PODCAST ARCHIVES!

Off On Tangents (GWTW783)

One of the things I often hear while interviewing people is, “Oh, I’m sorry, I went off on a tangent.” My common response is, “That’s okay, tangents are interesting.” Not only are tangents interesting, they are instructive and important. They teach us about how we learn, our curiosities, what motivates us to keep moving forward, and the very things that matter most to us. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to explore a few tangents in my own life from the first car I ever bought, to my latest creative curiosities and experiments.

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"Let There Be Art...and Rock!" with Luke Preece (GWTW782)

When I first saw Luke Preece’s work on Instagram for Metallica’s 30th anniversary of …And Justice For All, my mind was blown. Since then, I’ve followed his work seeing him continually produce stunning art for bands, video games, and movie studios. His bio says it best: “Luke Preece is a UK-based award winning Illustrator and Art Director. His work combines the visceral power of Heavy Metal iconography and the intricacy of 70s/80s science fiction, presented with a clear, compositionally-led design aesthetic.” In our conversation, we talk about his drive and need to create, how nostalgia fuels his work, and his creative journey from art college to working with iconic bands. We also talk about how imposter syndrome is a good thing, the reality that success takes time, how he works from rough thumbnail to finished product, and finding inspiration from his clients.

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Don't Fear Emptiness (GWTW781)

Ever since I started my creative journey, I feared being empty. Empty of ideas, thoughts, stories, projects, connections, business, ambition. What would become of me if no one wanted to work with me? Who would I be if I ran out of creative ideas? I associated emptiness with negative feelings: imposter syndrome, comparison, lack of self-worth, and low self-esteem. I didn’t want to invite those feelings into my life, so I built processes, systems, goals, fail-safe methods, and a good old-fashioned work ethic to fight the onslaught of emptiness. I wanted nothing to do with it. Every time I felt its pull, I pushed harder, until I couldn’t fight it any longer.

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"Films of Life & Legacy" with Eriksen Dickens (GWTW780)

If you were to produce a film about your life, what would it say about the choices you made, the people you surrounded yourself with, and the impact you had on the world? Eriksen Dickens is today’s guest on the show, sharing his passion for storytelling and filmmaking in the form of legacy documentaries. Our conversation begins with his endless curiosity about big existential questions and how his schooling in philosophy and psychology translates to filmmaking. He talks about turning a childhood passion into a business, what it’s like collaborating with his brother, the seven storytelling pillars, keeping creative juices flowing on long-term projects, leadership, and balancing a long-term vision with the needs of today. Regardless of where you find yourself in the creative world, Eriksen brings a depth of introspection and drive that you can learn from and bring into your life and work.

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Code Words & Canaries (GWTW779)

Some monologues I have a pretty solid idea from start to finish, but others need time and reflection to make sure I’m not just ranting and railing against some invisible force. Today’s episode started with a few early morning rants that I captured in my notes app. As I went through the day, I realized I wanted to shape it into something else, but didn’t know what. So, I just wrote. I fought the urge to apologize for expressing my feelings, ate dinner, then deleted the apology. I’m not sorry, so why pretend? Because I got comfortable using code words to let people know what I was feeling without really saying what was going on. But, it’s time to let the code words go. I’ll still change the names to protect the guilty, but that’s just smart.

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"The Future is the Past" with Lee McColgan (GWTW778)

What’s the point of preserving old homes? Why do old homes matter? Two driving questions for today’s interview with Lee McColgan, woodworker, restorer of old homes, and author of A House Restored: The Tragedies and Triumphs of Saving a New England Colonial. Lee shares his philosophy, how he thinks about old things, and many stories about his journey from finance to woodworking and home restoration. We talk about his fascination with how things are made by hand, the breadcrumbs of our work present throughout our lives, the creative drive and purpose of his work, the impermanence of all things, the eccentric personalities of people he’s met over the years, why generalization is dangerous, and interesting things he’s found hidden in the walls.

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Prepared to Be Unprepared (GWTW777)

The simplest quotes are often the deepest and inspire endless reflection. In my conversation last week with Gregg Brown—entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author—he dropped a short sentence that stopped me in my tracks: “We have to be prepared to be unprepared.” My mind filled up with questions. How does one prepare to be unprepared? Why can’t we prepare for all possibilities before they happen? How does preparing for how we will respond to the unknown becoming known impact all areas of our lives and work? In this episode, I’m diving into this quote and my questions in greater detail and hopefully discover a healthier mindset when faced with change.

