PODCAST ARCHIVES!

"Making Meaning Together" with Ed Hess (GWTW740)

How much time do you spend thinking about the biggest questions we face as a species? On top of that, how prepared are you for the massive disruption technology will bring to our lives and work in the coming years and decades? How are you learning to control your thinking and regulate your emotions? My guest is Ed Hess, professor and author of Own Your Work Journey! The Path to Meaningful Work and Happiness in the Age of Smart Technology and Radical Change, and he brings the tools and experience to help us find our way forward. Ed shares why we need to come together and make meaning for all. He also talks about the importance of mindful meditation, managing your thinking, controlling your emotions, and the role learning, relearning, and unlearning will play in our future. If you are frightened to head out into the unknown, unsure of what you will discover, find comfort in the stories of people like Ed, who built a life and body of work around the ability to say yes to opportunities, admit what they don’t know, and come back with the truth.

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While You're Planning Next Year (GWTW739)

It’s that time of year when content creators are taking a moment to pause, reflect, and plan for next year. It could be looking at the themes you want to cover for the coming year, new project ideas, or people you want to interview. You may want to address that one sticking point in your process to increase flow from start to finish. No matter what it is, I hope you enjoy the planning process and consider the addition of a few areas to reflect upon, such as enjoyment, depth, increased authenticity, and worrying less about what other people think of you. I feel that 2024 will be a noisy year from start to finish, with a lot of drama—real and manufactured—so the more you can be in touch with your voice at the beginning, the better off you’ll be as the year unfolds.

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"Using Your Voice for Good" with Julia Verdin (GWTW738)

How are you keeping fear out of your orbit? What do you want your legacy to be? Who must you connect with over a shared interest or project idea? How will you help bring the world back to love? Nothing but massive questions with today’s guest, Julia Verdin, a director, writer, producer, and self-proclaimed multi-hyphenate. In this conversation, she shares her passion for making social impact films and the complex issues, such as teen trafficking and opioid addiction, she is tackling with her work. From her endless curiosity for life and an insatiable desire to learn to how she keeps fear out and creative possibilities open, Julia is a wealth of creative wisdom and generously shares throughout the conversation. No matter what you create, I hope this episode inspires you to use your voice for good.

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Between Mediocrity & Greatness (GWTW737)

There is an infinite number of messages surrounding us. If we are willing to tune in and listen, we can learn a lot about our values, what companies are forcing us to accept, and where we’ve lost our way. Recently, through a combination of blog posts, books, and interviews on this podcast, I’ve been challenged to think about how the evolution of digital tools can impact our work and the mindset we bring to life. For over 20 years, I’ve seen tremendous growth in the affordability and power of technology. Still, I’ve also made concessions about what I’m willing to pay for versus building myself; for that, there is a price. When we forget the journey of where we’ve been and what we can do and choose to accept the status quo—”this is how things have always been done”—we move away from growth and cozy up to mediocrity.

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"Living with Intention" with Elizabeth Blake-Thomas (GWTW736)

Nothing better captures one’s attention in a sea of email subjects than the phrase “Butterfly Doula.” Elizabeth Blake-Thomas is not only nurturing a safe environment for butterflies to undergo the metamorphosis process, but she also applies that work to herself and others through her books and other creative endeavors. In this conversation, Elizabeth deeply shares her life experiences about curiosity, decision-making, perfectionism, and the stories of inspiration and delight that capture her heart. If you are someone who struggles with taking yourself too seriously, raising my hand here, her practice of laughing at yourself will help you. She also gives insight into brain breathing, an exercise that enables the “total reset of your brain” as part of her work called Medicine with Words which helps you live a life with intention and purpose.

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Funding Your Future (GWTW735)

How in the world do you make money to fund your future? I think about this question a lot because I have no idea how anyone is making enough money in the digital economy on their work alone when platforms pay pennies per thousand for people watching, liking, sharing, commenting, you know the drill. I get even more confused when I think about newer free platforms; how are they making money? When people get used to free, why would they pay? With subscription services increasing monthly fees, how much of that will reach creators? Is crowdsourcing a viable path to funding your future? Do I build my own platform from the ground up? My head is swimming with all these questions and the absence of answers. So, let’s dive into the deep end of funding your future beyond pennies on the dollar.

