Scott Perry of Be Creative On Purpose – Part 2 of 2, Episode 006
Scott Perry of Creative On Purpose is an author and creativity coach. He and I sat down to talk about how small actions can become great with intention and encouragement.
You can also listen to part one of this conversation to hear our conversation on the importance of community and doing work that helps others.
Find Scott Perry Online
BeCreativeOnPurpose is the best place to find Scott’s two books, his coaching services, and his newsletter. If you sign up for that he will send you the first few chapters of his newest book Endeavor for free.
Episode Highlights and Links
- Scott is a coach in several of Seth Godin’s Marketing Courses
- The main theme of Seth Godin’s newest book This Is Marketing is The Minimal Viable Audience
- The Foundations of Stoic Philosophy are Man’s social nature, our capacity for reason and Scott’s related third idea *our desire to create for others**
- Steven Pressfield’s articles about The Resistance that force that always tries to hold us back
- I used the Auphonic cloud-based audio tools to create a transcription, the ID3 tags and a video for this episode.
- The Smallest Viable Audience
- The Magical Sequence of the Smallest Viable Audience
- The Deeper Part of “Help Others”
- How Blogging, Sharing and Listening Helps You Define Yourself
- The Role of Stoic Philosophy in Creativity
- How Tribes Work Towards the Greater Good
- Our Only Chance to Live Happier Lives
- Consuming Doesn’t Work
- The Stories We Tell Ourselves Matter Most
- Responding to Negative Feedback
- The Final Flourish Story
- The Difference Between Feedback and Criticism
- The Power of Encouragement
- Why Sharing in Small Steps Works Best
- The Danger of Attachment
- How to Find Scott and Learn More
- Scott’s Appreciation to The Stay Creative Project
- How My Drive to Improve Helps Me Stay Creative
- Use Auphonic to Automate Transcriptions and Export Videos
A Note on the Transcript
A transcript is provided towards the bottom of this page. But please be forewarned! Google was kind to make the transcription for me, but machine learning only goes so far. I have corrected much of it, but I’m afraid it will have a few errors, especially in the 2nd half.
Listen to This Podcast
Listen to Other Podcasts in This Series
The Stay Creative Project is designed to help content creators stay inspired, so we can keep making great stuff to help us change the world.
Check out other Stay Creative Project Episodes here at New Wild Media.
Scott Perry Interview, Part 2 of 2 – Introduction
Hey everybody it’s David Bourne from NewWildMedia.com and welcome to part two of my two-part conversation with Scott Perry, founder of Creative on Purpose and author of the recent book: Endeavor: Cultivate Excellence While Making a Difference.
Scott calls himself a husband, a father, he’s a longtime guitar instructor, he’s also an instructor and coach in several of Seth Godin’s Marketing Courses (marketing courses and)… you probably know about Seth Godin. If you don’t you need to look Seth up. Scott works with him and he also works with some of his own personal clients.
So, in this episode we talked about a ton of stuff including something that Seth Godin talks about a lot: this Smallest Viable Audience idea. There’s a powerful sequence that we talked about that’s related to that. And we also talked about just why sharing our work freely in ways that helps others contributes to the greater good. It’s really one of the best ways to bring us happiness in the end. So let’s get right into part 2 with Scott.
Start Of The Interview
[1:40] David Bourne
Again back to “helping people”. So I know that my struggle, which is very similar to other people struggle is that…I’ve done lot of work (I’ve done a lot of creative work) but getting it out to people is is harder for some of us and The Resistance is great with some of us (back to Steven Pressfield’s name for, you know, those demons that that hold us back and want us to be safe and don’t do anything too crazy because they say “aren’t you just fine how you are right now”.
And then there’s the more inspired part of us that encourages keep going, keep going. So we’ve got those two things. But talk more about this whole “helping people” because as someone who is starting out, and I know it’s true for everyone when they start a new project. Like okay you’re birthing this thing you ask, “Are people going to like it? Am I going to get enough followers? Am I going to get any followers? I’m ashamed of how small my list is. I’m ashamed of how small my numbers are”.
