Creative Elements podcast

Creative Elements

Creative Elements

Creative Elements explores how your favorite creators found creative independence. Through narrative interviews, Jay Clouse dives into the nitty-gritty of how the world's best creators make a living from their art and creativity.

You'll hear the specific elements of their personality, style, or approach that have helped them thrive – elements like focus, vulnerability, revision, and constraints. By finding out how these creators make a living with their art and creativity, you will learn how to do the same.

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Links and Show Notes for All Episodes
Links and Show Notes for All Episodes
Seth Godin on Creative Elements
#1: Seth Godin [Empathy] — Seth Godin is one of the most well-known marketers and prolific writers on the planet. He is the author of 19 books that have been bestsellers around the world and translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people. In this episode, we talk about art, freelancing, building a personal brand, and why he disagrees with the idea of authenticity.
James Clear on Creative Elements
#2: James Clear [Revision] — James Clear is a personal development keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits. His book sold over 1 million copies in its first 12 months and received a ton of critical acclaim. In this episode, we discuss the lessons learned from writing such a successful book, the sacrifices required, and what it truly means to do A+ work.
Danielle Evans on Creative Elements
#3: Danielle Evans [Vulnerability + Authenticity] — Danielle Evans is an art director and designer that uses real life objects to create pause in a fast paced, digital world. She pioneered Food Typography in 2013 and has worked with the LA Times, Disney, Target, TheGuardian, McDonald's, (RED) campaign, Wix, Aria, Kellogg, Frito Lays, Cadillac, Tesco, and PwC just to name a few. In this episode, we talk about earning a living, competition, and changing creative directions.
Ash Ambirge on Creative Elements
#4: Ash Ambirge [Enthusiasm] – Ash Ambirge is an internet entrepreneur, creative writer, speaker, and advocate for women being brave and doing disobedient things with their careers and their lives. She is the founder of The Middle Finger Project®, which is both the name of her hallmark lifestyle blog as well the title of her first book. In this episode, we talk about humble beginnings, her Middle Finger moment, setbacks, and the unexpected impact Rihanna had on her life.
Matt Giovanisci on Creative Elements
#5: Matt Giovanisci [Focus] – Matt Giovanisci is the creator of several online businesses including Swim University, Roasty, Brew Cabin, and Money Lab. He is an experience affiliated marketer who has earned over $400K in one year through his main content business, Swim University. In this episode, the self-proclaimed "pool nerd" talks about web design, affiliate marketing, getting comfortable with money, and producing a rap album.
Grant Baldwin on Creative Elements
#6: Grant Baldwin [Clarity] – Grant Baldwin is the creator of The Speaker Lab and author of The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform. But before either of those things existed, Grant was on the road. He’s delivered nearly 1,000 presentations to over 500,000 people across 47 states. He’s been the keynote for events with audiences as large as 13,000 people. In this episode, we talk about getting professional results, his SPEAK framework for getting paid speaking gigs, and why Clarity is at the root of it all.
Val Geisler on Creative Elements
#7: Val Geisler [Everything is Figureoutable] – Val Geisler is the founder and CEO (that's Chief Email Officer) of Fix My Churn. She focuses on email copywriting for DTC and SaaS companies to help them better retain their customers. In this episode we talk about trading the corporate ladder for a spiral staircase, how her background in theatre and wedding planning prepared her for writing emails, imposter syndrome, and how believing that Everything is Figure-out-able has allowed her to create a successful online business.
Adam Turla on Creative Elements
#8: Adam Turla of Murder By Death [Gratitude] – Adam Turla is the guitarist, lead singer, and founding member of Murder By Death, a five-piece band from Louisville, Kentucky. They have a unique sound that's somewhere between folk, rock, and spooky western. Even more unique is their cult-like following that has supported them for the last 20 years. In this episode, we’re talking about how Murder By Death has built such a loyal following. We talk about the early days on tour, how they accidentally got lumped in with the Emo movement, why they use Kickstarter, and how Gratitude has allowed them to keep this band going now, 20 years later.
Jason Zook on Creative Elements
#9: Jason Zook [Discipline + Resilience]Jason Zook is a serial entrepreneur who has made millions through various "weird" methods: wearing t-shirts, auctioning off his last name (twice!), and selling off his future ( He lives in San Diego, CA with his wife Caroline. They co-own the business Wandering Aimfully and act as un-boring business coaches who help online business owners like you earn more so you can live more. In this episode we talk about learning the foundational skills of running an online business, owning your weird, fighting fear, and showing up week after week.
