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Identity In The Age Of Personal Branding

#
53
Chris Do
Published
April 15, 2017

When you don't know what you stand for, how do you brand yourself? This is difficult because I believe we're all capable of assisting our clients in branding themselves to some extent. We're at a loss for words when it comes to turning the mirror on ourselves or the lens back on ourselves. Chris Do provides instructions on how to re-discover ourselves.

Read Transcript
All right, guys, welcome to this talk called identity in the age of personal branding. This is meant to be a talk where you guys can participate, so you guys will need a pencil and a piece of paper or something to write with at some point. And now cue you up for that. And at any time, if something doesn't make sense or you have more questions for me, please just ask. Just ask, just interrupt me. It is totally cool if you do that. OK here we go. All right. OK, so here's a few warm up questions for you guys to get thinking or get your mind in gear as to what we're going to be talking about today. And these are easy questions, right? Who are you? What do you believe in? Why do you exist? And if I were to give this to a large group, basically silence would follow along with some confused looks because those are very difficult questions to ask. They're not easy warm up questions at all to the contrary. And without knowing who we are and why we exist, what our beliefs are. It's kind of like this illustration, we're kind of at see loss without a compass to guide us, and we're just being moved by the tide. And that's a rough position to be in, and that's why we're talking about this today. Here's another question for you. How do you brand yourself when you don't know what you stand for? This is tricky because we're all good, I think to a degree on helping our clients brand themselves. But when it turned it, when it comes to turning the mirror on us or the lens back on us, we're at a loss for words we don't know. I'm going to just ask you guys rhetorically, but you can respond if you wish is. How many of you guys know what you stand for and are now good at communicating that externally? Do you spend time thinking about this all the time, really? Yes and how are you communicating yourself, tony? I think for me, I was, I would say in the last couple of years, I had no idea or direction on where to kind of brand myself. I think the way I had to communicate it when I started watching your videos was how to arm people to see me, and I still wanted to be as authentic and as professional as I could with people. And I'm still working on that process because I still have to learn a lot of stuff that I didn't know anything about. And that's and that's why I wanted to join this group, because a lot of it has a lot of little important nuggets in there. That allow me to emphasize more of my I would say, you know, ongoing expertise that I want to give to clients. So it's just a work. It's still a work in progress that I'm still trying to do. You know, getting rid of bad habits was one of the things that I'm working on also. OK, John, from you, how have you been able to communicate who you are and what you stand for to clients or to people outside? The what do you say about yourself? I want to say I don't know I. I've always had the wrong, I've always given out the wrong impression to people, and I think I just don't want people to think of me as like some person who jokes around all the time or trolls or anything. So the way I've wanted to communicate with people or tell people how I am is just, you know, look, he's just a, you know, someone who's serious about what he does. He takes, he takes his work and his passion very seriously. And I've had to communicate that at least with, you know, excuse me, with with, you know, with just trying to. I don't know. It's still a work in progress for me, I guess, with trying to communicate that with people. I've had to join LinkedIn. I've never used LinkedIn, ever. So I'm trying to kind of push myself into that sense where, you know, I'm trying to be. More presentable, if that makes any sense. It makes a lot of sense. Well, let's hold that thought for a second. I'm going to ask the entire group here just to write this down on a piece of paper on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself? 10 being the highest one being the lowest at communicating what your beliefs and values are. Just write that number down, and we're going to use that as a reference point. I'm not going to ask for it per se. And that end of this, I'm going to ask you again to see if we've made any kind of improvement in helping you identify who you are, not necessarily the work part of it in terms of the actual communication part of it. But just in terms of your own self-awareness and that's what we're going to be driving towards. OK, so everybody got that. So what I heard from Tony was that. He's got some bad habits that he's aware of, that he's working on and that people might view him as not being so serious and that's another issue altogether. And I want to derail the entire conversation, but we'll talk about that. Why you feel like you have to combat that, why that image of you even exists, because that's one that's pretty easily solved, I think. And maybe you're rebranding yourself, Tony. I don't know. You would say that because I don't walk around thinking, I hope people don't think I'm just a jokester, a troll. Yeah, Yeah. You know what I mean, so let's put some thought into that. And let's circle back if there is time. OK, OK. Sure all right. Cool Thanks for sharing, man. Appreciate it. Of course. Thank you. All right. I think when I go and share a screen full screen, it's dangerous because I can't see my mouse anymore. OK, so I've asked you guys, how do you brighten yourself when you don't know who or what you stand for? It's really important. And here's a quote I'm going to quote two Greek philosophers versus Socrates. And he said that an unexamined life is not worth living. And this he believes so much. That he was willing. To bet his life on it. So he clearly knew what he stood for and was willing to die for it, so when the Senate or whoever asked him to retract his statements, his ideas were dangerous. He wouldn't do it. And he was killed for it. So are your convictions, your beliefs. So strong that you would be willing to die for it? Now that's at the end of the spectrum there, where so much about who you are, you're unwilling or not willing to compromise. Certain tenants. And knowing who you are is a difficult thing, and this is where Greek philosopher tallis, who predates Socrates. He said that the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. So when I ask you guys, let's do some warm up questions like just to kind of get our mind loosened up here. About telling me who you are or what your beliefs are. It is not an easy thing to do. It turns out it's actually really valuable to if you can do this for your clients. And so first, we're going to figure out how to do it for ourselves to have some confidence around it, maybe to even develop a framework and figure out who you are and then how to communicate that to the world. And once you do that, maybe people will sit back and say, wow, I really understand. I trust you because I believe in what you believe, and this is great. So we have to get our heads out of the cloud. We kind of have to figure this thing out. Kind of clear the fog. So here's my belief. We're all searching for the same thing. And they are autonomy, growth, belonging and meaning, and these all happen to be the four pillars of happiness, autonomy and that we want to be self-directed. We want to have control of what it is that we do. We want to always be growing because otherwise you stagnate. And you die. We want to feel like we belong to a group. And so the first three are very, very important here. And how you communicate that. And lastly, we want to have a life that has some kind of meaning that we've made a positive impact on the lives of the people we care the most about. And if you're thinking bigger to the world. And these four things make you happy. And if you look at your own life right now, if you're working for somebody or you're dealing with a client that takes control from you and your autonomy and keeps telling you do things that you've done before. There goes your growth and then you kind of feel lost. I'm hoping that by being a part of this group for some of you, at least, at least you feel like. I have brothers and sisters from all over the world that are going through exactly what I'm going through. So in your dark days, your days where you just feel like not as strong as you usually feel, you can reach out to somebody in the group. Develop a friendship, maybe more, who knows something deeper. Purely platonic here, but where you can feel where you can relate, you can relate to people, and that's really important. OK, so what does all this have to do with personal branding? And my belief is it has everything to do with it. Now I'm going to ask you guys and I teased this or hinted at it on our last call on Wednesday. Who are the most celebrated designers still living? And you guys gave me a bunch of answers. And here's the list and I put it together. Hopefully, I spelled everybody's name correctly. Cher, Michael Beirut and drapkin. Jim O'Brien, David Carson, Neville Brody, Nick bell, Kyle Cooper, W Millman, Stefan Meister, Bruce Mo for the Canadians and John Maeda. It's a good list. I think you guys are probably looking they're like, man, I envy those people on that list. What I wouldn't do to be considered amongst them. And there's room in here we can squeeze you in between one of these names, for sure. Right, but there's two names I want to pull out. And there were some speculation online as to who the two names are, and I'll tell you why I picked these two. Aaron Joplin because I've gotten to know who he is. And I've been studying him. And, of course, Stephan said Mr. And I picked these two for a very specific reason, and the reason is they are at the ends of the spectrum in terms of the designers and the people in the communities they represent. And it's perfect. And they're both in an interesting way, kind of media darlings, people love to see them speak. So why does the world know them and not you? Why isn't asthma right up there? Why not, why not, max? Why not add them to those like rhetorical questions? No, you can respond, man, you can respond as much as you want, man. Go ahead. I really think that when comparing myself to grappling. Or anyone comparing themselves to drop, it's their own personal, unique branding, just their own style, the way they are. And over the last year, I have also studied grappling myself and just kind of looking at how he is. He's just he has unfiltered. He just says what comes to his mind and people are just so like, he just has this presence about himself because he's such a big guy. And I think people see that and they gravitate towards that. I'm not too sure about, you know, step on so much, but I know what droplets. The only way to kind of be a droplet is, you know, just be yourself. And that's what he is. He's just himself, you know, he doesn't lie to people. I wouldn't say he does a lot of people, but he doesn't. He doesn't fake the Funk, you know? And that's what's special kind of like yourself. You know, you have this hard charging kind of way. And I gravitate towards that because I'm prior military, so I'm used to it. So I always like hearing you speak. And when I hear you say stuff like, you know, people think America, I know people think I'm an asshole, whatever. I just kind of laugh about that because it was kind of like, man, that's like, that's like a best friend kind of thing. You know what I mean? Like, why wouldn't you want someone to be like that? You know, that's someone you could follow, someone that you want to be around. You know. OK, so Tony, you pointed out something here, which is kind of an interesting thing. Well, in the example you talked about Joplin just being himself so that I have to ask you guys, are you not being yourselves? I know. Well, first of all, that's an honest answer. I like that. That's from asthma, right? Yes she's like, no, I'm not myself, OK, I want to follow up with you. And then who else is talking? I was talking about this. Can you jump back to the list of the names? A couple of people wanted to check that out again. Thanks cool. Thanks, man. OK, I think I heard Sean and Sean go ahead. Yeah, I was just going to say, I think Aaron dropped himself in front of people, though. So that's the thing is he's putting his content out there, but also being able to, whether it's done intentionally or not, articulate who he is. And so he's people like him because they want to see themselves through him, right? And that's what they do. He's like the everyday guy. He's got this super rock star turn that so out of reach, just this normal guy who loves design and he's like this. You know, he's got his own quirky way of thinking and doing things and and that resonates with a lot of people. And I think I like him because they see themselves in him and he's just speaking to them in front of people. Right? Sean, you're saying it exactly the way I want you to kind of come to that same conclusion is people are living vicariously through Aaron droplet, and he's for a lot of the forgotten people being from Detroit, being from where he is the kind of Rust Belt manufacturing blue collar worker. There's a lot of things that we're going to get into this pretty deep. So I don't want to do it too much right now. Is that because he just lays it out for you to see, you can figure out and the people that do this seem like they have nothing to hide. They are more trustworthy. And there's things about him that aren't great, and he knows that. But he says that anyways. And that endears himself to his audience and to the group of people that look up to him. Is he the world's best designer? Not by a long shot, but he's an important person in this list of people because I think these other ones are upper crust, the kind of aristocrats upper class. If you look at all of them, they teach design. They lecture. They might have a secondary like, post-graduate degree. They run companies and firms with exception of Jim O'Brien in here. And to an extent, all of them have reached the peak. The pinnacle of the design profession in terms of awards want publicity, et cetera. Pretty much all of them on this list. Would probably the exception of traveling for sure. OK, I'll take one. One other comment and we're going to move on. So I'm going to go back to this one. Somebody else had something. I heard a sound in the background or no? I can. I can jump in, please. I think the reason for me why I'm not in that list is self-doubt, for sure. And it's interesting when people meet me in person and to see how I am and when I put myself in front of a video, I am totally different. It seems like when I'm in front of a video, I'm in the zone, so I my personality doesn't show up. So I'm working on that of like just letting myself, be me and be my unique self. And it seemed like it's a really hard shell to crack because and I think there's different reasons for that can be from. You don't want to be