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In Overlap, Sean talks about the importance of the day job to protect your passion: you need to cover all your bills with something that doesn’t rely on your passion so that you don’t compromise out of desperation to make ends meet.
Compromise kills passion: do enough of the kind of work you love under circumstances you hate, and one day you’ll realize you don’t have that passion anymore.
We’ve talked a lot about the dangers of the wrong day job. A bad job, that drains your energy, that you resent, but you can’t give it up because it keeps you comfortable.
But today we want to explore something a little different: what happens when you have a great day job? A job you enjoy doing, with a flexible schedule, working with people you love, making a good living… That’s the ideal situation in which to pursue your passion on the side.
In his book, Turning Pro, Stephen Pressfield describes the “Shadow Career” as a calling we pursue because we’re terrified of our true calling:
Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you? Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music? Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself?
When you have a job you love AND a passion you want to pursue, is the job a stepping-stone, a companion on the journey… or just another way to hide from the work you were really meant to be doing?
Links & Resources Mentioned
- Book: Overlap – Start a Business While Working a Full-Time Job
- Book Series:
- Podcast: 155: Freeing Yourself From Golden Handcuffs
- Podcast: Neil Gaiman — The Interview I’ve Waited 20 Years To Do (#366) | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss
- Video (by Ben “Skrilla Skrilla” Toalson): 40 digital product ideas (IN SONG FORM) – "You gotta make something"
- Website: Why do people say that Alberta is the Texas of Canada? – Quora
Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated by Descript and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.
Dan: [00:00:00] That’s why it’s called a shadow career because it’s this thing that it seems perfectly legitimate that you’re doing, except secretly you’re using it to hide from something else.
Ben: [00:00:27] Good morning, Dan.
Dan: [00:00:28] Good morning, Ben. I’m
Ben: [00:00:31] How are you doing today?
Dan: [00:00:33] doing well. How are you. That’s
Ben: [00:00:35] You know, I’m doing, I’m doing well.
Dan: [00:00:39] good. That’s good.
Ben: [00:00:39] It was a, it was kind of a rough week last week. Challenging weekend, but feeling good. I’m feeling good for a Tuesday.
Dan: [00:00:49] That’s good. That’s good to hear.
Ben: [00:00:51] Yeah. So, um, I was thinking we could just dive right into today’s topic. We
Dan: [00:00:59] no, no preamble.
Ben: [00:01:01] not really, I mean, I, I feel like there’s, there’s not much to catch up on in terms of w we, we took, uh, I, I don’t know, as far as our listeners know, everything’s normal. But we took the week off last week cause I had some personal stuff come up.
Mmm. And you know, it’s. When, when we take time off like that, um, and it’s not for a holiday or something like that, there’s always this feeling of like, okay, we now we got to play catch up. And, um, and so I like that this episode is a little bit more conversational, introspective because it feels kind of like easing back into it.
Um, but when you, when you sent me this topic last night, cause we were kind of like last minute coming up with ideas, I thought, you know, this really. It’s, it’s almost like you kind of have this intuition for where I am because this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, this idea of being, being in a job, I’m actually working for somebody else and, and feeling very fulfilled in and enjoying what I’m doing.
And. How that affects what I’ve, what I’ve said publicly, you know, like what I’ve told myself I feel passionate, Lee about and things that I want to do and accomplish. So, so I liked that you brought this one up.
Dan: [00:02:33] Cool. Yeah, it kinda, it, it sorta jumped out of nowhere for me, but, but I’ve found when trying to come up with podcast topics, a lot of the time, just things that have been cooking in the back of my mind for a while will pop out, you know?
And it’ll suddenly be like, well, I didn’t even realize I had to talk about this, but, but actually it’s been swirling around for a while.
Ben: [00:02:59] Yeah. So tell me, tell me a little bit. On your end, kind of where this idea it came from for you and how you’ve been wrestling with it.
Dan: [00:03:09] Sure. Well, we’re, we’re talking about, so I, I titled this episode, do you have a shadow career?
So I just wanted to find terms a bit. The sort of framing device for this topic is from. A book called turning pro by Steven Pressfield, and listeners might be familiar with Steven Pressfield for writing a book called the war of art, which is a, an excellent book that highly recommended. It’s short, very compact, and he’s written a couple books that sort of act as followups.
To the war of art. Uh, also short, very punchy, and I definitely recommend them. I’m pretty sure turning pro was the first follow up. And then there’s another one called do the work. Uh, and he’s gone on to write quite a few sort of nonfiction books on the topic of the creative struggle. But there’s this section in turning pro that has stayed lodged in my memory ever since I first read it, which was quite a few years ago.
He talks about selling. He calls shadow careers. So I just want to quote the book briefly. Pressfield writes, sometimes when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar. It’s contours feel tantalizingly the same.
What a shadow career entails. No real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us. Are you pursuing a shadow career? Are you getting your PhD in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you? Are you living the drugs and booze half of the musician’s life without actually writing the music.
Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself. If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is. A metaphor for that metaphor will point you toward your true calling. This seems, it seems relevant to me and to a lot of us because we spend a lot of time.
On this topic of you, you have some sort of creative passion, whatever that might be. It might be, it might be running a business training dogs as one of our members recently quit her job to pursue full time. You know it, it might be graphic design, right? It might be visual arts, it might be music, it might be writing, but you know, we talk a lot in, Sean wrote an entire book called overlap.
About how do you go from doing whatever it is you do, just to keep a roof over your head too, filling your life up with this creative passion. And there’s, you know, so there’s a whole book, there’s a whole book about how to do that. And one of the things that talks about is needing a day job as the foundation.
The, the idea is you’ve got to protect your passion. So if you want to be a film maker, you want to be a novelist. Don’t go try to make money by making videos for people or doing freelance writing because you’ll end up killing the passion that you have for the actual things you want to create.
This is the sort of the warning in the book. So there’s this whole idea, and we’ve talked about it in other places about, you know, how do you find what, what’s called, what you would call the right day job. And what occurred to me recently, to come back to the topic of this show is that Ben, both you and I have these pretty interesting and relatively recent day jobs that we’ve come into.
And. It might be worth us. Uh, taking a step back and evaluating what impact are these jobs having on the creative passions we want to pursue.
Ben: [00:07:16] You know, you, you said something in the quote that I wanted to pull out and maybe you can reread that very last bit for me, but I think if I’m remembering correctly, it said something to the effect of, if you’re not satisfied.
Dan: [00:07:30] Yeah. If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is a metaphor for, and that metaphor will point you towards your true calling.
Ben: [00:07:40] So that’s, that was an important sentence, I think, to be taken with the whole of that section that you read because it points to a really important distinction.
There’s a, uh, there’s a, a trailer out for a new Disney movie called soul. I don’t know if you’ve seen this.
Dan: [00:08:08] No, I haven’t.
