Erik Kruger is like many of us who became entranced by the idea of lifestyle design. He read Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Workweek and felt the desire to work as few hours as possible so he could “run around and do other things” with all his extra free time.
So he tried to build businesses that let him live that lifestyle. His first attempt was a local freelance network, which fizzled out. He also tried to create web directories for physical therapists, gyms, and models, but those never gained traction either. He describes all of these unsuccessful projects as his “graveyard of domains” because of all the sites he tried and failed to build.
These failures taught him a valuable lesson. When he started out, his main goal was trying to make a lot of money while working as few hours as possible. But over time, he discovered he was focusing on the wrong thing.
Luckily for Erik, our failures often lead to our greatest success. His success came in the form of Better Man, a site dedicated to helping men change their behaviors to become more productive, habit driven, and successful. This project has grown into a thriving community of like-minded men driven to make the most out of life.
In this episode Erik talks about the lessons we can learn from failure, why you should let your principles guide you, and the importance of creating value for your audience.
Ja-Nae Duane has worn many creative hats in her career. She started off as an opera singer where she performed at places like The Met and the White House, but soon realized it wasn’t a sustainable career.
So she branched out and started working for a social networking company, which was the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. While working there she realized the major difference between the way men and women approached entrepreneurship. This led her to start a group called Wild Women Entrepreneurs, which grew to 55 chapters in nine months.
After a stint running her own companies, Ja-Nae realized other people probably needed help with their own entrepreneurial journeys too, which is why she wrote The Startup Equation, a book that helps owners throughout their business journeys.
In this episode, Ja-Nae talks about how vulnerability leads to great work, why you need to stay in touch with your creativity, and why your mindset is so important.
Angela Ferrari has always lived a creative life. When she was young she lived in a rural area where she figured out creative ways to play. She would build tree forts, spray paint plants, and turn her mundane environment into stories.
Angela continued that creative streak in college where she studied studio art and painting. After college, she moved to Portland, Maine and started working at a restaurant. While working as a waitress, Angela forged relationships with the restaurant owners and patrons. After a while, Angela was able to quit her job as a waitress to work on her art full-time.
For some, having a successful business as an artist would be enough, but that wasn’t the case for Angela. One day while doing yoga, she had a vision about a dog doing yoga. This would eventually turn into her first children’s book Digger’s Daily Routine. Even with three completed books and a newly released podcast, it still feels like Angela has more creativity to share with the world.
In this episode Angela talks about believing in yourself, having fun, and how struggles can lead to success.
Henry May spent his childhood playing with LEGOs. He loved the outdoors and harmless mischief. He thought his life was pre-ordained. He thought our paths are set for us.
This all changed the summer he joined Teach First. The two years he spent here, changed his thoughts on the education system and his role in the world.
After his time at Teach First, and a short stint at Procter & Gamble, Henry took a trip to Colombia through Teach Colombia and fell in love with the country. But he also heard horrible stories about the public schools there.
These were the driving forces that pulled him to leave everything he knew in London and to start CoSchool in Colombia.
In this episode Henry talks about why well respected jobs aren’t always right for us, why good ideas take time to develop, and why you need to stop waiting and put your ideas into action.
Kristen Fagan has always been a creator. Even when she was young, she would create coloring book drawings for her younger family members to color in. That creative mindset helped her get a degree and a job doing graphic design.
After a few years working in design, her interest in art was reignited. Her job allowed her to work on her art while also working in design, which fueled her interest in paintings and drawing. Her passion for art grew so much that it even led to creating her own painting workshops.
In this episode, Kristen talks about letting go of your perfectionism, the power of play, and following your intuition.
David Smooke studied economics and creative writing in university because he liked to write and felt economics had real world applications. He believed these two areas of study would be practical skills to have for his career.
After graduating, David got a job as a journalist, but felt his creativity was being stifled. He was given assignments, and was given very little leeway in how he could apply his creativity.
So he saved up a few months rent and moved to San Francisco. This turned out to be the pivotal moment in David’s career. It was here that he got his first taste of marketing while working for a startup.
At the startup David honed his marketing and community building skills. The lessons he learned here allowed him to start his own marketing firm called Art Map Inc.
In this episode, David talks about taking small incremental steps, the importance of community, and why you shouldn’t hold yourself back.
Melissa Dinwiddie spent much of her life thinking she wasn’t an artist. Even though she loved doing creative things, and her parents encouraged her to become an artist, she still chose to take a different path. She was intimidated by all the people who drew better than her, so she stopped making art for 15 years.
Even a stint as a dance student at Julliard, a prestigious performing arts school, didn’t convince her to stick with her creative inclinations. Instead, she went to school for cultural studies and even attempted to get her PhD.
While trying to fill out her PhD application, she was filled with fear. Her body was telling her something wasn’t right. It was telling her to be more creative.
This integral moment in her life brought her back to creativity. It led her to create a business around designing ketubahs, and eventually led her to creating her blog Living a Creative Life.
In this episode Melissa talks about being happy with your self and your work, making time for your goals and creativity, and sharing your work without expectations, among many other things.
Kerry Burki had an idea simmering in her head ever since high school. She wanted to make all women feel beautiful. This idea sat in her head for years before she would finally unleash it.
Kerry’s story starts like a lot of our stories. We have a kernel of an idea that sits in our heads. Sometimes we act on it, but more often than not, we let it sit. Then, something pushes us to act on it. Kerry’s push came twenty years later in the form of her time in Marie Forleo’s B School.
Kerry was working on a blog called Handmade Success, which helps people sell their work on Etsy, when her kernel of an idea crept back in her head. The only difference was, this time, instead of pushing the idea away again, Kerry decided to pull the trigger.
She asked women of all different ages and sizes to come over for a photo shoot. And with the help of a photographer friend, she began the first shoot of what became Kerry Magazine. She was finally doing her part in making all women feel beautiful. What started off as a small idea in her head has evolved into a full-blown magazine with three issues under its belt.
In this episode, Kerry talks about letting your younger self guide you, learning to say no, and shifting your mindset, among many other things.
Dave Conrey‘s path to becoming a full-time artist is not a simple one. Growing up, he wasn’t that passionate about art, but over time, and after a series of jobs and ventures, he has finally dedicated himself to the idea.
After going to school for art and graphic design, Dave had two separate stints as an art director, but was laid off both times. He also spent time as a author, podcaster, and creator of Fresh Rag, which helped artists sell their work.
After years of feeling unfulfilled, Dave finally decided to put everything else on hiatus to pursue his art full-time.
In this episode, Dave talks about the importance of connecting with others, some of his keys to building a creative business, and getting started.
Logan Nickleson has always had an admiration for the arts. When he was a child he liked to draw and paint. When he was 15-16 years old he started getting into music. And for college, he went into journalism.
While in college, Logan saw the changes that were happening in journalism. So he changed his major to advertising. This led to his internship at an advertising agency.
His internship turned into a full-time job, where he worked on numerous projects. It was during this time that a revelation came to him. While making short videos for clients, he was having a hard time finding music for his videos. So he decided to use his own music.
Inspired by stock photography sites like Death to Stock and Unsplash, Logan decided to take all the music he created, and started his own stock site. The only difference was his stock site would for music. Thus, Music For Makers was born.
In this episode, Logan talks about why marketing has gotten such a bad rap, the most essential element for finding your audience, and how we can use psychology to our advantage.