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"Change is the Future" with Gregg Brown (GWTW776)

How prepared are you for the future of your work? Maybe you are coasting on continual success, not worried about what’s on the horizon. Perhaps you find yourself in a season of loss, feeling threatened by the rise of AI tools and frustrated with disruptive change. Regardless of where you are at in your professional journey, today’s guest is on the show to teach us how to be change ready. Gregg Brown is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Spark Action: How to Lead Change That Matters. He helps “leaders and teams get ready for the future so they can tackle change head-on and get things done.” In our conversation, he shares what getting future-ready in a rapidly changing world means. We also discuss the need for critical thinking and decision-making in the age of AI, how to bring our personality and brand of magic to our work, why it’s crucial to shed our corporate skin, what change looks like in the middle of your career, and the importance of taking action and being explorers in everything we do.

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Rules & Tools for Fools (GWTW775)

What rules do you follow because you believe they will lead to success? What tools do you use to ensure you can be as relevant as possible? What if these rules and tools have the opposite effect on your life, and you can’t see it because you’re too close? What if social media is actually turning you into a new person you don’t want to be, doing what you don’t want to do? What if all your daily actions to stand out and get noticed shape you into a societal clone? How many more questions can I fit into this opening synopsis? One more? I love it when a book enters my world and shakes it up. Anti Rule: Navigating The Lies About Fiction Writing by Christian Francis is the small but mighty book that inspired today’s episode. So, put on your dunce cap and join me in detention. It’s time to chat about what we’re doing wrong.

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"Infusing Work with Our Humanity" with Solveig Petch (GWTW774)

How do you pitch yourself and your business to podcasts you want to be a guest on, people you want to connect with, and companies you want to bring into your network? By taking the courageous step and shamelessly sending the email or making the call. Today’s guest did that after hearing an earlier episode of Getting Work To Work with Rachel Allen. Solveig Petch is a strategic brand consultant and creative director providing “remarkable branding for the quietly rebellious.” In our conversation, we talk about the importance of sending shameless pitches and the difference between courage and confidence. She shares what a brand is and how it’s different than branding, what it takes to build a stand-out brand, why we choose generic values instead of those that will help us stand apart, and why it’s okay to want to keep changing the world.

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Beyond Your Body of Work (GWTW773)

Earlier this week, in my paid newsletter for Getting Work To Work, I was reflecting upon the question: How is your body of work holding you back from experimenting with risky creative ideas and exploring new directions? No matter how long you’ve worked on your craft, you inevitably amass a body of work. The apparent measure is quantity, but you can also look at quality with an eye toward growth and outcomes. But the more I think about my body of work, the more I wonder if it’s a hindrance rather than a help. What does it communicate to a potential employer or client? How can it hold you back by morphing from what you’ve done into a statement of being on-brand, not to mention consistency? Questions aside, I want to explore what to do if you feel stuck and need to take a creative chance beyond what you’ve done before.

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"Legacy of a Lost Angel" with Brian Lindstrom (GWTW772)

I first met today’s guest near the beginning of my creative journey at the NW Film Center in Portland, Oregon, where I was taking a workshop on interviewing techniques. Almost 20 years later, he is on Getting Work To Work to share his latest project hitting theaters and the internet today. Brian Lindstrom is a documentarian and co-director of Lost Angel: The Genius of Judee Sill. In our conversation, Brian shares what captures his attention in filmmaking: the stories of struggles and victories and the beauty, strength, and resilience to overcome the odds. He talks about his first exposure to Judee’s music in the early days of YouTube, why she was more than the one-note tragic story her Wikipedia page describes, why some projects need to take longer than others, and the joys of collaboration he experienced on this film. Most importantly, Brian reminds us of the importance of independent filmmakers and how we can vote with our attention and wallets.

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Life of Forgotten Dreams (GWTW771)

Earlier today, I was writing about the National Geographic docuseries, Photographer, and my lifelong love of photography. This newsletter led me to explore my archives from two trips to Africa in 2008 and Haiti in 2012. Scrolling through thousands of photos, most not very good, I could see something in my work that only the passage of time allowed me to see: the desire to capture and be present with people. In 2008, I could feel the fear, but my creative brain was at work to document what I was experiencing. 2012 was a different story. I was documenting like before, but I was getting closer, physically and emotionally, as I engaged with people. I felt less fear and was more present. And then I came home. I had an adverse reaction to the anti-malarial medication I was taking, and I wanted to die. I didn’t, physically, but part of my creative spirit disappeared over time. And as I look at pictures of me from that time, I realize just how much I miss that young man and his dreams.

