going through tragedy, they would come to him because he knew how to be a good listener.

He now uses this skill to help both people who are going through adverse circumstances, and those who are trying to share their message with the world. It has been crucial in his work with successful people.

Through listening he is able to dive into other people’s worlds. He allows people to expose themselves for who they are without judgement. This had led to strong relationships that can last a lifetime.

Read more shownotes from episode 23 with Tim Lawrence



Download File - 42.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



69: Bob Baker on Following Your Curiosity, Being Persistent, and Finding Success as an Artist


Tue, Feb 21, 2017


Bob Baker has always been determined to make a living from his creative career. He started off his career by creating a music publication from scratch, with no prior experience. He didn’t let his lack of experience prevent him from achieving his goals. He just experimented with different ideas until he made it work.

Since that first publication he has expanded his interests well beyond a local music magazine. He has dabbled with writing, painting, and creating courses for aspiring artists. He even got into stand-up and improv comedy.

Bob has not let the starving artist mentality prevent him from making a career out of his creativity. In fact, he has thrived as an artist and creative.

In this episode, Bob talks about doing things that interest you, why you need to be persistent, and what separates successful artists from unsuccessful artists.

Here are three things you can learn from Bob:

Do Things That Interest You

Many of us have this fear of pursuing our creative careers. We are afraid that we will crash and burn, and never recover from our failures.

Bob takes a different approach to his creative interests. He doesn’t play it safe. He explores the things he thinks are fun. “I had this philosophy early on where, if something seemed liked it was fun to do, I was like, I want to take some action… I want to experience that and see what it’s like sooner rather than later. So, you know, a lot of people play it safe, or they wait til they know everything about a topic or they think everything’s perfect… before they dive into doing something. And I was just like, ‘I want to see what that’s like. That looks like fun.’ So I did that with comedy, with improv, with publishing a newspaper.”

It all started with creating his local music publication and has blossomed from there. Bob has never let his lack of experience stop him, and neither should you. “I published a local music newspaper and I had no business doing that whatsoever because I had no previous experience. Never wrote for the school paper, never really took journalism classes. You know, had just written on my own, had a passion for music. So I said I want to combine these two long standing passions, and just started publishing a local newspaper. And it was ugly. There were typos. People pointed things out. And I eventually learned just from doing and getting things out there to make it better.”

You Need to Be Persistent

There are no guarantees that you will ever make a living from your creative career. Not everyone is cut out for it. But there is something to be said for doing something you are passionate about.

That’s why Bob believes persistence is crucial if you want to make a career out of your art. You need to pursue it regardless of the outcome. “There are no guarantees. The world does not owe you a living. So even if you are persistent and keep your nose to the grindstone for years on end, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to make it, whatever make it means to you. However, I guess what I encourage is if you’re meant to do that thing, to express yourself in that way… You should do it regardless of the outcome. You should do it for the joy of it, however, at the same time, you could be strategic in doing it and learning the things that will move you to toward that greater potential of maybe supporting yourself some day. But hopefully it’s something that even if you don’t make a living at it or you don’t reach that point, that you’ll still do it for the joy.”

Bob recommends creating goals you can work your way towards so you can see the progress you’ve made. The key is to be strategic when you move towards your goal. “Making sure that your financial needs are met first just takes the pressure off to do your art more free flowingly I guess. And I kinda like that approach. But you can still be strategic in moving toward that goal if you have one of sustaining yourself like I did. It’s just… it may not happen on your time table… and that’s where the persistence comes in I guess. Yeah, if the payoff is not there in a month or two, are you willing to stick with it? And that’s another thing… that not everyone will, which is why not everyone succeeds because all of these rare… traits have to come together to make for a successful life.”

Being Successful vs. Being Unsuccessful

There are always people who will find success and those who won’t. There’s a fine line between success and failure.

Bob believes one of the things that separates success from failure is seeing thing through to completion. “There are tons of people that want to write a book. There’s tons of people that have started writing books. There’s tons of people who have even finished the first draft of a manuscript of a book. But there’s a very small percentage who actually follow it through to get the darn thing published. So there’s this seeing it concept, and I don’t know what quality that is, but it’s like, when you start on a project, make a commitment to chip away at it and to see it through to completion.”

Bob also sees another trait from many creative people: the need to jump from one project to the next. But you can’t always chase the shiny new object. You need discipline. “Another thing creative people are excited about new fresh things, and that’s cool, but you also have to follow through on the things that you’ve already started that may not be as exciting as they were those early weeks that you’re working on them. And that’s just a discipline I suppose and a personal commitment to stuff.”

Another thing Bob recommends is re-framing the way you look at marketing. Artists need to stop looking at marketing as a necessary evil and approach it as something that is creative. “To me the marketing thing, the necessary evil, is all about an attitude toward it. If you re-frame and realize that all you’re doing is just sharing your work with people who are going to resonate with it, that’s not painful, you know. You just gotta do it in a more strategic way. So get on friendly terms with marketing and don’t lump a lot of things into this “business” category.”

Read more shownotes from episode 69 with Bob Baker



Download File - 33.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 68] Kym Dolcimascolo on Creating a Plan, Knowing Your Audience, and How Artists Can Change the World


Tue, Feb 14, 2017


A recap of episode 68 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Kym Dolcimascolo where she talks about creating plans, why you should know your audience, and how artists can change the world.



Download File - 5.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



68: Kym Dolcimascolo on Creating a Plan, Knowing Your Audience, and How Artists Can Change the World


Tue, Feb 07, 2017


Kym Dolcimascolo got a degree in photography and film making but didn't follow that path once she graduated from school. Instead she became a computer engineer and worked her way up the career ladder.

After working for a while in the corporate world, she decided she had had enough. So, she set herself up to leave her corporate job and started a web design company.

This career move allowed her to work with people who embraced creativity, and eventually led her into coaching for artists and creatives.

In this episode Kym talks about creating plans, why you should know your audience, and how artists can change the world.

Here are three things you can learn from Kym:

You Need a Plan

As artists, we tend to do things on a whim. We want to live a free-spirited life. We want the freedom to choose our own destinies. But this line of thinking often hurts us instead of helping us.

We should be planning our way to success instead. Kym didn't walk away from her job immediately. She decided what steps needed to be taken and she took them. "It wasn't instant. It wasn't, you know, I walked out that day and that's the end of the story. I created a plan for myself. And the plan was, I'm going to start working on my business and I'm going to actually have my business be able to generate enough money that I can afford my cost of living. And then I literally went out and did that."

Many artists believe in the starving artist mentality so they give up on their dreams. But what they really need is a plan of action. Kym believes a plan of action can help us overcome our negative mentality. "I think that part of it is that a lot of people... don't see that if they actually plan things out, and if they actually take actions that they need to take, that the starving artist thing is just whatever it is. It's something we've bought into. It's something that everybody's told us. It's something we've bought into. It's just kind of another BS that we fall for."

Know Your Audience

One of the mistakes that artists make when trying to selling their work is not knowing who they are selling to. Instead of figuring out who wants to buy their art, they try to sell it to everyone.

Unfortunately, that strategy does not work. Kym believes it is vital for us, especially in the beginning, to focus on finding people who want our work. "There is a market that's dying for your particular work and if you don't focus on that market, at least in the beginning, then the frustration is really high, if nothing else. Obviously the frustration becomes very high and your bank account stays pretty low."

That's why Kym believes we have two choices. We either need to find the people who want the art we are already creating or we need to create art for the audience we have. "If you really want to create that kind of art, then there is a particular person that wants that. Go find those people... It's one thing or the other. Either if you really want that kind of audience, then produce the art that that audience wants or if you really want to produce this kind of art and sell it, then go find that audience."

If you an artist that wants to create for your own self expression, that is awesome, but if you want to sell your art, you need to learn the game. "There are tons of artists... [that] create for their own self-expression. They have no interest in selling their art at all... and that's fabulous, but for those artists who really do want to make a living off of it, then there is a game afoot."

Artists Can Change the World

One of the things that artists fail to realize is how much of an impact they can have on the world. While many artists start creating to satisfy their own creative needs, most don't realize how big of an impact they can make.

Kym believes artists can make a difference once they are ready to move to the next level. "If you really had it inside of you to alter some of the things on this planet, that we could totally do it through art, and I think a lot of artists are up to that... They move beyond the 'I just create for me,' and they... actually admit 'No, I actually want to make a difference with my art.' Right? It's not just for me.... I think that that's kind of the next level."

It all begins with thinking and knowing you can make a difference. "It's beyond I just create because I have to create. Now it's move to I can take what I create and make a statement, make a difference on the planet with it. But even those artists sometimes resist the conversation about making money off of it."

In order to get to that level, you have to change your mindset. You have to be able to produce work when you want to, not when the Muse hits you. You have to call on the Muse yourself. "I think that's one of those things too, by the way, that I see that the artists that do actually build success and continue to build success for themselves is that they really know, that they can actually sit down, and they can create, and they can produce what they need to produce, whenever that is... and it's not waiting for the moon to be in a certain phase, and them to be in a certain space, and their environment to look in a certain way. It's like, okay, I can harness this and I can pull it forward, and I can put it to work right this second because I have everything it takes to do that."

Read more shownotes for episode 68 with Kym Dolcimascolo 



Download File - 34.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Replay] 44: Sarah Jackson on Making a Positive Impact on Immigrant Families, the Power of Small Steps, and Why You Need to Just Get Started


Tue, Jan 31, 2017


This is a replay of episode 44 with Sarah Jackson. In these trying times, it's good to remember that people like Sarah are making a huge difference in the world.

Sarah Jackson is the founder of Casa de Paz, a hospitality home for families affected by immigrant detention. She is also the founder ofVolleyball Latino, a year-round indoor volleyball league that raises money for Casa de Paz. In this episode, Sarah talks about why she started Casa de Paz and Volleyball Latino, the importance of taking small steps, and why you need to take action if you want to achieve your goals.

Here are three things you can learn from Sarah:

One Moment Can Completely Change Your Life

Sarah was working at a church when she received an email that would change her life. The email was an invitation to the pastors of her church to visit Mexico and learn about immigration. The pastors couldn’t attend, so she volunteered to go to represent the church.

Before going, Sarah had never thought of immigration or its affect on people. She just thought it would nice to take a free trip to Mexico. Little did she know, the trip would radically affect her life.

While there, she learned that there are families who want to be together but can’t be. Since her family was so important to her, she wanted to help other families be together.

From that moment on, Sarah has spent most of her energy trying to figure out how to help the families of immigrant detainees. This led to the formation of Casa de Paz and Volleyball Latino.

The Power of Small Steps

There are days we all feel overwhelmed. We have so many tasks on our to-do list. That giant project looms over us. Instead of panicking and worrying about everything you need to accomplish, focus on the next thing on your list.

Sarah gives the example of cleaning her house. Even though she knows exactly what she needs to do, it can be overwhelming thinking of all the things that need to be done. Instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, she makes a list of everything that needs to get done.

“Even though I know in my head what needs to be done to clean the house, I still write it down.” This allows her to measure her progress. She can see that what she’s doing is making a difference. “It makes me feel better and it keeps me motivated.”

Whenever you feel like your task list is becoming overwhelming, just focus on the one thing you should work on next. This allows you to break down giant tasks into much more manageable ones, and you are also able to see the progress you are making.

Just Do It

We all have lofty goals, but how often do we act on them? We badly want to change the world, but we rarely ever take that chance.

We are afraid to fail. We let the enormity of the task overwhelm us. One piece of advice Sarah got was to just do something, even if it is something small. Just get started, and the path ahead will reveal itself before you.

When she first started, Sarah was intimidated and embarrassed about her idea of creating a hospitality home. Her thoughts were clouded by all the what ifs. Her fears overwhelmed her, but then she decided to just do it. She started with something small. It created momentum. “One thing led to another and now it’s it’s own apartment.”

Sarah believes you shouldn’t let your pride, your fear, or the embarrassment of being a failure “prevent you from starting something you know that you need to do.” It might not end up being the right thing for you, but you will never know until you try.

Find people who will support and respect your crazy ideas. Find someone who has done something similar and ask them for advice. You need to understand what your part is and just go after it.

Shownotes for episode 44 with Sarah Jackson



Download File - 27.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 67] Marcella Chamorro on Letting Go of Ego, Getting Into Creative Flow, and Becoming More Mindful


Tue, Jan 24, 2017


A recap of episode 67 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Marcella Chamorro where she talks about letting go of your ego, getting into creative flow, and becoming more mindful.



Download File - 5.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



67: Marcella Chamorro on Lettting Go of Ego, Getting Into Creative Flow, and Becoming More Mindful


Tue, Jan 17, 2017


Marcella Chamorro's creative journey hasn't been a straight line. Her career path didn't reveal itself to her until well after she graduated from college. In fact, she took multiple detours including working at a non-profit, getting her masters degree, and starting a web design business, all before finding her true calling.

She only recognized her true calling of writing, photography, and technology after running her web design business. Through these mediums she is able to help people tap into the serenity and enjoyment they crave.

In this episode, Marcella talks about letting go of your ego, getting into creative flow, and becoming more mindful.

Here are three things you can learn from Marcella:

Let go of your ego

One of the problems we face as creatives is letting our ego get in the way of creating something truly great. Often times we tie our self worth to our achievements or the amount of money we make.

Marcella believes those things fed directly into her ego. "The main thing that I had realized was that for a long time, I had been attached to my self worth, to my achievement, and to my ability to make money. And that was feeding my ego so much. Like I made this much this month or I landed X client, or whatever."

When Marcella decided to close down her web design business, she was prepared for the blow it would make on her ego. She knew she wouldn't be making any money, but she also believed it would help her peace of mind. "It was more of a blow to my ego and one that I was looking forward to. So I knew it was going to be an adjustment and I knew the area in my life where I needed the most growth... That's kinda what I felt was holding me back from peace of mind... So I decided, you know what, you think that you're cool cause you make money, how about you make no money and see how that feels."

Our egos often get in the way of being at peace with ourselves. We let it control what we do. We let it drive our ambitions and our lives. But if we are willing to let go of our egos, we open ourselves up to greater possibilities.

Getting into creative flow

One of the problems we often face as creative people is tapping into our creative flow. We know that energy, or spark of ideas, lies within us, we just don't know how to tap into it when we need it.

Marcella believes discipline is the key to tapping into that creativity. "For me it's a lot about discipline. It's a lot about repeating routines over and over, and just kind of triggering that in my brain, and say 'Oh yeah, it's time to write now,' and not having to use a ton of willpower when it's become kind of like a system... In my experience, if I plan things in advance, there's not creative flow."

Another important thing we need to get into flow is working on things that matter to us. We need to choose topics that really speak to us. We need to let it come to us and let go of our ego when creating. "I need to really be feeling a certain topic to... really get into that creative flow. So for me, it's kind of spontaneous and... it definitely has a lot to do with letting go of the ego."

Become more mindful

When you work in a creative field, your mind often wanders. Your head is filled with so many ideas that it becomes hard to concentrate. That's why it is important that you build a mindfulness practice.

A Mindfulness practice allows you to clear your head. It allows you to live in the present moment instead of always living in your head. Marcella's practices mindfulness by concentrating on her senses. "The main mindfulness practice for me are my five senses. I use my five senses to just reconnect with what is instead of what I'm thinking about. So either I'll stretch and feel my body... one of my favorite ones, just because it's so easy, is to just sit and hear everything. So really listen to all the sounds that I'm ignoring the majority of the time."

Marcella believes taking breaks helps her get back into creative flow. She believes those breaks, even if they only last ten seconds, help her get through lulls in her productivity. "I try and really check back in to my surroundings via what I'm hearing, what I'm listening to, and then I get back to work. And it could be 10 seconds, but I realized when I did that that I got through that hour of writing or that email or whatever, however long it took, and I felt kind of energized and not depleted."

Read more shownotes for episode 67 with Marcella Chamorro



Download File - 22.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 66] Charlotte Eriksson (The Glass Child) on Facing Obstacles, Knowing Yourself and Your Fans, and The Importance of Your Why


Wed, Jan 11, 2017


A recap of episode 66 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Charlotte Eriksson where she talks about facing obstacles, knowing yourself and your fans, and the importance of knowing your why.



Download File - 5.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



66: Charlotte Eriksson (The Glass Child) on Facing Obstacles, Knowing Yourself and Your Fans, and The Importance of Your Why


Tue, Jan 03, 2017


Charlotte Eriksson grew up in a house where athletics were emphasized. The arts weren't celebrated and you weren't supposed toe express your feelings. Her family didn't grow up listening to music, so she didn't really discover music until she was 16 years old. That's when a friend introduced her music that touched her life.

From that moment on, she knew she wanted to be a musician. She knew she wanted to spend her life creating that magical feeling for other people. And at the age of 18 Charlotte moved to London to pursue her dream. Since that moment, she has released several albums, toured all over Europe, and has published three books.

In this episode, Charlotte talks about facing obstacles, knowing yourself and your fans, and the importance of knowing your why.

Here are three things you can learn from Charlotte:

Everyone Faces Obstacles

Many of us have this false assumption about people who are successful. We think they don't encounter obstacles just because they're successful. But that's far from the truth. The reality is everyone faces obstacles and challenges along the way, no matter how successful they are.

That's why Charlotte recommends finding heroes who face obstacles and overcomes them. "A hero is not someone who sets out to achieve his dreams and achieves them with no obstacles. A hero is someone who has a dream and everything is working against him. He is running up hill, and it's tough and hard, and no one might believe in him but he makes it to the top anyways. And I'm saying that the hero stands on the top and people only see the glory of him standing up and praise him, but they don't see he had tears in his eyes and he's out of breath and clearly worn out, but he made it."

Charlotte believes these obstacles make us stronger. "It's not about achieving everything you want without any obstacles. It's about having so many obstacles, but pushing through them and learning something in a way that matters."

Know Yourself and Your Fans

A lot of artists and creatives try to build their businesses by selling their work to everyone. They believe the more people they appeal to, the easier it will be to sell their work. But that is the exact opposite of what you want to do.

If you want to build a successful business as an artist, you need to know exactly who you are appealing to. Charlotte believes that begins by knowing who you are as an artist first. Once you know that your audience will become apparent. "Just knowing what you're actually about. Knowing your story, knowing what you're about, knowing your statements, what you want people think about when they hear your name. If you know these things, it will be quite clear who these people are too."

But your work doesn't end there. In order to build and maintain a passionate fanbase, you must build deep connections with your audience. "That's also one thing why I like having really deep connections with fans, because if there are these wide but shallow audiences, they will rarely go and tell their friends that they have found the next amazing thing... but if you build something really really deep, that person will feel such a personal connection and they will go out and tell the rest of their friends too."

This is exactly how Charlotte built her audience. She started with a small and passionate fanbase and grew from there. "I think that's... the best way to start, is to just build something small but really passionate and then let it grow from there."

Know Your Why

Similar to knowing yourself is knowing your why. Knowing your why might be the most important thing you learn in your journey towards building a thriving and successful business. It is the reason you do what you do. Without your why, you lose direction, you lose focus, you stop working on the right things.

Charlotte believes it is absolutely crucial to know your why. They are the reason she does what she does. "For me, everything I'm doing is always about my why, just creating these moments for people, creating belonging, creating community of inspirations. And personally, everything I do I base on the decision of how I want to spend my day to day life. And so everything I do has to match with my values and... I think it all just goes back to knowing why you are doing what you are doing and knowing how you want to spend your life."

