90 minutes | Nov 13, 2018

S2 EP6: Designing a Life & Business for Creative Mastery & Meaning — with Srinivas Rao & Marty Neumeier

We have spent the last several weeks exploring how to design memorable moments for our customers and communities, our audiences and even our families. But how do we design a life of wonder for ourselves? How do we juggle our own creative calling with the needs of our clients and communities? Is there a way to approach marketing as a craft, making it part of our path to mastery? How do we realize our best creative selves, pursuing mastery and meaning in every aspect of our lives? Today, Jeffrey explores the creative process with Srinivas Rao, the founder and host of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast and author of the recently released Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake, and Marty Neumeier, Director of CEO Branding at Liquid Agency and author of several books, including the forthcoming business thriller SCRAMBLE: How Agile Strategy Can Build Epic Brands in Record Time. Srinivas and Marty explain how they make decisions about which projects to take on, discussing the tension between what they have been called to create and market demands. They address the significance of ongoing reflection and self-awareness in carving a path of personal and professional mastery and offer insight around putting your imprint or signature on any project you take on, learning best practices—and then challenging them. Srinivas and Marty also describe how they measure the value of their own work, seeking self-mastery rather than obsessing over marketing metrics. Jeffrey asks them how they work through doubt in the writing process, what surprised them in the creation of their latest works, and how they foster openness in creative collaboration. Listen in for advice on leveraging a support system to navigate crises and learn how to design a fulfilling life and business with an eye to creative mastery and meaning. Key Takeaways [5:01] Young Srini and Marty at their best Srini listening to Thriller on repeat Marty learning to draw from mom [9:51] Marty’s transition to an audience of one Career of being creative on behalf of other people Sold company to Liquid Agency ‘to do own art’ [13:05] Srini’s transition to an audience of one Making money helping others execute vision AJ Leon encouraged to ‘create own stuff’ Aim for mastery rather than metrics [19:55] Marty’s insight on mastery and metrics Always focused on mastery, fell short on metrics Not about gaming system but getting word out [22:40] The difference between mimicry and modeling Danger in replicating formula Rule to not be like anyone else [31:20] The role of environment in the creative process Introduced to idea by The Ultimate Game of Life All things have energy that inspires OR expires Upgrade space to ‘pull into best version of self’ [32:40] How to reinvent yourself with each new project Explore other’s work, save what you love about it Can’t know what’s new unless experience world [43:12] Srini’s insight around creativity and the internet Creative pursuits in search of external reward Tools designed to trigger envy and comparison Conflates attention with value, prevents creative work [50:54] The impetus for Marty’s new book SCRAMBLE Business book won’t give experience of agile strategy Suggestion to deliver principles through story [53:14] The surprises Marty & Srini experienced in the writing process Characters take on life of own Learn to write in rhythmic cadence [59:13] How Marty & Srini work through doubt when writing Email from writing coach when Srini stuck Marty wrote in full view of advisor/audience [1:06:00] How Srini navigates crises in business Support system of friends, family who care Therapy and self-care (exercise, eat well) [1:12:00] Marty’s approach to crises in SCRAMBLE Character of CEO must involve team to fix problems Similar to own journey in realizing can’t do it alone [1:18:09] How to foster openness in creative collaboration Eliminate ego and envy to do something great Project more important than who has ideas [1:20:55] What Srini & Marty are pursuing in the next year Srini leveraging platform to highlight social issues Marty founding Level C (branding as profession) Connect with Srinivas The Unmistakable Creative The Unmistakable Creative Podcast The Art of Being Unmistakable: A Collection of Essays About Making a Dent in the Universe by Srinivas Rao An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake by Srinivas Rao ‘If You Want to Build an Audience, Focus on Mastery Instead of Metrics’ by Srinivas Rao ‘The Wasted Potential of the Internet’ by Srinivas Rao Connect with Marty Marty’s Website Liquid Agency The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design by Marty Neumeier SCRAMBLE: How Agile Strategy Can Build Epic Brands in Record Time by Marty Neumeier Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier Resources Tracking Wonder S1EP11 AJ Leon The Brand Gap on SlideShare Misfit Incorporated Creative Live with Danielle LaPorte & Srinivas Rao Danielle LaPorte Leap First: Creating Work That Matters by Seth Godin The Brand Gap on SlideShare The Ultimate Game of Life The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Charles Baxter Steven Pressfield Mastery by Robert Greene Books by Anders Ericsson Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand Tracking Wonder S1EP04 BB Suárez Kim Marie Coaching Gentle Warriors Kitchen Charles Vogl The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging by Charles Vogl Quest 2019
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