This is the transcript for Episode 012 | Hannah Moyer’s Dos and Don’ts
Jack Roach continues his conversation with Hannah Moyer as she shares her top dos and don’ts for creatives.
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Jack: And we’re back with Hannah. Jennifer is still out of town. I don’t know yet if I’m going to have been able to trick her into recording an intro and outro to this but you’ll find out before I do. Hannah is… Well, Hannah, talk to us.
Hannah: Oh yes. Thank you for having me back. I’m Hannah Moyer. I’m a writer, speaker, podcaster based in Southern California. I also work as a head of Paid Media, and at a digital marketing agency in Southern California as well. I’m really passionate about talking about creativity and kind of the struggles that creatives have.
Jack: I’m exhausted just hearing you talk about… I go to work, I do the kid’s stuff, I write and I do the podcast, and I look around and say, journey time now for sleep.
Hannah: Yeah. I’m single and don’t have children so there’s some benefit to that.
Jack: I tell you what. For a week, let’s trade life. Let’s see how it fits.
Hannah: Come out to Sunny California.
Jack: I thought that this time we would touch on all of your experience in the creative industry and ask you for your dos and don’ts for success in creativity.
Hannah: Yes. I am so excited to talk about this.
Jack: What is the biggest mistake that you see people making trying to establish themselves?
Hannah: Yes. I think that the biggest mistake that I see is when people don’t take enough time to rest. We talked it a little bit in the last episode about that but even as much as your working and sometimes work will take over your life a little bit and personal life won’t be as present. You do need to rest. You don’t want to get burnt out like yes it’s a gray area, so yes you need to force yourself to work, but if you don’t take regular time off to rest and to recuperate, you’re going to burn yourself out and you’re not going to be able to recover. So yes it’s incredible that someone’s loves what they do but at the same time if you don’t take that regular time to focus on your relationships, take time outside, do whatever you need to do to get away from work for a little bit even for an hour or two then you’re going to be just taking yourself into a hole and this is going to be really hard to recover from.
Jack: This is often that Jennifer and I deal with a lot. We did a… certainly about idea of work life balance and how it’s a joke.
Hannah: Yeah. It’s integration not balance.
Jack: Yeah. She came up to have lunch with me. We got to the restaurant; it’s like 12:15, placed her order and then she pulled out her phone and started typing and I said, “What are you doing? This is a time for me to see you.” And said, “Oh I got to do this Instagram thing between twelve and one.”
Hannah: Yeah, yes. Definitely kind of like all the metrics of like the best time to post and what is the best time to post and if that is during personal time like that can be difficult to balance.
Jack: Make sure you take time off for yourself or not taking time off.
Hannah: And pay attention to your loved ones.
Jack: I joke to Jennifer about her writing a book called “How to Maintain a Marriage or Being a Wedding Photographer” I mean just do a one page that says, “You Can’t.”
Hannah: Especially during wedding season. My old roommate was a wedding photographer. It was crazy.
Jack: All that stuff happens on the weekends.
Hannah: Yeah. Definitely.
Jack: And that’s when I’m home.
Hannah: And then there’s kids, and there’s the house stuffs and everything else.
Jack: So you have passions for hiking and Netflix?
Hannah: Yes. Sometimes you just really need to get Netflix bench.
Jack: Do you ever have to combine those two?
Hannah: Well, I try to go hiking where there is a very little cell reception so I doubt. I would make it a little bit difficult.
Jack: Well I have good news for you. You can now download Netflix.
Hannah: You can. I forgot about that.
Jack: So you got to get in to multitask. That’s the only way you can get on that.
Hannah: Multitasking doesn’t actually exist as a psychologist friend who have always reminded me.
Jack: Yeah. Well speaking of multitasking, you have an awful other comas in your title.
Jack: How do you find time to split between those when you sit down in front of a computer or whatever is it to your work? How do you know which you’re working on?
Hannah: Oh my gosh, that is such a good question. It’s something that I’m continually trying to improve at. I’ve started as I have my full time day job which is the Head of Paid Media at a marketing agency, and then I have my podcast and some other random projects as well, and so on Sundays, I write on a list of everyday in the week on my phone and I have a max of two to three things that I need to do outside of work hours. And so that could be prep for the podcast, it could be reach out to someone for an interview, or schedule some social media things or something like that. And so that keeps me focus so then I work a little bit before going into the office and then I work in the afternoon-evening as well, and sometimes that will be just go on a hike. Like that would be one of the items that I have to check of. And so it’s definitely kind of learning what process works for you. I’m very much of a to-do list person. So for me that list works very well in order to keep me organize of okay well, this is do on this day then I need to push this off until the next day. And so I can’t work on B until I get A finish or something like that. And so I’m just definitely learning what works well for you and yeah it’s just kind of testing it out and kind of really working and making sure your priorities are in the right spot.