She credits knowing her why for keeping her on track. Without her why, she wouldn't be where she is today. "I would never have been able to get to where I am if I didn't know why I did what I did. Embarking on a mission, no matter what you are doing, creating your own business, it's tough, and it's hard, and it's a lot of work, and you will have to go places you didn't want to go, and you will not have time to be with people you might want to be with, and there's a lot of sacrifice. So if you don't have such a deep why, you know exactly why you want this, I don't think you're going to work as hard as you need to work to be able to make it."

Read more shownotes from episode 66 with Charlotte Eriksson



Download File - 33.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 65] Ryan Hildebrandt on Experimentation, Giving Value, and Creating Something Bigger Than Ourselves


Tue, Dec 20, 2016


A recap of episode 65 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Ryan Hildebrandt and myself where we talk about providing value, writing my book, and starting a TEDx event from scratch.



Download File - 5.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



65: Ryan Hildebrandt on Experimentation, Giving Value, and Creating Something Bigger Than Ourselves


Tue, Dec 06, 2016


Something a little bit different this week. Instead of a one way interview, I had a conversation with Ryan Hildebrandt of The Maker’s Journey podcast.  In it we talked about starting our podcasts, why you should provide value, writing a book, building  a TEDx event from scratch, and much more.

Here are three things I learned by talking with Ryan:

Everything Starts Off as an Experiment

If you look around at all the wonderful things people are able to accomplish, you might believe they were meant to do it. For them, things go off without a hitch. Their work sells like hot cakes. They look calm, composed, and confident all the time.

What you don’t see is how they got there. You didn’t see them struggling. You didn’t see them speak timidly about their work. You didn’t see how they doubted themselves.

We all have this mistaken belief that other people are special. Ryan believes everything starts off as an experiment. “When you create something, it’s almost always… it’s is a bit of an experiment really. You’re never really sure how it’s going to turn out.”

That’s the exact conclusion I’ve come to by interviewing and talking to a lot of people. Everything starts off as an experiment. No one really knows what they are doing when they start. The key is getting started. Find the thing you want to create and start experimenting.

You Must Give Value to Get Value

One of the things that is often overlooked when we try to make something great is focusing too much on ourselves. Most of the time, we try to see how something will benefit us, but the real moments of magic happen when we put other people before ourselves.

That’s exactly what happened when Ryan decided to make a podcast. He could have been selfish and kept that knowledge to himself, but he didn’t. He chose to share the valuable lessons from other creators with his Marker’s Journey audience.

Ryan feels that when you add value to other people’s lives, wonderful and unexpected things happen. “I think when you create something that’s of value to a lot of people, opportunities come back to you, and you never really know what they’re going to be until it comes, but when you create something, you’re giving a gift. You get to provide value to a lot of different people.”

We Can Create Something Much B igger Than Ourselves

My favorite part about chatting with Ryan was when he talked about starting his TEDx event. Ryan started the event because he wanted to do something cool, but he didn’t have a plan for it.

He thought throwing the event would act as proof for his ability to manage and run something. He also believed it would help build a network of interesting and successful people.

What he realized was, you can accomplish things much bigger than yourself if you ask for help. “It kind of showed me that it’s possible to do something that’s really really big, and that’s larger than yourself if you give yourself enough time to do it, and… if you’re willing to ask people for help.”

When Ryan started preparing for the event, he was the only one on the team. Things started slowly. His grew his list, but only had a handful of volunteers. That’s when the impostor syndrome crept into his mind. Would he be able to run a successful event? What if he couldn’t get good guests?

But then things started to change. His volunteer team grew from two people after one month to fifty people after three months. He had everyone from graphic designers to speaker liasons on the team.

What Ryan realized was, in order to achieve something big, you have to find the right people to help you. “It’s very possible to do something that’s that big if you are willing to ask the right people for help, really, and keep working at it, even when you have zero volunteers and your email list is ten people.”

Read more shownotes from episode 65 with Ryan Hildebrandt



Download File - 73.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 64] Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan on Having Experiences, Investing in Yourself, and Being a Better Communicator


Tue, Nov 29, 2016


A recap of episode 64 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan where they talk more about why experiences are better than having things, why you should invest in yourself, and why communication is the most important skill you can learn.



Download File - 5.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



64: Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan on Having Experiences, Investing in Yourself, and Being a Better Communicator


Tue, Nov 22, 2016


Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan were both on extremely successful career paths. Matt was working for a seven-figure chiropractic business and Charine was offered a lucrative management position at her company. On the outside, everything looked great. But internally, they both felt they were living a life of complacency.

The tipping point came when they took a sabbatical to wine regions around the world. That’s when something struck Charine. She believed they could build a business around wine and travel. So they built up enough run way to quit their jobs and started their journey as the Exotic Wine Travelers.

In this episode, learn why experiences are better than having things, why you should invest in yourself, and why communication is the most important skill you can learn.

Here are three things you can learn from Matt and Charine:

Having Experiences is Better Than Having Stuff

One of the things people learn over time is accumulating possessions is not as fulfilling as having great experiences. While many of us start off wanting to buy fancy things to keep up with the Joneses, few of us realize that buying stuff is a never ending cycle. It is experiences that truly light us up. “When we started to step away and travel, when we started to focus on experiences, we realized stuff is all on the periphery. It’s nice, but it’s a want, not a need. Life is all about defining what you need, number one, and then what you want.”

While many of us begin to internalize that idea, we can still get stuck in the trap because we want to fit in. “It’s funny because both of us pride ourselves, we really value experience over possession all along, for the past couple of years that we’re together. But, as much as we know that intellectually, and we can relate to that thinking, we still fell into the trap of possession or consumerism. And looking at things broadly, I don’t think it’s just consumerism. It’s just that human beings, we are wired to belong. And when we’re in a group, community, or society, you want to fit in, and… all of us will be influenced by our environment and people around us.”

Charine believes you can truly discover this for yourself once you have the power to possess things. “It’s only after you have the power to possess things or when you have the power to achieve all those things, and that’s when you start asking yourself whether you really want it or not. We are lucky we got to step out of the environment that we’re in and we get a clear choice of whether we really enjoy those experiences or not.”

Invest in Yourself

Charine and Matt both believe the best investment you can make is in yourself. While most people believe investing in high value stocks is the best way to become wealthy, they believe investing in yourself is far more valuable. “When you invest in yourself, it will always pay itself back and a lot of the times, it can be the best investment that you can make.”

What they found is that most people are afraid of growth. People are afraid of both the success and failure of personal growth, so they choose to do nothing instead. “It’s not that people don’t want to invest money in growing. Most people don’t want to grow. Growing is scary, it’s hard, and it’s difficult, and that’s the reason most people don’t want to do it.”

While they understand people’s aversion to growth, it’s still baffling that people choose to invest in everything but themselves. “It baffles me when people pick all sorts of investments to do, yet they don’t invest in themselves because you are the safest investment. Is there any risk at all? There’s no risk. There’s only growth.”

That’s why they are on this journey of traveling and tasting wines. They see it as an investment in personal growth.

Good Communication Sets You Apart

People often wonder what skills set them apart from everyone else. Matt believes the most valuable skill you can learn is communication. “When you can communicate and articulate your ideas, you move into the top 1% of humanity. When you can actually get up and speak in front of a large group of people, you move into another top 1%. If you can speak and inspire somebody to move, you move into another top 1%. So I think that’s a skill that everybody should learn to do.”

While most creatives try to improve skills within their craft, top performing artists are ones that know how to communicate with their audience. That’s why Matt recommends improving your communication skills. “I would recommend that skill (communication) to anybody because if you can communicate and articulate your ideas, that’s when you can really get things done.”

Read more shownotes from episode 64 with Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan



Download File - 41.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 63] Nicolas Cole on Learning from Everything You do, the Importance of Helping Others, and the Benefit of Marketing


Tue, Nov 15, 2016


A recap of episode 63 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Nicolas Cole where he talks more about why you should learn from everything you do, why you should help others, and why marketing is not your enemy.



Download File - 6.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



63: Nicolas Cole on Learning from Everything You do, the Importance of Helping Others, and the Benefit of Marketing


Tue, Nov 01, 2016


Nicolas Cole looks like someone out of a fitness magazine, but it hasn't always been that way. When he was growing up, he was sick almost every day. By the time he was 17 years old, he weighed less than 100 pounds. He missed school a lot and didn't have many friends. So he turned to World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft became his escape from life. He played so much that he was one of the top players in the entire game. That is until he was faced with a tough decision. He could either continue to pursue his video game career on his own or receive his parents' help and go to college. He chose college.

It was at this point that Nicolas took the principles from gaming and applied them to fitness. He went from less than 100 pounds to 170 pounds by gamifying his workout routines. He also wrote about his fitness routines and his journey on Quora and became one of its top writers.

In this episode find out why you should learn from everything you do, why you should help others, and why marketing is not your enemy.

Here are three things you can learn from Nicolas:

Learning from Everything You Do

One of the biggest lessons Nicolas learned was applying knowledge he learned from one industry and applying it to another. That's exactly what happened when he started to pursue fitness. He took the lessons from World of Warcraft and used them to become fit.

Nicolas believes this is what separates the most creative people from everyone else. "If you look at the most creative people out there, they are the people who are most open to that question. They're okay looking at every single thing, every single industry, different, the same, all over the board, and asking the question, 'What can I learn from this?'"

It's also the difference between people who are innovative and those who aren't. "True innovation is really at that intersection between almost conflicting, but somewhat parallel industries. And it's really the intersection between art and marketing."

He believes artists can benefit the most from this concept. "Even if you're an artist, it's not just about your art in your industry because your art in your industry might seem the same as it's always been done, and you'll never stand out. But if you bring it to a different space, you could be the most innovative person on the planet."

Help Other People

One of the things Nicolas learned was you don't have to be special to stand out. Many people have this misguided idea that those who succeed are special, but they aren't.

Nicolas points to himself as an example. "That's the whole story you want to share with people is I wasn't special. I was the farthest thing from special. And I can't tell you how many people told me that I was crazy."

Nicolas gained about eighty pounds of muscle over a few years, not because he was special, but because he was persistent and someone helped show him the way.

Nicolas believes this guidance was crucial to his journey and thinks people who get help should also pay it forward. "When you have someone do that for you, it's really important, I think, to then, you go back and you do it for the next person. And whether it's a one on one situation or whether it's just 'I'm going to take everything I learned, and I'm going to put it out, I'm going to make it accessible, and I'm going to try and reach the largest audience possible', either way, it's important for that kid to know that's it's not about being special. It's not about 'I was gifted and you're not.' It's just you make the decision that you're going to make this happen, and here, 'I've learned these lessons the hard way, I'm going to pass them on to you so you don't have to learn them the hard way. And then just follow the path that I took and you'll hit the same results.'"

Nicolas believes whether you do it yourself or get help you should give back. "It's one of those things too that, if you do have to do it yourself, it kind of gives you a different skin, but at the same time, I think it's also important to go back and help the next kid."

Marketing is Not Your Enemy

Artists are notorious for their resistance to marketing. Nicolas believes it isn't about being pushy. It's about getting yourself out there and fighting to be seen in this noisy world. "I think that when you're an artist... when you're creating something that is your own, from scratch, it's a very different sort of place energetically than when you're extroverted, and you're trying to get people to pay attention to it. And so I think a lot of people will see those as conflict. They see those two sides as almost working against each other. And that's why a lot of artists are not big on wanting to learn marketing or understanding how it works, but when you really step into it, and this is something I learned first hand, is that marketing is an art in itself. It is an art to get people to listen to what you have to say, especially in 2016 when there are so many social media channels, and so many ways to communicate with people. It's a very noisy world. So, getting heard through all of that, is an art."

This lesson is something he had to learn first hand. And the way that he did it, like he does everything else, is by re-framing it. "Again it goes back to the re-frame. You could be the artist that is insanely creative, but you see marketing as a burden. And you fight it and you're the victim and nobody understands, and you're super creative, and I shouldn't have to market this. Okay, that is a road, and you're fully allowed to take that road if you like, but if you re-frame it, and you realize you now have more control than ever to expand your art, and now your art isn't just what people listen to or read or see, but it's also how they get there and how they see it. And the process of after they've consumed your art,,How do they stay in touch with you? What about you learn about yourself outside of your art?... There's so much more that you can do for yourself as an artist when you see the whole thing as art. You see it all as working pieces. And you realize that when you just put a couple of pieces in play that will allow you to make money, okay, there's nothing wrong with that. But taking ownership and having the confidence to step into that challenge and realize that it's all an art. The end product is art and how people got there in the first place is art."

Read more shownotes from episode 63 with Nicolas Cole



Download File - 41.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 62] Monica Kang on Thinking Like an Outsider, the Importance of Asking Questions, and the Power of Self-Awareness


Tue, Oct 25, 2016


A recap of episode 62 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Monica Kang where she talks more about why you should think link an outsider, the importance of asking questions, and how self-awareness can improve your problem solving.



Download File - 5.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



62: Monica Kang on Thinking Like an Outsider, the Importance of Asking Questions, and the Power of Self-Awareness


Tue, Oct 18, 2016


Monica Kang knew early in life that she wanted to work in international affairs. Her upbringing in two countries compelled her to understand how people related to each other, and steered her towards her role working with the government.

Monica worked for years in international affairs, and even though she loved her job, she still felt something was lacking. She saw that people weren't creatively fulfilled at their jobs and knew she wanted to help them. She knew she could fulfill that gap, so she started up Innovators Box.

In this episode learn why you should think link an outsider, the importance of asking questions, and how self-awareness can improve your problem solving.

Here are three things you can learn from Monica:

Think Like an Outsider

One of the things that has helped Monica build Innovators Box is the fact that she didn't have prior experience in business. Too often, when we are well versed in an industry, we have trouble thinking outside of the box.

Instead of relying on tried and true advice, Monica was able to try new and innovative ideas. "The big part of the business element that has worked the most effectively, were the creative and new approaches that I took."

That's why bringing in a fresh perspective into any industry can be helpful if you want to be different. When you don't know what's "right" and "wrong" you are able to think differently.

So, the next time you want to bring creativity into your work, try looking at industries outside of your own. That curiosity can make a world of a difference. "It's critical to be willing to learn different domains because you're going to have that naive curiosity of wanting to understand and less fear of being judged because you really don't know."

The Importance of Asking Questions

Have you ever held back a question back you were afraid of looking dumb? Do you carefully consider seeking advice because you want people to think you are smart and have it all figured out?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may want to reconsider the way you approach problems. Most successful people are not afraid to ask questions. In fact, they embrace it.

Monica believes every business starts because someone was curious and asked a question. "Essentially all businesses started because of a challenge they wanted to solve and opportunities come out of it. Innovators are people who, when they see a problem, they see a challenge... and ask questions."

Successful people are open minded and curious about the world around them. They are unafraid to ask questions. It is this trait that allows them to learn and grow. "When you start asking questions and have an open mind and you're willing to learn, you're permitting yourself to actually grow and expand your comfort zone, and always... find there is unlimited possibility."

The Power of Self-Awareness

One of the problems we all encounter is trying to disconnect from our digital lives. We are constantly bombarded with emails, text messages, and social media notifications, that it can be hard to detach ourselves from our screens.

Monica believes this has affected the way we approach problems. They have gotten in the ways of responding when something goes wrong. "Sadly, we're so used to staring at screens... and along that point, we're so used to acting and responding when something happens, and not knowing what to do when something doesn't happen, that we forget to be actually thinking through what's happening and being fully aware."

She believes that we need to take breaks and become more aware of our surroundings. Doing this will make us much more effective during challenging situations. "Notice all these details so that you are being more fully present and being aware. and when you do that more regularly, that really trickles down into everything else you do. And so when you do face challenging situations, instead of feeling like 'Ah, I don't know what to do,' you're like 'Hey, this is not great, what can I do? How do I feel about this? When do I want to tackle this?' And you start breaking it down."

What can you do to bring presence into your daily life? Try taking a walk or a five minute break, and see how your thought process improves. "Just take a silent walk and let yourself go for a bit. And I think that initial practice of pausing and giving yourself space is important. That's would recommend the next time you're feeling this. And if you're feeling this right now, I recommend taking a five minute break. It's not going to change, make a difference, you actually feeling a little more rested and more centered is going to help you make the right decisions instead of you feeling stressed. And I think that's essential even as someone who's creative... who's trying to make important decisions."

Read more shownotes from episode 62 with Monica Kang



Download File - 29.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap for Episode 61] Kaitlyn Guay on Creative Growth as and Evolution, Finding Beauty an Gratitude, and Overcoming Resistance


Tue, Oct 04, 2016


A recap of episode 61 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Kaitlyn Guay where she talks more about why creative growth is an evolution, how to find beauty and gratitude in every day life, and ways you can overcome Resistance.



Download File - 6.9 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



61: Kaitlyn Guay on Creative Growth as and Evolution, Finding Beauty an Gratitude, and Overcoming Resistance


Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Kaitlyn Guay grew up wanting to be in Broadway. She grew up in a household where she wasn’t allowed to watch TV and could only watch movies on the weekends. She grew up in a cultural bubble where she entertained herself by writing poems and song lyrics for fun.

While she wanted to be an artist and entertainer, those around her thought it would be too risky, so she became a musical teacher. This allowed her to share her passion for the arts with others. That is until a severe case of Chronic Lyme Disease forced her to change her path. Instead of letting the disease break her, she leveraged it into creating a young adult book series and jewelry line.

In this episode, learn why creative growth is an evolution, how to find beauty in gratitude in every day life, and ways you can overcome Resistance.

Here are three things you can learn from Kaitlyn:

Creative Growth is an Evolution

Many people mistakenly believe that you are either born with an artistic talent or you aren’t. While some people are more talented at the beginning of their artistic journeys, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. The difference lies in practice. “I think that so often, when you’re a musician, you get used to the concept of practicing and also playing. It’s a completely different mindset to how you approach things. You don’t say, ‘I’m going to sit down and work the piano.’ You say ‘I’m going to sit down and play the piano. I’m going to practice the piano.’ It’s this concept of an ever evolving process. You’re never there. It’s never perfect. There’s never one perfect way to do something because music is personal. It’s evocative. It’s something that means something to every single individual person.”

I would even argue that those who rely on talent alone are at a disadvantage. These people pursue something just because they know they can do it instead of doing it from a place of joy. What Kaitlyn realized is that practice helps your creativity evolve. “I think that just the idea that everything creative comes from a place of process and evolution really helped me kind of be able to transition into another creative arena … the thought of practicing and playing and doing everything from this place of joy and knowing that the more you do it, the better you’re going to get.”

Find Beauty and Be Grateful

One of the biggest tragedies of life is that we don’t celebrate it enough. We tend to look at all the horrible things going on around us and let them influence how we perceive the world. That is why Kaitlyn likes to focus on beauty. “I think that once you focus on the beauty, it becomes more important than the things that are so loud in our world, the ugly things that tend to get thrown in our faces. So that’s my biggest intention right now, to see beauty everywhere.”

