Introduction to guest:
Jeffrey Madoff began his career as a fashion designer and quickly became one of the top 10 in the U.S after making the shift from his regular job.
He then went on to build a distinguished career in film and video production, directing award winning commercials, documentaries and web content for clients such as Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, and Tiffany.
Jeff’s book, “Creative Careers: Making a Living With Your Ideas” is an Amazon Bestseller, based on the class he teaches at Parsons School of Design.
He is also a playwright and theatre producer. His play “Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical”, based on the life of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend Lloyd Price will have its world premiere in March of 2022 at People’s Light Theatre.
He has been a featured speaker on branding and creativity at Wharton School, Princeton University, NYU Steinhardt, Google Next, Barclay’s Bank Rise and Verizon.
He graduated with honours from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in philosophy & psychology and was also on the wrestling team which, combined with his academic studies, prepared him for a life in the film business.
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More from Jeff:
Key quotes and takeaways from the show:
“Creativity is a compelling need to bring about a change.”
“Have insatiable curiosity and desire to learn.”
“Don’t say no to yourself.”
“What’s the worst that’s going to happen to you? […] When you actually look and assess the risk [of a creative venture] that risk is often very low […] You will find out, you won’t die!”
Constantly feed your brain and imagination – films, TV, books, meetups, discussions, music, etc. “The more inputs you have the more dots there are to connect.”
“Skills allow you to deploy your talent in more effective ways.”
“What gestures help define that character in unique ways?”
“Creativity requires risk.”
“Win or learn.”
“Jobs expand to fit the time allotted.”
“A work of art is never done, it’s just abandoned.” You’ve got to let go of a project! Perfect does not exist.
Proof of concept is essential for any business. Experiment and iterate until you prove the concept.
“More than talent, it takes perseverance [to build a successful business].”
The protocols of businesses are not that different across industries.
Don’t become over-concerned with the sale, focus on the need.
Story is selling.
Trust, above all else!
A brand is a bond between a consumer and product. It is how you “feel” about a product (emotion). This bond is created through story. “A brand is a story that’s well told.” Name recognition is not a brand, it’s the emotional connection that makes a brand.
Your personal brand is your reputation. As soon as a gap is perceived between your personal brand and your true self, people lose a huge amount of trust in you.
“It’s only failure if you give up on what’s important to you.”
“The real value in life is in the longevity and integrity of the relationships you maintain.”
“Don’t let anybody rob the joy of your work.”
The key to a successful business, performance or team is to share the same goal.
Question of the day:
“What steps would you take to transition from a 9-5 job into a personal business, doing something you love?”
Links to podcast sites:
The full podcast:
For more on creativity, value, entrepreneurship and persuasion, listen to this podcast with Rory Sutherland…
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- 00:00:00 – Coming up
- 00:00:22 – Overall show introduction.
- 00:01:16 – Finding your purpose, happiness and success in life – mhvpath.com.
- 00:02:43 – Introduction to today’s show.
- 00:04:13 – What’s new with Jeff?
- 00:05:01 – What is creativity?
- 00:06:14 – Avoiding barriers to creativity – risk, fear and failure.
- 00:10:24 – How to be more creative.
- 00:13:02 – Is creativity a skill?
- 00:15:32 – The basic structure of a story.
- 00:17:29 – Examples of good storytelling and creativity.
- 00:22:05 – What is NOT creativity?
- 00:24:39 – Being creative within deadlines and time restrictions.
- 00:30:09 – Jeff’s creative process.
- 00:32:39 – How to merge creativity with business.
- 00:38:28 – How to transition from a “regular” job to your own creative business.
- 00:44:21 – Should you focus on one business at a time?
- 00:46:37 – How to be more creative in business.
- 00:52:47 – How to get your ideas across effectively.
- 00:58:53 – What makes a successful brand and how do you create one?
- 01:06:31 – Personal branding.
- 01:09:48 – Key mantras, principles and life lessons that Jeff lives by.
- 01:11:33 – Jeff’s favourite failures.
- 01:13:12 – Resources that Jeff often gifts, recommends or refers back to.
- 01:17:29 – What one or two things have added the most value to Jeff’s life.
- 01:19:06 – “Just Do It”
- 01:21:10 – Where to find more from Jeff and his challenges for the future.
- 01:23:03 – Where the name “My Home Vitality” came from.
- 01:25:42 – How to create a theatre production.
- 01:27:45 – Where to find more, next week’s guest and mhvpath.com.
People and resources mentioned:
In alphabetical order:
- Bo Burnham
- Bob Fosse
- Busby Berkeley
- Connections by James Burke
- Edison (Thomas Edison)
- Eighth Grade (film)
- Elon Musk
- Haisley O’Leary
- Harvey Weinstein
- Heuristics and Biases by Kahneman and Tversky.
- Laurel and Hardy film – The Music Box
- Lisa Tamati
- Michael Lewis
- Moneyball by Michael Lewis
- Queens Gambit by Walter Trevis
- Seth Godin
- Steve Jobs
- The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Travis Kalanick
- Walt Disney