How do you want to live? What is your morning practice? Your evening practice? Your work practice? These questions are but a few expressed in my conversation with Patrick McAndrew, the Founder and CEO of HARA. As he writes on his website, “Patrick focuses on developing the whole person, knowing that high performance is determined by how you live – not just how you work.” In our time together, we explore how where we live influences our creativity, the system of the Internet, living with intention versus being manipulated, self-awareness and self-regulation, and our need for one another. At the core of the conversation are two ideas: 1) focus is not a single skill but an outcome of how you live, and 2) human potential is the ability to explore the range and depth of human experience.
Last night, I was lying in bed dreaming about the future: “What would it look like if I made my entire living from Getting Work To Work?” Yes, I was awake, not asleep. But as I thought more this morning, I realized I’m not the only one considering how to do this. With Hollywood on strike and corporate executive pay in the news, it’s an excellent time to remind people what they can do with their dollars in the world of independent artists. I wrote a blog post in 2018 with clear steps to support creative professionals. Five years later, it still rings true. But it’s not enough for people to support artists; the artists need to be ready for the support. And that’s what today’s monologue is all about. In the words of Jack Kent, “Be ready for the yes.”
Why do you do what you do? How do your values influence your value and worth? How can you improve your ability to communicate your needs, wants, and desires? I explore these questions and more in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work. Suman Cherry is the founder and CEO of Cherry Talent Group and describes herself as a “hiring match maker.” In this conversation, she shares wisdom learned from doing the deep work of recruitment for 20 years. She talks about the role values play in determining worth and value, why communication and feedback are essential, how people can improve their visibility with recruiters, and the role mistakes play in building a more impactful, purposeful business. We also discuss what AI will bring to recruitment and what it can never replace: the ability to learn about a person in conversation. Finally, if you wonder how self-growth influences your work, Suman explains what she is learning on her healing journey.
One of the challenges of making a documentary is that so many heartfelt stories are shared but never used in the finished film. A clip or two might appear in the behind-the-scenes footage, but mostly the interviews wither away through time, memory, and the ones and zeroes of the backup drive. One way I’ve thought to remedy my guilt is to release the entire interview in podcast form. But it just didn’t work. I interview differently for a documentary than I do for a podcast. Fortunately, last week I got an idea: What if I share stories from the cutting room floor? I could feature extended sections of interviews, stories, and anecdotes from past episodes of Getting Work To Work: The Series and other short films, not to mention clips from abandoned projects. The first entry comes from my short film about cartoonalist Jack Kent. He shares what it means to be a fearless creator through his main projects, Sketchy People and Gulls, and the best advice he ever received for creating art.
When you look at your skills and experience, do you ever think about how to use them to do something entirely outside the box? To transcend expectations, think bigger, and bring dreams to life? Jesse Schpakowski is a photographer, videographer, and life-long learner exploring these questions. In this conversation, Jesse shares his learning journey from being a kid with a video camera filming his friends to an adult photographing everything from real estate and tourism to nature, bears, and the ferocious pug. He talks about how he learned to be alone in nature, to read the body language of animals, to overcome fear through experience, and how it all connects to entrepreneurship. He also gives insight into what is possible as he collaborates with his partner in her business.
The creative and curious world of work constantly inspires me. The people, the processes, and the products are all infinitely interesting. But if I had to choose what really piques my curiosity: the workspaces people make so they can do their best work. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a spare room where we live, or a giant warehouse, every one of us has a place that we have created to do our work. What does your workspace say about you? Does it inspire you to create or shut you down while you search for what you need? Are you messy or minimal? There is no wrong answer, which is what is so satisfying when visiting other people’s studios, offices, maker spaces, or shops. When you cross the threshold into a new place, you witness a uniqueness that can’t be taught or bought. How much does the environment influence the outcome of what we create? It’s hard to say, but it’s more than we realize and something we shouldn’t take lightly.
Have you ever had a project you wanted to bring to life but struggled to make it happen? Today’s guest shares his struggles from taking a dream project and making it a reality. In this conversation, Kyle Shold unpacks how he overcame multiple barriers—hating the sound of his voice, showing up confident on camera, learning the tools and art of editing—to start his new Youtube channel, View Thunder. He produces curated movie reviews that celebrate the art, design, and cinematic storytelling present in movies he absolutely loves. He shares how burnout in his illustration work led him to find a new outlet for his creativity, working through mistakes and learning curves, and most importantly, knowing when it was time to publish.
A common question people ask me when they hear I’ve been podcasting for seven years and almost 700 episodes: “How do you still have anything to say?” That is an excellent question that I wrestled with early on in the show’s life. And if I’m honest, one I’ve been wrestling with in the past few months. The reason is simple: I’m doing the reps but not putting in the steps. Much like our physical bodies, our creativity flourishes when we do simple things daily. But when you add light strength training as well? Creativity soars! Not only do we have something to say, but we have the power and skill to turn a whisper into a roar. Whether you are on day one of your creative life, in the middle of your career, or nearing retirement, how will you incorporate creative steps and reps into your daily life?
I have an important question: How are you making room for laughter in your creative process? Yes, work is serious, but it’s also fun, silly, and straight-up goofy nonsense, at least according to today’s guest. Sean Schumacher is an Assistant Professor of Design at Portland State University, a podcaster, and an all-around nice person who is building community and making design more accessible. In this conversation, we talk about their love for comedy, the journey from artist to designer to design educator, why we shouldn’t fear mistakes, and how to know a project is done and ready to ship. On top of all that, we make room for deep thoughts and belly laughs. Whether you are a design student, creative professional, hardened cynic, or design communicator, Sean’s approach to life and work will hopefully help you open up to delight and wonder.
Fresh from his game-changing journey of epic proportions as Mr Eligible searching for his soul mate, global sensation gough of BeernutsProductions.com is back on Getting Work To Work to talk all about his latest film, Mr Eligible. In this conversation, he naturally shares all the behind the scenes stories from the set, not to mention what made this film his most ambitious production yet. He shares about the challenges in casting a diverse group of women, what it takes to film a 41-minute film in one day, how many hours of reality TV he watched in preparation for this production, and of course, what makes Al Gibson special. Most importantly, he answers the most shocking question ever asked in the history of the world, “Who would lie on reality TV?” The answer will shock you.