Meredith Farley

On Content People, host Meredith Farley interviews creative professionals and leaders to get a behind-the-scenes look at their career experiences and turn that into actionable advice for listeners. Tune in to hear from experts in various media, and get inspired to find contentment in your own creative career.

Episode #18 Summary

Annnnnnd Season 1 of Content People is a wrap! 

Across these first 18 episodes, we’ve covered everything from career strategy and brand storytelling to product design, imposter syndrome and how to pitch a TV show — all while chatting with some truly cool guests. And somewhere along the way (ok, tbh I know exactly where because I’m obsessed with the analytics) we also hit the top 100 careers podcasts in the US, Australia, and Canada — so thank you so much to everyone who’s listened.

I’m excited to announce that Content People will return for Season 2. We’re taking a quick break and we’ll be back on Thursday, June 4th. We’ve got an incredible lineup of guests including folks like the LinkedIn-famous Jess Cook of Lasso, Ben Goodey, founder of How the F*ck SEO, and some returning favorites, too. 

One important note — Season 2 won’t be distributed by Brafton. So, make sure you’re subscribed wherever you get your podcasts, sign up for the Content People newsletter, and follow me on LinkedIn if you want to stay updated.

What’s one thing that surprised me this season, you ask? Ok, thanks for asking because I was having trouble managing this segue. I was really surprised by how many questions I got about how to start a podcast. You guys all want to start podcasts! (Do it! It’s fun!) I got questions about things like: which software to use, what mic to buy, how to line up guests, and how to build up listenership. If that’s something you’re considering, I put together a guide here with everything I’ve learned so far. Check it out if you’re interested. And remember, as Liv Albert said (way back in episode 12), “Your first 20 episodes are basically practice.”

For today’s final ep of Season 1, Official Friend of the Pod Kelli Corney (you guys may know her from episode 15), joined me for a much more laid-back conversation. We talked about everything from the importance (and taboo) of intuition in business, to how generative AI could be like a washing machine. I declared #TeamAlex for all you CHD heads. Kelli insisted we stop when the convo veered toward aliens. IDK why.

As we close out this season (finally, I know, I’m getting there — the orchestra is playing me off-stage but I can’t be deterred) I wanted to highlight some of my favorite takeaways from each of the episodes so far. Check them out below — they’re linked if you’re intrigued and want to give them a listen. (Or a review. ⭐ Or a subscribe. Or a whatever.) Thanks again for listening. I’m so grateful to consider myself among the Content People. Don’t hesitate to reach out and stay in touch. You can get us at

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Thanks for listening!

– Meredith Farley, Host of Content People

Episode #1 with Todd Henry // Author of Herding Tigers and The On-Demand Creative

On the perfect job: “If you’re looking for any job to completely, creatively satisfy you, that is a fool’s errand and you’ll be chasing unicorns your entire life … You’re going to have to do work you don’t like. You’re going to have to do work that you know is not your best work because you run out of time, you run out of budget. That’s just going to happen. I think, especially a lot of young people in the marketplace, they bounce around looking for that perfect job and in truth, it doesn’t exist.”

Episode #2 with Atoosa Rubenstein // Former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo Girl and Seventeen Magazine 

On algorithm vs intuition: “Without fail, whatever came up as the number one celebrity in our magazine research and in focus groups would be the lowest-selling cover. The highest-selling cover would be somebody not even on the list. Because … readers want what they don’t know they want yet. And that is how we build brands. It’s not just by like, what is our short-term gain and how can we get the most number of clicks? Or how can I have the most number of followers? We can do better than clickbait.”

Episode #3 with Lisa Marchiano // Author & Host of the popular podcast This Jungian Life 

On clarity vs certainty: “Jung says somewhere fanaticism is always a sign of repressed doubt. So in my life, I find that it’s a good policy to mistrust certainty — to mistrust it in ourselves and to mistrust it in other people. What I’ll often say to people is my wish for you is not that you become certain about what you want to do, not that you find certainty, but that you find clarity. Because you’re probably never going to be 100% certain about anything. And if you are, it’s probably a sign that you’re repressing something. But you might get clear. And that is a lovely feeling to get clear. And it’s different than being certain.”

Episode #4 with Cliff Stevens // VP, Global Marketing Planning and Operations at Rapid7 and former head of Liberty Mutual’s agency Copper Giants 

On the agency world: “I think there’s a ton of opportunity out there. It’s sort of my optimistic nature to say, look, like it’s an awesome business to be a part of. You’ll have way more interesting conversations and dynamics in your life, both personally and professionally. And it just keeps evolving. And that’s what I love about it the most, like, whether it’s technology, the data, the operations, the creative — there are so many different avenues that you can get hungry about at different parts of your career.”

Episode #5 with Kimberly Brown // Author & Career Columnist for The Cut

On career strategy: “When I work with clients, I say, okay, where do you want to be in 10 years? Okay. So to be there in 10, where do we need to be in five? To be there in five, where do we need to be in two? And then we start to backtrack and really start building plans out in six-month increments of what they need to be working on and what they need to do … I think when we start adding strategy into how we manage our career, I think that’s where a lot of people really begin to see more success.”

Episode #6 with Amy Odell // Author & Journalist for New York Magazine & The Cut, former head at Buzzfeed

On her advice to young people who want to access the fashion industry: “My biggest piece of advice right now, is if someone is wanting to get into fashion journalism, or maybe any kind of journalism: Get on TikTok and establish yourself as a voice.”

Episode #7 with Brianna de L’airre // former manager of sales enablement at Wayfair

On introversion vs extraversion in sales: “I don’t think you have to be an extrovert to be successful in sales. If you’re so extroverted that you forget to listen, you might sound like a great salesperson, but it definitely won’t show up in your numbers. I’ve been coaching and listening to calls and said to myself, this sounds like such an engaging call, but why didn’t it go anywhere? And then you actually think about the actions on the call. They just had a great conversation, but it didn’t actually lead to the next step. It didn’t actually lead to uncovering the client’s need. And so if you’re not a really strong listener, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

Episode #8 with Jess Holton // Co-Founder of the NYTimes-reviewed company Ours

On the stigma of couples therapy: “We hypothesized that the de-stigmatization of couples therapy, and couples counseling, is about five years behind the de-stigmatization of individual therapy, where in the last 10 years, we’ve seen this explosion in embracing individual counseling … I think that there are millions of couples, and in particular, women, who were made to feel ashamed for seeking out support in their relationship. That is really what inspired me to think about what could couples therapy look like if it were truly built from scratch with the modern couple in mind.”

Episode #9 with David Snyder // Chief Services Officer at Brafton

On advice he’d give to his younger self: “The mistake I suppose I feel like I was making earlier on in my career, that I eventually course-corrected on, was that I was not actively seeking out or trying to create opportunities for myself. I was a writer and I thought of myself as a writer, you know, full stop. Advice I would’ve given to my younger self or to younger people who are starting out is to not put yourself too much in a box. And really try to think expansively about what are your skills and interests.”

Episode #10 with Ellen Gillis // Leadership Coach

On the difference between a coach and mentor: “Mentors are like a guide or an advisor. They might help you navigate companies, relationships, and decisions. We tend to look to mentors to offer us advice and share their stories to inform our own journey. A coach is that neutral party, asking questions to get at the heart of the matter, the goal, the challenge, and it’s really about not advising without permission.”

Episode #11 with Dina Denham Smith // Harvard Business Review author and Coach 

On what is emotional labor: “So emotional labor centrally involves producing, quote-unquote, the right feelings for your job. It’s evoking and suppressing emotions to meet the implicit or explicit expectations of your job. For leaders in the business world, these are implicit expectations, right? But all organizations have these feeling rules and they’re so deeply embedded that we don’t even notice them … The problem with emotional labor really comes in when we need to do it repeatedly. That is when we see some really negative outcomes for both individuals as well as organizations.”

Episode #12 with Liv Albert // Creator and Host of the chart-topping (10 million listens a year!) podcast Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby

On practicing podcasting in public: “It’s just a matter of practice, right? It’s just with podcasts, the practice remains in the feed forever. Whereas if you’re writing a novel, you’re going to go through 10 different drafts and no one’s ever going to see those. But a podcast, you’re just starting it however you’re going to start it. And yeah, like the first probably 20 episodes of my show are practice that everyone gets to listen to forever.”

Episode #13 with Caroline Winkler // a content creator (with nearly 500K subscribers to her delightful YouTube channel)

On personal brand: “I’m so much more comfortable leading with my insecurities or my fears or my vulnerabilities. But not every situation deserves that from you. That’s something that I learned from YouTube, even though I would say that, if I have a product, vulnerability is the product.”

Episode #14 with Steve Ward // Executive Recruiter & VP at The Ward Group

On talking about being laid off in a job interview: “People struggle to get through this question and the vaguer you are, the more questions it creates. So being matter of fact about what happened and keeping it brief are two very important pieces. [Say something like] ‘there was unfortunate downsizing of the organization, I was part of that downsizing. I still enjoyed learning XYZ while I was there,’ and then shift the conversation towards the future. ‘I’m really excited to bring these skill sets to here.’ Keep it brief, be succinct, be very matter of fact about it and then pivot quickly into what you’re excited about, about the opportunity, and where your skills can help.”

Episode #15 with Kelli Corney // Brand-Building Expert and Fractional CMO

On how she defines brand: “People often think a brand is a logo or a color palette or a font. And it’s not. It’s something much more foundational than that. The simplest and easiest thing I’ve been able to boil it down to is: A brand is just the truth. When you think about a company’s brand, what you’re doing is trying to discover what’s true about that company and then connect it with people in ways that make them feel something. Good brands make you feel something.”

Episode #16 with Jared Meyers // Head of SIDO Innovations, a Product Development Firm

On product design and management: “The objective of really any great product manager or someone who’s working in product is to find the truth. Find truth and support that truth with what you’re building. “

Episode #17 with Chris Cantwell // Showrunner of Halt and Catch Fire, Executive Producer on Lodge 49, and prolific comic book writer

On how AI might impact storytelling: “I think my answer would only be: it will. I think that the best of us will adapt in constructive ways, in evolved ways. And I think the worst of us will adapt in exploitative ways.”

Podcast Transcript:

Disclaimer: The transcript below is machine-generated, and may therefore contain some minor errors.

Meredith & Kelli Season 1 Wrap Up


[00:00:00] Meredith: This is a tangent, but at one point the interviewer asked him, they’re like, is there anything you wish you didn’t know?

[00:00:04] Meredith: And he says, yeah, who killed Kennedy?


