Have you ever thought that it must be easier for other people to do their best work and rack up accomplishments OR that other people have it all figured out? Or that you’re missing some X factor that’s keeping you from playing your best game?
If so, check out The Creative Giant Show, the podcast that dives behind the scenes to talk about what it takes to thrive as a creative person who’s actually making a difference in the world. The podcast is a mix of interviews, jams, and riffs with Creative Giants at varying levels of success.
I want you to hear that their challenges are very similar to your own so that you find inspiration to actively change your story about what you’re capable of. Think of the show as a loving and fun swift kick. (I’ll leave it to you to determine where the kick needs to land.)
One thing to note about the Creative Giant Show: we go places other shows don’t, because I want us to see life as it is, not as it’s marketed. So we’ll occasionally go into topics like depression, suicide, divorce, death, bankruptcy, addictions, and whatever else comes up for people. Life is beautiful AND imperfect – appreciating the beauty while navigating the hard is the name of the game.
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Enjoy the show!
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named ”The 3 Goals of Any Business Activity.” The article shows how using the lens of cash flow, opportunity, and visibility is useful for sorting through complex business decisions to decide your most relevant next step.
Many creative people have a love/hate relationship with systems. On the one hand, systems can help clear up a lot of mind chatter and resolve frustrations, and, on the other hand, they’re just not that fun and creative people tell themselves that they don’t think systematically or get systems. Marina Darlow joins me on today’s jam to discuss the relationships between systems, creativity, and emotion and some of the real reasons people avoid building better systems.
Episode 136: Q&A #10: Having a No-Electronics Rule, Switching Your Focus, and Conducting a Mid-Month Review
This is our tenth Q&A episode so Angela is going to join me again to be prompting the questions and have a little conversation. Today we’re going to be talking about why we have a no electronics in the bedroom or dining room table rule, how to determine if your current focus block just isn’t going to work and how to switch to something else, and how to conduct a mid-month review.
A lot of creative people thrive on having multiple side projects, at the same time that having side projects can cause your main project to suffer. Nicole Stevenson joins me today to jam about the flip side of the coin: how might side projects help you with your main project. Given that Nicole has a business partner with her own side projects, we also discuss how to manage the potential conflicts and energetic shifts that occur when side projects collide.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named ”5 Ways to Get Through the Creative Red Zone.” The article lists 5 ways to get creative projects through that indefinitely almost done stage and across the finish line.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we have the capability to create solutions that promote positive social change. We can promote diversity and inclusion, distribute wealth, create opportunities for people, and provide for our team and community. Pam Slim joins me today to jam about the power of small business as a vehicle for social change and that being that change may not have the costs many people believe it will.
Episode 132: Q&A #9: Decision Fatigue, Business Growth, and Managing Multiple Projects while in Overwhelm
In our ninth Q&A episode, Angela joins me again to answer questions from our Facebook group, The Creative Giant Campfire. Today we’re talking about decision fatigue, business growth problems, and how to manage multiple projects when you’re already overwhelmed.
Larry Robertson joins me today to jam about creativity: what it is, where breakthroughs come from, the unhelpful myths that keep us from understanding creativity, the key roles that space and time play in the creative process, and the different modes of creativity. That’s a lot of topics, but hey, that’s what you get when you get two thought leaders on creativity talking about creativity, and this is just the first of many shenanigans that Larry and I will get into.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “You Have to Make Time to Make Time.” The key idea is that, much like the adage “it takes money to make money,” you have to make time for planning so that you can save (or not waste) time when you’re actually doing. If you don’t have time to plan, you don’t have time to not plan.
Today’s jam is a challenging one to introduce because we covered so much. Mike Vardy – a friend and fellow productivity teacher – joins me for today’s jam, wherein we discuss the power of defaults, theming your week, how to use creative/focus blocks, and how effective scheduling, planning, and decision-making are really about kindness.
Episode 128: Q&A #8: Creative Energy Flow, Taking Action on Your Great Ideas, and Healthy Money Conversations
Angela joins me again today to answer questions that have come in from our community. In today’s episode, we talk about how to start taking action on your great ideas, having healthy conversations with your business team about finances, and which of our planners can help get your creative energy flowing.
In today’s episode, Jennifer Labin joins me to dig a little into what makes me tick and how I get stuff done. We cover why I joined the Army (and how I apply that to my work), my workout routines, what my self-care routines look like, what my tech setup looks like, what my daily routine is, and what my biggest challenge is. If you like behind-the-scenes and making-of conversations, you’ll dig this.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “Stop Lying and Start Creating.” The key idea is that we creative people are particularly adept at making up stories and lies that keep us from doing the work. This is especially true about “research,” which can be a particularly sophisticated way of hiding from your work.
Why is it that some people reach a certain level of success and then plateau or self-destruct? Toku joins me today to jam about what we’ve experienced in ourselves and our clients, and Toku’s insight is that people often struggle with the guilt of getting what they want. Feeling that and moving through it is the path of growth.
Episode 124: Q&A #7: Priority Cagematches, Cultivating Diversity, and Troubleshooting Too-Intense Plans
In this Q&A episode, Angela and I are back it again, answering questions our community members have been asking. In today’s episode, we discuss the priorities cagematch, how to bring more diversity into your company, and what to do when your plans are too intense.
Episode 123: Feeling Your Way Through What Does Make You Happy vs. What Should Make You Happy with Kristin Reinbach
Do our conceptions of happiness and the good life translate across cultures? Might what it means to be happy or what it means to live a good life be dependent on the culture we’re in? Kristin Reinbach joins me to discuss this question, among many others. Throughout the conversation, we discuss the difference between social norms of success and happiness versus our personal concepts of success and happiness. Knowing the difference between what does make you happy and what should make you happy is the key to flourishing.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “Welcome to Project World.” The key idea is that we no longer live in a world defined by careers; now, our world is defined by projects. In this world of projects, what we finish is more important than what we’ve been doing and working on.