Amy Landino on Creative Elements
#10: Amy Landino [Routine] – Amy Landino is the creator of the award-winning series AmyTV and author of the best-selling book Vlog Like a Boss; How to Kill It Online With Video Blogging. With nearly 400K YouTube subscribers and over 23 million views, Amy has empowered people from over 100 countries all over the world to go after the life they want. In this episode we talk about leveraging YouTube, building an audience, creating a persona, and how Routine has been at the center of her entire content journey.
Vanessa Van Edwards on Creative Elements
#11: Vanessa Van Edwards [Pivot]Vanessa Van Edwards is Lead Investigator at Science of People. She is also the bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. Her book has been translated into 15 different languages and more than 30 million people watch her on YouTube.In this episode we talk about how she recovered from awkwardness, earns a living online, her challenges in doing so, and why her ability to Pivot has served her well.
Michael Sacca on Creative Elements
#12: Michael Sacca [Constraints] – Michael Sacca is the VP of Product at Dribbble and cohost of He started his career 15 years ago as a Product Designer, eventually founding a cutting-edge product agency that built applications for Scholastic, GE, Nike, Siemens, Kobe Bryant and more. In this episode we talk about building an agency, launching software products, working a 9-5 job, creative outlets, and the role that Constraints play in all of our decisions.
Cat Coquillette on Creative Elements
#13: Cat Coquillette [Adapting] – Cat Coquillette (CatCoq) is a location-independent artist and designer. Her work is most known for its bright pops of color, vibrant typography, and a blend of hand-painted brushwork and clean vector illustration. You can find her illustrations on art prints, home decor items, tech accessories, apparel, and more. She partners with a variety of brands like Target, Urban Oufitters, Modcloth, and more to transform her paintings into best-selling products.
Jonathan Mendonsa on Creative Elements
#14: Jonathan Mendonsa [Financial Literacy] – Jonathan Mendonsa is the co-founder of the ChooseFI podcast. Jonathan started his career as a pharmacist with $168,000 in student loans. He aggressively paid off the loans in 4.5 years and using the tenets of Financial Independence to cut his life expenses significantly, and left his corporate job to focus on full-time entrepreneurship 9 months after starting the podcast. In this episode, we talk about becoming debt free, how to drastically cut your living expenses, saving for retirement, investing, and why Financial Literacy can be the key to freedom.
Natalie Franke on Creative Elements
#15: Natalie Franke [Community] – Natalie Franke is the Head of Community at HoneyBook and co-founder of the Rising Tide. Since the Rising Tide and HoneyBook joined forces in 2015, the community that Natalie built has grown to more than 75K small business owners who meet monthly around the world. In this episode we talk about the unexpected start to Natalie’s photography business, the loneliness creative entrepreneurs feel, the complicated reality of competition, and why community is such an important part of our lives.
Puno on Creative Elements
#16: Puno [Learning] – Puno is a web designer and digital entrepreneur. She is the Founder of ilovecreatives, a platform connecting and edu-taining creatives living that slashie life. She also co-created, an Instagram marketing tool where you can strategically find, grow, and track your community. You can find her vlogging on YouTube and doing photoshoots with her cat. In this episode we talk about freelancing, time management, building a business to support your lifestyle, and creating exceptional courses.
Jude Brewer on Creative Elements
#17: Jude Brewer [Adapting] – Jude Brewer is an American author, producer, and podcast host. Jude's writing has appeared in both the US and the UK through various lit journals, anthologies, and short films. He is the host and creator of Storybound, a podcast produced by Lit Hub Radio and The Podglomerate, a joint venture inspired from Jude’s original literary "radio theatre" podcast Storytellers Telling Stories. In this episode we talk about building a career as a writer, traditional vs. self publishing, his struggle to keep a regular job, Portland’s literary scene, and why Adapting his stories for different mediums has helped his career take off.
Mick Batyske on Creative Elements
#18: MICK [Brand] – MICK is a Brooklyn-based DJ, style influencer, tech investor, speaker, music curator, and brand consultant. Inc Magazine referred to MICK as a “combination of Gary Vaynerchuk and Questlove.” MICK has spun private events for some of the world’s most prominent celebrities and brands including HBO, NBC, Fast Company, Hillary Clinton, Instagram, Jay Z, LeBron James, Michelle Obama, and Prince. In this episode we talk about the early days of being a DJ, running a college radio station, building relationships, and why his brand has helped him build his multi-hyphenate career.
Miles Beckler on Creative Elements
#19: Miles Beckler [Preeminence] – Miles Beckler is an internet marketer. In 2009, he and his wife Melanie started a website about mindfulness and meditation, and that site now receives over 8M visitors per year. In 2016, he decided to begin teaching what he’d learned for free on YouTube. And now, more than 600 videos later, Miles’s YouTube channel has nearly 150K subscribers. In this episode we talk about his path to online marketing, his 90 day content challenge, his ATM method for earning money online, and why giving away his knowledge for free actually earns him more than if he put it behind a paywall.