[00:00:19] Meredith: Hey gang. Welcome to episode 18 of Content People, and the last episode of Season One. Today’s episode’s a little bit different because it’s the last episode of the season. I wanted it to be more casual and laid back. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but my friend, Kelly Corny, who is our resident brand expert slash friend of the pod, you might remember her from episode.

[00:00:41] Meredith: Kelly was like, you haven’t actually talked all that much. You’re usually just asking questions. Why don’t I interview you? So here’s our episode where Kelly interviews me. Kelly, thank you so much for doing this. It is long. It’s like an hour and 40 minutes. If you finish it, you deserve a medal. This might be more of a [00:01:00] friendly chatter on in the background style episode, which fair?

[00:01:04] Meredith: You are still doing God’s work and helping our numbers. I get it. What did we even talk about? That’s a great question. I was on like three hours of sleep, so I kind of blacked it out. But then upon editing, I discovered that we covered some interesting things like intuition and creativity at work and in business.

[00:01:21] Meredith: Why some of the coolest projects seem to spring forth when folks feel like they’ve got nothing to lose, how it can feel like a risk to try something new and practice in public. My favorite Quincy Jones interview. And other things. I mean, it’s long. We had time. We wandered, we segued, we talked about ai.

[00:01:40] Meredith: Kelly finally cut me off when I brought up aliens. Thanks Kelly. As I mentioned, this is our last episode of season one, but we’ll be back on June 15th with season two. A very important announcement. Season two will not be distributed by Brafton, so if you wanna stay posted, make sure to subscribe [00:02:00] wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:02:01] Meredith: You can also sign up for our newsletter Content People, which is linked in the show notes. And if you have any feedback, dream Guests or ideas for future episodes, I would really love to hear from you. You can follow me on LinkedIn and connect with me there, or you can email us at content people pod and one last.

[00:02:20] Meredith: Across season one. I started to get a lot of questions about how to start a podcast. There are obviously a lot of folks more expert than me, but I have learned a lot over season one from the technical side of things to how to get new guests . I did a write up in my sub and we’ll link it in the show notes. 

[00:02:35] Meredith: Check it out if you’re interested. And okay, rate, review, subscribe and thank you. Here’s our episode. Thanks for listen.

[00:02:46] Kelli: Am I talking first or you?

[00:02:49] Meredith: I think that needs to be our opening. Let me let’s see. I’ll just say folks, you guys already know Kelly Fractional, C m o branding, expert, official friend of the pod, I would say, [00:03:00] because this is your second app. Will you take that honor? Kelly, will

[00:03:03] Kelli: definitely accepting that title.

[00:03:05] Meredith: Thank you. So Kelly and I are gonna have a different type of combo today.

[00:03:10] Meredith: This is the last episode of season one and I was trying to figure out like, what should I do for it? Should it just be a regular one? I think there’s some stuff that I probably like, ideas that have been brewing over the season, stuff I haven’t expressed. And Kelly had this idea, she’s why don’t I interview you?

[00:03:29] Meredith: Because actually folks haven’t really heard from you that much, which I thought was a great idea and really kind and generous of you to do Kelly. So thank you.

[00:03:38] Kelli: Very honored. No, I’m really looking forward to this too. I think it’s gonna be so much fun. And I know that you mentioned this last time when when I was on, but Meredith and I are friends. We’ve been friends for a couple of years now, so some of this stuff I think is, are things that we just talk about when we talk to each other.

[00:03:54] Kelli: But yeah, I just thought it would be interesting for everyone to get to know you a little bit better because I know how brilliant you are [00:04:00] and I really value your advice and I think everyone listening would value it as well. I think it’s unusual for somebody to, maybe not unusual, but it’s a certainly not the most common thing for somebody to work basically the majority of their career in one company and to grow with that company to become, one of the executive team, one of the main leaders.

[00:04:23] Kelli: So starting as an entry level employee and then. Ending with Brafton as part of the C-Suite. So I think that’s a pretty interesting thing. And people, I don’t know if people always know, understand, like how do you progress in a role? Like when you’re in a place, how do you go from being that entry level person to working your way up?

[00:04:45] Kelli: What things did you do or, how did you navigate that?

[00:04:51] Meredith: I can try and answer it, but I will say that I think a lot of it, and I feel like we’ll talk about this later and you and I talk on this a bit, but some of it is [00:05:00] intuitive and it’s hard to express in an actionable way. That’s useful advice to other folks.

[00:05:05] Meredith: I think Because I started when the economy was so bad. I felt like I didn’t have a lot of career options and this so starting out as a writer, it was actually really fun. I had a lot of other like really young colleagues who’d also just graduated.

[00:05:20] Meredith: And I feel like when you’re just graduating from school, you’re the real world is intense and scary and having like a cohort of other folks who are in the trenches with you is it’s a powerful community. So from a social side, I felt very connected to the business in that way.

[00:05:34] Meredith: And the hours were really long because there were insane quotas. And kind of, focused me in a way because I couldn’t lose the job. I needed the money. And because a lot of my social circle was like other folks doing that job, I had a bit of tunnel vision in the beginning, which in hindsight, I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing.[00:06:00] 

[00:06:00] Meredith: I remember applying for other jobs because the hours were really crazy. The money was not good when I first started, but things were not available. So I just had to figure out okay, how do I survive in this environment? How do I keep my job? 

[00:06:13] Meredith: So I almost felt like I had no choice but to get good at it because the other option was like not perform well, lose my job and move back home cuz I didn’t have any money. And then over time, I think things like. Organization communication, working with others. It’s funny because I don’t think that as an undergraduate or before work, I thought of those as skill sets of mine, but when I needed them, they really came out and I don’t know if this would be true for other people, if it was just for true for me and the time, but it was a startup.

[00:06:49] Meredith: It was like a wild west and if you like, worked hard and you had ideas and you were able to solve some of the like really big problems we were having around [00:07:00] things like production, quality, delivery process, organization structure, it was an environment where the skills that I had and I was learning that I had were really needed.

[00:07:13] Meredith: So it was slightly symbiotic in that way and. I think I just got interested in it and I got passionate about it, about a lot of aspects of it. Both the creative work and the people side, management and organization, and also just the space of digital marketing. It can be very fun and interesting.

[00:07:35] Meredith: so your point from I went from entry level to COO in 10 years. I feel like I want to make the point, and what am I trying to say here? That sometimes it’s just luck. Like I do think I am talented and I have a specific skillset and abilities that were useful, should I have stayed as long as I did? I don’t know, like maybe it was good, like I made a lot of money [00:08:00] saved up, bought a house.

[00:08:01] Meredith: So financially it was fine, but there’s opportunity costs there too. And there’s also like a specific niche of business where that’s possible. And it’s like owner operated startups. If I had been in like Deloitte or even a bigger marketing or like maybe Arnold or something like that would not really have been a path that was available to me.

[00:08:22] Meredith: And I’m not to say who knows if it was good or bad. Like I’m grateful for my life now, so like I’m not gonna go. Mentally time travel and tinker with things, but I just feel, I don’t know why I feel compelled to make that point for anyone listening. Like it’s uncommon, but there’s also special circumstances that led to it,

[00:08:38] Kelli: Yeah. No, that’s so interesting and I think that really connects to something that I think about a lot in my own life. But I know you and I have had lots of conversations about this in the past, but something I’ve always noticed in you and admired is you’re so [00:09:00] good at like just intuitively knowing the right questions to ask.

[00:09:05] Kelli: And I remember like the first time we met and talked by the end of our phone call we met on Zoom, I think by the end of our call. I remember being like, wow, I feel like she was just interviewing me. But in a way that was really fun. It like you were able dig out things, ask the right questions and unlock something for me.

[00:09:24] Kelli: Maybe like things that I had been thinking about in my head but hadn’t quite externalized yet. Which I think are all qualities that obviously make you a excellent podcast host. So I’ve been interested in talking to you about the role that intuition plays in work and mentioned that a little bit when you were just describing your journey through Brafton, but how do you think about intuition and what role does it play in how you navigate your work?

[00:09:52] Meredith: That’s nice of you to say I remember our first conversation just, for listeners, like someone we knew mutually was just like, I think you and Kelly would really like each [00:10:00] other.

[00:10:00] Meredith: And so we got Introed and I was like, oh my God. That was an electric conversation I just had with Kelly. She’s amazing. But I don’t, I think I’m really curious, but I don’t always necessarily, I’m not like, damn, I really nailed that intuitively.

[00:10:15] Meredith: You do what you do and it’s hard to say what’s effective or not effective or right or wrong in the moment. I feel like you and I have had good conversations about this and it’s something I’ve only thought of consciously more in the last couple years about the role that intuition can play at work. And I think I I do think I have a really strong intuition, but the way I experienced it more was just a general sense of what we should do.

[00:10:43] Meredith: And I always had a really strong like, all right guys, here’s the problem. Put some thoughts together. Here’s the plan, here’s how we’ll execute. Let’s go. And that’s actually not masculine in the sense of manly, but masculine in the sense of a structured masculine energy in some ways.

[00:10:58] Meredith: But what [00:11:00] was often guiding it for me was like feelings, like bodily feelings of this pinged a solution in me, or I believe this is the way forward. And I think probably learning to trust my perception of things and my intuition is something that I’ve gotten much, much better at over time, consciously.

[00:11:19] Meredith: And I think it’s been really helpful to me. I feel like you’re a pretty intuitive person as well too. I think for longer you’ve been more consciously aware of it and better able to knowingly harness it. Would you say that’s 

[00:11:32] Kelli: yeah, I think it’s something I’ve always known about myself, whether or not I had the words to put to it. But as you were talking, I was just thinking about how I actually think it’s one of my biggest strengths as a leader, and maybe you’ll identify with this as well, where I think one of the most important things you can do as a leader is have an internal compass and trust it.

[00:11:54] Kelli: Because I think often, like there are many right answers to a question, [00:12:00] I think for anyone who isn’t in a leadership position, it can feel really intimidating when you look at the people making decisions and you’re like, oh my gosh, how do they always know the right decision? It’s not that there’s one right decision, there’s like multiple right decisions, but you have to know yourself enough and trust your gut and have a strong internal compass that you can really pay attention to where that feeling is telling you to go and then lead from that.

[00:12:26] Kelli: That’s how I interpret it anyway, when I think about this for myself in work and as I look back at the things that I’ve done or my successes, being able to have that, I’ll say the phrase again, strong internal compass and trust. It really has been the thing that’s made or break. Break would make or break things in any certain situation.

