Meg Lewis

Meg Lewis is a designer, comedian, performance artist, entrepreneur, meditation podcaster and a whole lot more. You might recognize her style, her voice and definitely her glasses, but after listening to this episode you will understand the power of her personal branding.

Design, Comedy and Personal Branding
Design, Comedy and Personal Branding

Design, Comedy and Personal Branding

Ep
80
Apr
27
With
Meg Lewis
Or Listen On:

Designer, comedian, performance artist and a whole lot more.

Meg Lewis is a designer, comedian, performance artist, entrepreneur, meditation podcaster and a whole lot more. You might recognize her style, her voice and definitely her glasses, but after listening to this episode you will understand the power of her personal branding.

Meg and Chris discuss how to take what's weird about yourself and turn it into a unique career advantage. After all, that's what creativity is: combining unrelated things to make something new.

Meg runs a design studio called Darn Good! on top of her involvement with the design community in Minneapolis and across the US. Ever since she was a kid, she actually wanted to be a comedian. She participated in several acting camps where her improv classes taught her how to think on the spot and creatively.

Her eccentricity, energy, and wit is truly infectious, and she’s a real delight to speak with. You’d never think, though, that she experiences some self-doubt. Like many of us, there’s a voice inside Meg’s head that makes her fearful; it tells her that in some ways, she doesn’t fit in.

And surely, we’ve all felt this to a certain degree. Our skills aren’t good enough, or we don’t have the same years of experience as other designers. So how does Meg push through the self-doubt?

First, Meg recognizes that no matter what you do, or who you’re around,  people are going to judge left and right. It’s just what they do. The advice Meg offers from her experience is to surround yourself with friends who allow you to be exactly how you are. She created a judgement-free zone for herself in her friend group that allowed her to explore who she wanted to be.

This was just one of the things that’s helped shape Meg’s unique and intriguing personal brand. If you find yourself aligning with what Meg shares in this episode, and are interested in finding your own personal brand or style, then you will enjoy this very fun conversation with the one and only, Meg Lewis.

Episode Transcript

Meg:
It was a hard thing for me to slowly realize that if I take these things about myself that seem so unrelated and I smoosh them together into one career, then I can actually do something that's unlike anybody else is doing. I can redefine what a designer or a comedian or a performance artist is and I can just truly offer the world something that no one else can and that has been very, very exciting for me.

Greg:
Hello and welcome to The Futur Podcast. My name is Greg Gunn and I'm the producer of the show as well as your faithful intro writer, at least for as long as we're in social lockdown. Today's episode is a special one and I think it might be my favorite. It's definitely in the top three. Our guest is a designer, comedian, performance artist, entrepreneur, meditation podcaster. I mean, what doesn't she do? You might recognize her style, her voice, and definitely her glasses, but after listening to this episode, you will understand the power of her personal branding. You might even learn how to take what's weird about yourself and turn it into an advantage. Worst case scenario, you'll be smiling for a solid 60 minutes. That much I can guarantee. And if that's not enough, she's an absolute delight of a person. Please enjoy our very fun conversation with the one and only Meg Lewis.

Chris:
For people who don't know who you are, can you please introduce yourself and tell them the different things that you do?

Meg:
I am Meg Lewis and I own a design studio called Darn Good. I also am the founder of a collective of designers and commercial artists called Ghostly Ferns. I also co-own a shared workspace here in Minneapolis and I also founded a company called Full Time You, which is a book and a video series all about self discovering. Everything about you that makes you most unique and how to create a career and a life that's a true reflection of that. I also host the Dribble Overtime podcast and my own podcast that's a comedy meditation podcast called Sit There & Do Nothing. I probably forgot a few other things.

Chris:
Well, that was an exhaustive list. Thank you very much everybody for tuning in today. That's the end of our podcast. I'm just kidding. Like whoo, I hope you guys got all that. We'll probably provide links and notes in the description so hang in there for that. Okay. You mentioned something about infusing comedy. What does that mean? How's that applied or how does it manifest itself in your work or did you study performance art and things like that?

Meg:
Yeah, when I was a kid I wanted to be a comedian when I grew up. I think as I did a lot of comedy and acting camps, when I was a kid I did a lot of improv, I learned very early on how to think improvisationally and I learned how to act on my toes and become very witty. I think the most important thing that I learned when I was a kid was to observe adults and realize how many things adults took so seriously. And I thought as a kid that adults were just so boring and I just didn't want to be a boring adult when I grew up. So, I think as I got older I learned that I had additional skills outside of comedy that I really wanted to utilize and I just became really interested in design.

Meg:
It's been a challenge for me throughout my career to kind of take all those things about myself that I love, that seemed so separate and not related to one another like comedy and design, and try to blend them together into one career because it's definitely been a little bit easier for me to have a job as a trait skill as being a designer than breaking into the comedy industry. I've never really even tried that hard to break into the comedy industry. It's just been so much easier for me to work as a designer and get paid and have a little bit of income supporting the comedy work that I'm doing.

Meg:
And there's a low level, a low bar when it comes to comedy and the design industries. So, my goal now is to just take traditionally, not necessarily boring but dry topics, and make them funny and finally bring some lightness into the things that we have to deal with as adults that could be a little bit more lighthearted. I'm here for that.

Chris:
Now, just out of curiosity, I don't want to spend too much time on this, but have you gone to open mic things where you just go on to the stage and do your thing?

Meg:
Not yet. Oh, that scares me a lot. I think I generally have that common fear that everybody hates me, of rejection. I'm so scared of that and I think having to see that. I love hiding behind the computers so much. I like to hide behind a phone or a camera or a computer so bad and that way I can kind of judge everything myself, see it from all sides, think what are the critics going to say before I do anything and before I release anything. I'm just so used to that from working with clients and as a designer I think of it from all sides and make sure that I have all my bases covered. And I think it's just so... I'm a super vulnerable person, but the idea of being on stage and being judged in real time for something that I'm not 100% comfortable with really scares me.

Chris:
Wow. Okay. So what I'm hearing from you is there's this kind of opposing energy, this dichotomy if you will, like this performer, somebody who likes to make people laugh and have fun, you said like improv and acting and all that kind of stuff. And there's this other person who I would describe as more of the traditional graphic or visual artist where we just want to be by our computers. Don't talk to me, don't look at me because I'm weird and awkward. And so, how do you resolve this in your mind?

Meg:
I think that's where the magic is truly because I think for a long time I wouldn't let myself be both. I was one or the other and that's what labels do to us. When we're labeled as a designer, we know what we're supposed to fall into when it comes to that label. We know the kind of person we're supposed to be. I was pushing to be that person for a long time. I let the comedy thing go, I let those aspects of my personality just kind of go because I didn't feel comfortable identifying myself as a comedian. I didn't feel comfortable or like I belonged in that industry. And so, it was a hard thing for me to slowly realize that if I take these things about myself that seem so unrelated and I push them together into one career, then I can actually do something that's unlike anybody else is doing. I can redefine what a designer or a comedian or a performance artist is and I can just truly offer the world something that no one else can. And that has been very, very exciting for me.

