[quote style=”boxed”]Projects, projects, projects! My background is in performance and so I think I’m naturally hardwired to “put on a show.” It’s led to my own take on the familiar “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” My version is “Think. Create. Share.” That’s the way I bring both myself and idea after idea after idea to life![/quote]
From her first business, laundering Barbie clothes, to the founding of Jamie Ridler Studios, an online hub for bringing creativity to life, Jamie has always been a creative with entrepreneurial leanings. Perhaps with her MBA dad and artist mom, that was inevitable!
Jamie’s heart and experience are deeply rooted in the expressive arts, from her early love of dance to her Masters degree in Theatre. As performer, she’s appeared most often as archetypes and icons with roles ranging from Imagination (aka Imogen Nation) and Papa Smurf to The Authoritative Voice and Sexual Desire. She’s created and directed shows that turned academic research into performance art and that interpreted the colour blue through rants and movement.
She lives outside the box.
Now Jamie channels her energy into online invocations to a more creative life, creating space and opportunity for each of us to discover and express our creative selves in new and powerful ways. On her popular podcast, Creative Living with Jamie, Jamie shares tips and strategies for creative living and interviews both aspiring creatives and rock stars like Julia Cameron, Brene Brown and Danielle LaPorte about their creative lives. She wants us to know we’re not in it alone. On Creative Living TV, Jamie makes it easy for us all to tap into our creative nature by sharing fun, fast and easy lessons on everything from discovering your rhythm to finding inspiration in just one minute. She also keeps the Jamie Ridler Studios blog thriving with creative activities, inspirations and practices, as well as offering workshops (in-person and online) and coaching to help people find the courage and confidence to become the star they are – in their work and in their life!
Jamie’s own creative life is fueled by adventure, whether it’s getting in the ring with horses in Sedona, daring to discover herself through painting or making friends with a neighbourhood stray affectionately called “The Interloper” – and she writes, photographs and blogs about it all! Recently, Jamie challenged herself to become a more confident traveler and has since been to Vancouver, Halifax, San Francisco, Portsmouth, the aforementioned Sedona, Paris, Avignon, Nice, the Kripalu Center, and Portland (twice)!
What are you working on right now?
I have two projects I am wildly excited about. One is that I’m about to lead my first ever Creative Living Adventure and it’s going to be in Sedona. We’ll set intentions on a vortex, immerse ourselves in dance, collage and journaling and connect to nature to and ourselves by interacting with horses! It is going to be amazing.
Also, I’m about to embark on my Give a Girl a Journal Project. For me and the women in my community, journals have been a lifeline. Journals are where we can be ourselves, express our hearts and discover our own voice. I want all girls to have that opportunity so I’m working on getting pens and journals into their hands.
Where did the idea for Give a Girl a Journal come from?
The World Domination Summit hosted by Chris Guillebeau. I’m sure many of your readers will have heard that WDS invested $100 in each of its attendees this year. It was a powerful and moving gesture and it inspired me to want to do something that would have exponential results, just like their act of belief and generosity had. Throw in Jonathan Fields’ encouragement to us all to be mentors and my long-time desire to support girls and everything coalesced into this tangible, magical, exciting project.x`
What does your typical day look like?
There’s no such thing as a typical day, which is one of the reasons that I just love working for myself! Having said that, I do create a kind of structure to my week that allows for both the flexibility my spirit yearns for and the grounding my “get it done” nature requires. I schedule in weekly time for teaching, writing, podcasting, filming, project development, connecting and coaching. I also try to book these activities at times that make the best use of my natural rhythms, by coaching early in the week and writing early in the day, for example.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Projects, projects, projects! My background is in performance and so I think I’m naturally hardwired to “put on a show.” It’s led to my own take on the familiar “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” My version is “Think. Create. Share.” That’s the way I bring both myself and idea after idea after idea to life!
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The current movement towards heart-centred business.
I grew into my adult life very focused on the arts. Being in an artistic environment, the general attitude towards business was party harsh (i.e. business is manipulative, self-serving, profit-hungry, etc.) That fuelled quite a resistance on my part to acknowledge that what I was longing to create was, in fact, a business.
I still remember sitting down for coffee with my MBA ethics professor dad not that long ago and saying, “Dad, I kinda get that some businesses emerge out of a desire to help people, to solve a problem or make a difference. I mean, businesses really can help people!”
Rather bemused he simply said, “Yes. Of course they can, Jamie.”
Seeing more and more people rooting their work in their unique gifts, offering up those gifts and talents to make a real difference in the lives of others and in the world– To be honest, I’ve got tears in my eyes thinking about it.
I’m a total sap.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Without doubt, working in a high-end dancewear retail store was the worst! The sales culture and store attitude were anathema to me but that really helped me get clear on who I was and what I stood for. The store was exclusive and high-pressure. I am inclusive and spacious. The store pitted clerk against clerk in an environment of cut-throat competition. I’m about bringing people together in a spirit of accomplishment and cooperation. I really learned that getting clear on what you are not about can help you get clear on what you are about.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would be bolder and dive in quicker. I spent (and I know I’m not alone in this) a lot of time gearing up and getting ready. We all want our work to be scrumptious but a lot of the time that we’re plotting and planning what we’re actually doing is delaying. Sometimes it’s for good reason. We may not be ready. Like tender saplings we may need a little more time to harden before we head outdoors. But sometimes the only way through the fear and uncertainty is to dive in.
