the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 197: Fueling Your Own Creativity, Innovation, and Productivity with Juliet Funt | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

In today’s special recap episode, Rory revisits his conversation with Juliet Funt, author of the new book A Minute to Think, and shares his top three takeaways from the interview.

Rory breaks down key concepts from Juliet’s book, such as why we all need more oxygen in our lives and why having whitespace on our calendars is essential.

He reflects on the elegance of her writing and how the phrase “interlacing moments of thoughtfulness throughout your day” is such a profound lesson.

Hear why it’s important to ask yourself direct questions like “Where am I doing high quantity, low-value work” and “Am I comfortable being quiet?”.

Join us today as we discuss some of the incredible work Juliet has been doing, as well as how to listen to your own wisdom, and much more!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Rory shares his three biggest takeaways from his conversation with Juliet Funt.
  • The concept of creating more oxygen in your life and why all need more of it.
  • Why we need to have moments of thoughtfulness interlaced throughout our day.
  • How having more oxygen in your life fuels productivity.
  • Allowing yourself moments to listen to your own wisdom.
  • Why it’s important to ask yourself where you are doing high quantity low-value work.
  • How Rory’s interview with Juliet helped him recognize a flaw in their daily business operations.
  • Why you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable with being quiet with your own thoughts.
  • How Brand Builders Group starts phase one of their course with deep and self-reflexive work.
  • How being still with your thoughts and fears can be incredibly fruitful.

Tweetable Moments

“What a great definition, ‘thoughtfulness, interlaced throughout your day’. And the benefit, and I thought this was super elegant and she’s super elegant in her writing, is that the benefit here is that deceleration kicks in and you can listen to your own wisdom.” — @roryvaden  [0:04:27]

“The human brain gets addicted to insignificance and trivial tasks. Why? Because when you cross an item off your to-do list or you hit delete on something in your inbox, or you mark something as complete in your project management software, the human brain releases dopamine.” — @roryvaden  [0:09:28]

“And they’re amazed at how deep the work is, for most of our clients, for all of our clients, the very first encounter with us is almost, it’s cathartic. It’s therapeutic.” — @roryvaden [0:14:41]

“It is in the quiet, that we are unmistakably confronted with the things that challenge us, which is scary. But it also puts us in the ring with our fears. It puts us face to face with our fears.” —  @roryvaden [0:16:36]

About Juliet Funt

Juliet Funt is a renowned keynote speaker and tough-love advisor to the Fortune 500. As the founder and CEO of the boutique efficiency firm WhiteSpace at Work, she is an evangelist for freeing the potential of companies by unburdening their talent from busy work.

Juliet’s warm, relatable manner and actionable content earned her one of the highest ratings in the largest speaking event in the world, and she has worked with Spotify, National Geographic, Anthem, Vans, Abbott, Costco, Pepsi, Nike, Wells Fargo, Sephora, Sysco, and ESPN. You can follow her and access numerous resources at julietfunt.com.

