Eps 358: Helping teens find their own creative hustle with Olatunde Sobomehin

Episode 358

My guest today is Olatunde Sobomehin.  

Olatunde Sobomehin shares about his life-changing sabbatical and co-authoring the book, “Creative Hustle: Blaze Your Own Path and Make Work That Matters.”  Olatunde shares how to name and know your and your teen’s gifts & goals and how principles, people, & practice can help you move from gifts to goals.  He shares specific questions to reflect on to discover your gifts and what he sees getting in the way for young people.  They dig into how to help young adults choose work that matters while still needing to make money.  Casey shares some of her story about finding and choosing work that matters to her.  Sobomehin wraps up by sharing more about his book, who is profiled inside, and practical tips for encouraging your teen to stretch & find their own ‘creative hustle.’ 

Olatunde is the CEO and co-founder of StreetCode Academy, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit that offers free tech classes to communities of color. 

It is one of the fastest-growing organizations in the region, growing from 20 students in its inaugural class in 2014 to now serving over 2,000 students annually with over 40,000 hours of free instruction. 

As a student at Stanford, Olatunde also led a public speaking class in the Engineering department and played on the top 25 Men’s Basketball Team, where he was also voted Most Inspirational Player (2003). His body of work has earned him recognition as a 2018 Aspen Institute Scholar, a 2019 Praxis Fellow, and a 2020 Social Entrepreneurship Fellow at Stanford University. He has also taught classes at the Stanford Haas Center and Stanford d.school. Olatunde graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Urban Studies.

Now back from a long overdue and life-changing sabbatical, Sobomehin is celebrating the new book he co-authored, Creative Hustle: Blaze Your Own Path and Make Work That Matters. 

Sobomehin says, “Parents are the ultimate creative hustlers! It is innate.” He and his wife, Tamara, reside in East Palo Alto, CA, with their four children.

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Takeaways from the show

  • Knowing and naming your and your teen’s gifts & goals 
  • Principles, people, and practice 
  • Questions to ask to discover your gifts 
  • What gets in the way for young people? 
  • Choosing work that matters and balancing that with finances 
  • Encouraging teens to stretch into their “creative hustle”

What does joyful courage mean to you 

I’m tempted to say joyful courage is creative hustle, but I’ll try to live beyond that.  Joyful courage is enjoying the process of living out our unique paths.  How much I love the word courage: the strength and the courage to blaze our own path, but what I love even more is the joyful part – to enjoy it, to consider it an honor, to be grateful along that path.  It’s not easy.  It’s not easy blazing new paths, it’s not easy raising kids that are living their own way, it’s not easy in our own time.  To your point, things change so fast, but to do it with joy; I love one scripture that says  “Consider it pure joy when you face trials.”  That means even in the hard times, you can consider joy.  You may not feel happy, but you can consider joy.  I love that.  Joyful courage is like, as we try to do things that take a lot of heart and take a lot of courage, that we enjoy it and that we consider it joyful.  That’s what it means.  



StreetCode Academy

“Creative Hustle: Blaze Your Own Path and Make Work That Matters” Book 

Olatunde’s Twitter 

DREAMer’s Roadmap 

Olatunde’s Instagram


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Olatunde Sobomehin, Casey O'Roarty

Casey O'Roarty 00:05
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent needed spreadable. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:30
Hi, listeners. Welcome back to the show. My guest today is Olatunde Sobomehin. Today is the CEO and co founder of street Code Academy, a Silicon Valley based nonprofit that offers free tech classes to communities of color is one of the fastest growing organizations in the region growing from 20 Students inaugural class and 2014 to now serving over 2000 students annually with over 40,000 hours of free instruction. As a student at Stanford today also led a public speaking class in the engineering department and played on the top 25 men's basketball team my son will be very impressed, where he was also voted most inspirational player in 2003. His body of work has earned him recognition as a 2018 Aspen Institute scholar, a 2019 Praxis fellow and a 2020 social entrepreneurship Fellow at Stanford University. He's also taught classes at Stanford at the Haas Center at Stanford d school today graduated from Stanford University with a degree in urban studies now back from a long overdue and life changing sabbatical. Today is celebrating the new book he co authored, and we're going to talk about it today. Creative hustle, blaze your own path and make work that matters. Today says parents are the ultimate creative hustlers. It is innate, he and his wife, Tamara reside in East Palo Alto, California with their four children. So you know, the parenting, the parenting game. Welcome to the podcast. It's so great to have you here today. Wow, that was a blast to hear you say that. Thank you so much for that beautiful introduction for the opportunity to share. Yes, I'm so glad that you're here. And like I said, I have I'm raising a basketball player. So I'm excited to let him know that I love it. You know, you have that connection. Yeah. Before we get into all the things though, I'm kind of fascinated. There's one piece of your bio that's really fascinating to me, and that is the life changing sabbatical. Can you share a little bit about that? What was life changing about this time you took off? Okay, so

