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#24 Re-Discover Lost Creativity with Robert A Belle
Episode 2422nd February 2021 • People First Leaders • Doug Utberg
00:00:00 00:30:02

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Doug and Robert discuss the process of creativity and the balance that must be found in order to reclaim it.

As we discuss, the key word is 'balance' ... most of us don't have the luxury of stopping our life to become creative. Unlocking our inner creativity requires finding a balance of daily life and new pursuits.

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Doug's business specializes in partnering with companies and non-profits to create value and capture cost savings without layoffs to fund growth and strengthen financial results. 

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Welcome to the terminal value Podcast where each episode provides in depth insight about the long term value of companies and ideas in our current world. Your host for this podcast is Doug Utberg, the founder and principal consultant for Business of Life, LLC.

Doug: Welcome to the terminal value podcast. This is Robert, we have on the line. Although his screen name just screen name on zoom does not say Robert so I had to I couldn't cheat I had to actually be had to remember and but what Robert focuses on is actually helping authors with book launches. But, what we were actually going to talk about today is really how um how authoring a book while some people kind of feel like it's maybe quaint or outdated is actually still a really important part  of generating authority as a thought leader. So Robert don't let me talk the whole time definitely introduce yourself and let's yeah let's just kind of start a dialogue. 

Robert: Alright, great yes that's what happens when you have too many zoom accounts and you log into the meeting with a different one so that's that's on me. So I'm happy to be here. My name is Robert Bell, I professionally I'm a qualified accountant  but I branched out to break through the spreadsheets. I am a speaker, I am an author, I'm a coach, I am all things transformational. My focus is just to help people who are busy and unsatisfied with life live very abundantly.

Doug: And so that's actually I have a little bit of connection. There so my background is actually in finance and accounting particularly for technology companies and on the IT and systems side. So, It's kind of funny how yeah, there's just this inner desire to kind of break free from the spreadsheets. I mean, don't get me wrong I still like doing like doing detailed dorky analysis but uh but yeah there's definitely a lot of life outside of corporate IT accounts. 

Robert: Definitely, I can relate to that. I might, I still as I said carry the brand of an accountant although, I'm a champion of creativity now which is like the other end of the spectrum but I still carry my badge very proudly because you know what I believe that you know our professions, our qualifications, they're just one aspect of identity. So it's not, you're not who you're not someone because of the profession you do you're someone because of what you do. So yes, I might be an accountant but I also create.

Doug: Alright.

Robert: So I'm a creative regardless whether I'm a content or engineer.

Doug: That is, that's outstanding. Well, let's see. So let's actually kind of let's explore that a little bit kind of going from you know a traditional left brain linear type of role like finance or accounting or even like something like engineering. I think that would be another thing that would be very, very analogous into a more creative realm just because like for example if you're going to publish anything whether it's articles, blogs, books, videos, whatever there's a creative element and especially if you're trying to do it as an entrepreneur. You're good, you'll know by definition start off having to do a lot of it on your own. And so, in in your view what's the best way that somebody can go from hey I have a you know I have an adequate but boring linear job to I'm I have a creative instinct that I want to nurture and someday would like to be able to actually make a living off of it without needing to you know without needing to be on public assistance.

Robert: Yeah, I mean the best way to do that is first to step away from the job. A lot of us unfortunately, have wrapped up in the identities of our jobs and that was me. You know, when I was an accountant I took on the persona of an accountant. I wore glasses, I had my pockets squared, my pens I, because I wanted to be the best. I really wanted and that's what I saw people who do accounting and finance do so I just took on that persona.

Doug: That's the best thing. That just seems so odd to me just because you seem like such a cool guy. I really have a hard time imagining you nerding up.

Robert: Thank you. Thank you, that was that's why I call myself a transformational strategist, an expert because it was a transformation. I mean, I was quiet, I had the full persona but I just felt like you know Clark Kent. I just felt like Clark Kent and I was like no, this is just not me. I mean just like what you said I didn't have a problem with the workout doing. I love the analytics, I love getting into the detail, I love accounting for every single coin, every dollar etc. but it just there was a part of me is the more I realized I took on the persona of you know this analytical sort of person is the more I felt a part of me dying.

Doug: Yeah.

Robert: So the first thing you want to do if you want to move across that continuum is take a step back from your job. Take a step back from your profession and really take that journey to discover. Alright, so who am I outside of this profession? If I remove that label? How do you introduce yourselves? And I think a lot of us will be pretty blank engineers and accountants out there. I think if you don't call yourself an engineer accountant you'll be in trouble with trying to describe yourself to someone.