Chris:
This seems like almost a perfect segue to talk about full-time you, but before we do that, I talk a lot about the narrative. The narrative, the story that we tell ourselves, the voice inside our head. So when you said like that felt uncomfortable or weird, I'm not supposed to be doing this or that and the labels that you apply, do you know what that voice sounds like in your head and do you know where it comes from?

Meg:
I think it comes from years of my whole life growing up of being told that I'm supposed to look and act and be a certain way. I think labels can be very empowering for a lot of people or they can hold a lot of people back. I think it depends on the label and what you want to be identified as. For me my whole life, thinking about what a woman is supposed to be and what comedy looks like for women and girls and what I wanted to be doing and telling jokes about and how that didn't match up. And so, I spent a lot of time feeling a lot of shame about who I was and what I really wanted to be doing based on what people expected of me and the examples I was presented in the world of what a woman or a graphic designer or a comedian looks and sounds like.

Meg:
And so, that voice in my head is just always constantly barking over me of: nobody else is doing that. People are going to think you're weird. You're going to be doing something that people have never seen before. This is very scary. What are people going to say? People are definitely not going to like this. And that's generally what replays in my head and it's taken so much practice of pushing through that voice because I've realized in pushing through the voice and getting over that and pushing further past what the voice is telling me I can do and actually following through and doing the thing that really scares me, the perceived outcome I have in my head of what's going to happen, that horrible incident that will happen if I do this thing, it never happens.

Meg:
It's always a fraction as bad as I anticipate it to be. And once I started to realize that the perceived outcome I had in my head of would happen never happens, it made it so much more exciting for me to keep doing it over and over again and keep pushing and realize areas that I had been holding myself back and push through them too.

Chris:
Okay. I think the general idea here, and I think this is going to resonate with a lot of people listening, which is this idea of not fitting in. For whatever reason, like we're not tall enough, we're not short enough. We're not filling in the blank. Our eyes are not big enough or small enough, whatever it is. So this idea of fitting in, you said you've struggled with this. At what point in your life and career, like how old were you, was there an inciting incident that changed it for you? A spark or something or was it just a gradual process?

Meg:
It wasn't until I was about 24 or 25 when I finally was able to let some of this stuff go. Now that I'm in my 30s I'm able to look back and assess what happened to me back then. Everything about it was that I had a space, a group of friends and environment that allowed me to feel safe enough to explore who I was without judgment. And because as we're in school growing up with families, with friend groups, we're always being judged and anytime you're different than anybody else, people comment on it. It truly wasn't until I moved to New York City. New York is a place where everybody's just doing interesting things, you have to in order to survive.

Meg:
But New Yorkers just ignore each other. They're very good at it. So I was able to live in a place where I could wear a fun pair of pants that I would've been scared to wear before and I would go out in public wearing these pants so nervous about it, but everyone would ignore me. And it's exactly what I needed to explore who I could be and who I actually was this whole time. And having everybody just not say anything, just going about their day as if I wasn't doing anything at all. And having that safe space where I could explore that, judgment free, was exactly what I needed to feel confident first within myself. And now that I know exactly who I am and what I want to be, I'm just trying to push that as far forward as much as possible so that I can inspire other people to do the same.

Chris:
I love that, and I love that you made it so concrete because these ideas can be rather abstract and hard to apply. It sounds to me like you kind of explored the boundaries of what you thought was possible and you started with the cool pair of pants. You thought they were cool but they're a little different. And then you walked out into the world thinking, Oh my God, I'm going to get torn apart. Luckily in New York nobody pays attention to you anyways. So this is okay. So you find that it's safe to do that. I then assume then you start to do more and more things and start to expand and expand and realize the boundaries are kind of self-imposed maybe.

Meg:
Absolutely. And too, I think those boundaries that you're giving yourself of what ifs; what if I do this and I get this terrible outcome? Normally they don't happen, but sometimes they do. I've had everything happen to me at this point. Like just talking about being on stage, because I do so much speaking, I've had everything go wrong.

Chris:
Oh, tell me some of those stories.

Meg:
Yeah. I've been booed twice.

Chris:
No! At a design conference?

Meg:
Yeah.

Chris:
What did you say?

Meg:
Well. The optimist in me would like to think that I get booed because I provide an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves. But I think that I have a very friendly style of delivery where I kind of make it feel like people are open for conversation. So if I say something that's pretty lighthearted that people disagree with, I get boos every so often. The first time I got booed was quite harmless. I was in Canada and I did a currency conversion incorrectly. I said a USD currency and then I had to switch to Canadian dollars and then they all booed me. It was a roomful of booing, few thousand people. It's fine. But I think that it was a joke boo. We'll never know. That's what I tell myself so I can sleep at night. And then another time I was talking about how it's not okay to judge people based on harmless things that they like that you don't like. The example I gave was how I love pineapple on my pizza. Of course I got booed.

Chris:
I don't know what's wrong with them. I like pineapple on my pizza too.

Meg:
There's probably somebody listening to this booing right now.

Chris:
That's fine. I guess in both cases, first one was maybe not deliberate, but it was just fun to do. And the fact that you got a Canadian audience to say something and react is pretty cool. I think that's rad. The second one is like, I think you did that just to prove to them, you said something that was kind of controversial, like maybe you eat a steak with ketchup and somebody's like, "Ooh, that's weird." And that's fine and you proved it and I love that. What else have you done on stage where it's like it didn't go really so innocently and kind of as planned?

Meg:
Whenever, especially when I first started speaking, I was so excited. The kid in me really wanted to break the format of what most speakers do because we all know the format. You put your laptop on the podium, you pace around. Maybe, if you're lucky, you can pace around. You show some slides, you talk and that's it. Everybody clap. You answer some questions. I just wanted to push the boundaries of that so bad. When I first started speaking, I was like, I'm going to learn how to do magic tricks. I'm going to throw streamers at the audience. I'm going to see what I can do with fire. At one talk I gave, I gave somebody in the front row a little chime, and every time I said the word but they had to ring the chime.

Meg:
What I've learned throughout all of this is that there's a level of expectations that audiences have. When they go to a design conference, they have in their mind a picture of what they can expect. And you can't be too far off of what they expect or else they'll get upset. So, at the beginning I would roll into design conferences and do these but chimes and I throw breadsticks at the audience and I would just be doing all this bizarre stuff all while trying to make sure I gave people helpful takeaways. But if I go too far beyond what people are expecting out of me, then they're upset.

