Creating a Job that Doesn’t Exist with Aileen Bennett

Creating a Job that Doesn't Exist with Aileen Bennett

This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative Podcast is Aileen Bennett, Roving Creative Director and Idea Thinker Upper.

Aileen BennettIn today’s interview, we tackle a question that many creative people struggle with – what do you do when you look at the jobs on offer, and none of them seem the right fit? Not even the self-employed ones, like consultant or freelance designer?

Should you try to fit in, like a square peg in a round hole? Or should you do what Aileen did, and create a job that doesn’t exist?

I’m delighted to introduce you to Aileen and her work in this episode, she’s a delightfully creative thinker and maker, and a great example of how being yourself can help your business thrive as well as sparking your imagination.

You can get more inspiration from Aileen on her Creating Clever blog and Aileen’s Notebook on Instagram.

Illustrated pages from Aileen's notebook

Aileen's illustrations of Sterling Originals confectionery

Take Aileen’s Creative Challenge (and win a limited edition print)

Every week, at the end of the show, I ask my guest to set you a Creative Challenge – something practical you can do that will help you put the ideas from the show into action.

Here’s how you can take part – and maybe win the prize of a print of Aileen’s drawing of Brooklyn, NYC, and its inspiring text.

Aileen's drawing of the rooftops of Brooklyn

1. Listen to the interview part of the show, either in the player above or on iTunes or your favourite podcast platform.

2. Here’s the challenge, in Aileen’s words:

Think of a job that doesn’t exist. Combine two or three or more of your skills and create a job title, and a brief job description, of the job that would be perfect for you – without worrying whether anyone already does it, or whether anyone would ever pay you to do it.

3. Leave a comment below this post with the description of your ideal job.

You have until midnight United States Pacific time on Friday 4th August 2017 to complete the challenge and leave your comment.

4. Once the challenge has finished, I will pick 3 winners at random from the comments, who will receive the prize of a copy of Aileen’s print.

5. Over the weekend I will send a bonus recording with my feedback on your comments and what we can all learn from the challenge. I’ll be looking through the comments for common patterns, whether that’s ways a lot of you get stuck, or great solutions you’re finding to the challenge. I’ll also be sharing reflections from my own perspective.

6. As usual the feedback recording will NOT be released on iTunes or anywhere else the show is syndicated. It will only be available via the 21st Century Creative mailing list – click here to join the list (and get a free Creative Career course).

Drawing of small bird and text saying sometimes we could all use a little bird that sits on our finger and silently tweets encouragement. Be you, be you, it would say

One last thing…

If you’re enjoying the show it would be a huge help to me if you would take a moment to subscribe to The 21st Century Creative in iTunes.

And if you’d like to leave a brief review in iTunes, that would be even more helpful.

The more people who subscribe and review the show, the more visible the show will be in the iTunes store, and the more creators I can help with it.

This is particularly important in the first few weeks of a podcast – so if you enjoy the show, and you’d like to support it, taking a few moments to subscribe and/or review will give the podcast the best chance of success.

Thank you!

Mark McGuinness is a poet, a coach for creative professionals, and the host of The 21st Century Creative Podcast.

Freeing the Natural Voice with Kristin Linklater

Freeing the Natural Voice with Kristin Linklater

This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative Podcast is Kristin Linklater, the world-renowned teacher of voice work for actors and speakers, and the author of Freeing the Natural Voice and Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice.

Kristin LinklaterI recorded this interview at Kristin’s Linklater Voice Centre, in her native Orkney, at the end of a week-long course on speaking Shakespearean verse. As a student of Kristin’s I have personally benefitted greatly from her teaching, and I’m delighted to be able to share her work with you in this interview.

Kristin has some very insightful things to say about creativity, authenticity and communication, based on a lifetime spent teaching voice work – so you’ll find it helpful whether you’re an actor or you do any kind of public speaking.

And as we discover in the conversation, working on your voice can have a very interesting and positive effect on your creativity, outside of the realm of performance!

If you want to develop an authentic connection to your own voice – whether for professional performance, creativity or personal development – I highly recommend Kristin’s courses. I’ve taken two courses at the Linklater Voice Centre and it was absolutely worth the effort of travelling to Orkney. As you can see from the photos, it’s a magical setting in which to do some powerful inner and outer work.

