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Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life with Krisstina Wise. Erik Wahl’s message is clear, “ We are all capable of so much more than we’ve been preconditioned for.” Erik began his career in corporate, but after the dot-com crash, he not only lost his network, but he lost himself as well. Through struggle and pain, he found that his true talent was in art. Now, he speaks all over the world on how anybody can be creative and anybody can be a numbers guy, if they wanted to. This episode is part 1 of 2, so stay tuned until next week for part 2!
You can also click on the time stamps below to jump to those specific points in the conversation.
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Read the Transcription!
You are at the intersection of wealth, health, and happiness. Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life.
Hello, and welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life, the show about becoming wealthy without sacrificing your healthy. Each week, I interview a counter-cultural thought leader to bring you a unique millionaire mindset. I’m Krisstina Wise, bestselling author, millionaire coach, and your personal guide to money, health, and happiness.
Today, I tackle money wealth with Erik Wahl. Erik is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the world. Although he loved art from a very young age, he was discouraged by the people around him from pursuing a creative path because it wasn’t a marketable, practical skill. So, Erik worked hard in school, got good grades, went to college, and got the corporate job that was expected of him.
It wasn’t until he lost his executive job, his money, and his ego that he reconnected with his real passion for art and creativity. He harnessed his natural creativity and has since become a successful artist who uses his art as a metaphor for business and life. Erik is one of the most successful and captivating speakers in the world who keynotes as he paints on stage in front of thousands of people in sold-out auditoriums. I loved this interview, and I bet Erik’s message will ignite that creative spark in you too. Enjoy.
This is part 1 of a 2-part interview. If you like this episode, be sure to come back next week for part 2. Enjoy.
Erik, it is so much fun to be here with you today. Number one, thank you for being on this podcast. You are an incredible human being, a businessman, an artist, a creator, a public speaker, motivational speaker. You’ve spoken in front of hundreds of thousands of people in one audience. I don’t know if you remember, but you and I met in New Orleans. We’re both keynote speakers at a conference, and we bumped into each other in the hallway, and we’d bumped into each other before I saw you speak. You were speaking right after lunch and I saw your performance. I’m like, “Oh my god, this man is amazing.” So, anyway, I really admire you, your work, and it was such a good day for me to have the honor, and really the luck of bumping into you.
Thank you, Krisstina. That’s a very kind intro. I do remember, particularly a time when we were backstage, I remember your performance and how you engaged that audience and gave me kind of an understanding of I got to watch the audience watch you. So, that was helpful for me in my customization to being able to relate to the audience, say, after lunch. You kind of cued me up for success, and so I do remember that very vividly behind the curtains. Thank you for remembering and thank you for continuing the conversation.
Thank you. Well, you have an amazing story, so I’d love to, for my listeners that have never really heard of you before that you haven’t always been a painter, a graffiti artist on stage public speaking, and you’re so natural and talented. I mean, I can’t even believe you haven’t been doing this since you were probably out of diapers. Share a little bit of your story.
Sure. I’ll give you the shortened version because there are so many versions in my keynote, in my book, in different media forms. But, for those who don’t know my story, I came from a background as an academic, a numbers guy. I went to business school, was a partner in a firm. My goal coming out of college was to get the best job so that I could make lots of money and have a lot of security for my wife and my three boys, and then retire early, and then start enjoying life.
I did. I was first in, last out, I was the best grinder. I was the hardest worker, and that worked out really well for me for a long time until the dot-com bomb blindsided me, and I want to say blindsided my identity. Because, a lot of who I was was wrapped up in my net worth, how much security I had, and when that got wiped away from the dot-com bomb, it was a moment of great suffering for me, this dark cloud of unknowing. Because, everything that I thought I was supposed to be and to have accomplished by the time I was 30 was, all of a sudden, taken from me.
So, it was a bit of an existential crisis. My wife and I kind of refer to it as an early midlife crisis. We all experience things in our lives. Sometimes we have a relationship that maybe doesn’t go the way that we had anticipated it going. Maybe we have a health crisis that stops life in its tracks. Maybe we have a financial crisis, like I did where I realized my ego, my identity was not really the person that I wanted it to be. If it could be impacted this severely and my mood, my ability to be happy was impacted so dramatically simply by the stock market going down and by the numbers in my bank account going down, this was not a healthy path to live the rest of my life under.