Talk about that shift that I think we need to make into saying, “okay yeah numbers might matter, I mean, you’ve got to reach people”. Can you talk about that because the Internet presents us with so many challenges to say, “well numbers matter”, like you briefly touched on that in my mind when you started talking about these louder voices earlier.
The Smallest Viable Audience
So you mentioned the coaching and online programs I do, so I have completed Seth Godin’s AltMBA, his marketing seminar, his podcasting seminar and I am currently a coach the marketing seminar, and I’m just wrapping up coaching in the first-ever session of the Bootstrappers Workshop.
In the marketing seminar, in the Bootstrappers Workshop in in the podcasting fellowship, Seth talks about identifying your smallest viable audience.
It‘s the central theme of his current book (that kind of comes out of his work in the marketing seminar) and the name of the book is called This Is Marketing. It’s excellent everybody should read it. It‘s great.
The thing about the smallest viable audience is that it’s small, it’s viable, and it’s audience.
You don’t need to beat yourself, as you said, the reference to how we might feel ashamed of the size of our list. Well, I would assert that shame is an invitation no one needs to accept under any circumstances because what is true is that if you can find 10 people that will engage and invest in your idea you have established an audience and viability.
The Magical Sequence Of The Smallest Viable Audience
And the magic of the smallest viable audiences, as Seth addresses it, is that with a small audience you’re putting yourself on the hook. You have to earn that trust. Well, first you just have to earn the awareness, then you have to earn the attention. Then you have to earn the engagement, and you have to earn their permission and then you earn their trust and then, way way down the line you finally earned their investment.
Although they’re investing at the beginning with their time. When it’s time to, viability means will they pay you for the solution to their problem that they have. Will they pay you to enhance their lives in the way that you’re able to enhance their lives. And when you have a very small audience you’re not going to get away with acting like a spammy advertiser or a click-baiting trickster.
You’re going to have to look people in the eye, you’re going to have to engage them with empathy, you’re going to have to be able to see them and understand them, and understand their dreams and aspirations and their fears and their anxieties and problems. All of that, and then you then you have the opportunity to serve them.
How Blogging, And Sharing And Listening Helps You Define Yourself
And some of that will be generously sharing your free content like your blog posts which are really how, most of us refine our ideas.
I didn’t have any clue as to what Creative on Purpose was when it began.
First of all, it’s had three different names. It was through the process of blogging and sharing and listening and blogging and sharing and listening, I identified my purpose and I was able to find my audience and find them where they were and engage with them there and entice some of them onto my platform where I could communicate with them directly.
The Deeper Part Of “Help Others”
So the other part of “helping others” piece is that if you want to have an audience and if you’re going to have viability, you’re going to have to have some sort of paid offering if you’re going to have viability.
The Role Of Stoic Philosophy In Creativity
But the deeper part of when I say “this is not a self-help book it’s a help others book”, goes back again to Stoic philosophy and in the beginning of my Endeavor book. That steals two ideas from Stoic philosophy then adds this creativity piece to it.
One of the reasons why stoicism continues to be relevant today is because the stoics just by chance got two very important things right:
Essential defining human characteristics
1) our social nature,
…how we survive as a species, when we were not at the fastest or the strongest nor the most numerous, so it was our ability to gather, communicate and collaborate that enabled us to survive and that social instinct is not going anywhere. And then had a scientifically, biologically we are incapable of existing unless we have others around us. And then…
2) our capacity for reason
…which doesn’t mean that we’re always behaving like rational, reasonable people, but we have that capacity… we have the ability to think through interesting problems and come up with innovative solutions. And then so for me there’s that
3) piece of creativity
… that we have this ability to make stuff. Whether that‘s physical goods or conceptual Goods or interpersonal assets: we have these three things at our disposal and because the social nature is such an inherent part of who we are it only been (again this comes from my love of Stoic philosophy)
The stoics say that part of our duty as a human being is to promote the health and happiness of our fellow human beings and that is how we ourselves can enhance our character and therefore our happiness.