Ben: [00:08:09] Um, it’s pretty interesting. There’s, uh,
Dan: [00:08:12] sole like sole of the shoe and the F or the fish or is it like soul in terms of the metaphysical concept of,
Ben: [00:08:20] the second one.
Dan: [00:08:21] ah, okay, cool.
Ben: [00:08:23] Um, so. What, what they appear to be setting up is kind of this scenario where, you know, like people are doing their day jobs, you know, but they’ve got this thing that they feel passionately about doing. Um, one particularly like. Memorable clip is this guy who is sitting at this desk and he’s got like, you know, three different monitors with stats and stuff like that.
And he kind of pivots in his chair and he says, what am I doing? And he swipes the whole, you know, the whole thing off of his desk.
Dan: [00:09:06] Oh no.
Ben: [00:09:08] And it’s this kind of, you know, like, Mmm. Romanticizing of. This idea of like, you’re S you’re stuck doing in a day job and you’re, you’re doing something that you don’t want to be doing and like, sh, you know, shove all that stuff off of the desk and, Mmm.
And I want to be really careful in how we talk about this, because I think, I think the wrong message is, if you’re not doing something that’s risky. Or that makes a big difference in the world, that somehow you’re not fulfilling your calling. Um, and I think that sentence is a really important one if you’re dissatisfied.
So I think the first question we need to ask is in your, your day job. Or in your, you know, circumstances, however, however that set up, whether you’ve got like a part time day job and you’re doing something full time, whatever that looks like, do you feel dissatisfied? And the complicated part of that is I don’t think it’s as simple as being able to just sit down and, and ask yourself that question and answer it like, okay, am I dissatisfied?
I don’t think so. Okay. We’re good. You know, I think it does take some real introspection. You really, you really have to sit down and, and satisfaction, dissatisfaction it’s a really interesting thing because, and in some sense, dissatisfaction is what drives us toward. Making the world a better place, changing our circumstances, improving our lives, you know, taking care of ourselves.
So I think dissatisfaction, the right kind of dissatisfaction is important. But I think, I think the question is more like as you, as you anticipate the arc of this journey that you’re currently on. Do you feel dissatisfied with where that’s ultimately leading you.
Dan: [00:11:41] I think, I think there’s a certain amount of, you know, tell me if this isn’t fair.
I think there’s a, there’s a certain assumption that I’m making about the context of this show, which is, if you’re listening to the Sean West podcast, it is likely that you do have some sort of. Dissatisfaction that you have something driving you because I don’t think we generally portray this podcast is, uh, entertainment.
You know, something that, I mean, I hope it is entertaining. There’s shenanigans and all that, but like we. We sort of portray this, this podcast is, is like, you know, like, like business, start your own business and develop, you know, develop yourself. It’s self improvement. It’s all of that.
And the drive to do any of those things comes out of a certain dissatisfaction with where you are and a desire for something greater than that. So, you know, when we’re talking and talking about this shadow career, I think the whole topic is founded on. An understanding that you already have identified that there is like a, like a calling, like a thing you want to do and let’s say that it’s probably, well, it doesn’t even have to be creative work.
Like the most common thing that I think of is creative work, creating some kind of art. But this could be, you know, your real calling might be too. Go halfway around the world and start a foundation to bring people proper medical care. I mean, Pressfield talks about this in his books. He talks about it in the war of art, that, you know, this, this force that he calls the resistance, which tends to hold us back from pursuing these creative passions.
That resistance operates. Whether what you want to do is draw a picture or save the children. You know, it’s, it’s one in the same. It is, it is an adversary of any kind of personal growth. So I, I think the context of this conversation is people that are all, you know, have already kind of have a defined, here’s the thing I want to do now.
I can’t do that thing yet. Or like, I can’t support myself by doing that thing yet. So I’m going to get a job. And we’ve talked a lot about what happens when you’re stuck in a bad job that you hate. But you feel trapped because it’s paying the bills. You know, there’s a, there’s a subset of this that we call golden handcuffs, and, uh, you can go back and Sean, Sean, west.com/one 55 freeing yourself from golden handcuffs is all about that.
But that episode really talks about you have a job that you don’t really like. You wish you could be doing something else, but you feel trapped because like the benefits are so good. For example, you know, it, it allows you to live this comfortable lifestyle. Ben, I think the thing that I want to, I want us to explore is, is a step further than that.
Like what happens if you have a job that you have legitimately like, and it satisfies you in a lot of ways, but you also want to go do something else. Then is that job like, like an important part of enabling yourself to pursue your creative passion or is it secretly holding you back? That’s what would make it a so-called shadow career.
Ben: [00:15:10] Yeah, that’s a really great question. So when, when you brought this topic idea up to me, you, you referenced some of the things that I’ve talked about wanting to do in the past, and, um, particularly making documentary films and. It’s really interesting. And I’m, I’m kind of trying to be outside of myself and act as an observer more than making judgments about myself.
But what I observe is that in, uh, in the season where I didn’t have a day job and I was working to try to make a living doing freelance video work. Among other things, I was still getting web and graphic design clients. And so it was kind of a, it’s kind of a mismatch mish-mash. Mish-mash.
Dan: [00:16:09] I’m a mismatched mish-mash.
Ben: [00:16:12] Yeah. If you will. And, um,
Dan: [00:16:14] will.
Ben: [00:16:16] and so it’s the transition to, and I, I became, I, I don’t know if it was just. this is an age thing or what it is, but I, I became extremely intolerant of the idea of doing, like, working a job that wasn’t using any of my creative skills. So like the idea of, you know, going and being a personal banker or.
Dan: [00:16:52] Right. Or just working in a restaurant or
Ben: [00:16:54] Being a man, a manager. Yeah. Like something, something that seemingly was unrelated to, would I had developed as, you know, my creative skillset. Mmm. I just, I felt such a visceral, like, rejection of that in my body. Mmm. To the point that, like I, I would go through these seasons of.
Real financial scarcity where those options were available, and I would, I would rather have the discomfort of scarcity and like try to figure out that part of it than to look at those things as a solution. Now, that’s not necessarily healthy, but I was, I was aware of that. And. This, um, this new job that I have with podia is very fulfilling in terms of the type of work I get to do and the type of projects I get to, I get to take on and in a lot of ways, I’ve not been in this situation long enough.
To really know myself and, uh, and to know how my passions and how the things that I was so certain of before play out in this new scenario. Like I, I feel like I’m kind of rediscovering myself because I’d, I’d only known this kind of like. Need to be scrappy, kind of, you know, work things out and then like it’s, I dunno, it’s almost, it’s almost its own kind of like idealism.
Like you’re just, you’re working so hard and you’re hoping that like your passion can rise above these things. And in some ways having a passion and working toward it is a little bit of an escape, you know? So I’m just, I’m thinking out loud on all of all of this stuff, but I find myself right now.
