Episode 112

Creativity Comes First with Laura Tremaine

February 21, 2017

Laura Tremaine (aka The Hollywood Housewife) is joining us today to talk all about creativity and being creative even if you’re not monetizing (yet) by following your own rules of how your creativity thrives.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"You can say that you don't need the money, but what other currency is there?"
- Laura Tremaine

Discussed in this Episode

  • Laura's creative background moving from Oklahoma to L.A.
  • Leaving a job to start a family and a mommy blog
  • Blogging as a creative outlet
  • Shifting from blogging to podcasting to monetize your craft
  • Dealing with rejection in creativity
  • Transitioning away from blogging
  • Fostering creativity through podcasting
  • Being creative on your own terms—creativity for creativity's sake
  • They dynamic of two creatives in a marriage + partnership


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Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Laura Tremaine 0:10
I'm Laura Tremaine and I'm being boss.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
Hey guys,

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
Emily and Kathleen here and today we are talking with Lara Tremaine, aka the Hollywood housewife, about creativity and being creative, even if you're not monetizing it yet. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links, we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club. Hey, guys, I think that you all know by now that we are huge fans of fresh books, cloud accounting, and they've recently rolled out a new platform that is beautiful and intuitive, and incredibly thoughtful. I even got to talk to their design team about what they were thinking as they were developing the new platform. And I cannot speak highly enough about how robust fresh books cloud accounting is, but also how intuitive and easy it is for a creative entrepreneur to use. You do not need a degree in accounting to keep track of your business. But what I really want to tell you today is that even if you are still really small in your work, and maybe you just have a creative side hustle or you just started freelancing, it is never too soon to go ahead and start getting organized with your money. And hey, the more organized you get with it, the more of it you're going to make. I promise it seems to work that way. So you can try fresh books for free by going to www.freshbooks.com slash of being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Are you guys Laura Tremaine is a former blogger and current podcaster. She wrote online for six years as the Hollywood housewife but these days you can hear her as a regular host, on the girlfriend chat podcast sorta awesome. And on her own show as smartest person in the room, a podcast about surrounding ourselves with smarter people. Laura also writes a monthly email called the secret post where she shares what to read where and listen to right now. And you guys, I just have to share Personally, I am such a fan of Laura. I've been following her stuff for years now. We crossed paths at a conference once but you are also from Oklahoma. I am in fact, I

Laura Tremaine 2:27
think that's how I stumbled across you online and got an immediate girl crash. But I'm an okie, through and through.

Kathleen Shannon 2:35
So let's start there you live in LA now you've been known as the Hollywood housewife. Tell us about kind of maybe even in a nutshell or however much you want to abbreviate it. A little bit of your creative career and path of moving from Oklahoma to Hollywood. Well,

Laura Tremaine 2:52
I grew up in a super tiny town in Oklahoma, Southern Oklahoma, like just over the Texas border. And I also went to college in Oklahoma. So by the time I'd been there 19 years, I was really itching to get out and do something else. And I have a lot of love for Oklahoma. My whole family is still there. But I always knew like even as a little little kid, like I always knew that. It wasn't the place for me. Like I always felt very different. being super creative, or being kind of a different personality wasn't exactly smiled upon all the time. And so I really knew that I wanted to do something else. So after college, it was almost like a twin cost like New York or LA and I just was too intimidated to do New York City. And so I moved to Los Angeles sight unseen. I had never been here. And I didn't know anybody. And I didn't have a job.

Kathleen Shannon 3:51
Wait, what did you go to college for?

Laura Tremaine 3:54
I went to OSU and my degree is in letters, which is like a broad liberal. Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 3:59
I know about that. I always tell people My degree is in colors. So whenever they tell me their degree is in letters. Because I was an art major. Okay, so you were in letters, and you were just moving out to LA like you like what I was doing? mind whenever you're like just packing up that suitcase, or your parents freaking out,

Emily Thompson 4:19
right? That takes some beautiful lady balls, like legit. I love

Laura Tremaine 4:24
it. You guys are so stupid now that I look back, but at the time, it seemed like no other option I'd studied abroad in England, which setting abroad in England. It's not like that different of a cultural experience from America. But it was the only sort of out of the country experience I had had and it changed my life. It just made me feel like Oh, the world is so much bigger than this little tiny area I've been occupying and I like I need to do something else. If I could have gone back to England I would have been it's just too expensive when you're, you know, 20 or whatever to do that. So I was like, I'm going to stay in America and I'm going to go to wherever like things are happening. And it ended up being Los Angeles. I mean, I wanted to be a writer I wanted, you know, I've always sort of been fascinated by Hollywood because who isn't when they're young, like, there's a lot of alert to Los Angeles. And when you get here, everybody is a transplant. Like, you know, so many people moved to Los Angeles to make their dreams come true. It's not like I was having all these original thoughts about. But I did it. I just, I literally graduated in May and packed up and moved in August, I went through a terrible breakup. I think this was part of it. Actually. Not even Actually, this is a huge part of it. I had a terrible breakup, the spring of my senior year of college like one of those, like, heartbreaking, lay in bed for days, like, what am I doing with the rest of my life, kind of break up. And so moving across the country was extra appealing, then like, I'm going to start over, I'm going to start fresh, I'm going to do this bold, crazy thing. And everyone's going to see how crazy I am. There's like a lot of motivations to why I wanted to move but the breakup was huge. Getting out of Oklahoma was huge. And so I just did it. I literally my brother and his Oklahoma pickup truck, like we put all my stuff in the back and we just drove across the country and I got an apartment with an acquaintance friends kind of set us up on Hollywood Boulevard. There was palm trees everywhere. Like I thought I had made it. I had no job. I did not make it. I had not made anything. But just the move was huge. So when I got here, a few things happened right away and moved in August and it was 2001. So when September 11 happened, and I was had only been here probably three weeks, and I didn't I still didn't have a job or anything. And you know, that made the whole world stop and think, you know, what are we doing what's important right now? And I really wrestled with should I should I go back home and be close to my family. I really have no reason to be out here. But I decided to stay I kind of decided I was going to stick it out till the end of the calendar year. And in late October I got my first job as a production assistant on a Tom Green special for MTV. And that was thing that sort of changed my life. It was only like a four week gig. It was not a big deal. production assistant is like the lowest of the low like can I get you coffee sir type of job. I had no experience in production or entertainment or anything. The show didn't even shoot in Los Angeles. I never met Tom Green. Like it was like a really small project. But the executive producer of that show, as the executive producer of that show was starting a movie in January and he asked if I wanted to come work on this major motion picture he was making for paramount.

