244 episodes

Reconnect with the most powerful fuel of all – the fuel of loving your work. Best-selling author and award-winning designer David Kadavy helps you make it as a creative entrepreneur. Find your creative voice, cultivate the mindset you need to succeed, and be the first to capitalize on new opportunities to make a living making your art.

Every Thursday, David presents either a guest or his own learnings from his decade-plus career as a creative entrepreneur. Hear from titans of industry like former AOL CEO Steve Case. Hear from best-selling authors like Seth Godin and James Altucher. Hear from scientists, creators from dancers to a chef to a Hollywood set designer, and visionaries on the cutting edge of creative monetization – whether that's self publishing or blockchain technology.

Find out why Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jeff Goins says, "David is an underrated writer and thinker. In an age of instant publication, he puts time, effort and great thought into the content and work he shares with the world."

Find out why Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says David has "really good, deep questions, and original questions."

Subscribe to Love Your Work today so you never miss a dose of the inspiration and motivation you need to unleash the creator you already know you are, deep inside.

Love Your Work David Kadavy

    • Self-Improvement
    • 4.9, 178 Ratings

Reconnect with the most powerful fuel of all – the fuel of loving your work. Best-selling author and award-winning designer David Kadavy helps you make it as a creative entrepreneur. Find your creative voice, cultivate the mindset you need to succeed, and be the first to capitalize on new opportunities to make a living making your art.

Every Thursday, David presents either a guest or his own learnings from his decade-plus career as a creative entrepreneur. Hear from titans of industry like former AOL CEO Steve Case. Hear from best-selling authors like Seth Godin and James Altucher. Hear from scientists, creators from dancers to a chef to a Hollywood set designer, and visionaries on the cutting edge of creative monetization – whether that's self publishing or blockchain technology.

Find out why Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jeff Goins says, "David is an underrated writer and thinker. In an age of instant publication, he puts time, effort and great thought into the content and work he shares with the world."

Find out why Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says David has "really good, deep questions, and original questions."

Subscribe to Love Your Work today so you never miss a dose of the inspiration and motivation you need to unleash the creator you already know you are, deep inside.

    235. Clock Time Event Time

    235. Clock Time Event Time

    Before I moved to Colombia, I lived several “mini lives” in Medellín. I came and lived here for a few months. I escaped the very worst portion of the Chicago winters.
    There was a phenomenon I experienced every time I came here, which taught me a lot about how I think about time. It always happened right around the three week mark.
    Getting used to a slower pace of life The pace of life in Medellín is different from the pace of life in Chicago. It’s slower. People talk slower, people walk slower. That thing where you stand on the right side of the escalator so people can pass on the left -- yeah, people don’t really do that here. They stand wherever they like. It’s usually not a problem. It’s rare that anyone climbs up the escalator while it’s moving, anyway.
    Whenever I came on a trip to Medellín, the same thing happened: The first week, the slower pace of life was refreshing. The second week, as I was trying to get into a routine, it started to get annoying. The third week, some incident would occur, and I would -- I’m not proud to say -- lose my shit.
    A comedy of errors The last time I went through this transition, it was a concert malfunction. I showed up to the theater to see a concert, and the gates were locked. A chulito wrapper rolled by in the wind, like a tumbleweed. Nobody was around, except a stray cat.
    Is it the wrong day? I confirmed on the website: The concert is today, at this time, at this place. So where is everybody?
    As I walked around the building, looking for another entrance, I saw a security guard. He told me the concert was cancelled. Something broken on the ceiling of the theater.
    This was especially aggravating because of everything I had gone through to get these tickets. My foreign credit card didn’t work on the ticket website, so I had to go to a physical ticket kiosk. But then the girl working the kiosk said the system was down. So I came back the next day, and the system was also down. No, it wasn’t “still” down -- it was just down “again.” So I waited in a nearby chair in the mall for forty-five minutes. Then I finally got my tickets.
    And now the concert is cancelled. I go to the ticket booth at the theater to get my money back. But they tell me I can’t do that here -- I have to go to a special kiosk, across town. Oh, and I can’t do it today -- they won’t be ready to process my refund until tomorrow.
    I take the afternoon off to go get my refund. After standing in line for half an hour, they tell me they can’t process my refund on my foreign credit card. I have to fill out a form, which they’ll mail to the home office in Bogotá. I should get my refund within ten days.
    I’m always wary that I’m an immigrant living in another country -- that sometimes the way they do things in that country makes no sense to me. I never want to come off as the “impatient gringo.” But at this point, I become the impatient gringo. I demand my money back, and recount the whole experience to the clerk. In my perturbed state, my Spanish is even more embarrassingly broken.
    I give in, fill out the form, and leave the ticket kiosk -- without my money. And I’ve been through this enough times to know what’s coming.
    Out on the sidewalk, in an instant, as if a switch were flipped in my brain, I go from steaming with anger, to calm as a clam. Months worth of pent-up tension melts away from the muscles in my neck and back. I feel relaxed -- almost high.
    Flipping the “temporal switch” I call this moment the “temporal switch.” I’ve talked to other expats about this phenomenon, and they report something similar. That when you first come to Medellín, it takes awhile to get into the rhythm of life here. But once you’re in that rhythm, you’re more relaxed, more laid back. You’re even happier.
    You might wonder what my concert catastrophe has to do with th

