In this episode, Russ Perry interviews Chase Jarvis, founder and CEO of CreativeLive – empowering over 10 million students worldwide to live their dreams in their career, hobby, and life.
Chase discusses his book the ticket moment, how he made the decision to build a career around something he loved instead of what society was force-feeding him, and how embracing conflict can train your mind to be ready for when your book the ticket moment happens.
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BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you!
Hey, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Russ Perry Show. We are here today actually inside my house. We have an interesting set up right now. Our office is completely under construction. It’s ininhabitable, uninhabitable, what’s the?
And we are here because, well, we’ve commandeered my wife’s office and we are working here, and creating and just having a great time here right now. It’s summertime in Arizona.
But I am insanely excited for another special episode of The Russ Perry Show, a book the ticket episode.
In case you have not seen these episodes, this is actually the interview series that we’re doing here inside The Russ Perry Show, where I’m having unique and specific conversations with people influential to me that have either impacted my life directly, I look up to, inspire to be, and just want to learn more about.
So, today’s interview is with someone who I am so amazed by. His name is Chase Jarvis, and he is the founder and CEO of CreativeLive.
If you don’t know who Chase is, you need to go check out his bio, as well as his company, CreativeLive.
It’s a site where you basically can become a creative professional, no joke, with classes in any single area imaginable, from photography, videography. You can even make, like learn how to make cupcakes. It’s that cool.
We are actually a client of CreativeLive because all of our team members get a free account to their entire library.
And so, we actually reached out to Chase and his team and set up an interview, which is just an incredible interview.
Not only do we hear about Chase’s book the ticket moment on how he totally changed the course of his life by rejecting the, kind of pressures of the middle-class path that his family had set out for him, but also, what it takes to have a mindset, like what up here matters, in order to be able to have the confidence and the courage to take that leap, and to go down that new path that’s set out before you.
So, as always, everyone, thanks for being here. We’re excited for this interview with me and Chase Jarvis.
Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy this episode of the Russ Perry Show.
Decisions are important, but making them quickly is the key to getting what we want. It guides us down a path of reality based on the feedback of those decisions, but here’s the secret trick, the most important decision you can make, it’s the first decision.
And so, book the ticket is just that, taking the first step towards what you want. This phrase has now grown from a college party rallying cry to a motivating concept in all areas of my life.
But I know from repeated results, the only step that matters is step one: booking the ticket.
RUSS PERRY: Welcome, Chase, we’re so excited. I’m super pumped, as I was sharing in the interview, sort of, or the pre-interview here. Been a huge fan and a consumer of your products, and now, we’ve actually have gone all in, in one of my companies, with your platform, and I’m super pumped to connect today with you.
CHASE JARVIS: Thank you so much for having me on the show. Love Design Pickle, love what you all are doing over there. I think that your investing in the education of your team is huge. You’re on the front edge of what is going to be real standard practice in the not so distant future. So, thanks for having me on the show.
RUSS PERRY: Yeah, I think, actually I was on a call today with the guys over 99Designs, we were talking. I think there’s sort of like kindred spirits of the creative disruptors, like us, everyone trying to figure out a different way, a new way, like make it more accessible, so we’re here.
But today, we’re going to talk about what I’ve interviewed a few people on, and this is your book the ticket moment. So, there’s a little bit of an intro on this, but I’ve been asking people and I’m curious really to look back on your life because I look back, and there’s like a few moments where, it was decision A or decision B, red pill or blue pill, and red pill, I’d be like still working at Apple. I’d be like one of the employees there, making, you know, better than minimum wage.
The other pill is I’m here today. So, there are these critical moments in our life where we have to do it, and often, you don’t know what’s on the other side, but I’m diving into those, because everyone who is listening to this podcast, and we do a YouTube version of it, too, there’s a lot of people who are really early on in their journey and I’m trying to give them the encouragement as well as the insights that they might need to really capitalize on their own book the ticket moment.
