ThrivTALK is a podcast filled with informal, organic conversation about the pains we Creatives often feel when starting and growing a business. Jenn and Doug will share their experiences, both good and bad, with the hope of making you, the Creative, feel inspired to start your business, take more action in your business, feel you are not alone in your journey, not be a afraid to show your vulnerability, and drive you to take the steps Jenn has created through ThrivCommunity.com to find daily peace and confidence in your mind, and organizational structure in your business.
This is not a step by step success model, it’s a community of accountability partners all working together to support each other, from the emotional side of business that we Creatives struggle with, to tried and true methods structuring your systems and processes that will maximize your bottom line. Welcome to ThrivTALK!
Don’t forget to subscribe to ThrivTALK. You can find show notes online at starvingartistmyth.com.
Jenn Ocken:(singing) Hey everybody. I’m Jenn Ocken.
Doug Gay:And I’m Doug Gay, and this is our podcast.
Jenn Ocken:We’ll have conversations creatives can relate to, find solace in, and laugh at the antics of accountability partners.
Doug Gay:Trying to find our way through unpredictable career paths despite our best efforts to mess things up daily. Welcome to ThrivTALK.
Hey everybody. Welcome to ThrivTALK. My name is Doug Gay, and I am here with the host of ThrivTALK, Jenn Ocken.
Doug Gay:Jenn, tell us about yourself.
Jenn Ocken:Hey, Doug. Thanks so much. I am a photographer that has been in a creative career path, and going up and down, and struggles, and celebrating, and moving through everything that I need to do as a creative to make myself sustainable in a creative, doing it, for the last 15 years. And the one thing that I have found that has been probably one of the most rewarding things is mentoring and helping other creatives do the same thing, and watching them grow and spread their little wings.
Doug Gay:That’s why we’re here, right?
Jenn Ocken:Right, Thriv.
Doug Gay:That is what brought us to this point.
Doug Gay:Well, my name is Doug Gay everyone, and I got my music education degree from Northwestern State University, became a band director. The whole time I was band directing, I was also a professional musician, and I’ve been to seven different countries and toured a lot. And at some point, I realized that I wanted to own my own business in music education, which it is called Baton Rouge Music Studios. I started with one student in my living room, and in 2006, I became an official business with right around 40 students or so. And now, we have two locations in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles with over 300 students. So my journey has been very interesting, full of a lot of joy, and full of a lot of pain. And I think the joy and the pain of being a small business owner is what brought us to where we are now with you and your creation of ThrivTALK, the Thriv community. But what I’d like to talk about is how you and I got together, a little bit, and talk about we’re calling ourselves accountability. Right? Accountability partners.
Jenn Ocken:Right. That’s exactly what we are.
Doug Gay:And so, again, what I said what brought us here was talking about the pains of being a small business owner. The pains of being an artist learning how to be a business person. Right?
Doug Gay:And so, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how Thriv got started, and what our purpose is.
Jenn Ocken:No. Yeah, Thriv got started as a wanting to do something bigger than myself, holding onto a purpose that I didn’t know how to bring into fruition. I love mentoring, and having photography kids come in and just kind of going through the day to day business. And they weren’t coming in to learn photography with me, they were coming in to understand how I was marketing, where was their next step, what did they need to be doing right now to bring in a foundation that will allow them to actually have sustainability after they graduated because they’re all mostly college people. I’ve had some high schoolers. I’ve even had some women that were done with raising their children, and they were ready to do a career, and I mentored them going into a later in life sort of career in photography. So it’s been … Thriv community definitely came from that idea that it’s not just about your craft, it’s about laying down that foundation that’s gonna lead you into a successful career in the creatives.
Doug Gay:Well, and it’s about what you said. You said, mentorship. Right? I consider us colleagues.
Doug Gay:So you mentor me, and I mentor you, and that is what we call that accountability. Right?
Doug Gay:Let’s talk about that for one second.
Jenn Ocken:The whole accountability thing?
Jenn Ocken:I gotta tell you, it’s been my life saver when it has come to being in business within the pressures of, what is somebody gonna throw at you? What do I have to do today to be able to make payroll? How is that all gonna work out? And just to be able to be vulnerable and to show up, or to ask somebody to show up for you, and they show up for a space that is going to give some sort of solace to the decisions we have to make. They don’t make the decisions for you, but they actually empathize. They give you this space of reasoning. I mean, I can remember you telling me one time, “It doesn’t matter, Jenn. It was only this amount of money so what does it matter if it fails?” And it’s like, “Oh, well that just gave me a whole new sense of-”
Doug Gay:That’s right.
Jenn Ocken:I’m like, “Oh shit, let’s go. Come on now.”
Doug Gay:Absolutely, yeah. So what I understand the Thriv community to be is a whole plethora of accountability partners all working with each other to just move forward. You might have people who are deciding, “I want to start a business,” and you might have people who are in the middle of growing their business.
Jenn Ocken:Yeah, and they might wanna move into a new market, or they might wanna have something different. They might wanna move down a different avenue of the same kind of industry that they’re in.
Doug Gay:And I’m a musician, you’re a photographer. We’re both in creative fields, but we do have very different fields, but we come together. You and I have sat in my office many a time, and you’ve counseled me on my problems, and I’ve counseled you on your problems. And this is kind of an open forum for people to grow together, and to find these consistencies in their different fields that allow them to feel maybe a little more secure. Knowing someone else is insecure and vulnerable makes you feel a little bit more secure about yourself because now, oh, I’m not the only one.
Jenn Ocken:Can I tell you this is where my insecurity and vulnerability was not showing up. When I came into really starting to develop Thriv, and it really coming out of me, I just wanted an online learning platform for people to come in, learn the basic business foundation so that they can flow into a creative career path. The whole community and accountability part wasn’t even a thought process, until I got into really generating the content and understanding what was missing, and listening to creatives and what they really, really needed. And Doug, with you as my cohost, I am super excited with the whole idea of us being able to hold some conversations that are gonna [inaudible 00:07:30] creatives can kind solace. They can laugh at our antics, and we can just flow through this creative process together.
Doug Gay:I agree. And look, I think that a lot of people are gonna take solace in the fact us professionals are being unprofessional and showing our vulnerability. I mean, I’m gonna tell you when I had a bad week. Next podcast could be all about me having a terrible week.
Jenn Ocken:Can I just tell y’all that I called Doug poopie pants.
Doug Gay:I am often grumpy. I am. And look, guys, if you like what we’re talking about and you wanna know more about what we do, and you wanna keep up with what’s happening, please subscribe to the show ThrivTALK. And we’re gonna be available through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Overcast. And for now, we’re gonna have monthly episodes, but as you get to know us and we become less weird to you and you decide you love us, we’re gonna start working on more episodes. So hopefully, we’ll go weekly very soon. That’s it. I’m Doug.
Jenn Ocken:I’m Jenn.
Doug Gay:I love Jenn.
Jenn Ocken:I love Doug.
Doug Gay:And we love.
Jenn Ocken:All right, peace (singing).
Doug Gay:Thanks everybody for listening. Make sure to subscribe to the show, and leave us a rating and review on iTunes. It really helps us out. If you’re not a member of the Thriv community, check out starvingartistmyth.com. You can find more information about how to become a member. And if you’re not already a member, you’re a jerk.
Jenn Ocken:A jerk in the sweetest, most possible way.
Doug Gay:This episode was recorded and produced by parachute.fm. See ya next time.
Jenn Ocken:Bye, bye.