Morgan Nield on Creative Elements
#20: Morgan Nield [Experimentation] – Morgan Nield helps Etsy sellers go from part-time hustle to full-time income. Morgan built her Etsy shop, Little Highbury, into a 6-figure business in under a year, and had fulfilled more than 23,000 orders before shutting the business down to focus on digital products. In this episode we talk about her Etsy journey, her decision to shut that store down, the digital marketing system she helps her clients build, how to use Pinterest, and how she leverages a Facebook Group.
Matt D'Avella on Creative Elements
#21: Matt D'Avella [Experimentation] – Matt D'Avella is a filmmaker, YouTuber & podcaster that explores what it means to live a good life. Matt directed Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, which was acquired by Netflix in 2016. His YouTube channel has nearly 3 million subscribers, and his videos have been viewed more than 175 million times. In this episode we talk about his experience creating the Minimalism documentary, managing his creative energy, crafting a good story, and how Experimentation has helped him find success on YouTube.
Pat Flynn and Matt Gartland on Creative Elements
#22: Pat Flynn [Relationships] and Matt Gartland [Vision] – Pat Flynn and Matt Gartland are the partners behind Smart Passive Income (SPI). Smart Passive Income is a media company elevating entrepreneurs to within reach of their dreams. The Smart Passive Income podcast is one of the top Business podcasts with more than 60 million downloads. In this episode we talk about Pat’s journey starting SPI, Matt’s parallel journey building Winning Edits, their successful and failed projects, and ultimately why they decided an acquisition made sense.
Kwame Christian on Creative Elements
#23: Kwame Christian [Strategy] – Kwame Christian is one of the foremost experts in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution. He’s the Director of the American Negotiation Institute, the host of the Negotiate Anything podcast, and the author of Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life. In this episode we talk about Kwame’s brief look into politics, how to lead negotiations, thinking long term, taking risks, how he manages his time, and why Strategy has been at the heart of all of his decisions.
#24: Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista [Service] – Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche is an author, speaker, and founder of the Live Richer Academy. Since 2014, The Budgetnista’s LIVE RICHER Challenge movement has helped over 1 million women from 100+ countries save more than $100 million, and pay off over $75 million in debt, purchase homes and transform the way they think about their finances. In this episode, we talk about Tiffany’s financial education, the scam that left her with $35K in credit card debt, how she paid off that debt, the way she thinks about home buying, savings, and how her focus on service helped her build a multi-million dollar business.
Eric Jorgenson on Creative Elements
#25: Eric Jorgenson [Curation]Eric Jorgenson is the author of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness (also called Navalmanack). The Almanack is a collection of insight from Naval Ravikant that Eric curated from from Twitter, Podcasts, and Essays over the past decade. In this episode we talk about Eric’s process of creating the book, how he created his own constraints, how he managed to make progress while doing this as a side project, and why he believes Curation opens the door for more books like this.
Ryan Robinson on Creative Elements
#26: Ryan Robinson [Planning] – Ryan Robinson is a full-time blogger, podcaster and content marketing consultant. His blog teaches people how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business. Ryan's site attracts more than 500,000 visitors per month and earns more than $450,000 in affiliate income per year. In this episode we talk about starting his blog, his process for creating headlines and outlines, ranking for search, and how great Planning allows him to consistently publish and compete for search traffic.
Ran Segall on Creative Elements
#27: Ran Segall [Consistency] – Ran Segall is the creator of Flux Academy. Previous to Flux, Ran was a freelance designer with nearly 20 years of experience. Flux Academy started in 2015 as a YouTube channel called Flux. That channel has 200K subscribers and more than 9M views. In this episode we talk about Ran’s experience freelancing, what he learned working in a design agency, why he created the Webflow Masterclass, how he pre-sold it to his audience, and why Consistency has allowed him to build an audience and a business larger than himself.
Bryce Conway on Creative Elements
#28: Bryce Conway [Iteration] – Bryce Conway is the Founder of and Author of Takeoff: How to Travel the World for Next to Nothing and How to Fix Your Credit: Do it Once. Do it Right. Get on with Your Life. Bryce’s work has been featured in multiple national media outlets including Good Morning America, Money Magazine, and ABC Nightline News. In this episode, Bryce talks about how he accidentally started GetFreeFlights, the rebrand to 10xTravel, the shift in his business model that made a huge impact, and why his willingness to iterate on the business led to his success.
