4 Podcasts for Creatives & Aspiring Entrepreneurs

There was a time I had NO idea what to do with the podcast app on my iPhone. Fast forward five years, and my phone ran out of space at one point because I hit subscribe to too many. (I've since learned how to manage my downloads better and only subscribe to the few that I listen to faithfully.)  

I like to tune in when I'm getting ready for work, cooking, and sometimes even when I'm out running. It's easier to go further when you're enthralled in a story. The content I listen to varies but as a freelance creative, I'm attracted to shows that tackle self-development, creativity, and business. Podcasts have become a huge part of my free education, so today I'm passing along four that are always in my lineup. 

What's one podcast you always tune into?  Tell me which and why you love it in the comments below!


1. The Marie Forleo Podcast:

Synopsis: Marie is my go-to gal. I LOVE her spunky personality, refreshing honesty and genuine desire to help others in their business. She interviews the best authors, entrepreneurs, creatives, and change-makers that tackle everything from business and marketing to philanthropy, failure, and fear. Each interview ends with actionable strategies for greater happiness, motivation, confidence creativity, and fulfillment. In short, she's a badass and I promise you'll love her witty and inspiring content. 

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Favorite Episodes:

 


2. How I Built This with Guy Raz

Synopsis:  Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's most successful companies and the idealists who built them. Each innovator has a completely different journey on their road to building their company, but one thing they all share is setbacks. Every story is an inspiring tale of trials and tribulations, and what can happen if you hang on and keep going. 

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Favorite Episodes:

 

 


3. Pursuit with Purpose with Melyssa Griffith 

Synopsis: Melyssa Griffin teaches online entrepreneurs and bloggers how to turn their passions intro profitable businesses.  Through online courses, free webinars, a Facebook community, and more, she's helped over 100,000 creative hustlers stand out online.This podcast is about her journey to finding happiness through work and creating a positive impact on the world. 

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Favorite Episodes:

  • Being Boss: How to Create a Life & Business On Your Own Terms with Emily Thompson
  • Everything is Figureoutable with Marie Forleo 
  • Body Image, Slef Love, Marriage and Business with Jenna Kutcher

4. The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher 

Synopsis: Jenna Kutcher is a marketing entrepreneur, photographer, and one of the most refreshingly honest voices in social media. Her live-workshop style business podcast is meant to help people redefine success, chase dreams, and teach how to make a living, doing what you love.  Her podcast episodes focus on marketing, social media, creative entrepreneurship, small business strategy and branding.

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Lessons Learned From my First Year as a Freelancer

 Photo by  Chad Cassidy

Photo by Chad Cassidy

One year ago, I emptied my desk and said a surprisingly tearful goodbye to colleagues and three years of work at a digital marketing agency. In between announcing my departure and my last day, I had become accustomed to the constant question "what's next?" I concocted a default answer, one that I felt good voicing.  In short, I would travel. That was the immediate future. Two months in Europe to shake off a few nightmare projects, a monotonous Monday-Friday schedule and burn through some money that I really should have been saving. (Oops)

In reality, post-Europe me wasn't exactly sure how I would fill my time, but I knew it included exploring both geographically and creatively. After I got home, it would be time to test options; production work, modeling, photography, writing, social media..... I had a mental list of all the things I enjoyed doing in my spare time. Quitting gave me the open schedule to give them all a fair try.

I laugh now, a year later, knowing that I stepped away from my job and into the unknown with a fair amount of naivety. Then again, had I known too much, it's possible I wouldn't have even tried. Most of my learned lessons have come from the latter half of the year after I determined more of a direction, gained some momentum and stopped letting perfection get in my way. (*Still working on that.) 

So what are the biggest takeaways from one year of working for myself? 


1. Be Your Biggest Cheerleader AND keep supportive friends by your side.

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.
— Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

For me, freelancing is a lot about continually facing fears. My fears are the voices that tell me I'm not experienced enough, not good enough, not (insert any adjective here) enough. Those types of thoughts are dangerously debilitating and crushing to confidence. But at the end of the day, I know nobody is going to believe in me if I don't first believe in myself. Confidence is something I have to actively work on, and when it's failing me, I turn to my friends. They shine the best of myself back to me and remind me of my talent and purpose. In the midst of an emotional day, I know I can call or meet up with them for moral support and empowerment.  