[00:12:50] Kelli: So it’s a little bit of a more logical understanding of it. I think sometimes when you talk about intuition, it can sound very like woowoo and people are afraid of [00:13:00] going in that direction with it. And why? Part of the reason I ask this question is because I think it taps into something really interesting that’s happening in like a bigger cultural sense where we are all trying to collectively grapple with the nature of truth and like these things that we perceive as opposites, like science versus religion or facts versus intuition.

[00:13:30] Kelli: And when you start talking about this kind of stuff, I think you probably get strong reactions from people either like a lot of nodding along yes, intuition is super important, and then a lot of people who like immediately feel like that’s a red flag. Like we need to more objectively, have more objective things.

[00:13:48] Kelli: To think about with this and not lean into this like woo-hoo stuff. And what is intuition anyway? I know that Daniel Con Kahneman, am I saying his name right? His book Thinking Fast and Slow. He talks a lot about intuition [00:14:00] in ways that I both like, agree and don’t agree with. I don’t know, maybe I’m leading overtalking this, but I just think it’s interesting and it’s something that feels very real to me.

[00:14:09] Kelli: And I think even as I look at how you’ve put together this podcast and conversations we’ve had about it, one thing I really admire in the way that you’ve done it is it feels very natural. It has a very easy flow to it. And yeah, I credit your sort of sense of intuition and ability to follow what feels right to you with that.

[00:14:30] Meredith: Yeah, I’ve got so many thoughts on that and I was taking some quick notes as you talked because, and actually I think maybe I got this from thinking fast and slow. I read it a long time ago, but I think that, there’s some science around what, intuition is probably like a difficult to define term, but in some instances it’s probably.

[00:14:52] Meredith: Info that we have very quickly, but accurately processed unconsciously. And we are now like aware of and working off of this [00:15:00] foundational fact, but we’re not aware that we put pieces like A, B, C, D, et cetera, together. We’re just like, oh, I have a knowing about this, which makes me think we’re gonna need to do X, Y, Z. And so on one hand it can be great. It just means like you’re a fast unconscious processor. And that’s helpful when you’re trying to like quickly put together plans. But I also think one thing that can be tricky, and I’m curious if you’ve ever encountered this, is that sometimes when you’re managing people, especially when you’re managing managers, and you’re not wholly on the same page and you give it space, you try and get there, but ultimately you’re like, okay, we’re gonna go with my call on this.

[00:15:43] Meredith: And it’s truly just my feeling, like my opinion is not better or worse than your opinion, but we’re gonna go with my gut on this. It can be a kind of weird feeling to ask leaders beneath you to follow your gut. There’s a lot of weird things happening there because it’s not their intuition. They might not [00:16:00] wanna follow your gut.

[00:16:01] Meredith: I’ve had lead leaders, managers say to me like, it’s just an instinct I have on this. And I’ve thought, yeah, I don’t trust your instinct on that terrible idea. But also I’ve had instances where I was like, you know what? I am this person’s manager, but they’re the person that’s gonna have to manage this person.

[00:16:20] Meredith: I don’t want them to hire. So alright, go for it. We’re having a difference of opinion. I’m gonna let you go with your person. And like multiple times it then crashed and burned. And I had, I think it actually shifted some things for me. Like I had to learn the lesson a few times that I am willing to exert.

[00:16:36] Meredith: My opinions and intuition on the teams that I manage in certain instances, even with no facts around it. And I, that’s always like a tricky dynamic for a manager, but it was something I had to learn over time because at first I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. 

[00:16:51] Meredith: And then I think maybe something you’re hinting at a little bit too is is intuition sometimes just a bias? We have to always be careful and on one hand, like if you’re trying to [00:17:00] learn to trust your instincts, it can then be counterintuitive to question or unpack them.

[00:17:04] Meredith: And sometimes useful, sometimes not useful, but there’s just a lot of complexity there. But we’re animals operating mostly on unconscious thought and instinct. So if you got good instincts, that’s gonna serve you well in life and in work, and there’s no reason to ignore them .

[00:17:20] Kelli: Another thing that I wanted to ask you about is just this podcast in. Sorry. It’s harder to make these transitions than it sa It looks

[00:17:33] Meredith: okay. I’m loving that you’re feeling my pain right now. I feel like there’s like a friendly version of Ford. Maybe it’s just I’m just feeling like comforted and validated, so thank you.

[00:17:43] Kelli: okay. Good. I’m glad that my awkwardness is making you feel comfortable.

[00:17:46] Meredith: So it’s nine, no, it’s 10:00 AM now for me. It is. What time is it? View 4:00 PM You’re in London?

[00:17:51] Kelli: three.

[00:17:52] Meredith: Three. Three. And so I woke up at three and I was thinking about this episode and I could not sleep.

[00:17:57] Meredith: I was excited. But you know when you wake [00:18:00] up at three and you’re full of energy and thoughts and I almost texted you to be like, are you awake? Should we just do this earlier? Cuz Kelly, I’m like, so ready for it. And then obviously I was like, no, that’s a psycho move. sorry I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been up since then. I’ve had a lot of coffee. I hope it serves this conversation well, but we’ll see. And then I fell really deep down.

[00:18:21] Meredith: Are you familiar with the call her daddy podcast at all?

[00:18:24] Kelli: No, I’ve never heard it.

[00:18:26] Meredith: Okay. I hadn’t either, but I knew it was a podcast. It’s the most, it’s like the number two podcast on Spotify, like super popular.

[00:18:33] Meredith: And I suddenly was like, I should look into this just to see like what is the second most popular podcast in the world? Do, and I got so deep into it and I now have really strong opinions. I’ve watched like five hours worth of content with some of the hosts. If anyone listening listens to that, I’m Team Alex.

[00:18:50] Meredith: And I don’t know why I got into this, Kelly. There was a point. There was a point. Oh 

[00:18:55] Kelli: it actually helps with my segue,

[00:18:57] Meredith: Ok. Oh, good. Good.

[00:18:58] Kelli: Which is I wanted [00:19:00] to ask you why you started this podcast in the first place, and talking about other podcasts

[00:19:06] Meredith: Yeah.

[00:19:06] Kelli: a little easier to bring it up.

[00:19:08] Meredith: Okay, so you did, you asked me like a version of this question last week and at first I was like, I don’t know and then, so then I thought back and I wrote a blog post ahead of the first episode. And what I said in that post is mostly true, which is I am really curious about how other content creators and successful leaders and folks like in the content or artistic or leadership, like world, what makes them tick.

[00:19:38] Meredith: How they’ve found success, what advice they might have for other people. And that is basically true. But after our conversation, it pulled out for me like maybe the deeper drives behind it, which is something that, we talked on a bit then. But the idea, okay, this is literally the third time I’m [00:20:00] referencing this play Arcadia by Tom Stopper.

[00:20:02] Meredith: And I feel like that has to be it. But I realized how deeply impactful some of the ideas in that play are and like have continued to be for me. And one of them is this concept of fractals. I think I talked with Chris Cantwell on this and he was on the episode that was released this week. And it’s this idea that, it’s a mathematical concept, fract. And it’s, it’s like cells, like the smallest brick in the wall is the exact same shape as the wall itself. And for me, what it has meant is that it is worth engaging like thoughtfully and carefully and closely with the things that are like right in front of us in our life.

[00:20:50] Meredith: Because that is the entry point through which tho the themes and problems and challenges you will encounter, there are the same as the [00:21:00] themes, challenges, and ideas that you’ll encounter at a much higher, more abstract level of thinking or human experience. And so things like work in, like for 13 years I was like a leader in a creative environment and. Figuring out how to manage people. Evolving as a manager, figuring out the business and the operations side of things where things I was engaging with every day and like making an effort to mind them for meaning and to figure things out is living like a really meaningful way for me to evolve as a person.

[00:21:38] Meredith: I think if you’re really trying to be a very mindful, thoughtful manager, you’ll have to confront things in yourself, which, so it’s been helpful for me and I think it the same thing with this podcast and with the newsletter is like taking the time to I don’t know.

[00:21:54] Meredith: It’s not deliberate. It’s not like I was like, I think that by mining these things, Deeper [00:22:00] meaning and being really curious about them. I’m gonna learn more about life. It wasn’t conscious but I think that’s what I’m doing through it. Sometimes it can feel myopic, like, all right, enough with content, like the world is vast.

[00:22:12] Meredith: There’s a lot of shit out there to get interested in. But it’s also a way to, for me, it’s been a meaningful way to just figure out, people talk about life. And I would say too, like one thing that’s been really fun about the podcast is, when you, if you have a deep, thoughtful conversation with somebody, you can’t help but then feel a bit of a connection in kinship with them.

[00:22:33] Meredith: And I’ve gotten to talk to some really cool people who I now , consider to be part of my network and folks I could reach out to or folks I could ask their opinion about things around. And so that’s not necessarily a reason to start a podcast, but the personal connection side of it has been an unexpected but really cool piece of it for me.

[00:22:54] Kelli: I love what you were saying about this idea of, the arc, the Arcadia [00:23:00] thing, and thinking about how you have to do the smaller thing in front of you and that ends up teaching you about the bigger things. And I find this is somewhere that I tend to get tripped up in, in work, in life, whatever, is I have such big ideas about what I wanna do and I have big ambitions and I’m always thinking about those things and it can feel really, Difficult to navigate into them.

[00:23:25] Kelli: So like somewhere inside of me, it’s like I, I believe and feel that I am the person who does these things, but it’s not always, I don’t always know which direction to step into. And I find that to be a really helpful way of thinking about both how to move forward in work and pick a direction. And also, as work has changed so much over the past couple of years and how we both increasingly want our personal lives and work lives to be separate, but they’ve become more [00:24:00] together and work for some people has become more demand. Just the complexities around it have been intense and this need to have a separate, what am I trying to say here?

[00:24:12] Kelli: Some separation. Between that and what is really important to me, is work. Just the thing I’m doing to make a paycheck. What’s important to me and how do I move towards that? And I think this idea of yours or this idea that you’re talking about helps me to feel better about, what I spend my time on every day in my work and how that is actually doing bigger things in the world, both for myself and other people.

[00:24:38] Kelli: That’s not just the thing in front of me, if that makes sense.

[00:24:42] Meredith: Yes, totally. I do understand what you’re saying and I feel like to go back to what you were talking about, what you mentioned at the start of that, where you’re talking about how, I think what you’re saying is that you have a lot of ideas around what you wanna execute, but sometimes figuring out it’s almost [00:25:00] like the way that by making a choice in one direction, you’re not choosing all of the other options, is.

[00:25:07] Meredith: Is that kind of in line with what you’re saying there?