criticized and if you are you, you're not for everybody. So I've been in this personal growth journey for the past six months to just be OK being me and whatever what other people thinks of me is none of my business. And I started doing a lot of public speaking, so I am slowly starting to get into that just. Be more like take more like take control of my uniqueness and celebrate my uniqueness and just be me, so I'm slowly now starting to be and doing videos and trying to be transparent and just offer my knowledge the way I want to offer it. But yeah, the main reason is definitely that self-doubt and thinking that you don't have much value to provide others. OK. I think you touched upon so many things here. I guess I did it, did I just write some of them down, so you're talking about self-doubt, your own value, your personal value, and you don't want to be judged? Yes and you don't want to alienate an all the audience because being your true self might turn some people off. Is that right? Yes perfect. All right. Well, there's a good there's a good chance that many of you, with the exception of a handful, aren't out there speaking. You're not writing. So you're not only holding back who you are, but you're limiting how you can expose yourself to other people. So those are two necessary ingredients is to know who you are and to share that openly, perhaps through writing first and then maybe through video or lecturing. Not everybody has that ability to do that, but that's going to be a barrier for you. And this isn't called the future amateur group. This is not the future semi-pro group. This is the future pro group. There is. There's no like the platinum pro. This is it. You guys are the captains of your industry and you guys have taken and made you've taken the steps and made a commitment to growing in an entrepreneurial spirit. Whether you're a staff person or you're a solopreneur or you run a firm, it doesn't matter. You should be able to do all these things, regardless of the position that you're in currently. So what makes him so unique or special? And the answers are typically something like this, and we talked about this last week where you guys might say, well, they do so many different projects, the diversity of their portfolio. Some of them have really high profile clients. That's probably why they're different than me. Some of them have won a ton of awards. And I don't know how they do it, but some of them are so prolific. Are they any other points that you think are the answers as to why we know of them? And not you. And I'll add it to this. Well, you said earlier that they are media darlings. OK so I'll say media savvy. Yeah, I spell savvy as v. Thank you. Anybody else? Can you repeat the question? Yeah why? What do you think that makes? What is it that makes them so different? Do we know them and we don't know you, their community? They have a big community. Mm-hmm I love that to do with consistency. OK and how they consistently represent themselves and consistently put themselves out there. That's very interesting that you say that max, you know, when you don't tell any lies, it's very easy to be consistent. It's when you have this other person that you think you want to be. That's where it becomes a problem. Mm-hmm OK, anybody else? Chris, I think it's one of fearlessness being fearless. OK Yeah. All right. I'm going to add that. Let me do this. Hang in there with me, guys. I'm at two columns. They're fearless. What makes them? I think a lot of them were also driven good like Michael Beirut, for example, like he knew he wanted to design since he was a kid. And he specifically knew who he wanted to work for as he was growing up. You know? So it's really interesting to see his growth when he, you know, applied for benelli, work for them for 10 years and then went to pentagram like his growth was all because he had a plan and he knew where he wanted to be. You know. Yes and you know, the interesting thing I want to say here is I dig into both these guys is who their mentors were. They had powerful mentors. They really did. I'll add to that, having like a strong drive or a strong life purpose. OK, so that's somewhere between being driven and being self-aware, right? You know what you want. You have a clear idea as to what you want from life. Beautiful pretty good list. Mm-hmm All right, let's take a look at this. And you guys, I will share this deck parts of this deck with you guys. I don't always share my decks, but this one, I will. I will strip out some material because I'm still working on it. But these bullet point things I will share. So you guys can take notes, you can screen capture, but I will get this to you eventually, ok? So we're going to keep going here. This is a pretty good list. Now, how many of these things would you say, yep, that's me. So now we have the problem, we kind of know why. There's a gap between where they're at and where we are. And there's really no reason why you guys can't be on that list. John maeda, the 2/3 rule two out of three. OK, John, I wanted to talk to the three types of design. There's the classical design. And the belief is there's a right way to make what is perfect, crafted and complete that would describe most of you guys most. Most of you guys have come from a traditional design background. Whether you're self-taught or you went to school doesn't really matter that you believe in the craftsmanship and making things perfect. And we'll get into that a little bit. Next up is the business part, which is referred to as design thinking and the belief there is because execution has outpaced innovation and experience matters. And then the last part is technology, the computational design, designing for billions of people and in real time is at scale and to be determined. So he classifies design into three parts, and his belief is that you must at least have two of these three things to make it to win in the 21st century. And this is why my skin crawls a little bit every time a thread starts up on Facebook or on Twitter talking about, have you seen the new logo for? Because we're just double Downing on the classical design part. Have you seen the new logo for google? Have you seen the new logo for dropbox? Have you seen the new logo for the F1 race? Formula one? Have you seen that? Like, why are we still talking about that? I don't even understand. OK what does this really look like as applied to the real world? If you're coming from a classical design point of view, you say, let's design a beautiful and comfortable chair, so form and function marry together. And if you do it from a design thinking, which is really about understanding user needs and empathy, you're asking the question, do we even need a chair to begin with? This will help you guys understand the different kinds of mentality. That, according to John maeda, how designers approach things. And lastly, from the technological computational design point of view, can we arrange seating in cities to improve our social lives? They're also being very different problems. He's not saying one is superior to the other. But he is saying that you need to have two of these three things. And this is why we're such a champion for the business part, the business of design, because that's the other two or the other component. The 2/3 that you need are the one third, assuming that you understand how to make things beautiful, functional. So there it is. You've got to embrace 2/3 in order to win in this century. Have you guys heard this? Talk about this before? Have you guys seen this? Know anybody? So this is probably something that this intrigues you. You'll probably want to look up. John Maeda the three types of designer. Or three types of design. OK all right. So I'm going to make a little modification to this because the business stuff can seem a little daunting. So maybe this there is need two or four of these things, and I think we've touched upon it. And here it comes. Community, those designers who can leverage social platforms to build an audience around similar beliefs and values. This is critical. And this was mentioned in our brainstorming where you guys said this is why they're different. They're able to build community. so here's what I think is that the era and the age of classical design, classical designers, people who make beautiful things. Is over. If you were part of that wave. Excellent, amazing. Let's say like your David Carson. He was once the most sought after design speaker in the world, the most famous. His books sold tens of thousands. And he won every kind of design award you can imagine. He was the design superstar. Where is David Carson today? They may go see him speak recently at AIG. In Los Angeles, anybody. I heard that there were hundreds people there. And that was between the drawing power, three speakers. So what happened to Mr. Carson, who climbed to the top of the mountain, what happened to him? Well, that era of design stardom. Shifted into this new space where people who were able to leverage social platforms like YouTube, Instagram. Created their own following without the need of the kingmakers, without the press and without the judges, they built their own audience. And it was more authentic and it's more powerful, and they could leverage that. And you guys know how to talk about step Lester all the time. A calligrapher, a graphic designer who actually hadn't been practicing calligraphy all his life. It's only been a few years, and now he has over a million followers on Instagram, and he doesn't do commission work anymore. He works for himself. And we see people like will Patterson, we see people like Sean west, who are OK at lettering, they're not masters by any stretch of the imagination, have successful and thriving businesses to support their lifestyle. And they are not the best. So the idea that the best wins and the best is all that matters. It's an outdated, antiquated idea in the 21st century. You got to build the community. OK, so let's look at these two guys. And in case you're not familiar, you will get very familiar with Stefan segmenter by the end of this talk. So on the one spectrum is strapline he's for the blue collar working class guy and I'm in, I presume, then Stefan sack Meister somewhere near the right. The grad student, the students and the designers who think concept is King and they want to pontificate on the meaning of every pixel and big ideas, all that kind of stuff. You can feel good about saying that I look up to Stefan. My work is intelligent. It's provocative. It's diverse and all those kinds of things. And, you know, just I'm trying to map it out here to the United States in terms of red and blue state space on the 2016 election. This is kind of who they're for. Basically on the coast, for the most part, is where Stefan sacrifice is going to play well. And then the rest of the country is where Aaron droplet is going to play well. And I saw a video recently on YouTube with Joplin speaking at Google, I think that was in California. And he which is bombing. Is that this is not his audience? He's talking about working without pants. Working in an air conditioned building, and they're probably rolling their eyes. We make for, you know, six figures. $400,000 a year. Why are you talking? It's like not relatable, and he was saying, you could see it quite uncomfortable if you want to go, look it up because he gives the same talk wherever he goes. Irrespective the audience. And he even says tough crowd and a tough crowd. All right. You know, he's like, there's three people here and they're not three people there. And that's very interesting because I believe if stuff sack Meister went to Detroit and spoke to like a very working class group about his high ideas, he might have trouble, too, although he's a very gifted speaker, so he wouldn't do that. He knows how to speak in a way that relates to people. So you would say that these guys are radically different, but I think they're radically the same. These two guys, Chaplin and sag Meister. One thing they do have in common, and I went in and studied both of them. This is part of the presentation I'm giving to you guys today is they've both spoken at TEDx Stefan several times and strapline at least twice. That's what they have in common. OK, so let's break it down strapline. So what do we know about drop on you guys? You guys throw out some things. Anything he's the people's champ. Yep, he's the people's champ. Some fool said that big guys in the small leagues or the minor leagues, yes, he's a big man trying to make it in the little leagues. Do you know what that means, sean? Well, I contextually, Yeah. So he's size wise, he's a big guy, but he's just like this, you know, gigantic elite designer. He's just trying to do cool stuff. Yeah, he's aware of his weight. He's aware of his size and his face. That he says, like based on his face size and width or whatever, he was supposed to be a plumber. He says that in stocks and the little league, says Portland. He doesn't look like Portland as the major market. So he's just telling you in that one statement carefully phrase. I'm a big man trying to make it in the little leagues. He tells you everything you need to know about him, and he's masterful doing that. What else do we know about them? Well, he was a designer for a snowboarding magazine. That's right. He also worked for coal. He's still doing stuff for coal. He's done free work for friends before for a burrito. You know, he also talks about the differences in prices, you know, like, you know, I don't know, like I was watching one earlier, earlier yesterday, he was just like, you know, done a design for a burrito and I've done one for $25000, right? He's done. What does that tell you? It's consistent in his story, though. When somebody tells you here's 50 logos I've designed, one of them was designed for 20 1,001 of them was designed for Brito. And he goes, yeah, it's a pretty good burrito. Um, what does that tell you? He's not all about just the money. He's anything but. He doesn't care about money. He keeps telling you that all the time, that's important. So when you hear somebody say something. There's this thing when you're doing writing for a screen screenplays that there's something called subtext, what is said and what is heard. So what we need to do is help you guys tune into what you hear, so when somebody says that a burrito? Or with this little mouse finger, I helped out my buddy for Cobra dogs. It's telling you he doesn't care about money, but that may not all be true, but that's what he's telling you. OK, so here's my list things I know about Mr strapline. He was born in Detroit, lives in Portland that says a lot about his story. His dad is his hero. He loves his dog, Gary. Orange is his favorite color Pantone 0 to 1 to be specific, doesn't like to wear pants. Is a liberal. He likes Bernie and Barack Obama. He calls them Barry. One of his life goals is to retire his mom. So he was able to retire his mom. He says that. He's very boisterous, very emotional, wears his heart on his sleeve. He has the drop in design company with employees of exactly one. He knows he's a big dude. He jokes about getting a personal trainer. And he seems like he's getting bigger by the minute. Because I've seen other pictures of him when he was a little bit thinner. And he says