This podcast episode digs into why I feel you should join or create a mastermind group, and my tips on how to get the most value out of it.
I review different types of mastermind groups, how they can help you find more success as a creative professional, and best practices for collaborating with others.
I also dig into the specifics of how I run my own mastermind group, which is now open for enrollment. They begin on January 1, 2018. I have three, one for each topic:
Register here: http://wegrowmedia.com/mm/
If you wondered about the reality of what it takes to find true success with your craft, I beg of you to listen to my interview with children's book author Stacy McAnulty.
She published 6 books this year, and 6 books in 2016. The road to that success? Dramatically longer and more involved that even I had ever considered.
Her journey (and our interview) began with her saying “I gave myself permission" to write. This was more than 15 years ago, when she wrote her first book one handed, without punctuation or capitalization, because she wrote while her first child while she wrote.
Our interview ends with these words:
“I am still rejected all the time. It never stops being a part of the job. Rejections expand. Now I get rejected from conferences, schools, bookstore visits. There is a lot more rejection that Woo-hoo! moments. But you have to ask, and you have to try.”
The story in between that start and that ending is just astounding. Listen to it here.
You can find Stacy at http://www.stacymcanulty.com.
Today I interview guitarist, producer, and founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman. You likely haven't heard of him, but he looms large in my life. This is why:
That is the "what" of Will Ackerman. But the "How" is what fascinates me. How on earth did he do this? In my hourlong interview with Will, I was kind of blown away by his message. When I asked him how he went from being a guitarist to earning tens of millions of dollars a year through his record label, he said:
"If you begin something that is inspired entirely by heart. And you are not chasing something that is indicated in the current market to be viable. And because of the love of it, You are willing to do something whether it has economic potential or not. That it is something you love. And in so doing, you end up being a unique thing, that happens to hit the world between the eyes."
Can you imagine this? Not following trends, not constatnly checking social media, not worrying about gaining followers, but instead: following your heart. Focusing on your craft. Becoming MORE LIKE YOURSELF, and less like others.
You can find Will at http://williamackerman.com
In today's conversation, I speak with artist Marc Johns about how he manages distraction, and how he has forged a career as an artist that supports his entire family.
We went deep into the reality of how he developed his career, made the transition to becoming an artist, and how he manages and markets his work on a day-to-day basis.
You can find Marc at:
In this week's episode, I explore the essential elements for making a creative shift in your life. What is a creative shift? It is doubling down on not just dreaming about your creative work, but actually doing it.
In the podcast, I mention my next mastermind session, which you can learn more about at: http://wegrowmedia.com/cs
Today I am speaking with actor Jason Liles.
If you are thinking, "Dan, I'm a writer, what do I care about this actor friend of yours?" I encourage you to listen to what Jason shares. This is not only a wonderful story of success, but he shares specific tactics that I think every writer and creative professional NEEDS to use if they hope to find success. Here are some highlights:
Thank you to Jason for taking the time to share your story and advice. You can find Jason in the following places:
Today I want to recommend that you become completely obsessed with Dani Shapiro's work. Why? Because she talks about the emotional side of the creative process in a way that I think every writer and artist needs to hear.
Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.”
In the conversation, we dig into so much, including:
Author Jon Acuff says this: “One of the cheapest, fastest ways to change your life is to read a book.” I strongly encourage you to read Dani’s book, Still Writing. Listen to the podcast. If you are wondering, “Gee Dan, how can I break through what is holding me back with my creative work,” I think you and your work will be changed by what she shares.
Samantha Hahn is a Brooklyn-based illustrator, creative director, and author. If you are someone who wants to pursue your creative vision, while also earning a living and raising a family, then you have to listen to what Samantha shares.
I was blown away by how she balanced so many practical aspects of developing her career and working within the marketplace, along with the ways that she stays inspired and nurtures her personal and creative needs.
When I researched her background in preparing for the interview, I realized why: growing up, her mother was a commercial artist, and her father worked in the music industry. It’s as if her childhood had been an apprenticeship at the crux of creativity and commerce. There is so much to learn from her experience!
As I went through the recording of our conversation, I kept coming back to these two quotes from Samantha — how they balance two critical sides of what it means to be a creative professional:
Ooomph. Listening to Samantha is like taking a masterclass in developing your career and your artistic vision.
You can find Samantha in the following places:
Note: this interview was recorded a little while back, so her kids are a bit older now, and she has been focusing more of her attention on her creative direction work in addition to illustration.
You can find Dan Blank at WeGrowMedia.com and @DanBlank on Twitter and Instagram.
How do you forge your own path to success with your creative work? Today, I talk to Elise Blaha Cripe, who tells us how she turned a blog into platform, a podcast, and a series of products that has helped her thrive. But more than that, I was blown away by her reflection on what she has built, after 10+ years: "I have felt more and more fulfilled by the work that I am doing.”