So, this wasn’t an epiphany of, “A-ha, now I’m free.” This was through great suffering, and darkness, and curled up on the bathroom floor. Really, this is not a triumphant, “Now, I’m an artist.” This was a complete loss of myself, and then attempt to, with the help of my wife, the fact that I still did love my wife and my boys to try to crawl back and find something that I could do with the rest of my life. Because, what I was doing, what I had done up to that point was very unfulfilling, very unrewarding as an endgame if it could be removed or taken from me that quickly.
So, I started hanging out with artists. This was just down in kind of my community in San Diego. Because, I appreciated the way their philosophical view of life, their kind of freedom, the whimsical nature by which they approach things, and there was just some liberation from me almost in a short-term therapy in communicating with them and understanding how they thought because it was completely foreign to me. I didn’t know anything about the arts. But, as I started hanging out with them, I started to become fascinated by them.
Then, I started just wanting to create, and that process of creating intoxicated me. It fascinated me that I could begin to start creating, that I could be a part of this new me. It was an exciting time, but it didn’t stop there, and that’s where I dove into — it was like taking a sip from a fire hose. This whole new world opened and I went and studied masters, I went and studied Michelangelo, Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt. Because, there was a whole world of thinkers that I wasn’t aware of. I knew of them academically. I knew Rembrandt was the painter of light because I scored well on my art history exam. I knew that Picasso was a synthetic cubist painter, kind of a modern painter, and most people think he’s crap because they don’t understand his art.
That’s the way I viewed it until I got in and I understood that these are all philosophers. These are all mystics and kings of thinking that expresses their soul through art. So, I saw every form of art differently. I saw my own art differently. I give you that much kind of detail and background because this was like what is going on for me, and that’s why it was so fascinating to me. It wasn’t hard work to go and, “Now, I need to study this, now I need to figure out shade values, and the color wheel, and study figures, and how anatomy works.” For me, I couldn’t get enough of it. I couldn’t get enough of how to see the world differently through the eyes of an artist.
What I ultimately found was that art was a channel to thinking. So, it’s not about a finished product. It wasn’t about, “Did I create a good landscape? Did I capture that model’s face properly? Does she look pretty? Does he look like the model is supposed to look?” It wasn’t about photorealism. It was about, “Did it change the way that I thought?” It changed the way I was thinking, it changed, really, my emotional intelligence, my ability to expand my consciousness, to relate and understand other people who weren’t exactly like me.
That was the opening, and I rode that wave with passion because it was something new, and because it was alarm clock and a reason for me to get up in the morning again. This was after going through a very dark period in my life that I needed to find something because life was spiraling in the wrong direction and there were a lot of unhealthy channels that I could have turned to to numb the pain. I see that happening a lot.
We feel pain, we suffer, and we don’t want to suffer, so we insulate with a lot of unhealthy things in our life. I have great empathy and sympathy for those who are addicted to certain unhealthy things in our lives, because I understand how they got there. I understand the pain that probably led to the weakness of what developed that addiction. I feel very grateful that art found me before I stumbled into something else that would have taken my life a different direction.
So, I really am grateful, and this is not that I’m some great example of what everyone should do or be. I got lucky. I really did, because I’m not immune to those things that I see so many of my friends suffering with. I’m absolutely vulnerable to those things as well, because pain hurts, darkness is tough, and darkness and suffering is part of life, and until I learned to deal with it, until I learned to not numb it, until I learned to be able to express it, I hadn’t really lived up to that point.
I don’t know that I’d cried, really, before I turned 30 years old. I don’t know that I really knew how beautiful my wife was until I was 30. We’d been married for 10 years. I thought she was hot. I married her because she was hot. I didn’t know how unbelievably beautiful the core of her soul was in nurturing me and healing me and helping me to become a better man, helping me stand back on my own two feet. So, I saw love, I experienced love, not analytically anymore, not critically or judging or needing anything in return. I experienced a love that was completely new to me also, which is awesome. It’s like the birth of my kids.
I thought, “This is the most I can love.” I thought, “This is the maximum that I could love,” and then I had another son, and a whole new chamber of my heart grew, and I’m like, “No, I can love more.” So, I didn’t know those things until I experienced them. I didn’t know art until I experienced it. You don’t know what it’s like to have a son or a daughter until you have one, and that changes everything. That was a lot of talking.