And so that’s why to me it’s such an essential part of the process in the approach that I’m encouraging people to adopt or adopt whatever part they find relevant in the Endeavor book and it’s because, it works. I’ve seen it work in my life I’ve seen it work in my coaching both is a guitar teacher for 30 plus years and as a coach in Seth Godin’s marketing seminar and Bootstrappers Workshop.
How Tribes Work Towards The Greater Good
And I’ll just circle all the way back to something you said at the beginning. You kind of referenced this in your work. You know that you found that there’s kind of a resonance between what you were seeking to do and what I am doing.
I found in the coaching Seth’s programs is Seth just attracts people like us.
I just, I can’t even count the number of people that I’ve met where I’ve said,
You and I are just working on the same project.” and sometimes it’s in entirely different domains.
But we are all doing the same things. We are all just trying to save the world. Since that’s too big, we all just do these little projects. We put these things out into the word that are drip drip the step step steps towards promoting more goodness in the world.
Our Only Chance To Live Happier Lives
[11:56] David Bourne
Do you think that this creative force (whatever this is) is doing that? The force that we might call Intuition?
I think that’s the only chance that we have to look more fulfilling satisfied healthier and happier lives.
Again we are not creatures… we’ve never been creatures that feel that we are thriving by just accepting what is. We are creatures by nature that feel most alive when we are stepping into the unknown, when we are stepping into, as Seth Godin says, “this might not work”, you know… human beings do that that kind of work all the time.
In the current age, if it doesn’t work it’s unlikely that we’re going to die in the process. What we have has is opened up the possibility of learning and of building resilience and of continuing to connect and communicate with others. Which means that as long as we are doing all this with integrity and intention that we have the possibility to still get up tomorrow morning and try something else that might not work.
(Below this line, the transcription gets a little wonky. Please accept my and Google’s apologies.)
Consuming Just Doesn’t Work
[13:22] That’s a great time that we live in a although that makes me think of the things that you mentioned earlier the forces that it would rather us.
[13:33] Be happy consuming and you know keep keep consuming that’s what’s going to make us happy when I think a lot of us are waking up so you know,
that’s not it what’s next.
[13:51] Seth makes a point in this is marketing and in the marketing seminar that all marketing really is stories and marketing to the customer is,
The Stories That We Tell Ourselves Matter Most
[14:00] marketing to ourselves because the stories that we tell ourselves are the ones that we have to get a grip on first and foremost so the people.
You know if you are someone that is telling themselves destroyed that I I’m not creative.
Or that you know freelancing Arch nor ship to something other people do or art is something that other people do ya,
you know you you’re entitled to that story we we are our perception and is one of the two things that we have ultimate.
Agency and control over we control the way we choose to see see things we also been control what we choose to do next now if you want to continue to.
[14:43] Do see that your situation is immutable and you’re just going to,
continue to sit on the couch and watch television that’s that’s a choice yeah but it’s actually really quite simple and easy but it is to change your mind you just simply say.
Why I’m actually a creative human being I can do that right now because I can create I can make a different choice I could choose not to watch TV today instead choose to sit.
In front of a blank piece of paper and turn it into a nun blank piece of paper.
Responding To Negative Feedback
And not be attached to the outcome particularly someone else’s opinion of that.
[15:32] What was once a blank piece of paper and that could be a really scary thing to folks.
And as a musician I think you met and I’m making an assumption here early in life you got some feedback.
[15:48] That was positive and a lot of people got feedback that was negative.
The Final Flourish Story
[15:53] One of my…. a woman who like to call me (herself my) art mother.
She was…. she taught a class and I decided to take it … was (called) intuitive painting and and I came to come to learn that she she was a member of the Wyatt family.
And they had told her she did not measure up.
Yet here she was in her later years and she’s teaching this art class called intuitive painting I just it really changed my life,
in a big way and come to find out (after) I moved and inquired about her and then.
