"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours" -Henry David Thoreau

Cosette "CoCo" Leary - Author, Keynote Speaker, Coach

I haven’t always been real; I had to get real. Getting real means being open and honest enough with yourself to know that where you’re at...is not where you belong. And that you’ll have to do something really desperate to get out. 

Cosette "CoCo" Leary recently published a book called “From Welfare to the White House”; she went from raising four children off $742 per month to getting a position on Capitol Hill. Now she has returned with a mission: to guide others on a similar journey—from simple existence to living out your deepest talents and passions.

I got my mind blown twice, brains splattered across the walls, with several mini-blows along the way. I came away a different person. Perhaps you will too.

Transcript available here.

Also: if you are interested in CoCo's coaching (which I'd highly recommend), feel free to e-mail her at cosettefiredupandready@gmail.com

Jelani Memory - Founder/CCO, Circle Media

"I'm a big believer the thing you'll be doing a year from now, 5 years, 10 years from now, is the thing you're already doing, but in Beta."

Jelani Memory is the founder and CCO of Circle Media.

Circle Media gained national attention when one of their products—Circle—was picked up by Disney after a failed Kickstarter. 

Jelani lives a focused and principled life, and it's amazing how much wisdom one person can carry. If you've spoken with me in the last month, odds are I'd quoted him at least once to you.

Here, he shares what allows him to take big risks, the importance of building resilience, as well as one of our biggest roadblocks: the illusion that we need permission to pursue the things we love. 

Full transcript here.

Also, a big thanks to Miles Shattuck for his post-production wizardry, and to Jamie Mustard for his help with this episode. 

Marcus Swanson - Photographer

“I don’t know if there’s anything you can love that doesn’t have some application somewhere. The love, the passion and the inspiration...these are the indicators that, hey, this is your path.”


How do we know we’ve found something we love? It resonates on a cellular level. It’s not a conscious choice, or something we have to figure out. It’s just something you feel

This is behind Marcus’s love of photography, and just one small aspect of what makes one of Portland’s top photographers a very special guest. 

Swanson Studios: https://www.swansonstudio.us/

Providence Run: https://www.swansonstudio.us/providence-run/

Also, a huge thanks to Ian Storey, Ben Kuebrich and Jamie Mustard for their help with this episode. 

Jamie Mustard - the Iconist

"I spent about 10-15 years punching myself in the face, telling myself I wasn't good enough...I don't want to be the guy that pretends that never happened. I think some people don't know that's part of it, and so they give up, when they shouldn't."

What happens when you stumble upon a life-changing idea? It's now on you to develop it, sculpt it, and essentially execute. That can take time, though, years even, and it's a process filled with doubt, frustration, headaches. It's necessary though--'the blender', as Jamie calls it--as it paves the way for you doing the work you are ultimately capable of performing.

Jamie Mustard is known professionally as "the Iconist" - he specializes in helping people "rise above the noise". He works primarily with artists, musicians and business executives, and has consulted for brands such as Intel, Cysco and Symantec.

Before that happened, he was just a man with an idea. A groundbreaking, life-altering idea. 

Find Jamie's work here.

Emily Crumpacker - Food Extraordinaire

"I feel so bad for the kids who are struggling to find out what their passion is. You don't have to know what your passion is; if something makes you curious, then do that!" 

Emily has built a career on curiosity. It started by selling Christmas trees and has taken her all over the world, from Morocco as Leonardo DiCaprio's personal chef to working in France with Julia Child. She’s now one of the preeminent voices on food in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Ultimately, though, she’s just a woman who loves to learn. 

Tod Kelly - Writer

"I don't believe in 'paying your dues' - I believe in practice and good work. And if you enjoy what you're doing, then it shouldn't feel like 'dues'." 

Though he's flown all over the country to write features for magazines, Tod was working as a risk consultant not too long ago, with zero to little professional experience as a writer. In terms of 'dues', at least in the traditional sense, Tod hasn't paid much of them.

His story really starts as he was driving to a meeting in Eugene. A song came on his iPod, one he was familiar with but didn't know was on there. In short, the message was so personal and powerful that he turned the car around and didn't go back to his job. 

The rest has flowed from there.

You can read Tod's work here

Lucas Longacre - Filmmaker

"With any success, you get that feeling of 'Now what?', and it's debilitating. But that 'Now what?' is gonna be with you for the rest of your life." 

What happens when you get everything you were looking for? 

Even deeper, what happens when you get your dream job, and find it wasn't what you imagined? 

Lucas' story brings a dose of reality to the term "dream job". In his career, he got both of those - the thing he always wanted to do, and the job he always wanted - but, in their own ways, neither were enough.

Encouragingly, it's all led to where he is now: telling stories that mean the most to him and that feed him in ways he didn't think they could.

You can check out Lucas's work on his production company's website. You can also watch full episodes of Original Fare

Nancy Simon - Fashion Designer

"As a teen, I always felt like I had this Universal assurance, a guidance. Then it went dark, for a number of years. It made me question who I was, why I was making these choices. There's something about flow you can't force; you have to wait for it to happen."

What happens when you feel like you're in a dark cloud? When you can't see where you are? 

This is a familiar feeling for anybody who's ever felt "stuck". Nancy's story is undoubtedly reassuring in that, even in your darkest moments, when everything seems to be completely motionless, your story is actually in its most critical moments. 

Joe Staples - Advertising Executive

Joe isn't just an Advertising Executive; he's the Executive Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy, one of the world's top ad agencies. If you've seen a commercial that made you laugh, or made you think, Joe's probably had his hands on it. 

Joe's most inspiring trait, to me, is his motor. His career began by obsessively creating and with only one goal: to produce. He's found a way to create but without making one of the artist's most fatal mistakes, which is worrying about where it will get them. 

His thinking? You either get something wonderful, or at least you have a fun time doing it.

Linda Robertson - Artist

Here's the biggest irony: for a rather abstract profession like painting, Linda is a highly practical and organized person. She created her dream job with a series of steps, proving that you can get the life you want without having to turn your world upside down. 

In that, we talk about the distinction between 'selling out' and doing what you need to do, to get to where you want to be. 

Check out Linda's beautiful artwork here

Prashant Kakad - DJ, Owner of "Bollywood Dreams"

On stage, Prashant is colorful, flashy and vibrant. The entire crowd stays mesmerized as he guides them in the art of Bollywood Bhangra dancing. The room pops and, no matter who you are or how much rhythm you lack, you can't help but move along. 

Not too long ago, he was a software engineer at Intel. Depressed, overweight and too afraid himself to ask anyone to dance, Prashant was the last person you'd imagine leading dance crowds by the thousands. 

Yet he had to start somewhere.

Follow Prashant's DJ adventures and catch one of his shows.

               © 2016 Harris Newman - Portland, OR