No! Thank you so much. My gosh, your story could take us in so many different directions, and I think your story will resonate with so many of my listeners, because number one, there’s the business professional, the entrepreneur. We’ve gone to school, we’ve got our trophies, we’re very much after accomplishment, and success, and production, and achievement, and status. It’s very much part of the culture that it is validated by numbers. So, the validity is how many zeroes and how many people follow or whatever sort of external applause that we get, or really that, again, that validation. So, I think you tell the story.
We’re kind of trained that way, especially as business people, and the problem with that, I think even you’ve experienced it, I’ve experienced it. I’ve hit my own dark spot and suffering and pain and existential despair, and being stuck there for some time, and it’s a terrible place. But, being in that pain, and that experience, and that darkness, you’re just in it, and nothing can really even medicate it when you’re in that place even if you want to.
So, I think there is so much growth and learning and new awareness and understanding that can come out of that, and I think you really demonstrated that there is life beyond numbers. There is something really beautiful and extraordinary in the aesthetic, in the emotional sense of the universe, and tapping into internal, and experiential living that isn’t attached to what’s out there necessarily.
So, I love your story and there’s so much in there. Really, what I loved about what you just said too was number one, expanding your consciousness, that there was an expansion that happened, maybe versus this linear thing, then it really expands out in many different directions. So, that completely changes the way we see and experience the world. But, I like how you said that what art has enabled you to do is really channel your thinking. I think we, as business people, entrepreneurs, after that success and achievement, we’re in our heads all the time and we’re trying to think.
But, I find it very interesting that even though you were a thinker, doer, got your tasks done, were the task master, and first one in, last one out, and got a lot accomplished that you didn’t really learn how to think until you really were able to delve into this art. So, can you talk a little bit about that more? What do you mean? How do you compare, even, this more linear thinking, analytical thinking, type A thinking to the thinking you talk about now?
This is very important and this is a pivotal spot in our conversation because we may have several viewers or several listeners who are not so sure about this holistic suffering, metaphysical meditation, artsy stuff. So, here’s what happened next is though I was spending time with artists, I realized, very quickly, that they thought they were whimsical, they had these genius ideas.
But, the world didn’t get them, and they couldn’t translate those ideas. So, very quickly, I watched a lot of these artists become depressed. I watched them become self-absorbed. I watched them feel like, “I’m a misfit.” They don’t fit in, and that’s the way a lot of artists feel. So, as much as I enjoyed the freedom of their thinking, I saw real chinks in the armor with how they’ve been brought up, and there was actually very little discipline. There was very little accountability. There was very little structure or understanding of marketing or branding.
So, of course the world didn’t understand them. They thought maybe cool genius thoughts but had no way to translate it so that a greater viewing audience could appreciate it. So, that’s where, really, my keynote came from as I realized it’s not either/or. It’s yes/and. And our dualistic thinking, my dualistic thinking is a very limiting self-belief system. I’m either a business guy, I am a numbers guy, I’m analytic, or I am an artist, I’m creative, I’m whimsical, I’m innovative. If I exist in either/or, I’m limiting my capabilities tremendously, and the truth is we’re all yes/and.
It’s a matter of the narrative that we’ve told ourselves up to this point, and oftentimes, that starts at very early ages: 5, 6, 7, where children migrate towards that which they’re affirmed for. They get affirmed for getting 20 out of 20 on their spelling test. They get affirmed for doing well on their math test. So, they migrate that direction. Even though they might have been a very skilled or natural artist, very free and expressing themselves, they didn’t get rewarded for it. So, they did get rewarded by their parents, by their teachers, by their community for getting an A in math, getting an A in history, getting an A in whatever. They move in that direction.
So, we all kind of define ourselves as, “Oh, I’m a numbers guy, I’m a numbers of gal,” or, “I can’t even draw a stick figure. I don’t have a creative bone in our body,” and we let those narratives kind of take shape and take form on who our identity is, and that’s where I lean heavily into. It’s not either/or, it’s yes/and. These artists were missing the game because they needed to be more disciplined, accountable, actionable, and translate their genius to scale. Businesses, analytics needed more creative, more innovative, and more risk-taking.