On today’s episode, Angela joins me to jam about how to be intentional during the holidays. We cover clarity about values and expectations, priorities, and positive and negative boundaries. Our hope is that this helps you amp up the happiness of your holidays without amping up undue stress.
Episode 120: Q&A #6: Networking from a Place of Generosity, Project Post-Mortems, and Working in Harmony with Your Spouse
In this Q&A episode, Angela and I are back at it again, answering questions our community members have been asking. In today’s episode, we discuss how to network from a place of generosity, how to do project post-mortems, and how Angela and I work in harmony as a married couple.
As we age, society can marginalize us, making us feel irrelevant. This is especially the case in America’s youth-focused culture. But we also marginalize ourselves through negative self-talk. Mary Fran Bontempo joins me today to discuss how aging can be a gift and how to make words like change, fear, and fine not be dirty words. Additionally, we discuss how much of our identities are fixed by the stuff we accumulate.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “Shake It, Don’t Break It.” The key idea is that you can walk to the edge of the known world you see and shake things up without completely breaking up and burning down everything you know and have built.
In this Q&A episode, Angela joins me to discuss how to determine what to delegate in your business, how to focus on high-value work, what low prices say about your products and services, and what to do when you’re getting off your schedules and productivity cycles.
In school, we’re all taught different subjects, but few teach us how we learn and express ourselves, especially since Western schools have a bias for reading and writing as learning and expressive vehicles. The end result is that a lot of smart, creative people write themselves off or get written off, only to find out later in life that they’re much more creative and intelligent than anyone thought. In today’s jam, Angela joins me as we discuss the different ways people learn and express themselves and provide some different practices for moving from idea to something created in the world.
Remember MacGyver, the ingenious action-adventure hero from the ’80s who could disarm bombs with a toothpick, a Swiss Army knife, and duct tape? MacGyver was a huge influence on me as a kid, and his creator, Lee Zlotoff, joins me today to discuss the genesis of MacGyver, as well as the MacGyver Secret, a simple process that can help you solve your toughest challenges. Because who wouldn’t want an Inner MacGyver solving problems for them?
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “Your Art Is For You.” So many creatives and changemakers get stuck because they feel torn between the art they want to create and the art others want, but you’ve got to start with making art for you first.
Grief is one of those emotions we all experience but don’t process and talk about very often. Angela joins me today to discuss some common but unconsidered sources of grief, the difference between healthy and unhealthy grieving, and what to do for people you care about when you’re not sure how to be there for them.
Episode 112: Q&A #4 – Preventing Overwhelm, Dealing with a Bad Day, and Hiring When You Don’t Have the Cash
After seeing how much more fun it was to have Angela with me on the Q&A’s, we’ve decided that it’s the new standard. Today we answer questions people sent in about preventing overwhelm when goal-setting, dealing with a bad day, and hiring someone when you don’t have the immediate cash to do so.
Jonathan Fields joins me for a second time today to discuss his new book, How to Live a Good Life. The journey of writing this book has been a particularly interesting one, for the process required him to step into a very uncomfortable role at the same time that it required him to immerse himself in literature that he’d dismissed. We discuss this evolution, as well as the places a lot of people struggle with living a good life.
Today’s episode is a requested reading of a previously published post on Productive Flourishing named “What I’m Here to Do.” The post shares some stories that have informed why I show up in the world the way I do – I’m a bridge-builder who helps people flourish.
In today’s episode, Jason Van Orden joins me and shares what he’s learned about influence and helping others become top influencers in their fields. Given that we often teach what we most need to learn, we also discuss what his work has revealed for him and the surprising tensions that have come up for him on his thought leadership journey.
Angela joins me on today’s episode to jam about how to align your goals and projects with your seasonal energy. This is a bit of a follow-up from Episode 102 with Megan Roop based on questions readers have been asking us, but it’s also prompted by our current transition from summer to fall.
Angela joins me for today’s Q&A to discuss how to form a success pack, how to brainstorm your goals, and what the biggest leadership lesson I’ve learned in business is. We made the switch to Angela joining me on this because it’s way more fun doing these with someone else, and you’ll soon hear how much better the answers are.
Productivity, as a concept, is bankrupt. We’ve made productivity about To-Do lists, hacks, and efficiency, while it’s so much more than that. If you’re wondering why a guy who writes a lot about productivity thinks the concept is bunk, this episode is for you.
In today’s episode, Arna Baartz joins me to share her journey from being a child of creative parents to being an artist who teaches people how to become more emotionally intelligent. Along the way, we discuss how she weaves in being a mother of eight children and her discovery and exploration of the art of Kundalini.
On this Q&A, I answer questions about the triggers that trip us up, how you might be feeding into your own resistance, and what to do if you’re in a job that isn’t fulfilling your life goals.
Srinivas Rao returns to the Show to jam about his new book, Unmistakable. We dive right in and discuss why only isn’t enough, how the myth of easy creativity keeps us from doing our unmistakable work, and the neurotic creative process the Unmistakable team goes through to ship their work.
Megan Roop joins me to share how quiet adventures helped her find herself after battling the pursuit of being perfect. Along the way, she’s woven her experience with the Peace Corps, selling outdoor equipment, teaching yoga, and helping people overcome eating disorders into a unique body of work. Listen in as we discuss the nourishing nature of being in nature and how honoring the seasons helps you honor your changing nature.