Kaitlyn believes we can retrain ourselves to see beauty in the world. We can stop letting the stories of tragedy and negativity bring us down. “With the concept of beauty, I think that, just because something is louder and more in your face, doesn’t make it more important. And the whole concept of retraining your brain to bring… gratitude, and positivity, and beauty into the forefront. And then, like you said, yeah that will absolutely change how you view the world and in turn, how the world views you.”

She also believes our suffering is relative. When we see people go through real tragedy, but make it through the other side a stronger person, we realize our troubles aren’t so significant. “Sometimes it’s difficult when you hear someone that’s gone through something so incredibly horrible and you think… ‘How in the world can I be complaining?’ My experiences are so trivial in comparison, but I love when you get inspired by someone else. Not just because they’ve been through something so much worse than you could ever imagine, but because they have found a way to relate their survival, their tactics, into something that’s universal, that anyone can apply to their lives.”

Overcoming Resistance

As creatives, many of us know what it’s like to hit a wall in our work. We become stuck and can’t find a way to break through the lull. Then a voice starts to creep in our head telling us we can’t. That is the voice of what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance.

The first step is overcoming Resistance is realizing it’s there. “I have a really hard time leaving things unfinished, which can be devastating because sometimes your brain just needs to hit the refresh button for a little while, and I think that Resistance comes from not listening to yourself when that little voice in your head says ‘Okay, here’s a wall.'”

One way you can begin to overcome Resistance is just step away from your work for a while. “I’ve started to learn that when I get to that point to where there’s a voice in my head that says ‘The muse, the inspiration, it’s not working for you right now. You hit a stand still.’ I’ve learned that I need to take out a new project and put some fresh creative insight and energy into something brand new. Go there for a little while, so I’m not stopping the creative flow, I’m not throwing my hands up in the air. I’m just switching gears. I’m going into something completely different. And usually, if I do that, by the time I go back to where I was stuck, anything that felt stagnant before and frustrating, has now has got a new sense of vitality and whatever the mystical muse is, some times, most times, will find a way to reveal herself yet again.”

Sometimes we take on projects that are too big for us and our brain needs a break. In those times, we need to step back for a little bit of perspective. “I think that when you recognize that you’re creating something that’s going to be bigger than yourself, once your brain starts to get overworked, sometimes it’s best to… step away, get a little perspective… and come back when you’re not so focused… Sometimes when something is right in front of your face, is when you can’t see it and that’s why you need to take a step back.”

Read more shownotes from episode 61 with Kaitlyn Guay



Download File - 47.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap Episode] Adam James Butcher on Sharing Your Work, the Importance of Habits and Routines, and Why Artists Need to Sell


Tue, Sep 20, 2016


A recap of episode 60 of the Cracking Creativity podcast. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Adam James Butcher where he dives more into why you should share your work, the value of habits and routines, and why selling is crucial for your business.



Download File - 5.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap Episode] Andrea Dantas on Learning, Leaning in to Your Why, and Doing Work that Matters


Tue, Sep 06, 2016


A recap of episode 59. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Andrea Dantas wheres he dives more into why you should never stop learning, why you should always remember your why, and what it takes to do work that matters to you.

 



Download File - 5.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



Andrea Dantas on Learning, Leaning in to Your Why, and Doing Work that Matters


Tue, Aug 30, 2016


Andrea Dantas could have ended up poor and broke in Brazil. Her father went bankrupt when she was a child and her mother struggled to feed two kids. Her one saving grace was her love for acting.

Andrea left Brazil to study acting in Australia. While she was able to get a tourist Visa, she had trouble getting a work Visa. So her mother smuggled her money by putting it inside books she sent through the mail. While she survived on a diet of canned beans, she was still happy because she was learning and doing what she loved.

She has been able to build a successful career in acting through years of studying, performing, and working in multiple countries.

In this episode, learn why you should never stop learning, why you should always remember your why, and what it takes to do work that matters to you.

Here are three things you can learn from Andrea:

Never Stop Learning

One thing Andrea made very clear is that you should never stop learning. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been practicing your craft for one year or one hundred years, you are never done learning. “You never stop learning, and if you think that you’ve got it, and a project comes along and it’s just going to kick your butt and prove to you ‘Oh my gosh, I thought I knew everything.’ Hang on a second, but that’s with everything in life I think.”

Andrea also believes your technique matters. You can’t just go through the motions. “Nothing is more important than technique until artistry comes along. It’s the only way that your art is going to come out.”

She also believes that once you’ve discovered and mastered what works for you, the possibilities are endless. “Once you find what really works for you, and you hone into that and you become a master at that, then you can do… pretty much anything.”

Remember Your Why

Some people get so caught up in trying to be rich or famous that they forget about their craft. They forget the reason they got into art in the first place. They are too caught up with their vision of the future that they forget to live in the present. “I think it’s that ability of not being married to a situation and holding on so tight to it that you don’t see the change right in front of you and also being silent and asking yourself ‘Why am I doing this in the first place? Why do I still love doing this thing?’ It’s important.”

When I asked Andrea why she loves her work, she said it came from a direct answer from the divine. “My reason for doing this is because this was a direct answer to a question I had forgot and I believe that vocation, which is the most important thing in my life, is in total alignment with the divine and I think that I’m answering a calling. And I see how it’s impacting these artists in New York because New York can be a pretty intimidating city and how they found each other and they’re making things together… It’s such a rewarding job. It’s not even a job because it’s so good.”

One thing to remember when you are going through your journey is, it’s hard to do it alone. You need to find people who are going through a journey too so you can help each other out. “Find your tribe. For an actor, for an artist, that’s so important. Find an artistic family, the family that you choose to go through this journey together, to go through this journey with, because it can be pretty lonely out there when you’re an actor.”

On Doing Work that Matters

When we are starting out on our artistic journeys, we have grand visions of what we can accomplish. We look at those who came before us and think “I can do that too.”

While this may be true, it can also be stifling. Our expectations become unrealistic too quickly. It can stop us dead in our tracks. So, remember to stop being so hard on yourself. Just do the best you can at the moment. The rest will come to you in due time.

Just listen to what Andrea has to say. “Don’t be so hard on yourself thinking it has to be a masterpiece. Chances are, your first movie is not going to be a Martin Scorsese film. It’s not going to be that. So, I say get that idea. Put it on paper. Get people together. Go do it. Give birth to your ugly baby, and then, what do you know, you learn something. And the next one, you learn something else… We live in a day and age where there’s no reason for actors not to be working, for filmmakers not to be working because we have access to technology and things and we can be making our own stuff.”

It all begins with starting. “You have to start somewhere. Start somewhere, don’t stop and do the things you’re passionate about.”

And don’t get too caught up in the future. Live more in the now. “The future is now. No, I stopped thinking about the future a long time ago. I go as I go.”

Read more shownotes from episode 59 with Andrea Dantas



Download File - 32.9 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



[Recap Episode] Bodlar Deathbringer on Being a Prolific Creator, Networking and Marketing Your Art, and Overcoming Your Fears


Tue, Aug 23, 2016


A recap of episode 58. If you liked it, check out the full episode with Bodlar Deathbringer where he dives more into the challenges you face as an artist, the importance in marketing and networking, and why you need to confront your fears.

 

 



Download File - 5.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



58: Bodlar Deathbringer on Being a Prolific Creator, Networking and Marketing Your Art, and Overcoming Your Fears


Tue, Aug 16, 2016


Bodlar Deathbringer is a visual artist living in New York City. Since early in his life, it seemed like he was destined to become an artist. His father was a visual artist and his mother was a writer. He also started creating his own paintings when he was eight years old. So it would seem odd that Bodlar went into IT work.

After years of working in the corporate world, he finally decided he had enough. He decided he would move to New York City to pursue his art career full-time. It hasn't always been easy, but Bodlar has been working as an artist ever since.

In this episode, learn about the challenges you face as an artist, the importance in marketing and networking, and why you need to confront your fears.

Here are three things you can learn from Bodlar:

Work Hard and be Prolific

No one has any illusions that life as a full-time artist is easy. Bodlar believes you must want it. ""It's hard. It's really hard, and it's perpetually terrifying. You know, you just always have to be on point. You have to hustle. You have to be self-motivated. You have to really want it."

When you are working a 9-5 job, there's a certain comfort there. But when you are working for yourself, things are different. "The reason it took me so long to get out of IT work is that you get addicted to that level of comfort of having that regular paycheck. It's very hard to look in the face of the world and say 'No, I'm going to do this other thing and go off the beaten path..."

The key is to constantly create. Bodlar creates 600-700 pieces a year, and that's without the comfort of his own studio. While most artists believe talent is enough, he believes in the power of being prolific. "In order to be a successful artist, you really have to be prolific."

As an example he brings up the fact that most famous artists are prolific creators. "Any artist you can name off the top of your head got there because they were prolific and worked and worked and worked their ass off to get there."

Network and Market Your Art

Another thing Bodlar believes in deeply is the importance of networking and marketing your art. People won't find you unless you put yourself out there. "As a visual artist, half of your job is marketing and networking and that people aren't going to come to you just because you painted a pretty picture. You have to go out and show it to them and find the right person to buy it. And I've always painted under the auspices of painting what I want to paint and then going to find someone who likes it, that wants to buy it."

You can't just wait for people to come to you. You have to go to them. "You have to get into the scene. You have to figure out who the important players are. Who are the important galleries? Who are the important artists? And just go to as many events as you can and network with as many people as you can."

It's all about being visible. You can't be afraid to share your work with others. "You have to be visible as an artist. You have to go out and figuratively grab people by the collar and say 'Hey look, I did this. This has merit. It's interesting, and really get in people's face about what you're doing.'"

Overcome Your Fears

When I asked Bodlar what separates someone who makes the leap from their 9-5 IT job from someone who doesn't he talked about overcoming our fears. If we want to live a life without regret, we have to make that scary leap. "Our life, our society, our world are typically controlled by fear and jumping off of that cliff into the abyss of art is probably one of the most terrifying experiences I've been through in my life and it still terrifies me to this day, but I finally realized that if I don't do this, If I don't take that leap, that it's going to kill me... and I don't want to be one of those people that wakes up when I'm sixty-five and realize I wasted my life doing nothing."

He believes many people never make the leap because they're afraid of discomfort. "I think people are just very afraid of discomfort. We have this evolutionary precept to where we want comfort. We want to be comfortable. We want to have abundance... We want to have all of those things, and so, it's hard to balance those things, because when you're starting out, they're very much at odds with one another."

He also has no illusions that our fears and struggles will ever go away. We just have to be willing to deal with them. "Even if I'm selling tons of work, and making tons of money, I'm still going to be worried about what's next. There's still going to be newer, bigger, struggles to tackle and I think that's one of the other things that a lot of people don't realize that no matter where you're at in life it's going to be a struggle. It's always going to be hard and that if you're afraid of it being hard, then you're never going to get anywhere. You have to be willing to say, 'Okay, this is going to be hard and then go out and do it anyway."

More shownotes from episode 58 with Bodlar Desathbringer



Download File - 34.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



Ginger Kern on Engaging Your Playfulness, Helping Others and Ourselves, and Travel as a Rite of Passage Recap Episode


Tue, Aug 02, 2016


The first recap episode of the show. Let me know what you think of the shortened format.

If you liked this recap, check out Ginger's full episode!



Download File - 6.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



57: Ginger Kern on Engaging Your Playfulness, Helping Others and Ourselves, and Travel as a Rite of Passage


Tue, Jul 26, 2016


Ginger Kern knew she wanted to leave her childhood home in the Midwest even when she was a young. She grew up reading books on adventure and mythology, which fueled her desire to get away.

So, when she had the opportunity to visit her family in Germany, she jumped on it. Even though she didn’t speak German and her family didn’t speak English, she was hooked on travel and living abroad. This was the beginning of her life fueled by travel, adventure, and a desire to help other people do the same.

In this episode, Ginger talks about embracing your playful side, taking rites of passage, and transforming herself and others.

Here are three things you can learn from Ginger:

Engage in Playfulness

Once we become adults, most of use lose our sense of playfulness. While this may be good in some situations, it absolutely prevents us from being our most creative selves.

Being playful allows us to experiment without worrying about ridicule. It allows us to be curious as we explore the world. That’s why Ginger likes to put herself in playful environments. “It is a question of how can I surround myself with the external environment that pulls from me to be playful, to be creative, to be in a space of wonderment and curiosity and experimentation. ”

She also believes we need to intentionally set aside time to be playful. “It’s the structure of ‘Okay, I’m going to actually to block out a chunk of time in my week or in my day that is for whatever comes out of my creative forays.’ It could just be two hours and you don’t have a set plan for those hours but you do something.”

When we set aside that time, we can’t judge ourselves so much. we just have to see what comes out. “And just letting it come out and allowing it to just be what it is, and not judging it until maybe later… but during the process, just let it come out.”

This minor shift in playfulness can have a massive impact on our creativity. Creativity requires an open mind, exploration, and curiosity, and play makes those things possible.

We Must Help Ourselves in Order to Help Others

Ginger deals a lot with transformation. She has helped people overcome their doubts and has helped push them past their comfort zones. One example she gave was helping a woman who was feeling stuck creatively. Before her call with Ginger, the woman wasn’t drawing at all. But within 48 hours, she was able to reconnect with her creative expression.

But one thing Ginger emphasized was, she wouldn’t be able to be a source of strength for others if she wasn’t a source of strength for herself first. “I can only take my clients as big as I have gone myself… but really being a powerful stand for someone, that is sometimes tricky if you’re not being a stand for yourself… because it’s hypocritical. And so, helping others, if you want to use the word help… my goal is to really be a powerful stand for their power… in order to be able to do that, I have to be able to do that for myself.”

One thing Ginger noticed about her clients is, they are so eager to jump to the next level, but you can’t rush the process. “It’s always a process, right. So, there’s always expansion. There’s always that next level. And I think where some entrepreneurs might get caught up, is trying to force that next level… and what I found at least is that there’s so much to be learned just through the process of that.”

That’s why, before she can help others reach the next level, she has to reach the next level herself, and the only way she could do that was by getting support herself. “In order to effectively help, or effectively support, or effectively coach any of those things, I also have to have people pulling for me and so that does really bring me into that next level.”

Travel Can Act as a Rite of Passage

One interesting observation Ginger has made about the world is, we no longer go through rites of passage. Before modern civilization took it’s hold on the world, previous generations had traditions that were passed down the line. People had to go through symbolic journeys, or rites of passage, in order to transition from one part of life to the next.

The concepts behind these stories and journeys all come up in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The archetypes found in the book spanned across all cultures and helped convey different messages and morals.

Ginger is now using travel as a rite of passage to help people deal with their own versions of these journeys from isolation to discomfort. “The rite of passage is a real tool and the way that I see it being a really effective tool… is going into a slightly scary situation of travel, where everything is unknown. You have to figure stuff out on the go. You have to deal with feelings of isolation, aloneness, uncomfortableness, discomfort… It’s such incredible work to see how someone can transform so thoroughly through travel.”

And when people come back from their trips, their hero’s journey, many come away completely transformed. “It’s beautiful, and inevitably, they come out on the other side and they’re so thrilled. They’re psyched about life because they see that they can handle it and they can take on a new challenge. They might even start seeking out new challenges and being more epic in their everyday life. That mentality, once you have it, it doesn’t leave you. It doesn’t just disappear.”

More shownotes for episode 57 with Ginger Kern



Download File - 38.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



56: Chris Dessi on Building a Personal Brand, Becoming a Tastemaker, and Defining Success


Tue, Jul 19, 2016


Chris Dessi was fired three times in two years, but that didn’t stop him from building a successful career. Instead of letting those setbacks get him down, he leveraged them into building his own business, writing multiple books, appearing on TV, and running his own summits. In this episode, learn about the power of a personal brand, being a taste maker, and defining success.

Here are three things you can learn from Chris:

Build a personal brand

Building a personal brand is one of the best things you can do to make a name for yourself. Once people recognize you for your thoughts and your work, it becomes easier to get your voice heard. But it’s not always easy.

If you want to build a personal brand, you have to stop taking what’s given to you. Instead, you need to look within yourself to discover what makes you unique, what differentiates you from everyone else. Chris believes we can do this by being introspective. “Building your personal brand is about becoming introspective and not a lot of people become introspective. A lot of people take what’s given to them.”

Building a personal brand is also about defining your goals. “That’s really where the personal branding starts. You need to have a definitive end goal in mind and understand that you have a voice, and then start to play with that.”

Finally, your personal brand is about exploring your curiosity. “If you do anything with fervor and interest and intellectual curiosity, people will start to come back to you and people will become part of your tribe. And if you’re interested in something that scares the hell out of you, at least learn about it.”

Become a tastemaker

Once you’ve built your personal brand, and made yourself known to the world, you have the opportunity to become a tastemaker. Tastemakers are the people you look to for advice and guidance. They’re the ones we turn to when we are looking to make a decision. If you want your voice to be heard, you should aim to be a tastemaker.

Chris believes these people are the ones who make the biggest impact in the world. “It’s the tastemakers, the definitive people that are shaping society, that are shaping thought, shaping businesses, and shaping lives, we’re the ones that do, and go out there and listen to that curiosity and trust their own curiosity and trust that it will lead them to a place that will continue to help them to grow as a business person, as a creative, as a creator, as a human being.”

That’s why Chris thinks we need to stop worrying about our resumes. We need to start worrying about getting our voices heard instead. “Stop tweaking your resume, and create a blog… Don’t worry about the resume, worry about creating your own identity, and then you don’t have to worry about pandering to people to get a job, because other opportunities will come to you, because that system’s broken.”

Define what success means to you

One of my favorite parts of my conversation with Chris was hearing his definition of success. He’s not worried about bringing home the most money or having tons of fans on social media. Instead, he chooses to define success for himself.

The first thing he considers success is doing something that fulfills his curiosity. “If I am doing something that I am being true to myself, that allows me to feel excited, intellectually curious, and fulfilled, and generates revenue, that’s amazing.”

The other thing that defines his success is getting his girls onto the bus in the morning. “I think if I can stick to that, and put my daughters on the bus in the morning, follow things that allow me to continue to be intellectually curious, and things that will potentially generate revenue, I’ll be in a really good spot no matter where I end up, or what I’m doing.”

These two things may not equal success for other people, but they define what success means to Chris. In the end, that’s all that matters. We need to stop letting other people define what success means to us. We need to determine that for ourselves instead.

More shownotes from episode 56 with Chris Dessi



Download File - 43.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



Puneet Sachdev on His Journey Into Creative Philanthropy, the Key to Successful Projects, and the Importance of Mindfulness


Tue, Jun 28, 2016


Puneet Sachdev worked for years in the hotel industry and with General Electric as a management consultant. He now uses that knowledge in his work as a consultant, creative philanthropist, and coach.
He is also the author of Deepa Wishes Daddy Happy Birthday, a book based on the time he’s spent with his daughter. He uses 100% of the proceeds from the book to support the education of underprivileged children. The book also began his work as a creative philanthropist.

In this episode, learn how Puneet turned his idea into reality, why you need to put yourself out there, and the importance of being present.

Here are three things you can learn from Puneet:

We Are All on a Journey

Many of us believe we aren’t destined for greatness, but we never take the first step. The first thing we must all do, if we want to find success, is accept the fact that we are all on a journey.