CHASE JARVIS: Yeah, before, like I’m happy to, I don’t know if you had anything else you wanted to say. I just want to say, as a concept, I love the concept of the show, I think it’s fantastic. When you’re deciding to do a trip, okay, cool. When you book the ticket, that means you’re going because it’s usually the most expensive piece of the equation. So, metaphorically, I love how it’s booking the ticket, but it’s also, it’s taking a leap, so really, it’s cool.
RUSS PERRY: And it’s one of those things like I just got back. We did a big trip with my family to Europe, and I have three kids, so it was kind of a shift show getting everyone over there. They are young kids, 13, six, and two, but like, once we’re there and we’re like done, and we like got the travel part out of the way, then the experience begins.
So, you’re right, sometimes it’s the hardest and the most expensive part, but then when you do it, you can go.
CHASE JARVIS: So true.
RUSS PERRY: All right, so Chase, take us back, man, where ever you want to go back to, and let’s start going down your book the ticket moment.
CHASE JARVIS: Okay, well, I feel like I have had lots of them, and if I look back, of course, I’ll talk about one that I think is seminal to maybe the reason that I’m on your show today, for example.
But I want to contextualize it with, I think that’s a really, as a concept, there is a bunch of little things that add up to a moment, so it’s rarely do these moments come out of left field. They are sort of brewing and growing their own sort of framework in your life, in your mind and your life, and ultimately, then you decide to take action.
I think it’s interesting to think that there’s a lot of those, and we have an opportunity, most of these aren’t irreversible, but when you do do them, you put yourself on a path.
And so, I’m a big fan of thinking of it in terms of a path, specifically now to shift gears and answer your question, my going on my path was a realization that, just a little bit of backstory:
So, I was raised middle-class, middle lower middle class. My dad was a cop, my mom was a secretary, and I mean, I had the, I was an only child. It did not mean spoiled where I came from. It meant I had like Adidas with four stripes. I had upside down Nikes or Nikes with two I’s. Yeah, I got Nikes and my friends would say, dude, those aren’t Nikes, or whatever.
Admitting that I’m still because I’m born male, white, in America, I still have so much privilege, relative to so many other populations in the world, but I still felt this pressure to be something that was approved, that was sort of culturally approved. And where I came from, neither of my parents graduated college, so I was the first person in my family to do that.
And when I had an opportunity to continue my career in soccer, post, I went to college on a soccer scholarship, I could have continued that path, decided not to. That was sort of the first like undoing of a cultural thing.
The second one was, I bailed on medical school because, again, I was being programmed that if you’re hardworking and smart, then what you’re going to do is you’re going to be a doctor, a lawyer, or some of these things that are very, very classic.
And who would, if you have an opportunity to play pro sports why would you ever not because so few people get that.
These are, sort of, little moments along the way. So, I dropped out of the pro soccer path, bailed my medical school, and then quit a Ph.D. in philosophy halfway through, all in three or four successive years. What I quit them to do was to become a photographer.
And so, it was that moment where I realized this is sort of my book the ticket, that wait a minute, I’ve got one shot, this is my script, and what I’m doing right now is, I’m looking around and I’m being casual enough that other people are writing my ticket for me.
And again, I want to acknowledge that this, in some ways, can come from a place of privilege, but even, sort of, within a privileged environment, or even outside that privileged environment, just the snapping to it, and realizing that within reason we have, is it volition over our lives and what we make of it.
And, to me, there was this moment when I say, I sort of have colloquialized it in my own way, of if you don’t write your own script, someone else will write it for you.
RUSS PERRY: Right.
CHASE JARVIS: And it was the moment where I realized, you know what, this is the thing, this is what I’m supposed to be doing and all these other things, I’ve been, like for example, in my Ph.D. in philosophy work, I was doing photo essays and then writing about it.
That’s not how you do a Ph.D. in philosophy.
And I really became passionate about photography because I was being photographed a lot by my grandfather, my father, the news media because I was good at football and soccer, and that’s how I got curious, of oh, wow, photography is really interesting because it captures stories and it captures moments.