[00:25:10] Kelli: Yeah, exactly. I think that because I’m someone who always has so many ideas that pull me in different directions, it stops me from ever really moving forward in a big way, in one direction. And I think that like it’s a good thing because it makes my life exciting and it means I’m a curious person and I’m always learning new things, but I’ve come to see it as a roadblock because. I know we’ve talked about this before as well, but I’ve been trying to really get over the idea recently that sharing my ideas by posting online, making content or sharing my ideas with others on a bigger stage can feel cringe. And I’ve always been so comfortable doing this for companies, like anybody [00:26:00] outside of myself.

[00:26:01] Kelli: But stepping out and doing it just for me feels extra intimidating. And I’m sure a lot of your listeners and just creative people in Gen general wrestle with this same thing. So like you’ve started the newsletter, you have a podcast, like you’re already doing it. So can you talk a bit about how you navigate this dynamic for yourself, and what fears or roadblocks did you have going into it, and how did you overcome them?

[00:26:30] Meredith: Yes. Okay, love. Thank you so much for asking this. I have so many thoughts on it. So I think that’s, first of all I was talking to a woman I used to work with yesterday, Jess, and she mentioned a few books about I’ll send you the link. I think one’s called like the Renaissance person. And it actually made me think about you, and it’s for people who are just like, multihyphenate, very creative, but sometimes are almost like, there’s so much I wanna do, I don’t know what to do.

[00:26:54] Meredith: So I’d say if you’re a listener too, like we’ll throw it in the show notes because [00:27:00] it’s relevant if this conversation is resonating with you. I haven’t read it, but I’m going to. 

[00:27:03] Kelli: Definitely describing me by the way.

[00:27:07] Meredith: and I think that, I actually think that the reason, I never thought of myself too much as a perfectionist, but doing all of these things has made me realize that I am, and that it was a bit of a block for me previously because I wanna, I talked about starting a podcast for years, a newsletter for years, and I didn’t do it.

[00:27:31] Meredith: And I didn’t do it because I felt like, I think I thought I had to have the perfect angle, the perfect ideas before I could start and. That is not true. I certainly I’ve loved doing this podcast and I’m excited to do season two and I hope that I get better and better at it. I certainly don’t think it’s perfect.

[00:27:55] Meredith: I had, I battled so much cringe early on. I think [00:28:00] it’s like the idea, it’s like you go through peaks and valleys where like the idea of doing it is really fun, then you’re actually doing it. Like you’re actually lining up guests, interviewing people. And then for me at least the first couple times I had to listen to my voice and listen to myself kinda working my way through my first couple interviews and how to do it while interviewing other people who do podcasts all the time.

[00:28:21] Meredith: And it was really easy for them. The comparison for me, I was like, just like someone like trout my head off, this is killing me. But if you’re gonna do. You have to be vulnerable and be imperfect and know that it’s gonna get better or I hope it does get better. And I think there’s actually a lot of material out there around this.

[00:28:37] Meredith: I think you maybe, I don’t know, we talked about this, Kelly, but there’s a really great IRA glass video where he’s talking about creative work if you’re drawn to it, and let’s pr if you have good taste. So I’m not gonna self-assigned good taste, but let’s presume I have pretty good taste for the purpose of this comp.

[00:28:55] Meredith: Bit when you first start out, the first couple years you’re doing something. What he says is [00:29:00] you know that you’re not as good as you wanna be and you’re disappointing yourself. And that is where a lot of people stop and get stuck and he’s you have to push through it and figure out the craft and like you will get there.

[00:29:14] Meredith: And that to me has been really comforting. I think it’s totally true. And it’s I think there’s an element too of like when you’re 22, I feel like there’s more people are more comfortable experimenting because you don’t have as much to lose. Like in a lot of ways, like it’s, but once you have some type of like professional reputation, taking a risk and putting something out there that you might fuck up a few times or you might just feel like, Ooh, I’m not really representing myself as like polished and authoritative as I’d like to.

[00:29:51] Meredith: In that dynamic, you do have a little bit to lose. And so there’s, there’s even bigger fear and that inhibits people from doing things they’re interested in trying [00:30:00] because there’s a bigger audience where you could maybe fall on your face. But actually like some convos I’ve had in this podcast I think have slightly informed some of this stuff like, I noticed that with Liv, who is the creator and host of the podcast.

[00:30:18] Meredith: Let’s Talk about Myths Baby, which gets 10 million downloads a year. Like it’s an incredibly successful podcast. When I was like, why’d you start it? She was like, I was super depressed. I hated the job I was working and I was literally writing the scripts for the podcast on the notes app on my phone while pretending to work that terrible job.

[00:30:41] Meredith: So she was at a moment where she felt like rock bottom seems really ex extreme. That’s not rock bottom, but she was not feeling great about a lot of facets of her life. So she felt like she didn’t have that much to lose, I don’t think. And so this creative project was a lifeline and I that also with Caroline Winkler, who [00:31:00] is super successful on YouTube.

[00:31:02] Meredith: She has close to 500,000 followers. And she said something similar like she had an acting career that wasn’t working out the way she wanted. She decided to step back. She was in Ohio, had just gone through a breakup. It was covid. She was totally alone. And she’s I literally had nothing to lose.

[00:31:21] Meredith: And it’s so interesting that I think sometimes these creative projects for folks that end up really working out start when they feel like they’ve got nothing to lose. Because nothing to lose also means you’ve got less fear. And actually, as I say that, I think everything behind all this is just fear.

[00:31:40] Meredith: And also maybe like confronting just like being a learner in public is uncomfortable sometimes. And that’s all there is to it. But if you wanna do something that you haven’t done before, you just have to accept that and get over it. Not like that. That sounds trite. And I’m not being like Kelly accepted and get over it.

[00:31:57] Meredith: I

[00:31:58] Kelli: Yeah, no, I, of course I understand what [00:32:00] you’re saying. No, I think that’s so interesting and a really helpful perspective to bring to it. I think in particular for me, and I’ve heard a lot of other people say similar things. It’s one thing to be, to feel afraid to put, a play you wrote out into the world or a painting that you painted.

[00:32:20] Kelli: It’s another thing to be afraid of. I’m going to create business content and put it on LinkedIn, or things like that. Which I think tends to feel way more cringe because it feels, I don’t know what, it’s because there’s a lot of other people doing it. It feels like there’s weird motivation behind it.

[00:32:34] Kelli: Like everyone’s trying to make money off of each other or something. But at the end of the day, when you know that you have valuable stuff to share, like in real life, I’m, I work with my clients or as you do, and people find a lot of value in what we say to them or help them with, it’s worth sharing those ideas.

[00:32:56] Kelli: And I think the one thing that does give me comfort in this [00:33:00] is just this really simple idea that like, Yeah, there are a lot of people talking about things in already and putting ideas out into the world, but what people connect with is you and your authentic energy and your point of view. So even if what you’re saying isn’t that radically different from other people, the way you share it will connect with other people that see the world the same way you do maybe.

[00:33:27] Kelli: And that makes me feel comforted because I think that makes it feel worth more worthwhile to do.

[00:33:34] Meredith: I really like that because it’s also it’s talking about creating from a point of just having alignment with good intentions. And, I think you and I have talked on this in different ways, but to your point, like putting a play out in the world, it’s if you’re a person with a professional brand of any kind, like that’s maybe less stressful than putting out a piece of sales content on [00:34:00] LinkedIn.

[00:34:00] Meredith: But , why? Because I actually think that work, and this maybe ties back to your earlier questions around intuition, but good work. Actually like very akin to an artistic process in a way that we don’t really talk about. When I say that, I’m thinking about kind of the idea of the muse, and I’d say some really meaningful or informative books for me have been the artist’s way, big Magic Stephen King on writing, writing down the bones.

[00:34:37] Meredith: And right now I’m reading Rick Rubins The Creative Act, A Way of Being, which is an incredible book. And all of them have these like basic themes of trusting your intuition and what energizes you as an artist or a creative person, giving yourself time to unconsciously unpack ideas without [00:35:00] a lot of. Nurturing the seeds of ideas and also just like showing up really consistently for that energy or that muse. Like in the artist’s way, you have to every morning write three longhand pages and your unconscious mind, or the muse or whatever you attribute creativity to we’ll come through and in writing down the bones.

[00:35:23] Meredith: It’s a great book I’m forgetting the author’s name. She is all about you schedule your time, you write you focus on quantity and you let the universe focus on quality. And Stephen King is really very regimented about you have to, if you are wanna be a writer, for example, you wake up, you sit down at your desk for this many hours and you just work at it and all of them, there’s this idea that, similar to what we were talking on earlier, the first draft or the first pass or your first version of things are like almost never good. It’s the shitty first draft of something, but you have keep at it and keep polishing it. And I think that same ethos with work, [00:36:00] just to try pull it back around to that, the idea of allowing for them muse, allowing for there to be intuition, you show up consistently but you’re almost like riding the waves of what’s happening that day or what where you’re, you are at an energetic level and your thoughts around what’s happening and decisions that need to be made. But I don’t know. I’m rambling a bit here and I’m sure afterwards, I wish I said this more articulately, but I think my point is that we give ourselves zero grace around professional endeavors that are actually artistic creative act. You’re creating a business, you’re creating something complex.

[00:36:40] Meredith: You’re giving life to, like an energetic being out in the universe that is that organization that’s gonna touch different people, impact different people in different ways. But if you were to pitch a VC and be like, Hey, I’m gonna start this business, and I do have a business plan, but I also really wanna talk about my ethos as like a creative [00:37:00] entrepreneur and I have my process and I follow my intuition.

[00:37:03] Meredith: To your point I think like that’s a red flag for them, right? They’re gonna be like, yeah, cool, we just need, we need to look at the business plan and we’ll get back to you. And I don’t know, like it’s co it makes, on one hand it makes sense, but I think that we disregard and denigrate the more intuitive creative side of business.

[00:37:21] Meredith: A lot. Or people can do it, but they do it in secret. They might have their. Approaches that involve tuning in more energetically to what they’re trying to create. But they’re not gonna talk about it. They’re gonna talk about the business plan, the marketing plan, the data. But I like, I don’t know why.

[00:37:39] Meredith: Why? Why do you think that is? Just cuz there’s, because there’s money on the line. Do you think.

[00:37:44] Kelli: I don’t know. I really love this connection that you’re making. I think it’s really interesting and powerful and yeah, it does feel that way to me. So I think it’s a really nice way of bringing all of those ideas together. And, I think, so we’ve talked a bit about. [00:38:00] Why you started this podcast, which a lot of the ideas we just covered were things that you’re personally interested in and how you’ve navigated through conversations and just some more core beliefs around why make a pod podcast about content in the first place and about create, creative people and creative acts.

