How to Find Soulful Success and The Dance Between Creativity and Business | Rolf Potts on Conscious Creators with Sachit Gupta

Check out the Conscious Creators Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on maximizing your satisfaction, not your audience reach
    • Often times you can sacrifice your creativity to reach a larger audience, but it will cost you some satisfaction
  • “It doesn’t really matter how big your audience is if you don’t really have anything to say. Having something to say is way more important than having a giant audience.” – Rolf Potts
  • “Different is better than better” – Sachit Gupta
    • “I’m not trying to create a better interview, I’m trying to create a different experience both for the guest and the audience”
  • Once your brand gets to a certain size, you can cut out the middleman (book publishers, traditional media, etc.)
    • Your reputation used to be your college degree or connection to a middleman, but today it’s the size of your followers  
      • “More and more, creative people are going to be expected to manage their own business, their own marketing, their own promotion. And I think just as equally, business people are going to find that their world is enhanced by being creative.” – Rolf Potts
  • There’s a difference between having 5 years of experience and having 1 year of experience that you’ve repeated 5 times

Intro

Books Mentioned

  • Sachit read Rolf’s book Vagabonding before visiting Asia
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
    • People who want to become the best at something usually understand what they do and how things around them work
      • “If you’re an actor, if you can understand how the cameraman works and moves the camera, that will make you a better actor” – Sachit Gupta

Balancing Creativity & Success

  • Focus on maximizing your satisfaction, not your audience size
    • There are a lot of successful podcasters tired of talking about the same topic for three years straight
      • Often times you can sacrifice your creativity to reach a larger audience, but it will cost you some satisfaction
        • “Success in a way can become its own prison” – Sachit Gupta
  • Once you’ve gotten successful at something, you often want to branch out and expand, not just continue the same routine
    • Rolf enjoys talking about traveling, but he also wants to expand into different topics
  • “It doesn’t really matter how big your audience is if you don’t really have anything to say. Having something to say is way more important than having a giant audience.” – Rolf Potts

Thoughts on Podcasting

  • Too many people listen to self-help podcasts to soothe themselves instead of taking what they learned and putting it into action
  • Sachit questions for podcasting: 
    • Who am I interested to talk to?
    • Then he asks his guests what topics they usually talk about and tries to find different topics that guests haven’t spoken about before
    • He asks his guests, what are things you want to talk about but don’t get asked about?
  • “Different is better than better” – Sachit Gupta
    • “I’m not trying to create a better interview, I’m trying to create a different experience both for the guest and the audience”
      • The podcast space is starting to get saturated so it’s important to be different and stand out
        • The entire idea of Rolf’s podcast is to talk to experts about something other than their expertise
  • Most of the best podcasts are personality-driven instead of topic-driven

You Are The Creator & Business Manager

  • Rolf has sold a ton of books without a huge social media following but things are changing now
    • Your reputation used to be your college degree or connection to a middleman (like a book publisher), but now your reputation is the size of your social media audience  
  • Once your brand gets to a certain size, you can cut out the middleman (book publishers, traditional media, etc.)
    • Authors can publish their own books on Amazon
    • Filmmakers can publish their own movies on Youtube
    • Radio hosts can publish their own shows on Apple
  • Creatives aren’t just creators anymore, they are now the brand and business manager
    • “More and more, creative people are going to be expected to manage their own business, their own marketing, their own promotion. And I think just as equally, business people are going to find that their world is enhanced by being creative.” – Rolf Potts

Thoughts on Traveling

  • Sachit read Rolf’s book Vagabonding before visiting Asia
  • Rolf actually started traveling late in life, as he didn’t have a passport until he was 25
  • Rolf’s book is a somewhat philosophical book because he built his own travel philosophy out of a desire to travel rather than a travel experience that was handed to him in his upbringing
    • “Travel can be a metaphor for so many other things in life” – Rolf Potts
  • “In some ways, Vagabonding was a letter to my 17-year-old self saying you don’t have to play by those rules, you can be a little bit different” – Rolf Potts
    • In those days, travel was seen as an irresponsible, hippy activity

Additional Notes

  • There’s a difference between having 5 years of experience and having 1 year of experience that you’ve repeated 5 times
  • There’s a difference between success that’s just an endless pursuit and success that actually enhances your life and that you allow yourself to appreciate and enjoy
    • There’s a balance between achievement and appreciation
  • Our brains love brief excitements and dopamine hits that come from clickbait culture, but that is not in any way connected to soulfulness
  • Authenticity and being true to your vision is what makes you successful
  • People are liking TikTok more than Instagram because TikTok content is more authentic
    • The people on TikTok are also nicer than other platforms like Twitter
  • The response to COVID-19 goes against all American sensibilities
    • Because we can’t see the virus, we can’t see the “attack” and people behave as if there’s nothing to react to
      • “Something is attacking our country, yet we’re having the same old conversations. We’re trying to stick a dagger in somebody else’s argument when both of us should be listening to what’s happening.” – Rolf Potts
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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