Working in this job that I really love and not really sure where I am in terms of what, what do I even feel passionate about doing that this job is not already fulfilling and outside of this job, how would I express that same passion in a way that wasn’t has impactful? You know what I mean?
Dan: [00:19:41] I think I do.
Do you mean that you’re not, you’re, you’re not really sure what you would be creating on the side.
Ben: [00:19:50] Yeah, I’m not. Um, so I still, I still feel like I’m, you know, somewhat in a season of getting my feet under me. Mmm. And I have a sense, I have this, I guess maybe this sense of obligation that there should be something else.
Yeah, and, and not, not something that competes with the job that I’m doing now, but, but something, something that’s like my quote unquote greater contribution to the, to the creative world. You know, so I have this, I have this sense of like obligation to that. But I’m not sure if, I’m not sure if that sense of obligation is coming from a healthy place, if it’s right.
Um, if it’s misguided and really to the question of like, well, what, I don’t, I don’t really have anything concrete that I can point to as like, outside of my job. This is the thing that I feel like I should be doing, you know? Mmm. And, and so I wonder if that means that right now I’m really more in an exploratory phase where maybe it’s okay not to have an answer to that question because I actually, for the first time in a long time, I have the freedom to explore different things and for the stakes not to be as high.
Dan: [00:21:32] That’s interesting about the stakes and answer this question for me. When you, before you had the job with podia and you, you were kind of living, you know, live in scrappy, just trying to. Sort of pick up whatever you could to make ends meet. When you were doing that, did you feel like you had this other creative project?
I’m just going to call it a creative project, this other creative project that you wanted to be doing.
Ben: [00:21:59] Yeah. And, and like I was saying, I’m, I’m wondering if it was more, I think it was a little bit of both, like kind of, kind of an escape in some ways, um, from the, from the stress of trying to take care of that financial piece. Um, and then also like. I think, I think there is kind of the sense of like, if you’re, if you’re not working in a full time job, um, and you’re, and you’re also not doing something important creatively, what are you doing?
Dan: [00:22:44] W what are you doing like ha, like how do you justify your existence.
Ben: [00:22:48] kind of, that’s Andy and I. I would never put that question to someone else. And so I, I don’t want people to hear that and think like, that’s what I’m, but I
Dan: [00:22:59] You’d never put that question to someone else, but you would put it to yourself, wouldn’t
Ben: [00:23:03] right.
Dan: [00:23:04] Yeah. I think we all, we all know, we all know that feeling, right? It’s not, that’s not the kind of thing you’d ever ask someone else, but it’s an example of how we are. Uh, we’re, we’re kinda hard on ourselves in a way that we are not hard on everyone else in the world where it’s like, you know, if you feel like you have a calling to create something, then if you’re not creating something, eh, I was reading, I was reading something yesterday that made this point that like, okay, kind of everything that’s great about human beings is also what’s terrible about them.
You know, like all of our strengths are also our weaknesses and, and et cetera. But, and it’s like. You know, if you have a drive to create something, the dark side of that is that you feel worthless if you’re not creating something that’s a, and that’s a tough thing, that that might be a completely different podcast topic, but, uh, um, which we might have covered already in a recent show, but, so, uh, I can relate to, it’s interesting, I can relate to what you’re saying on the one hand, but on the other hand, like I have my big creative project, which is to write a novel.
And I’ve, you know, I’ve chronicled to a certain extent, my up my ups and downs of working on it and not working on it. And so for me, I guess, you know, the thing that occasionally comes to mind is I, I, I also have this really interesting day job working for Sean Wes. And it occasionally occurs to me to ask, like, this job is great, but is this job just letting me hide from writing a novel.
And then you know, there’s this idea that it’s like, well, would I be better off like, like polishing a bar or somewhere or delivering mail because like there’s this idea, you know that this idea, and again, this is kind of what Sean talks about in the overlap book, check it email@example.com for the context.
It’s definitely worth reading. But you know, talking about getting a day job that is quote in a different industry from your passion, which could mean all kinds of things. But one way to look at it is get a day job that isn’t, you know, CRE doesn’t require like creative imagination at all, like mopping floors and assuming that you can find a job like that, that it’ll actually let you pay your bills, which is another, you know, which is another side topic we can look into.
Would you be better off. Doing that than doing a more fulfilling job because it would drive you and leave you with the energy needed too. Pursue this big creative project. That’s what I’m curious about is like does having, and it almost, it’s almost the kind of question you’re afraid to, you’re afraid to ask because, excuse me, I’m hitting my microphone over here.
You don’t want to seem ungrateful. But does like having, having a, you know, like a good in air quotes, like having a good day job actually holds you back from pursuing your big creative project. And, and Ben, I mean, I think it’s fair to say for you, like what you just described, it makes total sense that you’re in, like you’ve just entered this new arena and so you probably don’t even, you know, you don’t even really know yet.
I think it’d be interesting to see what kind of, what blooms on the side for you.
Ben: [00:26:23] Yeah, and those are the questions I’m faced with right now are if I don’t feel compelled, I don’t feel pulled toward a specific thing. Was I really passionate about those things before? Or, you know, was, was that just, was I using that as, you know, some kind of a coping mechanism or whatever?
I think these are, I think these are good and fair questions to ask and not necessarily to like make judgments about myself right away. Um, but just to like hold those questions and give myself the S the space and the time to figure that out because.
The, I think the most important principle of overlap is that you, that you have the coverage, you have the the time, and you have the energy to do whatever you feel passionately about.
And. And I think energy is the, is kind of the point that you’re making about, you know, like if you’re doing, Mmm. If you’re doing something that’s in the same industry as what you feel passionately about, well that’s automatically taking some creative energy away from the thing that you might otherwise do.
But I can also, I can also see how, like if, if I was working. In a day job that was extremely tedious, that steals a different kind of energy that I also need. Mmm. And maybe in some ways it gives me a certain type of energy, like, I hate this so much. I want to get out of it. So I’m going to, you know, work really hard at this thing on the side so that I never have to do this again.
And you know, that’s, I know that’s not what we’re talking about today. Mmm. But yeah, you’re right. I mean, I, I feel like right now, for me, it’s, it’s too early to tell because I’ve not really been in this situation before where I feel so well filled with what I’m doing. Mmm. And have had the coverage and the time.
To really explore? What would I, you know, like if I were to do something outside of this, what would I really want to do.
Dan: [00:29:11] Yeah. You know what? You brought up something interesting that I do kind of, I want to, I want to pick out a little bit, which is this notion that like. Putting yourself in a position where you actually hate the place where you are, we’ll give you enough motive energy, too.
Do the great thing that is locked up inside of you. The tricky thing, the tricky thing with this is everybody’s different, right? And I’m sure there are people for whom it’s true that like they needed to be in a bad spot before they’d really, you know, come, come out of themselves and create something amazing.