[00:38:21] Kelli: And because this is a l last of the season kind of wrap up episode, I think it’s also interesting to ask you a little bit about, and I know you’ve already brought up some previous episodes and people that you’ve talked to, but maybe just what are some key points or key things that you’ve learned from doing this?

[00:38:39] Kelli: Whether that’s ideas or people that you talk to, it’d be great to just get a little roundup of.

[00:38:46] Meredith: Yes. Okay. It’s a great question. I think I actually might do a roundup in my CK about like for each person, I feel like there’s one to two gems that have stuck with me. I think the overall [00:39:00] feeling I’ve had is stuff we’ve been talking on like that everyone who has been successful in creating something has felt. It’s not always just like the smoothest process of you don’t feel great about it 100% of the time. And it’s not just a hockey stick, like up, up experience graph, whether it’s like starting a business or creating a podcast or YouTube channel or writing a book that if you’re interested in doing something creative, you’re going to confront some self-doubt along the way and you gotta work through it and keep going. I’d say, I don’t know, it’s really, it’s interesting to think about I mean I’ve definitely learned some technical things too. I’m learning like how to edit a podcast how podcast chart works, things like that, that have been interesting and fun, like some [00:40:00] strategy on the back end. How to make it appealing for guests and to grow the listenership a little bit?

[00:40:05] Kelli: I feel like personally, selfishly, I’m so interested in asking you a lot of detailed questions about just how to make a podcast. It’s not because I wanna make a podcast, but I just think there’s so many interesting things that happen along the way and things you have to navigate that are so applicable to anyone who’s making content in the world.

[00:40:23] Kelli: So I don’t know if we could talk about that now or maybe for another day, but I think that it’s, that in itself is a pretty interesting convers.

[00:40:30] Meredith: yes, I think so. I’ve actually gotten a lot of questions about it lately to the point where I think I wanna do a whole episode where it maybe’s just a solo episode with me, where I just walk through okay, from inception and the assets that you need and the type of like programs that you need, which are not that expensive.

[00:40:48] Meredith: So yes, I hear you on that and I think maybe I’ll save it for like a whole podcast or a piece of content and I’ll just document all the details that I can.

[00:40:56] Kelli: Yeah, even just one thing I think about a lot because have another friend who [00:41:00] started a podcast not that long ago and asked me for advice on this, so I was so curious to ask you as well that you’ve gotten a lot of really high quality guests on your show. And when you’re starting anything for the first time out of the blue 

[00:41:13] Kelli: how do you get people to say yes to that? How do you get them to engage with you and were they people you already had connections with or were you cold emailing people?

[00:41:22] Meredith: I was mostly cold emailing people, but so I started it when I was at Brafton and Brafton was distributing it. So and I guess I still will this will be the last episode they distribute. So what I did was, I connected with the marketing team and I was like, look, I think that I’m gonna need to tell guests that we will do a blog post about each episode, do a reference in the newsletter to each episode, and then social posts for each episode.

[00:41:56] Meredith: And then, so when connecting with guests, I’d lay out basically Bratton’s [00:42:00] distribution numbers, which was like a pretty big newsletter list and a pretty decent like monthly number of site visitor. So I think that at first those numbers helped me get a few bigger name guests. And then once I had the bigger name guests, those guests helped other prominent guests feel comfortable that okay, this is a place that other well-known people have gone and done an episode and kind of they felt like they were in good company.

[00:42:31] Meredith: So it’s interesting because I’ve been thinking in what would be my advice to people who do not have that foundational big kind of chip to trade when asking people to come on the show. And I think that it could be something like, starting if someone’s I wanna do a podcast in the newsletter, I might be like, do the newsletter for six months and do everything you can to grow it so that you’ve got an email list that you can, like email out to [00:43:00] when you start the podcast. Or you could be like, you could email out and try and get 100, 200, 300, 400 of like your most personal engaged, like work contacts and be like, Hey, are you guys willing to be on a distribution list for me, where every time I like publish a new episode, I will send an email that has the links to the social post promoting this episode.

[00:43:23] Meredith: If you can just click them and like them or share them, it’ll help me a lot. That’s one thing you could someone can do. I was actually talking to a friend last night who’s trying to start his own podcast and he’s not gonna have guests and he doesn’t have a huge list right now.

[00:43:37] Meredith: So what we were doing was brainstorming more like marketing collaboration opportunities that he could be referencing certain things in the podcast with local businesses that would give them incentive to be, like promoting it. On social and building up a bit of a list for himself and like a few other tactics.

[00:43:56] Meredith: So I think that, one could [00:44:00] just start and just be promoting it solely on their own social channels and like publishing. And I think plenty of really good podcasts, eventually pick up steam in, in through that. But it is helpful to have a bit of a foundation to start with if you can figure out a way to do that.

[00:44:18] Meredith: Whether it’s your volume of social followers or if you get 300 people to agree to promote it every episode by liking or something on social or anything like that. 

[00:44:29] Meredith: Another thing I’ve learned is that you really have to find different pools to fish in. For example, with the Brafton newsletter, definitely it helped in the first few episodes develop like a bit of a subscriber base or folks who are gonna keep listening.

[00:44:43] Meredith: But like by the sixth or seventh episode, the people on that email list knew whether or not they liked the podcast. And so beyond those few, it didn’t go up or down very much from that like initial base. And what actually started to then really help me was guest [00:45:00] promotion. And when the guests would post on their own especially if they had like robust social channels, that would then bring in a whole new slew of potential subscribers and listeners.

[00:45:11] Meredith: And it’s a really good compounding effect. Like for example, Caroline has very active, engaged subscribers on her YouTube channel. And at the very end of her video, the week that her episode came out, she did a really quick little Hey guys, I was on this podcast. It’s linked in the notes.

[00:45:28] Meredith: Check it out. They interviewed me and that got like a huge spike of a thousand listeners and it, but it wasn’t. Just okay, that was like, there’s definitely a big spike in the listenership there, but then for like subsequent episodes, there is just increased number of listeners because a certain number of the folks resonated with and stuck with it.

[00:45:48] Meredith: If you can, I, it’s tricky because I did have some, I have had some people start to reach out that are like publicists or particularly like people’s podcast [00:46:00] agents who are like, Hey, we’d love for you to have this person on the show. And I check out their pages or their one page or their website and I’m sure they’re polished guests and they’re interesting, but they’re not people that I would’ve intuitively been like, I really wanna talk to this person necessarily.

[00:46:17] Meredith: And so thus far I’ve made the decision not to, which feels right, but I can see it being tempting to be like, I just wanna grab some of that listenership. And I say that just because I think. Early on in the podcast, if you’re trying to build up listenership and you’re paying close attention to the social following and promotion ability of your guests, you might, I don’t know, I guess you have to make decisions.

[00:46:41] Meredith: There might be some people where you’re like, I don’t know if I really wanna talk to this person, but I’d love to grab some of their audience. And I haven’t done that yet. But I can see why it’s tempting, 

[00:46:53] Kelli: I think people can really there’s like a famous phrase about this, oh God, I’m gonna completely get it wrong right now. But it’s [00:47:00] basically trust your reader. Like when you’re writing something, like to make your writing feel more real, you have to trust the reader. You can’t overexplain things to them.

[00:47:08] Kelli: And I guess I’m saying that to say I think people deserve more credit than we often give them. Especially when we put our business hat on, and I think people can really feel the intention behind what you’re doing. So I love that you’re saying this because basically what you’re saying is I am creating this thing, but I’m doing it in a way that I know feels right to me and I’m following what actually interests me versus what might be quote unquote, a better business decision.

[00:47:40] Kelli: Because it might create more listeners for you, and I think you can definitely play that game and still get far. But I think when you stay true to what truly interests you, it makes something really good and people feel that. So [00:48:00] you’ll end up having, listener, more loyal audiences, people who truly engage with what you do and find it.

[00:48:07] Kelli: Really interesting. So I love that.

[00:48:12] Meredith: Yeah, I guess it’s it’s, I feel like in Rick Ruben’s book, he’s said some things about really approaching whatever creative project you’re working with on, with just in as much integrity as you can muster and like you’re solely in the service of the project. And also there’s this other, I feel like it’s related to what you’re saying, but there’s this really crazy Quincy Jones interview from a few years ago where he said some like wild stuff.

[00:48:40] Meredith: I think it was the most entertaining interview I’ve ever read. Did you ever read it? I’m trying to remember. Maybe it’s

[00:48:45] Kelli: No.

[00:48:46] Meredith: Oh my god. It’s amazing. He’s, it’s wild. It’s hilarious. And he’s This is a tangent, but at one point the interviewer asked him, they’re like, is there anything you wish you didn’t know?

[00:48:55] Meredith: And he says, yeah, who killed Kennedy? It’s hilarious. But he says [00:49:00] some really cool stuff too. And one thing he says is like, when it comes to music, as soon as you start thinking about money, God leaves the room. And I feel like Rick Rubin has said some similar things where it’s if you’re starting to overly get into the strategy when you’re actually working through the creative, the energy’s gonna fall away.

[00:49:19] Meredith: It’s not gonna go well. And a podcast, I don’t mean to make a podcast an overly like holy object, but just something about creative projects in general that I think is helpful. And in some ways maybe why the, back to what we were talking on earlier, why when it comes to. Like personal professional content or LinkedIn posts it’s a tricky line to walk because what you’re doing does have commercial purpose and attention, like money is very much in the room for the most part and it can kinda inhibit sometimes the message or make it more complicated to figure out what you’re trying to do or.[00:50:00] 

[00:50:02] Kelli: Yeah, I think this is a really interesting conversation we’re having because it’s very different, I think, than the way most people usually talk about work, which is a lot more left brained. We’re talking a lot about intuition and creative acts and how to maintain integrity behind what you do, which maybe is not what people are always looking for in a business podcast.

[00:50:21] Kelli: But I think it’s an, it’s a really interesting conversation to have about it because they’re often the things we don’t talk about, but it is very real and I think a lot of us think about this for ourselves. Whether or not we are actually discussing it, in a conference room or whatever, or with our bosses,

[00:50:38] Meredith: Yeah

[00:50:38] Meredith: I’m just like gonna move into the next room cause I’m running outta battery and there’s no outlet . But I think that it, it’s funny sometimes because I think me up till maybe three or four years ago, I didn’t really think about this stuff at all.

[00:50:56] Meredith: And I think a lot of the people who work with me and worked with [00:51:00] me in the past especially would probably be pretty surprised to hear me talking about these things because I think I had a reputation, especially earlier on in my career of being like really probably more focused on what we think of as left brain, more structured masculine energy type things.