Meg:
So, whenever I plan an event myself and I can control the expectations and it's totally fine and everybody's super onboard with it. But if I roll into a design conference where there are expectations laid out ahead of time as to what the attendees assume they'll get out of the experience, and then Meg Lewis comes in and does all this weird crap, then people get a little upset. I've gotten rated poorly in the past because of those expectations things. But if I can make sure that I can control the audience and if it's an elective audience for example that chooses me over somebody else, it goes amazingly.

Chris:
Okay, well, you're my kind of speaker because I think it's even more templatized than what you're saying. Most design conferences are made of introverts who are very creative but don't aspire to be professional speakers. So don't put a lot of craft behind that. And the way they get around this is they do a portfolio show and tell which if you've seen one, you've seen them all because they're very similar. Here's my life story. Here's why I think I'm so interesting. Here's this piece of work and here's this small lesson I've learned from that piece of work, maybe. And here's some more work by the way, and here's how great I am. And then I'm going to go off the stage awkwardly.

Chris:
So the formula is there and I love people, maybe because I'm sick and twisted too, who come onto the stage, who really want to embrace the fact that this is performance. Now I remember, her name is T and she's a Google creative director, I believe. She came on stage and she asked this question of, what's the difference between me on this stage and you watching us on YouTube. There's no glass screen here, but if we don't do something to interact with each other, then really what's the difference? And it really was like that spoke to me. Okay.

Meg:
That is an amazing point.

Chris:
Right? So there's that. And then I was at that same conference, and maybe this is where you need to speak next is, it was in Brisbane, the design conference, and they invite some crazy weirdos. And I have to say this was the most entertained and informed I've been simultaneously. So that guy's name is James Brown. He does a lot of interior design, right? And he comes on to stage with a white suit, like who wears a white suit. And the white suit has his face printed all over it as a pattern. Okay. So you already know you're in for something.

Chris:
He gets on and he has everybody singing a song with him. It didn't go quite the right way, but then he starts throwing fake money at everybody with one of those money guns, I think, or he's just throwing wads of fake money at the audience. You know you're in for a trip and he is a trip and that's part of the whole brand and the experience. So you definitely need to do that because I would encourage you. Screw the poor ratings, except for the fact that you take what they give you and then you modify it so that you can be wild and outrageous and yet they still feel good.

Meg:
Exactly. Yes. I've had to find that balance and I think it's important to find the balance of making sure that everybody can get something out of it. But also I do, I just want to entertain people and I just want to get ahold of people and make them happier for just a little bit of time while I have them.

Chris:
Yeah. I like that. Okay. Now as promised, I want to talk to you about full-time you, your book and video series. So let's talk a little bit about that. It sounds to me like your whole story is about this book because really it's about finding all these parts and pieces and being comfortable in your discomfort, I think. So tell us what this book is and the idea and what it is that you're trying to do with it.

Meg:
All right. It started as a comedy video series that I wanted to put online and kind of give people a little prompts. But essentially now it is a full actual physical workbook or online workbook that comes with a video series. Inside of the workbook is exercises and writing and interviews. But what you're doing is working on yourself. You're working to identify the things about your personality, your skillset, your interests, everything about you that makes you different for most people so that you can start learning to reframe those things and rather than hiding them, push them forward as much as possible. Because when we do that, we can create offerings, we can create services, we can restructure our existing roles to be a true reflection of us. And truly we can do something and offer the world something that nobody else can do because it's a true reflection of everything that makes us different from everyone.

Chris:
Can you give us an example of reframing something that you think is weird into something that might be a competitive advantage?

Meg:
Yeah. I think I like to use myself as an example as much as possible. And I think that I have to live this 100% every day because it's what I'm teaching other people to do. So it's been a nice challenge for me. But I think taking the parts about your personality. Like for me, for example, one of the things about my personality that makes me different from most people is that I love change so much. I love unexpected changes of plans. I like having to move. I love moving. I've never used the same shampoo twice. I just love it so much. I want to try everything the world has to offer me.

Meg:
I've been trying to hide that thing about myself my whole life. Everybody's always like, Meg, you got to commit. You have to stay somewhere, you have to do one thing for a long time. That's what you're supposed to do. You bought a house, you're supposed to stay there. I've had to learn to embrace that and say, "No, no." I love change so I make sure that my career is a bunch of tiny things that are smooshed together so that I can constantly hop between things, from one thing to another, and I'm always going to keep creating more businesses, more offerings, doing more things because that's my personality and I love change.

Meg:
So working that into my career, for example, has been so helpful. But going through each of those points of my personality and saying like, "Okay, I'm really good and I love making uncomfortable topics really comfortable and weird and fun. So how can I move that into my career?" And so, just picking apart your skillset, your personality, everything about you and trying to be creative about creating new offerings, new skillsets, new jobs, parts of your existing role that can allow you to use those things.

Chris:
Okay. So it sounds to me like... I can also tell your brain must work really fast because you're talking really fast, but it's still very coherently. It's like, woo! My brain is just racing to keep up with you. So it sounds like you're a person who gets into lots of different things. I see that. It's even manifesting in every part of you. But how do you respond to this idea of essentialism where we should do more with less. We would be more satisfied, accomplished, successful if we just focused on a few of the things, the Pareto principle, the 80/20. Just focus on that 20% that's doing the most good for you. How do you respond to something like that?

Meg:
I think that makes a lot of sense. It doesn't work for my brain, but I think that a lot of people's brains work that way and I think that... I love the fact that that advice exists because I think that listening to me and what I have to say and then listening to that piece of advice, and as somebody listening to this podcast for example, taking both of those points in and assessing what works best for you is so important. That's what I love about opinions and advice. We all have different opinions, different advice to give and everything resonates differently for everybody.

Meg:
For me, I think that having a through line of a greater purpose that I'm working toward helps me so much and it kind of feels in the same vein of what you were just saying, where I have something that's making my work very meaningful. For example, my life's purpose is to make the world a happier place and to lift other people up and help them shine. And so, everything that I do and make, every service I have to offer, all the clients that I work with, they're all working towards helping me fulfill that purpose of mine. So it helps to give me that through line, that thing that's greater than myself that I'm working toward. And it helps my work feel very meaningful and not chaotic because it's all happening for a very intentional purpose.

Chris:
Okay. So once you understand this about Meg, you're going to understand why she has her own practice and then she has this collective that she's a part of and then she has a shared workspace and doing podcasting and writing books and courses and speaking. Whoo, it's a lot to keep up with. I want to shift gears a little bit here and talk about Fool Proof. Tell us what Fool Proof is and how that works.

