300 episodes

Where do brilliant ideas come from? And, is it possible to do great work under pressure every single day? The Accidental Creative podcast explores how to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work as a creative pro. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, and The Motivation Code) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at AccidentalCreative.com.

The Accidental Creative with Todd Henry Todd Henry

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 469 Ratings

Where do brilliant ideas come from? And, is it possible to do great work under pressure every single day? The Accidental Creative podcast explores how to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work as a creative pro. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, and The Motivation Code) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at AccidentalCreative.com.

    The Self-Employed Life (with Jeffrey Shaw)

    The Self-Employed Life (with Jeffrey Shaw)

    Have you ever considered launching out into your own business? If so, today is just for you. We have on the show http://jeffreyshaw.com/ (Jeffrey Shaw), author of The Self-Employed Life. We discuss everything from how to know when to make the leap to how to sustain yourself each day as a self-employed entrepreneur.
    This episode is sponsored by http://shopify.com/accidentalcreative (Shopify).

    • 29 min
    5 Qualities of Brave Leadership

    5 Qualities of Brave Leadership

    As I mentioned a few episodes ago, if I had to choose one gift to impart upon every person I meet – one master key that unlocks their potential – it would be bravery. We need radical bravery in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, and – God help us – in our politics. If more people committed to making brave choices daily, we would see stronger, more effective teams, less corruption, less unhealthy conflict, and more progress on the societal issues that truly matter.
    Organizations need leaders committed to cultivating a culture of bravery, and who themselves are making brave choices in the face of uncertainty. The marketplace needs more business owners who are willing to step up and do the right thing for their employees and their communities, even at the risk of personal cost. And, society needs more people to cultivate brave, empathetic relationships with people who think differently from them.
    More than almost any other place, our workplaces need brave leaders. We need people who are committed to standing in the gap, protecting their people, and fighting for the mission of the organization even at personal expense.
    Here are a few principles that brave leaders abide by:
    Brave leaders assume accountability for their actions. Many leaders revel in the glory that comes with success, but brave leaders are also willing to put themselves on the line and be accountable when their actions fail. Many are familiar with Dwight Eisenhower’s letter to the Allied troops on the eve of the D-Day invasion in June 1944. It begins, “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” Inspiring leadership, for sure. However, fewer people are aware that Eisenhower wrote a second letter, only to be delivered in the event of an unsuccessful landing.
    “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
    Brave leaders are willing to accept responsibility for their actions, including their failures. Are you avoiding accountability for your actions, or pointing fingers at others when you fall short?
    Brave leaders have the uncomfortable conversation.​ It’s far easier to avoid difficult chats with direct reports, but brave leaders recognize that it’s more important to be effective than to be liked. It’s never comfortable to discuss performance issues, to deliver uncomfortable news, or to challenge someone’s attitude, but these are the kinds of conversations that brave leaders (cautiously and wisely) step into because they know that their position demands it. Is there an uncomfortable conversation you need to have, but have been avoiding?
    Brave leaders speak truth to power. ​As a leader, you must be willing to defend important principles when you perceive they are being “ground up” in the organizational gears. Cowards “go with the flow”, especially when speaking up might mean losing their organizational standing, but brave leaders are willing to abide by their principles even at personal cost. As my friend riCardo Crespo often says, “you can’t lie to the person in the mirror.” Brave leaders can look themselves in the face every day knowing that they are living out their principles and standing up for what they believe to be proper and just. What principles are you willing to defend, even if it affects your reputation or position?
    Brave leaders put their resources where their mouth is. ​Cowards say bold things, but are always hedging their bets. Brave leaders are willing to put themselves on the line by resourcing the initiatives they believe to be best for the organization and the people it serves. If you aren’t

    • 15 min
    Pushing Through The Second Wall

    Pushing Through The Second Wall

    There are two distinct walls that we encounter in the creative process. The first is what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance. It's the barrier that keeps us from getting started with our most challenging work. But, there is also a second wall. It's the one we hit when we've achieved a little momentum, and we're tempted to quit. We must learn to push through this wall in order to consistently produce our best creative work.
    In this episode, we share a few strategies for pushing through the second wall.
    This episode is sponsored by http://indeed.com/creative (Indeed).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 15 min
    6 Strategies For Dealing With Creative Burnout (from 2021)

    6 Strategies For Dealing With Creative Burnout (from 2021)

    It's been a long year, and many creative pros are experiencing some level of creative burnout. It's taken everything we have to deliver on expectations over the past year, and as we now return to a sense of "normal", the uncertainty and expectations are likely to rise even more.
    On this episode, I offer six tips for dealing with those moments when you feel overwhelmed and burned out.
    1. Pause and organize
    2. Clear the decks
    3. Re-prioritize
    4. Time block
    5. Care physically
    6. Re-root in your productive passion
    Support the show! Get ad-free episodes and access to the full archives of hundreds of additional episodes at http://acpremium.me/ (acpremium.me).
    This episode is sponsored by http://shopify.com/accidentalcreative (Shopify).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 18 min
    Cal Newport on Digital Minimalism (from 2019)