[00:51:20] Meredith: It was like, what’s the process? What’s the quota? What are the numbers for the day, what’s the data on the deliverables? That was what I was really good at a time that the business that I was working at needed it. So it helped me advance and move up. And I think it’s only been a little bit later in my career that I’ve really thought more deeply about these things and allowed myself a little more space for the more, as you said, like woowoo side of things.

[00:51:44] Kelli: Yeah, totally. I’m gonna take this in a slightly different direction now. Okay. So you’ve you’ve talked to a lot of people. In this first season of the podcast about content like it’s the name of the podcast. We all know [00:52:00] that’s what we’re here to talk about. But I loved your conversation with Chris Kentwell, who wrote Halt and Catch Fire about nature of content.

[00:52:11] Kelli: And he really defined it in a way that I think I, I had been thinking about but never really put words to and how content is a term now used as a measurement unit rather than something that speaks to the creative act behind it. So it’s how many pieces of content can you create for this?

[00:52:34] Kelli: Or it’s become devalued in a way because that’s how we use that term. Or we put the term content on a lot of things that maybe we used to think of as more generative creative acts. So that’s already happening. And just the fact that it’s become such a prominent way of marketing and that there is so much content everywhere to consume [00:53:00] all the time that we’re in this like strange era with content.

[00:53:06] Kelli: But all of that’s already happening. And then AI happens, right? So we have chat G P T four already. I think five is supposed to be here before the end of the year. It’s moving quickly and AI’s ability to transform how we think about content and its value is gonna be even more radical than the transformation we just talked about that’s been happening for the past several years.

[00:53:36] Kelli: So I know this is a really big question and there are a lot of unknowns and We can speculate a bit, but what do you think the future of content is? Knowing all of this? It’s, I know there’s a lot of people scared about AI and what it will do to their jobs or otherwise, and then there’s a lot of people really excited about the possibility.

[00:53:58] Kelli: So I’m so interested to hear your thoughts [00:54:00] about this. I oscillate between the two, depending on the day, where I feel terrified by AI and then also feel really excited about where it’s taking us and just being at a point where, technology’s increasing in this exponential leap.

[00:54:16] Kelli: So the question is, what do you think the future of content is?

[00:54:22] Meredith: There’s so much to unpack there. The term content has become ubi. And it has become such a commodity. And anytime something becomes a commodity, then there is worldwide business interest in how do we produce that commodity, faster, cheaper, better. So creative work became commoditized, and now portions or versions of it will be effectively outsourced to ai. AI will have such a huge impact [00:55:00] on workers and the world. That how it impacts the content industry will be interesting. But it’ll be a drop in the bucket in so far as the way that it’s disruptive to humans Jared Myers who was on the podcast a couple weeks ago, he and I had a conversation yesterday and like he saw a stat that seemed really viable to him, to the effect of something like 50% of our jobs in 10 years will be completely outsourced to ai, and like no longer those positions will no longer exist.

[00:55:30] Meredith: Now with the current version of chat D p t, I think that there are. Ways for companies who want to outsource portions of the content creation process to easily do I don’t think it means that all content jobs will be immediately cut at all, but I think it means that you’ll need fewer people to do the same amount of work.

[00:55:51] Meredith: So essentially it like just reduces the headcount that the content industry, which different people define differently, can support. [00:56:00] You could have a team of five people doing the work that previously you’d need seven or 10 people or maybe even more to do. 

[00:56:09] Meredith: And maybe this is this could be a bit my opposite because this is exactly the environment that I managed in for a while. So it’s really easy for me to see exactly how AI could plug in and very easily, grab a big chunk of the jobs is if you’re in a big content team or an agency and you are fairly siloed and you’re producing content via very prescriptive processes, you are gonna be easier to outsource in that type of environment.

[00:56:35] Meredith: If you’re part of a lean team of generalists where you’re also doing strategy, you’re also doing some client relations work I think that then you’re in a position for AI to help you out and make the content creation part of your job a little more efficient, but you’re not currently someone that’s gonna be like immediately replaced.

[00:56:54] Meredith: So I’d. Finding jobs where there’s some softer skills or [00:57:00] more strategic work in addition to content creation is a helpful step to take though. Who’s to say in, five years that or less that those jobs won’t also potentially be outsourced? We can’t know. We don’t know. And then I also think SEO in general, and Google is a little bit in trouble.

[00:57:18] Meredith: So I wrote about this and I think it was my very first ck but there are many factors that are problematic for Google right now and for folks who follow this, like Google has had some red flags about their general, like financial health. A lot of their business seems to be bit less profitable.

[00:57:38] Meredith: And for them, their biggest money maker was search and is search. So you type things into the Google search bar. They quickly return their search engine results pages or SERPs for people who are an seo and then they serve you ads. And that’s how they make their money off of the fact that they just performed a search for you.

[00:57:59] Meredith: Through Google [00:58:00] ads. AI obviously reduces their ability to do that if you’re in chat g p t asking, how do I upload a podcast to Zencaster? And you get a step-by-step process, you have no reason to Google it. So then there’s Google Bard, which is Google’s, AI version, but AI searches are very expensive to run.

[00:58:22] Meredith: Chat, G P T, this is like a few months old, this stat now, but they were estimated to be, it’s like a hundred k a day just to run chat, G p T. So Google is less able to, like they’re bread and butter for profitable. World domination is very easily impacted by ai. So content and SEO are not the same thing, but there’s such significant overlap that the spot on the Venn diagram where those two live together is in a very precarious place right now.

[00:58:56] Meredith: If you have a job creating very [00:59:00] productized content for SEO purposes, it’s likely that in the next 18 months or so it’ll just be like a less relevant portion of the market.

[00:59:09] Meredith: But it, I don’t know. It’s really hard and content too. I think, I was thinking more about the Chris conversation after we recorded, and we called content different things 50 years ago, but it’s always been, in newspapers, like journalism was content.

[00:59:25] Meredith: Charles Dickens was paid by the word like, and newspapers, their revenue is advertising. So in the same way that for many websites who are run on an ad revenue model, like they’ll call their content now. Before it was maybe called stories, but it was the same thing. And it’s, it’s all it’s hard to it’s hard to distinguish, and we talked to you about like even the CEO of HBO calls.

[00:59:52] Meredith: Premium programming content. So I think it’s also just become certain, like it’s become a more cross-industry [01:00:00] term where we all know what you’re talking about, which means the creative product that you trade for some other type of result, whether it’s like clicks, views like influencing user intent.

[01:00:11] Meredith: But those things have always existed. We just didn’t have such a universal term for it. And obviously like internet has created like an abundance of opportunities for that content. So I don’t know what do you think about it? What’s I just talked for a long time. What do you, what’s your take?

[01:00:28] Kelli: no, I think what you said was very interesting. I have been I have a lot of thoughts, but one way that I’ve been thinking about it is in a much more zoomed out way and trying to think of like the evolution of what comes next. And, I’ve spent a lot of my career working for big media outlets and I think a lot about the future of.

[01:00:47] Kelli: Media is content, right? It’s the same thing. And it’s media’s not linear anymore. Like legacy outlets are fading into the noise. And [01:01:00] communities have become these like screens in front of us through which we engage with all these different platforms and everything becomes a bit defracted.

[01:01:09] Kelli: So I think we’re moving from this like Web 2.0 attention economy, which the attention economy is fed by content, right? Like following influencers, reading articles, everything that’s out there. Netflix becoming so prominent, watching so much tv and the way that how we, what media we consume and how we consume it has changed and we’re moving towards. Web 3.0, which I think is still a bit mysterious to many people. That’s more about collectives of media, of which the attention economy will be part of it, but it’s more kind of gonna be about like how we form into ecosystems and collectives that then have these bits of content and attention to them.

[01:01:58] Kelli: I know that sounds really vague [01:02:00] and it’s in, in a big picture way. I think communities and ecosystems are what we’re moving to and content will become a part of that because it’s how we communicate and relate to each other through them. And it’ll also impact how content is shared.

[01:02:15] Kelli: I think the AI question is, it’s a big one and I think I spent a couple of weeks panicking a bit and there are a lot of ways to blow this out into a sci-fi nightmare of what’s gonna happen. And I do think some of those things are certainly possible, but I’ve been feeling a lot calmer lately by just trying to think about it as an innovation that’s happening that’s going to just change what our value is and maybe even the motivations behind creating content and consuming content.

[01:02:55] Meredith: That’s really interesting. When you say communities and ecosystems, do you mean like you feel [01:03:00] like an omni internet and attention economy is like hitting Its its kind of max capacity and we’re gonna, not splinter necessarily, but like naturally siphon off into like more closed off like spaces where we, like we stay in our.

[01:03:19] Kelli: We’ve al we’ve already seen that happening, right? There’s a stat I wish I could pull up right in front of me, and I should have had it on hand for this conversation, but there’s already a lot of information about how Gen Z behaves online that’s very different from everyone else. And, really moving away from open social platforms to closed communities online that are more specific to interests that are private, where people feel more comfortable sharing and sharing things that are a bit more authentic, less curated.

[01:03:47] Kelli: That’s a certain type of content, but I think that trend holds and, we’re seeing this reflected in politics too. How algorithms have helped us to exist in echo chambers of our own [01:04:00] opinions, how people. Are becoming increasingly polarized in how they view the world, and that naturally creates the desire or the need for communities where you feel safe or where you understand that people are gonna be like you, where you would rather interact versus in the general attention economy.

[01:04:25] Meredith: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I think, I don’t know, like a part of, think right now people are it seems so uncomfortable for people to interact with. Others who have different opinions. People talk a lot about being politically polarized. And one thing that really does I, I do struggle with to the point where I feel like I wanna just recuse myself from the whole conversation is when I feel like there’s a lack of interest or mutual respect for someone else’s perspective on things.

[01:04:59] Meredith: And the idea of us [01:05:00] just self-selecting into our own even more separate echo chambers is stressful to me. 

[01:05:06] Meredith: And maybe that’s not exactly what you’re saying. also understand the idea too of Gen Z finding this happy medium of being online, but in more like self-selecting communities that are positive, supportive, and less performative.

[01:05:21] Kelli: Yeah, I think that’s it. Obviously, I brought up politics, which and polarization, which, which immediately brings us into a negative head space about this. But I do think that it has more to do with. And I’m about to say this, as someone who was recently on your podcast, positioning themselves as a brand expert

[01:05:39] Meredith: Oh,

[01:05:40] Kelli: that, I think increasingly, all people, but especially Gen Z I hate when we talk in generational groups too much, but even more so Gen Z, they don’t trust brands because it’s become so over commodified, right?