Khe Hy on Creative Elements
#29: Khe Hy [Consistency] – Khe Hy is the creator of RadReads, a weekly newsletter covering how to live an intentional life. He's also the creator of, a set of courses to supercharge your productivity through the tool, Notion. Previous to RadReads, Khe spent 15 years on Wall Street, working his way to Managing Director at BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world. In this episode we talk about shedding his golden handcuffs, the angel investment he made in himself, getting media attention, and why consistency has helped him find a new kind of success.
Anne-Laure Le Cunff on Creative Elements
#30: Anne-Laure Le Cunff [Mindfulness] – Anne-Laure Le Cunff is an entrepreneur, an ex-Googler, and a neuroscience student. She’s the creator of Ness Labs and a Masters of Science in Applied Neuroscience candidate at King's College. She writes a lot about "mindful productivity," and every week she sends a newsletter called Maker Mind with practical content at the intersection of neuroscience and entrepreneurship. In this episode we talk about how Anne-Laure quickly grew her Twitter audience, Ness Labs, and how Mindfulness has allowed her to be prolific in her writing while getting a graduate degree in applied neuroscience.
Sahil Lavingia on Creative Elements
#31: Sahil Lavingia [Honesty] –Sahil Lavingia is the founder and CEO of Gumroad. Gumroad is an online platform that facilitates the sale of products by creators directly to consumers. Sahil left his job at Pinterest to start the company in 2011. Today, Gumroad serves nearly 75,000 creators earning more than $12M every month. In this episode, we talk about the beginning of Gumroad, how the creator landscape has changed in the last decade, trends in audience building, and how Honesty is key for creators.
Dan Andrews on Creative Elements
#32: Dan Andrews [Legitness] – Dan Andrews is the creator and host of the Tropical MBA podcast, a show for location independent entrepreneurs. The show has been downloaded millions of times since 2009. Dan is also the author of Before The Exit and co-founder of Dynamite Jobs. In this episode we talk about Dan’s journey building the TMBA universe, being ahead of business trends, building community, business partners, and why the Legitness of Dan’s message has attracted that audience and built that community.
Brian Clark on Creative Elements
#33: Brian Clark [Empathy] – Brian Clark is founder of the pioneering content marketing website Copyblogger, the personal growth newsletter Further, and Unemployable, a resource that provides smart strategies for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Both the Guardian and Advertising Age have recognized Copyblogger as one of the most powerful and influential blogs in the world. In this episode we talk about what content marketing looks like today, curation, creating software, how to prepare for a sale of your business, and why empathy has been the key to creating so much value for himself and others.
Jay Clouse on Creative Elements
#34: 5 things for creatives to be thankful for – It’s a weird year for Thanksgiving. It’s a hard year to feel very thankful. There's a lot to be angry about in 2020. There's a lot to be sad about and there's a lot to be hurt about. But today, and this week, let's instead fill that space with gratitude. It won't make the bads and the sads go away forever, but it'll be a nice little break. And you deserve that break! This is a solo episode – our first solo episode of Creative Elements! And I want to share with you 5 things that I am thankful for as a creator in 2020.
David Perell on Creative Elements
#35: David Perell [Serendipity] – David Perell is a writer, podcaster, and the creator of Write of Passage. His essays cross between topics like travel, culture, media, marketing, and technology, but focus on our relationship with information – especially how we make sense of the world by consuming ideas. In this episode we talk about David’s approach to education, quitting institutional games to create your own games, how to use Twitter, and how writing can generate serendipity.
Matt Ragland on Creative Elements
#36: Matt Ragland [Curiosity] – Matt Ragland is an independent creator. His YouTube channel showcases videos on the Bullet Journal process, productivity, and time management. Previous to going full time as a creator in 2020, Matt worked in customer success as employee #5 at ConvertKit and later as a Director of Customer Success at Podia. In this episode we talk about Matt’s journey starting with blogging in 2010, his time at ConvertKit and Podia, how to construct multiple products at different price points, breaking through on YouTube, and how his curiosity has helped him find a path to going all in as a full-time creator.
Ali Abdaal on Creative Elements
#37: Ali Abdaal [Efficiency] – Ali Abdaal is a Cambridge University medicine graduate, now working as a junior doctor in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). He started making YouTube videos in his final year of medical school at Cambridge University in the summer of 2017. As of October 2020, his channel has 1.1 million subscribers and earns over £100,000 ($130k) each month, with 5-10 hours of effort each week. In this episode we talk about going to medical school in the UK, why he started his YouTube channel, how you can get started on YouTube, and why Efficiency has allowed him to do this on the side while becoming a doctor.
Jay Clouse on Creative Elements
#38: The 12 Clips of Christmas – Do you remember watching TGIF on ABC in the 90s? They’d have new episodes of Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place… And then, inevitably towards the end of the season, they’d run a clip show. Instead of running a totally new episode, they’d pull together memorable clips from the other episodes that season and stitch them altogether. In this episode, I’m going to share with you 12 memorable clips from 12 different episodes of Creative Elements this year.
