In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Becky Blades. Becky is an entrepreneur, writer, artist, and philosopher of creative, adventurous living. Since selling her first company, an award-winning public relations firm, Becky has studied what she has coined “stARTistry,” the art of creative initiative. She’s also the author of a book — Start More Than You Can Finish: A Creative Permission Slip to Unleash Your Best Ideas.
Becky Blades offers a powerful new mindset which is: acting on more ideas makes us happier – and reveals our highest creativity. For those of us entrepreneurs who may feel that our plate is already full, this idea to start more than you can finish might seem counterintuitive. However, Becky shares her process for mastering the art of the start which will help you unleash your best ideas and create more.
Questions I ask Becky Blades:
- [1:41] Y have one person out there that thinks this is a terrible title for a book because it is sort of counterintuitive, right – are you getting similar pushback from people?
- [3:02] Is there a danger in constantly treading water working on so many things at once?
- [5:43] What does the term “stARTistry” mean?
- [7:51] You’re a creative person, and you’ve raised a couple of really creative kids too – want to brag about them for a moment?
- [9:17] Creative people are likely more guilty of starting things that they don’t finish – what would you say about this for the person who doesn’t see themselves as creative?
- [13:19] What stops people from taking action or starting things?
- [15:24] A lot of entrepreneurs would say that they’re too busy to start new things – how do you decide is truly an obstacle?
- [18:20] What are some of your practices for getting outside that bubble?
- [20:19] Could you talk a little bit about how we should practice?
- [21:57] Where can people connect with you and get a copy of your book?
More About Becky Blades:
- Get a copy of her book — Start More Than You Can Finish: A Creative Permission Slip to Unleash Your Best Ideas.
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John Jantsch (00:00):
This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Marketing Against the Grain, hosted by Kip Bodner and Keion Flanigan is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Look, if you wanna know what’s happening now in marketing, what’s ahead and how you can stay ahead of the game, this is the podcast for you, host and HubSpot’s, CMO and SVP of Marketing. Kip and Keion share their marketing expertise unfiltered in the details of truth and nobody tells it. In fact, a recent episode, they titled Half Baked Marketing Ideas They Got Down In The Weeds, talked about some outside of the box campaigns with real businesses. Listen to marketing, its grain wherever you get your podcast.
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Becky Blades. She’s an entrepreneur, writer, artist and philosopher of creative, adventurous living. Since selling her first company and award-winning public relations firm, Becky has studied what she has coined Starry, the Art of Creative Initiative. She’s also the author of a book we’re gonna talk about today. Start More Than You Can Finish a Creative Permission slip to Unleash your Best Ideas. So Becky, welcome to the
Becky Blades (01:28):
Show. Thanks. Glad to be here.
John Jantsch (01:30):
I have to warn you that when my wife saw this book come through the door and saw the title, she said, You’re not allowed to read that book because nobody needs to give you permission to start more than you finish. So I have to tell you that, you know, have one person out there that thinks this is a terrible title to a book stuff
Becky Blades (01:54):
Exactly. But you know, are my people, John and my people get it. And it’s also tongue in cheek. In my first book was the title, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone. And sometimes I ask people why they bought it and they say just the title
John Jantsch (02:56):
Again, I don’t wanna push back on this too much, but I know that some pushback you will get from people. I mean, is there a little danger in then us just constantly treading water because we have that mindset of like, Oh, I’m gonna go over here and do this now. Oh, I’m gonna go over and do this now. And Lord knows there’s enough things distracting us as it is
Becky Blades (03:15):
That, That’s a valid question,
John Jantsch (04:00):
Yeah, It also led to me having to added a detached garage to store some things in. But the money line from the book, my favorite line from the book that I wrote down is Take, when we take action, we bump into answers. And I think that probably in some ways is at the heart really of what I think you’re trying to say is that sometimes you’ve just gotta start some things before you realize what’s the right thing,
Becky Blades (04:26):
John Jantsch (05:27):
Yeah. I love these folks that start out by saying you need to have your 10 year vision to me. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a goal of what you want life to look like maybe in 10 years, but boy, how would you have a very clear vision of even next quarter sometimes it feels like.
