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

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.

Ep 101: The Battle Against Reactive Busyness with Juliet Funt | Recap Episode

RV: (00:00) Hey, good news. You just listened to the 100th episode of the influential personal brand podcast. HOOORAYYY pretty amazing to start a brand new podcast and get to a hundred episodes, it’s exciting for us. Hopefully you enjoyed it. So the interview was with Juliet Funt one of our good friends and like always, we’re going to be breaking it down for you here, give you the recap kind of cliff notes and just our takeaways of, of what it meant for us. So why don’t you kick us off first, babe? AJ: (00:43) I think my biggest thing was more on her personal brand, which is just the importance of having white space. I think all of us are plagued by the life of busy-ness and what’s next. And how much can I fit in versus providing a little time to think process brainstorm, strategize, and I love what she talked about. It’s just like how many of us have time in our calendars to think, just to think me with nothing to do no emails, no podcasts, no projects, no calls, no meetings, just white space. And I think that’s amazing because so much of our creative time happens during just blank space. Right. I just, that’s such a great term. And I just, I think out of everything, I love that the most of just making sure that every single day your calendar has white space to just think, to create, to imagine, to just be in what you’re doing. And I think that that’s hard that actually takes quite a bit of discipline to do that versus, okay, great. I’ve got five minutes. How many emails can I check off? Or how many of this can I do? And I’m totally guilty of that. And just building in white space. I love that. That was my, that was by far my biggest thing. RV: (02:05) Yeah. I mean, that’s a big takeaway of mine too. It is, you know, the way she describes it, like it could even just be this interstitial sip of space. It doesn’t have to be like a 30 minute or a 60 minute block necessarily, but I think the interstitial, yeah. AJ: (02:24) And he knew I was going to ask that didn’t you? Right. So even when she was saying it, I was like, interstitial RV: (02:32) Fancy. AJ: (02:33) I need to figure out how to work this into conversation RV: (02:38) The day here, Brand Builders Group interstitial. Not really, but I kind of, I’m kind of guessing, but AJ: (02:46) Taking it and being like, Oh, I can repeat this. RV: (02:51) Here’s the, here was the thing in terms of, you know, like for me, I think I, I almost feel like a slacker if I stop and pause and just like have nothing. I’m like, well, you’re not being like I’m not being productive. And the way that she described it was like, if you’re busy every second of the day, you’re not allowing yourself to catch the brilliant innovations. Like you’re not allowing yourself to catch the big ideas and the big creative moments. And so it’s almost like having that white space, if you’re a personal brand, it’s essential, like it’s a part of the creative process. And so having that permission, I just, I just thought that was powerful, powerful as well. So my second big takeaway was really about her lifestyle and I thought it was interesting to me that, you know, she’s almost been two years. RV: (03:47) Her family have been gone from the United States for two years, living on the road, providing, you know, a whole income funding, their team, and being able to do everything virtually. And, you know, even if that’s not your dream or my dream or our dream, like the idea of saying, of having that as an option in your life, like having your business set up in a way that it can be flexible and virtual like that, and still be able to finance a great living. I, I thought that was really cool. And, and also a great example of her living out her uniqueness and actually doing the things that she talks. AJ: (04:29) Yeah. You know, it’s so funny because I was listening to this podcast and for like a whole minute, I was like, Oh, that sounds so good. And then I remembered that my kids are one and three, and then I had hot flashes. I was like, Oh no, no one had this idea. Maybe when they’re older. Yeah. But it was like one of those moments, I’m like, Oh, this is awesome. And then I was like, Oh, not, not for one and three year olds. Yeah. I love that too. And I just, I think that’s the power of where we kind of are in today’s world and creating a business that allows you to do whatever you want to do. So even if it’s not traveling, just the concept of creating a business that fits your lifestyle. My second one I thought was just a very kind of like high level takeaway, but I loved how she talks about how she was so far along. AJ: (05:23) She is so far along in her career and is just now launching her first book. And that people just assumed she had one because she is a successful speaker and has this business. And of course you have a book. And I just think that’s really hopeful and introspective for so many things of you can be so established as a personal brand, without a book. You can also be super established with one, but you don’t have to have one to make your Mark. And I just think that’s really great for all of you who are like, Oh my gosh, the thought doing that just seems daunting. Well, don’t do it. There are so many other ways like she has been incredibly successful up until now and now is just doing the book. So I just, RV: (06:09) Yeah, again, that’s interesting, an interesting permission that it’s like, there’s multiple ways to do this. Like there’s not just one way to be successful as a personal brand, as a speaker, as a whatever you influence or whatever you want to call it. So I like that. The other thing that I actually liked was one of my takeaways, which is kind of similar to this which is sort