Olatunde Sobomehin 03:43
a sabbatical is a new practice. I came up a raised in Portland, Oregon, was the oldest of four boys that my mom had, my father had a total of six kids. And, you know, my mom, and He raised us for boys to believe in service to be excellent in schoolwork. And what that meant, and to also be in athletics. I was a basketball player track runner, also played soccer. So around the clock, we were just working. And you know, I started working for money around the age 12. And so here I was that had a lifetime of work in school, work and extracurricular work for money, give back serve around the clock. And so that was the spirit I had it was a gogogo mentality and a hustle mentality. And it was ambitious, and it was creative, and it was fun. You know, that's what I love to do. And I still love doing that. And I was introduced through praxis, to, you know, something around my faith that I had ignored, which was just around the balance between work and rest. And I always knew the Sabbath, the Sabbath and the day of rest. That came from the creation story, but I never knew how much it meant to creativity, and to the creative process and to the building, and making. And so as a builder, as a maker as a creator. And as somebody who wants to live out my faith in all aspects of my life, I was really moved by this notion of Sabbath and why I joined Praxis is a accelerator for Christian based entrepreneurs. And I did it. I started taking Sundays off, and I learned about the ladder and decided to take a year off, I was not burnt out. This is somebody with high energy and they want to take a year. And so yeah, how do you do that was more work to stop than it was to work. But I stopped. And it was transformational, because I realized so much of what I was missing, as a parent, one of the most transformational conversations I ever had was with my daughter during sabbatical, when she told me, I asked her because I had nothing else to do, but just to kind of like be around and ask questions. If I said, you know, how can I be a better data and she said, you know, you flash a lot, which means like you respond, you know, with intensity at any given moment out of the blue. And she said, that you're always on the go. And so you're moving so fast, I'm scared to tell you certain things. And that was deep for me. Because, you know, for kids, especially love and adore my daughters, I wanted them to be able to tell them all my kids to be able to tell me and trust me. And at that moment, I realized, Oh, my gogogo doesn't even leave any space for my kids to tell me things. I sat in front of, I never experienced nature, like I did during the sabbatical. I've never, you know, really celebrated the winds like I could have done a sabbatical, there were so many personal things for my organization, which is the last thing I'll share about it is that, you know, in the space that I left, because I'm a founding CEO, of a nonprofit, you mentioned street code, and me being gone, gave room for so many new voices to come in and influence the organization in beautiful ways. And after a year, I was able to return back to organization where people found their voice people found, you know, it's not 100% Pretty, the journey. But I think that the result of that was that people were more empowered did find their own voice. And I was able to come back energized, renewed to a better organization. So it was transformational.

Casey O'Roarty 07:18
I love that. How old are your kids? You've got four, how old? Are they?

Olatunde Sobomehin 07:21
I was 17 1615 and 11? Oh, yeah, you're a junior sophomore in high school, and then a fifth grader.

Casey O'Roarty 07:29
Right? So you are steeped in adolescent energy? In your words, yeah. That's my listeners are. That's who my listeners are. So the audience that you're speaking to her parents of tweens and teens. So I love that you had the thoughtfulness to ask your daughter about how you could be a better dad, I think it's such a simple question. And it's such a profound question. And when our kids feel safe enough to answer us, honestly, we learned so so much. So thank you for sharing that.

Olatunde Sobomehin 08:00
No, I'm honored to share and I just want to recognize the fact that, you know, my daughter who answered it was 15 years old. So it's not like, that was a relationship or a question that I had practice, you know, asking it was I give credit to that sabbatical for leaving space? To what I was saying, daughter, I just found myself in the kitchen one day, with nothing to do. I mean, normally, I always have something to do. So why would I just be hanging out in the kitchen, hanging around, you know, I mean, almost over their shoulder looking at what they're doing. But that space gave room for all kinds of conversation. That wasn't transactional. It wasn't about the urgent schedule for the week. It was just about like, what's going on? And so I credit that, and it's not, you know, what, it wasn't me, it was me that, you know, courageous enough to kind of try it. But outside of that, that practice is not something I came up with. It's by that design. And I'm happy that I could share it. Thank you.

Casey O'Roarty 08:54
Yeah, of course. So talk to us a little bit about creative hustle. What was I know, the sabbatical had, you know, influenced the birth of this book in some ways. So tell us about how this book came about and who you're hoping to reach with it?

Olatunde Sobomehin 09:09
Yeah, I mean, you know, shout out to Stanford D School Institute. What