Becky Blades (05:43):
John Jantsch (05:45):
I read in your to the term Starer Street, you want to talk a little bit about what you mean by that? How address that, what that implies?
Becky Blades (05:55):
And to your earlier points, not finishing things did not make me feel good. And I wasn’t proud of, at that point in life, in my forties of all of the things that I hadn’t finished, I didn’t really know where they had taken me. But after some study of my own unfinished work, I realized that I am, if there’s one thing I am good at, it’s starting things and I start pretty fearlessly. And there’s all kinds of reasons for that. And I was starting to shame myself for such a that some of that. So I started then to go the other way and to really try to find the dignity and worth in that and found it in spades. And it’s just like the term artistry. It’s this vague kind of, it’s a skill and a strength and an art. And I think it deserves its own word be because starting is its own process.
John Jantsch (07:51):
So this is a little bit of a segue or off topic segue, I should say. Since you mentioned them, have you’ve, you certainly are a creative person. In fact, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the beautiful illustrations in the book. Should somebody get the book, which you did as well. But you’ve also raised a couple pretty creative kids, haven’t you?
Becky Blades (08:08):
Yes, I have two daughters. And
John Jantsch (08:10):
Go ahead and brag cause you’ve got some stuff to brag on.
Becky Blades (08:13):
Oh, well they’re both kind of in, honestly, they didn’t take after me. They took care after their hus. I’ll restart that. Honestly, they didn’t take after me. They took care after their dad, who is a speaker and performer. I mostly write and do art in my basement. So one of them produces comedy shows and improv, musical improv. Places like the Edinburg Fringe. And then the older one is a writer for the John Oliver show, her dream job. And she just got this year and she won an Emmy for comedy writing. And I talk about ’em both a little bit in the book because we had a lot of their statistic skills were inspiring to me. If they wanted to start a play, they’d start a play
John Jantsch (09:09):
Well, so part of my point in going there is that I think a lot of people would look at what you’re talking about as being a trait of a more creative person. Creative people are always coming up with ideas and new ways and probably are more guilty of starting things that they don’t finish. I don’t have any research that suggests that, but So how about that person that’s out there going, Yeah, okay, I can see the validity in this, but I’m just not that creative.
Becky Blades (09:35):
Well, I think we all have to read up on creativity.
John Jantsch (10:46):
Becky Blades (10:46):
Engineers, very linear jobs
John Jantsch (10:48):
Pick on engineers. They’re easy ones. But
Becky Blades (10:50):
Engineers, no, they’re the inventors. Oh my gosh, I found out the most fascinating people are engineers, but they work differently. Their ideas emerge differently and the creative process looks different for them. But the tinkering, I think we just need to take this out of thinking that creativity is art now. Yeah. So I think I just learned this. Are you a woodworker or something? What are your, what’s in the garage that you were just talking
John Jantsch (11:23):
About? I do. I build furniture. Yeah. Yeah.
Becky Blades (11:25):
John Jantsch (11:45):
Oh yeah. Yeah. I’m not the problem. There’s other people out there that we
Becky Blades (11:53):
Oh cool. Okay.
John Jantsch (11:55):
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All right. So let’s get back to, I’m sure there are people out there listening that 10 years before Uber was designed set, had the idea for Uber
Becky Blades (13:27):
Yeah. Well I think it’s, it lurks in the finish whether or not they think they can take the idea where it needs to go. So if somebody has a big idea like that, they honestly will. Smart will. Honestly, we can start our smaller ideas easier than our big ideas. But what I found, this was a survey of art and art students. I started asking them why they didn’t start their best ideas. Cuz I thought, these are creative people, they don’t have any responsibilities. Do they have things they haven’t started? And they all did things they wanted to start that they hadn’t. And I asked them some open-ended questions and then I paired it down to seeing that it was a question of enough. They didn’t have enough confidence, they didn’t have enough money, they didn’t have enough space, physical space, whatever it was. There’s a list of about 10 most common. But then when I ask, Do you have enough just to start, the answer was always yes. And then they went to the work of figuring out, well what is the start of a bridge mural? Oh, I guess it’s a sketch. And then I guess it’s getting permission to paint on the bridge. And once they start the momentum, just another whole process. I mean that magical switch that flips everything from neuroscience to providence supports us in that. Yeah.