Recommended Reads to Amplify Courage & Confidence

  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
 Backpacking trip with my supportive gal pals - photo by  Miriam Subbiah  

Backpacking trip with my supportive gal pals - photo by Miriam Subbiah 

2. Voice Your Purpose and Goals Loud and Often. 

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
— Paulo Coelho

Setting specific goals and getting them in writing is important to me. It helps keep me aligned and accountable. I think it's equally important to share these goals with your trusted people, both for additional accountability and support, but also because I've noticed people want to help. This has come in the form of someone recommending me for a job, providing a stellar testimonial, meeting me for coffee to answer questions, showing me their editing process, letting me borrow a lens, or telling me about a free online class on creativity and entrepreneurship.  Once I've shared my intentions, I look for little signs and opportunities from the Universe, and trust that it's engaged in supporting my work. 

Mantra to Practice: "I let go of all resistance to prosperity and it comes to me naturally."

3. Community is Everything. 

Freelancing can be a lonely endeavor. I split my time working from home and a wonderful co-working space. If my task for the day is writing, I know home is my better option because I can work in silence.  But too much time at home can make me feel isolated,  and distractions are easy to succumb to. A change of scenery and the ability to ask questions/ bounce ideas off of other creatives is invaluable. My community came about organically, because so many of my friends are already freelancers/business owners. I found other ways to connect with creatives, specifically female creatives through social media, my work with She Explores and finding meet ups in my city for lady bosses. The resources are out there, you just have to look for them and find the right fit. 

 Community > Post Outdoor Retailer trip in Bonneville Flats, Utah  - Photo by  William Woodward

Community > Post Outdoor Retailer trip in Bonneville Flats, Utah  - Photo by William Woodward

4. Learn When to Say Yes and When to Say No.

This is still one of my biggest challenges. I identify as a 'go-getter', a self-starter who is hungry for work and purpose. I said yes a lot whether I really wanted the job or not, and whether it paid me enough or not.

In my conversations with other freelancers, that seems to be most people's experience, especially in the beginning. I think there's an assumption that freelancers get to leisurely pick and choose their jobs, and that all the grind work got left behind at the office job. I call BS. While all freelancer's situations vary, sometimes you can't turn down a job because you need a paycheck. Sometimes you work for trade (or free) because there's experience to gain. Some freelancers hold a side job in the service industry so they can work on their business during the day and still have a steady income. 

The cool part about working for yourself is that you get to set your terms and figure out what you believe your time is worth. The challenging thing about working for yourself is, you get to set your terms, and figure out what you believe your time is worth! 

5. Practice Persistance, Persistance and more Persistance. 

If it's not a NO, the possibility still exists. Even if a company or client did say no, that doesn't mean it can't be a yes in the future. Running my own business has meant becoming intimate with rejection. For me the best way to handle rejection is to not take it personally. There are a number of reasons I may not have been right for the job.  It may not have anything to do with me at all.  But I can't spin my wheels and waste my energy on dwelling on it. The best remedy is to keep moving forward and trust that something more fitting will come my way. 

To all of my freelancing comrades, what have been the most important lessons you've learned while running your business?

Lodged Out: An Outdoorsy Unplugged Retreat for Creatives

My pre-arthritic fingers needed a rest from the continuous typing, scrolling, and tapping. 
My mind desired clarity not tethered to a timeline and born out of a lack of distraction.  
My spirit craved the type of energy that occurs effortlessly from an authentic connection, refreshingly honest conversations, and pure untouched landscapes.

 Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

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Three days at Lodged Out provided all that and then some. 

I had been keeping an eye on the tech-free camp since my friend Haley attended their inaugural camp in Idaho. (She did a great feature about it on She Explores. You can read it here. ) It encapsulated so much of what I love and live for - connection and community, creativity, the outdoors, and the chance to really unplug. 

When I found out there was going to be a winter camp just over the pass from Seattle, all arrows were pointing to 'sign up'.  The decision was one of the best I've made for myself in the past six months. Now that I've been home and had time to process the experience, I can see that my participation was an important investment for both my personal wellbeing and professional growth. 