Meg:
Fool Proof is a shared workspace. I'm not going to call this a co-working space because we don't have anybody that works for Fool Proof full-time. We don't have a desk person. We don't have LaCroix and coffee flowing from all the corners of the space. But what we are is we are a group of friends who work in a space together. We're mostly self employed people that work alone typically, or we're working from home, and we just get together and we have a space to work from together. We love it that way. We're small-ish. We have about 15 desks and we're just a place to not be alone anymore, to get together physically, which feels so nice as somebody who's a freelancer to have that. It's just great to have people to get lunch with, to grab drinks with after work and all that.

Chris:
Whose name is on the lease.

Meg:
Great question. I started the space with a business partner. And so, we are the partners of that business and we are on the lease. The business structure that we created for Fool Proof is on the lease and then everybody pays us.

Chris:
Okay. I would imagine that this has to be a pretty tight knit group. Everybody's got to get along because it's not that many people. And so, how do you go through the process of vetting who you bring in and how long do they participate in this shared working spaces month to month. Do they sign a six month term with you or what?

Meg:
All good questions. And I'm really familiar with sort of ambiguous businesses because we have one with Ghostly Ferns, my collaborative collective. And what I've found with businesses that aren't easy to define is that everybody's very confused about what it is at the beginning. But once they get into the space, they either it resonates with them and it works with them and they're like there for life or they're like, I don't know, this is not what I was expecting. Or this is a little too strange for me, too ambiguous. I was expecting LaCroix. Then they usually see themselves out or find a different space and I love that. I try to be as transparent as possible about what it is versus what it isn't. So that way I just want people to find a space that's right for them and best for their brain.

Meg:
So I don't try to do any fluffing. I don't lie about what we are, I don't over-hype it for any reason. I give the facts and I really am excited to get people in the space that are all about those values of just having friends around that they can help with problems throughout the day. People to have lunch with, people to go out with after work and all of that. And so, we really try to make that message known from the beginning and especially when we give people tours and show them around. And that way they're usually like, "Okay, okay, yes. This sounds exactly like what I need." Or they're like, "No, no. I was just looking for a glass-walled room to be in a coworking space that just gives me a place to work and then I can go home at the end of the day."

Meg:
I encourage that. I tell them to check out all of the other coworking spaces in the area to get a vibe check to see which one they feel like they'd be most fulfilled and productive at. Because at the end of the day that's what we want. We want people in our space that want to be there, that like ours over the others. And I want people to be at the other spaces that like those too.

Chris:
So, in terms of how it works is that I agree. We're good. We like each other and I rent space from you month to month and I get a desk space. Is that how that works?

Meg:
Exactly. That's exactly how it works. It's super chill, super laid back. We just have everybody sign a month to month lease. They come and they go as they want to, no rules. They can have mail there. They can basically make it their own. They can host events there. It doesn't matter. We'll let them do whatever they want. It's their space as much as it is ours really.

Chris:
Okay. This comes more out of professional curiosity because I have a pretty big sized office relative to the number of humans that are in it. I'm a little reluctant to open it up because I think about managing people. People base, people don't base. People are loud, some people are very quiet. Some people overstay, like they stay there all hours of the day and night and then they invite their noisy friends to come by. How do you manage this? Can you give me some tips on this in case I'm thinking about doing the same thing?

Meg:
What I've found works really well for me is to, specially at the beginning, sitting down with each member. We usually do once a month especially at the beginning and then we usually move to once a quarter if they've been there for longer than six months, is sit down with them, ask them what's working about the space, what they love. We ask very specific questions like how was the music volume? Do you feel comfortable taking calls in the main space or do you feel like you need more privacy? We ask them very specific questions about how they're feeling in the space because everybody is different, especially when it comes to noise volume. We have an open space as well. We have some private areas, but the whole space where it was an open floor plan.

Meg:
Everybody has differing opinions so we like to make sure that people are arranged in a way where there'll be further away from the loud people and vice versa, and just listening to how people are feeling. Because the majority of the people in our space like a vibrant area. They put their headphones on if they want to be ignored or don't want to hear anybody. They take them off if they're wanting to interact with one another. That's the majority of our space and we like to make sure that everybody touring it understands that so that way they're not surprised.

Meg:
And if we have one person in the space that's like, "It's too loud for me." Then we usually are like, "That's okay. That's just how it is here. Please go tour some other spots and see if you can find a quieter space where you'd be more comfortable."

Chris:
I see. Okay. So you guys like a certain amount of activity and openness and that's the vibe.

Meg:
Yeah, we're really in the space for camaraderie and friendship mostly. And just to have people to bounce ideas back and forth with and people to just chat with throughout the day. So, having that is just really nice for us. We're all working pretty hard, so most of the time everybody is heads down with headphones on. But around lunchtime or throughout the day, if somebody needs feedback or something, we just pop the headphones off and we chat.

Chris:
Have you had issues when somebody is even louder than your comfort level?

Meg:
Yes, we have. I actually, this is a testament to my business partner because I have some shortcomings when it comes to confrontation and conflict. If somebody is really loud and I need to tell them to be quiet, that messes with me. I will put it off for months until I finally can't take it anymore. And then I'll finally say something. But my business partner is really great at just getting it over with. He's like, "Oh, there's a problem. I'll just go talk to them about it. It's so refreshing." So it's really nice for me to, whenever I do take on business partners, to make sure that I bring in somebody who's really good at those things that I'm not so good at.

Chris:
So you don't like confrontation, you don't want to make people feel bad about them being themselves, right?

Meg:
Oh, correct. You got it.

Chris:
So that probably has a lot to do with your value system because you've probably felt for a long time you couldn't be yourself. And so, like who are you now to tell other people you can't do that.

Meg:
Exactly. It's so important to me that I make people feel comfortable and happy whenever they're around me. This is something I work with my therapist all the time. People like to say and always have told me my whole life that I'm not in charge of other people's happiness. And I know that's true. I do. But it's something about my personality that I really love the fact that I want to make people feel a certain way and I'm really good at it and I enjoy it. So I try to do it as much as I can and that's a through line in everything that I offer the world. But sometimes things have to be said. Sometimes I have to push through it and make it happen and confront.

Chris:
Right. It's time for a quick break, but we will be right back.

Greg:
Hey, Greg Gunn from The Futur here. That's right. It's me again. Now The Futur's mission is to teach 1 billion creatives how to make money do what they love without feeling gross about it. Now, maybe you're in school, but you feel like you're not getting what you need. Or maybe you're like me and sold all of your internal organs to pay for private art school tuition. But it's been awhile and you want to sharpen up some of those skills. Well, fortunately for you, we have a bunch of courses and products designed specifically to help you become a smarter and more versatile creative. Design courses like topography, logo design, and color for creatives go deep into the design fundamentals that you need to know and command in order to be successful. Check out all of our courses and products about learning design by visiting thefutur.com/design. Welcome back to our conversation with Meg Lewis.

Chris:
Oh, shining in the dark, are you the middle child?