Links Mentioned

Juliet Funt on LinkedIn

Juliet Funt on Twitter

Juliet Funt

A Minute to Think

The Busyness Test

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV (00:02): And we are back with the influential personal brand podcast, special recap edition of the interview I did with our good friend client and a, I would say mentor someone I’ve known for years Juliet Funt. And I have shared the stage speaking with Juliet on literally the biggest stages in the world. I mean she speaks at world-class events for world-class organizations and I’ve just, I’ve known her for years and we’ve gotten the opportunity to, to walk with her. And some of her creation around the, this book that she’s working on, which is now a a real life, a real life, a real life thing. And it is a, a joy to get a chance to talk to her about that. And obviously that’s what we were talking about. Fueling your own creativity, innovation, and productivity with this concept that she refers to as white space. RV (01:06): Obviously today I am rolling solo. I’m filling in for AJ who doesn’t make every episode as a, as a CEO of a fast-growing company, the mom of two toddlers she’s always got a bunch of stuff going on, so we try to catch her as much as we can. But today I’m rolling solo and I’m just gonna run you through my biggest takeaways in terms of how I’m applying, what Juliette was talking about in the interview. And then obviously in her new book a minute to think which I will tell you, I have read cover to cover. I am not able to read the book, all the books of every single podcast guests that we have on most of the people we bring on very familiar with, or I have read something of theirs in the past. This is a book that I have read cover to cover. RV (01:51): It is absolutely brilliant. Well-Written well edited, well-organized sharp, meaningful, clear, powerful, useful, and practical. And, you know, we touched on some of those concepts in the, in the interview. And so the, the first one to me is just that we all need more oxygen. Like we need need oxygen in our life. What she calls white space oxygen is to a fire. What are white spaces to our calendar? What oxygen is to a fire? It is just air it’s. It is margin. It, it is, it is openness and that is not a sign of weakness, or it is not a compromise in productivity. It is a necessary fuel. It is necessary to fuel productivity. And I love the way that she describes this, which is thoughtfulness interlaced throughout your day. What a great definition, thoughtfulness interlaced throughout your, and the benefit. And I thought this was super elegant and she’s super elegant in her writing. RV (03:05): Is that, you know, she said that the benefit here is that deceleration kicks in and you can listen to your own wisdom, how powerful and profound is that you can listen to your own wisdom. And so often so many ways. And so many days we’re going so fast, just sprinting from the next to the next, to the next to the next. It’s like trying to build a bigger fire by just piling more and more stuff on top of it. And there’s, there’s no oxygen, there’s no space, there’s no room to breathe. There is no fuel to grow the thing. And so I, I just love that. And I love the, the eloquence of being able to listen to your own wisdom. I think that is truly one of the most defining things that we do at brand builders group that is different from other, I guess I would say, you know, copywriters or people who help do, you know, identity for a brand is that we help you find your uniqueness. RV (04:15): We, for us, our belief is that the answers inside of you, it’s not, how are you different from everyone else? And it’s not. What do you do in relation to other people? It’s what do you do? What do you actually believe? What path have you walked down? And so much of this is being able to access your own intuition, your own insight, your own instincts, or as she describes it, your own wisdom. And in order to do that, you need white space, white spaces to your calendar, what oxygen is to a fire. And I just think that’s a brilliant, brilliant metaphor. Absolutely love it. The second takeaway for me, it was really just a question and it’s, it’s a very simple question and it’s super direct, but man, it hit, it hit me hard. And I think this question hits hard and I hope it hits hard for you. RV (05:15): And here’s what, here’s the question? Where are you doing high quantity, low value work? Where are you doing high quantity, low value work. And if you’re a leader if you’re not, you’re an entrepreneur with a team, or if you’re a personal brand, even managing a team of contractors, where do you have the people around you doing high quantity, low value work? Where are we running a bunch of manual processes, a bunch of, you know, manual things following a set of steps and a checklist that was created 10 years ago that, you know, we don’t even look at anymore isn’t even relevant anymore. And I just, I think this is super powerful. And I’ll tell you, one of the adjustments that I made immediately after listening to this interview was you know, our, our, our team runs the content diamond. Those of you that are, are members of brand builders group, like your members in our, our coaching community. RV (06:13): You know, we teach this content diamond process of repurposing content, which is brilliant and it’s amazing, and it totally works. But I, I was auditing, I went back and it was looking at some of the steps and I noticed that one of our steps is to embed a link to our YouTube video. Like we do a 60 every week, we do this five minute video and that’s, you know, we publish that on my YouTube channel or on our YouTube channel, if it’s the company stuff. And then we put it on my blog. So the bolt, my blog, Rory Vaden blog.com is the one place that you can go to access, you know, like everything that I’m doing. And so we make this really nice five minute YouTube video every week. Well, we also distill that down into a 62nd kind of teaser video. RV (06:58): And we embed that teaser video in LinkedIn, in LinkedIn pulse, which is LinkedIn’s blogging platform. And what I realized is we’re getting killed in the algorithm because there’s this external unique link to YouTube, which the, the, all the social media companies hate, they hate when you link to outside things. Cause that’s their whole goal is to keep you on their platform. And so we’ve got this, this one step in our process, which is embed a YouTube link, which is, you know, from years ago and our team is just doing that and we’re not watching and going, wow, we’re getting crushed in our reach, in our views. We’re not reaching anybody and going, we’re running this checklist, we’re spending however much time we’re doing it and going, we’re getting almost no value from it. So that was that was one of the things immediately that we’re, we changed in our business as a result of this interview. RV (07:51): And that was, that’s a question that I would ask for you, where are you doing high quantity, low value work? I think it is the, the, the, this is something that we talked about in our second book, procrastinate on purpose five permissions to multiply your time, which is that