It was not necessarily because I was in the photograph or not, but it was through sports that I was exposed to this. So, there’s all these different small little building blocks that helped me realize that you know, the thing that I’ve really been trying to do full time.
RUSS PERRY: Is photography.
CHASE JARVIS: Tap into that creative side of me, and photography was my chosen expression.
RUSS PERRY: Now, I have a question for you. You mentioned your father was a cop, but he did photography as well. Do you think, I mean, I’m just asking you. Did he have regrets not going down a path of creativity, you think, he carried with him?
CHASE JARVIS: I do, I think he has a regret if I asked him now because he’s really talented. He’s an amazing pencil sketcher, an amazing drawer. I remember like looking at his sketches.
He did go to some college, never graduated, and he took primarily art classes. I remember saying, dude, this is good.
And he was like, oh, you know, this is just like, this is just I took some drawing classes. But he had an a very, he had a really amazing eye, and so, I think he’s very happy.
He provided very well for our family, it was very stable, and he did that career for basically his entire life, which he retired at 45-years-old, having worked almost 26 years as a cop. Because he could manipulate his schedule and work weird hours, he was always there at all my soccer games.
Wasn’t there for a lot of nights during the school year, but he would always be there for sports and what not. So, he and my mom had a really good sort of relationship around raising me. They took turns doing various specific things. But I think that there’s still something there where he’s like, wow, I enjoyed doing it because, I enjoyed being a cop because it provided for my family, but that creative side of him is sure something that, he’s still very active as a photographer today, and he had a running joke.
He and my mom travel almost full time now. They go away for a month, come back for a month and go away for a month, and he’s always trying to get me to look at, he comes back with 6,000 pictures for me. And I’m like, bud, you’ve got to edit those 6,000 pictures.
RUSS PERRY: You’re like dad, I have this course for you that really get into the Adobe Lightroom that will really change you.
CHASE JARVIS: Funny, and obviously, he’s a huge CreativeLive fan, and he’s on there all the time, both he and my mom.
RUSS PERRY: Well, was he, so were they pissed?
So, to go back to your younger self, when you’re making the decisions, I’m not going to do soccer, I’m not going to do med school, I’m still being educated, but now I’m not gonna do Ph.D., were those some tough conversations with them?
CHASE JARVIS: Sure, and I think that’s part of the courage to listen. I think the punchline, the takeaway for me from this moment and what I learned, and one of the reasons that CreativeLive exists, and one of the reasons I spend a lot of time talking to creatives, and actually, in a weird way, I’m sort of a career counselor, because once you make that you can’t undo it, and you can then be sort of a beacon because I see a lot of people suffering who shouldn’t otherwise be suffering.
And I used the term suffering in sort of a Buddhist sense, like any time there’s this, like a negative talk track, like why am I in this job, I don’t love what I do. I look around and I don’t, you know.
So, I’ve seen a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Now, pain is inevitable. Life can be hard, but suffering, the story that we tell ourselves does not have to occur. I see a lot of suffering and it’s really, are we willing to have what we think are tough conversations on a regular basis?
Now, I’ve heard a lot of sayings like, the success in your life is directly proportional to the number of tough conversations that you’re willing to have. And so, absolutely 100%, and I didn’t think of myself as, there’s a moment where you look back, you’re like, oh, it’s not like you know that you’re intentionally not having those conversations, it’s that you have to sort of realize that, oh, wait a minute, this is up to me?
Oh, I get to choose what I do, and if there’s a situation in my life that I’m not happy with, it’s my role to address it.
I’m a huge fan of, I think, yes, to all your questions about did I look back and was it hard, yes, yes, yes, yes. That’s why I’m a huge advocate of mindset.
RUSS PERRY: Totally.
CHASE JARVIS: Your skill set is important. We obviously gravitate towards, you know, as a designer, being a great designer. Are you a good illustrator or photographer or entrepreneur?
