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the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 179: Accessing Your Creativity with Todd Henry | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

We had such an amazing conversation with Todd Henry in our last episode, and today we will be looking at the biggest takeaways from it!

Todd’s work is all about accessing creativity and using our energy and strengths to make an impact. Todd talked about how creativity is more about problem-solving than anything else, and this can be applied to so many different areas of our lives.

Wherever you look, in your personal, professional, and family life, there are problems to solve, and creativity can be applied to these situations!

The next big takeaway from Todd was how he defines art: for Todd, art’s central component is its expression of value. This means that no matter what you are creating if you are expressing your values through it, you can consider it your art!

We believe that starting a business or brand is nothing other than an expression of values and the realization of your internal value system into the external world. Todd’s point on where to start with building a personal brand and service is such a great piece of advice; he believes that our greatest strengths are most often the things that seem most obvious and negligible to us. So think about what seems almost too simple and straightforward to you and consider how it might just be your gift to the world!

The last takeaway we wanted to underline was Todd’s beautiful point about pursuing mastery of a craft instead of chasing stardom. This is a message we wholeheartedly believe in and can be the key to success, longevity, and lasting impact!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • How Todd reframes creativity into something focused on problem-solving.
  • A new definition of art: an expression of values.
  • The characteristic of art to move an audience emotionally.
  • Todd’s thoughts on ‘finding your uniqueness’: utilizing your most obvious strength.
  • The differences between pursuing a craft versus pursuing stardom.
  • Better measurements for success for a personal brand; reputation over revenue!
  • How influence and opportunities grow when you focus your energies on serving.

Tweetable Moments

“Creativity is problem-solving and there are constant problems! This is the story of being an entrepreneur.” — @roryvaden [0:02:51]

“I think business is art, creating a business is nothing other than an expression of values.” — @roryvaden [0:04:53]

About Todd Henry

Todd Henry is an author, international speaker, consultant, and advisor. He is the author of four books, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Todd is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps creative people and teams be prolific, brilliant and healthy.

He regularly speaks and consults with companies about how to develop practices that lead to everyday brilliance. 