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"Bald, Buff & Badly Behaved" with gough (GWTW734)

Have you ever wondered how an uptight hippy makes films? No? Well, now you’ll know because gough from BeernutsProductions.com is here to talk about his latest masterpieces: a short movie mocking horse racing commentators and a five-part behind-the-scenes documentary series about making the film. Gough is a legally blind independent filmmaker from Australia and holds the honor of being on Getting Work To Work more than any other guest. In this conversation, he shares why you should befriend cab drivers, the importance of walks for boosting your mental health and creativity, the challenges he faced coming up with horse names, and the two rules that make his website, BeernutsProductions.com, so easy to use.

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Create in a Vacuum (GWTW733)

Building upon last week’s episode, where I talked about figures of speech that guide our work, whether we know it or not, I want to talk about a popular one in creativity: “You can’t create great work in a vacuum.” While I understand what the phrase is saying, and there are some excellent blog posts advocating for non-vacuum ideation, I think it lacks a key component of creativity: doing the actual work. I’m just getting back from attending an annual conference, and I’m struggling to get my groove going. There are a lot of distractions and items on the to-do list. What’s missing is my ability to tune everything out, get into a vacuum-esque state of focus, and crank out the work. It seems like when I get close to it, something pulls me out, and that sucks. Hah, vacuum puns are the best. In today’s episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m diving into the what, how, and why you need to create a vacuum-like environment for deep creative work.

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"Drop Into The Moment" with Mary Williams (GWTW732)

When you think about your business, how can you open your mind and drop into the moment to explore new possibilities? One way today’s guest does that is through analogous thinking, for example, having difficult conversations while talking about movies and TV shows. Mary Williams is the founder of Sensible Woo and the School of Moxie podcast. She is a librarian, systems coach, and podcaster who loves to help people think differently. In this conversation, we talk about her love for talk shows, podcasts, movies, and TV and how that love connects to her work. We also dive into the topics of reframing courage, the struggle we face as a society when it comes to attentional demands and classifying information, how to have better business conversations that aren’t boring, and how she has connected a metaphysical approach through tarot readings to business systems and processing intuitive feelings.

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Reexamine Your Potential (GWTW731)

I’ve been thinking about the stories, figures of speech, and memes that guide our days and keep us firmly entrenched in identities and labels. Whether I knew it or not, a guiding tale for much of my life was that I was a serial quitter. Whenever I did something new, I unknowingly set a timer for four months, and when it went off, I was usually onto the next thing already. Maybe you see yourself through a lens of accomplishments or failures. Or you define your life by figures of speech that people repeat ad nauseam, like “stay in your lane” or “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” None of these things are bad, but they can keep us stuck, so I want to ask: When was the last time you reexamined your potential and made changes accordingly?

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"Coaching Peace" with Diana Cutaia (GWTW730)

How can you think differently every day? How can you create environments of peace? How do you define peace? These are just a few deep questions that can jumpstart conversations courtesy of today’s guest, Diana Cutaia, who sees the world through a lens of curiosity and change. Diana founded Coaching Peace in 2012 to create positive and safe cultures that empower its members to lead with empathy and understanding. In this conversation, we discuss curiosity’s role in changing systems, connecting to other people’s joy, and how the lessons of a life in sports translate into the business world. Diana shares stories from her time playing and coaching sports, how to adjust to adversity, why we need to listen to our bodies, and the balance between drive and peace. If you are driven to succeed at all costs and want to find a new, healthier way, then Diana has some insights for you.

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Dancing with Doubt (GWTW729)

‘Tis the season for another monologue about doubt. When I searched the podcast archives for doubt, last November came up, and it was examining the positive nature of doubt. I’m not sure what it is about the end of the year. Maybe it’s a change of seasons (a great song by Dream Theater) or the compound effects of exhaustion. But honestly, it’s probably part of the creative process, especially when pushing into new mediums. I just don’t feel it until the end of the year when life slows down. What if doubt has nothing to do with what you are doing but an indication of what you need? More grace and less tough love. Compassion, rest, and freedom to explore your curiosities.

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"Permission To Be Great" with K-Rahn Vallatine (GWTW728)

How would your life be different if you gave yourself permission to be great? Today’s guest not only asks that question but also explores the narratives, stories, and memes around us that impact our lives. K-Rahn Vallatine is an author, curriculum developer, and executive director of Live Above The Hype. In this conversation, we explore greatness and self-sabotage in the pursuit of our vision. We also talk about shattering narratives with forward movement, surrounding yourself with people who support your creative process, reaching people for who they are and not saving or fixing them, and his process of writing books. Finally, if you produce a lot of ideas and projects, K-Rahn shares a way to think about seasons of creation.