Kathleen Shannon 8:02
Right and what was that movie? Can you say?

Laura Tremaine 8:04
That movie was jackass the movie. Okay, okay. So I said yes to my I said yes to the producer before I even asked what the project was like all I heard was movie paramount. Like I'm in I'm ready. And then when I was jackass the movie I was horrified.

Kathleen Shannon 8:23
Because it had already been a TV show.

Laura Tremaine 8:26
It right very popular TV show very popular, but Johnny Knoxville and the creators Jeff Tremaine and spike Jones had walked away from it because they had gotten to the end of their rope being on TV. Like they couldn't push the boundaries there anymore. There was a lot of imitation happening and Mt was kind of shutting down their creativity a little bit. So they walked away from the show, but then were offered to do a movie with it would be a lot. You know, it was rated R they could have a lot more freedom there. So they started to do that movie. Now. I had never seen the TV show, but I knew enough to know like it like, you know that franchise is horrifying. Like, it's like, naked man and lots of penis jokes. And like, it's, it's pretty gnarly. Well, I don't know. Now in the age of the internet, it doesn't. It seems a little bit tame. But at the time, it was crazy.

Kathleen Shannon 9:20
I mean, I remember at the time, we were watching those movies, and you guys, the movie plays a big role until Lara's whole life will reveal that in a second. But um, I mean, it was just you, you would watch through, like with your hands over your eyes, and just kind

Emily Thompson 9:37
of hopefully your mom did not come within a mile of you. At least that was me, like afraid that someone was gonna hear what you were watching

Kathleen Shannon 9:45
and then like, and then everyone's like, eating huge handfuls of wasabi and stapling dollar bills to each other because they saw it on jackass so all my dude friends like it was just wasn't right, wasn't it? I'm

Emily Thompson 9:57
pretty sure like ER visits were at all Time Hi, just

Kathleen Shannon 10:03
my friends do I have a brother who's a sideshow performer who like swallows swords for a living? And I feel like you know, really that jackass culture helped put that sort of thing mainstream a little bit. Okay, so Laura, then what happens?

Laura Tremaine 10:18
Well, on the set of jackass which what you know you you guys were joking about telling your parents like I didn't even want to tell my parents This is what I was doing with my life with my college degree. And I was still like the lowly PA, I still had a very small position. But I worked on that movie for, you know, seven, eight months, it took up all of 2002 for me, and was on that movie that I met Jeff Tremaine. He, it was his first movie, he directed it, he created jackass and he eventually became my husband.

Kathleen Shannon 10:52
So let's talk about this. You fell in love on set? Or like, were you guys making out in broom closets? Or

Laura Tremaine 10:59
no, I wish that that was part of the story. But no, like, he could not have been less interested in me. Like I was a baby child to him. He's quite a bit older than me.

Kathleen Shannon 11:10
So I'm by you all about him? Did you get a crush, or I had such a crush.

Laura Tremaine 11:15
I had such a crush. He was the only adults in the room, basically. Like, he is the jackass Daddy, like, you know, at the time, those guys, you know, he's who they call when they're in jail when they're in the hospital, like whatever. Like he he was that guy. And I don't know why, because I was the little blond haired sorority girl from Oklahoma, but I thought that was very attractive. So I got a big crush. He literally didn't even know my name for months. So it was, it was not mutual. But after we finished that movie, he went on and did another show for MTV called wall boys that a lot of the crew went and worked on. So he and I developed a friendship and a rapport. And years later, years after that first movie, eventually, we fell in love and decided to get married. And in the meantime, I had worked on a lot of other things. I worked on some shows for VH, one and Fox and the CW. And I was doing a lot of production work moving up from being the production assistant to moving up the ladder, to coordinator and that kind of thing, all the way up to producer on a lot of those things. But a lot of these jobs in the entertainment industry, like like 90% of the jobs in the entertainment industry are not creative. So I wasn't using any creativity. It's very, there's a lot of paperwork, there's a lot of organization and logistics, and you can take a creative path, of course, but the path that I fell into and and kept getting jobs and especially as entertainment at that time started to move towards so much more reality. This was like the explosion of reality TV. So, reality TV is not the same kind of creative muscle, as scripted TV. So all of the jobs were on the production side.

Kathleen Shannon 13:09
Did you start to see a vision though for yourself? Like, okay, how can I work this system? What am I going to become? I mean, did you start seeing yourself as a creative in the industry? Or were you thinking I need to find something else? Like what what was kind of going through your head at this point,

Laura Tremaine 13:26
I was thinking I need to find something else. Because even I wanted to be a writer like that was my dream. I wanted to write words. And not and I realized after being out here that I didn't necessarily want to be a screenwriter I definitely didn't want to write for TV. By the time I'd been here several years. That's not even where my path was leading career wise like I would have had to go back and start over if I wanted to end up in a writers room like start over financially start over with all my connections like that's just not the network's and the producers that were working for. They were all going towards reality there weren't writers rooms on those shows. A lot of the most creative people in Hollywood during this time period were out of work. There was even the writers strike you know, I mean, it was it was a changing time in the in the entertainment industry in the early 2000s. And and so I just it was not for me, I felt like I needed to do something else. I was being really zapped not as a complaint but just like as a fact. production is long hours you know, we're there like 1216 hour days for like these reality shows. I was working on that we're so stupid. Like I didn't even like them.