Jack: Yeah, I’m a big fan of the 1-3-5 to-do list. Are you familiar with that?
Hannah: I don’t think so. What is it?
Jack: It’s just a simple to-do list but you have nine tasks for a day. You got one thing you have to do, three things you really should do, and five things that would be nice if you got that done.
Hannah: Oh, that’s a good one because my to-do list at work is about 20 things everyday and it’s all scribbled all over in a notebook.
Jack: They keep asking why I don’t stay late at work and stuff. I’m not worried about someone might come and do my work. It will be here in the morning.
Hannah: Exactly, yeah.
Jack: That to-do list rolls over a lot.
Hannah: As long as you have the right focus definitely, yeah, just those one or two things that absolutely need to get done.
Jack: But I’m sure that you know as well as I do that which basically appeared doing you it independent creative work. For example being an author, writing a book is actually kind of the least thing that you do. You’ve didn’t have to promote it, you have to go to conferences and all that. It’s exhausting doing all the other things that come along with the main thing that you thought that you were doing.
Hannah: Totally yes.
Jack: So what is your number two do or don’t?
Hannah: Do, you always want to know who you’re serving and your WHY because that guides everything else. So one of my kind of go to quotes is “Remember why you started”, and so for me, my why is to help people and I want to do that through my work. And so whenever either I start to get a little burnout or I start to not to want to work on something when I need to work on it and said okay, I’m doing this in order to help people through X, Y, Z and so that kind of keeps me motivated and I also know who I’m talking to, I’m talking to creatives. And so once you do that, all of your goals and your version of success will begin to align with that.
Jack: Do you think that that’s one of the most important things when starting out is determining the WHO and the WHY?
Hannah: Definitely, I think from like my marketing branding brain, you always need to know who you’re marketing to. But also just from a creative success brain of you need to define your version of success so your version of success could be making two million dollars, and speaking conferences all over the world, or it could be making having a lifestyle business, and being able to take care of your family, and then having some projects on the side. Like whatever that is for you, you need to determine that and then shape your creativity through that. So knowing that before you start or even knowing a form of it. Eight years ago when I started college, I had no idea I was going to be here. I went from broadcasting and digital media. I thought I was going to be in a recording studio right now. So it’ll change over time but as long as you have a general idea of what you want to do and who you want to serve then you can kind of reverse engineer it to start where you need to start.
Jack: Do you ever have to tell people it’s nice that you have a goal but that’s a dumb goal and you’re never going to accomplish it?
Hannah: I wouldn’t phrase it quite like that. I think I haven’t necessarily been in that exact situation. I think there are definitely been a couple times where someone has had some really huge goal that would need to be broken down more and then they get start to get overwhelmed because it is such a huge goal. So another one of my dos is be, like you can have a big goal but you also need to break it down. So if you want to start a podcast and do for six months put out weekly episodes then you go, okay you need the name, you need to record the first episode, you need to do the intro outro. So breaking it into these smaller tasks will make it more manageable so then you necessarily won’t get so overwhelm by having some huge goal that might not necessarily be possible right away.
Jack: Making a podcast as simple as it sounds. I’m quickly finding it’s a lot more work than…
Hannah: Yes. There are so many things.
Jack: Was there ever a time in your life when you had to re-evaluate your goal and say, actually I need to focus on this based of what I’ve learned.
Hannah: Yes, definitely. As I mentioned, I went to college thinking that I was going to work in the music industry and then I soon change to okay well I’m going to work in the radio industry. I enter an artist management and so working at a management agency with I kind of like boutique firm and well I loved it and I was trying to get some jobs when I moved on to national, I was interviewing. I’m kind of re-evaluating, okay well, I know I can do certain marketing tasks so let’s re-evaluate. Let’s go, okay, so start freelance writing. I know I can write so that’s a least an income. I was working at Starbucks and look just kind of finding my way and I think it’s definitely like when there is that kind of “death of a dream” It sounds very melodramatic but to an extent it’s true. So I’ve gone through that multiple times in both personal and professional life and you just have to take the time to mourn that a little bit. Like when my company ended it was really difficult but I made sure I took time to process and then I moved forward. I said, “Okay, well if this wasn’t I wanted then what do I want?” And again you don’t have to have figure it out all right away. I mean you kind of find bits and pieces of it over time for I mean three years ago when I’ve said oh I want to help people by to become better creatives but three years ago I did know okay I can write and I know that this is my skillsets so I’m going to go from there. So it’s definitely taking time to process whether externally or therapy. I’m a huge component of therapy. It’s amazing. Everyone should do it. Whether or getting out with friends or finding some kind of new projects. Like whatever that is, you just need to make sure that you have that chance to do it and then through that you can start to redefine what success would be.