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Where We Find Ourselves (GWTW770)

How are you doing? No, really, how are you? Scanning social media lately, I see similar messages: clients are disappearing, budgets are shrinking, ghosting has become normalized, big companies are reducing their workforce, and burnout is the new badge of honor for independent creators. It’s tough out there. And in today’s episode, I will dive right into this topic for those of us who have been business owners and independent creators for years and decades. It can be hard to know what to do. I am struggling to know myself, but hopefully, there will be something I share in this episode that helps you face the road ahead.

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"I Can't Wait to See What I Do Next" with gough (GWTW769)

Everyone’s favorite blind Australian filmmaker is back on the podcast to promote his latest film, Idiom. Okay, everyone is a strong descriptor, how about: my favorite blind Australian filmmaker. I can’t help it, gough makes me chortle (his word, not mine). From the angle he would take on true crime podcasts and why crime shows are awful and depressing, to providing educational moments related to geography, grammar, and other assorted (and assertive) topics, gough brings the Beernuts Productions fun factory straight to your earholes with production tales and stories of creative exploration. We talk about how he approached this film differently than previous films, how he wrote with the lead actress in mind, things you can’t unsee or even unlearn, and must importantly, the hard truth that you can’t “unstupid” stupid people. As you’ll learn in this episode, gough is a healer, and a helper. So, sit back, and let him mildly entertain you for a good, solid 50 minutes.

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"From the Poet to the Podcast" with Christopher Luna (GWTW768)

The last time I crossed creative paths with today’s guest was for my Innovators of Vancouver project over 11 years ago. Recently, as I’ve been getting into creative writing and poetry, his name naturally resurfaced, along with the open mic poetry events and workshops he facilitates throughout the area. Christopher Luna is a poet, collage artist, teacher, and maximalist who has been instrumental in fostering a creative community in Vancouver, Washington. In this conversation, Christopher shares the origins of the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic events and how he believes poetry chose him. We discuss what he learned from the legends and gods of poetry—Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, and Antler. Not to mention topics such as self-promotion, self-doubt and dissatisfaction, the subjective nature of art, writing versus arranging, curation, dream logic, and how art can help others. No matter what art medium you are currently obsessed with, enter this conversation with an open mind because Christopher has much to teach us all.

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How to Clear Your Mind (GWTW767)

How do you clear your mind? A simple yet challenging question that I found myself pondering while playing guitar. There is so much going on in the world, so many tasks we need to accomplish, problems to solve, goals to crush, and subjects to learn. It seems like the more we fill our days with, the faster our brains fill, and the harder it becomes to focus, be creative, and produce innovative work. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m exploring five ways I use to clear my mind. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it is a start to helping you and me find a way to carve out time and space for our brains to work and find peace of mind.

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"Everything is STEM" with Deb Mumm-Hill & Kyle Ritchey-Noll (GWTW766)

I love talking with people who dream big and work together to overcome systemic challenges and affect change. Today, I have the benefit of talking with two amazing women who work with Oregon STEM, an organization that supports “the development of the next generation of innovators and leaders through statewide strategic leadership, collaboration, and alignment.” Deb Mumm-Hill is the Executive Director of Oregon STEM, and Kyle Ritchey-Noll is the President of Oregon STEM and the Education & Workforce Policy Director of Oregon Business Council. In this conversation, they bring stories and examples of how their work throughout Oregon impacts students. We talk about data-driven decision-making, overcoming massive challenges to create a resilient education system for the future, collaborating with industry partners to help students prepare for careers, cutting-edge technology that uses data and generative AI tools to align students’ aptitudes and interests with opportunities, and the power of career-connected learning. Special thanks to Leverenz & Associates for their hospitality and providing a lovely space to record this conversation.

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"Words Make Worlds" with Rachel Allen (GWTW765)

When you think about your words, what impact do they have on the world? Do they make money, capture attention, or disappear in a sea of sameness? Today’s guest believes that words make worlds, and in this conversation, she unpacks what that means as human beings in an increasingly technologically advanced society. Rachel Allen is the boss at Bolt from the Blue, a copywriting agency freeing businesses from the bonds of bad writing with the boldest claims: “We make words make money.” She shares her entrepreneurial journey and how words helped her create a business that works for her and not how other people think it should be. We talk about objective and subjective knowledge, what it means to write for an audience, why she doesn’t want to babysit technology, the aggressive nature of new digital tools, the boring middle, and why human is the only move left. I had a blast talking with Rachel, and I hope you enjoy the wisdom she shared throughout the episode.