Kathleen Shannon 14:41
I saw like you're a fan of the bachelor working on The Bachelor.

Laura Tremaine 14:44
No, I was not working on anything as cool as the Bachelor. I don't even watch The Bachelor but like the quality, the caliber of work I was doing was not even bachelor level. If that tells you

Emily Thompson 14:55
what did your parents think you were doing?

Laura Tremaine 14:59
I think they were super happy to pay my rent.

Emily Thompson 15:02
Oh, good.

Laura Tremaine 15:04
No, it pays, you know, like I, I was making a decent salary compared to you know, some of my friends that I graduated college with and whatever who had gone on to do normal type jobs. Like salary wise I was, you know, proud to kind of of where I was, which is what made it like hard to think about starting over on the creative side where there weren't very many jobs. Like I was making it work, but it was sucking my soul. Okay, so then what point do you get married and start having kids? So after Jeff made jackass two, which is the sequel to jackass? And

Kathleen Shannon 15:41
did he work on jackass too?

Laura Tremaine 15:43
No, he would not let me work on it.

Kathleen Shannon 15:46
Because we guys married at this point, or no, we were

Laura Tremaine 15:49
we were together. We were dating. This is a total side tangent because it caused a major rift in our relationship. Like, I almost broke up with him over it, but he wouldn't. He was like, No, you can't, you can't work on it like we're dating, like, I'm not gonna have you work, I'm not gonna have my girlfriend be like, because I would have been so much lower in the ladder, you know what I mean? than he is. And so he was like, I'm not we're not doing that. But to me, I've been doing these bad reality shows, it would have been a great resume builder to go do a second movie for paramount. So I was like, wait, but this is my career, like, I want to work on this big movie. And he was like, no. So I was like, we survived.

Kathleen Shannon 16:30
You survived it, and you went on to get married.

Laura Tremaine 16:32
We survived it. Um, he proposed, we got married, and his career was really taking off. At the time, you know, he had not always been a director, he was a magazine editor. And he's an artsy guy. So he'd kind of fallen into being a director. And at this point, his career was kind of going crazy and multiple TV shows, and he does documentaries and commercials. And he does a lot of things. And we realized that when we were going to get married, and we wanted to start a family that we both couldn't keep working in production, like, it literally would just not work. And I was already complaining about being in production. So it was obvious that I was the one who would step back and kind of be the one at home. Because his career was always is always going to be unpredictable. And if you're gonna have kids, of course, like you have to have like a steady something. You have to have somebody at home, you know, I mean, you just do not like not like at home networking, but you have to have somebody who

Kathleen Shannon 17:36
is the tentpole, you know, of your family. And so that person became well, and I think that that's kind of normal in a lot of families where one person might be working a whole lot, and another person chooses to stay at home. But to the extent of being a producer in Hollywood, which is probably something in your circles is kind of normal, or that you know, people understand what it's like, I think that a lot of our listeners might be like, wait, now what they might not understand the extent that Jeff might be away. And so kind of in the span of a year, if he's making a movie like bad grandpa or jackass, what is your typical kind of schedule? Like what is your life look like? Is he around a lot? Or is it he's coming home after the kids are in bed? Like what does it look like?

Laura Tremaine 18:26
When he's making a movie, he is away. A lot of movies right now for mostly tax reasons Do not shoot in California. So he is away. Sometimes for weeks and weeks at a time. And the TV shows that he works on he still has quite a few TV shows, most of them do shoot here and maybe a more predictable schedule. But the thing about entertainment is he might get a commercial and he has to leave, you know, in within 48 hours, and I'll be gone for a week like it's all very last minute. It's very spontaneous. So for him to be able to say yes to these directing jobs that he gets. You know, he has to know that I'm going to be there to take the kids to school or whatever. And he is all over the place. Again, because he has a lot of projects. But our first child was born in 2009. Which then the obvious thing, the very obvious thing for me to do was to start a mommy blog.

Kathleen Shannon 19:28
Yeah, so I want to talk about that. So you you quit your job in production, which is not really a career that you were wanting to build for yourself. You start a mommy blog. Tell us more about that.

Laura Tremaine 19:42
I started a mommy blog, though I was definitely not on the early end of it. But I was kind of when they were really starting to thrive. I call it Hollywood housewife. Pretty much as a joke. I mean, it was literal. Like we literally lived in Hollywood. I was literally a housewife. But I mentioned sort of tongue in cheek because the real housewives franchise had already gotten really popular. And I'm like, nothing like those women like I, I'm just not. And so it was kind of like a silly thing. However, mommy blogging for me and for a lot of women was like, the absolute perfect medium. Like, I could write thoughtful posts about being a mom or my kid or whatever. But then I could also do like a full post about what lipstick to wear, like, I could do all of my interests, I could catch her on the blog, and present them to the world. And it was instant gratification, like, you know, people would see it immediately and comment or interact with me in some way. And I, I loved that. Like, it's like the best way to be creative instantly, like anybody could start a blog for no money, the time, you know, it was great. It was a great. Also, I had little, you know, I had a baby. And then, you know, a year and a half later, I had another baby. And so I it was perfect. I could be at home, I could write, I got a lot of interaction, I Los Angeles can be a really lonely city. And I had been very lonely. After I got married. I wasn't working. Jeff and I were trying to have kids. I didn't have a lot of connections with other women. In town, once I started blogging, and I was on Twitter, I really I started to make the my best friends like people I would have never known any other way. They found my blog. They found me on Twitter, some of my favorite mom friends in Los Angeles, we met online and then we maybe met up at the park and had like a shy weird friend first date, whatever, like all of that came through blogging. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 21:55
I have a question then about blogging. And this is like at the time, whenever probably I would have lumped you in whenever you were mommy blogging, with like Deuce, for example, Heather Armstrong, who is like huge,

Laura Tremaine 22:09
like half plane size. That is the most flattering thing anyone's ever said. And also wholly inaccurate.