Puneet believes we all have a choice to make. We can choose to continue on the path we’ve been on, or we can choose the unbeaten path. “When you have that call to adventure. You have the choice of taking it or not.”

And once we’ve answered that call to adventure, things will begin to come together in unexpected ways. “I just feel like you step out of that path and put yourself out there, and … the clearer you get and the more you put yourself out there, serendipity is what shows you the way.”

But we can’t do it on our own. Luckily, life has a way of providing the help we need. “I feel that what happens is when you start off on your journey, when you start off saying ‘This is really important to me and I’m going to set sail on this path,’… I think somehow the teachers show up and that support network emerges at different points.”

Our Greatest Projects Start With a Strong Desire

One of the great things about creative projects is, they start off as just an idea in our heads. They are nothing more than a thought that sprouted and evolved into a something beautiful.

That’s exactly what happened to Puneet. He never considered himself a creative person. He believed only artists had the ability to be creative, but what he discovered was, everyone has the capacity to be creative. We just need the right people around us to make our ideas come to life.

So, while he is not a gifted writer or illustrator, he was still able to bring his idea to life. “I know I’m not a great, gifted, writer. I’m not taking any courses on creative writing. Nothing. It was just a desire and a passion behind it. I did that, and I used the people who have got those gifts.”

All it takes is combing that desire with action and the ability to bring the right people together. Just don’t expect it to be a quick process. “Desire, taking the action, using the people that will help me put it together. It’s a very long process, It’s much longer than I would have liked it to be.”

The Importance of a Mindfulness Practice

Puneet is a huge advocate of having a mindfulness practice. There are so many things around us that distract us from our goals. Sometimes we need to disconnect from everything and focus on ourselves. “The world that we live in is just in so much of a frenzy all the time and with technology it is very easy to get disconnected. It’s very easy to get just swayed away by whatever the most prevalent wind is… so I think practice (mindfulness) is what really helps in grounding you.”

One problem is, many people want to practice mindfulness, but they have the wrong ideas about what it is. They believe their minds have to be empty of thoughts, but that simply isn’t the case. “That’s really not the goal of it. The goal is for you to be present with yourself in this moment and time. So please get away from the notion that you should empty your mind of thoughts.”

Instead, we must aim for stillness. We must be in touch with ourselves. “[In] day to day life, the goal is stillness, being with yourself, [and] getting in touch with what your body is saying”

Read more shownotes for episode 55 with Puneet Sachdev



Download File - 32.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



54: Sally Safadi on Playing in Empty Spaces, the Importance of Trial and Error, and Leveraging our Imaginations


Tue, Jun 21, 2016


Sally Safadi was working at an after school program for kids between medical school and graduating . While there, she found it was difficult for children to learn in the traditional school environment after already spending eight hours in school. So she came up with different games for the kids to play to get them involved in learning.

This began her shift from studying science to studying and exploring creativity. Sally’s site, Neurons Away, is the hub for all her work including her book and card game. Each of her projects help people explore and exercise their imaginations.

In this episode learn about her various projects, the power of constraints, the benefits of trial and error, and much more.

Here are three things you can learn from Sally:

The Power of Learning to Play in Empty Spaces

Most of us are taught to find a single answer to problems. We haven’t been give the proper tools to tackle problems with more than one possibility, which is why we struggle with empty spaces. “The way we are taught, especially through school, is to write in the lines and in the box. Color in the space.”

Instead of looking for the single answer, we need to develop the mindset to play in the empty spaces. “You have to have that specific mindset that develops to be able to do that. But most individuals haven’t really been given that opportunity.”

Sally believes the blank canvas can be used as an educational tool. She believes, that once you learn that form of expression, you can use it many aspects of your life. “Giving empty space in different areas of life, especially education, empowers an individual to be more creative in their own choices in life.”

The Importance of Trial and Error

We spend too much time worrying about whether our plans will fail or succeed instead of actually testing them out. One thing is for certain, if you don’t test your ideas, you will never know if they are going to work.

Sally likens testing ideas to planting seeds. Some will grow, and others won’t. “It’s just like these little things of trying, and trying, and trying til something catches or grows, or planting a bunch of seeds and hoping some of them take.” It is only by trying a bunch of ideas that you will be able to get one to bloom.

She also believes in listening to the feedback of your audience. That’s how she ended up with the cover for her book. Her first cover didn’t convey the message that was in book, so she tested a new one that worked much better.

She was able to leverage the opinions of her audience to create a cover that her audience liked. But you can’t listen to everything people say. You have to find the right balance.

“Seeking the opinions and constructive criticisms is really good, but people also need to create their bubble with that. I could ask a thousand people what they think about the cover, and each person… is telling me something different. So at some point, you just have to also just make your own decision and stick to it because you’re always going to find someone who has something different to say.”

Everything Around Us Came From Someone’s Imagination

Many people believe imaginations are stronger in children than they are in adults. But this is only partially true. Children may use their imaginations a lot more, but they mostly use them for play. Adults, on the other hand, use their imaginations to shape the world around us.

“Our realities are basically a moment’s expression of our collective imagination. Everything that is around us was once an idea or a thought that was applied, and directed, and grew into a tangible reality… which a lot of us fail to realize in this journey that we call life.”

Everything from our phones, to our cars, to our computers was the result of a creation from someone’s imagination. Before these things existed, someone had to dream them up. That is the power of imagination.

The problem is, many of us stop using our imaginations once we hit adulthood. If we all harnessed that power a little bit more, who knows what the world would be like.

Stop thinking play is for children. Leverage the power of your imagination to help change the world.

Read more shownotes from episode 54 with Sally Safadi



Download File - 33.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



53: Catherine Orer on Multiple Paths to Success, the Importance of Gratitude, and Becoming Part of a Community


Tue, Jun 14, 2016


Catherine Orer was an award winning communications and PR expert for multinational corporations for years, but that job never felt fulfilling to her. So, when the opportunity to study at Christies in Paris opened up, she jumped on it.

While in Paris she gained hands on experience working in contemporary art galleries. After her studies, she brought this knowledge and experience back to Canada. While working at an art gallery in Montreal, many artists approached her for help. This began Catherine’s journey as The Artist Entrepreneur.

In this episode, find out why gratitude is so important, why there isn’t just one path to success, and why artists should find support.

Here are three things you can learn from Catherine:

There’s more than one path to success

Most people falsely believe there is only one path to success. They believe there’s a secret formula they can learn to become successful. They believe the people who’ve made it are all part of a secret club.

Catherine’s path is neither traditional or conventional. She went to school for public relations and communications and got management positions in corporations before even considering the art world. It was only when she noticed she wasn’t having fun at work that she decided to dip her toes back into the art world.

She went to Christies in Paris for training and worked at an art gallery when she got back. It was only then that she found how much help she could provide to artists. Artists came up to her hoping they could work together, and finally she relented.

Now she is working with thousands of artists in her Facebook group. She is doing one on one coaching, group coaching, and providing immense value to artists with her experience in PR and in the arts.

Catherine’s path to helping artists was not the traditional one and she believes artists should look for their own path too. “There’s not just one path to being a successful artist. Not every artist will get their retrospective at the MoMA at fifty and it’s fine. It’s not everybody’s path and it shouldn’t be. You just need to find yours, what makes you happy, and also where you can grow as an artist.”

The importance of gratitude

One thing that I’ve found by speaking to many successful people is, gratitude is an essential part of their daily lives. Catherine is no exception. Leaving her corporate job was the turning point in her gratitude practice.
What she has found is, we aren’t always at our best. So the best thing to do at those times is be grateful for what you have. “We can’t always be on high, so life is what it is. You have your ups and your downs and that’s when I really started being more thankful with everything that was going on my life.”

She goes on to talk about why she has to practice gratitude every day. “If I don’t take some time to be grateful and thankful,for everything in my life, I would go crazy… At some point you just need to be like, okay, what I’m doing is enough and I’m just really thankful that I’m doing what I love, and that I have these people around me who support me.”

We all need to be thankful for what we have and embrace where we are in our journeys. “Being thankful is just being in the present. It’s just looking at what’s happening right now, and just embracing it all and opening up yourself to more abundance too.”

Find a community that supports you

One of the things that artists get wrong is trying to do everything by themselves. They believe they don’t need to find support when they are struggling. They believe they have to do all the work themselves. They believe if they don’t do all the work, people look down on them.

Catherine believes you won’t find success unless you find people to support you. “My experience is that at some point, you’re going to hit a roadblock, and you’re going to want to get support.”

She even advocates finding help if it isn’t with her. “I don’t really mind if you don’t work with me. For me it’s not about working with me. It’s about finding support. So, if you find support… that’s fine, but doing it all by yourself is usually not the right way to go about it. You need to surround yourself with people who are going to support you.'”

She goes and talks about our need to connect with society. “If you want to grow, you need to be in contact with other people. We live in society, and if you want to sell your work to people, then you have to surround yourself with people. You need to network. You need to build a network around you, a support network, but also a network and following of people who are going to want to know more about you, and what you do, and how you can be of service to them, and how you can support them, and how you can communicate who you are and what you stand for.”

More shownotes for episode 53 with Catherine Orer



Download File - 27.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



52: Jacob Sokol on Thoughts and Self-Awareness, Confidence from Action, and Figuring Things Out


Tue, Jun 07, 2016


Jacob Sokol was climbing the corporate ladder at his job as a computer technician when he he realized there was a deep void in his life. His life was filled with the highest of highs, but also the lowest of lows. He didn’t trust his own happiness. He knew something had to change. So he took a 5 week trip to Europe. That is when he decided to embark on a quest to create his ideal life. In this episode, find out about Jacob’s beginnings, his quest to help people create their ideal lives, and also see what makes him tick.

Here are three things you can learn from Jacob:

You are not your thoughts

We like to listen to the thoughts in our head. After all, they are all we know. The problem is, these thoughts often lead us astray. We let them control what we do, and how we think.

One of the biggest lessons Jacob learned on his trip to Europe was, he was not his thoughts. Although we all inherently know this, there’s a difference between hearing it and experiencing it. Jacob’s trip showed him the difference between the two.

What he discovered was, we are creatures of pattern, habit, and ritual. Since our thoughts are just patterns. if we can change our patterns, we can change ourselves.

“Suddenly I realized my thoughts are just patterns. If I can change my thoughts, that means I can change my life. And if I can change my life then I can create a life that is amazing.”

By changing his thought patterns, Jacob was able to build the life he wanted to live. He no longer had to live the role society told him to live. He was no longer trapped in the consumer cycle. He realized there was a life he could create for himself.

Confidence comes from action

Too many of us believe we must be confident in order to take action. Jacob believes the opposite is true. He believes clarity comes from confidence. “It’s when we take action, then we become clear and confident. So clarity and confidence are not prerequisites, they’re actually results of action.”

The problem most of us have is, we wait for that moment when we are confident enough to take action, so we never take it. We wait and wait, and that confidence never comes.

Jacob believes confidence only comes as a result of taking action. “Confidence comes as a result of knowing you can handle something. You gotta try something a couple of times until you get better at it and competence leads to confidence… You don’t get competent unless you actually go do something and try it.”

Instead of waiting for confidence to come to us, we must be proactive and seize it for ourselves. We must be willing to fail and suck. We must do things for ourselves, and gain confidence by doing them.

If you want something enough, you’ll figure out how to do it

One of the more interesting responses from Jacob came when I asked him how people can change the environment and people in their lives. His response surprised me with its beauty and simplicity.

“Any time someone asks how to, it’s because they don’t really understand the principle. So the principle here is… if you want it enough, you’ll figure out how to do it.”

I think he’s right. Although how-to’s can be helpful. They are just one person’s take on solving a problem. If you really want to solve a problem, you have to do it for yourself.

Jacob believes this comes from a place of instant gratification. “That’s kind of what people often times want. It’s the instant gratification of them wanting to be told what to do, instead of owning within themselves that they are a creator of life and can go out there and do and create based on what’s within them versus looking for the external to tell them.”

We need to stop looking for someone else to give us all the answers. We need to understand the principle first, and so we can figure it out for ourselves.

“If you understand the principle of something, then there’s a thousand ways you can go out there and do it.”

More shownotes from episode 52 with Jacob Sokol



Download File - 32.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



Miranda Aisling on the Importance of Experimentation, Curiosity's Role in Creativity, and the Importance of Art


Tue, May 24, 2016


Miranda Aisling found her passion at a very young age. She went to college at the age of 14, and by her junior year of college, two things gave her a clear direction in life. The first was deciding to open up an art center. The second was a trip to El Salvador that changed her life. In this episode, learn about her work as an artist, community builder, and creator of Miranda’s Hearth, the first Community Art Hotel.

Here are three things you can learn from Miranda:

The beauty of experimentation

One of the things artists need to embrace more is the idea of experimentation. When we look up at the paintings hanging in gallery walls, we ask ourselves how someone was able to create that. What many of us don’t see is all the effort it took to get there.

Every artist goes through phases of exploration and experimentation. We start off trying to mimic our heroes. What we soon discover is, we can’t recreate a piece of art, no matter how hard we try. So we must experiment for ourselves.

Miranda believes the artists who came before can teach us the lessons they learned through experimentation. She believes after learning from the masters, we must experiment for ourselves. “I think how you find out what works is through experimentation.”

She also believes that, after experimenting and trying to mimic other people’s work, you discover yourself. “You can try and make something perfect and you can mimic it perfectly, but it’s actually in the way you can’t make it the same that you find your own voice.”

The beauty of art is, you can both learn from others and from experimentation. It is when those two worlds collide that we find what really works for us.

Curiosity’s role in creativity

Miranda believes curiosity lies at the center of creativity. “Curiosity really is the root of creativity. Artists are the people that sit there and they ask, and they try to express what they find whether they can or not. Through expression they try to find the answers.”

She believes it is something that is missing from our education system. We don’t allow people to explore their curiosity. Instead we try to force people to memorize facts. “By playing to a test, we beat out curiosity, because we say, there is an answer. This is the right answer. This is what it is and if you tell me it back, you’ll be correct, and you’ll pass, and you’ll move on. But manifesting curiosity is actually really humbling.”

Instead of relying on people to give us the answers, we need to discover them for ourselves. We need to develop our own humble curiosity. We need to ask what if. We need to find our own expression. When we do, we will have found our connection to creativity.

The importance of art

While on her trip to El Salvador, Miranda discovered the importance of art. Her trip visiting a war torn town changed her entire perspective of what art could be. She saw the way it could bring people together after experiencing such tragedy.

The town was the site of a horrific massacre that left only one survivor. So along with Claudia Bernardi and Walls of Hope, they painted a mural with people who came back to the town. This trip is the reason Miranda does what she does and doesn’t stray off the path.

“It was at that moment that I realized how vital art is, that it’s not just million dollar pieces hanging on a museum wall behind a piece of glass. That, clich? as it sounds, it literally builds communities. It brings people back together. It brings meaning to life. And that was the moment when I realized that I didn’t want to dedicate my life to pursuing some gallery position selling artwork to the 1%. I wanted to help rebuild. I wanted to help create connection and I saw art as the vehicle. For me art has always been a vehicle. It is not a purpose in and of itself… for me art is the means, and human connection and finding meaning through life, that’s the purpose. That’s what art helps us do.”

More shownotes from episode 51 with Mirana Aising



Download File - 36.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



50: Kevin Chung on Art, Creativity, and Lessons Learned While Cracking Creativity


Tue, May 17, 2016


This week is going to be a little different. Instead of interviewing another creative, I wanted to celebrate the fiftieth episode of Cracking Creativity by having someone else interview me.

I had my friend and former podcast guest, Jacques Ho, interview me. He has been a huge part of my work on this site and this podcast. Each week we meet to discuss what we are working on while also keeping each other accountable to our goals. He has a lot of insights on my work, which I thought would be great to have for this episode.

In it, I discuss the beginnings of my creative journey, why I started my blog Marketing Your Art the Right Way, my quote art collection and upcoming book, influences for my work, my podcast, and much more.

By the time you finish this episode, I hope you have a better idea of why I started this site and why I want to help all of you on your creative and artistic journeys.

Here are three things you can learn from me:

Start each day by working for yourself

Many of us start each day without making room to do something for ourselves. We might start checking our email or social media. We might prepare for work. Or we might get ready and just head out the door. I used to be one of those people too.

Every morning I would wake up, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, get dressed, and head out the door. I would do the least amount of work possible before heading out the door to work for someone else.

It was only after listening to other people talk about their own mornings that I started to change mine too. Instead of using the beginning of the day to work for someone else, we need to work for ourselves.

We only have a certain amount of energy each day. Why don't we use our most productive hours working for ourselves? Why do we insist on giving our best hours to someone else?

Now, I begin each morning working for myself. I read the books I want to read. I write what I want to write And I create art for myself.

I'll tell you this, it has made a huge difference in my day. It has fueled my mornings. It has invigorated my passion for my work. It has changed everything.

Don't spend your most precious hours working for someone else. Use them on yourself instead.

You normally can't be creative on command

One of the myths of creativity is that you are either born creative or you aren't creative at all. That simply isn't true.

If there's one thing I know about creativity it's that everyone has the capacity to be creative. As artists, we fall for this myth too. It's most common form is writer's block.

When we get stuck on an idea, we are stumped. We don't know what to do. We let it paralyze us. "I am a creative artist, why can't I be creative?"

The reason people think they aren't creative, or the reason so called creative people get stuck is, they haven't practiced using their creative muscle. Just like any other muscle in the body, if you don't use it, it will become weak. We must practice using our creative muscle every day if we want it grow strong.

One of my favorite methods for strengthening my creative muscle is James Altucher's ten ideas a day. Every day, I choose a topic and write ten ideas for it. In fact, it has helped me write some of my best and most successful articles.

The point of the exercise is not to come up with ten good ideas. It's to constantly practice using your creative muscle. When doing the exercise, you will come up with the first five ideas fairly quickly. It's those last five ideas that strain your brain. It's those same ideas that help make your creative muscle strong.

The next time you are feeling creative block, try coming up with ten ideas to overcome it. If you keep practicing it, you will notice yourself become more and more creative.

The power and importance of story

One of my favorite parts about working on this site and this podcast is hearing about and uncovering people's stories. We are all going through our own journeys in life. Often times we forget that other people are going through their own journeys too.

It is both an honor and a pleasure to hear about other people's projects and lives. Some of the greatest lessons in life don't come from our own experience. They come from learning from other people.

Other people have the capacity to inspire and move us the way we often can't ourselves. We are too close to ourselves to notice the things we need to change. By listening to the story of others, we can gain insights into our own faults and flaws.

That is the beauty of hosting this podcast and creating this site. My podcast has introduced me to people who are changing the world. But I would never have met many of my guests if I hadn't started this show.

One of my favorite parts of every week is when I get to jump on a call with one of my guests. Each one has an interesting and beautiful story to tell. I have made it my job as the host of Cracking Creativity to uncover the wonderful story behind each of my guests.

Too often, our connections with other people just scratch the surface. We rarely get the chance to dive deeper into other people's lives. We rarely give ourselves the chance to learn lessons from those around us. We are too busy with our own lives to care.

That is why I want to share these wonderful guests with all of you. It has been an absolute pleasure sharing the stories of my guests, and I hope they have inspired you too. Thanks for joining me for my fiftieth episode. I hope there are many more to come.