    • 12 min
    234. How to Have a Thought

    234. How to Have a Thought

    Maya Angelou was right, “People will forget what you said...but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    Because I don’t remember what this woman said to me, but I do remember how I felt: Attacked.
    My heart was racing. I had two options: Lash out and defend my position, or excuse myself from the conversation.
    My brain hastily searched for the best way out: Slip into the kitchen to get another drink? Go to the bathroom? Awkwardly appeal to my need to mingle?
    But then I realized something: I felt attacked, but she wasn’t attacking me. She wasn’t even disagreeing with me. She had merely asked a question.
    Don’t be other people. Be a thinking person. Only now, years later, do I understand why I felt so threatened. I had met a thinking person.
    Oscar Wilde said it well,
    Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. -Oscar Wilde
    Forgive the quotation, but it accurately describes who I was. I was someone else. Whatever I had said to that woman at that cocktail party, it wasn’t a thought. It was someone else’s opinion.
    And I was encountering someone who was not someone else. She was herself. She was someone who didn’t speak in pre-programmed sound bites. Someone who didn’t merely parrot the latest news headline or social media meme. Someone who listened to what you said, asked questions about it, and expected a response. Someone who, in good faith, assumed I, too, was a thinking person.
    Since that day, I have endeavored to become a thinking person. I’ll never truly master thinking. If I thought I could master thinking, that wouldn’t be very thinking-person-like of me.
    But once in awhile, I do have a genuine thought. Some people agree with me. Because I’ve tried to become a thinking person, I was proud when an Amazon reviewer of my latest book called me “a very original thinker,” and when best-selling author Jeff Goins called me “an underrated thinker.” (Though it would be nice to be an appropriately-rated thinker.)
    So, I humbly submit to you the way I think about thinking. How to have a thought.
    There are four keys to having an original thought:
    Read widely (not the same shit as everyone else) Stop having opinions (stop defending your “beliefs”) Stop wanting to be liked (start being intellectually honest) Write regularly (explore what you really think) In sum, assume nothing, question everything.
    https://twitter.com/kadavy/status/1217900835503558656
    Now, a little more about each of these points.
    1. Read widely (not the same shit as everyone else) Haruki Marakami said,
    If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. -Haruki Marakami
    The same way you are what you eat, you also are what you read. This is a little counterintuitive, because, in trying to become a thinking person, we’re trying not to have all of our thoughts be mere re-hashings of something we’ve read.
    Don’t think of reading as a way to put thoughts into your brain. Think of reading as a way of trying on someone else’s brain for a little while.
    This is why a book is such a bargain: Someone spends their whole life thinking. They write all of that down. Now for ten bucks you get a lifetime worth of thinking, sewn into a costume you can try on for a few hours.
    Charles Scribner, Jr. said, “Reading is a means of thinking with another person’s mind; it forces you to stretch your own.” With a book, you can try on someone else’s thoughts, and see how they feel. You can question those thoughts, and compare them to your own thoughts.
    Sometimes a book completely reorganizes the way you process the world. Other times, you just get one or two good ideas.
    But to have original thoughts, you can’t be reading the same thing everyone else is reading. This is