Links Mentioned

Todd Henry

The Accidental Creative

The Motivation Code

Todd Henry on Twitter

Herding Tigers

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Video Short Course

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV: (00:06) Welcome back to the influential personal brand podcast recap. It’s your man, Rory Vaden breaking down the interview with my time friend, Todd Henry. I’m all about accessing your creativity, which I think is just super relevant. Right. And, and I guess it’s funny, cause I’ve known about Todd’s work for years, but now more than any other time, I think in my career, how do I feel like we’re playing in this space of creativity on a regular basis? And, and I would say even feeling like creativity is a core component of succeeding in the workplace today. And I would say probably my first biggest takeaway from the interview with Todd was even just kind of reframing what is creativity and what, what should we think about and what does he think about, or as someone who’s spent spent a lifetime studying this which is that creativity is just problem solving. RV: (01:09) That’s it? Creativity is problem solving and there’s constant problems. I mean, this is the story of being an entrepreneur. It’s the story of being a leader? It’s the story of being a parent? It’s the story of building a personal brand or building an empire it’s like life is basically just a series of one problem after the next, after the next, after the next and the problems just get bigger and different and more complex, the more successful you get and a lot of the most fundamental problems, you never, you never resolve completely, right? Like what are we eating for dinner and how do we keep the house clean? And you know, what are we wearing? And like, there’s just this, this rhythm of life that is a steady stream of problems. And so if you don’t have creativity or if you’re not developing that, then I think you’re going to really struggle. RV: (01:59) And I’m realizing that, oh my gosh, this is, this is an essential skill that isn’t just relevant to artists, but relevant to all of us. And you know, so I think this first takeaway there’s two big definitions that are in this. So one is what is the definition of creativity? I think Todd defines it as problem solving, which will, will stick with me. The other was what’s the definition of art. And I think the way that Todd said it was, he said that art is an expression of values, right? So it is your values, the things that you care most about the things that you believe in the things that you buy into, the ideals that you hold, the, the principles that you know, to be true, it is those things codified, manifested, extrapolated transformed into some expression, whether it’s, you know, a painting, a song a movie a, a book, a speech, a course like a business. RV: (03:20) I mean, I think business is art. Like creating a business is, is nothing other than expression of values. I think it’s like, I love that definition because if you go, okay, well, core values are to a business. What personal philosophies are to an artist. So your personal viewpoints and philosophies come out as the expression of art. Well, if you’re an entrepreneur, your business basically is that, I mean, it is that, that an entrepreneur being an entrepreneur is our chance to create a reflection in the world of the things that we believe, the things that we hold value to the things that we, we most trust and we believe to be true and that we want to see more of in the world. And so I think that is a really fascinating way of seeing it is that art is this expression of values, businesses and expression of values. RV: (04:16) You know, and, and I think when you, you know, that it’s art, when it moves people emotionally, we talk about that in world-class presentation craft which is, you know, our course, our, our course on teaching people how to speak from stage and the mastery level, stage mechanics of what, what set mechanically, what separates the greatest speakers in the world from everyone else. And it is all about, can you move the audience emotionally? Do they have some type of visceral response in their body to the things that you are saying? And you know, some of those are techniques, but that you can do, you know, there’s, there’s things that you can practice and we teach a lot of those, but a lot of it is more of it is aligning your art, your presentation, your, your masterpiece, your creation, being in alignment with your uniqueness, the things that you believe. RV: (05:11) So that was really beautiful. And I, I really loved that. And, and I loved the practical application of that also with kind of like this artistic juxtaposition was, was really good. Now, the second big takeaway that I want to highlight is w w w how do you find, like what art you should create? I mean, a brand builders group, right? We would call this finding your uniqueness. It is always the first thing that we do with every client as we help them identify their uniqueness. It’s the thing that so many people struggle with. It’s, it’s almost a thing where it’s like, it’s, it’s kind of impossible to like, figure it out yourself. You need help doing it. It’s really, really difficult to nail this, but if you nail this, I mean, it changes everything. It changes everything because you’re being the person that only you can be. RV: (05:57) And I love what Todd said here, which is another way, or I would say a hint or a clue or a suggestion. You could say, I guess a shortcut, probably not a shortcut, but, but maybe corroborating evidence for you to find your uniqueness. Here’s what he said. This is my second takeaway. The thing that you’re most equipped to put into the world is the thing that feels most obvious to you. The thing that you’re most equipped to put into the world is the thing that feels most obvious to you. It’s, it’s parallels kind of what we say a lot, which is that your most powerfully positioned to serve the person that you once were. And that’s because, you know, in full integrated detail, what it’s like to be that person. So it is obvious. Yes. Do you, because that’s what you have done. RV: (06:52) It’s what you have lived and not just what you have learned about. And I think the way that he comes at it here in, in the way he says it is, is kind of like you know, a different presentation of the same core concept, which is what’s most to you. What is the thing that you do without, you know, trying, what is the thing that you do naturally? What is the thing that you’re gifted at? What is the, what are you like? What have you become? What super powers do you have you naturally developed over the course of your life. These things that you don’t think are special, there’s a huge need out in the world because other people have not gone through what you’ve gone through. They haven’t walked the path that you have walked down. And so you’re super equipped to help those people, which is amazing. RV: (07:37) It’s amazing when you tap into this, because this is a gift like this is, this is such a great blessing that your personal brand is built, not on having to create something out of scratch, not on, not on having to manufacture ideas out of thin air, but rather to express things you already are to, to convey things that