Kristin Linklater and students working in her voice studio

External shot of the Linklater Voice Centre

Chairs round the stove inside the Linklater Voice Centre

Take Kristin’s Creative Challenge (and win a copy of Freeing the Natural Voice)

Every week, at the end of the show, I ask my guest to set you a Creative Challenge – something practical you can do that will help you put the ideas from the show into action.

Here’s how you can take part – and maybe win the prize of a copy of Kristin’s book Freeing the Natural Voice.

1. Listen to the interview part of the show, either in the player above or on iTunes or your favourite podcast platform.

2. There are two versions of Kristin’s challenge – you can do either (or both) if you want to enter the draw for the books.

First version: Go out to the countryside or if you’re in the city, to a big park, so that you’re alone or at least anonymous.

And in a loud voice, shout firstly to sky: “Haaaaaaah!”

Then to the horizon: “Heyyyyy!!”

Then down to the ground: “Hoooo!”

And remember those different sounds, they are significant.

Second version: choose a poem that has some personal relevance to you, and learn it by heart, letting the images of the poem flow into you and the feelings it arouses.

Then read the poem out loud to two or three friends.

4. Once the challenge has finished, I will pick 3 winners at random from the comments, who will receive the prize of a copy of Freeing the Natural Voice.

5. Over the weekend I will send a bonus recording with my feedback on your comments and what we can all learn from the challenge. I’ll be looking through the comments for common patterns, whether that’s ways a lot of you get stuck, or great solutions you’re finding to the challenge. I’ll also be sharing reflections and advice from my own experience of public speaking, reading my poems, and working with Kristin.

6. As usual the feedback recording will NOT be released on iTunes or anywhere else the show is syndicated. It will only be available via the 21st Century Creative mailing list – click here to join the list (and get a free Creative Career course).

One last thing…

If you’re enjoying the show it would be a huge help to me if you would take a moment to subscribe to The 21st Century Creative in iTunes.

And if you’d like to leave a brief review in iTunes, that would be even more helpful.

The more people who subscribe and review the show, the more visible the show will be in the iTunes store, and the more creators I can help with it.

This is particularly important in the first few weeks of a podcast – so if you enjoy the show, and you’d like to support it, taking a few moments to subscribe and/or review will give the podcast the best chance of success.

Thank you!

Mark McGuinness is a poet, a coach for creative professionals, and the host of The 21st Century Creative Podcast.

The Floatation Tank: a Short Cut to Your Superpower? with Nick Dunin

The Floatation Tank: a Short Cut to Your Superpower? with Nick Dunin

This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative Podcast is Nick Dunin, co-founder of Beyond Rest, a company that operates float centres in three Australian cities.

Nick Dunin

Nick is on a mission to help people get in touch with their best selves via floating. He’s also had a very unusual journey as an entrepreneur and he has a lot of interesting things to say about personal development, creativity and business.

I’ve been using floatation tanks for years, and I’ve found floating tremendously beneficial, for my personal and creative development, so I’m delighted to have Nick on the show to explain the what, why and how of floating for creatives.

[Read more…]

Kill Email Anxiety and Do More Meaningful Work with Jocelyn K. Glei

Episode 7 title graphic: Kill Email Anxiety and Do More Meaningful Work with Jocelyn K. Glei

This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative Podcast is Jocelyn K. Glei, Founding Editor of 99U and author of Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done.

Jocelyn K. GleiJocelyn was instrumental in turning 99U into the iconic brand for creatives it is today – editing the magazine site 99U.com and the series of 99U books for creatives, and helping the team create the amazing 99U Conferences in New York.

In this interview, Jocelyn talks about the psychology of email – why such a convenient form of communication has become such a drain on our creativity and productivity, and how to reclaim time and headspace for real work.

And as we discovered in the course of the conversation, most of the advice in Unsubscribe is applicable beyond your inbox – the principles of email management can help you get your creative work done amid the daily whirlwind of news, social media and other distractions.

As well as reading the book, you can follow Jocelyn’s thinking on her website and on Twitter.

In the first part of the show, I talk about the four types of work we can spend our time on – and which one creates the most long-term benefits for your creative career.