Kathleen Shannon 22:19
Okay, well, maybe at the time, I was okay, I was reading a bunch of mommy blogs Around this time, as a guilty pleasure. I think that I really loved reading mommy blogs before I ever became a mom. And then after I became a mom, I was like, I don't want to read anything about being a mom. But um, but I was reading you and I was reading dues. So maybe that's why I'm lumping you guys together. Well, I

Laura Tremaine 22:42
do appreciate it. But that is not. I don't even know what to say about that. That is I would not put us together. She's like in the stratosphere of feeling the queen of mommy. bloggie.

Kathleen Shannon 22:52
Okay, so let me ask you this first, because I want to start talking about kind of the decision around monetizing or not and Emily, you jump into if you have any questions. I'm just like, kind of fangirling out. And I have a question.

Emily Thompson 23:05
I know I know I Biden at the bit. So

Unknown Speaker 23:08
how you say that.

Unknown Speaker 23:10
chomping chomping at the bit.

Emily Thompson 23:12
We are not a good girl. Sorry, guys.

Kathleen Shannon 23:14
You're the worst of the phrases over here. We're always using them even though we're terrible at them. So you were writing regularly online for six years. And I want to talk about creating content and shifting from blogging to I mean, yeah, from blogging to podcasting, which you're doing a lot of now and you are still writing, but you had decided that you wanted to be a writer, you're writing on the blog. Did you ever think it's two part question? One, did you ever think okay, how can I turn this into a book? How can I turn this into a career as writing? Obviously, you're married to a super successful producer. So maybe that idea of monetizing isn't super front of mine, but I just feel like if you have the drive to just pack up a truck and move to LA, you probably have this drive to make something right. And so I'm curious if monetising ever crossed your mind? And then second part of the question is, I'm curious how your writing changed over six years. And if you were ever kind of thinking of what you want to be known for, or the direction that you're like getting intentional about the direction in which you were writing. That's a lot of questions. I apologize.

Laura Tremaine 24:28
So about the monetizing. This was always a tension that I lived in because I had the luxury of not having to make my blog or any of my online work, make enough money to pay my mortgage. Like that was never something that I really had to strive for my husband's career, you know, paid for our family life. So I was able to just pursue what I was doing online. Always without that in the forefront of my mind, either. As blogging started to change, and everybody started to monetize and everything like that, I didn't have to pursue that I've always been able to have the freedom there. However, as I got into it, and I always treated it seriously, like I used to, you know, back in the day, I would blog five days a week, and I started to cut it down. But I always took the blog very seriously. And as it grew a following. I always struggled with monetizing it, because you can say that you don't need that money. But what other currency is there? I mean, you can look at the currency of followers or pageviews. It's just not quite the same thing. You know, I mean, if someone's paying you for your work, then then to me that made it a real thing. And especially increasingly, as I spent more time on it, more effort on it, you know, if if someone says to you, or a family member, or friends or whatever, like, why are you pouring your whole self into this thing? If you can answer while I make this amount of money, then people are like, Oh, okay. But if you just answer, I love it. People are like, Is that a real thing?

Emily Thompson 26:16
Right, or I have all the online friends.

Laura Tremaine 26:18
Yeah, like, even weirder, I made my friends people. Yeah, all parts of it were weird to my friends and family. Like they were. They didn't want you know, nobody encouraged me to stop doing it. But they were really like, what are you getting out of this? Like, why would you do this? Because I had kind of office hours for myself. And I took it really seriously. And I think people did not want to want to work around that or understand that, because it was still early enough that that was kind of weird. To meet friends on Twitter, to pour out your mommy soul, for no reason. You know, like, my parents were very private. They were like, why are we talking about our feelings on the internet? So it was hard for me and I did monetize them, I ended up going that way. One for the obvious reason, if it would have been stupid to not like, if you have a certain amount of, you know readership, then it just seemed like why would I not take a little bit of advantage of what I built here. But also, because I definitely I was going to a lot of blog conferences, and you know, having a lot of conversations with people. And it really made me feel like oh, I have to, I have to do sponsored posts, and I have to do this. And I really like kind of fell into that mind span of like, I'm not doing it right, I have to be doing all these things. So, I mean, I went back and forth on that for years, a place that I kind of settled for myself on the money part was, I make still to this day, almost all of my financial support from my online work is from affiliate sales. Because I felt like with that it felt true to my values. I wasn't taking sponsored sponsored opportunities that didn't match at all what I was doing, I didn't have to seek out and do the whole hustle of getting sponsors. And, you know, navigating that whole thing, which I tried for a little bit and was just like too exhausting. With affiliate marketing, affiliate sales. For me, I was just sharing the things I would have shared Anyway, my favorite clothes, beauty products, books, I do a lot of book talk, I would have wanted to share that with my audience anyway. So using an affiliate link there, it just felt very on the up and up. It's not, you know, everybody knows what it is. And it brings it started to bring in enough that it felt justifiable that I could not have to do some of the sponsored opportunities. Now, some of my blogging friends were getting like huge, you know, there was an explosion for a bet where they were getting huge 1000s and 1000s of dollars for like, one little post. And that was appealing. And I knew whatever I went back and forth on if I should be pursuing that it just never felt right to me, and what I was trying to do.