I've never won an award, he said, go, look it up, never tried, never cared. And when I said, if you want to know a lot about a person looking to who their mentors were. Charles Anderson. And if you guys don't know Charles Anderson is go look up Charles Anderson, and I'll talk about him more later. He's a Midwesterner. And he's fond of profanity, likes to drop f-bombs to get a reaction out of people, loves the Flaming Lips. He likes to go junking. I'm sure we can add a lot more, but it's interesting here so that if we were to ask a general audience, what do you know about? Sean toboggan. Or asthma or Tony lopez? What would they be able to say? And that's probably they wouldn't probably be able to save very much because we haven't done a good job of telling them what we believe in. We're going to change that after today. OK, Zach Meister. Mr Meister, as my former intern, then became art director creative director, would refer to him as Zach Meister, and you'll understand why. If you don't know who's Jack Meister is just out of curiosity, how many of you guys do know who sacrificed their Stephon's like Mr. I've heard of them, so I'll be honest, I don't know anything about it. OK, so some of you guys don't know stuff on soccer. That's interesting. OK, so you're not like the upper crusty designers that I think you guys are like pink finger and pinky was like, yeah, I know it's like my serious, OK, so those are the guys that do know something about SAG Meister. What do you know about him? He's an exhibitionist. He sure is, who said that is that mace? Yeah, I knew it. Upper crust. He is an exhibitionist. Yep, and we're going to see. So you guys. Word of Warning this is not suitable for work soon. Imagery is to follow. OK, what else do we know about sacrifice or mace? You may be the only one who knows him that well. Explicit explicit. Yeah Yeah. I think you were the one that mentioned that he. That he also does work for bands and stuff like that. If I remember correctly. Yes Uh, I've seen some recent stuff where he was dressed up as a bunny, so he's kind of really outgoing. Yes the bunny thing is for a film, it's called the happiness film. Yeah so he made a film about being happy. He talks a lot about being happy, even though he doesn't look like a very happy person. He does spend a lot of time talking about being happy. I know that he's Swedish, right? No, no. He's Austrian. Oh but that's OK. All right. Here's what I know about Stefan sack Meister. There it is, the Austrian. He does appear to be very stoic when you see him speak at Ted. He's very deliberate. In choosing his words, he speaks very slowly. It's the exact opposite of joplin, who is just diarrhea of the mouth, just like talking about everything. He lives in New York city, who says a lot about who he stands for, and he's won every single design award. In fact, he's designed awards. And he dreams when he makes it big and he's doing it now is he has something called the Seven year itch. Every seven years or so, he takes a whole year off work and doesn't do any client work. He does that to recalibrate and he has a whole Talk on this. He's like, if you take your retirement time and disperse it out throughout every seven years, your work life will be richer and you won't be too old to enjoy your time. And so that's how you kind of recharge your batteries. He runs a studio called sac, Mr. Walsh. He does solo exhibitions. So when mace was saying he's an exhibitionist, that's something a little bit different somebody who is seeking attention, but he actually exhibits through multiple cities in the world. He's a filmmaker, droplet is a maker. You could consider him a little worldly. He's for the high highbrow art, and they've done a lot of work with David Byrne. Whereas Aaron loves dogs, he hates dogs, and he is most definitely a provocateur. His mentor is a man named Tibor Kalman. The chances are, if you don't know who my sister is, you probably have no idea who Tibor Coleman is. And I'll tell you right now you do need to look up, Mr Tibor Kalman, I have this book right next to me. And Tibor, once you study who he is, the blueprint for who's sack Meister becomes is super duper obvious. And I think as a European, he just likes to travel. OK, so I'm going to ask you guys really quickly how many of you guys have heard of Tibor Kalman and are familiar with his work? All new to me. OK He has a company called m and Company. He is regarded as one of the most intelligent conceptual design thinkers out there. He's already passed away. Yeah 99. Yeah very sad. OK 49. Wow Yes. And he was. Oh, shoot. He's self-taught designer. And I believe if I remember correctly, he was doing window. What is it called? Window dressing? And he thought, like, I should get into design. Very intelligent, man, very provocative, thinker. Amazing person. OK let's take a closer look. OK, so this is the part where you guys take out a piece of paper and pen and you guys follow along here, ok? I'm going to ask you a question and then we'll show you some answers. That's how this will work. OK, so first thing about knowing who you are and doing personal branding is simple. This is easy. Where were you born and where do you live now? I want you guys obviously write that down right now. And hopefully there are two different cities, but they don't have to be. And that can also say something about you. Where were you born? And where do you live now? And then to think from the outside world, what does that say about you? I live in Los Angeles. More specifically, I live in the Pacific Palisades, but not many people know that. So I just say La and they automatically think Hollywood palm trees, beautiful people, entertainment capital of the world, fast moving things, whatever. That's what they think. The glitz and the glam. Maybe they think there's a shallowness to it superficiality. And that's OK. All this is about just recognizing a learning about who you are. Now, before I show you some of the examples I want to share with you guys. To really brief stories I may have shared with you in the past. The first one is from a buddy of mine who's introduced to me by Jose. He's an actor, a professional actor. He stars in many commercials, hundreds of commercials, in fact. His name is boycie. Thomas and Boise conducts acting workshops. Some of you guys in your mind know Boise and Boise was telling me something, he said. You know, we all walk around with a story that most people are aware of, that we just don't know. So he was talking to me about the guy who showed up for casting. And I don't know the guy's name, but the guy who says, can you hear me now? That guy, I think he's from sprint, right? And now, now he's with Verizon. No, he was with Verizon and Sprint. OK, thanks, Tony. So you're well aware of this man. So when he was with Verizon, he used to walk around and said, can you hear me now? And he made millions of dollars. Doing that never has to work again in his life because he became the guy. So Boise told me he showed up for the audition, looking exactly like the way he does in the commercials. His hair is done a certain way. Wearing the member's only jacket with the glasses kind of nerdy, he knew who he was. So he showed up as himself. And they said perfect. And he rode that ticket all the way to the bank. So what Boise does in his acting workshops is he gets a bunch of actors together and he'll ask them one at a time to go up on stage and not say anything, just stand there and everybody that's in the audience would blurt out assumptions they make about that person. And it's an interesting exercise to see how the world sees you and not to fight against that. And the actors that do well understand who they are and who they're not. And they embrace that. one of the highest. Not one of the highest paid actor in Hollywood today is. You guys know. Is the highest paid Hollywood actor? Yeah Julia Roberts. No, man, Smith. Nope not even close. Are you sure? Yes, I'm positive. Don't look it up. You guys do not look it up. I just want to test the rock Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Yeah, I believe it. You believe it. Now, the rock got his acting debut, I think, in a movie called The Scorpion King. He's horrible in it. And then he tried many different things in his life to try to get his acting career going because I think he was getting busted up. Pretty bad in wrestling. Yeah, even though it's fake. He's getting messed up, and he tried things like losing a lot of weight, he played a biracial gay guy. He tried lots of different things because he's like, I think my muscles are hurting me. People won't take me seriously. And today, every character the rock plays is exactly the same guy. And who is that? That's just Dwayne Johnson, an affable, strong, macho guy, but he's also tender and likes to joke around. He's like the bro next door that you wish you knew, because he kind of puts out that kind of vibe. So doesn't matter if he's saving you from volcanoes and earthquakes or dinosaurs, it's the same guy over and over again. So he's learned how to embrace that. Second story I want to tell you is that there is this group. It's a husband or wife team and their performance artists, and you could hire them for parties and events. What they come is they come dressed in a full suit, a body suit, even like all red. They wear gloves and a face mask and dark sunglasses and a hat. So you can't see any part of them at all. No mouth is exposed, no nose. And they bring an old school typewriter, a manual typewriter, and then people would get in line and they would instruct them just by gesturing with their hands to spin around to look up, to look laugh or whatever, and they would just write something about them and they would just give them a piece of paper. So it's like a performance art team, and they would say some very critical things about you, and people would be both intrigued and insulted at the same time. And both of these stories are meant to tell you that the world already sees you as somebody. And for you to pretend to be somebody that's not it's not only just being inauthentic, but it's just too much work. So this is where guys like Gary Vaynerchuk says, you know, screw the weaknesses, quadruple down on your strengths, just go all in and don't worry about the people who don't like you. That's totally OK because you are not for everybody. And we have to start to get comfortable with that idea. Strapline is not for everybody. Sack Meister is not for everybody. Donald Trump is not for everybody, he's for a very specific group of people. OK, so here we go. We got visuals here, guys. OK OK. Once from Detroit, ones from Austria, France, which is on the East edge of Austria, I don't know how you say that, but I hope he said that correctly from my European friends and I think from being from where they're at in their relationship with the parents and how they are brought up. And they appeared to be very different kinds of people, though I've been able to find a couple of photos of myself smiling. It's not often that he appears smiling. I think he wants to be seen as a serious designer, whereas strapline, if you've ever gotten a hug from him, he's a big dude. It feels like he can just snap you in half because he hugs you with that enthusiasm of a young person. You know, he'll just grab you. One lives in Portland, one lives in New York, and we can make a lot of assumptions about people that live in Portland, in New York, and here are a couple of those things. This is what fall looks like in Portland versus New York. So one is metropolitan, one is outdoors connected to nature. So they're very different. I making broad generalizations here, you guys, but this is how this works. People make assumptions. A lot of people are kayaking, rowing. A lot of people are hanging out galleries and shopping. Going to place. This is how you get around in Portland. The tram versus the subway above ground below ground. Very different. Changes your point of view. OK, here's your next question, you guys, who are you a champion for? What tribe do you belong to? So earlier I was talking about the four pillars of happiness and belonging is an important one. So people live vicariously through others. In the case of joplin, all the blue collar self-taught kids who want to dream about making logos for a cool skateboarding company. He's their champion. He understands that. And he talks about his summer jobs and his activities, like he's like a tried basketball did. That didn't work. I got my priorities straight snowboarding in the winter and skateboarding in the Summers. And you can hear the audience yell in support for that. So what tribe do you belong to? You guys, do you know, this is where you may make a list of activities and hobbies, the things that make up who you are? Anybody want to care, to share one or two? I have. Go ahead. Sorry let's go. Who is the female voice I heard, Asma. I'm just kidding. Wise guy, Tony, Tony. That's why people don't take you seriously. There you go. You're doing it to yourself. OK go ahead. I'm going to share the struggle I'm having right now because these are the questions I've been trying to answer myself since early November, trying to define my life purpose. Who am I for? Why do I exist? Yes, and the struggle I am having is. I am really good at marketing that, but I can also be a champion because I create communities in my own city that do something that has nothing to do with marketing. Yeah, and and I'm trying to merge the two together, but it's really hard. And it's also because when you ask the question, where were you born? I was born in Morocco. So it's always like, you need to always have that professional front, and even if you hate something, you need to be really, really good at. So I would always be good at something, even if I don't like it. But at the same time, I don't know because I'm so good at something is that. It's because of my fire in my belly. Or is it because just I need to be really good at it because I need to deliver the highest, best quality out there? So when you ask, who are you a champion for? I have it's like I'm split in the middle, I'm like, OK, I have my clients and the type of clients that I would like to work with, but I also have that other side that is creative and it's passionate that I love, like helping people like with their personal growth and like meditation and doing like fun things and like, get them to the next level. And so they can discover their full potential. So, OK, so perfect. I got it. Here's what you're going to do. I got it. OK OK. You're going to spend all of you guys. Maybe three minutes. Without editing, without judgment to write down as many things as you can write down and the first few things are going to write down is just the obvious. You're just going to get it out of your system. There's things that you do for others, and that's what will come naturally because we're working professionals, so that's where your brain is going to be at. But then there needs to be things that you do for you. OK, what you're interested in. And I used to think this is not really that important. It's not important, but then I studied drop on a study. These other people and I think, my god, that is really important. You do need to tell people all the weird things that you love if you like baking. If you like crocheting, if