[Read more…]

Say Less, Ask More and Communicate Better with Michael Bungay Stanier

Episode 6 title graphic: Say Less, Ask More and Communicate Better with Michael Bungay Stanier

This week’s guest on the 21st Century Creative Podcast is Michael Bungay Stanier, Founder and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps people and organizations all over the world do less Good Work and more Great Work.

Michael Bungay StanierBox of Crayons is best known for its coaching programs that give busy leaders the tools to coach in 10 minutes or less.

In this conversation Michael and I talk about the importance of communication skills for creative directors and other leaders of creative teams – as well as for all of us who interact with our fellow human beings in the course of our work.

Michael shares tips and insights from his latest book The Coaching Habit, a brilliantly simple (but not superficial) guide to becoming more influential and helpful to those around you at work.

Here’s the link for the 6 1/2 Habit Gurus download Michael mentions in the interview. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @boxofcrayons.

In the first part of the show, I argue that in an uncertain world, your creativity is your security.

Take Michael’s Creative Challenge (and win a copy of The Coaching Habit)

Every week, at the end of the show, I ask my guest to set you a Creative Challenge – something practical you can do that will help you put the ideas from the show into action.

The Coaching Habit cover shotHere’s how you can take part – and maybe win the prize of a copy of Michael’s book The Coaching Habit, which teaches you the seven essential questions that will allow you to become a better coach and influencer in your daily conversations at work.

1. Listen to the interview part of the show, either in the player above or on iTunes or your favourite podcast platform.

2. Michael has given you two versions of the challenge, an easy one and a hard one – both are eligible for the prize, so it’s up to you which you pick.

The Easy Challenge is to ask the deceptively simple question ‘And what else?’ twice before Friday. It’s deceptively simple because according to Michael this is the most powerful coaching question in the world – it has the power to slow you and the other person down, and to open up new possibilities in a conversation, when perhaps you’re both eager to move too quickly to a conclusion.

The Hard Challenge is to coach someone – a team member, a colleague, a partner, or someone else you’re working with this week – using the 4 questions Michael gives you in the interview:

  1. What’s on your mind? – This opens up the conversation helping to identify the issue they want help with.
  2. What’s the real challenge here for you? – This helps them focus on the real issue, which may be deeper or different to their answer to question 1.
  3. And what else? – This keeps opening up the conversation, prompting them to dig deeper. You can keep asking this to see if it opens up more awareness or insights around their situation.
  4. OK with all of this insight, what’s the real challenge here for you? – This leads them into making a decision and a commitment to move forward, hopefully in a more focused and purposeful way.

When you ask the questions make sure you resist the temptation to give advice or instructions, and that you give the other person time to respond fully, and be really curious about what they come up with.

3. Once you’ve completed the challenge, leave a comment below this post describing how you get on. Please don’t share any confidential information, especially involving people’s answers to the questions!

You have until midnight United States Pacific time on Friday 7th July 2017 to complete the challenge and leave your comment.

4. Once the challenge has finished, I will pick 3 winners at random from the comments, who will receive the prize of Michae’s book The Coaching Habit.

5. Over the weekend I will send a bonus recording with my feedback on your comments and what we can all learn from the challenge. I’ll be looking through the comments for common patterns, whether that’s ways a lot of you get stuck, or great solutions you’re finding to the challenge. I’ll also be sharing reflections and advice from my own experience as a coach.

6. As usual the feedback recording will NOT be released on iTunes or anywhere else the show is syndicated. It will only be available via the 21st Century Creative mailing list – click here to join the list (and get a free Creative Career course).

One last thing…

If you’re enjoying the show it would be a huge help to me if you would take a moment to subscribe to The 21st Century Creative in iTunes.

And if you’d like to leave a brief review in iTunes, that would be even more helpful.

The more people who subscribe and review the show, the more visible the show will be in the iTunes store, and the more creators I can help with it.

This is particularly important in the first few weeks of a podcast – so if you enjoy the show, and you’d like to support it, taking a few moments to subscribe and/or review will give the podcast the best chance of success.

Thank you!

Mark McGuinness is a poet, a coach for creative professionals, and the host of The 21st Century Creative Podcast.