Kathleen Shannon 29:06
So I'm curious a little bit then about your content and writing. One of the things I've always loved about your writing is you're just so good about writing about life and writing about the little details like your favorite lipstick, thank you for turning me on to some NARS. Or you're writing about some books that shook you to the core. Or you're writing about a shift in spirituality or even just recently touching on politics. So I'm curious how your writing shifted. And did you ever think like, Okay, I've got a book in me. This is really the question like, when are you writing?

Emily Thompson 29:44
To know when you're going to write a book

Kathleen Shannon 29:45
and I know that's inappropriate to ask, like, is it rude to ask someone like when are you writing a book? It's almost like asking like, when are you having a baby?

Laura Tremaine 29:53
Um, no matter you know what I'm going to tell you Kathleen, something I've never said publicly.

Emily Thompson 29:59
Okay. Magic here.

Laura Tremaine 30:01
I tried to write a book. I pitched the book. And it didn't go anywhere. It was rejected.

Unknown Speaker 30:09
So did that once.

Laura Tremaine 30:12
You guys were like, wait, what do we do now?

Emily Thompson 30:14
Just once?

Laura Tremaine 30:17
No, I mean, I floated it like I pitched it around.

Kathleen Shannon 30:21
How long ago was that?

Laura Tremaine 30:24
A year and a half right before I closed my blog, it was last summer, like a year and a half ago summer. And well, this is a whole different tangent. Do y'all want to take this tangent?

Kathleen Shannon 30:35
Yeah, let's do it. Yeah, if you're, if you're comfortable taking this tangent,

Laura Tremaine 30:39
I wanted to write the book. Partially for ego reasons. Like I've always wanted to write a book since I was a little girl, like, you know, have a book published would be amazing. And then, because it seemed like a natural extension of the blog, bloggers, were getting booked deals, all over creation. It just seemed like the next step. Like when you get to a certain blog level, then you write a book. And I had what I what I still think it's kind of a decent idea for the book, capitalizing on my blog audience, and the things I'd written before, but also things that hadn't I'd never had talked about or written about before. So as you know, I felt like marketing wise, I had a really good plan for what this next thing for me should be. And I put it together and it just didn't, there was no interest. Now that I have a little bit of distance in it, and I could see this actually, pretty soon after, it failed in several ways. I, my heart was not in it at all. Like I was doing it, because it was the next thing I was supposed to do. And even though I did have a decent, you know, marketing idea behind it. I don't know if you if you believe this way or not, I really feel like the universe kind of closed that door like was just like, this is not the right project. This is not the right time. Like this is not what's next for you. And so I suffered a lot of you know, a lot of rejection. And I knew immediately as the doors were closing, I knew immediately I was like, This is not, I'm not even supposed to be doing this. Like, you know, sometimes when you get a no, from someone, you get a rejection. And then the part of you feels like I'm gonna fight for this. I know, this is the right thing. I've had that when I got my nose. I was like, Oh, this is not even. This isn't even the right thing. Like I felt relief.

Kathleen Shannon 32:36
Yeah. But you are still compelled to create, you're still compelled to write? Yes,

Laura Tremaine 32:43
I know. And I, I still think I do have a book in me. Like, I do think that, um, for lots of reasons, I just think that that's what I want and where my talents go. But that was not the right one. Okay, I

Kathleen Shannon 33:01
want to backtrack a little bit, not to like dismiss, like, really heavy conversation.

Unknown Speaker 33:08
Too much we come out. Oh, it's

Kathleen Shannon 33:10
not all like I think it's really interesting because I every time I read anything you write, I'm like, I think it's also because you're such a fan of reading because you read so many books, I always think Laura has got a book in her. And so I'm just waiting for the day that you're like I'm writing a book. And I think it's really, you know, thank you for sharing that experience, because a lot of us have these kind of quiet failures, if you will, all the time. And here at being boss, we talk a lot about reframing failures as learning experiences, or it's not the right time or the right place. But I think that talking about the nuances of what that actually looked and felt like, is important. So thank you for sharing. It's not too much at all. And I still feel like there's one in you

Laura Tremaine 34:02
know, me too. I don't think it's closed forever. I think that project was pretty handily shut.

Emily Thompson 34:10
So did that Lynne to you closing down the blog, or was the blog already going to close? Like how did that or did it at all play into you shutting down that like, part of your creative expression,

Laura Tremaine 34:25
it definitely led me to finally close the blog. However, I had been wanting to close the blog for over a year, but had kept it up because everyone told me you cannot get a book deal without a blog. Like it simply is not a thing that can be done. So I had been blogging pretty half heartedly for about a year kind of wanting to close it. And then what when I realized that the book, when I realized that the book that would have been tied to the blog was not going to happen. It made it way easier to be like okay, I'm done. With the blog, like, I'm actually kind of done with this whole section of the internet for right now. And so, a few months after that I closed, the blog, the website that has all my archives, but I kept writing. So through the blog was one of the most important things that I do is send out these monthly emails called the secret posts. I started them while I was still blogging, it's, you know, your basic email list. However, I started to kind of give those people more of myself. As my blog got bigger, I just started to get like really nervous about what I was putting out there into just free rein anybody. And of course, free reign, anybody can sign up to be on my secret posts, but you have to kind of want it to get emails from someone, you know what I mean, um, you can't really learn as much.