you like dancing, write it all down. OK, and you're not supposed to choose one over the other. All these things make up the complex tapestry of who you are. Now the task is to bring those things into union with each other, and we'll talk about that a little bit. OK OK. I'm not telling you right now that you have to pick one thing. When we say, who has asthma, what do we know about her over time? Hopefully a year from now, we'll all be able to say asthma for this, this. We just make a huge list. It's not meant to be just one thing. Now notice what we know about both of these guys, about my sister and about Joplin. Notice we didn't write designer. We know, right, what they do. This is why I titled it identity in the age of personal branding. We need to learn about who you are because your story is what makes. What you do unique, it's not the other way around what you do does not make you unique because everybody says the same thing, but there's only one person who can have the copyright to your story and that is you. So when you try to be like other people, then it just gets lost that sea of sameness. OK I would like for some other people to speak up. If that would be possible, that would be amazing. But if not, Tony is going to have the mic again. Oh, OK. Well, hold on. Hold on. You got to give me both space. Hold on. I'm just saying, does anybody else want to speak up? I can go, OK. Beautiful, thank you. OK, I'm just going to share mine just very briefly. I just said, born in San Francisco, raised in Damascus, Syria, for 18 years, live in La right now, which is a big, cosmopolitan, diverse city. I also say what tribe I belong to. I said Middle Eastern immigrants, entrepreneurs who come from different backgrounds want to share their story of growth. And I say I want to visualize their story through food, calligraphy, dance, gifting and traveling and create visual stories around family traditions. You know, beautiful may tell us one or two things that people just don't know about you. I know most of those things already. tell us something that you think is too banal, too trivial, that something that you enjoy in your quiet time, or maybe as a kid you used to love to do because they all inform us about who you are. So if you replay in your mind like who you were as a teenager or maybe even younger? Mm-hmm Like, I'll tell you something, very something. I don't tell a lot of people. When I was younger, I had some identity issues because I look more feminine than masculine. And so even though my parents had three boys, I was the middle child. They were all like, hey, you have two boys and a girl? And that started to messed me up. And in Asian culture, masculinity is a big deal. The machismo thing was a big deal, and it didn't help that traditional clothing is like, like a dress for a man. And I dreamt of like having an Easy Bake Oven. I just like the idea of making stuff, and I didn't think of Art and Design back then, but I just saw the commercial. It would come on. I was like, this is amazing, but it's my little secret because I couldn't tell my brothers if I told them I was going to get pounded on. But I just dreamt of having an easy-bake oven, which later on I learned in life is just a light bulb inside a box. That's all it was. But just the idea of I didn't have the language and the culture that I wanted to be a chef. I just want to make stuff that could sell to people. So there was the birth of the entrepreneur and an inkling of the creativity, and that's why to this day, I'm fascinated by chefs. I watch the Food Network with my kids and just watch like I have no, I have not cooked anything in years, but I just love that part because in another life, maybe that would have been me. So tell us something that we don't know about you that might be embarrassing, embarrassing. Yeah, that's how you're getting to something, right. It's easy to reveal things that we're all proud of. This is maybe a little bit embarrassing, but at the same time, personal, but I lived in Damascus for a while for 18 years, so I grew up in a family culture where the male was the dominant and I always chose to fight that, which was my dad. So I try to always speak up for women's rights or women's, you know, a lot of those types of organizations that talk about the female voice and the female strength. So that's always a battle I've always come across was because that was a force that kind of kept my personality like not a destroyed personality, but it's more suppressed. So I used art to kind of like, amplify my voice instead of my personal voice. So I'm still kind of working on that, but that's something I want to kind of build. That's great. Yeah how is that even remotely embarrassing? You want to fight for women's rights? I love that. Yeah I mean, maybe personal. I'm personal. Yeah, I like it. so what I want you guys to all to do is to go dig deep down in there somewhere and unearth a couple of things about yourself. Because if people feel like you're holding back, then they feel like, oh, you're not really that authentic. Right so, OK, I'm going to keep going here, because I do have to end this at 11 o'clock today, we started an hour later and on a different day, and there's a reason why, but I love that. So you guys keep thinking about your answers and Thanks for being so like speaking up and sharing your stories. So here we go. We're back, ok? And so here I kind of divide it, I'm making broad, broad statements here, you guys. So and this is how I have to be able to do this because I don't have a research team. And I don't have professional photographers following these two guys around. So I'm making some assumptions I could be wrong here. That's my disagreement. Ok? would you start hitting mute? Thank you. You type very like angry like rebel voice. There she goes. OK, so we are. Erin is for, I believe, the makers, the working class people, the self-taught folks. While I think it's like my sister is for the artists, the people who see art as an elevated thing, it's not lowbrow. It's high brow. And so here we are on the left side, this is Joplin and the right side, OK, so we have the makers or the designers on the left and the people who judge designers on the right. Like we said before, he's all into skateboarding and snowboarding, although I'd like to see the big man on a skateboard myself. And then there's a lot about art on the right hand side again, people going to galleries and looking at high art. He's for the underdog toplines, for the underdog. And he makes fun of the grad school students because they hammer him online. He has a phrase that he uses. He said, you know, all you guys with degrees or the angle of the dangle, something like that. He mentions that all the time. And in his videos, he openly dismisses people who are educated designers. And it's kind of interesting he's claimed his area, his ground and said, I'm staking this and saying, this is for us. And one of his videos, because, yeah, I don't know what that's called, I'm just I'm just going to make it look good. I guess my theory is if you could spend all your time studying about this stuff or you can just be good. And I listen to I'm like, whoa, Erin easy there, buddy, you can study and be good. They're not mutually exclusive ideas. So he's openly dissing and I think in a way covering up a soft spot in his own work and his own confidence and saying that I don't know the terminology. I have not spent the time to figure this thing out. And so he punches, that's kind of interesting. And whereas I imagine Meister is the Darling of grad students because he's a very smart guy. And his work is very conceptual. So there are four very different groups of people, and this is how I imagine their fans kind of looking like designer glasses on the right, flannel on the left, flannel and jeans. OK this is a peculiar thing to be asking you guys, but I think it says a lot about their personalities, these two. And I'll answer this question to so dog or cat person. Right? this is a quirky thing, so we're trying to bring personality out. And so you guys know that Aaron loves his dog, Gary Wiener dog. Who also passed away. And he loves them so much, and he says what's good for his mouth is good for my mouth and they share ice cream, they share lots of things. Pretty gross for me. But it gets a reaction, and that's what he's trying to do. Coincidentally, Stefan samisha loves dogs, too. And he tells a story about how he was living in Thailand, I think for that year that they took off his sabbatical and he went for a walk and there were about a bunch of stray dogs, homeless dogs and they would harass him. Well, he's trying to just run and get some exercise. So he made a series of t-shirts where he commissioned an Illustrator to put a dog on the front of the shirt and then the back. He had embroidered so many dogs, so few recipes. And that was how he was going to get revenge on the dogs, so he hates dogs. OK, next question. What part of your body do you love and hate? And the trick here is to hate and love it at the same time. Now we're getting a little personal, right? Well, my answer to the dog or cat. Question is neither I can't I'm allergic and I just don't want to deal with animals because they're dirty. So we don't need to have to choose one or the other, we can say neither. You can say whatever you want to say. They're just prompts to get you to start talking and thinking about what your beliefs are and your values, and to kind of filter them through some quirky ideas. Gotcha so if you like, you know, you have a pet hamster, that's your thing. It becomes part of your story and they've been able to use whatever they think of the world and weave it into their story. So it's a richer story to share with people. Anyways, what parts of your body do you love and hate? You can see that these two guys are very different. Very rarely have I seen droplet without a cap on. That's just become his thing, a trademark. He wears a trucker cap and his beard is getting bigger and bigger. So I don't even know what he looks like now without the beard on, whereas Stefan Meister is very clean shaven. He has that kind of European vibe to him. And they both love and hate parts of their body. So there's drop on getting bigger, so he's got this gigantic, I don't know, six XL t-shirt, he's holding up there. And sag Meister has a fascination with his own nudity. And he is an exhibitionist. And this poster for AJ Detroit and Cranbrook got him a lot of notoriety. He had somebody. Scar him for the poster and then he took a picture of it. So he's the guy who's going to bleed for his art. And you can see that. And he has an awkward body, if you guys ever looked at his body. A little awkward. It's kind of a weird shape. He's a very big man. Two very tall. Next up. Describe your perfect day. What is the perfect day look like to you? I'm going to give you guys a few seconds, think about that before I show you the answers between these two dudes. Doing nothing all day. After you finished doing nothing all day for a really long time, Tony, what will you do? At some point you will do something. Do you have free time if money were no concern? What would you do? So describe your perfect day hiking. OK, there you go. This one is a little harder for me to kind of tell through pictures, so I'll just try to give you a glimpse into their world. I know strapline is moving into his house. He's moving his office into a back house, he's building. And so the office space is going to look very different, but this will drop ins office looks like. On the left. Full of these Beasley files. Lp's, just random stuff in drawers, and then you can see Meister and Walsh. Everything is clean, super organized. Minimalist things are grouped by color. So for kindly dropping in the perfect day is just him walking by himself with Lee helping him fulfill orders. You can see also in the background of Jason Jesse skateboard from Santa Cruz. Love that board. Stickers, all kinds of junk. He likes to work by himself. It's easier to manage. And whereas I took on a partner in Jessica Walsh. They have a whole team, so their whole idea about office and work in the day is very different. Things like Meister needs to collaborate with people to make it to, to help them make things, to help him feel alive. Whereas I think Joplin just wants to go to office, put on his headphones or play guitar and just do his thing. Four very different kinds of people here. The people who dream about becoming a company with employees working on big brands, important projects versus the guy who just wants to work with his friends. And they both believe in. No pants. But one is figurative and one is literal, like for some reason, I think if you could do it, he would go around never wearing pants. Are you guys familiar with this poster also won a lot of awards. The imf, OK, since you guys don't know that much about this, I'll tell you a little bit about his work. I think he went on a binge and documented everything he ate. How much weight he gained. And I remember reading the judge's notes on this and back in the days when I used to look at design manuals was that they thought it was very clever that he put sagging Meister ink on a table around the packaging for the chocolate company, I think. And so there he is, documenting everything, putting himself on display, a perfect day for Joplin is going to see his nephew, Oliver, who he mentions a lot. I think it's the kid on the right side. My sister's perfect day might be to give critiques to other designers on his Instagram account. Which he has over 250,000 followers. And I think whereas Joplin is more carefree and not as calculated, I think Zach Meister is very calculating. Everything he does has some kind of other reason behind it. How they spend their time, this is rough in terms of my estimation, because I did talk to Joplin about this and I read the other part about my shirt. And so where does he spend his time or his money? So there's a lot to deal with merch. That's a majority of his time. He does a lot of speaking, going on road trips, going on tour. Some of it comes from doing Skillshare classes. Very little of it actually comes from doing client work these days. And the rest gives away for free or for very little money. Charging way under market value because he just wants to. And one of the things is he says he'll design an album cover for a band if he likes the band, he'll do it for them for free. And then on Mr. side, it's split pretty evenly. The percentages he gave in and interview between the art world galleries, art causes things like that. Things for science. Of course, his music clients and then social causes split pretty evenly. How you spend your time says a lot about what your values are. OK what are five things you guys love? Five things you love. It can be more than five, it could be less than five, but things you really love. He loves patches, and you could see that their logos say so much about who they are. One has a very vernacular typeface put into a hexagonal shape. The other one is a modified version of his original logo, which is an Aspen outside Mysore and Walsh. That's what it looks like. Things that they love. Jean jackets. Trucker caps. And just whatever he picked up off the couch, I believe, or sack Meister is trying to be sophisticated New Yorker. Button