Doug: Well and I think that's actually I think and I'm really glad you brought that up because I think that's actually a really, a really important part of kind of the entrepreneurial transformation is you of course write the you know since I'm a linear analytical type too the first the first thing that I think about is I go okay so I've decided, I wanted to start this business that has negative cash flow and at some point I need to get that to where I can actually pay the bills and I'm not going to have people putting debt judgments in my name. But I think something that almost has to precede that is to really think about okay, I stopped thinking about myself as my job and I start thinking about myself in terms of whatever my mission is because I think that generally speaking if you're going to really be a successful entrepreneur there has to be some kind of mission that you're following you know and now. It's like you know it doesn't have you know it can still be modestly prosaic right. You know, it's like you know it doesn't have to be literally saving the world but you know it's you know but on the other hand right you know the people who say their mission is to save the world. Nobody can save the world but, anybody can make a meaningful difference in at least a handful of people's lives. Some people in quite a few people's lives and I think that really figuring out what that mission is, is a really important first step just because it's, it takes so long to get to economic viability. That it's like you know if you don't really have a firm idea of what's driving you the chance that you're going to be able to sustain is almost zero.

Robert: I don't know. 

Doug: Let me know your thoughts, that's my observation.

Robert:  Yeah, yeah, you, you hit the nail right on the head. You as that's what I was saying, you got to step back from your profession and figure out what this mission is. And, this mission is severely tied to a combination of your skills, your experience, yeah your passions, and also what values you can add. You know a lot of people say alright step away from your job and go after what you like doing. Not necessarily, you know I really have to put a big question there because when you started that journey, when I started my journey so if I followed what was my passion what I felt good in I'll be totally lost you know. I had to first rediscover, reconfigure myself to figure out the mission and my mission was to help people who are in a similar situation like myself, licensed professionals who have you know denied their creativity for all that time. So I help them move out of that analytical space now into that right brain sort of creative thing. So you got to find out what the mission is and mission is heavily relied to what I said your uniqueness and also what value you're going to deliver because the value is what will drive the cash flow. You can't generate revenue unless you're delivering some sort of value, you've got to stick to that. You can't necessarily follow the numbers I mean, terminal value sometimes things change and they're they're you know this technology shifts technology changes so you got to follow the value and in order for you to follow the value you got to solve a problem. In order for you to solve a problem, you got to identify with the people who have the problem and that's why a lot of people have a big challenge monetizing their creative ideas or being an entrepreneur because yes you have this great idea but you're not targeting it, you're not specifying who has the problem you you it's in your head it's worked out well and good and you just want to put it out there and hope everyone will find you at the stall you know in the whole big market right I mean that's that's not gonna work. It's like you, it's like you put in writing a book and put it on amazon you're pretty much shouting in silence. If you don't know, if you can't connect with the people who have the problem. Build that funnel you know, not necessarily like the sales funnel technical part of it but you got to build that connection to the problem right or you just be shouting in the silence.

Doug: Well and that's actually a kind of a really good conversation segue you know because of course one of the you know one of the key areas  that your business operates and or key segments you operate in is in book promotion, in helping people to get their books noticed which I think you know you know I've you know like many people I've been working on a book for a really long time. I'm hoping to actually get it out  but the thing that I keep wondering is alright so when I get that book out how do I get it noticed? And so I would love it if you could share some of your insights that way because I think that you know you the the normal things you'll hear are things like okay well you know it's like you either put like say a google AdWords campaign out or go on people's podcasts or you know it's there's you know all a whole lot of things that are you know that are very very time intensive and the the thing is you know it it may be that there's no secret formula, you know it may be that you either have to spend a lot of time, a lot of money or both but that's one of the things that I've always kind of it's always kind of felt like a mystery to me is that how do you really get a book promoted in a time and money efficient manner.

Robert: That's a great question. First, I can't claim credit for the company because it's not, it's not my company. I work. 

Doug: Fair enough. 

Robert: I'm a client of because we got connected to a company called book launchers that actually help people to write, promote, and publish a book. And I can tell you the self-publishing journey is a lonely journey. I mean hands up if you know someone who has actually self-published a book. It's, I don't know how your circles are but it can be a bit difficult finding someone who's actually gone through that process so when you started you're like okay where do I start, what what do I begin. You know, there's this there's no like cheat sheet if you want to call it that yes a lot of people are developing that but it goes back to what we were talking about earlier the mission.

Doug: Yeah.