But a layer that’s on top of all of those things, any of those sort of skills that we tactically think of, is mindset. And mindset is the most important thing to all of that stuff. So, that’s I ended up coaching people, primarily on mindset and secondarily on what else is it, you want to do? What do you want to be, become in your life?
RUSS PERRY: Yeah, I always look at conflict, like we’re trained in this society at least, that we get uncomfortable with conflict. Even as a creative, like I studied design in school, industrial design. You’re like, you’ve got to go to the reviews, and it’s like conflict and it’s uncomfortable, but the reality is, and now that I’ve learned, I’ve done tons of mindset training, tons of personal development.
Conflict is essentially a collision, and it’s just like a collision, and the beauty about collision is through the metaphorical laws of physics, it creates space. Like I hit, I collide with you, now there’s some space. Now we can create something new. There’s a new opportunity.
If we’re never going out to hit, to create that space, and we’re not choosing it, then we become stuck, ’cause there’s never going to be an opportunity for a new mindset, a new perspective, or a new opportunity to open up.
And then we hit and then it’s like you know, you push, you’re pushing something that you think is going to be too heavy and it’s not. You’re like, oh, well, that wasn’t that bad actually.
CHASE JARVIS: And there is a little like you talk about conflict, I like to cultivate lightweight conflict in building business and creative endeavors, like that tension between the art director and the designer, the tension between the clients and the creator.
There’s all kinds of those, and having a little lightweight conflict there is a really good thing to get comfortable with, ’cause like you said, it’s in getting comfortable with it, that we can actually create a little space, and then that’s where not to get too philosophical, but there’s a philosophical concept that you take something and you take something that’s very opposite, and when you put those two things together, you get something newer and more useful and sort of like on a higher plane, and that’s the dialectic, like it’s how you get to be better, smarter, or whatever, is through that lightweight conflict.
So like you, I try to cultivate and get comfortable with it, and people ask me all the time, like how do I do that?
It’s through doing it in lightweight ways on a regular basis It’s just like a muscle. Train yourself to have, you know, the first uncomfortable conversation might be with, you know, when your boss said something mean to you, or when you had a fight with your spouse or partner, or whatever, and you learn to articulate it.
I think the number of times that you can put yourself in those small uncomfortable places, it creates this strength, both an awareness and a strength that becomes wildly useful.
RUSS PERRY: Totally.
CHASE JARVIS: I’m speaking meta specifically with career here, but when you’re pulling on that thread, and you start realizing that the hurdles, they are there to keep everybody else out, everybody who doesn’t want it as bad as you do.
And if you’re willing to have these uncomfortable conversations and make the choices that others don’t make, that sort of the world, the way I like to think about it is the world is happening for you, not to you.
RUSS PERRY: Right, well, it’s like this magic that all of the sudden happens. It’s like, well, I had the uncomfortable conversation, which is really just me expressing what I want, expressing the truth, then the world reacts to the truth, versus what they think I’m thinking, or what they think I want, and then the world starts to behave in a way, which I really like because the truth is out there. People are reacting to the truth and I get what I want, and it’s like this magic formula of growth and accomplishment is to actually.
CHASE JARVIS: Yep, the weird sort of spiral that I was talking about. And when you start doing that, you know, when people get on a roll or you felt that way, when things are going for you, that’s a psychology that you can create for yourself on a daily basis. That’s why I went to mindset earlier.
RUSS PERRY: Absolutely.
CHASE JARVIS: And my book the ticket moment there was this moment when I realized that it’s on me.
And I want to, again, keep acknowledging that there are communities and cross-sections of our culture that for whom that’s not an option. But it’s sort of almost like, for those of us for whom it is an option, that you better take advantage of it because you’re in a very, very fortunate position to have the ability to.
So, if you have the ability to take advantage of shaping your own life and your arc of a career, passion of life, and you’re not taking advantage of it, that’s on you.