More shownotes for episode 50 with Kevin Chung



Download File - 34.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



49: Will Hatton on World Adventures on a Budget, Pushing Yourself Past Your Limits, and Making a Change in Your Life


Tue, May 03, 2016


Will Hatton has a passion for travel and adventure.Not only that, he also loves to do it on a budget. Through hiswebsite, The Broke Backpacker, Will talks about his many wonderfultravels and adventures around the world while also doing it on atight budget.

He has traveled everywhere from India and South East Asia tosome of the world's most dangerous countries like Palestine,Pakistan, Venezuela, and Iran. While many people might consider hismethods and unconventional and dangerous, he has found that theworld is a much kinder and safer place than you might think.

Will's latest adventure is a two year trip from the UK to PapuaNew Guinea without using any flights. In this episode, you can findout why he is embarking on this journey and how he has beenable to fund his amazing adventures, among many other things.

Here are three more things you can learn from Will:

You can push yourself farther than you think

Let's face it. We all live fairly comfortable lives. If you arereading this, you probably have access to the internet, toelectricity, and to some of life's most basic needs.

Yet, we still find ways to tell ourselves we aren't good enough.We make excuses for why we aren't pushing hard enough. As soon aswe hit the first obstacle in our path, we shrivel and give up.

If there is one important lesson you can learn from Will, it'sthat you can push yourself farther than you ever thought possible.You can overcome any obstacle that is in your way.

While he was trekking the Annapurna Circuit, Will nearly died.He was struggling breathing. He was delirious. He was close togiving up. He didn't think he was going to make it back down, buthe did make it.

Pushing through that challenge made him a stronger person. Itshowed him the power of a human's will to survive. Here's Will'saccount of overcoming that obstacle, "The fact that I didn't die inthe snow and I did manage to make it over and down the other side,it definitely strengthened my resolve and heightened my interest inchallenging myself physically and mentally... I suppose when youthink it's all over, it definitely isn't. You can give it that lastpush and break through that wall."

Our obstacles seem incredibly fickle when compared to Will'sexperience. If he can overcome nearly dying, we can overcomewhatever obstacle is in our way.

Make a change in your life or stop complaining about it

Before Will decided to embark upon his journey as an adventurousnomad, he had a stint as a travel agent. Since he loved travel somuch, but wasn't ready to take the leap yet, he thought being atravel agent would be the next best thing.

He quickly realized it wasn't the job for him. Being stuckbehind a desk in an underground building was making him angry anddepressed. He realized the job was destroying his soul.

He wanted to set up the same experiences that he loved doinghimself, but his style of travel was too extreme. The trips he hadto set up were too tame. So he decided to quit.

Instead of constantly complaining about his job, Will didsomething about it. He didn't know whether his idea to give upeverything and travel the world would work, but he did itanyways.

Will believes you should either make a change in your life orstop complaining about it. "If you don't like a part of your lifethen you have a duty to either change it or stop moaning about it.You've got two options. You get on with it and that's fine. That'sthe level that you're going to be at... but if you're not, don'tjust moan about it. Do something about it."

Every new journey requires preparation

Whether you're going out to travel the world on a budget orquitting your job to work on your own creative business, you mustprepare yourself for the journey. Every new adventure requires somethought and preparation. You can't just give everything up withouta game plan.

You may have heard about people who found success after takingsuch a huge risk without preparing for it, but they are in theminority. What you haven't heard about are all the people whoweren't successful after taking such a bold risk.

If you are going to embark upon a new journey, you must beprepared for it. You must prepare yourself both physically andmentally. You must do your research.

"You've got to prepare. You've got to prepare mentally, and youhave to prepare your gear because if you're hitting the road forthe first time... you need to know that you've got the right gearand know it's reliable... if you're hitting the road for the firsttime, you have to have done a little bit of research, so that whenyou do arrive at the initial destination, you're not just like arabbit staring into headlights... I say the more research you do,the more fun you'll have."

While Will's advice is meant for people who are preparing totravel, it also holds true for any new adventure. Preparation isthe key to success. Without it, you are just like that rabbitlooking into the headlights for an answer. Don't take that riskwithout knowing what you are going to do.

View more shownotes from episode 49 with Will Hatton



Download File - 28.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



48: Thom Fox on Life Changing Moments, the Importance of Strong Relationships, and The Value of a Startup Mentality


Tue, Apr 26, 2016


Thom Fox is a strategy consultant who helps companies with complex problems. He has created economic empowerment programs that have reached over 3 million people and has conducted 1,200 seminars, workshops and keynotes. But his story wasn’t always one filled with success.

Thom started off in a life of crime and with an addiction to angel dust. He broke into people’s homes and got arrested at the age of 14. It wasn’t until he was 19 years old that he realized he needed to make a change in his life. It was in that moment that clarity was brought into his life, and got him on the path towards success.

Here are three things you can learn from Thom:

You can change your life

Many people believe once you hit a snag in life, you are doomed to failure. That simply isn’t the case.

Thom started off his life as a criminal who was addicted to drugs. Yet, he still found a way to turn his life around.

Once he made the decision to change his life, he took on various customer service jobs. But the real moment of change happened when he took a job at a non-profit.

That job gave him the opportunity to learn and grow. They threw everything they could at him to see if he could figure things out. “They just kept throwing stuff at me and I looked at from that way. It was a great opportunity to just learn. I didn’t know what I was going to do with all that yet, but.. if they ask me to do this, let me understand what it means.”

It was also at this job that Thom learned to absorb information. “I guess what I learned was one of the biggest lessons is be a sponge. If anybody out there right now is trying to do something different in their lives, be a sponge and learn all that you can because you can apply that knowledge in different areas once you finally get the confidence of achieving some of those things, and then from there, it’s using your creativity to just put them in different situations.”

One day, the president of the company told Thom to become the lead of the marketing department. So Thom learned marketing on the fly, and started to do educational work for the company.

If there’s one thing we can learn from Thom, it’s that your life isn’t set for you. You can change who you are and what you do to impact other people and the world.

Relationships are a crucial

In 2005, Thom was working on a non-profit for college scholarships. After one of his pitches, Thom was approached by one of the directors of the board. When the director asked where Thom learned to build one of his programs, Thom told him he learned on the fly. He told him about dropping out of school and not going to college.

The director was shocked and told him he should pursue his degree. That moment convinced Thom to get his GED and pursue a degree in international business.

After graduating, Thom decided to venture out on his own. The biggest reason Thom was able to do this was because he already had good relationships. His work with the local school system and his work on a documentary allowed him to hit the ground running.

Thom’s belief is that relationships are crucial to your success. “Relationship building is probably the most important thing that I’ve seen in business… I mean the relationships that people really get to see you in your element. So I found a lot of success simply donating my time to organizations.”

When people see your involvement and passion, they are more wiling to work with you. “I fount that by serving on these boards and serving in communities and positions, people get to see what you do, and people get to see your passion for it.”

These relationships form the foundation of your reputation. They help you when you need help the most.

The value of a startup mentality

Thom is a huge proponent of the startup mentality. He believes it can teach you many things, even when you find failure.

Startups are often successful because the people who found them are so creative. “You don’t need a 500 person company to generate a billion dollars, you need to have people who are smart and know what they’re doing. People in that capacity are creative. You know, when your innovation takes creativity, that creativity has to come from the ability to have momentum.”

Startup founders also approach problems with an open mind and willingness to learn. “I appreciate entrepreneurs for their ability to be open minded, their ability to learn, to constantly challenge themselves, and their work ethic.”

They are also don’t let their fear of failure prevent them for continuing on. “That’s what I think I appreciate about that failure and that understanding. Just because you fail, doesn’t mean that it’s over. It just means you get to take all that stuff that you learned, and you get to do something else that’s pretty cool with it.”

That ability to learn and that ability to persevere are what make the startups mentality so special. Even if your idea fails, there is something to learn from that. We just need to be open and willing to learn and fail if we want to run a successful business.

More shownotes for episode 48 with Thom Fox



Download File - 48.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



47: Angela Lussier on Being an Imposter, Living Life by Your Own Rules, and the Importance of Play


Tue, Apr 19, 2016


Angela Lussier is a coach, public speaker, and author of three books. In this episode Angela talks about her journey towards creating her own business, how to overcome the imposter syndrome, why you need to live by your own rules, and the importance of play.

Here are three things you can learn from Angela:

Everyone feels like an imposter

If you think you are the only one who feels like an imposter, you are dead wrong. We all feel like imposters in some way or another. Even those who look like they have it all together have their doubts to.

Angela believes we are all students at something. “Even experts. Even gurus. Even millionaires. Everyone is a student and they may know a lot about what they’re doing in their business, but they still have a lot to learn somewhere else.”

Don’t believe people who tell you they have all the answers. We are all learning together. The key is to have the right mindset. “As long as we have the right intentions of trying to help people and trying to do our best work, then that’s the most we can hope for.”

By talking to a bunch of successful people, Angela has come to realize that you can feel like an imposter and still be successful. Don’t let the imposter syndrome keep you from achieving your dreams.

Live life by your own rules

Too often we feel like we have a standard we need to live up to. We need to be like this person or run our business like that person. But that simply isn’t true.

Angela believes the problem is our fear of being ourselves. “I think a lot of people spend a lot of times being scared and afraid to show what they really want to say and what they really want to do and that’s a major problem.”

Many people get into business without ever considering the lifestyle they want to live, and that’s a mistake. At one point in her career, Angela was living life for everyone else, and it drove her to exhaustion. It was only when she started creating and living for herself that she felt whole again.

Stop living by other people’s expectations. Stop living in fear of being yourself. Determine how you want to live, and make steps towards living that way.

The importance of play

While creating classes for her community, the Do + Make Business District, Angela had the idea of recording one of the lessons at a playground.

Before releasing the lesson, she was scared what her community might think. Would they think it was unprofessional? Would they taker her seriously?
The beautiful thing is, her community loved the idea. They enjoyed seeing her having fun and liked the idea of having fun with business. This gave Angela the courage to experiment even more. She did classes dressed in costumes and played different characters. She wanted to make learning fun again.

Angela also believes in playing as an adult. “Just because you’re a kid doing something doesn’t mean it’s a kid thing. It’s something you can do for your whole entire life, but you abandoned it at some point because you thought you weren’t allowed to do it anymore. That’s a really freeing moment.”

We need to stop being so serious all the time. Play can be an essential part of living a more fulfilling life. We just need to allow ourselves to do it again.

Read more shownotes from episode 47 with Angela Lussier



Download File - 33.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



46: Dr. Matt Westheimer on Mentorships, Relationships, and the Importance of a Process Based Mindset


Tue, Apr 12, 2016


Dr. Matt Westheimer is a chiropractor and the founder of Elite Blueprint.  In this episode Matt talks about his journey of selling everything he had to build a chiropractic practice in Singapore, the role mentors have played in his life, why you need support from the people around you, and the reason the process is more important than the result.

Here are three things you can learn from Matt:

The Power of Mentorship

One constant throughout Matt's life has been the influence of mentors on his life. Early on, Matt made the mistake of only focusing on one aspect of what he considered success.

When Matt read an article about Michael Phelps, he brought it to one of his mentors and said Phelps was the type of person that inspired him. The mentor showed Matt that Phelps had success in one area of life, but was he excelling in other areas of life like relationships, friendships, and personal growth. From that moment on, Matt decided he didn't just want success in one area of life, he wanted it in all areas of life.

On another occasion, Matt had been struggling for months trying to decide whether he should make the move to Singapore. The mentor asked one simple question that changed Matt's perspective. "In fifteen years, what are you going to regret more? Are you going to regret not staying here and opening up practice... or are you going to regret not taking the time to travel around the world?" This was the catalyst that gave Matt the confidence to move overseas.

These moments were pivotal in Matt's growth. Without the help of mentors, Matt's life might be completely different. If you find yourself struggling, seek out guidance from a mentor. Their wisdom can have a profound affect on your life.

Surround Yourself with People Who Will Support You

In one of the most vulnerable moments of his life, Matt found confidence, strength, and the courage to move on and achieve more. How did he do it? With the help of the people around him.

When his long term relationship ended, Matt felt stuck. He was a pivotal moment in his life where he could either grow or continue to live life in the middle.

It was during that moment that Matt turned to his friends. Even though his relationship didn't work out, he was able to build life long friendships because of it.

"I would say one of the biggest things that you can do is surround yourself with people that are going to inspire you, that are going to challenge you, that are going to support you. People that are going to build you up. People that aren't just playing it safe, that are going to call you out."

When you have a strong group of people on your side, you can overcome just about anything. Don't try to do everything on your own because the support these people provide is invaluable.

The Process is More Important than the Result

One of the big changes Matt made in his life was going from a results based mindset to a process based mindset. He used to write down all the things that he wanted out of life from workout goals to monetary goals.

Eventually, he realized when you have result based goals, and you don't achieve them, you feel down about yourself. When you have a process based goal, you get to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the destination. Instead of worrying about whether you can achieve your goals, you get to enjoy the process along the way.

Here's what Matt has to say about his every day process, "I focus all of my energy on where if I do these things every single day, it's going to be impossible for me not to have the result that I would love to have... a lot of people get too focused on the result and less focused on the process, which I think is much more important."
The next time you find yourself down about not achieving your goals, re-frame your mindset to focus on the process instead.

More shownotes from episode 46 with Dr. Matt Westheimer



Download File - 32.9 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



45: Cynthia Morris on the Challenges of a Creative Life, Letting Your Creative Self Lead, and Creating Your Own Stories


Tue, Apr 05, 2016


Cynthia Morris is an author, illustrator, and the creator Original Impulse. She has turned many of her ideas to reality from completing a novel to running creativity workshops in Paris. In this episode, Cynthia talks about the struggles of a creative life, listening to your inner artist, and the need to create our own stories.

Here are three things you can learn from Cynthia:

The Creative Life Isn’t Easy

Even though Cynthia has achieved many things in her creative career, that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Just because she enjoys creating doesn’t mean the creative life is easy.

She believes putting things out into the world “involves an enormous perceived risk.” It has a very specific effect on our nervous systems and our psyches, and the only way to withstand that is to have a “commitment to your ultimate end goal.”

There are so many important factors that go into your creative work. There are the time and money commitments. There’s the possibility that your work may amount to nothing. Everything is a crap shoot. “You have no idea. It’s crazy. It’s ludicrous to make things.”

The mistake many creatives make is trying to do it all on their own. Many of us have fallen into the myth of the lone creative genius. If you want a successful creative career you need allies, peers, and mentors to help you. Creating should not be a solo adventure.

Let Your Creative Self Lead

Often times, we are so concerned about what need to accomplish and how we need to accomplish it, that we don’t pay attention to what our creative self is telling us. Cynthia thinks we all need to stop worrying about everything and just “let your artist lead.”

There are times we got so caught up in the daily grind that we don’t listen to that inner voice. Sometimes we just need to let her be in charge. We need to get lost. We need to make bad decsions. We need to indulge in the part of us that is “oriented toward play and creativity and isn’t always practical in doing the right thing.”

It is those times that we let go that we can be our most creative self. We need that time to explore the world. “There’s so much value in free space.” That is why Cynthia tries to teach people to make space in their schedule. Stop packing every day with a ton of stuff. “If you don’t have space, you don’t have any way to create or be creative.”

Create Your Own Story

We live in such a great time. There’s so much information available to us. There are enough resources and advice to keep us busy forever. And that’s why it’s also a problem.

We are consuming too much. We are listening to too many voices. Cynthia believes the biggest challenge a creative person faces is battling all that noise.

We become too occupied with what others are doing and accomplishing that we forget to listen to ourselves. We need to “learn how to develop a direct channel” to our own original impulse.

We need to learn to listen to our own voice. We need to figure out what we want to say and what we want to make. We need to temper other people’s stories with our own story and our own drive. We need to “develop a relationship with that deep inner voice” within ourselves.

Start living your own story instead of trying to mimic or live someone else’s.

Read more shownotes from episode 45 with Cynthia Morris



Download File - 29.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



44: Sarah Jackson on Making a Positive Impact on Immigrant Families, the Power of Small Steps, and Why You Need to Just Get Started


Tue, Mar 29, 2016


Sarah Jackson is the founder of Casa de Paz, a hospitality home for families affected by immigrant detention. She is also the founder ofVolleyball Latino, a year-round indoor volleyball league that raises money for Casa de Paz. In this episode, Sarah talks about why she started Casa de Paz and Volleyball Latino, the importance of taking small steps, and why you need to take action if you want to achieve your goals.

Here are three things you can learn from Sarah:

One Moment Can Completely Change Your Life

Sarah was working at a church when she received an email that would change her life. The email was an invitation to the pastors of her church to visit Mexico and learn about immigration. The pastors couldn’t attend, so she volunteered to go to represent the church.

Before going, Sarah had never thought of immigration or its affect on people. She just thought it would nice to take a free trip to Mexico. Little did she know, the trip would radically affect her life.

While there, she learned that there are families who want to be together but can’t be. Since her family was so important to her, she wanted to help other families be together.

From that moment on, Sarah has spent most of her energy trying to figure out how to help the families of immigrant detainees. This led to the formation of Casa de Paz and Volleyball Latino.

The Power of Small Steps

There are days we all feel overwhelmed. We have so many tasks on our to-do list. That giant project looms over us. Instead of panicking and worrying about everything you need to accomplish, focus on the next thing on your list.

Sarah gives the example of cleaning her house. Even though she knows exactly what she needs to do, it can be overwhelming thinking of all the things that need to be done. Instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, she makes a list of everything that needs to get done.

“Even though I know in my head what needs to be done to clean the house, I still write it down.” This allows her to measure her progress. She can see that what she’s doing is making a difference. “It makes me feel better and it keeps me motivated.”

Whenever you feel like your task list is becoming overwhelming, just focus on the one thing you should work on next. This allows you to break down giant tasks into much more manageable ones, and you are also able to see the progress you are making.

Just Do It

We all have lofty goals, but how often do we act on them? We badly want to change the world, but we rarely ever take that chance.

We are afraid to fail. We let the enormity of the task overwhelm us. One piece of advice Sarah got was to just do something, even if it is something small. Just get started, and the path ahead will reveal itself before you.

When she first started, Sarah was intimidated and embarrassed about her idea of creating a hospitality home. Her thoughts were clouded by all the what ifs. Her fears overwhelmed her, but then she decided to just do it. She started with something small. It created momentum. “One thing led to another and now it’s it’s own apartment.”

Sarah believes you shouldn’t let your pride, your fear, or the embarrassment of being a failure “prevent you from starting something you know that you need to do.” It might not end up being the right thing for you, but you will never know until you try.

Find people who will support and respect your crazy ideas. Find someone who has done something similar and ask them for advice. You need to understand what your part is and just go after it.

Shownotes for episode 44 with Sarah Jackson



Download File - 27.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



41: Dustin Main on Being Present, Storytelling, and the Power of Vulnerability


Wed, Mar 23, 2016


Dustin Main is one of the photographers behind Lightmoves Creative and the creator of Date an Adventurer. He is also an entrepreneur, adventure photographer, and documentary film maker. In this episode, Dustin talks about being present, using storytelling in his photography, and the power of vulnerability and being open.

Here are three things you can learn from Dustin:

Be Present

Every decision we make can alter the course of our lives. We just need to be aware of them.