Meg:
I am not. I'm the youngest. I almost thought I was there for a second because you seemed so confident. I was like, maybe I am.

Chris:
There's one more you don't know about. No. Okay. So you're the youngest of how many children?

Meg:
Three.

Chris:
Three. Okay. I'm the middle child. When I went to my therapist, she's like, "You're a caretaker. That's why it's hard for you to tell people things that they don't want to hear." And I had to come to grips with that because typically that's how middle children stand out is to be more attentive to other people.

Meg:
Oh, fascinating.

Chris:
And I know that. I'm like, "No, that can't be me because everybody in my circle serves me. I'm the boss at the office. I'm the boss at home." But then what happened that I realized is that at the office, if there was a senior member that was behaving in a way that was inconsistent with what I wanted them to do, I often just repress it, repress it until it came to a point in which I couldn't handle any more and I had to like, I would burst out. I've learned over the years to be able to vocalize that because otherwise it builds resentment and passive aggressive behavior.

Meg:
Very true.

Chris:
I also learned to recognize the people who are passive aggressive themselves, who when I say please don't do this, and then they find ways so that they force me to confront them. Once I recognize who they are, I just ask them to leave the company because it's like, that's a weird way to work. It's like you're being insubordinate in a way. You should just be man or woman enough to say, "This doesn't work for me and if you want to fire me, fire me." But not to be sneaking around. Through therapy you could find out something like that.

Meg:
Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah. Okay. I'm also very curious that you have this super cool podcasting room and I see, in the pictures at least, a bunch of people in there. If I'm part of the shared workspace, do I have access to that? Do I have to pay extra for that or can I as a stranger walk in the door and say, "Look, I just want to use the podcast room for the day." How does that work?

Meg:
Yeah. We have a podcast studio for rent. Basically all the members of the space can just walk in and out of there as they want and do whatever they want with it. We also try to be as good as possible about opening it to the public. So we have somebody on our team who edits and produces podcasts as well. She just works out of the space. So, we thought we'd throw a little bit extra business if we could. So anybody who wants to come in and rent the space for a day or a couple hours is totally welcome to, and then we can offer editing services as well.

Chris:
I see, I see. Okay. So, it's kind of like a hybrid model where it's not exclusive, you're opening it up but there's ways to work and then you've made it work for your other members there. That's cool.

Meg:
Yeah, we love it. That's the business where it's more so a labor of love. We don't really... coworking spaces, shared workspaces in general, there's not a lot of money to be made there for us. We're not in this business of having the space to make a ton of money. We really just wanted our goal, our best case scenario was to make enough money to where he and I could have a place to work for free and be surrounded by great people. And so, as long as we can get that, we are happy.

Chris:
And are you there?

Meg:
No.

Chris:
Are you close.

Meg:
No. Well, we chose a location that has extremely high rent because it's so great. So, we'd have to have just so many people in there and he and I just don't care enough about pushing it as a business. We do so many things on our own that's outside of this business. Like all of my businesses, if I wanted to focus on it 100%, I'm sure I could get it really far and making a lot of money, but that's not how my personality is. That's not what I want to be doing. I love to focus on everything a little bit and have them sort of incrementally march forward together.

Chris:
Okay. All right. You may or may not be making the case for essentialism here accidentally. But cool, we'll see. I'm a little bit of the opposite of you. You fascinate me. You really do. I sometimes can appear to be rather scattered, but my whole thing is like, I have plenty of hobbies in my life. I don't need a professional hobby, meaning I work and I toil away at it, but I'm just not really moving the needle and I spend more at it than what I'm getting back from it financially. So I choose to focus at business like, can I do well at this? And I explore it for a while and if I can't, I move on.

Meg:
Yeah, and I think that's why I love this conversation so much with you who is so different from me because I'm the opposite. I've made money off of all my hobbies, my hobbies are my job. I am my job. Everything is one thing. I think that it's important for people that are listening to know that both work. It's assessing, listening to both of us and thinking; what works for me, what feels right for me is so important because I think it's so easy to listen... if you listen to me talk for too long to be like, "Oh, I should live my life like that." But that's not true. You got to take it with a grain of salt, listen to it and ultimately go with your gut and take the advice that feels best for you.

Chris:
Yeah. I do want to say something for the record in case somebody's listening to this episode who this may be their first episode tuning in, which will be wonderful. Welcome. I do want to say this thing because they're like, "Wait a minute, don't you do a lot of things Chris and aren't you living your life in your purpose and your work and fun and life and the family it's all the same?" It is 100% true. It is. We're different maybe in how we look at it, but maybe from the outside it looks exactly the same. But here's the thing, like right now I'm in that phase of my life where, I'm in the third act of a three act career where this is the last thing I'm going to be doing and I'm on a mission to teach a lot of people.

Chris:
You want to make people happy, I want to make people happy by making money for them or with them, right? And this is what my business is focused on. But there are a lot of initiatives and things that we could launch that will take us nowhere. I had to be very careful not to spread my already very small team of 12 people in a hundred different directions because they'll do all those things poorly versus do a few things really well. So yes, it could look the same from the outside, but maybe how we're making decisions internally might be guiding us a little differently. And look, I'm not going to lie, I'm also distracted. I like doing things on Instagram, on YouTube and things that don't necessarily contribute money to us, but I enjoy that and I get to do that.

Meg:
Exactly. Yeah, it sounds like that's great business. I will be the first to admit that I am not a great business person. I'm bad at business. I don't enjoy it. I'm trying so hard to be better at it this year and things are working. If I just try a little bit, it goes a long way for me. But yeah, my life is so centered around having fun. That business has just never been an important thing for me. So I can learn a lot from everything that you have to offer the world for sure.

Chris:
I have a question for you. I hate to be that guy, but I have this question. What happens to you looking forward 20, 30 years from now? Do you see that, like where you've been able to... I don't know what your life goals are, but eventually, and sometimes tragically things happen out of our control. Like right now where people are getting laid off. People have clients that have canceled their jobs or put them on hold. They didn't have much of a runway to begin with. And now this is wrecking all kinds of havoc on their lives and they're stressed out of their minds. So, how do you mitigate some of that just because you love to have fun and you're doing what you're doing?

Meg:
Absolutely. Well, luckily for me, I'm very fortunate because my entire career and the way that my brain thinks, loving change so much, has prepared me for this moment because I love unexpected changes of plans so much. I love to have to shift my thinking and make things work in a pinch. As a career freelancer, I've always worked for myself. I've never had a job, so I'm always having to be very creative in many emergencies of trying to figure out how I can make money now.