[01:05:56] Kelli: And I’m talking about brands now, [01:06:00] brands are often the ones creating the content or paying for the content, or sponsoring the content that we’re interacting with online, right? So it all ties together. And because there is some distrust there, the people wanna be in closed anonymous communities because what they’re really seeking is authentic authenticity, like genuine human connection, passion, excitement, all of these things.

[01:06:25] Kelli: And. I think that this shift is taking place where I don’t believe that any of these things are gonna become irrelevant. I think it’s just gonna become an even more important part of how businesses run and think about their position in a market, their own brand, things like that, because it’s gonna be increasingly more difficult to have cultural cache or influence unless you really are being authentic, [01:07:00] staying true to your word, aligning values with actions as a company, I know I’m going in a bit of a di different direction, but these things are all, I think they’re all working together to build a picture of what the content landscape is gonna look like.

[01:07:16] Meredith: That’s really interesting. I also wanna touch on something you said earlier to the effect of, you think AI will change the way in which humans bring value to things. And the way I interpreted that is maybe like we’re not executing large quantities of content.

[01:07:35] Meredith: We’re not. Tilling the soil of content creation, but we’re maybe a little more strategic. Is that right? Or what exactly did you mean by that was really

[01:07:44] Kelli: Yeah, so I was thinking about this earlier today actually. I was writing an email and. I had my Grammarly was popping up and correcting some things for me. And I thought to myself [01:08:00] like, man, I used to take such pride in my ability to be someone who could craft a well-written, interesting email.

[01:08:08] Kelli: And ha what a valued skill that was. Because lots of people didn’t know how to do that. In the business world. They’re either boring or they have mistakes or whatever. And now with Grammarly, like literally everyone’s emails will sound good without much effort, right? Obviously you still have to have good, logical thinking and stuff and put things in an order that makes sense.

[01:08:28] Kelli: But maybe AI will be doing that for us quite soon. So these things that we once valued as skills, as like a knowledge economy, as knowledge workers, we can think back to Industrial Revolution and be like, okay, people used, I don’t know, what’s a skill? Like they’re, we used to make things with our hands, and now we don’t do that anymore.

[01:08:47] Kelli: But no one really misses it. No one really thinks about it. But it’s a very interesting thing to have the same kind of replacement of value happening in the knowledge economy. Especially because we’ve all been raised by the idea that [01:09:00] being intelligent, being logical, being able to put facts and evidence together is what you need to be able, going to university.

[01:09:10] Kelli: These are the things you need to do to be a good knowledge worker. When AI is gonna come along and supplement a lot of what we’re doing in knowledge work, That fundamentally starts to shift what our value is in that process. Because now with AI as it is today, who knows what it’ll be even a year from now, it’s able to do a lot of that lower level thinking for us, two, pretty high standard.

[01:09:36] Kelli: And I also think a lot about the funding the changing, the fundamental changing definition of what even is creativity. Like what is a creative act when AI can do it, and how do we value creativity moving forward. I don’t have answers for these questions, but I think they’re interesting questions to.

[01:09:58] Meredith: Yeah I think [01:10:00] creativity and innovation are different than generation, but it’s funny because there’s often a lot of overlap. And when we come back to the word content, it has been a lot of people who probably got into creative marketing or content marketing or something adjacent to that because they’re creative and they ended up with jobs where they were generative, which is not the.

[01:10:23] Kelli: Yes. Yes. That’s such a good point. I think so many people will connect with you saying that.

[01:10:28] Meredith: But I also think, and I, all right you’ve seen avatar, I presume, I promise this is relevant. Kelly,

[01:10:35] Kelli: I actually love sci-fi, but weirdly have somehow

[01:10:39] Kelli: watched an avatar movie.

[01:10:40] Meredith: are you kidding me?

[01:10:41] Meredith: Okay. All right. You have to watch it. So I’m gonna presume you’re in the minority and people listening have watched it, but I’ll

[01:10:49] Kelli: I think most people have watched it. Yeah, I think I’m in the minority for sure.

[01:10:54] Meredith: there’s this like thing in it. I’m gonna forget the name of it. It’s basically like a tree of life type of [01:11:00] thing. And these avatar creatures, or sorry, they’re not avatar, but I’m gonna forget the name of the type of creature that they are, or, and. They have this thing on them, it’s like a tail that’s it hooks into this magic tree.

[01:11:15] Meredith: And basically it’s them connecting with their ancestors, with what I think is essentially their collective unconscious or like the source for them. And with ai, if you type in write me a fairytale or write me a script about blank, it is gonna spit something out that hits the beats of a hero’s journey.

[01:11:37] Meredith: Or it’s scraping the internet for all human fairytales and synthesizing into something that matches your prompt. And in some ways I feel like AI is intentionally, and maybe it’s an unconscious drive within humans, where we’re like, we need better access to our collective unconscious. We need to be able to type a question in and get all of [01:12:00] humanity’s knowledge back to answer to us.

[01:12:03] Meredith: And I feel like there’s something to this I don’t know, when I first was like playing around with chat G P T, I was thinking about Avatar and I was like, there’s a slightly less sinister, more positive read on this, which is AI allows us to just tap into what humanity knows, but individual humans do not know. I don’t think it’s there yet, but I feel like it could be pursuant of that. And then, okay. Actually this brings me around to something else, which is so Avatar directed by James Cameron. I feel like something else we were talking on earlier that I just found out recently is, I won’t remember the name of his production company, but it’s something like electricity and then structure like Lightning House or something like that.

[01:12:45] Kelli: Oh, I know the name of it too. Hold on.

[01:12:50] Meredith: storm something?

[01:12:51] Kelli: Sorry. Keep going. I,

[01:12:54] Meredith: Someone who knows it is like shouting at us

[01:12:56] Kelli: I know we’re so right.

[01:12:59] Meredith: They’re like, it’s light [01:13:00] bulb shed. So it’s and something he said about how he came up with it is the idea that creativity is a mix of structure and chaos. And I feel like that kind of circles back to what we were talking on earlier and in the business world we’re very comfortable talking about structure, but we’re not so comfortable talking about the chaos that is necessary to like truly create something or to truly have a bit of a, an electric moment in a company’s formation or an idea or a product.

[01:13:33] Meredith: And so just a little bit roundabout there, but I dunno what you wanna do with that, Kelly, as the interviewer.

[01:13:40] Kelli: I feel like we’ve devolved from interview and now we’re just having one of our phone calls with each other. But actually, oh my God. What you’re saying is sparking so many things in me. Like I have so many thoughts about what you said. And I’m, I don’t think I’m gonna remember them all. But one.

[01:13:56] Kelli: I’m debating whether or not to say this because again, these are things I [01:14:00] haven’t really externalized or thought through. They’re just ideas floating around in my head. So I reserve the right to completely change my mind about what I’m about to say. I’m gonna say a couple things that sound disconnected, but they do connect again, zooming out to like our sort of cultural context and politics and everything that’s happening is there is this fundamental tension between like truth and intuition, science, spirituality, and.

[01:14:29] Kelli: I’m not a history expert, so I’m not gonna say this in a way that’s like probably academically correct, but basically the history of knowledge up until this point, which I said before, it was all about like logic facts. I studied philosophy in, in college. It was about logical thinking. We’re moving and this is part of what’s creating so much discomfort from people, why they wanna go back to an age that felt better.

[01:14:53] Kelli: You know why? trying to make the past be the present because everything’s moving [01:15:00] forward so quickly. It’s really uncomfortable. It’s really uncomfortable to keep pace with this change that’s happening and the exponential change of technology. Sorry, I know I’m saying a lot of things at once.

[01:15:11] Meredith: No, it’s I’m following the thread and I’m liking it, so keep going.

[01:15:15] Kelli: How it connects is that, I think what you were saying is. Oh my God. Okay. Hold on.

[01:15:28] Meredith: I just wanna pause it that if Joe Rogan were you right now, he would not give a shit that his idea don’t.

[01:15:35] Kelli: Annoying. No, because it’s like, it’s, I have it there, but it’s like I’m trying to connect so many ideas in my head at the same time that I’m losing my train of thought a little bit, if that makes sense. If I was writing, I would be much more clear. But the thing I’m trying to get to and that I was giving background information to is I think that what our value will really be are things that we don’t value right now or feel really woowoo and [01:16:00] weird.

[01:16:00] Meredith: AI is the structure, the masculine side. We are the chaos, feminine

[01:16:04] Kelli: it’s the lo the logic. It’s the logic, right? And because we’re not really needed for that anymore, we’re gonna have something that can do it faster and better than us. And the value that we bring. And I have so many conflicting feelings about this. I really, I think that the sort of religious extremism that’s happening in the world is gonna like only increase.

[01:16:29] Kelli: And I think there’s gonna be some grain of truth in it, which is the idea that like the world is not just about facts and logic. It is about our ability to tap into these more ephemeral things. And I’m not being very articulate about how I’m explaining this, but 

[01:16:54] Meredith: you are. I get it. Yeah.

[01:16:55] Kelli: I do think that this shift is happening, it’s really confusing and unsettling for [01:17:00] everyone on a cultural level, on a political level, and on a business level, which is why it constantly feels like everything is in flux and.

[01:17:09] Kelli: Understandably, people are like trying to reach for the comfort of their past. I do this in stupid way. Like I like self-sooth with the past by like watching romcoms from the nineties that I love, that I watched growing up.

[01:17:25] Kelli: There are ways in which I’m just like, oh my God, I really miss my simpler past when things felt easier. And at the same time, I’m very much a futurist and I love, I get very, I love technology and all of these things that are moving for, and I’m so engaged with it. But it is really unmooring.

[01:17:43] Kelli: And I do think this is also why things like astrology and all of these very like woowoo things, there’s a big end of the spectrum. Why they’re appearing in culture, and I think we’re all trying to grapple with and figure out [01:18:00] what gives us meaning and where we have value as technology increases and replaces things that we’ve done or saw value in ourselves in the past.

[01:18:14] Meredith: Yeah, I love everything you just said. I think you’re totally right. Since the pandemic, since remote work and now at the advent of ai, I do feel a bit like. Sometimes I feel this way, and I don’t know if you do, but some people listening might like a brain in a box sometimes.

[01:18:40] Meredith: We’re, I think the biggest challenge, one of the biggest challenges that we have is that we’re so disembodied and we spend a lot more time in our intellectual head space than we do in our physical, like being very aware of our physical [01:19:00] environments and being very inner bodies and embodied. And I think that’s something for me that can be a problem sometimes.