Some days we will follow the same old path. We fall into the routine of daily life, and don’t recognize what’s going on around us.

Dustin gives the example of our daily commutes. It’s easy to drive down the same street and not see the people who walk down it. If we just stop for a moment, we can “realize how awesome things are.”

If Dustin wasn’t open to letting life show him the way, he would never have seen a camel race. Being open to the present moment opens opportunities around you. The first step is being aware that they are there.

Use the Power of Storytelling

One of the defining characteristics of a great artist is their ability to tell a story. It’s what sets us apart. Anyone can take a photo and call it art. Great photographers use their art to tell a story.

Dustin believes TV and podcasts are a great example of this idea in action. What sets apart a good TV show from a bad TV show and a good podcast from a bad podcast is the ability to tell a good story.

Stories are one of the defining elements of humanity. Our ancestors used stories to pass down lessons to the next generation. The only way to make these lessons stick was to tell an engaging story.

Dustin uses stories to connect with people through his photography. He feels it makes the “image come alive.” He uses it to relate to his audience so they can understand what it felt like to be there in the moment.

People are Attracted to Vulnerability and Openness

We are all afraid. We are afraid of what people think of us. We are afraid that people won’t understand us. We are afraid that we don’t have everything figured out.

It is those vulnerabilities and fears that make us human. Everyone feels them. Most people just hide them away.

Putting yourself out there is scary. Dustin felt this first hand when he created Date an Adventurer. He didn’t know what people would think, how they would react.

The results, however, were unimaginable. Within a week of creating a dating profile website for himself, his site had over 600 Facebook shares, 10,000 page hits, and more than 100 emails from women who were interested in him.

By putting himself out there, Dustin received overwhelming positive results. His openness and honesty attracted the type of people he wanted to meet and talk to. If there’s a big lesson to learn it’s “when you put yourself out there, people rally around you.”

More shownotes from episode 41 with Dustin Main



Download File - 33.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



43: Max Makewell on Creating Your Own Identity, Overcoming Everyday Obstacles, and the Importance of Building Relationships


Tue, Mar 22, 2016


Max Makewell is a New York City based artist and muralist, but it wasn’t always this way. He grew up in a family of artists and started his career as an artist, but then transitioned into the startup world. It was only after spending a few years there that he came back to being an artist full-time. In this episode, Max talks about owning your identity, making your way through obstacles, and building relationships as the core of marketing your art.

Here are three things you can learn from Max:

You Determine Your Own Identity

Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Max grew up as an artist. His grandfather and mother were both artists. He grew up thinking everyone had artistic upbringings, but only realized what being an artist meant later in life.

He studied it for many years thinking he had to be an artist. It’s all he knew.

Then, he changed his course and worked for a startup for a few years. It was only then that he realized he wasn’t just an artist. He wasn’t a search engine marketer. He was someone who is creative when he produces something.

It was at this point that he made a conscious decision to go back into the arts. It wasn’t because his parents told him to. It wasn’t because society told him to. It’s because he made the realization for himself.

We don’t need others to tell us who we should be or what we should do. You can determine your identity for yourself. Don’t let others label you as something you’re not.

Obstacles are Unavoidable

No matter who you are or what you do, you will face obstacles in life. We face obstacles every day. There’s no use in trying to run from them. Instead we need to think about how to approach these problems.

Max thinks we should be like water. Water is malleable. It’s able to “assume different shapes” in order to make it past these obstacles. If we can adapt and endure through these challenges, we will make it through to the other side.

He believes that the best way to approach our biggest challenges is to think about the here and now. Figure out what your next move is. Just keep growing and moving in the right direction.
Instead of running from obstacles, figure out how to make your way around them. We all face obstacles in life, it’s what you do with them that really matters.

Marketing Your Art is About Relationships

One of the most important things to remember about marketing your art is, it’s about relationships. It’s a relationship between you and your audience. It’s a relationship between you and the person who is deeply affected by it.

It is much better to create a relationship with people who like your art then it is to just try a bunch of different tactics to sell it. People don’t like being sold to. Art is no exception. People want to feel connection with each other and the world. Art is the perfect way to do that.

Max thinks you need to have a great relationship with your audience. When you are in a great relationship, you “don’t look for what you can get” from the other person. They don’t look at what they can get from you. In a great relationship “you’re both in a great place, so you want to share with one another.”

When you have a great relationship with people who love your art, you mutually benefit from it. It’s not a give and take relationship. It’s a give give relationship.

More shownotes from episode 43 with Max Makewell



Download File - 58.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



42: Charlie Gilkey on Mindsets, Business for Creatives, and the Power of Art


Tue, Mar 15, 2016


Charlie Gilkey is is the creator of Productive Flourishing and the host of the Creative Giants podcast. He describes himself as the result of mashing up an entrepreneur, Army officer, and philosopher. In this episode, Charlie talks about mindsets, business, and the power of art.

Here are three things you can learn from Charlie:

Drop the Artist Label

Many artists have painted themselves into a corner by calling themselves an artist. They are afraid of the fraud police that tell them they’re not good enough to be an artist. There’s a story they tell themselves about what it mean to be an artist.

While it can be empowering to call yourself an artist. That label also carries a lot of weight. If you feel the heaviness of the artist title, Charlie suggest dropping it. He advocates “focus on the craft” rather than “evaluation of the craft.

The challenge of the artist label is, “It’s an invitation for people to evaluate your work.” It can be hard to been seen this way, even though that is one of the reasons we create art.

“We want to be seen, but we’re scared to be seen.” Often times the thought of being an artist can be unhelpful. When you feel that weight, like Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, drop the label and just create.

The Myth of Perfection

As artists, we have this vision of what our work will look like when it’s complete. We spend hours on end trying to achieve that vision. Often times, it can prevent us from actually releasing our work.

It is in these moments that you must move on. Charlie thinks that what you’ve created is “more beautiful than that perfect image that you have in your head.” That piece of art can change and inspire lives, but it can’t do that if they never see it.

Perfection is unattainable. If we waited for perfection every time we create a piece of art, we would have nothing to show for it. Don’t use the excuse of unfinished work for not selling or showing your paintings to others.

There’s a sacredness in allowing someone to buy a piece that you’ve poured your soul into. Be willing to let go of your art, even it doesn’t meet your standards of perfection.

The Art of Pricing

Artists often have trouble determining the right price for their work. According to Charlie, they are making it much harder than it needs to be.

Far too often, we become too attached to our art. We think the amount we sell our work for determines our worth, but that simply is not true. Art is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Charlie suggests looking at the art market and using it to choose your price. Go to an art fair, and see the range of prices people are willing to pay, then just pick a number. Don’t try to analyze it to death. These prices work because others are already willing to pay them.

Art is hard to quantify because it’s so subjective. People buy your art based on the way it makes them feel. If you can get your art in front of people who want to buy it, they will pay you what you are worth. Just make sure you find people who are willing to pay you in kind.

More shownotes from episode 42 with Charlie Gilkey



Download File - 35.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



40: Josh Rivedal on His One-Man Show, the Importance of Marketing, and Learning from Failure


Tue, Mar 01, 2016


Josh Rivedal is the founder and director of the I'mPossible Project. He is also the author of two books and the star of his own one-man show. In this episode, Josh talks about overcoming his near suicide, the importance of marketing for artists, and the lessons we can learn from failure.

Here are three things you can learn from Josh:

The Power of Storytelling

One thing Josh has learned from all his trials and tribulations is the power of story. Josh's career jump started through the help of his one-man show. It helped spark the idea for his second book and the formation of his I'mPossible non-profit organization.

Stories are one of the most powerful things we have as humans. We are wired to tell stories. They are what allow us to connect with other people. Josh used the power of his own story to bring awareness to suicide prevention and social justice projects. They have become the foundation of his career.

Artist Need to Embrace Business and Marketing

Josh believes artists are against the idea of marketing because they are not good at it, but you can't be good at something you don't attempt. Instead of pushing against the idea of business and marketing, embrace them just like you embrace you art.

Art businesses, just like other businesses, are here to provide a solution to a problem. Art isn't a luxury when it's good. It's a necessity. So embrace marketing and treat your art like a business. This will help you create and sell more of your work.

Learn From Your Failures

We need to get over failure. We have been taught to avoid failure at all costs, but it has hampered our ability to grow. When we try to avoid failure, we stop experimenting. We don't try new things because we are afraid they won't work.

Instead of avoiding failure, embrace it. That doesn't mean we should try to fail. It just means we need to be willing to fail. The point is to learn from your failures.

Josh believes you have to be willing to fail to succeed. Failure is just part of the process. Thomas Edison attempted making the light bulb 10,000 times before finding the right solution. No one is above failure. Once you realize this, you will be able to use it as a spring board for success.

More shownotes from episode 40 with Josh Rivedal



Download File - 34.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



39: Juan Sepulveda on Creating vs. Marketing Your Art, the Power of the Right Mindset, and Diversifying Your Income Streams


Tue, Feb 23, 2016


Juan Sepulveda is a painter and the creator of The Winding Stairs Podcastand The Gentleman’s Brotherhood. His art focuses around the lessons and symbols of free masonry. In this episode, Juan talks about marketing and creating art, why you must have the right mindset, and why you need to diversify your income streams.

Here are three things you can learn from Juan:

Marketing and Creating Art Require Different Ways of Thinking

Artists are often opposed to the idea of marketing their work. People often criticized Juan for selling his art because they couldn’t sell theirs too.

If you are having trouble selling your art, you need to separate your artistic creation from your business. It requires to completely separate parts of yourself to be able to sell your art. You need to be able to put on different hats depending on whether you are selling or creating your art.

You can’t let selling get in the way of your creativity. Let your creative side work its magic on the art, but then, when you are done, you have to switch hats. Juan believes you have to be authentic to your inspiration, but you also have to be wiling to sell your work once you are done creating.

Your Mindset Means Everything

Your mindset determines everything about the way you approach the world. Just look at one of the artists you admire the most. They have the same amount of time as us, and sometimes they have even fewer resources, yet they are still able to create something amazing.

Juan believes that you create your own limits. We are the ones who confine or restrict ourselves from achieving our true potential. The good news is, in order to change that, all we have to do is change our mindset.

If your favorite artist can get their painting in a museum, you can too. Learn from those who came before you, and apply those lessons to what you want to accomplish. Just know that you can do it, and you are on the way to achieving it.

Diversify Your Income Streams

If you are relying solely on selling your art to make a living, you are missing out on some great opportunities. Art sales are hardly steady, and if you rely on that income, you can get yourself into some trouble.

Diversifying your sources of income can lead to more stability with your finances and with your life. Juan does not just create art. He also does public speaking and a podcast to help promote himself and his art.

By creating other income streams, you can have a bad month selling your art and not have to worry as much. These other income streams will allow you to rest more easily without worrying about selling your next painting to survive.

View more shownotes for episode 39 with Juan Sepulveda



Download File - 35.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



38: Rebel Advisors James Wightman & Kristen Cruz on Having the Right Conversations, Research and Self-Reflection, and Multiple Right Answers


Tue, Feb 16, 2016


James Wightman and Kristen Cruz are the co-founders of Rebel Advisorsand the authors of The Rebel Way. They want to show students that college isn’t the only path towards success.

Here are three things you can learn from James and Kristen:

Conversations Can Help You Make Better Decisions

The problem with most students who go to college and don’t finish is, they never stopped to think about what they wanted out of the college experience. They are told by their parents and counselors that college is the path they need to take. They are never given the chance to decide for themselves whether college really is the best path.

That is why conversations with those who want to help you are so important. These conversations can help students identify the paths they can take, find something that makes them comfortable, and build the skills they need for what they are seeking. They can help you find the motivation necessary to find what lights you up inside.

Finding the Right Path Requires Research and Self-Reflection

It can be hard to find what you want to do with your life. The majority of college students change majors at least once and only 27% get their first job in their given major. That is why it is so important to do research and self-reflection before you choose a path.

James begins the process of helping students by doing research. He sees what options align with the skills they have. Then guides them towards something where they can use those skills.

Kristen begins with self-reflection. She has the student figure out what they want first before she can begin to help them. It is only when you know what you want that people can help you get there.

By doing research and self-reflection you can align your skills with what you want to do. These things will give you a better idea of what you should pursue in life.

There Isn’t One Right Answer

One of the main problems with the education system is, we have taught people that there is only one right answer in life. Schools teach for the test instead of the process, and it has stifled our ability to be creative.

This has led to a society of people who are afraid to make mistakes. But mistakes are where you learn the most.

The thing is, you shouldn’t try to fail. Failure in itself isn’t the goal. It’s the lessons that you learn from failure that are the key to success.

One thing to consider is finding something you want to do, even if you fail at it. What thing are you willing to take risks for? What has a strong enough pull that you are willing to let go of fear?

Pursue that thing without fear of consequences and you will no longer look for the single right answer. You will try and try again until you’ve found the path forward.

More shownotes for episode 38 with James Wightman & Kristen Cruz



Download File - 39.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



37: Tim Noxsinz on Enabling Others, Seeking What You Want, and Reaching Your Full Potential


Tue, Feb 09, 2016


Tim Noxsinz aka Timitude is the creator of CreativeMondays.net  and co-host of the Middle of Nowhere Show. In this episode,  Tim talks about enabling others, seeking what you want, and reaching your potential.

Here are three things you can learn from Tim:

How to Empower Others

Although Tim is a writer and co-host of a podcast show, he believes his greatest strength is enabling others. Through his work on Timitude, Creative Mondays and the Middle of Nowhere Show, he is able to give people a platform to express themselves in an empowering way.

Here are Tim's four keys to empowering others: connecting, creativity, catalysts, and challenging. Connecting creates value through the connections you have. Creativity happens through his Creative Mondays platform. He is a catalyst of change through the Middle of Nowhere Show, and he challenges others through consulting.

Stop Waiting for Good Things to Happen

Tim believes people spend too much time waiting for good things to happen to them instead of seeking them out. If you wait for good things to happen to you, you could wait your entire life.

That is why he likes to give people the belief that they can change the world. We often undervalue our ability to make a significant impact. If you truly want to make a difference, you need to believe in yourself first, then you must go out and seek it.

You can achieve your goals if you are intentional about it. Stop playing in the small pond of life. Go out and make a big splash in the ocean.

How to Reach Your Potential

Everyone has the potential to achieve something great in life. We are more powerful than we believe. Don't let anyone tell you you are not good enough.

Tim believes it starts with believing in yourself. In order to go from where you are to where you want to be, you must first embrace the man in the mirror.

Then you must be willing to test and learn from your mistakes. Mistakes in life are inevitable. It's what you do after making those mistakes that really matters.

Don't take failure as a reflection of who you are. They are a part of becoming a more complete person.

If you are able to do these things, you can achieve your full potential.

Read more shownotes from episode 37 with Tim Noxinsz



Download File - 32.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



36: Brandon Lee on Reinvention, Making an Impact, and Mentorship


Tue, Feb 02, 2016


Brandon Lee is an an entrepreneur and writer. After spending three years an an international speaker for churches and nonprofits, he reinvented himself and became a real estate investor. In this episode, Brandon talks about reinventing himself, making an impact, and mentorship.

Here are three things you can learn from Brandon:

You Can Make an Impact

While working as a speaker for non-profits, Brandon learned the impact he could have on people. He didn’t need to go to school or take a course to learn it. He discovered it intuitively.

After giving speeches, people would approach him and tell him how much his talk meant to them. It was in this moment that Brandon realized that something that seems trivial to you can mean the world to someone else.

This just goes to show that everything we do can have an impact on others, regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not. That is why it is so important to be aware of what we do and say around people. An insult can destroy a person’s day and a compliment can make someone else’s.

You Can Reinvent Yourself

Most people believe once they choose a career they are stuck there. They think they have to live the rest of their life doing the same thing.

Brandon proves that statement is completely untrue. After building a successful career as a speaker for non-profits, Brandon felt the need to change. He didn’t think the non-profit space allowed him to to make enough money to make a difference doing what he truly loved, helping people.

So he shifted his focus and got into real estate, and he did it without knowing anything about real estate! He taught himself from the ground up and was not afraid to do it.

If you do not feel fulfilled in your current situation, make the necessary change. Just because you chose a certain career path does not mean you have to stay there.

You Don’t Need to Find Your Passion

Everyone seems to be enamored with the word passion. It feels like we need to find our passion or we will never be fulfilled.

Brandon sees it another way. Instead of trying to discover what you are good at or passionate about, find something you are interested in and explore it.

Many of us feel the need to go all-in on things in order to make something out of them, but that isn’t true.

Brandon uses the example of learning All of Me by John Schmidt. One day after hearing the song, he decided he wanted to learn it. So he bought a keyboard and began learning to play it.

Does this mean he is passionate about learning to play the piano? Not necessarily. Does it mean he could eventually develop that passion? Possibly.

Far too often we live in this black and white world, but the world doesn’t work that way. Instead living in the world of all or nothing, do some exploring. You might be surprised by what you find.

Read more shownotes for episode 36 with Brandon Lee



Download File - 29.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



35: Alex Hanse on Pursuing Your Dreams, Having the Right Mindsets, and Never Giving Up


Tue, Jan 26, 2016


Alex Hanse is the owner of Foolies Clothing and the host of Dream Without Limits Radio. In this episode, Alex talks about why many people don’t pursue their dreams, why you need to have the right mindset to succeed, and why you shouldn’t give up.

Here are three things you can learn from Alex:

Don’t Give Up

Often times, what separates those who make it from those who don’t is giving up. We focus too much on trying to figure out exactly how to get it right. We want to find the instant path to success.

Even when he hasn’t made a sale in a month, Alex never gives up. Every time he thinks about giving up, Alex reminds himself up Nick Vujicic. Nick has no arms or legs, but is still a motivational speaker. He has many disadvantages that most of us don’t, yet he still has the power to continue on.

Don’t go down without a fight. Fight those negative thoughts away and continue on.

The Power of a Good Mindset

The problem many people have is adopting the wrong mindsets. Our minds are the most powerful tool we have. It determines how we approach the world and everything around us.

If you want to improve your place in life, Alex suggests having a $2,000 mindset, not a $2 mindset.

People with $2 mindsets don’t think they can achieve anything. Instead of pursuing their goals, they do nothing because they think they will fail.

People with $2,000 mindsets ask themselves the necessary questions to achieve their goals. They are inquisitive and they take actions on their goals.

Your success is dependent on you. Stop getting in your own way. Do everything you can to change your mindset for the better.

Give People What They Want

The key to a successful business is giving people exactly what they want. Alex did not start off wanting to start his own clothing company. He was just wearing shirts he thought were cool. Eventually people started approaching him, asking where they could get his shirt. That’s when he knew he had a business.

Instead of trying to come up with ideas out of nothing, Alex asks people what they are having trouble with, then makes shirts out of it. He looks for common problems among the people that he talks to, and creates shirts with positive messages to encourage people who have those thoughts.

Successful businesses are always about fulfilling a need. Listen to what people are telling you, and give them exactly what they want.

Read more shownotes for episode 35 with Alex Hanse



Download File - 25.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



34: Jim Hopkinson on Embracing the New, the Importance of a Side Projects, and Tips on Negotiation


Tue, Jan 19, 2016


Jim Hopkinson is an author, speaker, teacher, and, entrepreneur. Jim has worked at startups, big corporations, and for himself at SalaryTutor.com. In this episode, Jim talks about the lessons he learned while working at ESPN and WIRED, why side projects are important, and the best ways to negotiate your salary.