So, that’s really where my keynote, my presentation, my books, my writing, my art have all kind of been born from is that we really are all capable of so much more than what we’ve been preconditioned for by our labels, by our systems, by our regulation, by our kind of — let’s even call it a system of meritocracy. We’re rewarded. We have human value as children for getting good grades, for sitting in straight rows, for behaving well, and I think we’re losing some of our best and most creative emotional kids because they don’t sit as still, or they didn’t memorize the phone book as efficiently as Sally and Greg memorized the pages in the phone book.
I think there’s value in understanding the discipline of memorization and regurgitation, but that’s not where the future lies. The future lies in being able to look at a blank sheet of paper that hasn’t been created yet, or you haven’t been given the knowledge of the CliffsNotes and still being able to operate and create something new. So, that is difficult for alpha dogs like myself to say, “Wait, I haven’t read the notes yet. I haven’t studied. I haven’t been trained in this yet. How am I going to do it?”
For me, there’s become a beauty in figuring out on my own, in navigating ambiguity, in trying to master complexity. So, social media is fascinating to me because it doesn’t make any sense to me. It is fleeting, it’s whimsical. So, I had to learn it and reverse engineer it to understand why it’s the wave of the future, why this isn’t a fad, why this isn’t going to be gone next year, but this is actually what it’s going to be.
So, for me, it was like learning a foreign language. It was like learning art. I had to learn art, I had to learn social media. I’m having to learn artificial intelligence, I’m having to learn virtual reality, I’m having to learn to communicate in podcasts on a camera speaking one to one, when I’m used to speaking to large audiences where I get feedback. I see when they laugh, I see when they respond, I see when they take notes, and that’s easy for me. This is actually very difficult for me.
Again, I’m talking on and on and hoping that what I’m saying is interesting and resonating with your people, but I’m getting no feedback but I want to learn. I’m hungry and I’m willing to make mistakes and speak for six straight minutes even though some of your listeners needed a break. Maybe I’ll learn to shorten and speak in sound bites, and give actionable takeaways and nuggets that people can chew on. But, in this process of learning, I’m just kind of speaking about my experiences and hoping it resonates with some of your audience.
Well, there’s so much, again, that you’re saying there, and you said something that I’m curious what your point of view is that you said in your art, for example, when you’re in it, you’re in the journey of it. You’re just in that moment. It’s not about the result, it’s not about the end painting. How do you keep yourself in the moment painting, being in this space and time versus making it about the end product?
Because, I think that is so much like what you were saying earlier is that we’re so geared to the end result, the end product, getting there, achieve this, achieve that, hitting that goal, achieving this status, producing this identity. Everything is about something in the future we need to get to, and we’re missing life right here right now thinking, “Okay, how can I make this podcast really successful?” versus just being right here with you and enjoying this conversation, and being vulnerable and open, and letting it just do whatever it’s going to do and unfold how it’s going to unfold versus worrying so much about it to produce a certain outcome.
The beauty of it for me is, again, yes/and. You and I, we’re just having a great conversation and we’re enjoying ourselves and we’re doing what we authentically love and what we want to express, and what we think others might experience some value in. But, we don’t know that for sure, and we might have lost all of our viewers, and that’s okay. We’re doing and we’re exploring, and we’re figuring stuff out. Some things might resonate more and we’ll learn from that, and maybe skew some of our questions, and ideas, and responses towards that more in the future.
But, if we’re worried about the outcome right now, we’re not going to get an authentic, real communication. To me, that’s more important than, “Hey, is Bill Gates listening to this? Hey, is this going to get picked up by NBC? Hey, are we going to ride that wave of viral success and everyone’s really going to love this interview? They might now. We’ve surrendered the outcome. We’ve surrendered what it is supposed to be. We’re living fully in the moment right now, and then afterwards, we’ll analyze metrics. We’ll look at what it was, what it wasn’t, where it could have been more successful, where we could have explored further, deeper, how we can create better hooks, how we can make it more fascinating, how we can build the brand, how we can make this more efficient, and scale it, and win in the podcast game.
But, we don’t know that yet. That’s not the end goal right now. Right now, it’s just about exploring and that’s the same way I feel about my art when I’m creating. I don’t know if this is going to be the painting that puts me over the top and catapults me beyond Picasso, or if this is just another painting that I’m probably going to throw away and it’s not going to mean anything to anyone else.