But. But then I think there are, you know, there are others of us who like, like if you have a crappy job, it just destroys whatever motivation you might’ve had. There are, I’ve, I’ve heard anecdotes I’ve heard either first or other hand from writers, like other creative writers that a lot of the time, like having a, having as boring a life as possible is what enables them to get their work done.
That, you know, if they just have like, eh, they’re, they’re famous examples. I can’t think of any names at the moment of like writers who just like, you know, we’re, we’re just worked as like bank tellers. And this was back in like maybe the 19th century, you know, or clerks in an office or something.
So they would just, you know, go to the office and wearing, wearing a tie. Cause I mean, everybody wore ties back then. I think even pets, actually, it was weird. You know, you’d go to an office and, and. Right in ledgers, I guess, or something, like he didn’t have a computer and then you would, you know, they’d break for lunch and they’d pull out a notepad and work on their novel a little bit and like, come home and, you know, work on it in the evening or work on it in the morning.
But, uh, there’s a great interview that Tim Ferriss did on his podcast with, uh, author Neil Gaiman, which is worth listening to just to listen to Neil Gaiman’s voice because. I think probably second only to you, Ben. Neil Gaiman has the best voice in the universe. Mmm.
Ben: [00:31:17] Thank you.
Dan: [00:31:18] You’re welcome.
Uh, I’m not exaggerating either, so. And Neil talks about like this, uh, this one kind of day that he would have, where he would ride. You know, he’d go for a run in the morning and end up at this cafeteria and write in a, you know, write in a notebook. And it all sounds very, you know, bucolic and perfect, but his point was just like the more times in a row that I can just do that day over and over.
It’s like the ground, like the movie Groundhog day, you know, where it’s like, if you can just have the same day over and over again, that kind of boring routine. Is what helps a lot of people pursue their creative work. So clearly, you know, there is no one size fits all. Some people need to live in like a flop house with six other people and like wait tables for minimum wage because, uh, the lack of any other, like, how do I put it though, the lack of any other.
Perceived progress in their life, like, like they have to feel like they’re backed into a corner or are facing a dead end, which might be mixing metaphors. They have to feel that way before they can start their company or create their great work or what have you. Uh, personally, I, I don’t, I don’t think I feel that way.
I think like, I rather like, I’m re, I rather like the comfortable lifestyle that I have right now. I don’t think I would like to. I, I, I’m not sure that giving it up would cause me to start cranking out novels in a desperate rush to, uh, to get myself out. In fact, I think that might be, you know, a way to destroy the passion.
Ben: [00:32:59] I feel, I feel like what I’m learning about myself right now is
I think it goes along really well with what you’re just saying about the routine. There’s, there’s something really freeing and empowering. I think about. Having a routine and being able to expect these chunks of time where you can have creative practice, you know, so, or have a, a practice that fuels creativity.
And so I, I think about writing, I was actually just thinking about this this morning, how. If I, if I look at my week, I, I haven’t set it up for myself to where I have like these solid blocks of time just to sit down and write and. What’s difficult about that is, you know, in order to make anything, whether it’s something for my job or something that I might want to make for myself, even to learn about what I want to make.
I feel like writing is such an important piece of that and it’s something that I don’t have a practice of doing. There are other things though, that kind of go along with that. I think, um, for, for certain. Things. Research is a part of the process. And so like you, you need to have some regular time for research, um, learning and developing your skills.
Um, not just, not just in the practice of, you know, working with the tools, but also like going outside of yourself and seeing what other people are doing and how you might be able to integrate that into your own workflow. I feel like there are these foundational pieces. That you can, you can either kind of work in sporadically as your schedule allows, which can lead to creative fulfillment.
You know, like taking something from an idea to actually existing in the world. I mean, that happens all the time, but I th but I feel like what, what makes, what ensures that it will happen. Is that steady rhythm of creative practice.
Dan: [00:35:35] So in, in that sense, it’s less about what you’re doing to pay your bills and how you’re structuring the rest of your life around it.
I mean, that, that makes sense to me. I think, you know, obviously like part of what I’m looking into with this topic is like, does the day job I have right now. Subtract from the creative energy. I’d have to write novels, but. I think part of, you know, part of the, part of what’s difficult for me, and maybe it’s the bigger part, is not so much the nature of the day job as the, as its format, if you, if you put it that way, which is that, like I just like, I haven’t built a good set of routines.
To be honest with you, like I got, I got out of bed like a half hour before I had to post the, before I had to announce the podcast, and then I had to like shower and have breakfast in the hour. In between doing that and when we started recording, you know, just, just pulling back the curtain here to reveal the horrible truth.
Like I, I’m not a, not really a productivity machine, or at least, you know, I haven’t built for myself. I haven’t managed to. Build for myself, yet a highly regimented schedule whereby I wake up at five 30 in the morning and write for an hour before I do anything else.
Ben: [00:36:52] Yeah. See, I slept in this morning too.
Didn’t get up until six 30.
Dan: [00:36:58] Well, so then when, when, you know, when do we, having those blocks of dedicated time to creative effort outside of the day job relies on creating those blocks for yourself. So I guess, you know, you can either. so, so there’s really two angles there. There’s, there’s having a day job that doesn’t SAP your creative energy, but then there’s also having a schedule that doesn’t SAP your creative energy because you know, the thing is, I think, and there’s lots of people in this position, even if they have a day job that leaves them fired up to work on their creative thing.
The day job still takes up all of their time between say 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM when you account for. Commuting, uh, you know, and, and there, there’s just a, there’s just a struggle for, for when you do all these things, right? Like what, how do you, how do you move all the blocks that make up your life around in such a way that, that this stuff fits?
And I’m, I mean, this touches on lots of perennial Sean West topics, right? I mean. Mmm. I can’t remember the number off the top of my head, but uh, it, it was a recent show called define your non negotiables and it uses this excellent metaphor of like, you have to put the things that are most important to you in the metaphorical jar first so that everything else can spill in around them.
Right. It’s kind of what we’re talking about here.
Ben: [00:38:21] And so when you think about it that way, it might be. Difficult to visualize that without thinking of the day job as one of those big pieces.
Dan: [00:38:33] Mm.
Ben: [00:38:34] So I’m, and I’m just kinda wondering out loud if there might be a little bit of a hack, if you will, to that idea of like, if you’re doing a day job that fulfills your creative passion and doesn’t leave you any energy, I wonder, I wonder if it.
Makes a big difference. Two, put your, you’re very F, you know, like the, um, T to use kind of biblical language, the first fruits of your creative energy toward, you know, something specific that you already know, you feel passionate about or at the very least toward the exploratory process. Like before you do anything else before you check your email before, whatever, like, um, and maybe, you know, maybe after you, you work out, but like the, the first thing that you deploy your creative energy toward his for yourself.