Chris McAlister on Creative Elements
#39: Chris McAlister [Identity] – Chris McAlister is the founder of SightShift, a company that helps ambitious people be courageous and kind. He’s authored 5 books, spoken to thousands of people, and loves the work of helping others unblock their best leadership. In this episode we talk about separating who you are from what you do, what it means to be proving and hiding, and why becoming more comfortable with your identity can be key to unlocking your creativity.
Matty Benedetto on Creative Elements
#40: Matty Benedetto of Unnecessary Inventions [Just Doing It] – Matty Benedetto is the creator of Unnecessary Inventions. Unnecessary Inventions solves problems that don’t really exist by creating products that no one is really asking for. Each product is editorially shot to resemble a real marketing campaign for a product you can not get your hands on. He has nearly 650K followers on Instagram and over 100K subscribers on YouTube. In this episode we talk about being self taught, his experience with Kickstarter, building on Instagram, YouTube, and why his willingness to just do the things he wants to do has gotten him to where he is today.
Tim Urban on Creative Elements
#41: Tim Urban [Struggle] – Tim Urban is the writer of the blog Wait But Why. Tim writes about topics including artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, alien life, the size of the universe, and more. His articles are often tens of thousands of words – the length of finished novels. The success of his blog has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk. In this episode we talk about the beginning of Wait But Why, his research and writing process, how Tim thinks about A+ work, and why he loves the struggle of writing online.
Alex Cattoni on Creative Elements
#42: Alex Cattoni [Values] – Alex Cattoni is a copywriter, marketer, and the founder of The Copy Posse, where she teaches people to become freelance copywriters. In 2017, Alex started her YouTube channel where she now has 75,000 subscribers and more than 1.5M views. In this episode we talk about Alex’s start at MindValley, her decision to freelance, the connection between marketing and copywriting, the massively successful launch of her coaching program, and why thinking about what she values has helped her push the boundaries of her comfort zone.
Emily Clouse on Creative Elements
#43: Emily Clouse [Space] – Emily Clouse is a Los Angeles-based comedy writer and cartoonist who illustrates this show! Her work can be found in The Onion, The New Yorker, Reductress, McSweeney's, American Greetings and other, more unspeakable places. In this episode we talk about our childhood, her interest in drawing, moving to Chicago, Uganda, and LA, and why holding space to explore her interests have led her to pursue a career in comedy writing.
Jordan Harbinger on Creative Elements
#44: Jordan Harbinger [Relationships] – Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned podcast interviewer with an approachable style and knack for securing high-profile guests. His show, The Jordan Harbinger Show was selected as part of Apple’s “Best of 2018.” And today, the Jordan Harbinger Show generates more than 6 million downloads per month. In this episode, we talk about building strong relationships, effective sales strategies that people actually appreciate, being a great podcast host, and ALL of it really comes down to relationships.
Jess Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs
#45: Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs of Lemonada Media – Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs are the co-creators of Lemonada Media, a podcast network that shares the unfiltered version of the human experience. In 2015, Steph lost her brother, beloved comedian Harris Wittels, to a heroin overdose. And in 2017, Jess lost her newly-married brother Stefano Cordova, Jr. to a fentanyl overdose. In this episode we talk about creating Last Day, how Stephanie produces their narrative shows, how Jessica’s intuition led to creating Lemonada Media, and why creativity can help us express grief.
Sarah McAllister of GoCleanCo
#46: Sarah McAllister of GoCleanCo [Scrappiness] – Sarah McAllister is the Founder, Director and CEO of GoCleanCo, a widely sought after cleaning company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The GoCleanCo Instagram account serves more than 1.8M followers today with cleaning hacks and tips. In this episode we talk about Sarah’s scrappy beginnings, how hard it was to even pay herself in the early days, accidentally selling out products on Amazon, and Sarah’s best advice for growing a following on Instagram.
Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly Ceramics
#47: Lalese Stamps [Tenacity] – Lalese Stamps is a ceramicist and the founder of Lolly Lolly Ceramics, a small-scale ceramics production and design studio. Since undertaking a 100 day project at the end of 2019, Lolly Lolly Ceramics has grown to more than 100K followers on Instagram. In this episode we talk about Lalese’s start to ceramics, the process of making a mug, growing a large following overnight, brand partnerships, and how her tenacity has helped her to make the most out of her opportunities.
Rosie Sherry of Rosie Land
#48: Rosie Sherry [Trust] – Rosie Sherry is the creator of Rosieland, a community and resource hub for community builders. She previously led community for Indie Hackers, a community of more than 140,000 independent makers. In this episode we talk about Rosie’s history of building community with Ministry of Testing, what she learned through her time at Indie Hackers, the different forms “community” can take, and why trust is at the heart of improving community participation.