Tall tales and moments of glory are what leaders are proud to share with their teams; they’re what people marvel at and revel in. Leaders often don’t tell the whole story, though. What they conceal are the very lessons that their teammates need to learn the most: the dark parts.
To illustrate, I share a true story from when I served as a logistics officer in the armed forces. Business is a battlefield – are your people prepared?
The tables are turned in this episode, as Andrea Lee puts me in the spotlight. This one’s coming right after I’ve started sharing more of my thoughts on race, identity, equality, and justice, so a good bit of the conversation focuses on how we might show up as our full selves in our work. If you find yourself at a loss for how to engage with the world while still doing your work, you might find some useful ideas in here.
Whether we’re content creators, managers, leaders, or customer service reps, we’re all in the teaching business. Breanne Dyck joins me again to continue the conversation about making better learning experiences that work for our learners and for us. Hint: it’s not about the content.
Lisa Robbin Young and I discuss the post she wrote for Productive Flourishing on the three types of creative entrepreneurs. Even if you don’t consider yourself creative OR an entrepreneur, this is worth a listen because we’re really talking about the different modes of creativity and why it’s important to lean into the kind of creative you are.
A common growing pain for Creative Giants is the pressure to be just one thing in the world – to just be a doctor, or a writer, or a programmer, or a CEO. The truth of it is that we’re all multi-dimensional, so resisting that only leads to our living less-rich lives. Dusti Arab joins me today to share her Creative Giant journey and show how she’s weaving it all together.
Episode 95: How an Uncomfortable Friendship Becomes a Creative Partnership with Leah Hynes and Naz Murphie
I felt the urge to re-release this episode because of its inspirational and encouraging message. Bestselling author Seth Godin discusses the Icarus Deception and why he was afraid of writing Icarus. This episode also captured a catalytic moment that contributed to my publishing my first book.
Note: Because this episode is a re-release of Episode 3 but with a new introduction, iTunes lists it as Episode 94.
Think about what comes to mind when I ask you to think about a “marketer” or “saleswoman.” Be honest: did you think of a smart, soft-spoken, insightful woman? If not, I hope today’s episode changes that for you. Sonia Simone is a marketing trendsetter and founding partner of Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger Media), and throughout our conversation, she reveals how a risk-averse, introverted, and insanely curious writer became one of the leading voices in digital marketing today.
On this episode, Angela and I jam about what I learned from an experiment I tried that involved switching up my daily rhythms.
As uncomfortable as it is to make any big changes in life, fear kicks into overdrive when you’re changing great careers. Michelle Bushneff joins me today to share her purpose-filled, pioneering journey from software companies to Athleta, to her own consultancy, and now back to more full-time positions. We explore the difference between passion and purpose, second acts, and the changing realities of being a woman in today’s business world.
A lot of our decisions revolve around enhancing our own freedom. The challenge is that there are two distinct concepts of freedom that are often in tension and lead us to making decisions that keep us from flourishing and being our best selves in the world. In today’s riff, I’m going to explore the two concepts of freedom and how they lead to different outcomes.
Each of us wears different masks every day, whether that mask is being a mother, a creative person, a brother, or a manager. Knowing when we’re wearing the right one — and which ones not to reveal — is key to our success and happiness. Dr. Atira Charles joins me today to jam about how the masks we wear relate to authenticity, vulnerability, productivity, and stress.
Something we don’t talk about enough — at least in a positive way — is that many entrepreneurs and small business owners realize that being an entrepreneur or small business owner isn’t right for them. Sometimes it’s about business models and market trends, and other times it has nothing to do with those external conditions. But given that being an entrepreneur and small business owner is a core way of understanding who they are in the world, it can be hard to take the next right step without feeling shame, grief, frustration, or anger. Laura Neff joins me today to share what she’s learned as someone who’s stepped away from one small business she started and grew and is potentially stepping away from her current one.
Every one of us has our unique set of challenges and negative beliefs that keep us from living life to the fullest. To thrive, we have to develop rituals, practices, and methods that help us root out the negative thoughts and beliefs that are hurting our productivity, goals, health, and relationships. Marc and Angel join me to share the practices, tools, and insights that helped them in their journey from newlyweds in trying circumstances to being recognized by Forbes as the creators of one of the most popular personal development blogs.
All too often, exercise and movement are put in a different bucket of activities than those that count towards our being productive. Unfortunately, that’s backwards: exercise is a foundation for success, so focusing on our health and fitness is one of the most productive things we can do. Mike Goncalves joins me to talk about the relationship between creativity, confidence, priorities, and exercise.
A recent UN report showed that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets. Yes, you heard that correctly: more people have access to cell phones than have access to working toilets. This is a global crisis we don’t like to talk about, but it has a disproportionate effect on the advancement of women in developing nations. Jasmine Burton joins me today to discuss this and her social impact startup, Wish for WASH, that’s designing toilets specifically for communities that don’t have access to them.
Many modern men are caught in a strange space, for we can’t and don’t want to be like our fathers and grandfathers, but we also don’t want to be some shade of Homer Simpson. And yet, there’s not much space to talk about this in public, either. Add in the fact that many of us — men and women alike — work in confined spaces indoors and what you get is a view of a caged-in man, both literally and metaphorically. Jonathan Mead joins me today to jam about reclaiming wild men and about how physical movement is tied to our uncaging. Note: we discuss the apparent heteronormativity of these views in this conversation, so if that’s bugging you, listen in first.