Jack: My career has followed a similar trajectory. I got a degree in English because I like to read and then comes out that there’s not lot of high paying jobs for readers. Got into journalism and then got in manufacturing and now I’m in supply chain.
Hannah: Okay, yeah definitely some winding turns there.
Jack: Well, if you had told me what my job was you know looking back seventeen and to go to college and say hey you’re going to be doing this. I was like what is that?
Hannah: Exactly. I don’t think you’re telling the truth.
Jack: Yeah, that’s not what I wanted at all.
Hannah: Yeah. And a lot of times what we think that we may not actually is what we want, not necessarily in your case, but just kind of in general of like I’ve thought I would be in running Facebook ads for my entire job but now that I’m there, I can see that well it may not be the entire rest of my career like it’s definitely something that I enjoy. It was a nice surprise to see.
Jack: I have found that the most important thing to me now which is something I didn’t see coming as a dumb twenty year old was that I only care about providing for my family.
Hannah: So that’s your WHY going back to that.
Jack: That’s my why and I’m thankful to have a day job that pays me well so that I can do that and then not have to rely on by creative output to support this.
Hannah: Yes, that’s so important. One of my big things when I talk on people is just you always need a side gig that is not related to your income, so I very purposefully not pursued sponsorship for my podcast because I want that to not be tied to my income because the moment that’s something that you enjoy has its tied to making money, then it removes some of the fun and it adds pressure. So for example if I was relying on sponsorship, since sponsorship dried up, I would be very stress about that. But because I don’t have any sponsorship for the podcast not saying I’ll never change my mind, but because of that can have a little bit more grace towards okay well I’m going to re-release an episode or maybe like some really big life things have happened and I just couldn’t get an episode out. I wouldn’t have to explaining that to sponsors. So I think I definitely agree with you that having some creativity that is not tied to the family income is important.
Jack: When I was younger I thought it was important to do what you enjoy and now I think it’s more important to enjoy what you do.
Hannah: I like that distinction, yes definitely.
Jack: Do you have one more big mistake for me?
Hannah: One of my other don’t would be not being open to changing your mind or evolving. I think when people, it’s very clear when certain people will trying to make something work and it won’t. This isn’t to say that you can’t be tenacious and keep searching after what you want to be doing. I mean Facebook didn’t happen overnight. No success is truly overnight, so you always have to be working hard towards something but sometimes things just won’t work out and then there is something really incredible on the other side, you just have to be willing to kind of take that fork in the road and just kind of see where that takes you and not be so worried about either what people’s say about you changing your mind or anything like that.
Jack: Just like you were talking about defining your ideas of success, you have also have to define failure.
Hannah: Definitely true.
Jack: Just because you stopped doing something that you thought you were going to do doesn’t mean you fail that, it’s just have new information to reacted to it.
Hannah: Yes, and then of course, I mean we can never completely hundred percent know it’s going to be happening. So for right now I can say this is what I do in life and a year it might be different. In ten years it might be different again. I think especially in today’s career like you can I mean our parents or grandparents were somewhere for fifty years and now people tend to jump around a little bit more because they’re more willing to take those risk and to re-evaluate what they want to do. So I definitely agree that you need to define what failure is and be open to the change.
Jack: My idea of failure is simply giving up.
Jack: What would you say, you know, you said your success is helping other people. What would constitute a failure to you?
Hannah: A failure for me would be losing sight of my WHY and choosing to take things on that don’t work for that. For example if, I’m not saying that this has happened but hypothetical situation, like if I get a speaking offer for $10,000 and I get one for $2,000, and the one for $10,000 ended up not panning out or ended up being in a wrong situation or kind of compromise my values whereas the $2,000 one wouldn’t have and that would have been the perfect audience then that for me would be a failure because I let the money guide me more than kind of the overarching goal for my career.
Jack: So doing it all for the money.
Hannah: Yes, I think. I mean obviously you need money to live but there’s always more to life than that.
Jack: Alright, well I think that you have given us all some very good advice. Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to join us and share your story.
Hannah: Definitely, thank you for having. This was great.
Jack: Why don’t you remind everybody once again where they can find you if they want to hear more about you and your projects.
Hannah: Yes, so we can connect on Twitter, Instagram @hjmoeyr, M-O-Y-E-R, and then my podcast is Candidly Caffeinated by Hannah Moyer. You can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundClou, GooglePlay, all of these places.
Jack: I’m going to say if you like get to art you will love Candidly Caffeinated.
Hannah: Thank you for that. I appreciate it.
Jack: Well, everybody else, get back to your daily lives. Fun time is over. But don’t forget to sit down and get to art. Thanks for listening.