What finally got me over this hurdle was knowing that there were people in “crying in the bathroom stall at work” kind of pain because their talents, creativity, desires were so deeply under-expressed – and I could help! My coaching, my classes, my articles could help even if they weren’t perfect or beautiful. Of course, I still aim for perfect and beautiful, but my priority is on getting help to people who need it – now.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Love people. Be kind and generous and compassionate in all of your business dealings, whether that’s with a potential client, your printer or your IT support, whether it’s your competition or your colleague, whether it’s someone who inspires you or drives you mad with jealousy. Love people.
Everyone’s bringing something to the party. Everyone has a gift. Everyone has a lesson for you. I now keep a little book of all the things I’m committed to doing in response to the business interactions that make me crazy, let me down or hurt my feelings. For example, I recently received a rather perfunctory response when I inquired about volunteering. That email actually created a barrier between me and the organization. So I made a little “Note to Self” to be warm, welcoming and thankful whenever someone offers help at Jamie Ridler Studios.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Learning not to take it personally, whatever “it” is. This has been so hard for me, especially when I first started. My business really felt like an extension of me. It was my vision, my ideas, my creations. If something succeeded wildly, I took that personally. If something flopped, I took that personally too. It’s difficult to keep on keepin’ on when you’re riding that emotional roller coaster!
Luckily, I’ve found that as time goes on my business stands up more and more on her own two feet, separate from me, making me more able to receive and respond to celebrations and criticisms on her behalf.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Think multi-dimensionally about your creations. Put the theme/thought/idea on the table and play. What would it be like as a book? A 10-week course? A 5-minute lecture? A luxury retreat? A community event? A building? A show? A dessert? Even if you don’t pursue all or any of these formats, the thought process itself will open up new ways of thinking and new possibilities for your brilliant idea.
If you could change on thing in the world – what would it be – and how would you go about it?
I would have us love ourselves and one another as human beings more. So often I see how cynical we are about one another, how much easier it is for us to love nature, animals, even things. But we are amazing, fierce, brilliant, creative, sacred beings worthy and capable of so much. The more we believe in that, the more possibilities come to life. I try to play my part by being loving, by recognizing and celebrating goodness – at the risk of being mocked or called cheesy – by acknowledging, highlighting and sharing the magic I see in others, by helping people to both remember and be the star they are.
Tell us a secret.
Despite being a practicing optimist, I have really dark days. Dark.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Blogger: Blogger was where it all began for me. I started blogging as a free and simple way to create a structure for my creative life and now it literally has become my creative life! Though now my main site is WordPress, I still turn to Blogger when I have a new venture – including two shared blogs with my two sisters!
Twitter: I live on Twitter. I love popping into the party throughout my day to check in, say hi and connect. I have met amazing people, connected to wonderful opportunities and shared great experiences in the Twitterverse.
Pinterest: I resisted Pinterest for a long time. I was so afraid I would like it too much! And I do. But I can control it. So far. I ration my visits but each time I arrive I am newly amazed by the inspiration that can be found in this visual well.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is the book about discovering your creative self. It is the #1 recommended book by guests on my podcast by far. Hand’s down. It’s a life-changer.
What if I feel drawn to the arts but I’m not creative?
Honey, get yourself to that dance class, to the page, to the canvas and do it now. Your heart is asking you to. That yearning didn’t come from nowhere. It’s a sure sign that you are creative. The arts are for all of us. Let yourself experience the joy of singing, the power of poetry, the world of photography. It is all for you. It might be scary at first. There will be muscles to strengthen. There may even be tears to cry. (When I returned to dance after a decade, I cried every class for a year!) And if you need support, come over to my place. That’s what Jamie Ridler Studios is all about.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
@Fabeku: Because this is his bio: “i talk to joey ramone in my head and write love letters to yoda and hate oatmeal (a lot).” I adore Fabeku. He’s a genius mind-expander and heart-opener. He’s helped my biz. Loads.
@chookooloonks: Karen’s true brilliant, funny, creative, compassionate soul comes out in her Twitter stream. With more and more people using Twitter as an RSS feed these days, Karen is a constant reminder of the value of being real.
@starshyne: She’s fun and lighthearted while constantly inviting me to think deeper and act braver. Oh, and every now and then I forget that she’s me. LOL!
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Watching my sisters play Little Big Planet together. It’s amazing to see how we are who we are even in the characters we play in a game.
Who is your hero?
I have a lot of people who are touchstones in my life, people that model excellence or sacredness or goodness or creativity. I feel like they’re my roster of teachers, whether I know them in real life or online or from books. They are more role models than heroes and include: Gidget, Pema Chodron, Leo Buscaglia, Marjorie Malcolm (my dance teacher), Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, Susan Piver, Obi-wan Kenobi and Mr. Dress-Up.
Jamie Ridler Studios’ Blog:
Jamie Ridler on Twitter: @starshyne
Jamie Ridler Studios on Facebook:
Jamie Ridler on Pinterest:
Jamie Ridler on Instagram: @starshyne
Creative Living TV Website:
Creative Living with Jamie:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.