Meg:
This situation that we're currently in where everybody is at home and I'm not able to get out, I'm not able to do any of the in-person events that I had planned, there are so many things that are going wrong and all my client work is changing, everything's different now. But my brain is so used to going into action mode and thinking, okay, what can I offer the world now? What can I do now to make money? And so, I'm just rolling with that and I'm rolling with that mindset. A lot of that for me is just taking things that I was working on in person. I love creating experiences for people in person and now I can do that online. No problem. I can figure it out. I hadn't been planning on it, but that's okay.

Meg:
For me too, I think another wonderful thing about my personality that is setting me up for success right now is that I'm not goal oriented. I don't like to have plans. I don't like thinking about the future. I love to just like, if I had a specific goal set for myself that I wanted to reach by the end of the year or even five years from now, I would work really hard and I'd make that goal. It would happen. I'm very self motivated. I know I would get there. It might be hard at times, but I'd get there eventually and I know exactly what to expect.

Meg:
What I've found is so magical about my career and my life so far is that if I just leave all of the doors and windows open for myself at all times, I end up somewhere so far beyond the original goal I would've set for myself, but off in a completely different direction than I could have ever even imagined for myself and those wonderful surprises are so exciting for me. And that's usually why I love the unknown because I can't picture it because it doesn't exist yet. The thing that I want to do, the thing that I might want to do that that want doesn't even exist.

Meg:
So, it's very exciting for me. At this point in my life though, I've gained enough knowledge about what I have to offer the world and what I enjoy doing and what I don't enjoy doing. Like that far, it's becoming a little less foggy of what my future looks like because I know I love creating experiences for people that are rooted in comedy and design. But there's so many things that I can do that utilize that message and that mission. So, not knowing exactly what that looks like is super exciting for me, but it also allows me to ebb and flow with the changes of the world and of my life as they hit me.

Chris:
You are a ball of energy and a breath of fresh air and people that are long time fans of this podcast and my channel and the things that we talk about are, whoo, this is so 180 from what you talk about Chris! Like don't set goals, I don't know what the future looks like, who cares about money? Fans, just have fun. And I like that. I like that because somewhere maybe between where Meg is and where I'm at and maybe where others are, you're going to find your spot in the world and there's no one or two ways of doing it. There's just the way that works for you. So, I'm glad that you're bringing all these new ideas for our audience to think about. Okay.

Chris:
Now you said that you're used to kind of thinking on your feet coming from your early days in comedy and improv, I still want to ask you a question about that. So that seems like, well, nothing's going to phase you. And so, in a way you are planning for the future and that you're keeping yourself very flexible, agile. There's a kind of neuroplasticity to way that you work and so you just adapt, like change is constant for you. And so, you have been doing this prep work.

Chris:
We're in this really weird, unprecedented time right now where we're having a global kind of meltdown in all kinds of ways. Our healthcare system is being stressed, our financial system is going to be stressed, our politics are kind of just... it's going to be even worse before it gets better. So when you say you'll figure it out, what ideas have you already thought up of, maybe not executed yet but at least are ideas on how you can continue to do things like these in-person events and workshops and just being around people. Your whole idea of a shared workspace is kind of up in smoke right now.

Meg:
Yeah. It sure is.

Chris:
Okay. So I'm curious like, can you just rattle off a few of your ideas and maybe that'll spark ideas in other people?

Meg:
Ooh, yes. What I'm always really interested in, figuring out what I can offer the world that other people can't. And luckily for me this past year I've been really doubling down on podcast stuff. That isn't affected by the current climate at all. My comedy meditation podcast is very timely right now. I'm really happy that I can help people at the moment. But in addition to that, just trying to figure out what I think is most special about the in-person experiences that I provide and how I can actually work by myself to make them all on my own on the internet and online has been very exciting for me because really if I can figure out how to do that, it's a lot less overhead for me because I don't have to pay for all of the travel expenses and all of the coordination time of event planning.

Meg:
And so, now I can just focus on setting a camera down in front of myself and going to town. But at the core of it, of just assessing what is the information that I have that other people would want to extract from my brain. And a lot of that it's all the things that I don't realize that I know that other people don't know. The things that comes second nature to me that I'll say to somebody else and they're like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. I'd never thought of it that way before."

Meg:
Whenever I get that reaction from people, I always jot down really fast what I had said because it didn't seem that special to me. And so, I think those are the areas that I'm really excited about. Jotting down and learning right now and gathering that information because those are the things that I have to offer the world that people might pay me for. So, figuring out. And once I've made a list of a lot of those ideas of what is the most exciting and fun for me to work on right then and think about what could I offer and what could I create with those things in that list that I created that will be most applicable to the largest number of people, that people would really resonate with. And just pick one and go from there.

Meg:
I love just becoming obsessed with things. So as soon as I have an idea for a new business, I just drop everything else and just do that for two weeks until it's just done. And then it's up. Very exciting for me. So, I'm at that point right now where I wrote all those lists and I made a bunch of ideas about what I could offer the world. I think the biggest thing that people have been reacting to with me about lately is the fact that I have a style guide that I adhere to whenever I dress myself or design my apartment or home. It's the same as the style guide I adhere to whenever I'm designing things for myself or clients. That seems to be very unusual. So I'm trying to figure out how I can take that information and provide it for some kind of class or online workshop or help people for free even and provide resources for other people online.

Chris:
So you're talking kind of like managing your own personal brand via style guide.

Meg:
Exactly.

Chris:
I Like it. Very cool. Okay. Let's see here. Now I want to get back to work a little bit where you're talking about injecting humor into everything that you do. So to me, what I imagine that looks like is there's a playfulness to the design, the visual language. There's a wit and maybe it is copywriting or kind of visual ideas that kind of push edges a little bit. Is that what you do?

Meg:
I do. There's a lot of comedy through the visual style that I work in. Like I mentioned with the style guide that I have, I make sure that visually I look like a person that's kind of funny. The way that I dress, the glasses that I wear, everything about me, I try to be as emotive as a can and I want that to showcase. I want people to see that even when they're passing me on the street from six feet away or seeing me on a video. And I try to make sure that that comes across in my client work and in my own design of my own businesses. And making sure that I communicate that properly is so important to me because I don't want somebody who runs a bank that wants a very dry, authoritative design style to come and hire me because that's not how my brain works and we'd both be disappointed if that happened.

Meg:
So, I've learned over time to just articulate and communicate well what I have to offer the world and how I bring comedy into my work. And that's usually through extremely friendly, extremely emotive and personable brands. And so, as long as I communicate that, everybody knows we're on the same page and people now hire me based on my personality, which is so fun because people hire me and the people that I work with are just excited to be around me and that's why they've chosen me. That creates such a fulfilling job.

Chris:
That sounds great. I mean, wouldn't we all love to be hired because of us first and our work second. That's pretty cool.

Meg:
I think it's pretty cool.

Chris:
That's a testament to the power of your personal brand. Now, since you mentioned it and since people can't see you, what are the hallmarks or the key signature things that make your look you?