Elise Blaha Cripe is a crafter and founder of the Get to Work Book, a daily planner and goal-setting journal.
Among her many accomplishments:
In this time, she moved from being a person who shows you the behind-the-scenes of craft projects, to someone at the helm of a big standalone product line. It’s a powerful creative shift.
You can find Elise at the following places:
You can find more from Dan Blank at:
There was a moment in illustrator and cartoonist Jake Parker’s career, where this is what he, his wife and five children faced:
“There was a summer there where we had no money. We went through savings. We had some food storage we saved for when times get hard, and we were like, “Let’s break out the mac and cheese and beans.”
“I was really depressed, I took serious stock of everything. I said, “This is never going to happen.”
In this moment, he did something that I found astounding. He didn’t hide away, he didn’t diminish. Instead he did this:
“I doubled down on sharing online and hitting my social media hard. I really figured out where jobs were coming from, and about three months after, everything started falling into place.”
I can’t even express to you how excited I am to share my interview with Jake Parker. If you make creative work of any sort, and wonder, “How can I take this full-time?” you will learn so much from what Jake shares.
Jake is the perfect example of why it matters to:
You can find Jake in the following places:
You can find me, Dan Blank at http://wegrowmedia.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DanBlank
If you are a writer hoping to craft a career as an author, you are going to LOVE today’s story. I recently chatted with novelist Tammy Greenwood, who shared with me the harrowing journey to getting her 12th novel published.
She and I last spoke a couple years back, in an interview titled “The “Terrifying Crisis” of Finding the Second Act to Her Writing Career.” Since that time, Tammy released two new books. Today’s story takes us through the process of finding the third act to her writing career.
I encourage you to listen to our conversation here (on my blog or via iTunes), where she takes us step by step through this journey:
You have to listen to the interview to see how all of this ends!
What I love about Tammy’s story is how it shows the reality of living the life of an author. She concludes:
“Risk is terrifying, but it is critical to finding success as an artist.”
Amongst all of this, we talk about how much she has been working full-time on top of the writing, teaching 7 courses. But she is in transition again, because being an author is a journey. She is scaling back her teaching, with this mission:
“I’m ready to be a writer first.”
You can find my first interview with Tammy from 2015 here: “The “Terrifying Crisis” of Finding the Second Act to Her Writing Career. An Interview with Novelist Tammy Greenwood.”
Tammy’s books on Amazon.
You can find Dan Blank and other episodes at http://wegrowmedia.com
How do you earn a full-time living as an artist, while raising three kids, and navigating through a failed business venture? Today we find out.
Jay Alders is a professional artist, whose paintings, design work, and photography embodies the surf culture. But that alone is not what inspired me to interview him for the podcast.
I grew up with Jay. After high school, I lost touch with him, and by the time he re-emerged in my life, he was working full-time as an artist from his home studio, and a collaborator with many of creative people. He and his wife Chelsea (equally as awesome as Jay), seemed to have this strange duality:
1. They lived deeply creative lives, with a focus on appreciation, giving back, getting involved, and finding balance.
2. They were each incredibly hard workers, earning a living through pure grit and taking risks needed to create sustainability around their work.
In the past few years, I watched -- astounded -- as Jay and Chelsea had three kids back to back to back. In the blink of an eye, they went to "that cool couple that I know" to a family of five. Then, I was dumbfounded when Jay opened up a huge physical location on the Jersey shore -- a gallery and event space. I just couldn't believe how bold the vision was.
But that venture didn't make it. About a year after opening, he shut it down.
My interview today delves into a range of topics that I think are critical to anyone who wants to make a living with their creative work, while also honoring their creative process and lifestyle with those they love.
* Lessons from a failed business that actually brought him closer to his art and his family.
* How he works from his home studio, while parenting three kids, and supporting his wife who has her own business as well.
* How he finds the time (and energy) to create.
* Why he feels marketing and business are a welcome part of creative work.
* His path to going full-time as an artist.
* The value of taking care of yourself, even when you are swamped, so that you can take care of those who rely on you, and you creative work.
You can find Jay at: http://JayAlders.com
KJ Dell'Antonia made a huge shift in her career, giving up her career as a lawyer and New York City prosecutor to becoming a full-time writer. She became a columnist and contributing editor for the New York Times‘ Well Family page, amongst many other writing credentials. In this interview, we dig into the specific ways that she made the transition while also raising her family.
Colby Sharp is a teacher and advocate for the power of reading. In this interview, you will hear my incredulity Colby's amazing enthusiasm and his many collaborations. You can find Colby at @ColbySharp on Twitter and at https://sharpread.wordpress.com
Lori Richmond made a huge shift in her career -- leaving a corporate job in order to pursue her dream of becoming a children's book author-illustrator. In this interview, we go through the specific steps she took to pursue her creative vision.