success

You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith

Julien Smith is a long-time friend and familiar face on the podcast. I first brought him on in 2013 to talk about why not caring about what others think is a useful skill to have as a creator in any field (translation: he penned a LEGENDARY blog post c…

You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith

Julien Smith is a long-time friend and familiar face on the podcast. I first brought him on in 2013 to talk about why not caring about what others think is a useful skill to have as a creator in any field (translation: he penned a LEGENDARY blog post called ‘the subtle art of not giving a f*$k’ – which went crazy viral and later inspired a best selling book by Mark Manson…). And now Julien is BAAACK…this time talking about both his best selling books (The Flinch, and Trust Agents) and…drumroll please… his latest startup venture called Breather – an amazing service the provides on-demand meeting and studio space all across North America, which has raised more than $100M to date. When I need recording studios for the podcast on short notice in LA or NYC? I use Breather.  A quick headshot where you don’t want to rent a photo studio for $3000. Yep, Breather again. $150 bucks. You get the picture. But more than anything, this episode is simply rich with a dose of reality that all of us creators and entrepreneurs need to hear: namely that we’re all in this together. That we all have imposter syndrome. That we all simultaneously […]

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An audience of ONE is all it takes

QUESTION:  What if you only made work that YOU loved, and you were certain that you would be paid top dollar if you did…Would you do it?  Of course! Most sane creators / entrepreneurs would jump at the opportunity – and such is the topic of Srinivas Rao’s new book: An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity For Its Own Sake.  The problem is, so many of us are watering down our work making it for someone else. In fact, the path to our best work is digging deeper into who you’re creating for and what happens when you create art for yourself. In this episode we also cover… “If you’re going to take the time to learn to use a tool, take the time to make something with that tool…”  This is a fascinating POV I’d never heard before, but it keeps us creators in the building mode vs the procrastinating mode. How to take your art+career+future into your own hands…  Srini’s view is that we must put our focus and effort into the things that you can control. You can’t control follower count, you can’t control Facebook’s algorithms. You can control your creative process. If you focus on the process, you’ll […]

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Find Your Calling In Career And Life with Chris Guillebeau

Today on the podcast we’re answering one of the most popular questions I receive: “how do I find my passion”. Yeah, not an easy one. Super tough! And if you’ve struggled with this or are struggling right now, this episode will help you find your way. I…

The Secret to Success No One Talks About

You’re stuck. You’ve plateaued. You’re making great work but nobody is seeing it and you’re asking yourself “how do I get noticed?” How did the blowout successes of YouTube and Instagram get to their million+ followers? The answer: they created communi…

On ‘Making It’ as a Photographer, or: What if Your House Burned Down?

What if your house burned down? Have you still “made it” as a photographer? 3 weeks ago I was sitting, much as I do now, winding down on a Saturday evening, finding some time to write a newsletter and blog post. I had just released an image shot for Kohler, a company whose advertising I […]

The Hit List: 13 Things Crucial For Your Success [In Any Field]

Success is each to his or her own, but let’s call it like we see it: when you survey the landscape of your creative world, your industry, your career or hobby–whatever field you’re in– there are several fundamentals to achieving success, regardless of the measure. There are commonalities that are undeniable. So here’s a list of thirteen such things that you should be doing right now – let’s call it your hit list: 1. Get shit done. Over-thinking, pontificating, and wondering are tools for the slacker. People don’t care what almost happened, or what your problems are or why something wasn’t. They care about what is, and what will be. That requires actually making stuff happen. Pros do, make, ship, send, publish, post and deliver; amateurs sit around and wonder, or worse, scratch their arse. 2. Educate yourself. Think someone else is responsible for your education? Think again. And don’t fool yourself that being in school, in class, or in the seminar actually equals education. Education is incredibly active and it should be self directed in some capacity. Seek information. Knock down walls to get it. 3. Make your own rules. There are a million paths to get to any […]

Say NO unless a project has at least 2 of these 3 things…

For most creatives, the biggest challenge isn’t doing the work, it’s getting the work. Few of us are natural marketers or adroit at selling our vision, so many creatives live in a state of constant anxiety about where the next project (and paycheck) is going to come from. Because of that, it’s tempting to jump on any project that comes your way, especially if you’re — as I was at the beginning of my career — barely stretching the money you get from one gig to the next. But instead of thinking solely about where next month’s rent is coming from, I want you to think of your career as a path, and each potential project has one of 3 potential outcomes: (1) it can move you forward; (2) it can move you backwards; or (3) it can simply keep you stuck in the same place – treading water. With that in mind, it’s not just important that you are deliberate and strategic about the work you choose to do– it’s absolutely critical to realize that the work you chose NOT to do is just as important as the work you do take on. My own framework for evaluating a project […]