Meg:
The reason why I have the style guide, it happened because I felt like I needed to because I was just confused about how I was supposed to look and dress all the time. I would see people wearing some things and think, "Wow, I wish I could wear that or I wish I could do that and make that decision. I wish I could design that way." It made me feel jealous of other people a lot of the time for many reasons. And so, I finally had to figure out how I could create a style for myself that was reflective of me, that wasn't just catering to trends or just buying disposable clothing objects all the time based on what was popular.

Meg:
And so, it took a lot of researching and list-making about what makes my personality unique. What are the things that I've been inspired by my whole life from when I was a kid to now that make me so unique. And what are the skills that I have to offer the world? Taking all of those things and bringing visuals to those helped me to kind of create some clarity around what my style could look like. So for me, a lot of my lifelong points of inspiration come from mimes and clowns and circus arts.

Chris:
I see where this is going, yes.

Meg:
When I was a kid, I loved silent comedies. I loved mimes, I loved people that were silent but extremely emotive. And I love, I love so much. I love performance art in many ways, whether it's comedians or clowns. And so, taking all those things and putting visuals to those really helped me to understand that a very specific color palette emerged. It was a lot of very high contrast, black and white with very bright blocks of color. I was seeing a lot of stripes in a lot of the mimes and the circus stuff that I was seeing. It's very interesting because if I just took the circus in the clown motif, there'd be a very specific color palette. But I wouldn't get a lot of those black colors that I am seeing in the mimes.

Meg:
So whenever I took that entire visualization of everything that I have been inspired by my whole life, I really saw a lot of common themes emerge and a lot of common emotions. Now I make sure that I adhere to the style guide whenever I'm designing. And that style guide says, here's your color palette. Here is the fact that you need to use black and white as much as possible along with these bright colors. You need to show a lot of emotion in everything that you do. And that helps me to create something that is so unique to me. It helps me to dress in a way that's unique to me. It helps me to have a home that looks really unique.

Meg:
But it's much more fulfilling now because it comes from something that is so true to who I am. And so, that way if other people are inspired by my work or my space, yeah, they can try to recreate it of course. And that's fine with me if they're inspired by it. But at the end of the day, it's such a reflection of something more meaningful to me that it will never look the same as what I can do because they don't know all of the thought that's behind it.

Chris:
Wow, okay. It's a lot to process here in what Meg shared with us. She finds oddly enough, kind of paradoxically, freedom in restriction. When she talks about all her business ventures, she's all over the place. I see like there's that balance now. So you're grounded by like, "This is how I'm going to look, this is how my space is going to look and these are the rules I apply to my own design in every way." So you're like a living embodiment of your design philosophy so when somebody hires you, they get the whole package. I love that. See, for me, I'm like trying to be super focused about my business, but when it comes to my life and my interior, it's all over the place. Who cares? We're all kind of finding that push and pull.

Chris:
Now, just to describe you to everybody. You have a very unique look. You have very geometric round, thick black glasses and you have a black and white stripes shirt, like horizontal. One could describe it like hipsters black and white. Very clear and bold and everything else is black. There's a little bit of red, red fingernails and a red microphone here. So I see that. That's your pop of color and I love that. I love that you're so intentional about it.

Meg:
Yeah. Even the mind thing and the emotive thing, that's why I have blonde hair and black glasses. It's why I love my dark eyebrows and my light hair because I'm trying to create that high contrast. I'm trying to be very emotive and show people that that's what inspires me and always has. It's just so refreshing to finally know what I'm doing with myself is intentional and knowing what makes me feel confident and why. Because before I was just like, I had an apartment that looked like a West Elm catalog because I liked it because that's what I was seeing everywhere. But I kept thinking like, "This doesn't feel like me. I really like color but I don't know how to bring it in. It doesn't really... I'm not seeing any inspiration anywhere of anybody else doing this."

Meg:
Once I was finally able to figure out what made me actually me and what I love being around and what's important for me to look at and what environment is important for me to be in to be inspired, it was exciting for me to figure out what that style guide could be so that I could transform everything about my life and my work into a reflection of that.

Chris:
Okay. I have one friend in particular who listens to the podcast and her name is Heather. So Heather, if you're looking for a guest to bring crazy energy, to be a little bit performance and unconventional, I would highly recommend that you reach out to Meg because when this is all over, we're going to need to have those in-person experiences again. I'd love just to see you in person and to encourage you to do the crazy wild things just to make it a little safer for all of us to try something if nothing else, right?

Meg:
Yeah, that's right. Yes. Absolutely.

Chris:
Yeah. Kind of pushing the boundaries a little bit there. Okay. We're kind of all over the place here, but I can't let you go without asking you this question about improv. I'm constantly thinking about how to create a more dynamic experience onstage that is engaging and conversational. It's a bi-directional conversation versus just somebody speaking at you. I'm looking for ideas and since you're the only person I know that's a designer that has the same motivations and ideas, is there anything from improv that you think could be a good prompt which could help people come up on stage and try something like this out?

Meg:
Well, what I've definitely learned is that it's extremely helpful if you are very vulnerable and transparent and funny about yourself first so that you can first offer that up so you create an environment of safety for people to feel safe to be themselves. Because if I try something super interactive at the very beginning, I'll get like, you'll get a surprising amount of people participate. But everybody's like, there was just an awkward energy in the air. So what I try to make sure that I do is I talk for a while and do some stuff for a little bit. And what I like to do with my talks is inject little funny things throughout the talk so that it's like a little break. So I'll be talking about very serious heavy topics, but I'll break it up with weird stuff.

Meg:
For example, I do a thing where... break throughout the talk where I have the audience read an affirmation that I give them, and they love it. They love reading these affirmations. They're surprised. So I'll just shout something out and make everybody shout it out too. Sometimes I'll say I am in control of my bowels and I'll make the audience go, "I am in control of my bowels." And they love it. They all participate, they all do it. It's very fun. I usually actually don't... I try my hardest to not select specific people and make them get up on stage and I do that because it makes me uncomfortable.

Meg:
If I'm in an audience, you would think that I, with my personality, would be like, "Let me up on that stage." But if there's an opportunity when someone's like, "Is there a volunteer or are you there madam, please get up here." That just freaks me out. It makes me so nervous. So I usually don't create those experiences for people. What I like to do is create a joint experience where everybody's participating or I give people something to do on their phone. So for example, I'll do something like, I'll give suggested tweets for people to tweet so that everybody on the internet can feel like they're missing out.

Meg:
I'll give them three or four optional tweets that they can tweet out that will say like, "Meg Lewis is juggling kittens on stage, can't believe it." Or, "Meg's handing out $5 to everyone in the audience, one by one. This is going to take forever." And so, I'll do stuff like that to where I know it's in most, the majority of the audiences' comfort zone to participate without making people feel uncomfortable. But again, that's just me trying to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable.