About Lodged Out

Lodged Out exists to bring like-minded people to the mountains for experiential learning so they can rid themselves of distraction and immerse themselves into an experience with inspiring people - because when you disconnect, you reconnect.
— Founder Bobbilee
 Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

Lodged Out - Tall Timber Style

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque place than Tall Timber Ranch for a retreat. We had the entire grounds to ourselves and bunked in cute A-frame and bunk-house style cabins. Situated about 30 miles Northwest of Leavenworth, Tall Timber borders the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area and is surrounded by alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains. The area became our playground every morning as we strapped on Nordic skis or snowshoes and tromped (or glided) around the camp.

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Nothing to do, Nowhere to go, No one to be
— Lodged Out Speaker, Tatiana Simonian

One morning we went searching for a waterfall, the next morning a group of us sat by a glacier river and talked about everything and nothing. The first 3-4 hours of the day were free to spend however we liked. And we liked to spend that time together. Distraction free. Cell phone free. Any type of screen free. My guess is that the lack of distraction led to a more immediate connection with one another. There was a presence in conversations - eye contact, intuitive body language, thoughtful questions - all of the signs that point to active listening. There was a distinct sense that not only did we all want to be there psychically, but we wanted to be there for each other emotionally. 

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Lodged Out - Workshops + Speakers


I was particularly excited for the outdoor stewardship workshop with Katie Boué and creative writing workshop with Erin Rose Belair. 

I spend a lot of time recreating and promoting an outdoor lifestyle, so I was eager to learn about how to be a better advocate for the outdoors. If you're interested in learning how to do that, give Katie a follow. She's a fantastic resource. 

I also spend a lot of time writing, both personal journaling and for client work. With anything you do often, it's easy to slip into a pattern or habitual way of doing it. My writing had started to sound all the same to me. I was hoping the workshop would rattle some dormant creativity in me and it did! Erin taught us about lyrical essays and gave us a framework for creating our own. I've shared the essay I came up with at the bottom of this post if you're interested in reading.  

After our workshops, it was whiskey and dinner time followed by speakers and fireside chats. Being the grandma that I am, I rarely made it past 10pm. I would feel a high from the day that would carry me to the edge of the night before crashing from emotional exhaustion. But it was the good kind of emotional exhaustion. The kind that emanates from giving people your full attention, talking and listening for hours, and trying new things. 

 Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

Bye Bye, Tall Timber

When the time came to leave, I experienced a range of emotions. I was creativity inspired, ready to start new projects and dive into work. I was somber about leaving new friends.  I was anxious to  depart the quiet of the mountains and enter back into the chaos of the city, the chaos of everyday technology. And I was motivated to be a better outdoor activist, a better ally to WOC, a smarter entrepreneur, a more vulnerable and present friend, daughter, sister and wife. All of this as a result of taking 3 days to unplug with 35 or so creative strangers in the woods. 

Follow Lodged Out to get updates on their retreats. 
Instagram @lodgedout

Untitled Lyrical Essay -

I’m thinking about cooking dinner with Jared
Do-si-do’ing around each other in our tiny kitchen,
working separately on the same recipe
trying not to choke on the smoke rising from the cast iron
this hundred-year-old home needs a fan

vegetables sizzling, oil crackling
the occasional ‘oh shit’
vibrates off the mint green walls we didn’t paint
The music floats in from the record player in the living room

we pause and reach for each other
one hand held and one hand resting
on a back
or a hip
we start to move, small steps
creating small circles as we spin around
our favorite room in this hundred-year-old home

I wonder how much longer we’ll live here?

live simply
simply live
city living sometimes feels like anything but
I daydream about a new place to plant intentional roots
but where?

We’ll take certain things with us
the Belgian linen sheets that shelter our bodies at night
furniture that’s been passed on from parents
the record player, boxes of well-loved books
and the cast iron that’s heard our laughter, our curses
and watched us dance circles in our tiny kitchen

I’ve heard the phrase
”you can always go back”
but whoever actually does?

You live in the past, or you live in the present.