If you’ve ever considered being a fine artist or have talked to an artist you know, you’ve probably heard and accepted some variant of the Gallery Myth — that the goal is to have your art featured in a gallery and then you’ll be set for life. Buyers will flock to you, critics will appreciate you, and you’ll get to continue to make the art you love. I like stories about unicorns, too. Cory Huff joins me for Episode 79 to discuss the relationship between commerce and art, as well as the hidden path for artists that leads to real abundance.
Episode 78: The 3 Essential Pieces of Your Business’s Legal, Tax, and Financial Foundation with Kyle Durand
Let’s face it, the legal, tax, and financial aspects of our businesses and creative ventures are areas that many of us avoid. We’ve been conditioned to be afraid of them (in the case of legal and tax matters), and diving into the financial realm naturally makes people uncomfortable. But avoiding them is like trying to build the third floor of your business without building its foundation. Kyle Durand joins me today to jam about the three essential pieces of your business’s legal, tax, and financial foundation. I ask him some common questions I get — listen in to see if he answers a question you might have.
Cynthia Morris joins me to jam about creativity, talent, and capturing the wow that comes up as we travel through our days. This is a particularly good episode to listen to if you’re at the beginning of your mastery journey with a creative form — whether that form is writing, painting, music, programming, or blogging — or if you’ve found yourself paralyzed by trying to cater to all of the voices “out there” that might judge your work.
What do depression, strategy, financial intelligence, and specialization all have in common? They’re all related to choices – in the case of depression, sometimes feeling like you don’t have any. They’re also topics Tara Gentile and I jam about on this episode of the Creative Giant Show. Listen in to see how good strategy helps you make better choices.
We all know that death is a part of life, but it’s the part of life that we, as a society and as individuals, often would rather not talk about. And yet not talking about it isn’t making it go away and, in fact, makes death and dying so much harder for us to process.
If you’re not a long-time listener to the Show, you might wonder why we’re talking about death. One of the points of this Show is share a wider range of the human and creative experience than just the Oprah version. I most want you to see that you’re not alone in whatever adversity you’re going through and you can triumph, too.
Angela joins me to jam about the emotional journey that happens as you’re growing and scaling your business. There are a lot of ups and downs, but we’re not often talking about the leader’s or founder’s journey of grief, excitement, freedom, and fear that happens as she/he starts letting go of more and more pieces of the business and shifts to working on the business rather than just in the business. This topic came up because one of our teammate’s business-owner friends was talking to her about it and we thought it be a good topic to talk about on the Show.
Episode 73: How to Sew Business Success in the Fashion Industry with Sustainable-Apparel Designer Shannon Whitehead
Though we wear clothes every day, many of us don’t think about the entrepreneurial and economic aspects related to the clothes we wear. Like many other business industries, the fashion industry is going through a massive disruption, making it a great time to be an entrepreneur in the fashion industry. That said, the fashion industry is also really tough. Shannon Whitehead joins me today to discuss how to sew business success in the fashion industry.
Many of us get stuck in life because, for some reason or the other, we’re resistant to change. Being resistant to change is like being resistant to gravity; we might be able to counter some of the effects of it, but it’s always going to be there. There are some amazing gifts to embracing change, though, and Jenny Blake joins me to jam about ways to embrace change rather than resist it.
Most people don’t put managing their money and being creative together, especially since one seems to be what you have to do, whereas the other seems to be what you get to do. But managing your money is a creative process, and whether you like it or not, it’s an emotional process, too. Luna Jaffe joins me today to share how she’s incorporated her work as an artist into her work as a guide for people to improve their relationship with money.
Part of being a Creative Giant is learning to be fully you, however that might show up. That’s a hard enough journey, but it can feel even more daunting to learn to do that while in a romantic relationship with another Creative Giant. Dr. Laura Ciel and Bill Poett join me to talk about their work together and about how they navigate a romantic partnership that’s also a business partnership.
Mentors can make all the difference between our finishing the stuff that matters and just thinking and dreaming about it. Mentors can have an especially large influence on young adults and new entrepreneurs, who often get well-meaning (but bad) advice from mentors who’ve never actually been to where the mentee is trying to go. Jeff Hopeck joins me to jam about the value of mentors and some guidelines for how to build a successful mentor group.
While we like the idea that we can change our beliefs and instincts by simply transforming our thoughts, the truth is that our personalities are partially determined by our evolutionary history. There might be a few things lurking down in our unconscious minds that we don’t want to address, but they can’t be ignored, either. Todd Kashdan joins me to jam about what he calls “the basement of your personality” and why it matters. If you’re looking to change something about yourself, maybe it’s time to look in the basement (of your personality).
Finishing creative work is challenging because sometimes you can’t just push through, as doing so can end up leading to burnout. And yet, you can’t give up when it gets hard or you’ll never finish the work that matters. Jennifer Louden joins me in this episode to share how her veering away from creative burnout led to a new body of work, as well as what she’s learned along the way about avoiding creative burnout. Ready?! Let’s do this!
A common myth is that scaling a business means that you have to compromise the core values, culture, and human-friendly qualities that the business originally started with. In today’s episode, Laura Novak Meyer – an entrepreneur who’s one of only 3 percent of women business owners who grow their company to more than 1 million dollars in revenue – joins me to share what she learned in the process of scaling her business while keeping it true to its core. Ready? Let’s do this!
Coaching is a powerful way of being with people in how it unlocks human potential and transforms the way you relate to others. But it’s also really misunderstood, misrepresented, and, when done right, hard to do. Michael Bungay Stanier–a dear co-coaching partner and award-winning coach–joins me to work through some powerful coaching questions we can use at both work and home. Make sure to listen in for the turn in the conversation about two-thirds of the way in, too. Ready? Let’s do this.