Corey Haines of Swipe Files
#49: Corey Haines of Swipe Files [Strategy] – Corey Haines is the creator of Swipe Files, a membership site that provides content, community, and courses to help you master marketing. Corey curates marketing examples, copywriting help, and more through his newsletter, membership community, and podcast. In this episode we talk about Corey’s five pillars of Growth, how he achieved early traction with Swipe Files, why he decided to go full time, and a complete strategy for using Product Hunt to get in front of potential fans and customers.
Nick DenBoer aka Smearballs
#50: Nick DenBoer aka Smearballs [Personal Projects] – Nick DenBoer (also known as Smearballs) a director, animator, editor, music producer, and remix artist. With a following of 75,000 on Instagram and 25,000 subscribers on YouTube, Nick has worked with clients including Conan, deadmau5, KFC, Old Spice, Wieden + Kennedy, and more. In this episode we talk about Nick’s creative process, the origin of the name Smearballs, his evolution on YouTube working with Conan, NFTs, and how his personal projects have opened new doors for him all along the way.
Dickie Bush of Ship 30 for 30
#51: Dickie Bush [Feedback Loops] – Dickie Bush is a macro investor and the creator of Ship 30 for 30, a community of writers developing a writing habit in 30 days. He is passionate about providing writers and creators with the tools, resources, processes, and mindsets required to find points of leverage and achieve exponential growth—both personally and professionally. In this episode we talk about Dickie’s humble newsletter beginnings, his experimentation with Twitter, the growth of Ship 30 for 30, and why listening to feedback loops has helped him turn the flywheel of growth so quickly.
Cole Cuchna of the Dissect Podcast
#52: Cole Cuchna of Dissect [Perseverance] – Cole Cuchna is the creator of Dissect, a serialized music podcast that examines a single album per season, one song per episode. Dissect was named "Best podcast of 2017" by Quartz, and the following year was named "Best podcast of 2018" by the New York Times. In this episode, we talk about Cole’s attempt at being a professional musician, his love of creative writing, the beginning of Dissect, and how his perseverance through late nights paid off in helping him create Dissect full time.
Bijan Stephen on Creative Elements
#53: Bijan Stephen [Internet Culture] – Bijan Stephen is a writer, editor, and video correspondent based in Brooklyn, NY. He covers Twitch and Streaming at The Verge and a music critic at The Nation. Independently, he co-hosts a show on Twitch called One Time On The Internet, streams, and is a character on an actual play podcast called Fun City. In this episode we talk about Bijan’s experience in journalism, why he decided freelancing wasn’t for him, the differences between gaming and streaming, what it takes to get started streaming, and a whole bunch of other things internet culture.
Corbett Barr of Fizzle
#54: Corbett Barr [Reboot] – Corbett Barr is the creator of Fizzle, a membership combining courses, podcasts, and community for creators. Corbett started Fizzle in 2012, and has been self-employed on the Internet since 2005. He recently decided to start over to refocus on writing and re-evaluate his digital self. In this episode we talk about what brought Corbett into the nascent world of digital creators in 2005, the evolution of Fizzle, cultivating community, and why a digital reboot is a step we may all want to consider.
Alec Torelli on BitClout
#55: Alec Torelli [Asymmetric Bets] – Alec Torelli is a professional high-stakes poker player turned creator, who shares how the lessons he learned from poker can be applied to life and business. Lately, Alec is one of the leading voices in the conversation about BitClout, a decentralized social media platform that looks and feels much like Twitter. In this episode, we talk about his history as a poker player, how that impacted his relationship to money, how he makes decisions, and why he believes BitClout is an asymmetric bet worth taking.
Allen Gannett of The Creative Curve
#56: Allen Gannett [Inputs] – Allen Gannett is the author of The Creative Curve (Penguin Random House, 2018) that shows how the creative process can be learned by anyone. He founded and served as CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform that merged with Skyword, the leading content marketing platform, in 2018. In this episode, we talk about how Allen built TrackMaven into a multi-million dollar company in his twenties, the challenges that come from being ambitious, how to receive feedback, strengthening your innate creativity, and how all the Inputs we receive better inform our creative work.
Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers
#58: Courtland Allen [Optimism] – Courtland Allen is the creator of Indie Hackers, the largest online community of startup founders. He created the site in August 2016 and it was acquired by Stripe in April 2017. He is an MIT graduate, Y Combinator alum, full-stack web developer, and professional designer. In this episode we talk about how Courtland learned web design, why he doesn’t recommend quitting your job, selling Indie Hackers to Stripe, trends he’s seeing in indie hacking, and why he’s Optimistic about the future of online business.
Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty
#59: Mignon Fogarty the Grammar Girl [Learning] – Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl. She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame and a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. In this episode, we talk about the growth of Grammar Girl and the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, trends in podcasting, book publishing, and how her obsession with Learning has steered her creative career.
Brennan Dunn of RightMessage
#60: Brennan Dunn [Personalization] – Brennan Dunn is the creator of Double Your Freelancing, RightMessage, and Mastering ConvertKit. Brennan is one of the most well-regarded email marketers on the planet. Using cutting-edge techniques in personalization, Brennan has generated millions of dollars in sales of his products. In this episode, we talk about how Brennan built his broad skillset, the job that changed the way he thought about sales, why he built an agency and ultimately closed it down, and how Personalization creates a better experience for your audience while also increasing your revenue.
Ryan Hawk of the Learning Leader Show
#61: Ryan Hawk [Preparation] – Ryan Hawk is a keynote speaker and the host of the Learning Leader Show. The show has been listened to by millions of people in more than 150 countries, and Forbes called it, “the most dynamic leadership podcast around.” He is also the author of Welcome to Management: How To Grow From Top Performer To Excellent Leader. In this episode, we talk about leaving his sales job to become a creator, compare our methods of cold outreach, the interviews that still make us nervous, and why his commitment to Preparation has helped him stand out above the noise.
Jay Clouse interviewed by Ryan Hawk
#62: Jay Clouse (interviewed by Ryan Hawk!) [Commitment] – My recent guest (and incredible podcast host) Ryan Hawk asked if he could turn the tables and interview me for a special crossover episode of Creative Elements and the Learning Leader Show. In this episode, we talk about my “Why,” how I tapped into my creativity, my journey with podcasting, the Smart Passive Income acquisition, and why I believe Commitment is the most important creative skill today.
Jay Acunzo on Creative Elements
#63: Jay Acunzo [Tension] – Jay Acunzo is an author, speaker, and showrunner. He's the host of 3 Clips (recently acquired by Castos) and Unthinkable, which he describes as Radiolab for creators. Jay writes a weekly newsletter called Playing Favorites, a membership called Make What Matters, and in 2018 he published his book, Break The Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work. In this episode, we talk about how Jay built an appreciation for creative nonfiction, what it takes to be a good speaker, the storytelling frameworks you can use, and why Tension is at the core of a good story.
Charli Marie Prangley on Creative Elements
#64: Charli Marie Prangley [Commitment] – Charli Marie Prangley is the creator of the YouTube Channel CharlieMarieTV. Every week, she shares insights into life as a professional designer alongside tutorials and advice on design tools and concepts. The channel has nearly 200,000 subscribers. But by day, Charli works as the Creative Director at ConvertKit while building her channel and podcast, Design Life, on the side. In this episode, we talk about how Charli balances her creative projects with her full-time job, hiring help, why she still isn’t interested in making her channel full-time thing, and why commitment has helped her build her channel to nearly 200K subscribers.
Austin Kleon of Steal Like An Artist
#65: Austin Kleon [Luck]Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An ArtistShow Your Work!, and Keep Going. His books have been translated into dozens of languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide. In this episode, we talk about how Newspaper Blackout led to Steal Like An Artist, when he knows it’s time to write another book, the pros and cons of self-publishing, why Austin doesn’t believe he’s business savvy, and the role of Luck in Austin’s ability to make a living as a full-time writer.
Chris Sutherland aka sutherlandphys
#66: Chris Sutherland [Humor] – Chris Sutherland is a former collegiate Physics professor turned full-time content creator. Chris began posting videos to TikTok in January 2020, quickly going viral and building an audience of more than 2 million followers. Chris parlayed that audience into 144K+ Instagram followers, 60K YouTube subscribers, and 30K followers on Twitter too. In this episode, we talk about Chris’s path to becoming a collegiate professor, how Humor helped him grow his TikTok audience so quickly, the differences from Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, why he left academia, and what’s next for him.
Gina Bianchini of Mighty Networks
#67: Gina Bianchini [Community] – Gina Bianchini is the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. Mighty Networks helps creators bring their community, courses, memberships, and events together in one place under their brand. In this episode, we talk about the opportunities for creators to build a membership business, what the most successful community builders are doing today, the major problems with Facebook Groups, and why Gina believes that great sustainable memberships can be built with fewer than 30 members.
Roberto Blake on Creative Elements
#68: Roberto Blake [Adaptability] – Roberto Blake is dedicated to building the Creator Economy. He’s focused on helping Creators and Influencers build brands and businesses online. His YouTube channel has grown to more than 500K subscribers and more than 34 million views. He has nearly 50K followers on Twitter, and another 23K on Instagram. In this episode, we talk about how Roberto built his channel, his rule for diversifying the platforms you invest time into, the six streams of income he’s cultivated, why he’s decoupling his business from YouTube, and how he’s had to adapt all along the way.
