Posts in Good Life
Joy vs. Happiness

"You will find happiness within your joy. It’s hard to convert your lack of happiness into something meaningful."

— two guys on Joy Venture  

This is a recurring theme in the pursuit of any joy venture. It’s also a stumbling block for those who find that the journey becomes difficult.

But the joy/happiness dilemma isn’t a zero sum game. In fact, it’s not an either/or proposition. It can be a both/and reality.

We have some pretty strong opinions, convictions and examples that begin to outline the difference between joy and happiness as it relates to the joy venture. We won’t spoil it here, instead have a listen and let us know what you think.

You might also want to check out the blog post we wrote on this same topic.

What is a Joy Venture?

“What you can't get back is lost time. If you're sitting on an idea or if you're sitting on capability that's not being used, and if you have the wherewithal to say I WANT TO DO THIS and I want to surround myself with people who are going to push me forward — that's what this is all about.” 

— Thad DeVassie

“But what this isn't is a call for people to recklessly abandon the jobs they have right now and start out on their own... before you realize you have something.” 

— Jeremy Slagle

A year before starting Joy Venture — and two years into it — we are still asking questions. The questioning isn't solely reserved for our guests who appear on the JOY VENTURE podcast, but of ourselves, our motivations, what we believed or intended going into this endeavor, and what we've learned along the way. 

Listen in on the discussions that we are constantly having even when the guest interviews aren’t rolling.

  • What is a joy venture?

  • How do you discover your joy?

  • How do you develop it?

This series of shorter podcasts are meant to supplement the interview series as we wrestle with the bigger questions about discovering and developing joy — and leading a life with intention and purpose.

Shifting gears & embracing change — with John Robinson

"There were seeds being planted suggesting 'maybe I'm not living the life I'm supposed to be living.' But I didn't know at that time what it was or how I was going to do it... and so I found myself in that rut again."  

 JOHN ROBINSON, Founder                   Johnny Velo Bikes 

When you're a top performer in your industry, you don't think much about making significant career changes. That is until you find you're spending too much time from home, or realize that your performance alone can't save your job.

John takes us through a bumpy ride from the mountaintop peaks and through deep valleys of his life in corporate banking, revealing just how hard things can get before admitting some sort of change needs to happen. It's a story we believe will resonate with many.  

By the time John fights back the tears at the end of the podcast, hearing his decision to start Johnny Velo Bikes seems obvious and evident. His connection to bikes, cancer (as a survivor himself), community, and the surprise opportunity to finally become an entrepreneur are tailor-made for this story. But to seize it, to fully own it, he had live it out. And that's the hard part.

In retrospect, John just might tell you this was the most challenging ride he's ever been on — but also the one he was meant to travel.  

Johnny Velo Bikes  |  The Purple TuTu Society

Advantages of going small & going home — with Katie & Josh Emrich
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“I feel I've found this calling working with small businesses and I don't feel like I have to make excuses for not having these big clients. I've worked with big companies and I've just found it to be a soul-swallowing process because they are so risk adverse, so many people have to sign off on the work, and you're so far removed from the decision-makers.”

JOSH EMRICH, Emrich Office

 

“Design becomes other things. It's not just on a computer or on a piece of paper. It's how you see the world.”

KATIE EMRICH, Emrich Office

 

 

 

Emrich Office is perhaps best summarized as the artistic vision of Josh and Katie Emrich that is made full with their four kids and one rather spectacular basement studio in Indianapolis. It's also a long way from Colorado and the design mountains Josh was trying to scale just a handful of years ago. But as Josh explains, summits can look awfully good from the ground, but from the summit, base camp has a genuine appeal, too.

Josh and Katie share their journey of slogging through a recession-era climate in attempt to go big,  and keep the gears cranking. What they ultimately found was a greater reward in embracing the appeal of small — both with regard to their business size and those of family-owned businesses that comprise their client list.   