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"We Think in Story" with Steve Stockman (GWTW764)

What keeps you engaged in a good story? How do you know if you’re being entertained or manipulated? These questions drive today’s guest to help people tell better stories and increase our societal level of video literacy. Steve Stockman is a director, editor, teacher, and author of How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro. As an instructor, Steve’s book was my go-to textbook, and I still refer to it as I continue to grow my production skills. In our conversation, Steve shares his passion for storytelling and what makes a compelling story. He talks about the need for video literacy, how to understand video language, why it’s crucial to not over-rely on technology when learning to tell stories, how to respond to notes and critique, and what networking actually is. Steve’s wisdom and experience can help you tell better stories, whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or a creative professional.

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"Swiss Army Knife Creatives" with Benjamin Ironside Koppin (GWTW763)

Fun fact: Today’s guest was the very first person I interviewed over eight years ago when I started Getting Work To Work. Cliché statement aside, it’s incredible how things change over time. Thank the maker; I sound less frightened, more relaxed, and a better editor. But enough about me; this is about today’s guest, Benjamin Ironside Koppin. As Ben describes himself, he is a Swiss Army Knife filmmaker who directs and produces independent films and runs 1988 Films, a film distribution company with his wife. In this conversation, we talk about Pastor’s Kid, his latest film coming to theaters on March 15, 2024. Ben shares behind-the-scenes stories, the challenges of bringing an indie movie to theaters, and how hard it was to make an R-rated Christian film that didn’t fall into genre tropes. We also touch on what makes the best art, the artist’s power, how he handles good and bad reviews, and the age-old creative question, “Should I be a generalist or specialist?” No matter your beliefs, I hope this conversation with Ben will encourage you in your creative journey.

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"Recipes for Success" with Gerald J. Leonard (GWTW762)

At the foundation of this episode are two important questions: 1) How do you take in information and learn rapidly, and 2) how do you improve and become better than you could ever imagine? Today’s guest, Gerald J. Leonard, answers these questions through stories of his journey to become a professional bass player, an author publishing several books, and a Project Portfolio Management guru. In this episode, he shares a technique known as photo reading, which is a process of quickly absorbing a book to increase retention and curiosity. We also talk about jazz as a model for business, authentically being yourself no matter the environment you’re in, why surrounding yourself with experts is critical to your professional growth, and how life is like a great song.

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Take Your Own Advice (GWTW761)

Throughout this podcast, I’ve shared a lot of lessons. From the knocks I’ve taken the hard (and stubborn) way to the wisdom gleaned from the many books I devour each year, I’m constantly searching for answers to my questions with the hope that others will benefit from what I am learning as well. Living a creative life is wondrous, wonderful, and a lot of work. It’s tough at times, while at other times, work flows effortlessly. Producing a podcast attempting to capture the emotional energy of creativity with all the peaks and valleys is a challenge, too. Honesty is great, but lump together too many downer episodes, and will people still stick around? There’s always the fear that the audience will leave no matter what happens. So, it’s probably best just to ride the waves and share what I’ve got. And that’s what I’m doing today: I’m taking my own advice, and you should probably take your own advice, too.

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"Unleashing Human Potential" with Albino Sanchez (GWTW760)

“What kind of life would make you profoundly happy?” is a massive question that today’s guest often asks his clients to help them discover their purpose. Albino Sanchez is a serial entrepreneur, executive coach, and author whose drive is to help others by unleashing their potential. In our conversation, he shares his entrepreneurial journey from working in his father’s convenience store in Mexico to running three businesses today. We talk about the importance of finding and achieving our purpose, what self-leadership is and the role successes and failures play in our development, why he chooses to have more than one business, what makes an aha moment, and how leaders can be more conscious of people. Albino also touches on how we can dream bigger than we are used to and how to act upon our dreams.

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The Power of Your Voice (GWTW759)

Do you know the power of your voice? Do you even know your own voice? I’m not talking about just the literal sound but also the content. The life you’ve lived, the experiences you’ve had, the things you care about deeply, and the people you love or hate. All of which inform the words you use, the tone, passion, excitement, or downright disdain. People tell us our voice is powerful and that we should use it to express ourselves for the causes and cares that move us. And for some, they are told to sit down and shut up. As creative entrepreneurs, our voice is all these things and much more. It is why people hire or fire us, the revelation of our curiosities and creative expressions, and how we venture into the unknown and reveal what is to be known. And yet, we often choose not to do any of this and slowly give our power away, wondering why we aren’t where we want to be at this phase of our lives.