Come to find out that she had cancer that whole time I didn’t know it and this was sort of her last.
You know, her last chance to be creative.
[16:46] [Scott Perry]
That is fascinating last chapter of my book is called the Final Flourish and it’s about,
essentially a lesson learned from a hundred-year-old stayman winesap apple tree that was on our farm and that.
That that was was dying and its final act was to put forth,
the most apples it is ever put out and it’s a long life and wow
agricultural age that came to the kind of diagnosis when we explained that just this dying apple tree just the previous year had put forth more apples and we could even
make you suck it was that was the final flourish and I just thought in my mind so I love that story that you just told and….
The Difference Between Feedback And Criticism
[17:45] I just want to stick a pin on into things I talked a lot about the difference between feedback and criticism and my first book which is called the store creative handbook but the short the punchline to the joke is.
Feedback is solicited comes from sources that you trust and respect and is delivered.
In a spirit of trying to help you elevate your.
Self and your art criticism is unsolicited people that you don’t know and don’t respect and don’t trust and is delivered in order to.
[18:28] Elevate themselves at your expense.
The Power Of Encouragement
[18:32] So I’ll just tell you sure one quick in an anecdote about encouragement cuz I but I believe it encouragement is one of most powerful tools that we have as teachers, absolutely and I learned that the hard way because I did not get any encouragement other than my parents buying me a guitar and providing me with lessons that are at a young age. I remember my very first musical aspiration was to be in the school choir in 4th grade, and in order to get picked to be in the choir we sang as a as a class and the music teacher one, around the room and if you tap shoe on the head you are in and you did tap you on the head and I remember him walking behind me at least four times that I was, Frank if you would tap me on the head and I never got that tap in my very first guitar teacher.
[19:27] After a month or so of lessons my parents said does he have any promise and he said “that kid will never make enough money with music to pay for the lessons you’ve already paid for”.
I’m sorry to laugh but that is Harsh!
So we’re all built differently. I’m the front born son of on the first born son born in the year of the dragon Bernalillo and born to a Irish woman in a stubborn Pollock. I don’t let stuff get me down. I don’t let the opinions of others really get in the way of what I have. Now that’s a double-edged sword because I’ve done a bunch of stuff, you know where I stepped in Step 4 with a lot of. Unearned confidence adds up and was at work and then and all really flat on my face but at the same time.
[20:27] I’ve been very lucky in that because I’ve had this kind of in a nature of believing in myself I never really let, somebody else’s opinion get my way I understand that that is not most people’s default setting right now.
Why Sharing In Small Steps Works Best
[20:46] I think it’s important to be really strategic about how you, how do you share your work and who you share it with others and what is everything is baby steps smallest thing that you are capable of doing right now so that you can build this habit and build this muscle of sharing your art, whatever that is.
The Danger Of Attachment
[21:20] I want to stick a pin in as what you said about attachment because I think that that’s at wealth of the Buddha says that attachment is the root of all suffering and I agree.
[21:20] I want to stick a pin in as what you said about attachment because I think that that’s at wealth of the Buddha says that attachment is the root of all suffering and I agree.
And what we are normally, what we are most often attached to are the things that take us out of the present moment which is the only time and place that we had the ability to employ the two things that we control the way we choose to see and what we decide to do next is Right Here and Now because we cannot change the past we cannot truly control what happens to the Future
So if you’re attached to a preconceived notion of who you are and what you’re capable of based on past experience you are complicit in your own suffering and if you have a preconceived idea of what, I couldn’t what success looks like what what what you’re meant to do. Directing that into the future even if you get it that you will find that doesn’t bring you anything any of the happiness that you expected it to if you can stay.
[22:31] And I Ciara now and if you can frame your situation in such a way that you can see the opportunities and see the possibilities there’s always choices and you.
Make a choice and step it step into that that’s what’s next with integrity and intention.
You will continue to move forward and you will continue to see possibilities and opportunities and I’m not advocating that you don’t have a goal.