up shirts. You know, Joplin likes thick lines. And Zach Meister, following in the footsteps of his mentor, likes to construct three dimensional. Versions of his favorite expressions, things that he believes in. He believes heavily in journaling, and he'll just take out his favorite ideas and then make them into a piece of art as soon as he gets a client to pay for it. So worrying solves nothing. We know that dropping likes or pants on orange 21. And Zach Meister likes making type out of food and weird things. So that's cutting up a bunch of hot dogs to make a lot of form, but only at a certain time of day. Joplin loves feature a bold all caps. While segmenter has been known to say style equals fart. One likes junking, one likes to keep everything in Super tidy order. There's an interior design tip right there, you guys on the right hand side. Organize your books by color, not by function. Looks good, doesn't help you find the books, but it looks good. So all the White books, the Black books, the craft colored books, et cetera. So the happy film, and he's a filmmaker now, I guess I haven't seen it, but I understand it's pretty good. And then grappling with his trucker caps. Declines and then this is a very interesting project here. And the quote says something like obsessions make my life worse and my work better. And what you don't realize is that those are made that type, it's made from pennies. It took them a week. With with I think like 100 people or something like that to lay latest design out. It was destroyed an hour's. So he had a bunch of volunteers come and help organize a bunch of different colored pennies to make this topography. And then people walked by and looked at it, and then some homeless person came by and started to take the money, which he didn't care because it's all part of the temporary, ephemeral art. He has ideas like this all the time. What are five things you hate? I couldn't come up with five things I hate for both, so I just they both have a political point of view and centered around Trump. So one was from Lee. This is some, some in reference to a statement that Trump made about those nasty women. So she made a patch, says they nasty. And then I think this is for a New Yorker magazine cover. For Trump, that maestro was commissioned. And this is interesting, so I flipped their work here, and I think that they would hate each other's work. So he would hate sack Meissner's kind of minimalist, reductive design. And Zach Meister would hate the ephemeral. Vernacular design. The kind of Americana vibe that's all about the d.d.s., and that's totally cool because the world is for different people. Who are your mentors, your idols or your heroes? And why? I got to tell you in looking into this and thinking about this, it's kind of made me rethink my approach to things too, so I'll talk about that a little bit. So first and foremost, Joplin loves his dad. His dad is his hero, and his dad is. His template for who he is to be in life. His dad is a jokester, wears a lot of people off drinks beer. He's a big man. Big beard. Family first, simple values, that kind of thing. Joplin worked for Charles Anderson, and if you don't know, Charles Anderson, he's the King of vintage retro kind of bringing things from the past forward to the future. So Charles Anderson collected weird science fiction toys and and dolls and boxes and collected all this stuff and built a whole company and an identity and design style around this, he's the King of doing that. While Tibor Kalman is Zach Meissner's one and only hero in an article, that's what he said. I have one and exactly one hero in design, and that's t-bar Coleman. That's what t-bar Coleman looks like. It's the same image from his book. Now, this is an example of what Charles Anderson would design. So it has a very distinct style color palette. Visual language and the right is colors magazine, which t-bar closed and company down. To look to become the creative director for colores magazine, which was produced by the United color, what is that called United colors of benetton? Mm-hmm Yep, and they would do a lot of. They would tackle a lot of social issues. Well, kind of straddling that line between having a message and selling product. So Tibor got to do some crazy things and have a platform to do all of that. He had access to great photographers. There's an Italian photographer, excuse me, that he worked with a lot that produced these images. What do you notice right away about this cover of colors magazine? Anybody? two naked guys? Well, there's one naked guy and one naked girl. And what if you dig in a little bit deeper into sac, Mr. He said that when he was going to, I believe he went to Pratt on a Fulbright scholarship as a grad student. He called up in company like every single week until he finally got an internship there or was able to work with Tibor. And he only worked there for a few months because t-bar closed off shortly thereafter. But in the few months and his obsession with t-bar, you can see where almost all of his ideas come from. It's almost a one to one version of what his mentor did. This whole idea, and he said this in the article, Tibor was amazing at summarizing ideas into short, punchy statements. He said the press would call him all the time because he's like a walking quotable person and there's some, some things that he says in here, and this will inform you a lot. So I'm going to just read a few of the quotes from his book, right? Here we go. And then you also realize Tebow was a much better writer than Zach Meister. And in the beginning of the book, he says consumption is a treatable disease. Consumer culture is an oxymoron. Wealth is poverty. Religion works better for corporations than for people. Most media, architecture, design and art exists for the sole purpose of creating wealth. And here, here's another thing he says here, I think in a graveyard, it looks like your children will smash your understanding, knowledge and reality. You will be better off than they will leave and you'll miss them forever. So he has all these here's one, rules are good. Break them. A set against an image of a bunch of Japanese businessmen just grabbing each other's faces, and I have no idea what's going on. Good designers and writers and artists make trouble. As soon as you learn. Move on. Success equals boredom, so now you can see where sack Meister begins his whole journaling thing, it starts to make these expressions that he's known for. And I think you also can see why he starts going naked all over the place because he's all that tipple was great at getting attention for his clients. Maybe sac Meister didn't have clients in the beginning, so he just turned the attention on himself. On the left, Charles and Charles Anderson. Great command of print design and on the right, a design by Tibor Kalman, which is a brilliant idea, an umbrella with a beautiful blue sky with clouds. This is an object that's sold and t-bar came up with these ideas and he came up with many things, including a cologne, a certain kind of soap and then sack Meister comes up with a cologne and a soap with words on it. It's fascinating to me. So mace, as you see this, I'm not sure how familiar you are with Timor Carmen, but if you look into Tibor, Meister doesn't look all that fascinating anymore to me. Yeah, it does. A very interesting look into it. I think you'll really enjoy it. Mase OK, so there you are on the left French paper company, which is the biggest, longest standing client for Charles Anderson. You guys get the visual language there. And then here's an ad for United colors of Benetton. And then you see another parallel here. The fascination with organs and body parts. So that's, I think, a white like a Caucasian person's heart, a Black person's heart and a yellow person's like an Asian person's heart. It's just listed there, and it's all the same. Sacrifice, Ah, later on goes and takes like a CALS tongue and starts to make things out of that too, because it's shocking. So he took two tongues and he made them like French kiss. But just the tongue. There's nothing else, and it says fresh dialogue. So you can see what your mentors can teach you about who you are and what you want to become. But it also taught me the importance of mentors. And my responsibility as a potential mentor for a lot of people. What does success look like to you? Well, for both of them, I think especially drop when he talks about this, a lot is like, I got to write a book, man got to do it my way. Zach, the same thing, except for Sergei Meissner's written more books than Joplin. So here's his book called Made you look, and it's full of visual tricks. Anybody owned made you look. Now it comes in a red plastic slip case. So the red filters out a part of the dog. So when you put it inside the book, the dog looks happy and content. And when you pull it out, the dog is like ready to bite you. He does a lot of tricks like that, and he printed the pages in such a way that you can't see what it says on the side until you kind of pull the book backwards a little bit. So it just made you look because you're intrigued by what it says. So it's full of those kinds of tricks. And again, here he is. I don't know what this is called, but. There are people who have an obsession with holes like in your face or holes in general. You know what I'm talking about? There's a bunch of videos of people squeezing out like blackheads and just to get millions and millions of views. I think this is a part of that. Tapping into people's obsession with holes. So it's a die cut. Book cover composed of, I think, 10 books in each book is designed. Each book covers designed to create a different pattern on his face. I had this book as well. The book is called things I have learned. So far in life, I think. OK being successful means being able to work with friends for low money. In the example of COVID dogs, I think for sacrifice are being successful means everybody has to be naked, not just me. So I'm not the weirdo, so it gets everybody to take off all their clothes. Joplin wants to go on tour, whereas Zach Meister wants to do solo exhibitions. The happy show. So the one on the right says everybody always thinks they are right. These giant inflatable monkeys. How do they feel about wards, well, there's Joplin's answer. While I said before sac Mr. designs awards, he judges awards. So that's a statue or a trophy that he designed on the right hand side. It's a pretty cool trophy. It's made from extruded type. So what would you do if you made a lot of money? Another thing that you can share, these all just prompts you guys, you guys can write your own, maybe we can write something together afterwards. What would you do if you made a lot of money? I'll have one graphic for this. Joplin wants to retire his mom. He he bought a car or helping his parents buy a car and to pay the mortgage of his mom's house, which he hasn't done yet. I think he's still working on that. Now, here's Zach maestro's graphic on the work life span, so he says 0 to 20 five, you're in school, you're learning from 25 to 60 five, you're working, you retire. When you're 60 five, you might die at 80. The average lifespan of a man, I think. So his concept was, if I'm successful, then I shorten my retiring years to 10 to disperse one year every seven years. And that's what it looks like. So he may be overdue for his third break pretty soon. I love that. It's a good concept. Yeah so those are their priorities, right? Mm-hmm So here's the summary you guys, here's the comparison between the two. I'm not going to get into this because we went through it pretty thoroughly here. OK, so I'm going to share a little story about the importance of building community, because I think that age of being the classical designers over, especially if you're alive today and you're not already in that circle, how do you build community? You talked about looking backwards by understanding who you were as a teenager and even before then. So I'm going to tell you, for me personally. I was very socially awkward and athletic and very insecure. But I did have this desire to create things, to make things, to design things. I didn't know what it was called, but something that I started to figure out about myself. And when I figured out that I could actually be a designer, a graphic designer, my identity was built around that. And I found who I was. And that set me on a course. So when you were talking earlier about why some designers we know and some we don't, we talked about having a sense of purpose knowing who you are, being self-aware and being driven. I'm reading this book, written by Jim rohn, called the Seven strategies for wealth and happiness. He's got a very powerful idea, something I've been thinking about, which is everything is built around you having very specific goals. Those of us that don't have direction in life, that look at the future with apprehension instead of anticipation, it's because we don't know. It's the unknowing part that makes us afraid. When you're very clear about who you are, what you want to do and what you want to accomplish, everything falls in line. So he says a lot of people will come up to him and ask them about how do I manage my time better? He says being more productive is a byproduct of having clear goals. When you have clear goals, you organize your day and you get things done. So as an example, on a personal level, my wife used to have a lot of anxiety and she still has some anxiety, but not as much as she used to because she had no purpose. There was that period when we had no kids and she had she didn't have to work. I think 2 and 1/2 years of doing whatever she wanted, and she was just really unsettled by that idea. More recently, she's found things that she can do that she can dig into, and it's given her a lot of self-confidence. Like when I gave her the 30 day challenge, she knew this is what I need to do every single day. So she managed her day very differently. She became much more productive, and at the end of each day she would show me her work and we would say great. I would share it with some people and those things are addictive, winning and accomplishing things. Getting things done off your list will help you. So I wanted to transition from this idea of being awkward, weird. Channeling into design. So this is where my realization is, OK, so on the left hand side, as an adult, I defined myself as a designer, a teacher, an entrepreneur, as a motion graphics artist. But the transition that I'm making, the realization that I'm going through is I wanted to go from becoming a designer to writer. From being a teacher to a speaker, an entrepreneur to an influencer and a person who does motion into a person who builds movements, and I share this with you in real time. It's not that I figured this all out, and we're only talking now because of my completed transformation. I'm still going through this process myself. And the reason why I'm excited about sharing what it is that I learn with you guys is because I'm learning with you as I'm sharing with you. So here we go as a designer. I used to design graphics, now I want to design ideas, so learning to write, to express yourself in words, in visuals and on video is the way that you become known. So those are you guys that are reluctant to