[01:19:06] Meredith: Like I’ve learned that if I let myself like, spin off into these like conceptual ideas or very, even just like a long stretch of digital meetings and problem solving and I separate too far from like my emotions and my body like, My body lets me know like in intense ways. And I think that we know when you’re talking a little bit too about okay, what kind of value do we bring in the age of ai?

[01:19:38] Meredith: A part of me feels like, fuck, do we have to keep bringing more and more value to have a job or to exist in the world? Like in some ways it’s I, I talked earlier about how difficult my first job was of content writer, super high volume, just like banging on the keyboard 10 hours a day. [01:20:00] Sometimes there’s a part of me that could romanticize that because it was so simple. It was like, just execute this work. And if you were to take it back even further I don’t think people miss doing manual labor, but we’re increasingly outsourcing like the simple present. Tangible elements of our lives in a lot of ways that I think is actually not good for us as like human creatures. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I do find, I’m like really leveraging, like intuition, energy, strategic thinking really leveraging any tool I’ve got to understand a situation, figure out a solution, or put something forth.

[01:20:42] Meredith: I am like physically, mentally, and energetically drained by it. And I think that if AI continues to suck up the more like almost like pleasant, mindless execution tasks, then our days or work might increasingly [01:21:00] fill up with the hardest, most draining bits of the day now are like the whole day in the future. And that seems depressing to me. Dunno what

[01:21:10] Kelli: I think everything you’re saying is super interesting. This whole idea of being embodied and guess the positive angle on what you just said was perhaps, we’ll in the future we’ll work less hours, we’ll do higher level tasks, but we won’t need to work an eight hour day because, or we won’t need to work five days a week.

[01:21:27] Kelli: We’re already toying with that, which is something we inherited from the Industrial Revolution, so we’re facing a different kind of industrial revolution now, not industrial, but like in terms of work and.

[01:21:42] Meredith: But I think it’s ju if it goes in that direction, great, but historically it hasn’t. There’s a, there’s some Stat, which I won’t remember, but it talks about like the advent of things like the washing machine and the dishwasher and the vacuum, and how there was this thought back in the day that like, [01:22:00] this will save women who do housework so much time and they will have this many more hours in the week because it’s been made so much more efficient.

[01:22:09] Meredith: But that didn’t happen, just like expectations for what housekeeping was increased. And so if in an unquantifiable way it is necessary for us to be expending more and more of our like, highest potential output and thinking every day.

[01:22:28] Meredith: It will be interesting to see okay think there are some companies that could be like, man, with these AI tools, We actually only need people to work on average of five to six hours a day. That’s gonna help us retain talent, that’s gonna help us retain really good employees for the long term.

[01:22:45] Meredith: This is viable for us, let’s do it. But then I think there’ll also be other companies and industries that are like, this is amazing. Now, when people work 10 hours a day, as is our unstated requirement, they’re actually doing 14 hours worth of previous output. And so it’ll be interesting to see [01:23:00] how it manifests in that way.

[01:23:03] Kelli: Yeah.

[01:23:04] Meredith: But do you think, is your vision that you’re like, I think actually it will be like shorter work days. Shorter work weeks.

[01:23:10] Kelli: I have no idea. I think what’s

[01:23:12] Meredith: What’ll happen? Tell me.

[01:23:15] Kelli: I think what’s fun about this conversation is just it’s just a thought experiment. We’re just like talking about possibilities. I don’t know. I’m an eternal, like idealist and optimist, so I always. Want to believe that it the best possible outcome is possible.

[01:23:30] Kelli: But obviously that doesn’t always happen, but it’s interesting to just play around with these ideas and think about what’s to come. There were a couple things I kept thinking about when you were talking w back to when you were talking about like this idea of being embodied it, what a movie that I love is her.

[01:23:48] Kelli: Have you

[01:23:48] Meredith: Oh yeah. Yes. I.

[01:23:50] Kelli: Yeah. And it’s obvious. It’s very much what we’re talking about. It’s like a very advanced AI that becomes increasingly advanced throughout the course of the movie. And I [01:24:00] think this is a theme that runs through all good sci-fi about this topic is like the thing that the AI always wishes it could have, but it doesn’t, is humanity, being embodied.

[01:24:14] Kelli: I think, I know they have a conversation at one point about what does it feel like to be in a body. And how jealous the AI was that I didn’t know that. And the optimist in me believes that there is there’s really something to that. And I don’t know, I have faith that, that our humanity is going to continue to be really valuable and will be this sort of like magical thing that will always be really special about what we create and how we see the world.

[01:24:44] Kelli: The other thing I was thinking about when you were talking is I took this course in, in university, I keep saying university cause I live in the uk but college for Americans. I had this amazing professor, Tom Carella, who I would like literally just take any class he taught because they [01:25:00] were so interesting.

[01:25:01] Kelli: And my favorite class and my whole time in school was. A sci-fi writing class by him called Encyclopedia of the Future. And when I first took it, I was like, I don’t even like sci-fi. Like I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m gonna write in this class. And it taught me that I really did love it, but why I keep, why I’m talking about it now and why I have been thinking about that class a lot lately.

[01:25:25] Kelli: One of the exercises we did was we we created an actual encyclopedia. So by the end of the course, we like wrote a lot of different things. We wrote like Language of the Future. We wrote a timeline of what we thought would happen. Some people were really interested in, sorry, it was a writing class, I should have said that.

[01:25:39] Kelli: A creative writing class. And some people wanted to write about like aliens and spaceships, other people wanted to write about like very near future things. So it gave us a scope of understanding. We pieced it all together based on our stories. So it wasn’t like that intellectual of a pursuit to make the timeline, but it was more based on, where, what points in history.

[01:25:58] Kelli: We wanted to write about the [01:26:00] worlds we created and then connecting them together. But I often think back to that and think about what we course, what we plotted on the timeline and what we thought the future would be. And now embarrassed to say how many years out from university I am, but like a good 10, 15 years out.

[01:26:16] Kelli: Now I look back and I look at what’s happened and ask myself this question, if I were to write the timeline of the future, of the encyclopedia of the future today, what would I write? And I see how different what actually happened was to what we predicted. And it’s really interesting to me to have this, just to think about how.

[01:26:34] Kelli: How hard it is for us to see the future, how hard it is for us to, we’re so myopic. And there’s so many things we could tie this back to. Even like our conversation about brands. It’s so hard to write stuff for yourself because you can’t see yourself clearly. It’s hard. I don’t know. I don’t know really what I’m getting to this with this.

[01:26:51] Kelli: Other than that, I just find these thought experiments really interesting, both to talk about and play with, but then also in retrospect to see how far [01:27:00] off we were.

[01:27:00] Meredith: Yeah. I like these conversations with you so much about it because I don’t know, there’s just, it’s okay, AI is such a huge trending topic and then everyone, so many people have these really hot takes on it and it’s like the hot takes serves them in the moment.

[01:27:16] Meredith: But to your point, like how do we know historically we’ve not been very good at predicting what will happen as a species like I don’t think. And so I don’t know. There’s a freedom in that. It’s yep, maybe the robots will take our jobs or maybe they’ll be our servants. Who knows? Maybe both. Or maybe aliens will come tomorrow and we’ll have a whole new problem to worry about.

[01:27:40] Kelli: On that note, I feel like we’ve, once aliens enter the chat, it’s time to end the conversation maybe. No, I have really appreciated talking to you about all of this. 

[01:27:50] Kelli: Bringing things back down to earth a little bit. Tell us what’s next for content people.

[01:27:58] Meredith: First of all, great segue back [01:28:00] down to Earth Kelly. Thank.

[01:28:01] Kelli: needed to warm up a little bit. Now. I’m, now I’m there.

[01:28:03] Meredith: All so thank you for asking. Thank you for doing this conversation. I love that this gets to be the wrap up for this season. And so for season two, season two will launch in June. I already have some really cool guests lined up, like Jess Cook, who is famous on LinkedIn, and I’m gonna pick her brain about how to build a brand on LinkedIn and what her process has been.

[01:28:25] Meredith: And Ben Goodie who runs an s e O case study company, and a few other folks. It’s not gonna be distributed by Brafton. So if you are interested, make sure you subscribe. Via however you get your podcast. And I’d also encourage you to really sign up for my newsletter, which is called Content People.

[01:28:44] Meredith: And it will be linked in the show notes and that’s where you can stay tuned or you can connect with or follow me on LinkedIn. And I think one other thing that Liz said when I interviewed her for this season, the podcaster, she was like, you have to [01:29:00] do 20, 20 episodes before you even know what the fuck you’re trying to do.

[01:29:04] Meredith: And this is episode 18, so I feel like I’m getting close, my hope for season two is got a little more experience under my belt. I’m a little more focused on really actionable, useful conversations and I’m also, still letting this whole thing evolve. So if you’re still with us at almost two hours, thank you.

[01:29:29] Meredith: And if you stuck with this season so far, I’m super grateful. And I’m really looking forward to keeping it going, and just super grateful that folks have been listening and I’ve had the opportunity to do this. And kelly, thank you so much for how supportive you’ve been of this whole process.

[01:29:45] Meredith: It’s been really nice.

[01:29:46] Kelli: Yeah. Thank you. And thank you for inviting me to be a part of it. It’s been so much fun to have these conversations with you in a more formal setting and yeah, I hope there’s more to come.

[01:29:56] Meredith: All right. So if folks wanna follow you again, just remind [01:30:00] them where they can find you if you’ve won some new fans.

[01:30:03] Kelli: Sure. So you can follow me on LinkedIn. It’s Kelly corny k e l i c o r n e y. A little bit of a tricky one. And then I also teach a course on called Brand Strategy for Innovation. So you can just go onto Maven and Google the name of the course, or you can just Google Maven my name.

[01:30:25] Kelli: You’ll be able to get to it.

[01:30:28] Meredith: All right. Thank you guys for listening. Kelly. Thank you. I’m gonna hit stop record.

[01:30:35] Meredith: Hey gang, are you guys still here? You listened to this whole thing that’s like getting to the end of the internet or something. Thank you. Season one has been so much fun. I’m really looking forward to season two, which starts on June 15th. I mentioned this at the top, but season two will not be distributed by Brafton.

[01:30:54] Meredith: So if you wanna stay posted, make sure to subscribe where you get your podcasts. You could sign up for our newsletter Content People, [01:31:00] which is linked in the. If you have feedback, ideas, or dream guests, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me on LinkedIn and connect with me there or email us at content people pod

[01:31:13] Meredith: Have a great may. Talk to you soon. Thank you so much.