Embrace the New

Jim has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies. He was a digital producer before that title even existed and he has always embraced new technology.

While at ESPN he worked on the team that was creating the ESPN phone before cell phones became a part of every day life. He helped manage the Twitter and Facebook accounts at WIRED, and helped WIRED get into podcasting.

All this isn't to tout his accomplishments. It just shows you that embracing change can put you ahead of the curve. Don't be stuck in your old ways. Be willing to pivot and try new things.

Importance of Side Projects

While Jim was working at WIRED he was also working on his own projects. He was podcasting on the side for five years and wrote his own eBook on salary negotiation.
These endeavors may not have paid off immediately, but when he was let got at WIRED, he had something to fall back on. Instead of scrambling to find a new job, Jim was prepared because he was doing things on the side.

Right around the time he was fired, he was also offered the chance to speak at SxSW. He has now spoken there six times. He was also able to leverage his eBook into SalaryTutor.com

All of this shows you that you can't rely on others to make your living. Jim has been let go multiple times, and each time he was able to get right back on his feet.

Research Before Taking an Employer's Offer

When most people accept a new job, they take what's given to them. They normally think "I should just be grateful to have a job." Jim doesn't think that way. If you don't negotiate your salary, you could be missing out on thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

The biggest problem with most people is, they do very little research when negotiating. Here are the five places to learn about how much your job could be paying you: salary research sites, job board sites, industry research guides, your internal network, and your external network. By doing a little research, you can find out exactly what you are worth. Instead of going in blind, be prepared to ask what you're worth.

Read more shownotes for episode 34



Download File - 31.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



33: Michael Zaytsev on Mindsets, Coaching, and Starting His Own Venture in High NY


Tue, Jan 05, 2016


Michael Zaytsev is a life coach and founder of High NY. Before taking on his current roles, he was a financial analyst for J.P. Morgan and a sales rep for Google. In this episode, Michael talks about lessons he learned at J.P. Morgan and Google, why coaching is important, and why he took up the mantle at High NY.

Here are three things you can learn from Michael:

The Power of Mindsets

Michael learned many lessons while working for J.P. Morgan and Google. One of the biggest lessons he learned was that of being of value.

While many people go in to startups expecting to make money from them, Michael created his knowing he would not make a lot of money in the beginning. Instead, he focused on creating value. When you create value, you will be rewarded in the long run.

Another thing he learned was analyzing risk and return. Many founders are only focused on the now. Instead of only looking at the present, Michael analyzes whether his actions are worth the risk. He also looks at the short and long term value of everything he does. By weighing risk and reward, he can make sound decisions that will help the long term future of his company.

The Importance of Coaches

Many people have a misconception about coaches and what their roles are. Before becoming a coach himself, Michael was only familiar with executive coaching. After meeting two life coaches in the short span before his accident, Michael became a life coach himself.

When people think of life coaches, they picture people bossing them around and telling them what to do. In fact, the opposite is true.

Coaches give you the space to go deep, explore, and push yourself. They provide you with accountability and structure. They give you an objective view of your problems and help reveal solutions to you.

Advice on Starting Up Your Own Project

Before you can start your own project, idea, or business, there are a few things to keep in mind. Michael’s first piece of advice is to make sure you are creating something of value. If your idea doesn’t provide people with value, it will fail.

Another important thing you must do is make sure you have a user base or audience. Without an audience, there is no business. An engaged audience is one of the keys to sustaining a successful business.

The last thing to remember is entrepreneurship is difficult and isolating. Don’t go into it expecting everything to work perfectly. Just know that there will be rough times and hard work ahead.

Read more shownotes for episode 33 with Michael Zaytsev 



Download File - 40.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



32: Tam Pham on Getting Over Your Doubts, the Importance of Mentors, and the Best Way to Network


Tue, Dec 22, 2015


Tam Pham is an author, speaker, podcaster, and teacher. He has spoken to high school students on networking and entrepreneurship and wrote a best-selling Amazon book How To Network: Build Instant Trust & Respect With Anyone You Meet. In this episode, Tam talks about the getting over your doubts,  the importance of mentors, and the key to networking.

Here are three things you can learn from Tam:

Getting Over Your Doubts

No matter who you are, you will have doubts. Even the most talented and influential people in the world have to overcome that voice inside themselves telling them they are not good enough.

Tam believes that people do not give themselves enough credit for what they have accomplished. We are too busy comparing ourselves to others and what they think of us, that we begin to doubt ourselves.

Tam felt this way when speaking to high school students. What could a college drop out teach others? Instead of trying to give advice, Tam believes we should speak from our own experience. Tell your autobiography and people will embrace it.

Stop doubting yourself and speak and learn from your own experiences.

The Right Way to Network

Most people think of networking as this boring and unbearable activity they have to do. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Networking isn’t about making connections. It’s about making friends. You want to look for people who support you, appreciate you, and want the best for you. That’s what you should be looking for, not another name to add to the rolodex.

The best way to do this is by forgetting about the business aspect of networking and embrace people for who they are. People are more willing to help people they are friends with.

Once you are friends, you must be willing to give. No one wants a friend that always takes. Provide value for people and they will want to provide value to you in return. Don’t give expecting anything, just know it will come back to you in the end.

The Power of Mentors

When people think of mentors, they think of a guru who will sit down with them and show them the ways of life. Gurus don’t need to be someone you sit down with every day telling you how to maneuver your way through life. They are people who share their experiences with you and help you get where you want to go.
In his article, Tam talks about how he has many mentors in life. Everyone from James Altucher, to Peter Thiel, to Ryan Holiday. Their mentorship comes from books and podcasts.

You don’t need to meet with people for them to mentor you. You can learn from the lessons that they’ve shared, and employ them yourself.

Tam used advice from Chandler Bolt, James Altucher, Charlie Hoehn and Hung Pham to become a best-seller on Amazon. He then told his mentors the results he got from their advice. He is now a testimonial his mentors can use to show the validity of their advice.

View more shownotes from episode 32 with Tam Pham



Download File - 26.8 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



31: Colin McCann on Productivity, Taking on an Ambitious Project, and the Power of Beliefs


Tue, Dec 15, 2015


Colin McCann is a web developer who is trying to revolutionize the way we view productivity. In this episode Colin talks about his take on productivity and how he approaches his goals, taking on such an ambitious project, and how beliefs can have a huge impact on self-improvement.

Here are three things you can learn from Colin:

Big Risks Don’t Need to Be Made with Snap Judgments

Just because you are doing something drastic or daring, doesn’t mean you have to do it on a whim. Before Colin thought about quitting his job, he saved up enough money to make the jump. He lined up his finances so he would have the freedom to work on his project without worrying about how he was going to pay for things.

If you want to take a risk, don’t make it a blind risk. Make sure you have everything lined up and planned out. Get all your ducks in a row before taking that leap.

Break Things Down Into Small Steps

Instead of approaching projects like this great big thing you need to tackle, approach them like many small tasks that can be conquered. When you are trying to accomplish any goal, figure out what the next small task is.

When you keep tasks small, your brain can focus on the task at hand. Otherwise, you can get bogged down by the enormity of it. Break each task into bite sized pieces. This allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment as you make your way towards your goal.

Believing in Yourself is the Best Way to Self-Improvement

Self-improvement is all about your beliefs. Before you can better yourself, you must believe in yourself. Your beliefs are not accidental, they are the result of everything you do.
If you want to make improvements in your life, you have to believe you are capable of making them. Once you do, everything becomes easier. We may not be conscious of it, but our beliefs shape who we are and how we approach each day.

More shownotes from episode 31 with Colin McCann



Download File - 33.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



30: Natalie Kim on Choosing Yourself, Being Vulnerable, and Dealing with Mixed Reactions


Tue, Dec 08, 2015


Natalie Kim is an actress, writer, and artist. She also hosted It’s a Draw With Natalie Kim, where she interviewed comedians and cartoonist while they drew. On this episode, Natalie talks about why you need to work on your own projects, lessons she’s learned from stand-up and improv, and why vulnerability helps with acting and in life.

Here are three things you can learn from Natalie:

Choose Yourself

For a while, Natalie listened to what other people told her. She let her manager and others decide what roles she would appear in, which led to burning out.

It was only when she went back and worked on her own projects that she was able to find happiness in her work.

Don’t let other people tell you what you should be working on. Decide for yourself. If you don’t like the projects that people are offering you, work on your own projects instead.

The Power of Vulnerability

Natalie has learned that being being vulnerable and open not only helps you with acting, it also helps you in life. By being more open, it allowed her to be more human and to experience things more fully.

We often go through life trying not to show too much emotion, but the thing is, people are more trusting when we are open. It is much easier for people to empathize with you when you are being honest with them. This mutual honesty and trust allows you to build a strong connection with each other.

Dealing with Inconsistent Audience Reactions

As a stand-up and improv performer, Natalie has learned to deal with different reactions from the audience. Some nights people will laugh, others it will be silent.
The only way to deal with this is to realize that not everyone will have the same reaction to your work. Instead of worrying about it or letting it get to you, learn to move on. Don’t let what others think dictate what you think about yourself.

You just have to hone your craft and be so good people can’t ignore you. The difference between professionals and amateurs is the ability to deal with criticism and the reaction of your audience.

More shownotes from episode 30 with Natalie Kim



Download File - 28.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



29: Kim Nicol on Her Jouney into Mindfulness, How Mindfulness Helps High Powered People, and the Many Ways She Teaches


Tue, Dec 01, 2015


Kim Nicol teaches meditations and mindfulness and has helped thousands of people find calm in everyday moments. In this episode Kim talks about how she went from marketing, to being a lawyer, to becoming a mindfulness and meditations teacher. She also talks about how to relate to others and the many different ways she helps bring mindfulness into people's everday lives.

Here are three things you can learn from Kim:

Your journey doesn't need to be linear

Many people settle for their lot in life. They went to college, got a job, and are stuck there. At least that's the thought. It doesn't have to be this way.

Many people think of life as a singular path, but it's much more complicated than that. Kim's path took her from marketing and branding, to being a lawyer, and finally to her calling as a mindfulness and meditation teacher.

If you feel like you can't do anything about your job, think again. Look at Kim as an example, and remember, many other people are finding their way too.

How high powered people can overcome stress

People in positions of power often get stressed because they can't control everything. They lived most of their lives getting what they wanted, but when things don't go exactly as planned, they stress out over it.

The best way to overcome this stress is to shift your perspective. It doesn't do any good to get angry over something you can't control.

Instead take a breath and decide from a place of calmness. Explore your options and shift your relationships, choices, and momentum so you aren't burning energy.

Advice on getting started with meditation

When people here meditation, they often think of monks sitting on the floor chanting to themselves. This often turns people away because they are daunted by how intense it can be.

The good news is, meditation comes in many forms. It doesn't need to be that intense or intimidating.

If you want to get started with a mindfulness or meditation practice, Kim advocates starting small. People often give up because they start off trying to meditate for 20 minutes. Instead, start with a 3 minute meditation and increase the amount of time as you become more comfortable with it.

Kim also advocates approaching your practice with a sense of curiosity and adventure. Don't worry about getting it right. See how you can make it fun.

Read more shownotes for episode 29 with Kim Nicol



Download File - 48.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



28: Mike Roy on the Common Myths Artist Believe, How to Overcome Those Beliefs, and Finding the Perfect Niche for Your Creative Business


Tue, Nov 24, 2015


Mike Roy is the creator of Artist Myth, a site dedicated to helping artists overcome the things that hold them back. In this episode, Mike talks about the common myths artists believe, what people can do to overcome those myths, and how to find work you love.

Here are three things you can learn from Mike:

Overcoming common artist myths

Artists who want to make a career out of their art must first overcome the ideas that hold them back. According to Mike, the best way to do this is to ask questions.

Far too often we let others influence our beliefs. If you truly want to become an empowered and inspired artist, you must discover it for yourself. Don’t believe everything you hear.

How do you do this? First you must ask why, then you must follow up and find out why. This allows you to make your own informed and educated opinions.

How to find your creative niche

Many people want to live a creative and fulfilling life, but don’t know where to start. If you are in this boat, you can follow Mike’s three spotlight method for finding the work you love.

First comes your passion. If you want to live an inspired life, you must find out what gets you excited.

Second is your talents. What are you good at? How can you use these things to fulfill your creative purpose?

Last, you must find your market. Discover those who want what you have to offer. They are your tribe.

When you are able to combine these three things, you can begin to build a business around them.

What to do with your passion, talent, and market

It’s very hard to combine your passion, talent, and market. If you already know them, you are ahead of most people, and now it’s time for you to take action.

This is where many people fall off the wagon. They can pin point everything they need, but they find it hard to do the work. But that is the most important, and most difficult part.

You do this by putting your work out their and getting validation from it. If you want to know if people will buy your work, you must put it out there.

Doing this will give you valuable feedback on what people like and don’t like about your work. You can use this to grow your business and become a better artist.



Download File - 54.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



27: Lee Moyer on learning from others, dealing with criticism, and his Kickstarter game


Tue, Nov 17, 2015


Lee Moyer is a polymath and illustrator who has been working for over 35 years. He has worked with book publishers, theaters, and game developers among many other things. In this episode, we talk about a lot of topics including learning from others, how to handle criticism and information overload, and his Kickstarter project The Doom that Came to Atlantic City.

Here are three things you can learn from Lee:

How to become a better artist

Lee is a big believer in learning from those who came before you. He never had a traditional art education and doesn’t think it is necessary to become a great artist.

In order to become a better artist, he studied under other artists and absorbed their knowledge. This allowed him to learn under the best and the brightest instead of going into debt by going to art school.

He is also a big believer in joining forums and learning from artists on the internet. These avenues make it easier than ever to become a better, more refined artist.

The importance of criticism

Lee believes criticism is an important part of becoming a better artist. Instead of letting criticism get to you, learn from what others are trying to tell you.

People who critique your work are using their own time and energy to give you constructive feedback. Listen to what they they have to say and instead of taking it personally. If people didn’t like you, they wouldn’t bother to critique you.

Dealing with impostor syndrome

Everyone must deal with impostor syndrome. Even the late, great B.B. King was not immune from it. In order to overcome your feeling of not being good enough, you have to know and believe your work will turn out well.

Even when you feel like nothing is coming together, you have to work through it. You need to be stubborn enough to work through the lulls in order to create something great. Just keep working and you will be fine.

More shownotes for episode 27 with Lee Moyer



Download File - 57.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



26: Katy Walker and Joel Mejia on Taking Action, Working with Limitations, and Empowering Others


Tue, Nov 03, 2015


Katy Walker and Joel Mejia are the co-directors of the Time is Artdocumentary, a film that follow’s Jennifer Palmer’s journey after her aunt’s death and her exploration of synchronicity. They are also the minds behind Things Are Changing Productions, a creative collective that produces youth media programs, indie films, and music videos. In this episode we explore what you must do to take action, why you should work with limitations, and the benefits of empowering others.

Here are three things you can learn from Katy and Joel:

You should look inward for answers

Looking inward is one of the most empowering things people can do. Many of us go days without taking the time to look within ourselves for answers. We are so busy trying to be productive that we forget to think things through.

Most of the time, the answer we are looking for is already within us. The next time you are stuck looking for answers, pause and look inside yourself. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Limitations make you more creative

Big budget blockbusters have an almost an unlimited amount of money to work with. They are given every resource they may need, which might be the reason so many of them fall flat.

Joel believes the best way to get the most out of an artist is to give that artist some limitations. When you are up against a wall, you are forced to come up with a creative solution, which often lead to the best results.

Most of us believe the more free you are, the easier it is to be creative. The problem is, this gives you t oo many options. The next time you are stuck, give yourself some limitations. You may be surprised by the results.

The benefits of empowering others

Katy and Joel are big believers in empowering other people. They believe apprenticeships are a powerful form of teaching. When someone becomes your apprentice, they are not being forced to learn. They are looking for long term value and a longer term education.

They are also running a series of workshops along with the film. This encourages people to engage and collaborate with others, which leads to a more powerful experience. They want people to connect through the film and the workshops and create long terms connections from it.

Read more shownotes for episode 26 with Katy Walker and Joel Mejia



Download File - 42.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



25: Jennifer Palmer on the Power of a Single Event, Being the Subject of a Documentary, and the Power of Technology


Tue, Oct 27, 2015


Jennifer Palmer is the subject of the upcoming documentary on synchronicity: Time is Art. She is also a writer and the co-founder ofSyncChast, a platform that connects people with thought leaders, artists, and pioneers for change. In this episode, Jennifer talked about how her aunt’s death changed her life, what it was like being the subject of a documentary, and how technology is a powerful tool for connecting people.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Jennifer:

One event can change the course of our lives

After graduating with her Masters degree, Jennifer was trying to make it as a writer, but ended up with a job in IT. She found herself floating through life at her tech job instead of writing.

Her aunt’s early death was the catalyst that changed her life. This made Jennifer realize she didn’t want to continue her career in IT, so she decided to make a change. Now she is actively writing and helping connect people through SynchCast.

You should always keep an open mind

When we are children, we have an insatiable curiosity. We approach life with an open mind and playfulness that we lose in adulthood.

We falsely believe that as we grow up we should start having all the answers. We are scared that other people do know the answers, and we are afraid to show how much we don’t know.
This fear hampers our ability to accept the unexpected. When you open yourself up to new information, you increase your ability to be creativity. You can only achieve this by keeping an open mind and admitting you don’t have all the answers.

Technology is a powerful tool for connection

Many people have this false idea of technology. They think that is somehow stiff, stilted and weird compared to talking with people face to face. But technology is anything but that.

Sure you’ll encounter hiccups along the way, but technology can be a wonderful aid for connecting people. She has found that the conversations she has online can be very intimate and close. She also found that once, you get used to using technology, it flows very well. She has even found that you can feel the energy flowing at these events.

Read the shownotes for episode 25 with Jennifer Palmer



Download File - 30.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



24: Steven Shewach on Busting Bogus Beliefs, the Stereotypes of Masculinity, and Changing Himself for the Better


Tue, Oct 20, 2015


Steven Shewach is the creator of Bogus Belief Busters, an idea dedicated to bringing self-help to the masses. He is also the author of Man Date, a manual for men on how to make meaningful relationships with fascinating dudes without being weird or awkward. In this episode Steven talks about how he plans to help people overcome their bogus beliefs, his thoughts on masculinity, and how he turned his life around after being a self-described asshole.

Here are three things you can learn from Steven:

You can repurpose old ideas with a simple twist

Steven is on a mission to help people bust their beliefs. Through his project, he is trying to translate life's universal truths into something that is relatable to the general population. He is doing this by creating characters out of our behavioral problems, and bringing them to life through the use of super heroes and comics. Some examples of his characters include the Unfinisher, Not Enougher, Apeaser, and Expecter

He is taking the lessons that people have learned over millennia, an repackaging it for this era. By building a highly visual brand and merchandise, he hopes to make self-help relatable to a broader audience.

Masculinity isn't what you think

One thing Steven has noticed, is that masculine stereotypes have caused problems in men's lives. A few of these include always being stoic, repressing your feeling, being powerful, and doing things alone. Men who try to fit these ideals become trapped, and it's hard to get out.