the human brain gets addicted to insignificance and trivial tasks. Why? Because when you cross an item off your to-do list or you hit delete on something in your inbox or you mark something as complete in your project management software, the human brain releases dopamine. Like if you monitor the human brain like under brain scan, there’s, there is a release of dopamine when we complete things. So we feel good. It tells us good job. Congratulations. You’re, you know, you you’re done. The problem is that the human brain releases basically the same level of dopamine, whether it’s a trivial task or a significant task, well, trivial tasks are take much less time and you can get a lot more trivial tasks done and get a lot more hits of dopamine. RV (09:04): So the neuroscience of your brain actually begins to work against you. You become addicted to that feeling the same way that you know, somebody is addicted to substances, like someone’s struggling with substance abuse is addicted. It’s this feeling, but in reality, what moves your business forward is not the volume of tasks that you complete, like ultra performers know that success is not about the volume of tasks you complete rather just about the significance of them while often the most significant tasks take a longer time. So you don’t check them off as quickly, which means you don’t get the hit of dopamine as frequently, which means that your brain left to its own devices. It was going to pull you back towards the insignificant, towards the trivial, towards the, the minutia, the mundane, in some cases, the meaningless. And we get addicted to this high quantity, but low value work and, and so many businesses. RV (10:02): And so many personal brands die on the hill of quantity. We’re just doing too many things and they’re not stopping and slowing down and decelerating and taking a moment a minute to think as the title of Juliet’s book is they’re not taking a minute to think about, does this really move the needle? Is this really valuable? Should we continue doing this? Is this high, high impact, very significant work. And if you don’t do that, you literally become addicted to the opposite. So that was just a powerful reminder for me and just a great reinforcement of some of the things that we should know, but, you know, we kind of lose sight of, and then the third, the third big takeaway least, you know, just for me listening to Juliette. And, and again, it’s, it’s, it’s really wonderful for me to be able to have this interview because I’ve read the manuscript cover to cover, like we’ve, we’ve walked with her a lot through just kind of helping her organize some of this. RV (11:08): And, and I mean, I, this book is going to be incredible. Y’all this is going to be a major book. Like, I think this is going to this that’s. The other thing is you know, random side note here is you should go, you know, to her site and you should watch what she’s doing. Cause this, I think this is going to be a really big business book. That’s going to have a lot of staying power. And it’s gonna make a big splash in the space. So you know, even if you don’t buy it for yourself, I think it’s like pay attention and watch what she does and how she does some of these things around the launch. But the third takeaway, which is another kind of sobering simple passion is just, are you scared of quiet? RV (11:55): Are you scared of quiet? Are you scared of sitting with your own thoughts? Are you scared of sitting still? Are you afraid of trusting that things can actually work out for you without your full control? That is a deeply profound concept and question that I just love how she ties it into like the practicality of every day, you know, productivity, but that is where the deep work happens. And you know, that’s why so many clients who work with us at brand builders group, you know, they come through our phase one course, one brand DNA experience. And they’re amazed at how deep the work is for most of our client. Well, for all of our clients, the very first encounter with us as is almost like it’s cathartic, it’s therapeutic. It’s, it’s, it’s almost, it’s almost spiritual because we’re going on this deep introspective journey of figuring out what is your uniqueness? RV (13:06): What is the problem that you can solve in the world that no one else can solve? What are you uniquely positioned to do? How, and who are you uniquely positioned to serve? And that’s what happens. First, later comes all the mechanics of here’s, how to launch a podcast and here’s how to write a book and here’s how to do a book launch. And here’s how to create a keynote. And, and, and here’s how to get booked for a keynote speech. And, you know, here’s how to build a company. Here’s how to do a sales call. And here’s how to build the funnel that dah, dah, dah, like we’ve got 14 events, 14 different two day experiences in our formal curriculum, as of right now. But the very first one finding your brand DNA is this, this deep work. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of exercises. RV (13:47): There’s, there’s not that much education. I would say in our very first phase one course, one of our, our whole journey, because a lot of it is just questions. We’re basically just peppering people with these questions that, you know, they go through this sort of like self exploration to find their uniqueness, to figure out who they serve, what problem do they solve? How do they solve it? And what’s the fastest path to cash solving that problem. But so many of us are scared of the quiet. We’re scared to be reflective. We’re we’re, we’re, we’re S we’re scared to be introspective. We’re scared to just listen to our own wisdom. And I think when, when you force yourself to, to have some quiet, you force yourself to face your fears. RV (14:46): It is in the quiet that we are unmistakably confronted with the things that challenge us, which is scary, but it also puts us in the ring with our fears. It puts us face to face with our fears and inevitably, and almost always, we beat those fears. We conquer those fears. We find the answers. We defeat the problems in that quiet. So while it is scary, it’s also tremendously empowering. And I believe, and I have experienced from my own life. And I believe this to be true for you is that if you take a moment to sit in the quiet, those fears and concerns may come up, but then you can see them. And if you can see your fear, then you can face your fear. And if you face your fear, you can defeat your fear. If you’re willing to sit in the quiet and inside of that silent conversation of prayer and meditation, or just being with your own thoughts, you are allowed to experience and explore the miracles of everyday life to write your own escape from the mental prisons of limiting beliefs of our own construction. So take a little time to have a little white space, white spaces to your calendar, but oxygen is to a fire allow for some quiet allow for a minute to think and know that your highest value work will come from your highest value answers, which you will most likely find in your quietest times. We’ll catch you next time.

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