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"Think & Act Big" with Andrea Liebross (GWTW758)

How big are your thoughts and dreams? More than that, what actions are you taking to bring them to life? Today’s guest is all about the relationship between thoughts and action. Andrea Liebross is a coach, podcaster, and author of She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and into the Extraordinary. In our conversation, we explore how she uses the acronym TRUST to guide her clients, and even herself, from generating thought options to taking action. She also shares what led her to coaching and starting her business, several tools she uses to help people get unstuck, the difference between stuck and progress stress, and why sometimes labeling a goal as a priority can help it get accomplished.

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What Do You Do? (GWTW757)

What do you do when you are struggling more than you want to admit to others? When you feel like you have nothing left to give, yet still need to put on a brave face and move forward throughout the world? Like many people within and around my circle, times are weird, tough, and tricky. The struggle seems to be both endless and deepening. Unfortunately, these feelings often lead to quick solutions—new business offerings, a course or mastermind or program with magic answers, and the power of positive thinking, otherwise known as mindset—but lack a lasting resonance in our lives. So, what are we to do instead? Especially in an environment where it doesn’t seem we are allowed to be human. I’ll be talking about all these big questions in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work.

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"The Awesome Power of Conversation" with Rob Garrott (GWTW756)

You know you’re in for a powerful conversation when the person describes themself as “a Katamari ball of learning on a journey to build a creative life by creating cool things, building relationships, and helping people. Rob Garrott has been in the world of motion design and education for much of his career. After leaving a job as a Content Manager for LinkedIn Learning, he set out to learn character animation and how to infuse emotion into motion. Our conversation begins with us sharing who taught us how to swear before talking about blogging as a form of therapy, learning how to break free from systems, and returning to his creative self. We talk about identity and the stories we tell ourselves, the difference between learning on the job and studying a subject, being creative on purpose, and why he prefers not to return to a previous version of himself.

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Bushwhack Your Path (GWTW755)

What are the popular sayings that knowingly—or unknowingly—guide your life? Maybe something like “stay in your lane” inspires you to become really good at following orders and not getting too curious. Or a popular phrase from The Mandalorian got you repeating “this is the way” so much that you constantly search for the right way to do something. Another saying that trips us all up—”you must know the rules to break the rules”—can keep us locked into the status quo if we don’t eventually break the rules. These are three of an unlimited amount of phrases, mantras if you will, that guide our daily actions. Examining the phrases lodged in our brains allows us to forge a new path to where we want to go. But how do we break free from the scripts, especially when doing something new goes against everything we know?

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"Stay Curious" with Casey Silveria (GWTW754)

Not only is curiosity a driving force of this podcast, but in this episode, it infuses every morsel of experience and wisdom from today’s guest, Casey Silveria. From his early days growing up on a farm and working in corporate finance to his work today helping visionary farmers achieve their financial aims, finding the answers to the most profound questions drives Casey. In this conversation, we talk about the values he learned on the farm that he still uses today. We also touch on the importance of learning from other industries and bringing that knowledge and understanding back to our businesses, the obligation to never stop learning, the necessity of farming and agriculture, fostering trust with people through transparency and energy, and the power of gut instinct.

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Freedom in Imperfection (GWTW753)

I don’t know about you, but I’m telling stories in my brain about myself again. Ten days into the new year, I feel like all my faults and imperfections are fully displayed. My mind is flooded with questions. What am I doing wrong? What changes do I need to make so that things will be different? Why couldn’t I learn the lesson the first or even the fifteenth time? But in the middle of my pity party, I remembered a book recommended by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas in an earlier interview on Getting Work To Work: Wabi Sabi: The Wisdom in Imperfection. Page after page, the message seeps in ever slowly: I can discover freedom in the acceptance of my imperfections.

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"Invest in Creative Time" with Mercedes Austin (GWTW752)

How driven are you to create something that’s never been seen before? Mercedes Austin is endlessly curious about inventing a new pattern and fuels that search for uniqueness with humility, resilience, and dignity. She is a mosaic artist and founder of Mercury Mosaics, a company on a mission “to redefine your expectations of what tile is and how it can transform a space.” In this conversation, Mercedes shares where her love for tile and mosaics came from and how she turned a one-woman operation into a thriving business. We talk about entrepreneurial resourcefulness, communicating your vision to others while simultaneously learning to let them contribute, transparency in business, and how investing in personal creative time can help you solve business problems and be more innovative.

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