Today’s guest is Cara Chace, a Pinterest marketing strategist, writer, and social media strategist. While those are her areas of expertise in career, this episode is about integrating creative and analytical thinking in ways that make both better. The real trick is learning which brain is better for the task at hand, and approaching a task with your whole mind. She and Charlie talk about ways to identify patterns and reset when we find ourselves leaning too far to one side.
[2:25] – There is a dichotomy in business and creative work between the analytical side and the more creative side. In Cara’s own career, she has experienced both sides of this spectrum; first as a criminal investigator, and then as a social media manager for MegaDeath. She now works as a Pinterest marketing strategist.
[5:34] – Cara talks about the lens through which creativity is often displayed, especially when she was growing up, and how her view has recently shifted. Pinterest provides a unique combination of both creativity and analysis as the only visual search engine.
[8:20] – It’s easy to define ourselves and others, but confining ourselves to one side of the spectrum shuts us off from the possibility (or reality) that we could be both. Many careers and scenarios require some degree of both analytical thinking and creative approach.
[12:40] – There are also different ways to be good at critical thinking or creative endeavors. When you break down the ideas of left-brain or right-brain for yourself, you can use both to make your life so much better. Cara talks about how she is able to apply this in her position at Pinterest.
[15:05] - Cara shares the moment she realized the integrated mind approach was what would lead her to success. About nine months into starting her business, she started looking at the data of her website traffic, and used that to build her business.
[19:00] - Her default mode is to go to the left-brain analytical side when she is stuck. Recognizing that pattern signals that she needs to pivot, get back into her body, and then let the creativity flow in again. On the flip side, we can get over creative and fail to take action on what needs to be done. It’s important to be aware of where you are on the scale.
[26:05] - Cara talks about using reading as a tool to integrate both sides. This allows her brain to rest and come back more creatively when she gets back to work. Figuring out how to work smarter for better results will give you time and space to fulfill other aspects of your life.
[30:25] - It is easy to let our health, happiness, and joy move to the bottom of the list of what’s important. Practical creatives often overlook those pieces of the equation, and neglect self-care. You don’t have to wait until life and work is in place to start practicing regular self-care.
[34:40] - Everyone experiences the pendulum swing between both sides of the brain. It’s important to be aware of the patterns you get into, and have the tools that will allow you to work with those patterns, rather than against them.
[39:38] - Cara’s two challenges for listeners are: 1. Take social media off your phone for a weekend, 2. Read a book that’s purely for pleasure, and see how much your brain feels reset and relaxed, and what ideas and inspirations come out of that.
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