Kathleen Shannon 35:54
I think, also, I don't know if you noticed this, but I certainly noticed that towards the end of my trajectory in blogging, which I still miss To this day, I think there's this aspect of like, getting your roots in something and feeling like you have to stay attached to it or honor it by still hammering something out on a keyboard every day. But um, for me, I noticed that the engagement on my blog was going down commenting was not what it used to be, it was harder to make those blog buddies and good friends that you end up going on vacation with one day. I don't know that that could happen again today, necessarily, maybe so but in my experience, that chapter of my life was coming to a sizzle. And at the same time, I was starting to podcast and I noticed that you picked up podcasting, which I was super stoked about. Because I found like, I found it was a new place to be candid. And someone's really gonna have to invest a lot of time to listen to a lot of what you're having to say and misinterpret it. Like I just felt really vulnerable to people misunderstanding what I was writing, which then just made me feel like a shit writer. But with podcasting, I was just really excited and engaging in the conversation. And I think that just as you were talented in writing, you're even more talented, or equally talented in podcasting and interviewing. So instantly, I'm like, okay, Laura is now going to get a radio show or a TV show, because you're in Hollywood. And I just, maybe this is like the entrepreneur in me that's constantly like, monetize, monetize, monetize, and not that i think that that's the the priority, or the most important thing, and maybe especially in your experience, or maybe it's not the most important thing. So I guess my ultimate question is, how do you feel about podcasting now? And, um, what do you think it's done with your creativity? And, and I want to hear a little bit even about how you kind of prioritize creativity in your life.

Laura Tremaine 37:54
You're really dreaming big for me, Kathleen, I like it.

Emily Thompson 38:00
I'm there.

Laura Tremaine 38:01
I like it. I like it. It's wonderful. So podcasting, I just accepted. At the beginning, I just accepted the invitation from my dear long, high school friend Megan teats who had been a very successful blogger and had published a book and all done all of that, she closed down her blog and started a podcast and was looking for co hosts. So when I first just said yes to her, it was almost just as a favor. I had listened to like cereal, and, you know, this American lives and like basics, but I wasn't super into podcasting. She started a girlfriend chat show called sorta awesome. And I'm one of three other rotating co hosts. And I instantly took to it actually, I was really surprised by what you were saying, like, it's a different connection to be, it's a different connection to use your voice, your like, literal voice in people's ears. Your meaning comes across I think, a lot clearer. And it's like an intimacy almost, you know, with the people who hear you for an hour, you know, like that's like a whole different journey they're taking with you. So I loved being on that show with Megan sort of awesome is a really positive show and has built up a really great community around it. But I was only on once a month and I got to do a mix of topics light and heavy and it was just a great kind of place to cut my teeth. But after a while, I realized you know that well, not even after all, but it was definitely Megan's show. You know, it's her style. It's, it's her kind of brand of what she's doing and the kind of things that I wanted to be doing is really pretty different. So she was really pushing me to do my own show and I was hesitant because like podcasting is a lot of work. So last summer, I finally kind of said, Yes, there are enough of these conversations I want to be having publicly that I'm going to do my own, but I'm going to set it up in a way that works for me. And once I gave myself permission to do that, like, instead of it being a weekly show, or you know, all the different ways that they say, you kind of have to do podcasting for it to work. When I was like, I'm not gonna do any of that, actually, then my creativity kind of like exploded because I was like, Oh, I don't have to follow these rules. It's still a baby enough medium, that we can try all kinds of different things. So, in the summer of 2016, I launched my show, which is called smartest person in the room. And it's built on people. It's built on the idea that we should all be seeking people who are smarter than ourselves, and sitting down next to them and talking. As opposed to the internet, I feel like has made everybody feel like they're the smart person in the room.

Emily Thompson 41:06
And you have to prove it,

Laura Tremaine 41:08
right? You have to like really tell everybody that all the time with your words. So I was like, I can openly acknowledge I am not the smartest person in the room. But I know who is. And I want to sit with them. And so one of the ways that I set it up for myself in terms of podcasting is I'm going to do series. So I'm going to do one topic, and I'm going to do however many episodes on that one topic. And then we'll call that done. And then we'll start a new topic. It's not necessarily weekly, because I do the series, and then I might take a break, and then they'll be a new series, I just set up the structure of it in a way that worked for me create creatively and, and it's been great, I like that I can experiment. Without the stakes being so high, or without feeling like I have to monetize it, because because I have to, you know, eventually, when anything gets to a certain amount of growth, it's nice to monetize it to pay for your expenses. But right now, we're still in that stage of where it's manageable. For Meghan, who produces it for me, so we're able to handle it ourselves right now. And we have big ideas and big things for 2017. And it's fun to kind of dream and play, each series is going to be a little different. And it's been great and, and like blogging, podcasting is something I can do from home. My kids are getting older, but still I need to be close, you know, and fairly flexible, because Jeff's still doing all his crazy business. So it's really, really working and and having a lot of freedom. To do it the way I want to do it instead of listening to everybody telling me how I have to do it has been

Unknown Speaker 42:50

Emily Thompson 42:52
Right, I think, I think the thing that I'm getting from this whole conversation, I guess, like the conversation I want to have now is about is around this idea of creating to create because Kathleen and I are obviously creators for money. And for both of us. There's some level of like, have to like Kathleen, and I just have that drive to like, solve the problem of monetization. Like that's like a fun little puzzle that we get to work out in our head well, and

Kathleen Shannon 43:22
it's also our job for all of our clubhouse members. I mean, we do a lot of coaching around that too. So we instantly

Emily Thompson 43:28
go there. Definitely, we're always there. Were always there with this, with this idea of monetizing. But another thing that we also see is that monetizing can can cut off the joy of creativity, or even like you were saying with the podcast, this idea that, you know, having these rules once you break them, your creativity explodes and like monetizing will create rules and boundaries that you have to work within I even think about our our secret episodes that we do for our clubhouse, like Kathleen, and I can play with those a little bit more. Because one, you know, 10s of 1000s of people aren't downloading,

Kathleen Shannon 44:08
say we don't have 2 million people

Emily Thompson 44:10
downloading it right. But also, no one's sponsoring them. So we don't have to and not that we really think about what we say anyway, obviously. But we can be a little more open about what it is that we want to say and how we want to say it or the topics that we talk about. So I'd love to talk to you both I guess about this idea of I don't know the Cree or the creative freedom you have when you are free to just create but also something you talked about earlier in regards to finding this need to monetize or to make make it make sense to everyone else. Because it's not acceptable to everyone to just have creative fulfillment from something. So go with that one of you.