John Jantsch (15:06):
You know, mentioned some of the reasons that they said not enough. I mean I would say most entrepreneurs would say, I’m just too busy to start something. Not
Becky Blades (15:13):
John Jantsch (15:13):
Not enough time. Not exactly. Not enough time. So I mean, if you are that entrepreneur that it actually maybe your life or growth or whatever you want to call it, depends on you creating some new things. How do you prioritize, decide if time is truly an well?
Becky Blades (15:29):
I think we all have to build our own processes. And I talked through that in the book. One easy one is to chunk it down to the very smallest way you could begin and feel like the idea has a little spark. But let’s go back. The decision to start, I think for busy people has to start to rely a little bit on a gut and a process that you’ve set up and declared for yourself. One year I declared, I’m gonna say yes to any idea this year that somebody else gives me. Or that how people are always saying, John, you should write a book about this.
John Jantsch (17:01):
Becky Blades (17:33):
John Jantsch (17:57):
Becky Blades (17:59):
I don’t know why your time management thing made me think of that, but it’s kind of killing two birds with
John Jantsch (18:04):
One of the other things. I think again, this idea of new ideas, innovation comes for me. I can spend all my time talking to marketing consultants,
Becky Blades (18:28):
I think the ideation process comes from ideation. And so we have to bark up some really strange trees. I think that’s where our art and our extracurricular, extracurricular activities come in. And I also think cross training with other star. So just getting away from the business and the recommended thing I call a star salon, which is something I just do as almost, it’s almost a book club group I have where there’s a musician, there’s an inventor, there’s a woman who has these cool popup book clubs. It’s just people who are start things in different ways because I know I’ve learned things from doing my art that I apply to my business. And I think, well if I’m both people and getting ideas, what could I get from a lot of other people? It might feel like a waste of time. It might feel like a luxury, but I think it’s a good practice.
John Jantsch (19:34):
Always tried to, I mean, I’m not the greatest at it and now that I’m old I’m really bad at it. But I really try to force myself into new things, new places new. My book reading is so eclectic. I read about wolves and I read about calculus and I read about architecture, which has no seemingly practical application for my work, but I always get amazing ideas from those other places.
Becky Blades (20:00):
Exactly. And ahead. Go ahead.
John Jantsch (20:04):
I was just gonna say, I want to end with giving you the opportunity cuz I think that there is no question a lot of things are people that are wired this way,
Becky Blades (20:31):
I think it’s making a game of it. Start as many things as you can. Maybe keep a log, make it a 10 in a day, Start a limerick, start a conversation, Start acknowledging the things you’re starting. Because what I think people don’t realize is how many things they’re already starting and how much courage they’re using to do that. And pretty, the stakes of every start reduces. If you start a hundred things in a week, the stakes of that one thing are lower. And so pretty soon starting that big idea and talking to a person you’ve never talked to, part of it is muscle memory. It’s like stage time when you speak. And in the book I go to, I offer some examples and it’s hard to do this because you don’t wanna tell somebody sketch, you lose ’em. Because if they don’t fancy themself an artist, well this is just for artists. So you really have to go into your own world and remember the things you started when you were a kid. I mean, we could all do a drawing, we could all do a limerick. We could. And after this book is launched, I wanna probably start some kind of repository for those ideas so people can get go on and have a menu.
John Jantsch (21:51):
Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. I’m speaking with Becky Blades, the author of Start More Than You Can Finish. So Becky wanna invite people to where I know the book’s available in a lot of places, but to where they might connect with you as well.
Becky Blades (22:02):
Yeah, go to becky blades.com. That’s Becky and Blades. Like Razor Blades. Awesome.
John Jantsch (22:09):
Well it was great catching up with you. I appreciate you spending some time with the Duct Tape Marketing podcast and hopefully we will run into you one of these days out there on the road.
Becky Blades (22:16):
Okay, thank you John. I’d loved
John Jantsch (22:18):
It. Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ marketingassessment.co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketingassessment.co. I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.
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