But, that creation, that exploration is my little mini-incubator where I test drive ideas for myself and then I figure out how they resonate with other people. That’s the same thing I do with social media. When I write, when I express ideas, that’s like a little mini-incubator for me to explore concepts in their infancy and then see how do people respond to it, and then I might start with an idea here. It migrates and morphs and people respond, I communicate and interact, and it ends up over here, and this idea here is actually very powerful.
But, I never would have known if I didn’t start the process here and start that evolution to come here, and once it comes here, then it’s ready for the stage, then I’m ready to take it live, then I’m ready to share it with a mass audience. I don’t usually share ideas or explore that much in front of 5,000 people. I know the compass on where I’m going to go. I’ve already test driven a lot of this material, a lot of what I’m going to be sharing. I know what I want the audience to take away.
That is not just some whimsical live-in-the-moment just be free. There’s a lot that is very orchestrated, very calculated, very specific to what I do. But, there’s also an element of being, surrendering that outcome because I’m so confident in where it’s going to go and what I’ve done, the hard work, the disciplined work, the grinding, behind the scenes to already know that this is successful, to already know that what I’m doing is going to work. It’s a matter of am I going to 10X it on this one or is it just going to be a standing ovation, or are people just going to be like, “Wow, that was interesting.”
So, that’s the exploration to me, but it starts in many incubation and exploring to be able to lead to big a-has, and I call them kind of 10X ideas, lottery ticket ideas, but you don’t get cash unless you play. You don’t get to have that experience of those breakthrough ideas unless you’re willing to incubate them and be willing to fail down here.
I was just going to ask that. In the social media world, our private lives have become our public lives, and if there’s a real discrepancy between the two, I think it does show, maybe, this lack of authenticity. But, what comes with it also is we’ve lived in this society of being perfect all the time, and showing up as perfect, and we have our shit together. “I’m successful for all these reasons.” So, how much do you think, or even using your art as a metaphor, how much of it is you just have to get out there and be willing and okay with failing publicly sometimes, and sometimes it’s just a crappy painting, or whatever. So, how does that fit into your work and your world?
Easier said than done, first of all, because those are still painful things for me. Ego is the enemy. So, as I’m able to disconnect my ego from the painting, from the response from the audience, from how many likes I got on that Facebook post or Instagram post, that’s not me, that’s not who I am, that’s not who my wife loves. That was an attempt at finding stickiness, finding fascination, and even though I thought that Banksy piece of artwork was brilliant, my audience didn’t think it was brilliant.
So, I need to go with that. Not that one personally for me, but not for them. I will translate differently. I don’t use a lot of words like creativity or expanded consciousness, or meditation, or holistic. Those aren’t words that I use from the stage because I know who I’m talking to, and I know that my former self would have been naturally resistant to those kinds of words. That wasn’t who I was. I wanted ROI. I wanted actionable takeaway that I could put to use on Monday morning, and if I didn’t get that, then it wasn’t worthwhile for me.
So, I realized that in my audience that I need to move the needle for them. I need to give them actionable tools and not go off on spiritual tangents, even though that’s parts of who I am. That’s not how I translate, and I will activate them. I will activate their mind, I will open their mind, but I will do it using their language, and not mine. So, instead of those creativity or — I use words like “competitive advantage”. Visibly differentiate from the competition. Narrate your brand, create your brand, fascinate your customer, create unique customer experiences.
Those are all arts. Those are all creative thinking. That’s all marketing. Just how I use the language and twist the language because it’s how they’re going to succeed is by growing their brand. Artists need to grow their brand, become authentic, vulnerable, and expand, and 10x it, and business need to grow their brand, enhance their brand, make their brand fascinating. Are they filling a gaping void of need or are they just punching out widgets because they were able to make this much ROI on a widget for the last six years? “Oh my goodness, the government, the nationalization politics, they’re taking away, they’re regulating this. I can’t make the same margin anymore. Our government sucks.”