write, and I never considered myself a writer before. But I realize that guys like Ian Padgett, the local guy who basically had a high school education. The reason why that guy has a career is he learned to express himself with written words. He would write blog articles, and that's how he becomes like a really well-known guy within his sphere. Start writing. But I love what you teach us, because we need to tap into who we are and what makes us unique, so that way when we blog and where we're right, it is us who's talking. Absolutely it's your voice. Exactly not what it means to be perfect. Thank you. Hey, Chris. Yes do you do you journal or write for yourself as well? Who's talking right now, jen? OK all right. Somebody is going to call me out right on the call. All right. All right. The answer is yes, and I will show you I will prove it to you in a little bit, ok? But I love that. I love you guys. It's like, you know what, F you do? Do you do that? Are you sure you do that? And then I'll do a follow up. Answer a question with you, ok? We saw some time here just checking. Yeah so if I don't, for some reason you call me out and you say, don't end this call. All right. OK, so here's the big transformation for me. And the reason why I think you and I have a relationship today. Is because I used to teach in a very small, private, intimate group of people, you know, 12 students, eight students, sometimes I had four students and it was amazing. I believe it or not, I could critique a student for one hour each and still not have enough time. So we went and unraveled unpacked, and we're doing part design therapies and in part, let's talk about your topography and your narrative sequence. But the thing that my wife, I give her all the credit for this, and she used to go to classes with me and she would she'd walk away. It's like, how do all this stuff? This is amazing. Didn't you learn the same thing, honey? We went to the same school. We did the same thing. She goes, no, I do not learn this thing, but here's the thing. This is what she's saying to me. So I think honey is as great as I think you are. You're wasting your time here. And that put in motion ideas in my head to say, why am I teaching for people? And doing the same material over and over again, this has got to change. And that's why I'm talking to you today is because she said, why don't you just start producing videos and teaching what to a much broader audience? Isn't that a better use of your time? So she hit me where I was weak, which was optimization, scalability, just where that's what I strive for in my life. So she knew she said that that's like a dog whistle to me to wake up and say, optimize this whole process. Ok? an entrepreneur, as an entrepreneur? Cash was the King. It was the currency. That's how we defined our success. And now I've swapped it for influence. Influence is the new currency for me because with influence comes the cash anyways. And lastly, as I've said, instead of making things move, I want to make a movement. And this is why I think you guys are tuned in, this is what the movement looks like, and that's it for that, and now I will end this part of it. And I will answer that question. All right. Where are you? You guys can see my camera. Popes hold on. Amazing you mean to do that? Here, let me make this big spotlight my video. OK, so I've made a commitment to start journaling and start writing and writing a book, so I have several notebooks when they look like this. Ok? so I'm not lying to you, I am starting to write things down. But That's not the beginning of this. This is what I keep next to my desk. You see these little notepads here. Yeah all right. This is me journaling. Now I'm just keeping it in a book and said, so this is just one half of the stack. And I write little ideas down all the time. And there's a trick that I've learned that if you write your ideas down, you won't be burdened by trying to remember them. So it frees up the higher functions of your brain. So as soon as you have an idea and some people do this, they have waterproof paper stuck on their shower. So as soon as they have an idea, they write it down, because one of the most painful, agonizing things for me and I still haven't figured this thing out is as I'm taking a shower, I'm like, Oh my god, I got an idea for this and I got a need for that, and I start writing things in my mind. But by the time I'm like drying off and putting on my makeup, whatever, I sit down and I'm like, Oh. You can only hold on to One of those five ideas. So I love that idea that people have waterproof paper and a pen that I can just write in the shower. That's pretty cool. Maybe something I need to do. Nice so that was Jen who asked that. Yeah can I ask a follow up? How do you how do you get started with it? I mean, do you have a particular method for getting into the writing or is it just write whatever comes in your mind or? Yes, I'm going to spotlight you, Jen, great. But you shouldn't have the camera. OK all right, we're back. Yes, I do have a strategy and it's not a great one, but I'm going to share it with you. I spend an inordinate amount of time online reading like what people write and say. And so oftentimes you guys are not going to like this is when I post something on my business designer page. It's because of something snapped in my brain that one of you guys was talking about asking some question in one of the forums, right where you ask, like, oh, you know, a client didn't call me back in time or something. It's just, I remember making something up. And again, just phase, Oh my god, oh, why are you guys asking this dumb question? Then I start writing really angry. I'm like, no, here's the answer. And then something comes out from that. And then I think, wow, I shouldn't just share this in the group. I need to share this outside. So I'll take that as the beginning and I'll copy and paste it into another document and I'll expand it out. I'll strip out like sensitive information. Sometimes I don't remember to, and people pointed out to me that's how I create, so I'm looking for a problem to solve. And so the prompts are the real life questions that people in the community have that I feel like, gosh, why are we talking about this? Or if somebody says to me, you know, Chris, what are some of your weaknesses and struggles? And I'm just like, tired of that question. And then finally, God fucking fine here. Is this what you want to be down a rabbit hole? Now it takes me a long time to write, so I have some rules for writing. So for those of you guys, I want to write. The rule for writing is just right, do not edit, get stuck, just write open up simple text, make the text 36 point type Helvetica light and just start writing. Just go, just get it all out. Get all the passion, all the awkwardly phrased things the wrong quotes and just put it all out there. Just like, vomit it out, get it out once you get it out and you complete a certain chunk of it. Then you can go in at it. But I used to write and edit at the same time and then it's like, there's an old soul, there's no voice. What the heck am I talking about? I get caught up in the grammar of it all. I don't even care. Now I just go the other way. I just write like math, just like I'm having a conversation with somebody. Yes and I find that to how we can get started with that. I have an idea as to how we could get started. How's that? You gave us 10 questions in this whole thing. Yes, and answering those questions could be a blog post. And so you have a week's worth of content. If you do a post a week or you could do one big blog post. But for me, I'm going to personally think about all these 10 questions that you asked in this, and I'm going to write a post for each one and kind of get myself rules and then disseminate it, probably like once a week. It's great. So I've studied drop one. He comes on stage. He says, my name is Erin James dragline. I'm 41 years old. I'm doing everything I can to make it in this town. I'm a big man trying to make it in the little leagues. I'm from Detroit, Michigan. Right, right. Know that's how he talks. And he tells you everything you need to know about him. Very few people come on stage and tell you how old they are. Almost nobody tells you their middle name and I don't know why that's important. But he tells you, he tells you where he's at. He tells you where he's from and we make assumptions about him all the time. And he keeps amplifying his voice like I am for this person, I'm not for you, I'm for this person, I'm not for you. He talks about rescuing these treasures, how futura is the working man's font. Well, you know, if you look at all that design from the era in which he's pulling from, I think it's a 60s and seventies, and it's kind of golden age of graphic design. Futura is the closest typeface to that you can get without designing your own typeface. So you can call it working workingman's fund, it's not excuse me, it's not really a working man's font design, I think in Germany, right? I have the book here somewhere. It's used in very highbrow art, it's used in advertising, but he puts a different label on it. So here's an exercise that you guys can go through, and on a different call, I will teach you this exercise is this. I teach it in my conceptual design class. And you take a photograph. And you change the label of the photograph. And when you change the label to photograph, you change the entire meaning. So the example I give is Adobe had an ad they ran many years ago, and for some reason for the life of me, I cannot find it again, so I recreated it. This is probably like 15, 18 years ago. Those you guys that are really good at research, if you can find it for me, you would just be amazing. You'll prove to me you're searching prowess. Adobe had this ad campaign. Where they showed you trash can. With a bunch of crumpled pieces of paper thrown into like yellow and white, just basically a wire trash can like any kind of office and a bunch of crumpled piece of papers, pieces of paper inside of it at the bottom, it said the word babies. And it just had the Adobe logo and there were some body copy. And there, I don't remember any of that. OK, I want you guys remember that trash can. Crumpled piece of paper and says babies at the bottom. The next image was like a post-it. I'm sorry, a legal pad with like yellow paper and lines on it. And a Sharpie and nothing else. And the word underneath it was hell. And it says Adobe again. And so it was a series of images like this with a simple word or phrase at the bottom, so allow me to explain now. So what is this meaning between? This is getting into semiotics, the juxtaposition of words and images to have a new third, meaning trash can with crumpled piece of paper and the word babies. It's because these are your children. Your idea is that you just threw away and there's a pain associated with that. Adobe is trying to tap into the creative person. That's why they said babies. And the reason why there's a blank pad of paper and a Sharpie and why that says, hell is because you have no ideas and that feels like hell to you. So it was a really smart thing, so this is what Joplin does all the time. Go, go, go. Watch his videos again. He changes the meaning of what you see into his own personal voice by calling it something else. All right. We'll check it out. Once you guys figure out your voice and what you stand for. Of course. So, Jen, do you have a desire to write, is that why you're asking those questions? Um, I wish I had more of a desire to write than I do. And I hear from many places that it's just it's just such a useful thing to do and that it kind of so many people that it all boils down to. If they had one thing, one piece of advice, it's always journaling. And I feel like that's one of the hardest things I find to do. And sometimes I just I haven't found the use in it yet, and I know it's there so I can help you. Yeah, because when you ask me, do I journal, I don't make a daily habit of writing in my book. I do not. I don't about how often do you think you take it on almost every day? But that's not my be so contradictory. But here's the thing. Michael Johnson was speaking at design thinkers in Toronto. And he said that I'm working on my next book. I decided to take three weeks and sit there and write everything I know. It's like, Oh. And then he shared 112 points of things that he knows. And he said, I only have time today to share 41 of those 112 things. I was thinking, oh, maybe I could do the same thing. Is that how you write a book? Like, there's no plan, there's no large thesis statement, just. Write down what you know, so Siobhan and I were talking and I was like, maybe I should call my book what I know. So I started to write down, so I got one of these small moleskine books, you know, that are very inexpensive from Staples. You can buy directly, whatever. And at the top of each page, I just wrote one thing that I know and I turn the page. One thing I know I kept going. I didn't worry about filling it out. And then later on, I realized I would repeat myself, I'm like, you idiot. So you wrote that part. The reason why it sounds so familiar. You already wrote that, ok? Here's something that I know that design in life is not a zero sum game that everybody thinks. In order for me to win, somebody else has to lose. And that's not true at all. And this is the reason why I think some of us have a hang up about talking about money or being competitive because we think if we win, somebody else loses. If we share a piece of information, they win and we lose. What I've done is the exact opposite. I've shared wholeheartedly, unabashedly and completely transparently, and it's done nothing but to elevate what we do. OK, so there's this thing about the finite and infinite game. That Simon Sinek talks about, so there you go. Next thing I know no victims, just volunteers. That we are consumed with self-pity, we complain, we feel helpless, but none of that. Will help you achieve anything. So then you have to take responsibility for your life. So this combination of ideas? What is gratitude do for you having a thankful, positive mindset? Does something called mental mirroring and it helps you to focus on what is right versus what is wrong to be grateful? Droplet does a good job of this. And it's OK to embrace contradictions. And I have a lot of examples on that as well. There's this thing I wrote about the Sleeping Beauty. My wife says, honey, I've been to Sleeping Beauty and I've finally understood what you said. And one of my favorite lines from a movie is from dune. The sleeper must awaken, most of us are sleepwalking through life. We're not paying attention to certain details, to conversations, and we missed the opportunity to learn from the world. My thoughts and self-taught versus formal education. You are greater than some of the things you make. I wrote a post on that, right, just from this. I don't borrow, steal. Just don't pretend it's original, because those are ideas I have problems with telling your story, why telling your story matters, so it goes on and on. So all I did was I sat there like, hey, I just heard Michael Johnson say this. I don't have to think about some big project that's going to be just overwhelming to me. I get just sit down and think, what do I know? That's a good way, and