And that’s, you know, like. Maybe. Maybe that leaves you with less creative energy for your day job. Um, I don’t know. Like I F well, I know that in the times when I’ve felt passionate about something and I’ve actually made progress and taken steps and move the needle, that leaves me feeling this sense of, of satisfaction and clarity and an excitement that really touches every other part of my life.
Dan: [00:40:17] So it’s not so much zero. Some game of of does the energy go to your day job or does it go to your creative thing?
Ben: [00:40:24] Yeah.
Dan: [00:40:25] of a positive sum game where like pursuing your creative passion also amps you up to do better at everything else.
Ben: [00:40:32] I mean, I, I think, I think that’s a theory worth testing, if anything else.
Um, because I can tell you right now, I don’t have built into my routine. You know, an hour or two hours at the very front of my day that’s devoted just to my own personal creative development and exploration. I mean, I almost immediately jump into, okay, what am I doing for work? And I think what makes it easy to do that is I really enjoy the work that I do.
And I’ve, I do have. I do get a lot of fulfillment out of it. So it’s not, it’s, it’s exciting for me to jump into that, you know? Mmm. But, but I think that as long as the question exists, and I think it does for it, I think it does for everyone. Is this question of like, is there something more that you could do that you’re not doing?
Because. You’re, you’re, you feel fulfilled enough in your day job that you don’t feel compelled to. And then that’s where I think it becomes, um, this, this search for creative passion or the exercise of, of creativity toward your passion has to be, uh, practice. Has to be something that’s scheduled that’s purposeful, especially if you’re, if you’re working in a day job that’s fulfilling you creatively.
Dan: [00:42:17] Hmm. I like that. The, the idea that cause this is a way to make it not so all or nothing right, to, to make it not like how, how do I, how do I find the right day job that has nothing to do with my creative passion because that’s the only way I’ll have any energy left to expend on Korea said creative passion, but more that like if you have this day job and it’s very satisfying the.
The hole that you can stumble into is where the, you kind of, you, you hide a little bit, like you kind of hide in the day a job and you say, well, I wake up in the morning and I just want to get right into it. And I tend to be the same way, you know? Ah, it’s so easy to wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is like, check my email and there’s like a support ticket and now I’m immediate.
Even if I don’t deal with it immediately, I’m, I’m thinking about like the day job first thing. Uh, or, or when, when we have to do a show, it’s the same deal. It’s like I wake up, well, and this is when I don’t leave myself enough time. If we’re doing a show in an hour, then I have to think about the show.
If we, if we were doing the show in three hours, I could think about other stuff first.
Ben: [00:43:29] And it’s funny, like you say, you know, there’s a, there’s a job ticket, or there’s the show that we have to do, but like it’s, it’s really fulfilling helping. Someone with, you know, a technical issue related to their ability to do something creative.
You know, it’s fulfilling to do these shows and to, you know, hopefully by our talking through some of these things, help unlock and get help other creators get unstuck. You know, like the, those are things that are absolutely worth thinking about and being preoccupied with. You know. Mmm But it’s, if you don’t, if you don’t purposefully compartmentalize those things in like relegate those things to specific times, then you’re never, you’re never giving your potential creative passion or what is you?
Boy, you’ve identified as your creative passion. Room to breathe and exist without those things.
Dan: [00:44:43] Yeah. I think this is that this is a, there’s a degree of like, it’s a modern problem here where, ah, so much work that so many of us do, what is typically referred to as knowledge work. Is so loosely defined and so relatively unstructured.
Even if you work in an office that it’s, it becomes difficult not to get consumed by it, like at B, because it’s a, you know, people have been making this point for years since there was, since there were things called blackberries that people carry it around to check their email. Was that. You know, the, the fundamental shift in culture that that created was this perception that you could kind of be working everywhere and since you could kind of be working everywhere, then you, he sort of should be working everywhere all the time.
And it just, it, it sort of invites you to lose yourself in what might be this very fulfilling job and the end, like there’s, you know, there’s nothing wrong. I think there’s nothing wrong with having a fulfilling job and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do. Really good work, but the danger is that you sacrifice this greater Arctic, let’s say, artistic or this greater creative calling.
Uh, you may be even sacrifice it without, without knowing it or without intending to, because it’s just so much easier. Two. Satisfy all of your commitments to other people than it is to satisfy that commitment to yourself.
Ben: [00:46:21] Yeah. And it’s, it’s uncomfortable. I mean, there’s, when I, when I think about, Mmm.
Trying to do at like one of, one of the things that I was thinking about doing was doing daily videos for my YouTube channel. Been thinking about doing it for a long time. And it’s very different, like the idea of doing that for myself versus doing that for a company. And this, this gets back to the risk thing.
I mean, there’s. Um, gosh, I like, I feel like, I wish, I wish people could see this because, um, I think there is kind of this, like you could, you could look at it as a graph and like when you’re, when you’re doing creative work for somebody else, there’s a level of fulfillment and satisfaction that you get out of that.
But the risk also is that like, you know, somebody going to criticize it or not like it or you know, whatever. And I, I feel like the, the variants between the satisfaction and the potential dissatisfaction or you know, like that, that risk is low. And so like there’s, there’s a little bit of variance.
And so like, you might have these kind of. Small waves, right? When you’re putting something out for yourself that you’re putting your own name on. Mmm. You know, I think you’re, you’re just more likely to take it more personally. There’s, there’s more of a risk involved in that sense that like when somebody affirms that, it’s like, you’re, you’re like way up here.
You know? That’s awesome. They, they, they get me, I’m, I put myself into this and it resonates and like, that’s awesome. You know? So I think, I think the sense of satisfaction, the potential sense of satisfaction might be much higher. But then also the, the potential sense of, um, you know, just like personal, a feeling, feeling like somebody is attacking you personally and, and the risk of that can bring you to much lower lows.
Dan: [00:48:43] Well that you’re talking about the broader risk of identifying too much with your work, which we, we’ve talked to. About on, on couple of previous shows that the, you know, and this word risk really makes me uncomfortable. Uh, in a, in a specific way that again, is probably a whole other show show topic, which is, uh, I just, you know, I think we tossed that word around a little too casually, or we, you know, we, we overestimate risks because like, you know, risk, risk risk is the likelihood of something bad happening that you can’t recover from.
Like when you talk about risk and investing risk and investing is you buy a stock and it goes to zero. Well, you’re never getting that money back. That was re, you know, so that, that was the risk that you took, but like someone not liking your artistic work and then you feel bad that, that, that isn’t like, that’s not, that doesn’t make the work risky.
That’s, that’s inevitable. It’s like saying that sometimes when you go outside, a couple of drops of water are going to fall on you. Like, there’s a risk that you might get rained on, you know, there’s a risk. But like, but like I said, that’s, that’s, this is a whole other topic.
Ben: [00:49:58] Right?
Dan: [00:49:59] I, I think, I think what you’re saying though is true.
