Want help sharing your story and growing your audience? Sign up for my weekly newsletter for my best tips and advice.

Making a creative shift

Earlier this month, I quietly relaunched my podcast, sharing the stories of how successful creative professionals have made a shift in their lives and careers. The first three new episodes are now live:

Hearing their stories had me reflecting on my own journey. Seven years ago, the job I worked for nearly a decade ended. The company folded, and I was laid off. Even though we were warned about this years in advance, I never looked for a new job. Instead, the day after that job ended, around July 4, 2010, I started my own company.

It was a creative shift. And a big risk.

The month after this happened, my wife and I had our first child. Less than a year later, she chose to leave her tenured job as an art teacher to raise our son and work on her art.

Since that time, I have never felt more alive. I doubled down on my creative vision. I tried to figure out how I can best serve others with what I offer. Working from home, I have spent seemingly endless hours with my family day after day.

In the process, I have worked with hundreds of one-on-one clients. Taught dozens of courses. Run more than 10 mastermind groups. Held more than 100 live webinars. Clicked “publish” on my newsletter and blog a few hundred times. Shared thousands of updates on social media.

But most importantly: I have been present for others as they made their creative shift. These are people finding clarity in their creative work; publishing their books; launching their own careers as artists.

That has truly been an honor.

If you are considering making a creative shift in your life — to double down on your creative work, to live day to day in a way that feels closer to your creative vision and ideals, then I would encourage you to listen to the stories that KJ, Colby, and Lori share. I have many more interviews already recorded to be shared on the podcast soon.

You can find the podcast on iTunes as well.

I would love it if you would share with me: what is the creative shift you hope to create in your life?


  • Dan, your posts inspire me every week. You always say something I need to hear or be reminded of. You are encouraging and renew hope in others through the work you are doing. Your philosophy is very much aligned with my own, and I feel so grateful for the connections I’ve made with others who share this longing to really encounter other people with our work, to make a difference one day at a time and one person at a time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Emma D Dryden, drydenbks LLC

    Dan, your posts always inspire me — and learned so much from you during that collaborative brainstorming time together for TTT&T. I had an enormous creative shift when I was laid off from my VP, Publisher position at a big-5 publishing house in 2009. When I got home with my boxes, my partner and friends reminded me how I’d been burning out for years and that I hadn’t been happy at that job–and my reaction was, “I was?! What are you talking about?” After a few months of regrouping and reassessing myself, though, I recognized they were right–and found the inspiration and strength to start my own company, drydenbks LLC. This company has brought me such satisfaction and pleasure, and has led me to creative collaborations and projects I would never have found if I’d still been in that corporate position. I’m a more creative person than I was before; I’m a more courageous person than I was before; and I’m a happier person than I was before. Creative shifting is, to my mind, like book revision–if you can really embrace the “what if?” questions and be open to change, the rewards and surprises can be miraculous!

    • LOVE THAT. Thank you so much Emma!

  • I just quit my “day job” to work freelance full time and build an author career. Have spent more than 10 years planning, preparing, studying, working at this change. Started about 10 months earlier than I had planned on, so feel a bit behind the gun — but a little motivation didn’t hurt anyone. Appreciate all the encouragement and wise advise I’ve learned from you through the Mastermind, webinars, and your blog. Your book is on my tbr pile!

  • Life begins when we step out of our comfort zones.