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Be the Creative Outcast (GWTW727)

Over the weekend, I did something I usually don’t or even set out to do: I helped a friend film a wedding. Since it was a behind-the-scenes, documentary-style project, I said yes because I love to be a casual observer and documenter of life. We captured all the usual events surrounding a wedding, but it was during the reception that today’s monologue found its roots. The reception was on the Portland Spirit, a popular ship for sightseeing and events along the Willamette River. As I captured footage of people enjoying the party with appropriate levels of emotion, I heard a commotion on the other side of the ship. I walked toward the noise, missing whatever happened, but the people at the table attempted to recreate their excitement for my benefit. I would return to this group throughout the evening because they were fun. When I mentioned it, the response was simple: “It’s because this is the singles table.” They were the outcasts of the wedding; they knew it and were having a blast anyway.

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"The Grumble, Gritty & Gracious" with Brandy Chalmers (GWTW726)

When my wife and I got a pug last year, the algorithm inundated us with pug accounts, including Grumble Farm out of Canada. We loved seeing the pugs but also enjoyed learning more about the unbelievable beauty of British Columbia and getting to know Brandy and Jesse. Today’s guest is Brandy Chalmers, one of the two humans behind Grumble Farm. She’s here to talk about her journey as a content creator and how she shows up as her authentic self. In this conversation, we talk about her curiosity around a million things, the dehumanizing and fragmentizing nature of niching, the struggle with how much to share, the art of asking for what you want and need, and the mindset shift that occurred when she moved from the city to the country. Throughout, Brandy shares stories that illustrate a total commitment to living life.

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Of Style & Substance (GWTW725)

When I interview people who have written a book, the typical response to my closing question—”What book, podcast, or resource is currently blowing your mind?”—is a form of: “I’m not reading or listening to anything right now. I don’t want to be influenced by someone else’s work.” I’ve always been intrigued by the notion that you could produce original work without external influence. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere without access to modern technology, the opportunity for influence is all around us in two ways: style and substance. Style is surface-level, the way things look; substance is much deeper. It’s the creator’s message, philosophy, beliefs, and intention. Instead of fearing influence, how can we provide attribution to style and substance and continue creating the work that matters to us?

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"Tango with a Bear" with Paul Crosby (GWTW724)

It’s been a few years since I’ve thought about teams, but today’s guest opened the floodgates while simultaneously dismantling biases and explaining past negative experiences. Paul Crosby is one of the founders and the CEO of The Uncommon League, a training company that teaches people in unexpected ways to think, work, and learn differently. He’s also an author who has written several books on topics ranging from business analysis to positive conflict. In this conversation, Paul shares his curiosity about teams and how they work through friction, conflict, and collaboration. He also talks about The Uncommon League, how the name came about, and why they don’t settle for boring. We also touch on the importance of failure in growing in your life and work, how doubt is a natural component of the human experience, and the process he uses to write his books.

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Beyond What is Obvious (GWTW723)

There’s something special about people who make decisions that go against the grain of societal expectations. Whether we make those decisions out of necessity, frustration, depression, or some other motivation is less important than the willingness to embark on a new journey. Today’s episode is inspired by a quote from an excellent book by Patrick Bringley, All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me. In the book, Bringley documents the loss of his brother to cancer, how he quit a dream job, and became a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for ten years. It’s worth your time to help you examine your life, look beyond what is obvious, and find what is hidden.

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"Create an Extraordinary Life" with Maria Kellis (GWTW722)

I believe that people come across your path when you need to learn from them. Today’s guest brings her tools and life story to Getting Work To Work to help those stuck and looking to create extraordinary lives. Maria Kellis is a leadership coach and teacher who is endlessly curious about the possibilities available to each of us. In this conversation, she dives into the four steps of what she calls “The Empower Game”: 1) Intention, 2) Clearing, 3) Gratitude, and 4) Trust in order to receive. Maria also shares her lessons in the power of gratitude while recovering from a broken back, body, and spirit. Not to mention how she discovered patience through discipline, her approach to routines that aren’t boring, systems of creativity and the power of teams, and scarcity versus abundance. Open your mind to the extraordinary life you want to create and listen in as Maria shares a lifetime of wisdom.