Like, we do feel that way and, and, uh, I’m trying to hold myself back from like, trying to attack those feelings, right? Because I think there’s the, that they’re misguided, but I get them, I have them, we, and we, we mostly do, but, but here’s the thing, like. This is what I think makes it easy to hide in a, in a fulfilling job is that, like you said, there’s that perception of less risk.
Ben: [00:50:24] I think that’s the point I was trying to make is I think that. The discomfort of that, that idea of, of risk, you know, like however, however real or not. I think it’s just, it’s just the, it’s, it’s easier. You know, like it’s, if you’re not purpose, if, if you’re not purposefully changing course, you’re going to by default take the easier course.
And that’s not because you’re, that’s not because you’re trying to. Avoid something purposefully, like you’re just, you’re just It’s kind of like,
Dan: [00:51:02] Well it it is because you’re trying to avoid something, but you’re not doing Liat. Like you said, you’re not doing it purposely. You’re, you’re not necessarily even doing it.
Consciously. I think that’s why, that’s where the topic comes from. That’s why it’s, it’s tricky. That’s why it’s called a shadow career because it’s this thing that it seems perfectly legitimate that you’re doing, except secretly you’re using it to hide from something else. And so maybe where I’m getting to on this is that, you know, I, I really, I, I struggle and so I really want to avoid all or nothing thinking something.
Sean and I talk about a lot. Cause cause he, he. Struggles with it just as much. And you know, at certain points he’s remarked that he’s like, um, I think I’m, I maybe just pay you to point out to me when I’m like falling into all or nothing thinking, which is pretty valuable job all on its own.
and I like, I’m not free. It’s one of those things where I can tell Sean when he’s, when he’s falling into all or nothing thinking, but I do it to myself too. Right? So like, I need to hire, I need to hire someone to help. Me not, are you available? Ben? Could I? Maybe
Ben: [00:52:09] well, I actually have pretty good job right now, so I’m.
Dan: [00:52:14] So, no. So, but it’s, I’m trying not to fall into the all or nothing thinking of like, eh, the only way I’ll, I’m just gonna make this about myself for a second. Like, and everyone can come up with their own version of this. Like, I, I need to go, I need to work in a restaurant, which I’m quite sure as a job I would hate.
And. I dunno if I’d be terrible at it, but I definitely hate it. Mmm. Cause that’s the only way I’ll ever write novels. I’m trying to avoid falling into that all or nothing thinking and instead go, how can I, how can I have my cake and eat it too? How can I both have this fulfilling day job that I like and also pursue my creative passion?
And, and so I’m starting to think, you know, a part of it is becoming aware of that tendency to hide like. Maybe it’s not that a given career is or is not a shadow career. Maybe it’s that you are treating whatever career you have as a shadow career. If you’re using it to subconsciously avoid the work that you secretly really, really want to be doing.
Ben: [00:53:22] Yeah.
Dan: [00:53:22] and then can you become aware of that?
Ben: [00:53:25] I would go as far as even to say secretly avoiding the secretly avoiding, exploring the potential for a passion cause maybe. Maybe you’re in a situation like mine where you don’t really know the answer to that question. Like I think some, some people would say, yeah, I mean, I do feel, I do feel like you know, you can you, you have your novel, like, yeah, that’s something I should be doing.
Like you, you can, that’s really concrete for you.
Dan: [00:54:02] desk.
Ben: [00:54:05] I think there is, I think there’s also.
I dunno. I don’t want to say, I don’t want to say an obligation or responsibility, but maybe it is like there’s, there’s kind of this responsibility that you have to, to just the process of answering that question in the first place and giving yourself like you, if that is a question for you, if you fear that you might be using your day job as a shadow career.
Um, you’re not going to be able to answer the question of, is there something that I would be doing, you know, is there is their passion to pursue without giving yourself the time and the space to explore that. And you don’t have that time in that space unless you purpose purposefully set it aside in the same way that you would do, you know, like, like, so if, if I was just using you and I as an example, then.
You said the first two hours of your day aside every day, the first two hours of your day, that’s for your novel, and the first two hours of my day are for writing and doing some self exploration so I can figure out what it is I want to do or whether or not I’m just completely satisfied and content to continue doing what I’m doing.
Dan: [00:55:29] Yeah. W which, which isn’t, which is, it’s, yeah. It’s an acceptable outcome. Yeah. Right? Like, let’s not lose sight of that, that it’s, it’s not like we’re saying everyone in the world has to, it has to be a, an artist or some other thing, or, or pasta build houses for people who don’t have houses or, so, you know, like, maybe that’s true.
Maybe everyone in the world should do that. I don’t know. But we’re not saying that we’re, we’re just saying like. The introspection is super valuable and it’s super valuable regardless of the result, even if the result is actually, I love what I’m doing. Well, good. Like now you, now you know that even better.
Ben: [00:56:09] Yeah, and I think you owe it to yourself to answer that question.
Dan: [00:56:15] I agree with that. Yeah. You, you, you brought it up as like our, our responsibility and then sort of step back from that a little bit, but no, I think that’s true. I think you ha you do have a responsibility to yourself. I mean in all sorts of ways. I think this is something a lot of us find easy to overlook.
We find it easier to uphold obligations that we have to others, and we disregard the obligations that we have to ourselves. But I really think this is important, that if you don’t recognize w like what you owe yourself, it’s that it’s that sort of tired, cliche. Uh, but you got to put your oxygen mask on first before you can help someone else put theirs on.
Right. Like you, you do, you do the rest of the world a favor as well. When you figure out, like when you do this work and try to figure out what kind of life you want to be living.
I want to point out a couple of comments in the chat because I think they, they, it’s from a a few minutes back, but it does a great job of illustrating how different people can feel. Uh, different things in the same circumstances. Because a angel said, I’ve noticed that when I’m more comfortable in my job, I get less productive with my other stuff, especially if it’s a creative job.
So it sounds like, you know, he’s kind of going in that direction of when he has like, like a creative job that he really likes. He does. He sort of starts to let go of some of the other things he might want to be doing. But on the other hand, Corey said. He, he was, he addressed this to you, Ben.
He said, I think you and I may be in similar situations job wise, I’m feeling pretty empowered to work on new side projects that I’m able to take on. So in some ways, I think having this video day job that I currently have is very enabling for me to shoot more creative videos for myself in addition to the company, because I’m already in that frame of mind of making videos.
So for me, it comes very naturally to create more, when I’m working a job in a similar field.
Ben: [00:58:20] Yeah, and and to be honest, I think that I would be doing more of my own stuff on the side if it weren’t for some of my time constraints. And, um, and that’s where, that’s where I have to be. Uh, so I, I guess I agree with some of that. Like the, the stuff that I’m doing creatively for podia
is really energizing. It gives, it sparks ideas for things that I might do for myself. Um, it’s, it’s helping me. Kind of build the structure and the routine around what I would need to do to produce videos for myself. And so really it’s, for me, it’s more a matter of of setting that time aside and I feel like for, for me, that’s really the next step is like I need to, I need to set that time aside so that I can give myself the space to explore whether or not that is something I want to be doing.