Jack Rhysider of Darknet Diaries
#69: Jack Rhysider of Darknet Diaries [Tenacity] – Jack Rhysider is the creator and host of Darknet Diaries, audio stories specifically intended to capture, preserve, and explain the culture around hacking and cybersecurity. Darknet Diaries was started in 2017 and receives more than 300,000 downloads per episode. Jack has a Patreon with nearly 6,000 patrons for a total of nearly $20,000 per month. In this episode, we talk about Jack’s full production process, how he built an audience in the early days, why he turned down the opportunity to join a big network, and how his tenacity helps him market the show and secure great guests for Darknet Diaries.
Nick Huber Sweaty Startup
#70: Nick Huber [Getting Sweaty] – Nick Huber started Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because he believed the Shark Tank and TechCrunch culture was ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship. Today, Nick has more than 140,000 followers on Twitter, two podcasts, a Real Estate Masterclass, and more than $20 million in self storage assets under management. In this episode, we talk about Nick’s experience building a “sweaty startup,” Nick’s approach to building a following on Twitter, why Twitter has accelerated his career 20 years, and how you can make your creative business stand out by getting a little sweaty.
Steph Smith on Creative Elements
#71: Steph Smith [Agency] – Steph Smith is a growth marketer, writer, and indie maker. She's the creator of two books, Doing Content Right and Doing Time Right. Doing Content Right is a 270-page book published in 2020. The book retails for $100 and has sold nearly 3200 copies on Gumroad. In this episode, we talk about how Stephanie found her way from chemical engineering into business, how she spends her time learning while also ensuring that she’s actively applying what she learns, her strategy for marketing and selling digital products, and why she believes we all have a TON of Agency to change our own lives and impact the world around us.
Jason Feifer on Creative Elements
#72: Jason Feifer [Reconsideration] – Jason Feifer is the editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, a podcast host, book author, keynote speaker, startup advisor, and nonstop optimism machine. Jason is the host of Build for Tomorrow, a show exploring the curious things from history that shaped us, and how we can shape the future. In this episode, we talk about Jason’s pathway into print media, the direction he sees media and content heading, how he prioritizes his job with what he calls “Opportunity Set B,” and why living in a state of constant reconsideration has helped him adapt his life and business when he needed to.
Taylor Schulte on Creative Elements
#73: Taylor Schulte [Abundance] – Taylor Schulte is the founder of Define Financial and the host of Stay Wealthy Retirement, a Forbes Top 10 Retirement podcast. And in 2020, Taylor co-founded Advisors Growing as a Community, or the AGC. The online community has more than 150 members and generates more than $225,000 in annual recurring revenue. In this episode, we talk about how Taylor found his initial clients, the short-term and long-term marketing strategies he’s put into place, how he literally structured his client-facing website, how he leverages press mentions, and why an abundance mindset has helped him stand out in a competitive field.
c4nopener of Bad Bunnies NFT
#74: Bad Bunnies NFT [Design] – c4nopener is one of the creators of the Bad Bunnies NFT project. Bad Bunnies are 5,500 randomly generated, gamified NFTs, released from captivity to the Ethereum blockchain. The project opened to the public for minting on Sept. 18 at a price of 0.0275 ETH and sold out in a matter of 48 hours. In this episode, we talk about the origins of Bad Bunnies, their sold-out launch, a step-by-step guide for how you can launch your own NFT, the role of hype in an NFT project, and why the Bad Bunnies team valued Design over all else.

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In partnership with The Podglomerate
In partnership with The Podglomerate
With so many shows talking to artists about their creative process, Creative Elements breaks the mold. The Podglomerate is excited to partner with Creative Elements to tell the stories of creators who have built real businesses around their art and creativity.
Jeff Umbro, CEO of The Podglomerate
Jeff Umbro Podglomerate
With so many shows talking to artists about their creative process, Creative Elements breaks the mold. The Podglomerate is excited to partner with Creative Elements to tell the stories of creators who have built real businesses around their art and creativity.
Jeff Umbro, CEO of The Podglomerate
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More than 200 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  Reviews
Creative Elements podcast reviewsCreative Elements podcast reviews

👋 Hey! I'm

Jay Clouse

I'm writer, podcaster, course creator, and more! Basically your typical multi-hyphenate-slashie-creator.

Before I was a creator, I was into startups. I've been fortunate to have sold two companies and invested in a few others.

I am fortunate to spend all of my time working on creative projects that I love. And I want to help lift YOU towards creative independence too.

Learn more about me →

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