of different than what we preach a little bit at brand builders group. Not really, but she said you have permission to be iterative and speak on lots of things as a way of finding it. Right. And so that’s for those of you that if you’ve been to our, our kind of our flagship first event is called finding your brand DNA or strategy day, that is where we help people find their uniqueness and figure out like, what were you uniquely designed to deliver? RV: (07:01) Which I think is still powerful. But I also think what she’s saying is powerful that, you know, absent that kind of clarity, you can learn by trying and by testing some things out, hold on, hold on, hold on. I know you’re like dying to like get in here, but and, and even, I’m not so sure that I love, like I personally kind of follow the idea of speak about lots of things at, at one time, but I do like the idea of being iterative and going, Hey, I’m going to do something and I’m going to be great on that. And then I’m going to reinvent it and then I’m going to reinvent it. And then I remember, so I really liked the iterative idea that even if you’re, even if you’re going after you, you, your uniqueness, it doesn’t have, you don’t have to sign a stone tablet that says, this is what I’m going to talk about the rest of my life, which were a great example of that. We are in a new season, AJ: (07:50) Cause you kind of started with this is contrary a little bit to what we say, but it’s really not. Because she said it’s like speak on many things, but once that, but one at a time, one at a time, and I think that’s the key it’s like, you cannot be a wellness and nutrition speaker and a leadership speaker and a sales speaker and an economist at the same time. That just makes no sense. It’s like, maybe you could speak on fitness and wellness and nutrition, but those are all like lumped together. But I just think now over time, maybe you start as this and then it evolves into this and then into this. And that’s what I think you were saying and what she came around to saying too, it’s wasn’t like, you’re, you’re speaking on a body image and marketing at the same time. That’s, that’s not what happened. It evolved into that. And then into another thing, and I think that’s a natural process of just finding your niche and then reinventing I think that’s all really natural. I knew you were going to say that. RV: (08:53) And, and the other thing about that that made me think of is just like, you know, what brand builders group, we don’t teach people to only talk about one thing. We teach people to have a very clear message and that message can be applied to multiple different, multiple different things and angles. So anyways, that, that, but again, that was kind of a different perspective. So what was your third takeaway? AJ: (09:12) I think my third takeaway was just the general conversation of how you grow into your personal brand. I just think that, so for so many people you just have to get started, right? And it’s such a great reminder that many times, your first speaking engagement or your first 100 sometimes will be free, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it. And hers, you know, she was doing this a lot until she got paid $750 whoop right. Big paycheck that it’s like, this is all a part of the journey. It’s all a part of the mission. And she’s been doing this for a very long time and it’s just now doing her book. And I love what she said about that component, which is if she had written this five, 10 years ago, it wouldn’t be the book that it deserved to be that you needed to wait until this moment for her. AJ: (10:01) And I just, I think that’s so important for us all to like, not feel pressured by what everyone else is doing. And if we can just like stop the comparison game and go, well, I have to have a book or I’m going to no, no, no, no, you don’t. You do it, as soon as you feel called to and not until and I think just like listening to your own internal guide on that is so important because there is, there is no secret recipe for so many of us. It’s just, what do you want to do and do it at the right time and at the right pace. And I just thought that was a good reminder of just the growth pattern of how she started her personal brand and her career. RV: (10:39) I love that. And I, I, she, I know that she wouldn’t mind me saying this roughly, but the other thing is she got a very large, the largest book advance. I know of, for, of like a first time, a first time author, because she, she did it right. And she built it and she waited until she felt like now is the time. And she, now she has a huge platform. And so there you have it, there’s, there’s multiple ways to do this. You can figure it out. It can be done. Don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing. AJ: (11:09) Yeah. I love this all the time about, it’s like, don’t compare your step one to someone else’s step 1000 and it’s so easy to do. And maybe you thinking, Oh, first time author, but she is not a newbie. She is not a beginner. I think those are all in context of like, Oh, first time, like, okay, well that, that’s very broad and context of like first time author, but that does not mean newbie. Right. So I just think all those things are RV: (11:37) Bama was a first time author too. I think Speaker 3: (11:41) Oland content content, AJ: (11:43) I think again, just don’t compare your step one to someone else’s stuff. RV: (11:47) And hopefully you’ll stay here as a source of encouragement and education. We’re so excited. Hey, thank you for all the reviews. I was checking out the reviews. Thanks for sticking with us a hundred episodes. We’re just getting started. We’ve got so many great people for you to hear from, but we’re glad you’re here. We want to follow you and continue encouraging you on your journey. We’ll get you next time. Speaker 4: (12:13) [Inaudible].