Regularly. I’m being extremely vague because I don’t want to, I don’t want to put anything concrete out. Um, cause I, I, I’ve done that so much over the course of my life where I’m like, yeah, I’m going to do this thing.
Dan: [00:59:47] Well, you, you, you’re too late, Ben, because you, you already committed both you and myself to spending the first two hours of our respective days working on our creative projects.
So thanks a
Ben: [00:59:59] That’s fine. No, I mean I can, I can say I’ll do that. Maybe, but, but I won’t say what I’m going to be doing with those two hours
Dan: [01:00:08] see. I see. Okay. So you’re fine prescribing what I should be doing, but
Ben: [01:00:13] exactly.
Dan: [01:00:14] okay.
Ben: [01:00:17] But I think, I think it’s possible. I think it’s possible to feel so energized.
Mmm. But I like, I don’t want to. I didn’t want to contradict the wisdom in how being in a day job that fulfills you creatively can take away your passion for something else. So like, I don’t want to contradict that, but I think it’s worth testing out for yourself. And I do, I think, I think I do stand by this idea that if you’re going to.
Cultivate. Your creative passion has to be something that you do first. You know, you, you have to let that occupy the very first space in your schedule.
Dan: [01:01:11] That’s probably a good idea. At least it’s a good place to start. Again, like you said, you know, all these things, it always works a little differently for everyone.
So if there were just the one true thing that we could define, like these would be very quick and tidy podcast episodes cause we could just come on here and be like, here’s what you do and now your life is sorted. You’re welcome. Except it never works that way. So, uh, uh, if nothing else taking that time.
Taking the time to just consider the question and then, and then work out your own answer to it. That’s kind of what you have to do.
Ben: [01:01:47] Yeah. So, so theoretically, if I, if I were to aspire to do daily video content on my YouTube channel about, I’ve, I’ve kind of talked about this before, about, Mmm.
Productivity and focus, you know, getting things done in the context of balancing that with, with family life and responsibilities. Um, that’s something that I’ve, I’ve been very passionate about helping people with in the past. And at the very least, you know, it’s something that I’m always working on for myself.
So if I were to want to aspire to do that. Right now, I feel like my day job is actually enabling that more than, um, more than any other day job. Because all of the tools that I use that I would use to do that work, our tools that I set up, all of the routines that I’ve built for myself to be able to do that for my day job are things that I would use for this personal thing.
Mmm. And so it’s really a matter of like I’ve got to do the preliminary stuff and actually create the material I’ve got. I’ve got everything else I need. I just haven’t set aside the time, but I can’t, I can’t answer the question of is that something that I would really feel passionate about doing in the long term until I actually have the time and the space to do it and, and explore that.
So I’m basically just reiterating what I said before, but I feel like for somebody who’s in a similar position, that’s really step one setting that time aside.
Dan: [01:03:42] That’s true. Well, I hope you will set that time aside. Then because what occurs to me and everything you just said is like, you know, don’t overcomplicate it because one thing you could do is set time aside to sit down and think about whether you would be passionate about making videos, but the other thing you could do is set time aside and make some videos and then find out if you’re passionate about what you just did.
Ben: [01:04:03] Exactly.
Dan: [01:04:05] But, but it’s the point is well taken though that like it is a good position to be in where it’s like your day job forces you to have this kind of video creation studio that I can see on the other end of this call, like already set up so that that reduces the friction. If you decide that you want to make your own video content, you don’t have to start with, so how do I create video content?
Right? You, you can do a certain extent, just come in and. Turn on your, I assume you have a big red switch somewhere that you flip. You just flip that switch and then start recording.
Ben: [01:04:36] I do. In fact, it is red,
Dan: [01:04:39] It is red. That’s excellent. Also, you know, but just so it doesn’t slip my mind. I want to make sure people actually do go to prody his YouTube channel and specifically check out the, the video.
Uh, the song is called, you gotta make something. I’m not sure if that’s what the video is called, or the video is called something like 40 ideas,
Ben: [01:04:56] 40 40 digital product ideas or something like that.
Dan: [01:05:01] 40
Ben: [01:05:01] in song form, there’s a picture of me in an Elvis costume.
Dan: [01:05:07] there is a picture of Ben in an Elvis costume and what I want you to do this, this is your reward.
Whoever is still listening this late in the show, your reward is that I’m letting you know that this video is out there. You need to go out and watch it because it is amazing.
Ben: [01:05:22] Yup. I agree. It’s people have told me it’s my best work. I’m
Dan: [01:05:28] Yeah. And how does that make you feel, Ben? How do you
Ben: [01:05:30] not sure.
Dan: [01:05:32] that?
Ben: [01:05:33] Not sure how I feel about
Dan: [01:05:34] Yeah, I know. I know what you mean.
Ben: [01:05:37] I enjoyed that project so much. Um, so yeah. Yeah, definitely go check that out. And I don’t know, like, that might even illustrate, that might illustrate if you, if you know me, if you stuck around with this podcast for awhile, that might illustrate why it’s so easy for me to take my time.
Mmm. Wanting to do some of the introspective, like exploring my own passions because I’m having such an amazing time doing such interesting and important work, uh, with podia. So, um, but yeah, definitely check that video out.
Dan: [01:06:26] It’s a good one though. Well, that’s good. I think. I think to the extent that there can be a takeaway from this kind of conversation, the need to sit down and think, and when I say think I really mean right, because it all starts with writing, and if you, if you haven’t tried it before, just writing down what’s in your head is a much better way to process it than just thinking about it yourself.
Uh, just, you know, doing that to find out where you stand. Where do you stand worth looking into? I, I’d, I’d like to, you know, I’d like everyone who hears this, including myself, to, to give that some time and find out, you know, are, are you happy with where you are or are you dissatisfied with where you are?
And if you’re dissatisfied, start, start looking into why you don’t have to. You’re going to have to change your life in the next 10 minutes
Ben: [01:07:26] But 10 minutes every day could change your life.
Dan: [01:07:30] going to, but ah, right. Oh,
Ben: [01:07:34] Yeah, it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be two hours. Like were like we were saying, it doesn’t have to be an hour.
Like you could, you could just sit down for 15 minutes at the beginning of every day and do some work.
Dan: [01:07:48] I feel called out by this because it’s true. When Ben said before that, you know, we should take the first two hours in the morning. I thought to myself that that would be great, but I’m not going to do that.
Ben: [01:07:57] at least you’re honest.
Dan: [01:08:00] Well, it’s like I could tell myself I’m going to do it, but like I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been at this, this isn’t my first time at this rodeo and I know that I’m not going to suddenly wake up at four 30 in the morning tomorrow morning. And, and put in two hours before I start my day.