RUSS PERRY: Yeah, well, I think I’m preaching to the choir when I share my belief that one of the best mechanisms for creating your own path is in the creative industry, is in the creative business.
And so, I am a strong advocate that, I mean, the reason I’m doing this podcast and this show is to hopefully spark that new mindset in somebody. And we’re all related to creativity somehow, obviously, you very much so.
But thank you so much, Chase, like, I love this, man, and I have one final question for you, and then I want to know where you want to send anyone who watches this to get dialed into what you’re doing.
Put yourself in your, let’s just say, you know, medical school days. You haven’t had the insights yet. You’re pursuing a path that’s just not dialed in. You know it in here in your heart. What insights or what actions would you share with your previous self or someone in that situation? How they could open up their book the ticket moment, and really get after it.
CHASE JARVIS: Great question.
I’ve thought about this a lot and what I would like to invite people to consider is that the answers are inside you.
We all have a voice and the voice, not the one that keeps us up at 3 AM, telling us we’re not good enough, that’s a survival mechanism that is wired in our brain, and that’s why we need to master mindset.
This isn’t meant to keep you happy, it’s meant to keep you alive, so we have to be able to be the boss of our own brains, that’s a separate conversation, but you have a north star inside of you, and that is the thing that you want to do, and if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in the classic sense, the same rules apply.
It’s like what feels good and what doesn’t feel good?
And that’s not hedonism here, but it’s like what brings you joy, and I believe that experimenting with things that bring you joy, and I encourage sort of playing every day in some way, shape, or form.
When you’re pulling on those things or following those things, and I think, more importantly, listening to that voice that’s here, that we call it intuition. That’s the most powerful force inside of any human, and listening to that, or rather, let’s flip the script, the failure to listen to that is potentially catastrophic because that creates regret, it creates remorse.
It creates a lot of negative feelings, it creates sort of self-doubt, even self-hate when you ignore those feelings that are core to you. And the positive association is when you start pursuing those things and the universe starts happening for you, not to you like that’s a really powerful moment.
RUSS PERRY: That’s the magic.
CHASE JARVIS: Yeah, we have that in us, and I would just invite every person to start listening to that. Sadly, in western culture, we’re taught to ignore it. It’s just things like coincidence. It’s things like, oh, that’s a pipe dream. You’ve heard all that practicality before.
I’m just the opposite. All the best things in my life, the best things in the lives of the people that I know who I look up to, respect, appreciate, the people I try and surround myself with, they know that intuition is the mechanism through which to book your own ticket.
RUSS PERRY: I love that. Well, Chase Jarvis, thank you. Guys and gals listening and watching if you do not know what CreativeLive is, it is an incredible platform and Chase is the founder, and you’re still the CEO, right?
CHASE JARVIS: Yep.
RUSS PERRY: Still run it, okay, great. But this is a platform we use. I used it before I started Design Pickle.
I mean, you can freaking learn how to bake cupcakes on this platform. That’s what I like. To my team, I’m like, now don’t get any new ideas here. We still need you in your roles. Is there anything else you want to send people to follow what you’re doing, Chase?
CHASE JARVIS: Very much focused on building CreativeLive. I’ve had an amazing run as a creator, as an independent creator for decades, and to be able to leverage all that knowledge into CreativeLive and helping other people tap into living their dreams in career and hobby, and life, that’s my mission.
I want to unlock the creative potential of billions of people. We’ve got 10s of millions of people on the platform today, so I feel like we’re just getting started, but there’s an amazing, thriving community over there.
You can learn from Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brene Brown, Arianna Huffington, all the top designers, Sagmeister, Debbie Millman, photographers. It’s a list that’s where basically the top thousand creators that are doing any teaching, it’s where they go to teach, so check it out.
RUSS PERRY: Love that, love that. All right, well, thanks so much.
CHASE JARVIS: Appreciate having me on the show, man, and keep doing what you’re doing. Congratulations with Design Pickle, and talk to you soon.
RUSS PERRY: Thanks.
CHASE JARVIS: Bye, everybody.