Everything’s just changing. Everything’s in flux. Yes, politics are going to get more chaotic, the economy’s going to become more chaotic. Everything’s going to increase in complexity and it’s going to become more challenging if we’re operating under the old paradigm and relying on external forces for our success. If we’re hoping that a certain President is going to be elected on November 7th and then all of our problems are solved, we’re in a lot of trouble, because it doesn’t matter who is elected on November 7th, it’s going to be chaotic, and half our country is going to be very, very upset, and half of our country, there’s just going to be a lot of challenge that are not going to be removed.
That’s the same thing with business, with competitiveness. Not if Greece goes into bankruptcy, when Greece goes bankrupt, when Italy goes bankrupt, when Spain goes bankrupt, when China implodes, when the next terrorist activity happens. When it’s going to happen, chaos is going to escalate, uncertainty is going to escalate. That’s why it’s so important for us to be centered and to understand who we are, what our why is, and the service of the product that we’re providing. Otherwise, if we’re not certain, then we’re at the mercy of all of these external things that are going to drive us crazy.
Well, since probably the beginning of the time, there’s always been chaos, and wars, and sufferings, and certainly things that’s part of human nature and the world we live in in the universe. There’s always uncertainty, like we can’t control the universe. But, you mentioned like this paradigm shift. What do you see? What is changing right now? What is this sort of underlying pivot or change where the world really is changing as we know it, and as a result, we need to change with it. If we’re going to continue, on one hand, succeed, and two, really get to a place of being fulfilled, and connected, and maybe more enlightened in our life versus just this, “I’ve got to get there, I’ve got to get there, and maybe I’ll be happy there.”
Well, the battle is over. The future won, and frankly, the past never really had a chance. So, those of who still live in the past. My dad, who still likes the feel of the hard copy newspaper and likes to walk to the store, that’s great, and he’ll still do that. But, if he was 17, it would be a difficult world for him to try and live in going forward to even try and find a newspaper that gave him the satisfaction of the feel and the smell of what he enjoyed and what’s been his life growing up.
So, consumer behavior has already changed massively, and to understand that, you have to understand how the millennials and the younger think, why the gadgets that they’re creating exist the way they do, why Snapchat is fascinating, why that’s the way they prefer to communicate over Facebook. Facebook’s what our grandparents use. Like the never-ending high school reunion, maybe someone’s grinding a religious or political dogma on there, and it’s offensive to us, and so I just don’t like Facebook. It’s a whole language of consumer behavior that everything’s based on trust now. Trust is the Holy Grail for what the future of business is going to be, and that’s what social media is.
Institutions have let us down. Corporate institutions, religious institutions, academic institutions, institutions have all let us down. They’ve not provided the aid that we were looking for. In fact, they’ve had a lot of, almost, moral corruption that we have difficulty associating ourselves with. So, where do we look to get our next piece of advice? We look to social media. Where do I go for a review on a movie? I’m not interested in the critics who’ve been bought off and paid that are telling, “This is a 5 out of 5.” I want to know what my friends thought of that movie. I trust them. That’s why I’m going to go to that movie, that’s why I’m going to read that book, that’s why I’m going to see that speaker.
Before I go to a restaurant, I go to Yelp. I want to know what third-party reviews have said about that restaurant, not what their slick, polished advertisement with the pretty food looks like. I want to know what the people really think. I go to TripAdvisor when I want to know about a hotel. I go to SeatGuru when I want to know about an airline seat, where to sit on the airplane. I go to third-party users as endorsements, and that’s why social media is the trust builder. It is the most effective marketing tool and the least expensive marketing tool, and the most underutilized marketing tool for every business regardless whether you’re an accountant, an attorney, a physician, a product or service provider. Social media is the gateway to understanding consumer behavior and to create fascination in your brand.
If you are only monolingual in Facebook and you don’t understand Twitter and it’s just a super-confusing highway of misinformation and Snapchat, you don’t understand why all of our kids waste all their time, or you don’t understand Pokémon GO, or gamification, it doesn’t matter anymore whether you like it or not, whether you think it’s useful or not, that’s the way of the future and that’s the way that they think.
So, we need to adapt our understanding of their model, and it’s almost like we have to learn Russian. We have to learn a foreign language to be able to understand how to navigate one forward. We’ve been resistant to social media, and I get it. I was as well. I was very late to the party, but that’s because I had a very myopic view of what social was and is, and ultimately, what it could be. We are just in its infancy.
