We're celebrating our 100th (!) episode of Outside by Design with a special minisode!
Lisa sits down and reflects on the themes that have come up after 6 years of podcasting and what we have learned about growth from our past guests. This episode covers the chaos of creativity, the evolutionary process, and where we're going from here.
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Lisa: Hi, welcome back. And welcome to our creative community here at Outside by Design. Today is a pretty cool day, I think. This is our 100th episode, and so I thought - this is Lisa - I thought that this was a good opportunity to celebrate six years of podcasting and 100 episodes. It's kind of a big deal. It's like 100 hours and 100 hours that you've listened to you and grown and learned and laughed, hopefully. And 100 awkward intros that Iris and I have recorded over and over again because podcasting is really hard. [laughs]
So I kinda just wanted to talk about the topic of growth, which keeps coming up in business lately, especially in 2020. And just a fast run through, I think, of some themes that have come up in our podcast over the last 100 episodes and what I think about that now and how you can translate some of these life lessons into your brand or your business or your idea. So I'm kind of excited about it.
Okay. So to kick this off, we always ask every guest to describe where they are and what they are looking at. And I will start with that.
So I am at my log cabin in the woods in Montana, and it's early morning. It's still dark outside and I'm about half a cup... half a cup of coffee deep. And my dog, Eddy, is sleeping on the floor and it's fall and the propane stove is kicked on, so there's a cozy little fire. So that's where I am. And what I'm looking at.
And 2020 has given me the opportunity to work from home a lot more than normal, and it has been wonderful. So I’ve really been enjoying like the sense of place and the idea of home that I didn't have as much when I traveled so much for this job, so. Or owning an agency. I used to be on the road probably half the month and it was really, really fun.And I rode a lot of scooters in Denver and a lot of scooters and lots of cities actually. Scoot life was pretty big deal between meetings, but now I've been scooterless on dirt roads in Montana, and that has been very grounding. And I think that... I think it shows and kind of the level of thought I've been able to put into WHEELIE this year. And it's been really cool to see some of those themes repeated in the podcast too, and some of the same thoughts.
And so... the very first season of Outside by Design, I look back and I remember, and I kind of smile at it, ‘cause the idea was we wanted to talk to creative people and we were also, you know, not really sure how to start a podcast. And at work we put a snowball mic on the ground and like hooked it up to a laptop and sat on the ground and then it picked up way too much of our movements of our feet and everything, but it was okay. And I think we recorded directly into GarageBand that entire first season. And now we use Zencaster, which is an awesome software.
And it was... it's funny, right? ‘Cause I've recorded this podcast in a tiny office. I've recorded it from the gear closet at our new office, which has fantastic acoustics. I've recorded podcasts from my truck and now my couch. And that's really overlapping with one of the themes that comes up in the podcast a lot, which is kind of to embrace the chaos of creativity and this, like, messy process. And to try your best and find, like, comfort in the discomfort, or at least ease within the discomfort. That's been a huge topic.
And other topics have been to ask the hard questions, that seems to come up a lot. And I'd like to hope that I'm getting better at doing that in a podcast. I am very introverted. So podcasting is actually a huge challenge for me. Especially because a lot of times I never see the people that I'm speaking with, that I don't get to see their faces and I lose that type of visual social cues. And it's like so hard to have a one hour conversation with someone you've never met or seen before. And it takes really good listening skills. So I've been hopefully working on my listening skills and my interview skills over the last six years, because it is really hard. Let me tell you.
But the biggest... the biggest theme and the biggest takeaway I want to hit on in this episode is this idea that growth is awesome. And that things change and evolve. You change any evolve over time and that's good. That's okay. Right? Like, I listen back to things that I've said over the last six years, or that we've said as an outdoor industry, things that were just normal around diversity or around women's gear or all kinds of things. Right? I listen back and I notice that we've grown.
I notice that some of these things aren't true anymore or that they're outdated or that our views are more evolved or different. We've learned and we've grown better. We've grown differently, and hopefully we've grown better. And it's okay to have grown. And I think that this is a really important thing to talk about in the creative industry, as well as the outdoor industry is that like, you might put your heart into something and you might put your energy out there and then you learn a different way of doing things. And so that fear of like, “Oh man, did I say something offensive?” Or “is this going to be immortalized on the internet my entire life, is this going to be held against me later?” And that whole idea of cancel culture that's very popular right now. And I think that stifles creativity because we all grow. Like, we want to grow.
And so I think about… there was this Observer article with the Beastie Boys and they're talking about that song “Girls.” You know, the song and it's like, “girls do the laundry, girls do the dishes.” They're talking about that song. And talking about how outdated that was and how they've grown. Right? And the gift of growth is that, you know you have it when you're able to look back and notice a difference. You have a better perspective or a different perspective, and so you can look back and you can see like, “Oh, wow. Hm. Maybe making a song about how girls do the laundry and girls do the dishes really isn't that funny” or, you know, “wow. I contributed to society in a way that I didn't want to,” or... right? But to acknowledge it and be okay with it and yeah, embrace the fact that you can change and you can grow and no one is stuck how they are. You're never stuck how you are. And I think that's really important as an agency that we at WHEELIE focus on and all the different formations and different offices and different employees and different clients. Like there's so much growing and constant evolution. Oh, and social platforms and algorithms. And like it's a constant, constant journey of growth. And a creative agency is not the place for complacency, because you have to constantly level up. And that's what WHEELIE means, is to level up - and to celebrate your ability to constantly level up and level up in different ways. You know, you could level up your leadership or you could level up your marketing, or you could level up the way that you produce photo shoots, or the packaging that your products come in.
And as a brand, it's okay to stand for something and to change and to evolve. And that means like… a lot of the brands we work with are questioning how political they can or should get. And ultimately that's up to the people who run those businesses. However, I think it's totally great for a brand to change their stance and grow. So if all of your products used to come in tons and tons of plastic, and now you want to promote environmental activism and it feels a little gritty to promote the planet when your stuff comes in plastic, it's okay to change the package design and then make, take a stance. Right? But it's like, you kind of have to walk that talk and talk that walk at the same time to be in full alignment as a brand, as a human being. And it's like, it's really hard. That's not an easy thing to do, but I do think it's okay to change. It's okay to admit that you know a better way that you didn't use to know. And I think that's a really big deal.
And so on this podcast, for the next 100 episodes, like, I can't wait to grow and learn more from the guests that we have and learn more about leveling up our brands and our communities and ourselves. And I just thank you for listening. I thank you for growing with me for the past six years and 100 episodes. I'd like to thank everybody who has ever come up to me and said, “Hey, I listened to your podcast” or shot us an email that said, “Hey, this person would be great on your podcast” or written us a review on iTunes or Spotify, because... I don't know. I really like… this podcast, we don't monetize it. And we... I guess it's a passion project, but it really is a conversation. And it's been a lot of fun.
So I anticipate our podcast to only get better for the next 100 episodes. And I thank you for growing with me and changing withe me and listening with me.
Yeah. Thanks for being here.