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The 3 AM Creative Brain (GWTW721)

I had plans for a different monologue today, but my 3 AM creative brain had an idea it couldn’t drop. I woke up from a dream feeling ready to mourn the losses of the past three years. It’s not easy to admit, but I’ve been not so secretly punishing myself for how I responded to the pandemic. It was ugly, fraught with fear, trying to make sense of the internal and manage the external. I took care of those around me, but I stumbled deeper into debt, wrestled with depression, ate food to numb the pain, and gained weight. I knew what I was doing, and while my reactions were nothing short of vicious, I couldn’t stop. Fortunately, I heard a different story playing in my mind as I stared at the ceiling, wondering why I couldn’t fall back asleep.

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"Behold The Miniverse" with Steve Berry (GWTW720)

Do you know your life’s destiny? Are you actively doing the things you were born to do or wishing you could one day? Today’s guest took his obsession with film and his need to diversify his services and fell into the rabbit hole of something unexpected. Steve Berry is the artist and photographer behind Robot Wig, what he calls “the Miniverse,” a place for miniature pop culture creations. In this conversation, we obviously talk about movies and his journey to the Miniverse. But we also explore how he sees art in everyday objects, how he taught himself lighting by making mistakes instead of watching tutorials, creative patience (or lack thereof), and the challenges of turning his passion into a viable business. If you are a creative entrepreneur looking for a new way to see your business, this is the conversation for you.

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Go! Get It! (GWTW719)

I just got back from my first real vacation in six years. While there were plenty of late-night existential wrestling matches—”I don’t know who I am on vacation anymore”—my mind was churring and whirring away underneath the surface. As I listened to the conversations around me, watched the truth emerge through body language, and paid attention to my feelings, I heard it clearly: “Go! Get it!” If you have a vision for your life and are afraid to take the first step of leaving the infinite labyrinth of modern society’s expectations of you, then the message for you is this: It’s not easy; it’s going to be the most challenging work you’ll ever do, but go! Bring your vision to life. It’s worth it for you and the others you’ll bring along on your journey.

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"Driving Force of Greatness" with Lindsay Gay & Trevor Solomon (GWTW718)

I love how spaces can influence our creativity. Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, has impacted many people, especially past guests of Getting Work To Work. Jack Kent once saw a man and a llama walking through the square at night and would turn that moment into a book cover for Sketchy People. Bill Will, a conceptual sculptor and installation artist, created a public art installation during the pandemic to promote safe gatherings in a public space. Today, my guests are here to talk about PDX LIVE, a series of concerts in the heart of the city, and how creativity can be a reinvestment in the city and help revitalize downtown. Lindsay Gay is the director of operations at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Trevor Solomon is the lead talent buyer at TrueWest. Together, we are ready to discuss creativity, collaboration, the challenges of managing events for an entire city block, and the joys of people-watching.

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Evolution: Productivity (GWTW717)

Monologue ideas seem to enter my mind in the early hours. I picked up my phone, looked at my email (I know, not the best habit), and saw an email from Fruitful Life by Ashwin Chacko, “Grace Over Grind.” After reading the post, I started thinking about my backward relationship with productivity: I grind it out and reserve grace for others. But this week, I noticed something shifting inside. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about hitting deadlines and managing expectations, but I needed to let life enter into my daily plans. The more I let go of what I planned, the more I actually got done. What if everything I know about productivity is wrong and needs to evolve into something new? Chances are, we all might need to rethink productivity.

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"Stockpiling Hope & Curiosity" with Jarret Keene (GWTW716)

As a creative, what are you stockpiling? For today’s guest, he is not only collecting historical tidbits and fodder but also curiosity, hope, and optimism. Jarret Keene is a professor and author of Hammer of the Dogs, a new novel about a dystopian future set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. In this conversation, Jarret shares an unbelievable wealth of wisdom about creativity and why we should be tour guides of our curiosities. He talks about the bright darkness of 1980s pop culture in which he found inspiration and the power of emotion and vulnerability to transform the creative process. He also touches on why you should steal time to write or create, the impact of writing alongside his students, how positive writing can change the world, and why we should be more silly and less serious in a world hell-bent on making us passive consumers of corporate propaganda.