Even for an artist, to be able to reach the kind of scale by creating a song and putting it out on YouTube, you don’t have to go through a label anymore. To be an artist, I don’t have to have or be recognized to create a show or to have a painting bought in a gallery. I’m just building a tribe. I’m building a tribe of loyal fans who think like I think, who share some identities, and I can have similar thoughts with a friend in Sweden who I’ve never met before who also digs my art, some of my ideas, and I can dig some of theirs even though we’ve never met.
Social media is amazing. It’s beautiful and I’m developing new appreciations for it as an artist, and as an entrepreneur every single day.
Okay, so your business side is coming out. You really see the opportunities and the future, and you’re willing to take risks and give this a try and into the learning, like you said, and just experiment and navigate it. Navigate the ambiguity, I think, is what you were saying. So, I think that’s so much of who you are. You’re just this passionate man and creator that is curious and wants to move into the future as the future opens and to get your hands dirty and just be part of that, and I think it might be like painting, or your paintbrush. You have paint all over you by the end of this sometimes, but you have to get your hands dirty, and you’re in there, and you’re one with what’s going on, and you don’t even know if it’s going to turn out or not. So, I see so much of that just who you are in your personality, and your love of life as part of your love of life.
And I not only make crappy paintings. I put up crappy Facebook posts. I do crappy Snapchats. My boys laugh at me because I’m a 45-year-old dude trying to be hip on Snapchat, but I’m also learning. I’m willing to fail, I’m willing to accept their snickering and their giggling as an opportunity to learn, and to grow, and to advance as opposed to, “Oh, I’m a dork. Oh, I’m not doing this right. Oh, no one responded to this.” So, I have to do it to be able to understand if I can grow there.
Really, any lack of creativity in anyone is simply a lack of curiosity. It’s a lack of interest in searching for something new. You know that famous quote by Branson. “We didn’t learn to walk by following rules. We learned to walk by trying to walk and falling down, and then getting back up and trying again.” When we’re 13 months old, we didn’t critique ourselves like, “Ah, I’m a crappy walker. Look at all those 11-month-old kids and they’re walking and I can’t walk.” We don’t judge ourselves. We’re fascinated by it and we want to figure it out. So, we keep trying and doing.
It was the same thing with me and art. I sucked when I started, but I was fascinated by it and I wanted to learn it, and the more that I checked my ego at the door and just kept exploring, being willing to fall and get back up and try and walk again, the better I did. The more I fall in social media, but I’m willing to explore and get back up and try, the more I grow. It’s all an evolutionary process of curiosity and fascination, and I think that’s the greatest thing I have going for me.
Especially now, post-30, is just a fascination with business, with consumer behavior, with the shifting trends, with the ensuing chaos, with the changing political situation, changing economic situation, changing global situation, I actually love it. There’s scary things going on for sure. I’m not turning a blind eye, but I’m realizing that every moment of crisis also equals tremendous opportunity, and the more that I change my paradigm and able to look at this as, “Gosh, that was not my first choice for what I wanted to have happen, but it did happen. How am I going to respond? How am I going to now proactively create my own landscape as opposed to just react and whine, or bitch and moan about what I thought it was supposed to be?” because there’s a lot to bitch and moan about.
I could spend this entire time filling people’s ear holes with worry and anxiety and pain points that are being covered on Fox News and MSNBC, and we could scare people. But, we could also, I think, really inspire them, and people aren’t doing that right now. There’s a lot, a lot, a lot of opportunity that’s being created by all of this disruption and it’s super exciting to me.
And so ends another episode of the Wealthy Wellthy Life. This was one more millionaire strategy that will make you wealthy while keeping you healthy. Before you leave, remember that if you want to get it all together, then make sure to sign up for a free online training session at howto.money. You will learn my signature formula for transforming your life from debt to multi-millionaire. It’s already helped thousands of others, and it can help you too, and it’s the only moneymaking system that makes your health your number one asset. So, if you’re curious how it all works, visit howto.money and sign up today. Remember, it’s free, so why not invest some time in learning “how to money”. Again, that’s howto.money. H-O-W-T-O dot M-O-N-E-Y. As always, be sure to subscribe to this podcast to make sure that you catch next week’s millionaire strategy. Signing off, this is Krisstina Wise, your personal guide to having it all. Here’s to living a Wealthy Wellthy Life. I’ll see you next time.