We learn that behind a great designer is... another great designer. And that's what makes this duo work so well in running a successful design business and designing a deliberate way of life for their not-so-small family.

Insight, wisdom and lessons learned abound in this third installment of our "Indy or Bust" series featuring Indiana-based creatives. 

Trading the cubicle for tiny living & bigger vistas — with Nick Couts

“People ask me all the time ‘how did you convince your wife to do this?’ when the fact is she’s the one who spearheaded this whole idea.”

NICK COUTS, Founder, LOVE Cinema, LLC, and full-time traveler 

Most people who think about purchasing an RV and traveling around the country plan to do so in retirement. For Nick Couts, taking that leap as a millennial was a calculated move to enjoy the world now and not wait for another 35 years. After taking a sabbatical from the acclaimed Spacejunk studio, getting encouragement from his wife, and honing a motion graphics skill set that doesn’t confine him to a cubicle farm, Nick is now two years deep into being a nomadic artist without a permanent address. He’s a man happily living out his plan in a van. 

Traveling the wide open west with his wife and a massive Saint Bernard, Nick talks about the challenges and rewards of working remotely, a radically different shift in lifestyle and the inspiration a creative gets when the landscape is constantly changing. 

Nick supplies us with his story of mapping his own road, as well as a handful of photographs he’s taken during his travels, with links to his Facebook and Instagram account to show more of his adventures.   

Nick's Website

Facebook

Instagram

It’s never too late to pen a new script — with Bill Lilly

I thought because of the skill that I had, I should make big bucks. When I turned it down (the White House job), the pay was equal to a truck driver's union-skilled job” 

BILL LILLY, International Senior Master Penman, nonagenarian and retiree

You might not know it from his gregarious laugh and unimposing stature that measures closer to five-foot tall rather than six, but Bill Lilly is a legendary character who pens legendary characters. He is regarded as the world’s foremost Master Penman — a title he’s held for the better part of three decades. Bill’s story is one of his incredible talent in scriptwriting and flourishing with a steady hand, and how his love of script has led to genuine surprises and unforeseen stardom. 

At a youthful 90 years old, Bill sits down with us in his humble in-home studio and weaves tales about serving in WWII, leaving college to improve his script, turning down a job at the White House, plowing through a career he never really enjoyed, and how he ended up becoming a world sensation long after his retirement from International Harvester. For the past 25 years, Bill has been showcasing his work while also giving private lessons to both young designers and hobbyists who desire to learn his technique and who actively seek him out from all over the world.  

Bill's story is a testament to finding one’s joy, honing a hobby into something more, and never abandoning that passion from within. His rise to unlikely fame reveals a remarkable journey that has spanned nearly 70 years in the making. 

Believing in & living out your authentic self — with Brittany Baum
 

When I was a kid drawing, I may have started with an idea, but I was always interested to see how it would evolve. It’s kind of how I feel about this business. I don’t want it to be this monotonous, boring thing.”  

BRITTANY BAUM, founder/owner of Brēzel

Our interview with Brittany is peppered with laughter and revelations, and words like “weird” and “crazy” and of course, “pretzels” — but don't let that fool you. Her commitment to discovering and developing her craft is a serious one. Leaning on her unique food experience in Germany, she’s checked the box on corporate and government work life, transitioned to DIY experiences and farmers markets, and experienced a major learning curve while working odd jobs to make ends meet. Brittany drops plenty of inspiration and wisdom on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur. She also wears her inspiration on her sleeve (literally) and possesses enough spunk and can-do attitude to make the most outrageous challenge seem achievable. After all, we are talking about pretzels.

www.brezelpower.com

 
Accepting the plot twists in your story — with Thad DeVassie
 

Communication strategist and writer Thad DeVassie has always been drawn to the power of a good story. But he admits, writing your own story with intention is hard. A good story takes you on a journey, and a journey worth taking will push you out of your comfort zone to discover new and surprising plots twists. For Thad, it has made his story far better than he could have ever imagined.

www.ratchetstrategy.com