Chris:
Yeah, I like that. You just reminded me of something that James Brown did. He said, "Everybody, I know we're kind of feeling down and sometimes it's hard to be a greater person." He said something like that, I'm making that part up. He said, "Everybody stand up." And I can't remember exactly how he did this. But he's like, "Everybody reach your hands up. Does this not feel good to stretch out? And then do this. And everybody just hug yourself."

Meg:
Oh, I love that.

Chris:
Yeah. And he turned around like showing his hands, like he's really loving himself. And then everybody's laughing. It's like, yeah, this is weird. But it's fun to be able to do funny little things like that.

Meg:
It is.

Chris:
You've given me some ideas. I've got to think about how I can shout out things like, "Everybody, you have control over your bowels." I actually like pulling and pushing with the audience where I'll ask them questions like, who here makes more than this amount of money an hour? And then hands go down. I'm like, more than this? And then more hands go down and eventually there's like there's one person left and they're making all the money. And like that person's buying drinks on that person, yay! Everybody's like, what's your name again? Then they don't say anything, right?

Meg:
Yup.

Chris:
So stuff like that. Yeah. Okay. Is there anything that we need to talk about or maybe I should have asked you about on a more serious note that we didn't talk about?

Meg:
Well, I feel like my comedy meditation podcast is actually something we didn't cover. But I think that that podcast in particular is kind of an interesting culmination of everything that I have done up until now. But it has nothing to do with design and it's the first thing that I've ever done that truly hasn't, I don't need the design industry for. And that has been so scary to me to reach outside of my first layer, my natural audience layer; and to try to find another audience, it has been terrifying and weird.

Chris:
Okay. Those are not words you think that go together: comedy, meditation, podcast. Like, what? So give us a little taste of what's that like?

Meg:
The podcast is called Sit There & Do Nothing. It is a mindfulness, mostly guided meditation podcast where I'm just trying to soothe people in weird ways. I came up with the idea for this podcast because somebody asked me if I wanted to do a combination workshop with them where I would do Full Time You teaching and they would do some mindfulness and meditation work between my lessons, which sounded like a great idea. But I immediately was like, "Oh shoot, you're not going to make me do the meditations right. I would just laugh the whole time. I don't even know what I would say. It'd get really weird." And they were like, "No, no. Don't worry. I'll do it."

Meg:
And then a couple of weeks later I realized, "Wait, why are meditations always so serious? If the point is to make your brain feel better than before you started listening, why can't they be weird and funny? Why can't I do a guided meditation?" And that was the epiphany that I needed to realize, "Oh shoot, I can offer the world something right now that nobody else has done before and I have to do it right now or else somebody will do it and they won't do it as well." And so, I dropped everything and I just started working on that for a couple weeks and then launched a few episodes.

Meg:
What it is essentially is, guided meditation is like that classic. You're sitting on a beach, you feel the sand between your toes. It's like that. But you're doing things like going shoe shopping with Paul Rudd or you're going to get a routine colonic but someone mistakes you for a clown and then you want to end up on stage. Or you're going to Burlington Coat Factory, but you get stuck in a blazer. And so, things that have sort of happened in my real life. I recount for this podcast, but I say things in a very soothing tone and it's all about you. So I'm taking you. You are doing these things. So you're able to close your eyes and envision yourself doing these very strange, enacting these strange scenarios out and it truly does. It helps to take you to another place for just a few minutes. So that way when you're done listening, you feel lighter and brighter and a little bit more blobby than you did before.

Chris:
Give me some little sample because it's hard for me to imagine you in this kind of like, "Okay, now we're going to be centered on the beach or we're going to go shoe shopping with Paul Rudd." I want to hear a little bit of your voice. Can you take me into your Meg's meditation voice please?

Meg:
Yes. Okay. So, what I'd like to do today is close your eyes, raise your hand out in front of you and notice a full hot and fresh pizza. It's steaming in front of your eyes. Reach out, smash your hand directly into the cheese. Feel the hot cheese between each finger. Now pick up the cheese and bring it to your face. Smell the hot cheese and sauce. Okay. That's all you get.

Chris:
I don't know why I'm so hungry and I have a craving for a hot pizza right now. It's so weird. Okay. Do you record these from your podcast booth or do these from-

Meg:
I do.

Chris:
You do, okay.

Meg:
I do normally from the podcast booth where I have lots of privacy. But it's interesting because I do them now. I do them fully improvised and they go into some weird directions that I didn't see coming because I try not to think about the stories at all before I start talking. It gets weird. It gets weird but I-

Chris:
A stream of consciousness, whatever, hits you in the moment. So you have to be very much in the moment then.

Meg:
Exactly, yeah. Yeah, I do.

Chris:
Are you doing the ASMR?

Meg:
Oh, you know, I probably will. I will. What I'm trying to do right now is experiment with other kinds of soothing weird experiences. Like I'm doing affirmations. I'm also going to do some Yelp reviews in a meditative manner. And so I think that once I get through those things, I'm going to also practice with some ASMR stuff. Yeah.

Chris:
Okay. Wow. That was really fun. Thanks for doing that. And so, now if you're oddly curious or not, but you want to get a little bit more of this, where can they find your podcast and where do they find this body of work that you do?

Meg:
That podcast in particular is called Sit There & Do Nothing. It's available on Apple Podcasts or literally wherever else you listen to podcasts. All of my other work, everything else I do, a directory of sorts of all the things I do is available at darngood.co.

Chris:
Darngood.co. And are you active on social media?

Meg:
Unfortunately, yes. I'm very active on social media. My handle is @darngooood, with four Os this time. Darn good with four Os.

Chris:
Like really good for us.

Meg:
Yeah, like the best.

Chris:
So on Instagram. Where else are you active?

Meg:
I'm active on Instagram, Twitter and Dribble.

Chris:
There you go. Everybody, you got that? @darngooood with four Os on Instagram, Twitter and Dribble.

Meg:
Yes.

Chris:
Yes. Okay, fantastic. If you want to check out more of her work in the directory of all the crazy things that she's up to, you can go to darngood.co.

Meg:
That's right.

Chris:
Well, thanks very much for doing this podcast with me.

Meg:
Thank you. Hello, I am Meg Lewis and you are listening to The Futur.

Greg:
Thanks so much for joining us in this episode. If you're new to The Futur and want to know more about our educational mission, visit thefutur.com to find more podcast episodes, hundreds of YouTube videos and a growing collection of online courses and products covering design and business. Oh, and we spell The Futur with no E. The Futur Podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. This episode was mixed and edited by Anthony Baro with intro music by Adam Sanborne. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor and rate and review us on iTunes. It's a tremendous help in getting our message out there and you know, lets us know what you like. Thanks again for listening and we will see you next time.

More episodes like this