You’re probably in the goal-setting mode for 2016, and making great goals is often a matter of asking the right questions. Jeffrey Davis and I think a great one is “what will you stand for this year?” and that’s what we’re jamming about on this episode. Note: This isn’t about fighting against something, but standing up and standing for something. You are writing a story, so you may as well think about what you want to be included in the story. Ready? Let’s do this!
While we all have different professions and creative talents, we all share one thing in common: we have and use our voices. But speaking up – whether in the context of public speaking or just speaking up for what we believe in – can be terrifying. In this Episode, Alexia joins me to share how our voices can be transformational. Ready? Let’s do this!
It’s the time of year when we’re thinking about setting new goals—new year, new you—and making new resolutions. Angela Wheeler joins me on the last episode of 2015 to talk with me about things to keep in mind while you’re making plans and setting intentions for the new year. Ready? Let’s do this!
The story we often hear and tell ourselves about entrepreneurs is that successful entrepreneurs somehow had it in their blood or it was always what they wanted to be. The problem, of course, is that a lot of people who are now entrepreneurs never thought they’d be one and even have a hard time owning the title. Graham Cochrane joins me today to talk about his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur in the music industry. Ready? Let’s do this!
Though there are a lot of tools available for communication, email has become the primary way many of us communicate with others. We both love it and hate it because, like money, email can be a great servant but a terrible master. Dmitri Leonov joins me today to jam on ways to make email work for you rather than against you.
The Imposter Syndrome is a major roadblock for many of us when it comes to doing our best work, especially if doing it requires us to start something new. “Who are you to do it?” rings so loudly inside us that we often can’t hear the other, more helpful stories or see the other data points that show us that we’re on the right path. Dan Pickett joins me for Episode 59 to jam about how to debug the Imposter Syndrome. Ready? Let’s do this!
What would you do if the love of your life died? How would you pick up the pieces and move on? While these are theoretical questions for many of us, it’s the reality for many people every day – and many people are young widows and widowers. Kristin Meekhof joins me today to talk about her experiences as a widow and as an author who shared the stories of other widows.
If you’re new to the show and curious about why we’re talking about this, one of the points of the Creative Giant Show is to share a wider range of the human and creative experience than just the Oprah version. I most want you to see that you’re not alone in whatever adversity you’re going through and see that you can triumph, too.
Reality has a frustrating way of not showing up the way we think it should – so what do you do? Join me and Angela Wheeler as we discuss how asking others for help can untangle you from your over-commitment knot.
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, have you ever wondered what might have been had you started earlier? Or what it would be like to be a teenage entrepreneur? I have, so I invited Jordan Agolli to join me on the Creative Giant Show. He started his first business when he was 14 and he’s now on the beginning of his fourth business and is only 21. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of planning, so having Rebecca Rescate–founder of four successful businesses, one of which is Top Down Planner–for Episode 55 was a real treat. We jam about how important it is for planning to be based on your values and goals. Remember, the point of planning isn’t the plan, but that plans drive us toward success and happiness. Oh, and that planning creates luck. Enjoy!
Have you ever tried meditation but it just didn’t stick? Or was there something about the description of meditation or its practitioners that turned you off? Susan Piver returns to the Show for Episode 54 to share some ideas about why and how to start a meditation practice, wherever you are and with however much time you have. Enjoy!
Have you ever woken up one day with a nice plan in hand, only to realize that you just don’t have it in you to implement it? Or has reality shown up in a completely different way than you expected? Angela and I jam about the tension between taking care of yourself and showing up when you’re not at your best or not quite in the right space. Note that our self-care discussion diverges from just considering simple self-care – i.e., taking care of your body – to taking care of your whole self, a process that can lead to non-obvious or counterintuitive decisions. None of us can do it all, and therein is both the frustration and the freedom. Enjoy!
Why are women and minorities less likely to work at tech startups now than they were ten years ago? Is the lack of women and minority leadership in tech startups merely a pipeline problem? As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to make more than just products and services people love; we can also create businesses that provide an inclusive and supportive environment that serves the people working in the business, too. Nathalie Molina Niño, a long-time veteran of the startup scene and champion for entrepreneurs, joins me for Episode 52 as we discuss how to make tech startups more human-friendly for everybody.
In this episode of the Creative Giant Show, Angela and I talk about what it’s like to be married partners and business partners. Angela and I often get asked how that works and how we manage to do it, and things get tricky because of the many different ways Angela has been in the business. She’s been with me from the start in different roles, from dinner-table advisor to full-time operations manager to part-time community involvement to completely out of the business. If you’ve ever wondered about being in business with your life partner, or how it works for us – or if you’re curious to see how amazing Angela is – grab the drink of your choice and tune in.
Grit. It’s what divides those who do their best work and those who look back and regret not taking the chance or leaning into the thrash. It was thus a great joy to be joined by Linda Kaplan Thaler for Episode 50 of the Creative Giant Show, since she and her coauthor Robin Koval have just released their new book, GRIT to Great. Listen in to see how building your grit may just be the missing link between where you are and where you want to be.
Have you ever thought that you’ll get the whole money thing figured out once you get some more of it? That’s usually not the case. Jacquette Timmons joins me on Episode 49 to discuss why financial success doesn’t start in our wallets – it starts with our relationship to money and how it aligns with our true values. Enjoy!
Relationships – especially romantic ones – are fascinating. Where do we get these beliefs about what people want from partners? And what do people really want? Sarah Jones joins me for Episode 48 to discuss how she helps introverted men find the women who will value them, as well as how the very same thing helps found great business strategy. I know, strange connections – but that’s what happens on the Creative Giant Show. Enjoy!
