Permission to be Creative — With Special Guest, Havilah Cunnington
Today’s podcast episode wraps up our focus on Margin. And I’ve saved the best for last.
Over the past several weeks we’ve covered so much ground: what margin is; why it’s important; how to get margin in our schedule, in our finances, in our creative energy, and so much more.
For today’s podcast, I wanted to talk with someone I deeply respect: Havilah Cunnington.
Havilah and her husband, Ben, are two of Anna’s and my dearest friends. We’ve known them for over a decade (Ben and I used to be roommates).
The four of us often connect to talk about life, kids, family, entrepreneurship, building an audience, and more.
Havilah is the founder of Truth to Table, an online Bible study platform. Fun fact: I totally stole inspiration from Havilah’s training videos when designing the “look” of my Focus Course videos.
On the show, we talk about how to do your best creative work when you’re also raising kids, how to build an audience, how to keep a healthy work and personal life, and more.
Speaking of, if you enjoy this podcast with Havilay, you should check out my free class: The Elements of Focus. It’s a 10-day video class where we’ll talk about making time, finding clarity, and gaining traction in your business or side project.
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Havilah’s approach to building an audience was to start with tons of free training and resources. She knew that she had to build a brand people trusted. Her first training series, Radical Growth, was several short training sessions that were sharable and didn’t have any “homework” attached to them. This helped that training series gain momentum early on.
While some people (myself included) advocate the idea of showing up every day and putting out regular content, Havilah has found success in going “dark” for a season in-between her online teaching events. She takes a season of time (a few months) to muse, write, and create her next product. Then, she comes back strong with something big and new.
The challenge of balancing a busy traveling schedule with building a personal brand: When you’re on the road all the time, it’s hard to build your own brand. It’s difficult to build momentum with your own audience when you are putting most of your energy into serving someone else’s platform. This isn’t to say that serving other platforms is bad, but it you can’t always do both.
One of the ways you learn how to balance work and life is through trial and error. You have to listen to the season of life your in right now and go all in with the one or two things that are most important.
Parenting little kids is just a season of life. Aim to parent from a place of authenticity rather than social expectations.
You’ve got to have a few core values and boundaries that keep your life healthy.
Advice to overwhelmed moms and dads who want to build something: Stay inspired.
Do this by: (1) having a coach, mentor, podcast, book, album, or whatever that you can turn to in order to find and build motivation when times are challenging; and (2) look to those who are ahead of you and gain strength and motivation from the work they are doing.
Give yourself permission to be creative. Take ownership for your life and the space you need to do your best creative work. This usually requires that you challenge the assumptions of what’s normal and find what works best for you.