    • 16 min
    233. Device Divorce

    233. Device Divorce

    When it came time for me to choose a college, I had no idea what I was doing. For reasons I still can’t explain, I chose to go to The University of Nebraska at Kearney. At least until I recognized my mistake.
    Kearney is a town in the middle of Nebraska. I grew up in Omaha, a city on the east edge of Nebraska. You may laugh, thinking, What’s the difference? It’s a flyover state. But to most of my classmates, I was a “city slicker.”
    So, I regularly made the drive. Two and a half hours down I-80. Two and a half hours at eighty-miles-an-hour, with a steady stream of semi trucks passing by.
    Each time a truck passed, the powerful winds blowing across the plains of the oxymoronically-named Platte River Valley would disappear. Those winds, blocked by the massive eighteen-wheeler, once it passed, would then reappear with more force than ever, sending my little Honda Accord swerving.
    I couldn’t swerve too far. My tires were firmly embedded in grooves. Grooves like wagon tracks on the Oregon Trail I-80 follows. Grooves pressed into the concrete by the tires of those heavy semi trucks.
    I made this drive -- often over a mixture of ice and snow and gravel and salt -- to leave a city. A city with plenty of educational options, and arrive in a cow town where one of the main forms of entertainment for my classmates -- and I’m not exaggerating here -- was hunting raccoons.
    Path dependency: Your future depends on it One time, I missed the exit for Kearney. This was especially frustrating, because I-80 exists mostly for big trucks to drive through Nebraska. It’s not so much for the sparse scattering of people living in Nebraska to get from point A to point B. Which means, there aren’t a lot of exits.
    So, if you missed the exit for Kearney, that added a bunch of time onto the end of what was already a long trip. You had to drive another twelve miles past your destination, get off the interstate and turn around and get back on the interstate and drive back another twelve miles. So we’re talking an extra twenty minutes tacked onto a two-and-a-half-hour drive, if you missed that exit.
    It was the kind of mistake that you only made once. And it was a good lesson in path dependency. The concept of path dependency states that once you go down one path, it’s difficult or impossible to go down another path. You’ve passed the fork in the road.
    Our lives are full of path dependencies. If you eat a bunch of donuts in the afternoon, you won’t have room for a healthy dinner. If you go to one party, you can’t go to another. A single moment can be the difference between dying young, or living another fifty years. Matters of life and death are the ultimate path dependency.
    In other words, path dependency is really, really important. It’s important to making decisions, and it’s important to designing your behavior.
    One area of life where path dependency has a big impact is with the devices that we use. Take your mobile phone, for example. Think of your mobile phone as like I-80, running through central Nebraska. Once you get on the interstate, once you touch your phone, at what exit will you get off?
    There’s Facebook Parkway, or there’s Kindle Boulevard. There’s Meditation Timer Square, or there’s Twitter Plaza. There’s Instagram Alley, or there’s Scrivener Circle.
    Like any interstate, once you get off at an exit, it takes some time to get back on the road. If you miss an exit, or take the wrong exit, it will take you a little longer to get where you’re going.
    You can get to the same place through multiple paths There are often multiple ways to get to your destination. I remember one time, I drove home from college on an old highway, instead of the interstate. This seemed outrageously adventurous at the time. The highway is slower, it’s more narrow, it cuts through towns. Part of me wondered if I’d e

    • 13 min
    232. I Thought I Had Time Management All Figured Out, Then I Tried to Write a Book