Episode 47 is a solo riff wherein I discuss the future of the Creative Giant Show. In case you’re curious, I’m experimenting with some different formats and we’re going to increase our publishing frequency to twice per week. Listen in to see what the changes are – and why I’m making them.
Brigitte Lyons joins me for Episode 46 and rocks the mic. We dive right into questioning the real value of PR in a social (media) world, how our thinking about what growth means can limit our vision, and whether we’ll see a change in the way we talk about politics in business. Brigitte’s in a bit of a career pivot, so we also talk about her fears and excitement about the change. Enjoy!
Ryan Haack joined me for Episode 45 of the Show and we had a great time. Ryan is an amazing soul who happened to be born with one hand, but it’s his own surprising experience around growing up with one hand that’s the most fascinating. I also really loved hearing about his perspective about receiving help. Lastly, he reminds us that we’re all different in our own ways, and different is awesome. Enjoy!
Neither Willie nor I knew we’d have the real, gritty, and emotionally-charged conversation we had in Episode 44 of the Creative Giant Show. Willie’s most recent project, the Abernathy Magazine, is a magazine for black men, and talking about the purpose of Abernathy led us into a conversation about racial inequality, police brutality, and systemic injustice. Listen in as we go to the heart of topics that challenge us both in very different ways.
I had a blast interviewing Jeff Goins for Episode 43 of the Creative Giant Show. It was interesting to see how he pivoted from being a musician whose band was apparently popular in Taipei to a prominent blogger and author. We also got a chance to discuss some of the paradoxes and tensions from his new book, The Art of Work. Join us as we discuss callings, wayward creative adventures, and the unexpected feedback he’s been getting about his book.
Stephanie Carls joins me for Episode 42 to discuss how she’s navigated her career as a social media and technology enthusiast. Stephanie carved out a place for herself in a very crowded field early on by focusing on using video to connect with people – it may not seem like a big deal in 2015, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past where video was new, underused, and really hard to integrate into the way you shared content with people. We also discuss how Stephanie personally integrates the 24/7 demands of social media while being a mom, a social media strategist for Rivet, and growing her own personal brand. Join us as we discuss how Stephanie lives her own savvy life.
Chris Brogan and James Victore both referenced the Tale of Two Wolves over the past few weeks, and it’s a good parable that I wanted to share with you, too. As I thought more about it, the deeper meaning of it took hold – it’s not just about where we put our energies in ourselves, but how we’re feeding the world. Which wolf are you feeding, in yourself and others?
James isn’t quite what you’d expect of an artist who’s been in the Museum of Modern Art twice. He’s funny, irreverent, insightful, and service-oriented all at once and he was a delight to have on the podcast for Episode 40. Listen in as we discuss creative courage, reluctant heroes, and artists’ work being a gift.
It was great to catch Natalie Sisson for Episode 39. Natalie’s built a great business and brand teaching people how to live a lifestyle of freedom and adventure. But Natalie has recently stumbled upon a new love that’s making her reconsider some of her beliefs and core feelings about freedom – and how that’s going to change her as a person and how it might affect her business. This is a great episode for people who feel they’re on the cusp of or in the throes of a fundamental change, which, at some point, we all will be. Enjoy!
I was honored to have Kevin Briggs on the Creative Giant Show for Episode 38. Kevin is a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was assigned to the Golden Gate Bridge and encouraged over 200 people to come back over the rail and start a new life rather than committing suicide by jumping. His service took a toll on him, though, and we talk about how he coped with that. This episode provides an insider’s view into the lives of the guardians who protect us day in and day out, as well as what we can all do to help the people we meet and love stay on this side of the rail.
I had a blast chatting with Carla Birnberg for Episode 37. Carla shows up with such a strong sense of service and has coaxed the smallest of opportunities into a truly amazing career. Listen in to see how she’s grown more into living into the “what you can, when you can” mantra and how the mindset might help you make your own way.
Has fear of the bad things people might say about your work kept you from putting it out there? Sure it has – it happens to all of us. But what about the people who might really need your work, to whom it would make a huge difference? Ali joins me on Episode 36 to share how she’s written her way into success and how other creatives can write their own future. Enjoy!
We creatives often think we need to separate ourselves from the traditional world to do our thing. In Episode 35, Andrew Bennett shows us that it doesn’t have to be that way. He’s been a Fortune 500 Executive and an organizational consultant while being a magician and a member of the prestigious London’s Magic Circle. Listen in to learn how he’s weaved his magic into his life and used it to enable people to rethink possibilities and obstacles, opening the door to innovative thinking.
So many of people tell themselves stories about what they can create and which box they’re not in, so it was great to have Melissa Dinwiddie on the Show for Episode 34. Melissa is a multi-potentialite creator – she paints, writes, sings, plays music, and danced (before her injury as a teen) – but she struggled with identifying herself as a creative person. Listen in to hear about her journey and how she’s grown as a Creative Giant – some of the insights from this episode may help you claim your own path, as well.
Today’s episode of the Creative Giant Show is a narration of the Creative Giants post. If you’ve never read that post – or if you’ve read it and want to hear it – here’s the audio and original post of The 12 Challenges of Creative Giants. Enjoy!
Mary Trunk has made many films, but she worked on two of them for seven years apiece. It takes a lot of grit, spark, and passion to work on projects that long, so I was intrigued to talk to her and dive into how she saw her project through. Along the way, we talked about the intersection between art and business. Join us in Episode 32 as we discuss her life of storytelling.