Like maybe I can get there. I hope, you know, maybe I’ll get there eventually, but, but I could start with 10 minutes.
Ben: [01:08:24] yeah. You could do they have rodeos in Canada.
Dan: [01:08:28] They do. Yeah. It’s called Calgary. There’s a, there’s a, they have the Calgary stampede.
Ben: [01:08:33] Oh, okay.
Dan: [01:08:34] I just want, I want people to realize that Alberta is the Texas of Canada.
Ben: [01:08:39] Okay. Gotcha.
Dan: [01:08:40] That’s, that’s, that’s the way to think about it. Mmm. Alberta is the Texas of Canada. Ben, you want to wrap this up?
Ben: [01:08:50] Yes, I think, I think I do. Dan, where can people go to find us online?
Dan: [01:08:56] you can go to Shawn west.com you can become a member. You get to listen to live shows like this one.
Well, when you’re hearing it, it might not be live, but we recorded it live.
Ben: [01:09:06] Yeah. And, and may I say, may I say too, we are working on and very close to live streaming video,
Dan: [01:09:15] That’s true. Yeah.
Ben: [01:09:17] and that’s, that’s something that we do for, uh, we w you, so you can not only listen live as a member, but you.
Potentially can watch live. Yeah.
Dan: [01:09:28] Potentially. Yeah.
Ben: [01:09:28] We’re working on
Dan: [01:09:29] Ben’s being very, Ben’s being very kind. Cause when he says we’re very close, the main hurdle is just that my setup is completely inappropriate and just, it’s terrible.
Ben: [01:09:39] wouldn’t use the word inappropriate cause that I would S I would say it’s unprofessional.
Dan: [01:09:46] Okay.
Ben: [01:09:46] Is that
Dan: [01:09:47] unprofessional, that’s better. That’s way better. It makes me feel so much better. It’s amateur hour over at Dan’s has, uh, but we’re working on it, so, so yes, go to Shawn west.com. Become a member. You get access to all of our courses, over $7,500 value. It’s pretty amazing. Um, and if, if you’re.
You know, somewhere in the journey of pursuing your creative passion. I’m sure we can help you out. So go to Shawn west.com check it out,
Ben: [01:10:14] Yup.
Dan: [01:10:14] Ben, where can they find you online?
Ben: [01:10:16] You can find me at Ben Tolson on all of the things, and I would love for you to, uh, on, on Twitter, on Instagram, wherever.
Just shoot me a message, especially if you’ve listened to a show, you have questions or thoughts, feedback, or whatever. Love to hear from you. Dan, where can they find you online?
Dan: [01:10:39] Uh, you can check me firstname.lastname@example.org, and I am at DJ Jacobson, the author on Good
Ben: [01:10:48] All right. Good show, sir. We’ll
Dan: [01:10:50] show, sir.
Ben: [01:10:52] see you next time.
Dan: [01:10:54] We will. Yes.
I think the way I put it earlier. That it looks like I’m podcasting from my parents’ basement and we’re going to have to.
Ben: [01:11:46] Yeah, there’s so the. I th I, I did want to talk a little bit about some of the challenges and kind of the contrast between what we were doing live video wise with, with Sean and what we’re looking at here.
So like, uh, actually up until today I was using the, you know, the webcam on my iMac or video and you and I were doing a video call and. To, you know, to be honest, on my end, I didn’t have you full screen or anything, so it wasn’t like I had a big, a picture of Dan’s face in front of me. Um, but I tried for the most part.
Like, I always try to look toward the lens is I’m, you know, like, I like the feeling of. So when I was in the room with Sean, like were there in the room together. When I’m talking to him, I’m looking at his face, you know? And though though I can’t nest, like even now you’re, I have a beam splitter glass setup with my camera, like my main cameras being piped into my computer and, and so I can see your reflection of B.
The zoom live video feed of Dan’s face. And so the, the reflection of Dan’s faces sitting in front of the camera lens in some looking at this tiny, like, it’s, it’s just so tiny, this tiny, I can’t see any of his facial expressions or anything like that, but I hope, and I imagine on his end because of the way I have things set up.
I’m looking at the lens, he can see my facial expressions and the way that I’m reacting to things, or whether or not I’m actually paying attention to him and
Dan: [01:13:43] It’s almost intimidating actually. How good Ben looks on his camera set up.
Ben: [01:13:47] yeah. And that, and that just helps a little bit. So, you know, like I wanna I want to make Dan’s face bigger on the screen for myself.
Um, so that’s, that’s one of the challenges.
Dan: [01:13:59] The challenge is, look, I mean here, here’s the reality. I’m coming to you through my IMAX webcam, which is not particularly high quality. I’m back lit. I have a gigantic pop filter on my microphone that covers half of my face and the. What’s immediately behind me in my apartment is like my, you can see part of my dining table and part of my television, part of my workout equipment.
Like, it’s just not, you know, I don’t, I don’t have this professional studio set up with the beautiful, the rich, like Ben’s got purple lighting on the walls, but then he’s also clearly got some kind of lighting on his face. Like he’s put a lot of thought and effort and I assume expense into this setup.
And, uh, and frankly, it just makes me feel bad about
Ben: [01:14:42] that’s, it’s not so expensive, but, but I think just maybe like a consultation. You and I have have a meeting and we can talk through some of this stuff. I think that, I think this just a matter of a few tweaks and. We’ll be ready to go. I’m excited.
I, because there’s just something about being able to see people’s expressions, like all of the things that I was trying to demonstrate with my hands during the, like, you can see all of those things. I love being able to provide that kind of experience for people.
Dan: [01:15:20] Yeah, well, and we occasionally pull these amazing, uh, animated gifs out of the.
Out of the feed, like the, the one of Ben dancing, which is amazing.
Ben: [01:15:29] That was, that was taken from a GoPro in the corner of the the room.
Dan: [01:15:35] Yeah. I mean, I think one of, one of the highlights, one of the high points of my interaction with the Sean West brand was when I actually came across the podcast episode that that was taken from.
So I actually got the context for what you’re doing and that.
Ben: [01:15:50] Yeah, I S I still don’t remember. I still don’t remember why.
Dan: [01:15:54] Oh man. Well, I’ll, I’ll let you in on the secret sometime, but not now.
Ben: [01:15:58] There he is. He posted it, didn’t you? Right there in the chat.
Dan: [01:16:02] chat. It’s right there. I should, I actually need to, the next time we’re doing the little thing at the end when it’s like, go to Shawn west.com and become a member.
We need to point out that the real reason to become a member is these gifts. Yeah, there’s the, there’s the other one of you during a rave, and I can’t tell if you actually had like a, a brightly lit thing or if that was added in post or what.
Ben: [01:16:24] Oh, that was definitely added in post. I don’t, I do not.
Nor will I ever own rave sticks.