    232. I Thought I Had Time Management All Figured Out, Then I Tried to Write a Book

    I used to be a time management enthusiast. I say “used to be,” because time management eventually stopped working for me.
    How I became an accidental author It all started with an email. It was the kind of email that would trip up most spam filters. I wasn’t being offered millions of dollars from an offshore bank account, true love, nor improved performance in bed. I was being offered a book deal.
    I had never thought of myself as a writer. In fact, I downright hated writing as a kid. I remember reading about how Stephen King said that when he was a kid, he was “on fire” to write. I remember saying to myself, That makes no sense! Who on Earth would enjoy writing?
    I had never thought of myself as a writer, but I had fantasized about being an author. I guess that means I didn’t think so much about writing, but I liked the idea of having written.
    As I considered taking this book deal, I talked to everyone I knew who had written a book. They all warned me that writing a book is extremely hard work, with little chance of success. One author simply said, You’ll want to die!
    But, I figured, how hard can it be? So, I signed my first literary contract.
    How I tried to write a book, when I didn’t know how to write a book I didn’t have any idea how to write a book, so I did it the only way I could think of: through brute force time management. I simply needed to find enough time to write this book.
    So, I used every time management technique I could think of. I put writing sessions on my calendar. I developed a morning routine that would get me writing first thing in the morning. I “time boxed” to try to limit the time I would spend on parts of the project. I fired my clients, I outsourced my meal preparation, I cancelled dates and turned down party invitations. I did everything I could to focus all of my time on writing my book.
    But it still wasn’t enough. I spent most of my day hunched over a keyboard. I felt actual physical pain in my stomach. It felt as if rigor mortis had taken over my fingers, as I struggled to write even a single sentence.
    Sure, I had the time to write my book, but I wasn’t getting anything done.
    My case of writers’ block was so bad that, a few weeks after signing my book deal, I accepted a last-minute invitation to go on a retreat to Costa Rica. With a signed contract in my file drawer and a deadline breathing down my neck, it wasn’t the most logical thing to do with my time. But I desperately hoped that a change of scenery would work some kind of magic on my writer’s block.
    But a few days into the trip, I still had nothing. Zero! Zilch! My contract said that if I didn’t have my manuscript twenty-five percent done within a few weeks, the deal was off. So, unless a miracle happened, I would write a check to the publisher to return my advance, and I would humiliatingly face my friends, family, and readers to tell them I had failed.
    Does that sound like a lot of pressure? It was.
    The chance encounter that changed the way I thought about writing productivity I wanted to feel sorry for myself, by myself, so I went for a walk. I was dragging my feet down the gravel road in Costa Rica, with my head hung down. How could I be so foolish?, I asked myself.
    Not only had I signed a contract to write a 50,000-word book, with little writing experience under my belt, I had wasted time and money going on this retreat.
    Just then, I heard someone call out. I looked up, and saw a man on the next road over waving big in my direction, with his entire arm, ¡¿Como estááááás?!
    I had noticed this man earlier in my walk. He was gripping onto the simple wires of a fence, leaning back in ecstasy, singing to himself. I had felt vaguely embarrassed for him, assuming he didn’t know someone else was around.
    I looked behind me, trying to figure out who he was waving at. But there was no o

    • 10 min
    231. Start Finishing: Charlie Gilkey

    231. Start Finishing: Charlie Gilkey

    Sometimes people tell me, “Hey David, The Heart to Start is a great book, but now that I’ve figured out how to start, how do I finish?!”
    If you’re anything like me, finishing is tough. You can always find a good reason not to finish what you’ve started. It’s not fun anymore, you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner if it goes well, or – my personal favorite – now you have an even better idea! (which you soon abandon, like the thousand projects before it.)
    Our guest today can help you stop floundering, and start finishing. In fact, he’s the author of a book called Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done. He’s got all of the discipline of an Army officer, and all of the wisdom of a philosophy professor – he’s even been both of those things. He’s Charlie Gilkey (@CharlieGilkey). Whether you’re flip-flopping, floundering, or fluttering about from project to project like a butterfly in a botanical garden, Charlie can help you start finishing with his book, or start flourishing, with his podcast, Productive Flourishing.
    Today, we’ll talk about:
    Charlie says, “be courageous enough to commit more fully to fewer projects.” For lots of us, that’s easier said than done. Hear Charlie psychoanalyze me out of my own straitjacket. Finishing a big project changes who we are. How can you push past your comfort zone just when you’re about to make a transformation? You’ve heard of “fear of success.” I’ve always had trouble believing in it. But Charlie cleared it all up. Hear the four stories we tell ourselves that hold us back from success. P.S. Charlie is the last guest for awhile. Because I’m dedicating every ounce of creative energy to my upcoming book, Mind Management, Not Time Management. (Remember, the Preview Edition is available for a limited time.) I’ll still be workshopping ideas from the book in my bi-weekly essay episodes, so stay subscribed for those. Interestingly, since Charlie is all about finishing, and I’m on the home stretch for finishing this book, that makes him the perfect final guest.
    New Book: Mind Management, Not Time Management (Preview Edition) Read my upcoming book months before anyone else. Grab it, for a limited time, here.
    About Your Host, David Kadavy David Kadavy is the author of The Heart to Start and Design for Hackers. Through the Love Your Work podcast, his Love Mondays newsletter, and self-publishing coaching David helps you make it as a creative.
    Follow David on:
    Twitter Instagram Facebook YouTube Subscribe to Love Your Work Apple Podcasts Overcast Spotify Stitcher RSS Email Support the show on Patreon Put your money where your mind is. Patreon lets you support independent creators like me. Support now on Patreon »
     