Laura Tremaine 44:57
I think it's a double edged sword though because There is a lot of freedom and not having to monetize or once you monetize kind of maintain, and, and grow, however, then you're having to dig deep for 100% self motivation. Like that. And that is hard to do.

Kathleen Shannon 45:19
I mean, I feel like I've been so prolific and that's what's impressed me so much is that you've been so prolific and so dedicated to your creative expression, without having that kind of motivator of meeting a deadline or making a buck, which

Emily Thompson 45:35
is what motivates the shit

Kathleen Shannon 45:37
out of me and about even like, I think a lot of graphic designers who want to boost their portfolio, so they're like, I'm gonna make up this like dream client in my head, and I'm going to create an entire brand for them. And then it never gets done. Or it's not good, because they don't have any resistance, like they don't have anything to push their ideas up against it.

Laura Tremaine 45:58
I do think that sometimes I wish I had a deadline or a big money motivator. Because sometimes it is hard. But I will say even from the earliest days of my blog, I've always treated it like a job. For better or worse, like I used to be like, this is my job. And for you know, it would have been a part time job or something. But like, for this many hours a day, I'm going to write or create or even, you know, return emails in a professional manner, like for people who are reaching out. Because it is hard to self motivate, especially when you're tired, and you have little kids. And I will say because I said earlier that there what other currency is there? A huge thing that came out of my blog that was not money that did kind of become a motivator, was I got a lot of opportunities to travel the world. So through my blog, I went to Sri Lanka and Haiti and Israel and some really amazing life shifting trips, and made relationships with you know, girlfriends that were also really life shifting. When you're in it. Sometimes you're like, well, that's not the same thing as money. But when you can, like Now that I'm done with with blogging, when I can step back, I can be like, No, you know what, in the whole of my life that was really important. And so I'm gonna take that as the win, even though it was not dollars in my account. And now that I don't have the blog, which the blog was a daily discipline, even if I didn't write their daily I was doing something blog related every single day, I have struggled a little bit more with finding the well of creativity. And even with smartest person in the room by not having it be weekly. We got a little loosey goosey. I got sick at the end of last year and we kind of trailed off. So and that's not great. Like I don't think that's great for that brand. So to me like there's definitely pitfalls to if you if you're not answering to anybody really. It's easy to get lazy.

Emily Thompson 48:10
Oh, this like empowers me to pick up so many or at least one jewel start with one like hearty passion project that really does test like just self discipline that doesn't have any like outward metrics. It's just me creating for my own fulfillment.

Kathleen Shannon 48:29
Yeah, I'm curious, Laura, what do you consider the blog and the secret posts in your podcast? What do you consider those passion projects? Like what do you consider them work? And one of the things I love that you said is that you treated your blog like work. And I know that you've been openly unapologetic about even having childcare for your kids so that you could work on your blog. So I'm curious, do you consider it more of like a creative outlet or a passion project or work?

Laura Tremaine 48:57
I do consider it work. I mean, I could spend the answer to this either way, honestly. But I do think this is my work. Like I think that this is what I'm putting into the world. smartest person in the room especially is a really important project to me. And so while I'm very passionate about it, I treat it as work. My husband treats it as my work like we speak about it in a way that like you would any other career that was paying you a salary or any kind of wage. So like, I do think of it as my work in the world right now.

Kathleen Shannon 49:34
I do. And it's so good. You guys. smartest person in the room is so good. So you interviewed a writer for Pixar? Am I saying that right? I was a writer for Pixar. Right? He

Laura Tremaine 49:47
is the screenwriter for Disney. Pixar. Now he wrote Zootopia He also wrote WreckIt Ralph, he's now writing and directing WreckIt Ralph to that was the very first episode

Kathleen Shannon 49:58
of smartest person in the room. So good. And then of course, beyond SES set designer, of course, I was losing my mind. And you asked, here's what I love about smartest person in the room is that you're asking all the questions that I want to ask creatives about their creative process. And I think that you are so incredibly smart in the questions that you ask, maybe, because it's just the ones that I want to ask. And then you're asking them, I'm like, Yes, thank you, Laura, for asking the question, because I really needed to know the answer. Well, thank

Laura Tremaine 50:28
you a theme that has come through a lot with smartest person in the room with the people that I'm interviewing, and just the conversations that we're having is that the smartest person in the room is maybe not who you think it is. So like one of the people that I interviewed was a celebrity body guard. And he is he has guarded some of the a list of the elite people. And when you hear him talk about the work of that of guarding a celebrity, which you would not really think like this big guy would be the smartest person in the room, you're like, Oh, my gosh, I maybe don't give everyone enough credit. Or maybe the smartest person in the room is the quietest person in the room. You don't always know. You know,

Unknown Speaker 51:06
I love that. I

Laura Tremaine 51:07
love learning that about people like wow, like, Who would have thought, it's not the CEO, it's the this person.