Instead of closing themselves off, Steven wants to help men forge meaningful and soulful friendships. He wants to create a space of vulnerability and openess where men can explore their feelings.

You can change yourself for the better

Steven describes himself as an ex-asshole. Before making the change, he blamed other people for his circumstances. Instead of accepting responsibility for himself, he put it on everyone else. He acted out in anger, frustration, and sadness all the time.

During a three day period, he came to this realization, and has tried to become a better person ever since. He tries to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. The key thing is to recognize your negative thoughts. You need to listen to what your body is telling you and orient yourself to a positive place.

Shownotes for episode 24 with Steven Shewach



Download File - 28.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



23: Tim Lawrence on Growing Through Adversity, Minimalism, and the Power of Listening


Tue, Oct 13, 2015


Tim Lawrence is a copy editor, writer and adversity researcher. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Barclays Center, and Lincoln Center, and has copyedited for New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling authors. In this episode, Tim talks about growing through adversity, the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, and the power of listening.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Tim:

You have to challenge yourself if you want to grow

When we grow up, we do everything we can to make life easier on ourselves. We are taught to seek comfort instead of adversity. While this may lead to an easier life, you will also stagnate.

Challenging yourself is the only way to grow as a person. It forces you to be in the moment. You become more aware of you body and mind, and grow outside of your comfort zone.

Otherwise you will be left unfulfilled and bored. Instead of running from adverse circumstances, confront them. That is the only way to grow.

The benefits of a minimalist lifestyle

One of the great revelations Tim had was the power of owning less. When he was making a lot of money, he also owned a lot of stuff, and was still unhappy. Now that he is making a lot less, he also owns less, which has made him a happier person.

What he has come to realize is that by owning less, you are able to serve people more effectively. You have less distractions and you are able to focus on what is truly important.

Instead of owning more things, he recommends saving money so you can have experiences. When you travel, you come face to face with cultures that are different from our own. And you realize that things like possessions, status, and power are valued a lot less than they are in the Western world.

The power of being a good listener

Early in life, Tim discovered that listening was a very important aspect of connecting with other people. When people were going through tragedy, they would come to him because he knew how to be a good listener.

He now uses this skill to help both people who are going through adverse circumstances, and those who are trying to share their message with the world. It has been crucial in his work with successful people.

Through listening he is able to dive into other people’s worlds. He allows people to expose themselves for who they are without judgement. This had led to strong relationships that can last a lifetime.

Shownotes for episode 23 with Tim Lawrence



Download File - 42.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



22: Brad Beckstrom on Owning His Own Agencies, Living Lean, and Finding Happiness in Photography


Tue, Oct 06, 2015


Brad Beckstrom has built a career in advertising, but has found happiness in living lean and his creative pursuits. On his blog The Frug, Brad talks about what it is like to live lean, work lean, and travel lean.  In this episode, Brad talks about what it was like going into advertising and owning his own agencies, how he began living lean, and his creative quest to take 100,000 photographs.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Brad:

It's Hard to Balance Business and Passion

Before going to college, Brad wanted to pursue a creative career. Since his dad was helping to pay for college, he had a say in what Brad should study in college. Instead of following his creative calling, Brad chose to study business and marketing. He tried to take photography classes on the side, but his creativity was put on the shelf to focus on his business courses.

This led to the creation of multiple advertising agencies. While working in these companies, Brad wanted to work on the creative side, but was tasked with sales and operations. He always felt the creative itch, but wan't able to balance the operations side and creative side of himself.

It's Never too Late to Pursue What You Love

After many years working in marketing, Brad took a sabbatical to Thailand. While there, he felt a pain in his knees.  While in that moment of pain, he thought of his creative interests and thought to himself "What if I've waited too long?" That moment, coupled with watching a documentary on Vivian Meyer and Chris Guillebeau's The Happiness of Pursuit set him on a creative quest.

He was going to take 100k photos in 100 cities and 1,000 places. Instead of waiting til retirement to pursue something he loved, he was going to seek it as soon as he could. 

The Importance of Living Lean

Early in his life, Brad was in the rat race of life just like everyone else. He wanted the big house with eclectic and creative things in it. At a certain point, he realized these things would not bring happiness to him.

He saw how people were spending the rest of their lives paying for the big ticket items everyone tells you to get, a big house and fancy car. Brad has chosen to live in a modest house and drive his car into the ground.

Instead he has chosen experiences over things. That is the essence of his creative quest.

Shownotes for episode 22 with Brad Beckstrom.



Download File - 29.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



21: Mark McClung on Taking Action, Finding Your Passion, and Leveraging Side Projects


Tue, Sep 29, 2015


Mark McClung is the creator of My Daily Mark, a blog dedicated to helping people, especially high school students, take action in their lives. In this episode Mark talks about the lessons he has learned, why you need to find your passion, and leveraging projects to your advantage.

Here are three important lessons you can learn from Mark:

Taking Action is Essential

One of the most important lessons Mark has learned is the importance of taking action. Every success he has seen was the result of taking action on the ideas he has.

One thing Mark said really stood out to me. He says that inspiration alone is not enough to get you where you need to go. "Without action, inspiration is nothing more than entertainment." I can't agree with him more.

Anyone can watch inspiring talks or read inspirational books. Only people that take action on that inspiration actually achieve something great.

It doesn't require much to take action. All you need to do is break down your goal into individual action steps. Once you break things down into small, actionable parts, it becomes much easier to accomplish them.

Find Your Passion

Another thing that Mark advocates is finding your passion. Once you find your passion, it becomes much easier to move forward with your idea.
Just because you don't know what your passion is doesn't mean you won't be able to discover it. When you pursue things you enjoy, you may discover your passion.

This quote perfectly describes passion and taking action, "You don't have to know what your passion is. You just have to take passionate action."

The most important thing is to take actionable steps. It doesn't matter how big or small those steps are, just as long as you are taking them.

Leverage Your Projects

Mark is a huge advocate of starting projects through your passion. He has used these projects to make himself stand out from his peers and get new job opportunities.
In college, he started his own advertising company which lowed him to learn many aspects of business. He was able to turn a $100 budget into a company with 20 clients. This separated himself from other recent college graduates when he went to get a job.

Mark and his wife also started a social network for teachers. Although he eventually moved on from the project, it taught him valuable lessons and allowed him to start his next project.

These projects have allowed him to rise the ranks of his career ladder, they have taught him lessons that he might not have learned otherwise, and they have allowed him to experiment and find things he was passionate about.

Shownotes for episode 21 with Mark McClung



Download File - 44.5 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



20: Stephen Pirie on Traveling the World, Building Travel Adventures, and Giving Back to the Youths of Fiji


Tue, Sep 22, 2015


Stephen Pirie is the director of many companies including Nurture ChangeUnleash Travel, and Spirit of Sharing. Through these companies, Stephen is creating retreats for business leaders, building a safe travel experience for youths from New Zealand and Australia, and giving back to the youths of Fiji.

Shownotes for episode 20 with Stephen Pirie



Download File - 22.2 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



19: Dan Galperin on Traveling Around the World, Loving Yourself, and Being Confident


Tue, Sep 15, 2015


Dan Galperin is the man behind the Man Power Project, the Fight Club for the Soul. Through one on one coaching and group calls, he helps men discover what it means to live well. In this episode Dan talks about his travels around the world, why you need to love yourself, and how you can become more confident.

Here are three important lessons you can learn from Dan:

The Key to Confidence

One of the most common limiting beliefs he found in people is not believing in themselves. When he was younger, Dan used to get so angry that he would punch himself in the face. He realized this was a self-destructive practice and changed the way he viewed the world.

He now regularly says “I love you” to himself. This is a reminder that he is good enough. He wants to take this lesson and share it with others. In order to become confident, you must first love yourself.

We are All the Same

After talking to many people, Dan has come to the realization that we are all the same. We all have the same doubts and fears.

Even the most famous celebrities and self-help gurus have these doubts and insecurities. It doesn’t matter how much success you have, we all feel these things because we are human.

This fact is quite liberating. When you are going through times of doubt, just remember, everyone has those same doubts. We are not alone in this journey.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One thing that holds many people back is the fact that we are always comparing ourselves to others. We look at other people’s lives and are jealous of what they have.

We never compare ourselves to people who we think are lower than us. We are always comparing ourselves to people who we think are above us.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, we must be comfortable with who we are. There’s no point in comparing your journey to anyone else’s. We must fight this internal battle and realize we are the only thing holding us back.

When we compare ourselves to others we are holding ourselves back. Dan believes everyone has a greatness inside them, and I can’t help but agree.

Show notes for episode 19 with Dan Galperin



Download File - 30.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



18: Dorie Clark on Her Journey, How You Can Reinvent Yourself, and How You Can Stand Out


Wed, Sep 09, 2015


Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, speaker and contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Time, and Entrepreneur. She authored the books Reinventing You and Stand Out, and is also an adjunct professor of business at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In this episode, Dorie talks about how she went from working on Howard Dean’s political campaign to being a business consultant, how you can reinvent yourself, and what you can do to stand out.

Here are three important lessons you can learn from Dorie:

1. The Path to Success Is Never Linear

Dorie did not start her career as a marketing strategist. She worked her way there. Before she ever started advising businesses and teaching business courses at Duke, she was a journalist, political campaign strategist, documentary film maker, and head of a non-profit.

It was only after going through this journey that she found her calling. Instead of accepting the fact that you can’t change your status in life, figure out how you can change it instead.

The way to do this is through experimentation. While making the documentary, Dorie discovered she was much more comfortable with words than she was making videos. The only way she could have discovered this was by trying it first.

By experimenting, you can discover what resonates with you. Try things until you find the thing that lights you up inside.

2. You Can Reinvent Yourself

Through her journey, Dorie was able to reinvent herself multiple times until she found what she wanted to do. If you want to make a career change or you want to change how people perceive you, you must first discover your brand.

The problem is, it is hard for most people to know what their brand is. We know far too much about ourselves to know what our brand is. Dorie advocates asking half a dozen people close to you “If you only had three words to describe me, what would they be?”

This will give you a good idea of how others perceive you. If they chose words you don’t want to describe you, you must determine how to close the gap between those words and the words you do want to describe you.

3. How to Stand Out

In this noisy and competitive world, the only way to become successful is to stand out. Dorie wanted to systematize a process for talented people to be recognized and heard.

For Stand Out, she spoke to thought leaders such as Seth Godin, David Allen, Robert Cialdini, Daniel Pink, and Tom Peters. She also spoke to regular professionals in a variety of fields. Through this process she discovered the three things people can do to stand out.

Build a Network

This starts with building one one one connections with trusted people. This allows you to gain feedback from people you respect.

Build an Audience

Once you have a network of trusted people, you can build an audience. You can only get so far communicating one on one, so you must communicate your ideas publicly.

Build a Community

If you have ideas that people resonate with, you can leverage it through a community. Ambassadors of your idea are the most powerful asset you can have in order to stand out. When your ideas are bigger than yourself, you will stand out.

Show notes for episode 18 with Dorie Clark



Download File - 26.9 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



17: Josh Barad on Making Yourself Uncomfortable, Relating to People Authentically, and Surrounding Yourself with the Right People


Mon, Aug 31, 2015


Josh Barad is the founder and chief Uncomfortable Officer of In the Middle Seat, a coaching company that helps millennials embrace discomfort and create adventurous experiences. In this episode, Josh talks about why he embraces discomfort, how we should be authentic with each other, and why you should have a group of supportive people around you.

Show notes fo episode 17 with Josh Barad



Download File - 31.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



16: Jason Alster on How He Merged Science and Art, Solved Art Mysteries, and Got to Host His Own TV Show


Tue, Aug 25, 2015


Jason Alster is an artist who has merged the worlds of science and art. He is a researcher who has studied the brain and how kids with ADHD can learn. In this episode Jason talks about using science in his art, solving multiple mysteries, and hosting a TV show for authors, among other things.

Show notes fo episode 16 with Jason Alster



Download File - 27.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



15: Janice Dalager Shows You How to Be Present, Let Go of Expectations, and Explore Creativity


Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Janice Dalager is the co-host of the Middle of Nowhere Show. Along with her co-host Tim, she hosts a weekly call where their sole expectation is "good things ahead." She also helps coaches host webinars through her site Online Event Hostess. In this episode, Janice shows you how to live in present, let go of expectations, and explore creativity in everyday life.

Show notes fo episode 15 with Janice Dalager



Download File - 33.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



14: Tyler Bel on Building Relationships, Being of Service, and Taking Action


Tue, Aug 18, 2015


Tyler Bel is the founder and vision director of There is No Sky. Through There is No Sky Tyler helps empower people and shows companies how they can enrich the world. In this episode Tyler breaks down what you need to do to build good relationships, how you should be of service to others, and why you need to take action.

Show notes fo episode 14 with Tyler Bel



Download File - 31.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



13: Mark Guay on the Education System, the Future of Work, and Insights From Podcasting


Tue, Aug 11, 2015


Mark Guay is an educator and the podcaster behind The Traveling Cup and Your Life on Purpose. He is combining these passions to make a difference in the world. In this episode he talks about the education system, how we will work in the future, and lessons he has learned from podcasting.

Show notes fo episode 13 with Mark Guay



Download File - 30.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



11: Ellen Bard on Leaving Corporate Culture, Opening Up to Creativity, and Juggling so Many Passions


Tue, Jul 28, 2015


Ellen Bard is a shining example of what people call a multi-potentialite. She juggles many things including consulting as a work psychologist, blogging about self-development and travel, and writing fiction. In this episode Ellen talks about what is was like to quit her high paying job as a consultant, moving from the UK to Thailand, opening herself up to creativity, and dealing with having so many passions.

Show notes for episode 11 with Ellen Bard



Download File - 32.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



12: Maia Monasterios on the Time is Art Documentary, Synchronicity, and Being a Passionate Creative


Tue, Jul 28, 2015


Maia Monasterios has been making documentary films for over twelve years. She has worked for companies ranging from National Geographic to MTV, but had the desire to do her own independent work. Her latest project is an independent documentary film titled Time is Art, where she is working with the creative collective Things are Changing. They are raising funds for the film until August 2, 2015 on IndieGogo.

Show notes for episode 12 with Maia Monasterios



Download File - 38.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



10: David Villalva on Storytelling, the Formula for Best-Selling Novels, and Being Persistant


Tue, Jul 21, 2015


David Villalva is the creator of Story & Craft, a site dedicated to teaching storytelling formulas used in bestselling novels. In this episode, David talks about his storytelling blueprint, continuing to write after receiving devastating feedback, and why you should have a support system for your craft.

Show notes for episode 10 with David Villalva



Download File - 28.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



9: Crista Cloutier on The Working Artist, How to Build Relationships with Your Audience, and the Mindset Changes Necessary for Artists to Succeed


Thu, Jul 09, 2015


Crista Cloutier was a former art director at Segura Studio as well as the owner of her own art gallery. During her time there, she learned sales and how to build deep, lasting relationships with artists. She has now turned that knowledge into her own online art workshops as The Working Artist. In this episode, Crista shares an unbelievable amount of knowledge including how to build relationships with your audience, how she successfully funded her Indiegogo campaign, and the mindset changes necessary to succeed as an artist.

Show notes for episode 9 with Crista Cloutier



Download File - 31.7 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



8: Vernon Foster on Knowing When to Quit, Visualizing Your Future, and Pivoting


Wed, Jul 01, 2015


Vernon Foster II is the founder of the podcasting company Pod Parrot and former host of the Live by the Beat and Event Supremacy podcasts. In this episode he talks about knowing when to quit, visualizing your future, and pivoting his way into a podcasting company.

Show notes for episode 8 with Vernon Foster



Download File - 74.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



7: Christina Salerno on Living Quirky, Finding Yourself, Connecting with Others, and Being Creative


Tue, Jun 23, 2015


Christina Salerno is the founder of Living Quirky, a site where people can discover and celebrate what makes us extraordinary. In this episode, Christina talks about finding her purpose in life, how we can connect with others, and things we can do to be more creative.

Show notes for episode 7 with Christina Salerno



Download File - 64.6 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



6: Jason Goughnour on Live Music Tutor, Bringing Your Ideas to Reality, and the Future of Online Learning


Tue, Jun 16, 2015


Jason Goughnour is the creator of the site Live Music Tutor which lets people learn to play instruments online. In this episode Jason talks about coming up with the idea for his site, building a team of people to make his idea come true, and tips for starting your own creative project.

Show notes for episode 6 with Jason Goughnour



Download File - 32.9 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



5: Carl Rosa on the Sushi Club of Houston, Trips to Japan, and Doing What You Love


Tue, Jun 09, 2015


Carl Rosa is the founder of the Sushi Club of Houston and he also runs fantastic group trips to Japan. In this episode, Carl talks about how Hurricane Katrina and his terrible first experience with sushi were the catalysts to creating the Sushi Club of Houston, how he started the club without knowing anything about sushi, how he started teaching his own sushi classes, and his journey of taking people on trips to Japan.

Show notes for episode 5 with Carl Rosa



Download File - 67.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



4: Mary Dooley on Her Espresso Yourself Books, Self-Publishing, and Building Relationships


Tue, Jun 02, 2015


Mary Dooley is the author of two self-published books, Espresso Yourself and Espresso Yourself Too. In this episode, Mary talks about how a Christmas gift idea for her co-workers turned into her two Espresso Yourself books, how she met and started a relationship with the president of Starbucks America, some tips on self-publishing, and some her favorite quotes from the books.

Show notes for episode 4 with Mary Dooley



Download File - 45.1 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



3: Jacques Ho on Salsa Dancing, Being Present, and Expressing Gratitude


Tue, May 26, 2015


Jacques Ho is a Salsa dancer and instructor in Denver Colorado. In this episode, Jacques talks about what makes a successful dance, what dancing can teach us about ourselves and others, why you should always be in the present moment, and how he became a Salsa fanatic by accident. He also dives into his upcoming research and gratitude projects which can teach us about being of service and leaving a lasting impact.

Show notes for episode 3 with Jacques Ho



Download File - 53.3 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



2. Chris Krimitsos on his Podcast Story Jam Theatre, Storytelling, the Emotions of Stories, and How One Person can Change Your Life


Tue, May 19, 2015


Chris Krimitsos is the mind behind the wonderful podcast Story Jam Theatre, which features stories about epic fails, aha moments, and life changing experiences told at live storytelling events. In this episode Chris talk about storytelling, the emotions of stories, and how every person has a story to tell. He also talks about how his Uncle Gus shaped his future by touting the importance of education and developing skills.
 
Show notes for episode 2 with Chris Krimitsos


Download File - 38.4 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



1: Joshua Carrasco aka Madd Illz on Freestyle Rapping, Battle Rapping, and Creativity


Mon, May 11, 2015


Madd Illz is one of the most respected freestyle rappers and the founder of Grind Time Now a battle rap league. In this episode he shares the differences between freestyle and researched rap battles, the creative process, his work with the United Nations, how pop culture, chess, and poker make you more creative, among many other things.

Show notes for episode 1 with Madd Illz



Download File - 49.0 MB (Click to Play on Mobile Device)
Listen To This Podcast (Streaming Audio)



More Details

  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: C085928