you’ve already been doing to, to translate the very persona in history and experience that you have lived, the more that we can access that the faster and the shorter, the distance to you breaking through with your personal brand. And it’s in a lot of times, it is the thing that’s, it’s so obvious to you that you don’t even notice it. I would say that a lot, like a lot of our clients, like it’s it’s, so it’s such an ingrained part of them. Like their uniqueness is such an ingrained part of them that they can’t see it. RV: (08:39) Cause they’re so close to it that they’re, it’s almost like they questioned like, well, why would this have any value in the world? Like surely no one would care about that. They have the curse of knowledge, right? They, they automatically, we assume and believe that everyone else out there in the world knows the same things that they know. And they don’t because they haven’t studied. They haven’t researched to use the, the brain DNA helix term. They haven’t researched the same things that you have researched. They don’t have results doing the same things that you’re doing. They don’t have the same passions. They haven’t tried to solve the same problem. And and so it’s like, it’s hard to see. So that’s really, really important. And even though it’s hard to see, it’s a place to start with is, you know, what is most obvious to you? RV: (09:22) Like, what is the problem you have most overcome? What is the path that you have walked down? Or as Todd said, it you’re most equipped to put into the world. The thing that feels most obvious to you, which by way of the curse of knowledge, you probably think has no value in the world because you assume that everybody knows it just because you do. And they do not. My third takeaway. And I would say this one was my, my favorite part of that entire conversation is the difference of pursuing a craft Haft versus pursuing stardom. This is the difference between pursuing a craft versus personal, doing the stardom. And it actually reminds me you know, so one of our, one of our longtime pals is John ACOF and we saw John at church a few weeks ago, and we were just having this conversation. RV: (10:16) We hadn’t seen each other in a while. And, you know, he said something, something about how far we’ve come over all these years. And, you know, I told him, I said, yeah, honestly, I think it, it has more to do with the fact that you and I have just stuck around than anything else. Like we have weathered so many storms. Like we’ve just been, we’ve been in this space now for 15 years. I mean, I met John AIG and I met John 12 years ago now. And so it’s, it’s like, we’ve known him for 12. He was already, you know, just like us. He had been around in awhile and it’s like, I think what we’ve both been doing is, is like we’re pursuing a craft, right? We want to get really good at what we do, which is we want to get really good at helping people. RV: (11:01) We want to get really good at providing solutions, really good at providing answers. And when you do that, you have true staying power. I mean, it’s, it’s so powerful because you’re not constantly tied to the results of your last post, right? Like you’re not constantly consumed with how many video views did I get, how many podcast downloads or even your last book. Right. It’s it’s like, yeah. If the book sells or not, I mean, it’s, it’s one part of this lifelong journey that is the, your craft. But you’ll see a lot of times when people are like, oh, I just, you know, like, I feel like I need to just like, do this one, one thing. Or if they’re just pursuing stardom, like they just want to have a lot of followers, like you’re going to burn out, you’re going to burn out, or you’re going to look for shortcuts, or you’re just, you’re going to make a lot of sacrifices because you’re ultimately serving something that isn’t that significant in terms of its, its staying power. RV: (11:58) And it’s, it’s, it’s lasting power. And it’s trick, it’s a little bit of a trick because look at like at brand builders group, right, we win when our clients win. Like we love when our clients get hundreds of thousands of followers or millions of Ted talk views, are they, you know, hit the New York times bestseller list or they land, you know, six figure consulting, deals, all, all things that happen, you know? And, and recently they’ve been on a pretty regular basis. But even those things, it’s like, we want those things to happen for our clients, but they’re not what we measure success by because it’s like, first of all, certain parts of those things can kind of be like manufactured, right. And the, the, the reality is going, but, but it’s not these external achievements or these vanity metrics that change anyone else’s life, nor do they provide side the kind of meaning and deep satisfaction that a true mission driven a true mission driven messenger seeks in their own life. RV: (13:03) They’re certainly not bad. They’re great things. We want them to happen. It’s just not how we measure success at brand builders group. Because, you know, we focus on, on reputation, over revenue. We want revenue, we want wins. We want money. We want likes, we want followers. We want views. We want all that stuff. But at the end of the day, we’re more focused on helping people figure out what are you called to do, do that. Nobody else can do. Like what problem were you put here on this earth to solve, solve that nobody else can solve. And, you know, focusing and, and standing your identity, grounding your identity more in that is much more significant and long lasting. And it’s going to be a greater source of fulfillment and satisfaction. Even if for some reason it wasn’t going to bring more money. And over the long term, we are convinced that it absolutely does. RV: (14:04) But there are certain things that do create more results. Short-Term I mean, there are certain topics and there’s certain things you can do. Like, I mean, anything sexual, anything outrageous anything to do with money like there are certain topics that just naturally draw more attention, anything that’s based on celebrities, there’s things that you can do to kind of manufacture short-term attention. But if that’s, if, if that topic or that thing, isn’t what you want to spend your life doing. It’s like you can’t chase that because you’ll, you’ll eventually be running from an empty tank. So pursue mastery of craft laughs don’t pursue stardom, pursue figuring out how can I help versus how can I known? And if you do that, you likely will grow your influence and you will have all of these amazing things happen to you. And that really, really was powerful to hear Todd talk about that. RV: (15:07) Especially since he’s spent a life around. So many creatives is, is, is to just really pursue that, that craft. And don’t get caught up, resist the temptation to be caught up in the fame and the vanity metrics and the stardom and you know, whatever word you want to call it. Cause it’s not ultimately what changes lives and it’s not, what’s going to bring you satisfaction, but find what’s the message you could spend your life sharing. What’s the problem you could dedicate your life to solving who is the audience and you can dedicate your life to survey

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