But you should also at the same time be open to what else could happen because again I never would have guessed. I never had any intention of writing a book never had any and I had no idea what kind of my purpose was was or was going to be but you know we build these kind of Endeavors everyday every moment.
Every moment leads to the next moment and it’s this idea that up just at the forward motion and that’s where the for me.
[23:36] Going back to your inspiration question I just, I love this journey and all I really require is to be able to make enough today so that I can get up again and do it tomorrow. I can continue to do that so keeping things small and keeping things you know low-cost until you can afford more, I think it’s really important you can make a huge impact as you know just with a simple free tool like Zoom you can start a coaching business you can run a workshop you can put together some sort of Mastermind or self help group possibilities and so.
Build that muscle find a find a small project that you can. That you can work on right now and ship tomorrow.
[24:36] Things happen that change happens if that’s what artists and creative ultimately do they transform the status quo they make change happen if they have an impact on others,
yeah wow wow well this is been great so many things I could continue to ask you about but,
maybe we’ll maybe we’ll get together another time because so again before we go and and I got to say I’m really excited to get back in to, this book but I’m not going to get,
this one I’m going to update figure out how I can do that but I update my my copy I assume there other folks out there that may need to be doing that so what’s the best way we can we can find you.
How To Find Scott And Learn More
[25:28] Online Scott and and learn about maybe how we need to update our ebooks or are fine the next day,
[26:00] [Scott Perry]
it used to be that you can just put “Scott Perry” in a Google and then there was a congressman from Pennsylvania who began to rise higher the algorithm. But if you
put Creative on Purpose in a Google search or just simply go to http://becreativeonpurpose.com, that’s where I live online. You can email me from there, you can find my books from there you can actually access four five chapters of on the book.
Just click on the Endeavor excerpts and they’re all curated for you there. Three chapters available to download via an opt-in. I post a new blog post every Monday but my email list gets it a week earlier and that’s that’s where people can connect.
I always invite people to email me directly with questions feedback comments concerns personal problems while I try to make myself available especially to the folks are on my email list great
Yeah that’s excellent so folks this is been a conversation with Scott Perry.
Yeah thanks again for your time has it been great I can’t I really I really can’t wait to get back into the book because you know I feel like it’ll it’ll jump start.
Clarify some of the things that I’m trying to do.
Scott’s Appreciation To The Stay Creative Project
[27:26] David before we sign off I just want to number one, I want to express my deep appreciation for you and the person that you are but the work that you’re doing I think is,
extremely important and necessary and I wish you all, of the success that you can possibly achieve because I think that the message that you’re sending and and the the tribe that you’re starting to gather will be part of this movement that we’re all trying to be engaging which is to improve the the situation for all of us so thank you very much for being you for
for the work that you’re doing and for allowing me to play a small role in that through our conversation today, it’s been a lot of fun.
[28:24] Ok that wraps up part two of the two-part series with Scott Perry if you missed part one we talked about the critical importance of creating within a community and how it’s the mundane practice, creativity that makes inspiration happen not necessarily those creative Mountain Top moments that we kind of dream about.
Or you can find that episode either in your podcast player’s listing or, better yet, you can head over to the New Wild Media website where you can find show notes and links to help you dig deeper into the content.
That address is newwildmedia.com/staycreative and “staycreative” is all one word, by the way.
How My Drive To Improve Helps Me Stay Creative
On that note, one of the ways that I say creative and energized is by constantly improving my production methods, for example you will now find that I have created a transcript of this podcast I will be transcribing some of my older podcasts.
Use Auphonic To Automate Transcriptions And Export Videos
I have done that through and automation tool called Auphonic.
I’ve also, created some videos automatically using Auphonic and it’s pretty cool. It’s kind of tricky to set up, but once you do it it is awesome! You can just crank out videos and transcriptions so if you’re interested in that go to newwildmedia.com and you can learn more. Thanks everybody! This has been David Bourne and I hope to see you out there on the net. Take care.