I love talking about people’s story with money, so it was a joy to be able to talk to Joan Sotkin for Episode 31. Our conversation took an interesting detour as Joan shared what it was like to be an entrepreneur well before the dawn of the Internet – it’s fair to say that Joan was working in New Age medicine before it was new and, as a woman born in the 40s, has seen a lot of changes to the landscape of entrepreneurship. It was a side path I couldn’t resist taking before coming back to the discussion about money, identity, and why people get stuck in the same financial state despite their changing financial circumstances. Enjoy!
Breanne is a kindred soul when it comes to helping people achieve excellence, mastery, and craftsmanship, so it was a blast to have her on the Show for Episode 30. She also has a background in the humanities, so we discussed how she got from there to being a consultant who helps others develop courses that deliver. Along the way, we talked about the hierarchy of learning, the perils of the hack-first mentality, the curses of expertise, and ways to present what you’re doing so that people actually care about it. Enjoy!
It was a treat to jam with Valerie for Episode #29. We’re catching Val as she’s juggling her coaching practice, her popular podcast, and her new project, the Ryan Banks Academy, Chicago’s first boarding school for inner city students. Listen in to see how she’s building an inspiring future for Chicago’s kids while keeping the heat on her other projects.
Srinivas (Srini) Rao has interviewed hundreds of creatives, leaders, and interesting people for the Unmistakable Creative Podcast, so it was great to hear his insights — as well as put him in the role of the featured guest rather than the host. Our conversation dug into his starts and the rough patches he’s faced, with one of the most significant of those challenges being the fallout from his chasing something that wasn’t in alignment with his values. Enjoy!
It was wonderful to talk with Tara on Episode 27 because she’s managed to become a well-known player in business strategy for creative people in a relatively short time while being an introvert. She’s also another deep thinker — she comes from a religious-studies background – that has cross-purposed her education at the same time that her background made her earlier days much more difficult. Listen to Episode 27 to see how she’s leveraged her quiet power and how you might be able to do the same.
Chris Brogan is one of the busiest and most generous guys you’ll ever meet and it was my great pleasure to talk with him on this week’s episode. We discussed his evolution over the last 17 years as an online creator and the ups and downs he’s faced as he’s made and owned his own game. Chris is a master at teaching something as he’s figuring it out himself, and this ability infuses his work with both the excitement of novelty and the safety of a learning lab. Listen to Episode 26 to see what he’s learning and sharing today.
In this week’s episode, Cory and I discuss how he ended up creating The Abundant Artist, a resource for artists who want to sell their art online. We touch on some of the mindsets and skills necessary to build a thriving art business, as well as look into the challenges he’s run into along the way. Cory lives a very full life, which means he winds up in the same type of trouble that we all do. Join us to see how this all unfolds.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Julie Daley and talk about the difficult circumstances that led her to quit her career and embark on a life-altering journey involving creativity and healing. She believes that everyone has what they need inside of them in order to make it through this life. Julie explains that this capacity does not come only from the intellect; it also comes from a deep sense of self that allows you to respond to circumstances in a way that is creative rather than forced, fearful, or dominating.
Today’s episode will inspire you to take whatever challenge you’re working with, whatever project you’re working with that has you stumped, and ask yourself what resources you have available to go forward with that project and address that challenge. Become a force of nature.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Wendy McClelland and talk about how she was able to overcome adversity. Wendy’s story is truly amazing. She was able to build an extremely successful business after being faced with having to provide for her young children on her own due to her husband leaving. At the height of that success, she contracted an e-coli infection that ate away portions of her spine and caused great damage in vital organs of her body. With this, she lost her business, custody of her children, and almost her life. Her brazen personality allowed her to pick up the pieces and start all over again.
While listening to today’s episode, think about your life and the different challenges and ups and downs that you have faced. You will be encouraged to know that you can transform those challenges into fuel for growth and strength to take the next step.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with John Warrillow to discuss his books The Automatic Customer and Built to Sell. Most business owners make the mistake of building businesses that would not be operable apart from them. John’s book gives very specific advice on how to get out of that trap and into more of a company that can scale beyond just you personally.
In today’s call we discuss things like the two trigger events that cause entrepreneurs to want to sell their companies, the difference between a Demand economy and a Subscription economy, and ways to structure companies to make them sellable. If you are struggling with determining how to make your business operate apart from you or with setting up a revenue stream that is scalable, listen to today’s call.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Sarah Bray to discuss her journey from web developer to author of the book Gather the People. We talk about the potential that creative entrepreneurs possess to create opportunities that didn’t exist before. As these opportunities arise, the challenge of having to compete with your old self can arise and become a possible obstacle.
Sarah is convinced that a nation is made up of people, so our efforts should be focused on collaborating with the people we are trying to serve. Listen to today’s show if you have thought about gathering your people.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Jennifer Boykin to discuss the challenges Creative Giants have when they reach midlife. She discusses the difficulties and fears that come about when tragedy, fear, or pain paralyzes you, and she explains how to live your one beautiful life like you mean it.
Today’s episode will inspire you to bust through your fears into the life you were meant to live.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Jake Ducey to discuss the reality that 73% of Americans are actively disengaged with their jobs. This means that 73% of us are showing up every day somewhere that we don’t want to be.
If you are part of that 73% – the group that shows up at work dreading the routine tasks you face on a daily basis – listen to today’s episode and become inspired to find your own success.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Thursday Bram to talk about the tech startup world. Thursday talks about her journey as a freelance writer, and shares her thoughts about how blogging has changed through the years, as well as the issues she has noticed in the tech world.
If you are wondering if blogging is dead, you might be surprised by what Thursday has to say. And there may be many issues surrounding the tech startup world, but you can take action today.