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Relentless Mediocrity (GWTW715)

Over the weekend, I was helping an awesome client work on her new podcast about our hometown, and I heard my new favorite phrase: “relentless mediocrity.” At one point, my client interviewed me, and I shared why I gladly wear the badge of “Relentlessly Mediocre.” It’s not that I don’t aspire to be great at what I do; it’s just that I don’t want to be great every single day in every moment of my life. It’s not attainable, healthy, or human. But that is not the message you and I receive from society. Society tells us that to be relevant and worthy, we must aspire to greatness at all times. There is no room for mistakes, a strategic plan for the future must redeem all failure, and if you are mediocre, you might as well quit. So, let’s dive into why I think relentless mediocrity is healthy for our creativity and society.

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"The Human Touch of Tech" with Farzad Rashidi (GWTW714)

What are the hints and clues of who we become sprinkled throughout our lives? From his early years of wanting to know how things worked and taking apart his toys to learning about business as a young child watching his father’s entrepreneurial experiences, today’s guest found inspiration in many places for his entrepreneurial journey. Farzad Rashidi is the lead innovator at Respona, “the link-building outreach platform that helps businesses increase their organic traffic.” In this conversation, Farzad shares several examples of how Respona works to create backlinks, establish credibility, and, most importantly, build relationships. He also talks about humility as a leader, the difference between being an employee and leading a company, how an internal tool became a product for others, and optimism’s role in his exploration of future possibilities.

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Break the Mold of Your Life (GWTW713)

It’s the middle of the night, and I can’t sleep again. As I play a silly game on my phone to quiet my mind, I hear a question, “Are you willing to break the mold of your life?” We live so many moments of our lives according to the scripts inherited from others: genetics, families, friends, lovers, celebrities, pastors, gurus, media moguls, authors, artists, musicians, time, habits, the list is endless. Why trust ourselves to carve our own statues when we are given a generic mold based upon imitations of others? A mold we can use over and over again until it becomes our death mask? What will it take to break the mold of our lives? First, be willing to explore whether your life is working for you. From there, desire something else you can see in your dreams. You’ll then want to bring it to life through action and funding your future while paying for the past. Finally, you can invite others to participate in your new life.

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"Creating an Impact" with James Jensen-Grace (GWTW712)

Have you ever gone to a meetup not knowing what to expect or who you will meet? You sit down and awkwardly chit-chat with people around you before it finally happens: you meet the one person who makes the event worth attending. Two months ago, that happened to me. I went to a podcast meetup and sat next to today’s guest. James Jensen-Grace is the founder and CEO of Branding4Pride, an LGBTQ+ digital media marketing and branding consultancy firm. In this conversation, James shares his experience and wisdom as a transgender man and serial entrepreneur, not just around branding, marketing, and impact, but with life. We discuss his approach to building connections with people and how it relates to his desire to learn, evolve, and continually impact others. James also shares many stories, from growing up on a ranch, running a wedding DJ business, and building resilience to knowing when to quit, how to fail forward, and his three-step approach to spreading love and joy.

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The Future Can Wait? (GWTW711)

I’ve been thinking a lot about procrastination and why I do it. Ironically, I started writing this episode on Monday, and now it’s Wednesday. I am still writing, waiting, not sure for what. I listed the usual culprits and excuses: boredom, imposter syndrome, conflict avoidance, worrying about what people will say, the lack of response. But one surprise caught me off guard, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today. If you are struggling with procrastination, more specifically, putting the work you want to be known for in the future to the side—while you do everything and anything else—then this episode is for you.

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"Speak Out Against Racism" with Dr. Rob Eschmann (GWTW710)

How does racism hide in our daily lives? How does history impact us today? What are jobs going to look like in an AI future? What is the society we want to live in? These are a few of the massive questions Dr. Rob Eschmann explores in today’s conversation. Rob is a scholar, educator, filmmaker, and author of When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age. He is endlessly curious about ways to end oppression and better understand the mechanism of racism. Throughout this conversation, he shares his hope for the future, what drove him to research structural racism, education as a path for social change, what jobs AI might render obsolete, and how he uses art, film, and storytelling in the struggle against racism.

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Frozen By Limitations (GWTW709)

I’ve had the concept of limitations on my mind recently. As a creator working in several mediums, I’m firmly aware of my limitations. I try to work within my limitations and sometimes use strict parameters to influence my creativity. But as I work with other creators to produce and edit their work, I see another side of limitations. What can be freeing and flowing for one quickly freezes another into the most beautiful statue. Perfectionism, procrastination, imposter syndrome, comparison, all the sins afflicting the modern creative ravage the mind, spurring the question: “What is the right thing to do?” I will explore this idea of limitations and see if I can’t melt away some of the ice that holds us back.

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