    Cal Newport on Digital Minimalism (from 2019)

    Technology is an extension of your capacity to accomplish your will. So, it gives you a “longer lever” when you want to move big rocks. However, we are finding that technology is encroaching upon us in ways we couldn’t have anticipated ten years ago. It’s more difficult to find the space necessary to do the important, creative work we’re tasked with.
    Today’s guest is http://calnewport.com/ (Cal Newport). His 2019 book https://amzn.to/2MLxDDE (Digital Minimalism) challenged all of us with tips for dealing with technological encroachment.
    Today's episode is sponsored by http://shopify.com/accidentalcreative (Shopify).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 23 min
    The Silent Killer Of Your Creative Process

    The Silent Killer Of Your Creative Process

    In the creative process, one of the silent killers is expectation escalation.
    It’s very important that we have a healthy understanding of our abilities and developmental opportunities, but for some of us, myself included, our expectations of ourselves and our work is our greatest competitor to full, free creativity.
    In his work On Intelligence, Jeff Hawkins writes of a phenomenon in the mind called the “invariant representation”. This is a mental construct that represents the ultimate form of whatever subject we are considering. In other words, and this is greatly simplified, the ultimate chair, table, lamp, etc., all exist in our mind in some form and are used to compare all of our experiences to determine what we are seeing and experiencing. The same thing happens with our art. We create mental constructs, or invariant representations, of what great work would look like, and often these are so high and perfect that it would be nearly impossible to achieve them.
    When we do this, we not only limit ourselves creatively, we also lose all sense of awe and wonder in the creative process. Creativity is about constant discovery. It’s the process of continually opening wrapped packages to discover what’s inside. Yes, it is work, but the work is often lost in obsessive and focused discovery. When we fall prey to the silent killer of expectations, we are much like a kid opening a present on their birthday, certain that there’s a cool video game inside the box, only to find socks or a lame rugby shirt. In that moment, all momentum is lost, and for us, all creative momentum goes away in favor of the practical effort required to get our project to match our invariant representation.
    We can pick up unhealthy expectations from three unique sources, and each requires its own remedy:
    1. Our heroes.
    Many of us began making art in whatever form because we were inspired by others to do so. In other words, we experienced the art of someone great - someone who had been pursuing the path to uniqueness and found their voice - and we were inspired to begin along the same path. When we did, we started off by imitating, (passive imitation phase of the uniqueness curve), and began to diverge and experiment with our own style. When we do this, however, the pressure we feel is often to force our experiment to fit the mold of something our heroes would do. To say it differently, our experimentation with new forms and styles begins to feel forced because it’s something new, and we are tempted or possibly feel pressure to bend our work to fit the mold of someone else. Or, worse than that, we think our work is no good because it doesn’t seem to measure up to some invisible standard we’ve set based upon our experience of other peoples’ work.
    In his incredible book, Free Play, Stephen Nachmanovich writes, “It’s great to sit on the shoulders of giants, but don’t let the giants sit on YOUR shoulders! There’s no room for their legs to dangle.”
    In other words, we can carry the weight of our heroes on our shoulders and feel the burden to carry their work forward in some way. When we do this, we are denying our own creative skills and passions and trying to live up to someone else’s standard.
    Be encouraged, though. Every accomplished artist at some point doubts their abilities. Every great artists wonders if they should be doing something else. The brilliant and prolific ones, however, don’t allow those thoughts to prevent the creative process from taking form. They continue to make in the midst of their doubts.
    Make in the midst of your doubts. Don’t allow others’ work to cause you to doubt your own. Know yourself and your abilities. Continue to push on and make with a confidence that what is there is valid simply because it’s there.
    2. Our own work.
    When we’ve seen a degree of success in our work, it’s easy to allow our greatest achievements to pressure all of our future creative endeavors. Again, we come back to

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
469 Ratings

469 Ratings

Tim Woosley ,

Bringing Light to Creatives!

Todd is doing creative a big service by talking with other creatives and hearing their thoughts about their processes. It’s awesome to crack open the minds of other brilliant people and see how they tick and feel about their efforts. Keep it up, Todd!

caleb_podcasts ,

Awesome Podcast!

Todd is a great host that really taps into the minds of creatives which provides his listeners with the knowledge it takes to use their creativity to achieve success. This is a must listen!

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Todd, host of the Accidental Creative podcast, highlights all aspects of prolific people 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!

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