One of the highlights of hosting a podcast is that I have a built-in excuse for learning while I’m creating. Over the past five months, I’ve had the privilege of learning from some exceptional thinkers and doers. Here are the insights that have stuck with me:
1. I’m not a perfectionist—I’m a professionalist. If I’ve recorded a song and it’s not technically correct, if it’s emotionally right, I leave it like it is. I just try to make whatever happens part of the show. I'm professional in that I stay with it… to get it as right as I know how to get.
2. You can still have high standards without the baggage that comes with perfectionistic thinking. That's where the burnout comes from—a lot of mental energy expended just trying to uphold an image that you want other people to see. Every piece of feedback is an indictment on the self. Life is one big court of appeal for our flaws.
3. Quitting your job puts so much pressure on the dream. It doesn’t allow the first seed to blossom into something else. I made things and explored things and studied in my spare time. It took a lot of time for me to refine the dream.
4. As soon as you decide to quit, that power balance flips. When people get a surge of power, it reveals how they’ve been treated.
5. The person that you're pitching to probably wants you to succeed. They want you to pitch them the best idea they've ever heard. No one goes into it being like, “I hope this is terrible,” right? Everybody is hoping to walk down to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning and unwrap the best gift ever. So give them the best gift they've ever gotten.
6. If you’re still stuck in the moment, you don't grow as an artist. You made it—it's gone. It's for the people now.
7. You can only have so much flexibility. What you really need is some amount of predictability.
8. Work needs to be the community that supports you in your life. That’s why I like the word care. Interns who want to come back are those who had a great manager, who took real deep care in their experience. We need people to have their well-being taken care of. Unless we create that capability in the middle, it’s just not going to happen.
9. Zelensky’s clarity of purpose has crystallized. This is the fight for the future of his country. You’re either going to win or you’re going to die, but you know that this is why you were brought to this planet.