In this week’s episode I sit down with Jonathon and Quinn from Life Out of the Box, and we talk about how they have been able to live their ideal life while making an impact. They encourage us to go out there and see the world for what it is, so that we can pursue our dreams and give back in order to help others live more fulfilling lives as well.
Maybe that crazy idea that you’ve got just sitting there waiting to be acted upon is the idea that will help you change the world. Listen to today’s episode to gather the courage to take one step towards living your life out of the box.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Mike Ambassador Bruny to talk about the importance of taking action from where you are with what you have. We discuss the pros and cons of building a personal brand and give examples of people in different industries who have been successful in doing this.
Creative Giants are known for their desire for constant change, which makes them prone to living their lives in 3- to 5-year project increments. If you find that you are feeling stuck inside the role you currently have, listen to today’s show and find the inspiration you need to run the point.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Lucy H. Pearce to talk about the limiting beliefs that women and creatives often struggle with. We discuss how important it is for creatives to prioritize their creative time in the midst of their busy schedules in order for them to remain sane, as well as how men and women relate differently to productivity tips.
For creatives, the act of creating is not merely a hobby, it is a way of life – yet so many are not living the creative life they desire. Instead, they are forcing themselves to live within the frames society has dictated for them and are finding themselves very unhappy. Listen to today’s show if you have experienced this or know of someone who has.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Johnny B. Truant to talk about what it takes to be able to call yourself an expert. He explains the ways a business partnership can be very successful, provides tips on how to stay true to yourself, and shares the journey that led him to succeed.
If you have ever caught yourself doubting your dreams, or feeling like you will never reach those that have preceded you, listen to today’s episode to be inspired by how Johnny B. Truant has been able to achieve his dream of becoming a fiction author – after having given up on that dream.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Todd Sattersten to talk about the benefits of self publishing vs. traditional publishing. He explains what you should focus on before you decide to write a book, how to get into the book industry, and how you can promote the book once it is published. If you have ever thought about writing a book, or if you are curious about the book industry as a whole, listen to today’s episode.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie to talk about how he has been able to build strong communities everywhere he goes. In the call, Terry gives his thoughts on four things people should think about if they want to kickstart their community-building efforts. He explains that everyone is trying to find a purpose to live, even though there are many who are stuck in complacency because of naysayers. Terry believes it is important for employees to have a way to measure themselves in order to gauge their progress towards their goals. Listen to today’s episode to understand the elements needed to build strong communities.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Glenda Watson Hyatt to talk about how she has inspired others to go beyond their fears. We discuss the reality of how many Creative Giants refuse to ask for help when faced with difficulty, as well as the top four reasons people are so scared to really push the boundary of capability that we all have. Listen to today’s episode to be inspired by how Glenda has been able to go beyond her fears despite her disability.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Dr. Todd Kashdan to talk about how experiencing discomfort with others helps build strong bonds. Contrary to popular belief, the emotions of anxiety, guilt, and embarrassment have a purpose. The more we get comfortable with these, the more we can experience rich thriving. If you are interested in finding out how you can build stronger bonds, listen to today’s episode.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Laura Coe to talk about emotional obesity. As entrepreneurs, we all suffer from negative thoughts or beliefs that limit our potential. These thoughts are often a product of socialization and may be keeping us from living the lives we really want to live. These thoughts are very likely why we struggle so much to live as our authentic selves in the world. Laura talks about how to tame emotional obesity so that we can break free from the limiting beliefs that keep us from living the life we’re meant to live as entrepreneurs and as human beings.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Mark Silver to talk about how spirituality and business mix. We tackle the myth that you can’t both be virtuous and make money at the same time, talk about how to make marketing and sales nourishing rather then draining, and discuss the different kinds of support needed at different stages of business. If you’re a service professional, solopreneur, or microbusiness owner, and especially if you’re in the healing arts, take a listen to this one.
In this week’s episode, I sit down with Jeffrey Davis and we have a conversation about what it means to be an idea thief in the digital world, how we intentionally and unintentionally steal ideas as a society, and why it’s still important to attribute your work to its original source. This is an engaging, thought-provoking episode and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!
This week’s guest, Tara Sophia Mohr, talks about her recent journey to success with the release of her newest book, Playing Big. We dive into the challenges many women face in leadership positions and talk about the best way to overcome fear and self-doubt. Women leaders will love this one, but the conversation is useful for men as well, as the antidote to self-doubt is not gender-specific.
Jonathan Fields and I talk about the Good Life Project, what it takes to make positive change in your own life, why you don’t need a “unifying life purpose,” and what it means to build businesses around alignment. If you have a business or are interested in starting one someday, you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.
Susan Piver and I talk about mindfulness, publishing, happy accidents, and virtual communities. If you’re a quiet, contemplative person who thinks being so is holding you back, you’ll want to listen in to see that there may be more room for you to excel than you think.
I sit down and talk with Seth about the Icarus Deception, picking yourself, and why Seth was afraid of writing Icarus. Also, Seth calls out my Resistance – a moment that proved to be one of the catalysts for my publishing my first book.
In this on-site conversation, I talk with Steve about RunFor.Me, his personal challenge to overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and his public mission to bring more awareness about it. I come back to this one (and to a soon-to-be-released episode with Glenda Watson Hyatt) whenever I’m feeling like I just don’t have the juice to keep going.
It’s fitting that our first episode is with my sister-teacher-mentor-friend Pam Slim. We talk about her new book, Body of Work, and why it’s great to allow your work to evolve even without knowing where you’re headed. (Hint: if you’re really living life full-contact, you can’t know where you’re headed.)