     
    Show notes: http://kadavy.net/blog/posts/charlie-gilkey/

    • 55 min
    230. Grippy & Slippy

    230. Grippy & Slippy

    One day, I was in a coworking space, here in Colombia, writing in my Moleskine notebook. One of the other co-workers came up to me and asked me a question.
    He said, in Spanish, and with a sense of earnest curiosity, “Why are you writing in your notebook? Your computer is right in front of you. You can write much faster on your computer. Why aren’t you writing on your computer?”
    That question really stuck with me, because I thought the answer was obvious -- though I guess it wasn’t.
    And it got me thinking about the tools we use to create, and why we use them.
    Creativity is hard You already know, from listening to episode 218 about the Four Stages of Creativity, that we don’t solve creative problems all at once. We need to go through stages. We need to go through Preparation, learning about the problem. From there, the problem goes through Incubation. Our subconscious works on it while we do something else. Only then can we reach Illumination -- our “aha” moment. Finally, to get it ready to ship, we need to go through Verification.
    And you also know, from being a human being, that when you’re up against a really tough problem, anything in the world suddenly becomes more appealing than that problem.
    You’ll get “shiny object syndrome,” and want to escape to another project. Or you’ll check social media. I even find that I sometimes procrastinate on a really tough project by working on a slightly less tough project, that I have been procrastinating on until now.
    Ayn Rand called it “white tennis shoes syndrome.” That if she came up against a tough problem while writing, she’d suddenly remember that there were some white tennis shoes in the closet that had smudges on them, and needed to be cleaned. Distractions, it seems, are nothing new.
    Choose the tool for the creative job But, I’ve found, depending upon where you are in the Four Stages of Creativity, the tool you use can make all of the difference in whether you keep moving forward, or fall off the tracks.
    Through lots of trial and error, I have collected for myself the perfect arsenal of different tools for different situations. Here are some of them.
    First thing in the morning, I write, with my eyes still closed, while still in bed, on my AlphaSmart. It’s a portable word processor. Discontinued. Available used on Amazon for about forty bucks.
    I do my morning writing session on an iPad, with a wired external keyboard.
    I have multiple 9” x 12” whiteboards lying around the house. I jot down ideas when they come to me. Sometimes I’ll even take a whiteboard to a cafe and write on it in long form.
    Then, I have my 6” x 9” Moleskine Classic notebook. I also carry with me everywhere the tiniest notebook I could find: the Moleskine Volant, which is 2.5” x 4”.
    And, of course, I have an iPhone SE, on which I occasionally brainstorm, if there’s no better tool around.
    Sometimes, I even find it useful to simply pace around and talk out loud.
    Finally, there’s plain, old-fashioned thinking. Just sitting in the park or swinging in my hammock, trying to navigate the twists and turns of a problem in my own mind.
    Oops, I almost forgot. I also have a laptop. I try to avoid using it, but sometimes I simply need to be on a full-blown computer.
    Some tools are slippy, some tools are grippy Some of these tools are “slippy.” Some of these tools are “grippy.”
    Slippy tools are tools are efficient. There’s little friction. You can create your final product quickly with a slippy tool.
    Grippy tools are inefficient. There’s lots of friction. You can’t create your final product quickly with a grippy tool. Often, you can’t create your final product at all with a grippy tool.
    Slippy tools sound great, but they have a drawback: Because slippy tools are so powerful, you can more easily get distracted. Yes, I can type fast and sw

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
178 Ratings

178 Ratings

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcadst!!!

David, host of the Love Your Work podcast, highlights all good aspects and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

JoshCrist ,

Transformational!

This podcast has quickly become one of my favorites. When you spend time getting to listen to the same guests on multiple podcasts, you start to hear the interviews all blend together and experience largely the same stories. Not on Love Your Work! David does an incredible job of asking questions and creating the kind of space needed to have thoughtful discussions that get to a deeper level. I learn something I've never heard before every time I listen. Highly recommend subscribing to Love Your Work today!

RameshDon ,

Love it because of David & Guests are awesome too

This is one of those podcasts that makes you pause and think. Not just listen and go away. The insightful discussions are incredibly helpful. Thanx

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