Kathleen Shannon 51:14
Totally, the body guard episode was really interesting, too. And just even some of his insights that maybe he takes for granted. were so good like that, it's his job to just make someone comfortable, not even necessarily to protect their body, but to make sure that they're at ease going out to eat at the restaurant that they want to eat at. So I really love the work that you're putting out there. I love how dedicated It feels like you are to your creativity and living a creative life without the pressure of monetizing. And I know that you're in a unique situation. And well, a unique situation of having a husband who's a big time Hollywood producer, right. But I think that a lot of us who work do rely on the partnerships, and even just relationships that we have with our spouses, our parents to really support us in our creative endeavors and what we're doing, but I'm curious, does Jeff follow your work? Does he support your work in the same way that you support his? And we only had to go there might be a boring question.

Laura Tremaine 52:26
Um, I do think that when two creative people live in a house, it's probably a different dynamic than if you have one partner who's not creative. And one who is because Jeff and I really understand each other a lot. We're doing vastly different things. And his work probably more than mine has a lot of tedium to it. Sometimes that's not creative at all that he has to deal with. But I feel like we do give each other a lot of grace in, you know, a creative person is maybe in a weird brain space, half the time. And I feel like he and I kind of understand that about each other, or we give each other a lot of room to be, you know, kind of moody are very preoccupied with whatever we're working on, you know, I mean, we're both creative, and so we're not really frustrated with each other. In that way. We also both have things going on often like at our house. So one time I recorded a podcast episode upstairs, he was shooting a documentary interview downstairs. Like that's really normal in our life, to both be doing something in the house that's very creative. And I love that about our life. I love that about Los Angeles, like I feel like that is happening all over town. There's, you know, a movie shooting on the corner. And this guy's at the coffee shop working on a screenplay, like everybody is sort of working on something. And that can be an eye roll or that can be totally inspirational. And I find it to be inspirational,

Kathleen Shannon 54:07
I think is super inspirational. And even just thinking about your family dynamic of both being creative. I'm married to an engineer, and Emily's man counts dollar bills. So

Emily Thompson 54:23
there's a little bit different and as you were talking earlier about No, no. You mentioned you mentioned something about Jeff I had that thought to like you both being creatives and understanding that you know, a lot of what you do is just doing it for your own sake and you know, having to have that inner gratification before you can move forward with getting any sort of outer gratification. I feel like there probably is that really good understanding there. That is important.

Laura Tremaine 54:53
Also, you know, when I couldn't make the book thing happen either No, I was, you know, part of me was really relieved to not have to actually follow through on this thing that I was only half hearted in. The other part was like a big ego hit, right? Like I was like, Oh my gosh, I got all these rejections. And so in that part, when Jeff tried to comfort me, I was like, well, you would know like, you're so successful, all of your stuff works. And he was like, Have you lost your mind? And so he was then listing off the many projects that he's tried to make go that haven't. And I was like, you're right, like, the other side of being creatives together and houses that we both get rejections. More than usual, you know, there's like a, there's kind of, you know, the other side to it. It's not all like happy, lovely art painting all the time. Like, there's kind of the other side of it. But I do think that having him understand that and not not judge that. towards me is it's wonderful.

Emily Thompson 55:53
Oh, that's awesome. Good.

Kathleen Shannon 55:56
I'm Laura. I'm curious. When do you feel most boss?

Unknown Speaker 56:01
I didn't prepare for this.

Laura Tremaine 56:09
When do I feel most boss? Um, I feel most boss at the end of the day, when I'm like cooking a good dinner. My kids are in the kitchen doing their homework. I have done something creative that day. Like I've ticked all of my boxes. That's when I feel like okay, I'm doing this

Emily Thompson 56:32
gave a good answer.

Kathleen Shannon 56:35
I feel nice boss to you. You know, I mean, it is funny because it's not even whenever I'm getting the acceptance letters, you know, it really is kind of that end of the day. I feel like I've done good work.

Laura Tremaine 56:46
Yes, it's more of like a wholehearted feeling. I feel like right doing this.

Emily Thompson 56:52
I know, mine was in the tub again in the day.

Kathleen Shannon 56:56
Right? Did all the things okay, every time I'm in the tub, I look at the disgusting, like calc around the corner that needs to be fixed. And I think Oprah's tub would literally never looked like there's like a hair, you know, like wrapped around this. So like, and literally every time I think every time I take a bath, I think about Oprah's bathtub and probably how immaculate it is.

Emily Thompson 57:21
I bet it's beautiful

Kathleen Shannon 57:22
goals. Hashtag goals,

Emily Thompson 57:24
right? Tough goals.

Kathleen Shannon 57:27
All right, Laura, thank you so much for joining us. where can our listeners check out your work,

Laura Tremaine 57:33
you can go to large remain calm and you will find all my social media channels, both the podcasts I'm on and sign up to get my monthly secret posts.

Kathleen Shannon 57:43
And we'll be sure to include links to all of that in the show notes. Thanks again, Laura, for joining us. It was so much fun chatting with you.

Unknown Speaker 57:49
Thank you.

Kathleen Shannon 57:52
You guys in 2016 my calendar was insane. There were literally days I would go without eating lunch because my calendar was so booked full of appointments and meetings and you regular listeners know how much I love my food. So I finally got on the acuity scheduling train. The best part about setting up acuity was actually taking a step back and deciding what I wanted my schedule to actually look like. I then designated times for work and times for meetings. And my calendar is looking so much more same these days. Also, for those of you who aren't very tech savvy, don't fret acuity scheduling is really easy and not so hard to set up. It takes a little bit of groundwork upfront but you'll be so thankful for it whenever your calendar looks exactly the way you want it to sign up for a free 60 day trial of scheduling sanity at acuity scheduling calm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 58:56
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly master classes book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss dot club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 59:20
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brains our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey and arthi encountered David Austin with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 59:38
Do the work. Be boss, and we'll see you next week.