it's a good way in, and it's I'm almost done with the book. I've got eight more pages. That's it. All right. Hey, hey, Chris. All right. Yeah hey, Chris, this is Henry. Hey, Henry, How's it going? Henry, I'm coming. Here we are. There you are. What's up? So the idea of the ideas or whatever the concept of ideas, how do you go from going from idea? I guess. Let me try to rephrase that. OK so the idea has to turn into a product or as an idea, just as an idea, and then you can sell that idea. Does that make sense? Ok? what are we talking about? Give me a little context. Thanks we're just coming straight out the question now. Are you trying to? No, I'm not trying to make a product. So there is a blurb that you said that said something about ideas or concepts or something. I don't remember what it was. But just the process of just selling an idea instead of a product. Oh yeah, Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I see. And so I feel like with like most designers and whatnot, the goal is always to get to a product. Should that always be the goal that designers should strive for? Or is an idea enough of something to sell? Or does it then it become a product? Ok? if I understand what I think you're asking is in reference to something else that I wrote. And it's and it's basically saying the things that you create are a byproduct of your thinking. Mm-hmm OK, so you sell the thinking, you don't sell the thing that you make. So if we can, as a community of creative people start to understand that your value is in your thinking and not in the crafting of the thing. Now I understand this. A lot of designers still struggle with the making part because they didn't have access to great teachers or for whatever reason, they couldn't figure it out. So they're stuck on the making part. And that's why so much of our culture. And when I say culture, I mean, our creative culture is focused on trying to make it perfect. And if we really want to have great impact and be valued for what we do, we have to talk about it in the realm of thinking and selling the thinking. So the expression is pay for the strategy, the design work is the souvenir. And that I Stole. I Stole that 100 percent, I'm just telling you guys right now, I Stole it because I read a quote about tattoos. People pay for the pain, the tattoos, the souvenir. so I just Stole that and change the words. OK people pay for the pain. People come for the pain and the tattoo is just a souvenir. They don't come for the tattoo. So that's why I'm like, you pay me for the thinking. So if we are able to shift where we put the value like, say, for example, if you were to do a bid for an identity system, let's just say that's what it is. If you put in $30,000 for the strategy and 4,000 for the making of it, that's how you know, you've won that battle. It's not going to happen overnight. But that's how, you know, you won the battle in terms of being valued for your thinking. Is this what we're talking about or am I just going off on a totally different tangent? No, that's what we're talking about because I feel like it always goes into even whenever we're design thinkers like everything, everybody showed a product. Yeah so I was just wondering, like, where's the value into thinking, where's the value in the ideas when it always ends up as? An end product. It it does have to end. We're always trying to get to. Yeah OK, well, ultimately ideas are worthless. Right, ideas are worthless is every has them, including my kid. And we have to then make that idea into something that's tangible so I can go in and talk about these wonderful ideas. But if somebody can't make it at the end of the day, then just becomes like, oh, OK, whatever. So this is the contradiction, I'm OK, embracing my contradictions. OK, so you have to give it in some tangible form. What is an idea and idea is like some kind of synaptic nerves going on the neural pathways in your brain tangible in a way? Is you recording it in your voice, making a video that it is captured and preserved? Making it tangible could be writing it in a book or a blog post. All your ideas captured and can be shared, and that's the important part. And you can take an idea and you can make something like this. I'm going to hold this up, ok? I was talking about this girl, kalinda Silverman, I think, is her name who decided small talk was boring. Let's have big talk. So I actually bought her deck of cards. I'm a little disappointed that they're so tiny, but there are 90 cards in here. And she made our idea tangible in the form of a card that we can associate a value to it. So I pay $25 for this deck of cards, which is not really worth $25 but I wanted it anyways. So you're right. So the value of this does not come in the material cost of printing never condense onto a 2 inch by 1 and a 3/4 inch card because this is pretty worthless, right? If you were going to a trade show and they dropped a deck of cards inside your goodie bag, you'd probably throw it away. You're like, this is stupid. But the idea of who she is, her story. But us having more meaningful deep conversations with people versus the trivial, superficial stuff is what I'm paying for. It just happens to be captured on this deck. OK the value comes from her story and what she's trying to do, not from the actual material cost. And that's what I'm talking about because so many people try to sell. Their time. How long it take you to make that? What were the resources used in crafting that? And that's where they get it wrong. OK all right. All right. Thanks, Henry. Thank you. OK any other thoughts you guys make first? I'm I had a question. I wasn't able to come on. Yes, that's Cameron. No, I don't. All right. But I think it relates to something you had mentioned in a video with me. So she asked the concept of personal brand branding. How does this impact your view on posting personal things in social? Do you find personal things? You're not talking about dogs, are you? I'm reading this question, but but I can have the same question too. Ms Yes. So, yeah, I mean, anything personal that you had talked to me about on that video versus what you're saying now, so kind. We differentiate to OK, gms, dogs, chocolate things we stand for. I would have to agree with her. So, yeah, well, you guys have to do is you have to find your overlap. Like, how do you overlap all these things? Now, if Prop one goes around telling you about his dad, about his dog and he doesn't have any overlap. Then we're just bored of him just talking about his life story. But you know how you find this overlap. He talks about Gary, his dog, and then he does like 55 logos for his dog. There's the overlap. That's how we find out again and the lessons that his dad taught him. He brings it back in. So you have to be a great storyteller and you have to weave the story back into the overlap of what you do. That's important. If you show me just picking out on chocolates, I'm like, OK, that's gross. So now what? But if you took those your obsession with chocolates like Mr sack Meister did with Toblerone and did a whole art piece out of it, and turn chocolate into an expression like, say, what's an idea about eating chocolate? Like a quote or a saying that you believe in Melinda. I'd say I'm more of a chocolate fan if you love me. Hold on, hold on. Anybody let's use the collective intelligence. There's at least 29 smart people in this room, at least 28 I exclude myself, what is an expression about chocolate or like an indulgence? Life without an indulgence or whatever the say, whatever your beliefs are. OK, so if you took your belief and you made some kind of typographic thing out of chocolate? That and said something like you have to live, oh, if you never live your busy dying or something like that, something like that, you find an expression or a phrase that you love that you wrote or you borrowed or. Appropriated and you made something out of it, then you've brought the chocolate, a thing that you love into your world to design, and that's important because every fool could post a picture of the things that they eat. It requires no skill. My kids can do it. Does that help you? Yes you're saying so you're pretty much using those things that you like you stand for in those things that make you you to say something about what you believe or what you stand for or what you believe to be true. It's not just sharing like, hey, look at the food I eat. Yeah, because that turns me on. Yeah, OK. I've talked about this before. Creativity design for me is defined as such. It's the ability to connect to disparate things and find that common place where they both can live. If you show me one, everybody can do that, you have to be able to bridge two things and bring them together two or more things. That's important. I'm reading this book, I'm reading too many books, I think, on selling expertise by David Baker and he said intelligence well down to pattern matching. You can spot a pattern. So based on that definition, I got to be the smartest guy because I can spot patterns a mile away. Based on that. I'm just like the Mr. formula pattern guy, I just see it like, there it is, that's what they're doing. See the parallels. Look at that boom. So you guys can incorporate the things that you love. Into your art and then you've got a winner. Here's what I learned from Joplin when he went on stage talks about his family. You know, he and his dad built a coffin for Gary, the dog. And he tells a whole story by it about it, because to him, creating the coffin was an expression of creativity, about doing something not for money, but for love and doing it right. So he made a logo for his dog on the coffin and everything. He just rolled out his name in a brush, script, typeface or something like that. And so we see how he brings it back. It's always weaving things back and how something he does for his mom actually weaves back to his way of thinking that's really important. So I started thinking, I never talk about myself in that way. So I do need to do this because I don't want people to feel like there's a 30 foot wall between me and them. I want to help them close the gap. And because he's like this, I look, I am sorry to say this like a fat bearded guy that doesn't have a lot of personal style. He's so relatable because there isn't this big distance. I struggle with weight. Great, I can relate to you. Or, hey, I'm not the most fashionable guy or I hate the East Coast elite kind of West Coast idea of what design is supposed to be. I'm for you. Great So I've been thinking about this. I have lots of personal stories to share. My struggle has been, how do I make those personal stories to relate to ideas that I want to have inside the mind of a creative person? So I want to use my life stories to illustrate a point, a belief, a fundamental truth that I feel is, you know, I need to share it with somebody so my kids do the dumbest, craziest things. But I can find that connection between the dumb, stupid stuff that they do and a life lesson to take away. That's how I'm going to bring it together. Because I don't want to share like, oh, I have a four-year-old or I have a 10-year-old or whatever. That's just not interesting to anybody. All right, enough on that rant. Melinda, thank you. And I don't know is not turning on her mic. She has. She's here, she's alive, and I assume she has an internet connection because I can see her. She says she has cartoons playing in the background. Oh, I see. You got the old kids in the back or something? Yeah, I have a question. Has a beautiful Australian accent. I remember that correctly. OK, who's saying I got a question? Asthma asthma. Go ahead. So my question is, what do you think about when people say you need to be known for one thing? Yes, because I can hear here like you can identify a lot of things that you like and that you love, and you can try and connect them together and create a pattern. And so there is that diversity, and there's beauty and diversity, but there's also that other layer of like you need to be known for one thing and if you could be known for one thing, what that is. And I'm just trying to see like, what is your perspective in that? Is it like that generic way like when you talked about these two artists like you put them in the design world, that's their one thing. And then within that, there's different layers because I think for me right now, that's my struggle. It's like, I want to be known for one thing, what is that one thing? And I think I've put myself in that confinement where now you're giving me the exercise to bring everything that it's about me and try and find patterns within that and create a unison with all of that. Sean West has a great response to that question. And he gave a talk on this, and Sean West said something like. You are an amazing human being with complex, diverse, layered meaning and interest that are so great. In his responses, the world cannot comprehend your awesomeness. The world just cannot like we say something, and we just grouped people into it. And he says that what you can do is that you can't control what people think of you, but you can help to point them in the right direction. You can exert a little influence, and that's what branding is. So you're saying instead of focusing on all this other stuff, I don't want you to focus on just focus on this thing. And so I think a lot of people struggle with this because, first of all, the idea of focusing. Is I have to give up these other things. you know, more than that. Right but. If you make it easier for people to know who you are. Well, they'll know who you are. And you won't get lost in the sea of people, and that's kind of an important thing. So I think you do need to focus externally. And being something that people can walk away and saying asthma is about this, I understand who she is. I think to that, being known for the one thing doesn't have to be the tactical thing that you're doing like people don't look at Aaron Joplin for his just like as a designer or Gary V for running a marketing firm. It's the underlying philosophy that drives kind of like all that they are and all that they do. So like Aaron Joplin is the people's champ or the big guy trying to make him the little leagues. Gary, he's known for just his hustle and his brash young work and stuff like that. But it's not necessarily the tactical day to day busy work that they're doing. And so I think it's just finding the underlying philosophy or motivation that drives all of the complexity of who you are. If you were working for your client and your client said, I want to be this, I want to be that, I want to be all these things. You were whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. What's the one thing we want to be known for? Let's focus in because we're going to just like water this all down. So I would rather have a more potent version, a more condensed version of you that people can understand and process. And then over time, you kind of develop that into a more layered, richer story. And that's totally cool. I think in the very beginning, it's hard to be known for lots of things. It's much easier to be known for one thing, and according to Blair ends. And when you let go of these other things. And you go deep versus wide, you become an expert. And you become known for something, and