Robert: When you're thinking about writing a book or publishing a book you want to, you need to realize that writing a book it's not just about writing. It's not writing a blog post, it's not writing a newsletter item, or featured post. Writing a book means you're establishing yourself as an authority in a particular subject area you know particularly if it's non-fiction right.

Doug: Yeah.

Robert: You're establishing yourself as an authority. You need to realize and identify so if I'm going to be an authority, who am I not authority to? Who's going to respect this? Who's going to value what I'm going to do right. The technicalities of yeah getting it published edit and so on that happens afterwards. You gotta first, identify you know what's my space. You know, what why do I want to be seen as an authority in this. I wrote my book you know blow the lid off, reclaim your stolen creativity you know doing a shameless plug you know increase your income and let your light shine.

Doug: No shame at all that's, that's how the world works. Nobody's ashamed about anything anymore so.

Robert: Yeah, yeah right. Yes, exactly. You know and I wrote that because I wanted to I wanted people to see that I'm authority in this and not just it's just  not my personal experience so I backed it up with scientific evidence, with lots of research, you know showing the great thinkers of our times were both analytical and creative the Einstein's the the Picassos I mean it was just startling. I didn't know some of these things so whether they were artistic, they also did a bit of engineering whether they were engineering they also did a bit of artistic work like Einstein. Actually just went to the lab when he got an idea and wanted to test a theory outside of that in his memoirs his wife says that he constantly played the violin in a piano endlessly and then when he got an idea he'd run to the lab. You know so he made you know best use of his right brain left brain if you want to call it that use. So back to the issue about publishing a book, so you need to realize and establish that first why do you want to be an authority in that space. Then the technicalities of it come in where do you publish it? Where do you promote it? You know, you know all those things and that's that's a whole different ball game but what drives all of that is who is your market? Who is your audience because listen yes everyone knows amazon is like king for books but guess what if the people who need to read that book don't really go on amazon? You know, you you kind of have a mismatch there and and I think that's what a lot of authors fall into that trap where they said all right my book is on amazon they log in every day refresh, refresh, refresh and the the buy isn't moving you know those analytics are just not moving and you got to realize is that the best way to get them. You know, so you talked about earlier promoting a book for example going on podcast maybe where your your your target market is right now is heavily in the podcast world.

Doug: Yeah.

Robert: They don't really read. They're odd, they're audible learners. You know the different ways of learning right visually you got to figure that out you know people say you got to get an avatar. You got to get a profile you know, I say do that but don't get too hungover on it because who you think you're targeting at first sometimes can evolve so you want to be a bit flexible.


[Sponsorship Part]

Doug: Hey there everybody, I'm just taking a quick break here to tell you about the sponsor for this episode. So this episode of the podcast is actually sponsored by podcorn. Now for those of you who don't know, podcorn is actually a podcasting sponsorship platform so if you go over to what you will see is you'll see opportunities for either brands to sponsor podcast episodes or for podcasters to promote brands in exchange of course for sponsorship revenues this is actually really great platform for a couple of reasons:

  1. What it does is it really makes it possible to monetize your podcast in a pretty frictionless way the platform is very easy to use and;
  2. It  really helps niche brands to be able to reach audiences that are a lot harder to target by mass media and a lot of times will be really expensive so it's really a win-win all the way around.

So if you've ever had any interest at all in podcasting definitely check out I hope you have a wonderful day and we'll get you back to the show now. 

[Back to the show]

Robert: So maybe they're auditory learners so you put your book on amazon and you don't tell them about it you gotta be in trouble.

Doug: I like that, I like that kind of sneak up approach. Well okay, let's let's actually turn the conversation back to kind of re reclaiming your creativity and because yeah I think that that really speaks to me. I think you know, in our pre-podcast conversation we were just you know talking a little bit you know you're just about kind of that transition from like say kind of left brain linear to kind of more right brain creative and the interplay between the two. But like one of the things that you know a lot of people point out you know I certainly am not the only the first person to think of this but like you know just about every kid has ever every kid you know who's like you know between 5 and 12 has creativity coming out their ears. And that at some point they have to turn into a grown-up and that creativity starts to wane. And you know, especially because you know my two kids right are 11 and 14 and so they're both at that at that point where they're where they're having to transition from being kid kids to being able to have grown-up responsibilities and what I keep thinking is okay you know I don't want them to lose that creativity but on the other hand they also have to be able to function in the real world. So that I would love to hear your, your insights out there partly for the benefit of the audience partly for my benefit because I'm trying to figure out how to strike that balance myself you. 

Robert: You know what and that's the thing it's a balance. And a lot of people don't realize it's a balance and yes every five seven nine year old just you know bursting with creativity...