that's important. And just because I just brought up Blair, I just thought of something here. I'm having the strangest, surreal conversation with Blair ends. I got to tell you. It is bizarre, I mean, bizarre and the Super coolest way, because I read this book and I'm like, wow, this is fricking such an amazing book. And now he and I have some kind of internet relationship. We really do. And I think the only reason why we have this relationship is because I went through a very difficult and public process of trying to speak on camera. That was going to be my one thing, I'm going to talk about the business of design, I'm going to stick to it, I'm going to keep doing these shows first once a month, once every other week and then a couple of times and then one every week and then 3 times a week. Now, the frequency has allowed me to become much more comfortable doing what it is that I do now. I'm much more complex than this. You guys are really am. But I needed to give somebody something that they can say, well, Chris is about this. He's going to be a little bit militant. He's going to tell it to you like it is, is not going to beat around the bush. Sometimes it's a little harsh. Hard to hear. But he'll tell it to you in his own truthful way, and that's it. And then now I can start talking about, oh, I like skateboarding her, I want to bake or whatever it is now that I've established a beach front or beach head, this is who you're going to know me as. I think that helps. So I'm reading a book right now. This is Henry again. And it talks about being a guide and not a hero through storytelling. Oh yeah, Yeah. Because because when you're a hero, it all becomes about you. But as a guide, which is what you're doing, you take people through the process that you've been through as somebody who has been a hero before. Now you're ready to show people what it's like to do life, what you're doing. And so I think as we talk about our story, I think it's important that we think about how we can guide people through the process that we're doing instead of trying to be all end all and the hero for everyone. Yes or is that Nancy Doherty's book you're reading? No, it is Donald Miller's story brand. Donald Miller Stole that from Nancy. He admitted it on his podcast. Oh, really? Yeah Yeah. Well, Nancy Stole it from Joseph Campbell. So, you know, it's like everybody steals from everybody. It's cool. That's cool. It was like Kyle who said that, yeah, I've got a cold, so I recognize your voice. But not really. Yeah all right. So check this out, guys, and I'm going to wrap with this, ok? It's been way too long. And I used to teach sequential design storytelling, like when Stefan Jack Meister says, you're not a storyteller, I'm like, oh, I beg to differ, brother beg to differ. And I will tell you guys some story formulas, and it's probably how I'm going to do my next talk in Egypt. I'm still kind of thinking it through. And there's a lot of overlap with Nancy Duarte and what she said in her Ted talk, but it's not her idea in that. Here's the story formula. You guys, I play this game with my kids, so if you have kids or you have a girlfriend, boyfriend or a spouse, someone who's willing to do this game with you, try it out next time you go see a movie. All movies, all stories are based on one formula. And we talk about the modern myth. Joseph Campbell talks about this, but I've read a book on plot and writing and essentially this. Somebody wants something and can't get it. This you might want to write down, if you don't remember, because I have a slide for this. Somebody wants something and can't get it because if they can get it, the story's over. So the conflict is where the story begins. I want something and I can't get it. And then what you do is you go through a series of trials and tribulations. And instead of getting what you want. You get what you need. Most of the times you want something externally. What you need is to learn something internally. So there's an external want versus internal need. So you can take the dumbest movies. Then you break it down to this formula, you can understand. Somebody wants something and can't get it. You go through a series of trials and tribulations instead of getting what you want, you get what you need. And in a way, this is what I help my clients do. OK, so what is it that you want that you can't get? We want more customers of this type. We want greater conversion. We want greater awareness, whatever it is. Now I have to ask you, why can't you get it, so now I understand your problem. And what you want is the result. What you need to learn is to be empathetic towards who your customers are. So we have to teach you how to do that. This is the internal part you internally have to change, your customer service is not good. Your response time is really low. You're not clear in the way you communicate. So we have to teach you how to speak, how to behave and how to exist, so this is what we do. So this is part of story structure that you can apply and that you are the hero. I'm going to help you realize that I'm not the hero. You're the hero. And for then for you to realize you're not the hero, your customers or your hero. So it's a transference of a framework. I teach it to you. So that you can apply it to be a champion for the people that you want to have a relationship with your tribe. And that's really it. If you think about that and if you get into the whole monolith thing. If somebody lives in an ordinary world, a Herald comes in a great quality adventure and they have to make a big decision, there's lots of reasons why you don't want to do it, but ultimately you decide to go on this adventure and you go out into the world and you learned something new and you come back and share that with your village. That's that's essentially the model myth, right? So it just reduce it down to fewer words. I'm going to help you understand an external want versus an internal need. So we watch Green Lantern with what's that guy's name? Brian Ryan Reynolds. Ryan Reynolds, I say gossiping, but I know it's not him. Horrible fricking movie. Horrible movie. And Ryan Reynolds has a lot of rage, and what he wanted was to have his father back. He couldn't because his father's dead, even my kids can tell you deeply profound things once they understand the story formula. It's incredible because this is probably like when my boy was like eight years old. And he's an I ask him, what does he want? He wants his dad back. And it says, why can't he have them? Because he's dead? And what did he learn? He needed to learn that it wasn't his fault. He was callous, he's pushing people away. He had a lot of anger issues, and he had to learn. It wasn't his fault. He needed to forgive himself because it wasn't his fault dad. That's what an eight-year-old boy can tell you, or he was even younger back then. So this is what we watch. Like even the dumbest popcorn film has that same story arc. It's almost like learning some bigger truth meaning of life. I don't know why I went on this tangent, I think, because Sean brought up this whole story. Was it sean? No, it was Henry Henry talking about Donald Miller's book, about you guys being a guide and not the hero. And I love that. So as you're trying to learn how to write and share what you know, you're helping other people learn, this is not a vanity project. Look at me how great I am. You're trying to help people. Jan, I hope that helps you a little bit. Did it? Yes, definitely. Thank you. Now I want to end the call and I want to say this. This is one of our monster calls. One more, Chris, one more. Bonnie was asking a couple of things kind of tying it back into branding. She asked, is the personal brand an add in to an existing service? How does It serve you monetarily without something at the end of your funnel? And what's the difference between building a personal brand and being an artist? Oh, just asking one question, huh? That's like three questions, dude, just from Schiavone. Yeah Schiavone has a mouth that's like too many questions. OK how about the one that you think is like, I was trying to rap out? You know, opening a can of worms to me is. So what's the difference between building a personal brand and being an artist? I part of her question is, how does this feed you like monetarily, how does this go into like, OK, now we're ourselves. And we're building our personal brand, but like, OK, I need to get paid to. So OK, OK. All right. Let me see if I can. Just I'll do it two for one. Let me think about this for a second. I think the label that we're putting on this can be a little dangerous, and I'm a little reluctant to try to dive into the definition of what an artist is and isn't. And I think for me, having said that, an artist is a person who isn't really concerned about anything but sharing their point of view what the world is. I think the Chomsky has said this on stage. The directors of the matrix, they said that art is an invitation to share a point of view. And so I guess in a way, then your personal brand is to share a point of view, it's to share your point of view of the world. Except for art kind of exists to serve itself versus others, and so this is kind of where the distinction may happen, and I'm not sure that putting a label or trying to compare and contrast it to is important for us right now. Why is this valuable to you? Well, it's very clear to me that in the 21st century. He or she who has a strongest community, who is the great community builder will be the most valuable. And for somebody to want to be part of your community, they need to know what your beliefs and values are, what you stand for, and they will forgive you for the art that you're in, whether it's good or not, it's not that important to them. They'll forgive you for your shortcomings in terms of your art and your craft. And we have to realize that for us to succeed, to win in the 21st century. We have to let go a little bit of that. Of the there's only the right way to make something that beauty is all that matters. It's not it does matter. But beyond a certain percentage point, it doesn't matter anymore. It's like designers like slicing hairs. And that's almost all of what I see, because I'm getting ready to go on another rant here. So it's like, I'm Jen, I'm like the hulk, you know, like David Bruce banner, I can only handle so much stupidity within the community before I totally Hulk out. And that's usually an article or post. Is there so much conversation online right now about the stupid F1 thing, just let it go, it was bad to begin with. Just let it go. Who cares? There's a bigger business going. You guys in your like tiny little minds can't understand the F1 and their entire committee and multi-million billion operation to have bigger problems to solve than whether or not you think there's a negative 1 inside the F1 logo or not. Doesn't frigging matter. Like I've said this to you before, to this group, I think if you strip off the Nike logo, if you strip off the Apple logo, would you still buy it? And for me, I'm 100% I would. Conversely, conversely, if there were a counterfeit product with the exact same look, but you knew as a counterfeit, would you buy it? I wouldn't. Some people do, obviously, but I wouldn't, because it stripped of the meaning of the company and the company means more than just the fricking logo. It's what they stand for. I feel inauthentic disingenuous. I feel like I'm supporting the wrong team. By buying a knockoff product, I say to myself. I'd rather go without it until I can afford it than to support the counterfeit product. Now, this is where all the guys with counterfeit watches and the girls with counterfeit purses like, oh, shoot, let me put that away right now. But I'm not judging you. I'm just saying this is just for me. OK so the logo isn't really that important, it's what the company stands for, and guess what, they've done a good job of convincing me. But they stand for me. And we stand together. And we will pay more for that. We will wait in line for that. We will evangelize others for that. I don't know how many of you guys have done this, but I assume some. Have gone around to tell somebody else about the future because you believe and what I believe in and we share that right. That's why I'm trying to do my best to share with you what my beliefs and values are. With that, I did want to end Max's OK, if I end, please, at some point I have to go to the bathroom to have permission. Yes, thank you, max. You know, you make a guy a co-host and he just takes over to show just like that. It's interesting. The power is like, don't mean too much value, man. All right. Here's the thing. Group people, whether you're listening to this on the replay or you live here, first of all, thank you, everybody, for tuning in. But I want to say this so much of our group frustrates me because we don't do anything. A lot of people say, Chris, I don't know how you do it. How are you writing and producing videos and going on tour and this and that? How are you doing? Because I want to do it. I'm just sitting there wondering the same thing. How are you not doing it? And I was eavesdropping on Schiavone call about why it's like I'm overwhelmed and people saying the word to me. I'm like, what the. Come on, you know, overwhelmed. You're scared and you guys just let go of this fear trying to be perfect. It's probably the most number one debilitating things for creatives to do. It's like I got to be perfect. Perfect is some kind of made up idea. It doesn't exist like the devil with that. It's a resistance. Yeah frickin' doesn't exist. And we use that as a scapegoat and as a crutch not to do something. I promise you. OK, look, I'm going to make a little case about Mr. Ben burns is Ben burns the greatest designer, is the most articulate person, is the most camera ready person? No, he's none of those things. But what he is, is, is he's a fricking soldier. You give him something to do, and he just does it. Doesn't question, it doesn't fight it, he just goes for it, because in his world, in the military and the police world law enforcement world, there's a person who's in charge, they say stuff when you just do it. So the thing that I want to say to you guys is pick somebody you trust. And then just do it. Without question, just do it. OK, so you're watching this thing. There are 10 questions that Sean said he says here's an idea for self-imposed homework. Write your things and put it out there. Begin that process of telling people who you are. And if you do that, if you do that, hopefully. Not before long. I will be seeing you on stage with me. I would love to see you guys do that or our books will be next to each other or are two YouTube channels will be cross-referencing each other. Why not? Don't you want that help here? I want that for you. But you guys have to do the work. That's the thing. It's like we may also do a push UPS for us. OK with that. Thank you very much, you guys. Next, this week, there's no call. Obviously, I did the call already and we'll pick it up next Wednesday, and I'll figure out what the topic is going to be when I come back from Cairo, Egypt. It's going to be awesome. That was my an Egyptian, I didn't work, OK. All right, guys, I must stop. Thank you very much.

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