Casey O'Roarty 09:14
is that? What a Stanford? Yeah,

Olatunde Sobomehin 09:16
what does that Stanford D School is an institute, short for the School of Design, embedded within Stanford University, to school that sits in the middle of all these other disciplines, right. So you have people from medicine and from engineering and from, you know, humanities and all these different disciplines that come to the D school to to build creative confidence. So design thinking, which is this idea of, you know, creative processing for, you know, building and making and prototyping came from the D school, how do you design and how do you build this confidence to kind of build new things in the world so they came up with a set of books for what design looks like, and one of the directors of the K A 12 lab co director of the K 12 lab named Sam Seidel, collaborated with me on a class where we brought half Stanford students and half students from my community organization, street Code Academy, to the same class and we thought, what could this diverse group of students want to learn? We serve students of all ages. So why would an 80 year old 15 year old and a 22 year old, you know, law student all want to learn? And we talked about blazing your own path like every one of those students? Or is this unique person with different diverse sets, and while that person may be in law school, they may also have desire to be a farmer, while persons in medical school they may also want to be a singer, you know? So how do you blend these and similar ly with our community, people had their own desires. And so what can we do? Like these are creatives? These are hustlers? How do we do that? So we brought together some people that we really admired, and we interview them in mind lessons from them. And that's essentially what we did with the book, we have nine profiles of some of the best creative hustlers that we respect. We mined them for lessons that are all beautifully put, I hope we can read a couple by the end of the podcast. And then we you know, we talked about how you move from gifts to goals, how they have moved from gifts to goals, and they use principles, people and practice.

Casey O'Roarty 11:20
Yeah, I love the way that the book is organized. And I love it makes sense to me that D school design school because it is such a beaut, it's like a work of art. I mean, just the book just in and of itself, the way that it's laid out, the way that you use color, and media, the illustrations, it's just it's so fun simply to look at, let alone read. And I know like as i i moved through it, all I could think about was who I'm going to leave this out for my 17 year old because he's going to be really attracted one to the people you chose to profile and to, to the design and the layout and the unfolding of all of the content. So thank you for this it is it's truly a beautiful product. I mean, I hate to call it product, but it's like so much more than a book. I mean, it is a book but it's just lovely. Well done. Congratulations.

Olatunde Sobomehin 12:16
No, can I shout out? No worse. First of all, Scott DOORLY from the Stanford d school was instrumental. His colleagues, Charlotte and he have kind of orchestrated these books for Scott particularly work with us to think about how this book was going to be creatively laid out the co op the quad, I talked about Sam Seidel and myself, that was not our vision. So he written a book. In fact, I have behind me, you can't see it, listeners. But Hip Hop genius was another book that my co author has written a phenomenal writer Sam Seidel is. But it was neither he nor myself that thought about doing a visual book, Scott DOORLY had this. We knew some incredible artists. I'll name them. Christopher squint. Sandefur is a photographer who took all the photo photography, Jory. Titus did the collages. And hope Mang did the hand lettering. And that trio made some incredible art that we you know, we also are amazed, we look at the book with amazement, that was not our doing. So thanks for noticing that.

Casey O'Roarty 13:17
Yeah, yeah, I love it. And I love the way like going into content to how it is organized. You know, as I went through it, I saw it's we're moving through a journey moving through the book, it's really the journey. And it starts with knowing ourselves in the context of self, knowing self, in the context of relationship with others, and then knowing self inside of the practices that were engaging in intentionally in our lives. How did you come up with? Why is that organization? What came about for you? Why is that an important way to guide people through the book,

Olatunde Sobomehin 13:57
that was a beautiful way to put it. I mean, I have not put it that way myself and not heard anybody put it that way. So I appreciate that reflection. For us, you know, and parents know this, when our kids have these gifts. Sometimes they don't know how to name them. Oftentimes, they don't know how to name them. We struggle naming I'm 42 years old, struggling naming what my gifts are, but others recognize them. And when we get good enough and have time to reflect enough, we can identify gifts, we have those and then there are goals that we have. And they sit from, you know, what are my goals for today, all the way to one of my goals in this lifetime. And so we knew like those things exist in creative hustlers. There's this combination of imagination plus action. People, you know, live in the possibility, but then they also take steps to do that. And so that journey is tumultuous. It's demanding, it's hard. It's lonely. And so we wanted to know like, how did you bridge those like you moving from gifts to goals? Say, if you really accomplish it, we're going to hear about you, and we adore you, and how'd you do it. And three things came up as like, in the most fundamental thing was principles, like people all had these principles that grounded them, when it got really tough, like, I'm gonna keep holding on, because this is something I live by, people have aspired to be faithful people who have inspired to be guided by love people who aspire to be courageous, these are all things that like, you know, maybe a quote, maybe a saint, maybe a scripture may be a concept, maybe one word, but like, I'm gonna hold on to that, then there are people, like you said, everyone that we talked to had a relationship with, well, sometimes they work with them, sometimes they gain inspiration from them. Sometimes they were in competition with them, but you're going to have people and you're going to reference people, and you're going to be motivated to move based on the people you have around you. And then it was like, you're going to do this on a daily basis. Like, this is not something that you just, you know, we visit once a year, this is something that every day you're going to do. And that was the last piece about practice. And so to move from gifts to goals, we found that they were principles, people and practice in every one and that's how we laid it out.

Casey O'Roarty 16:06
Yeah, I love it. I mean, it's and I especially love that piece around great. You have these goals, and that it's not just Okay, great. I did the thing I did the practice one time, but that there is that invitation. And I think it's such an important message, especially for adolescents to hear that it and adults. I mean, I keep relearning this lesson, like change happens over time, with the intention of daily practice, right. And so our goals are met over time with that intention of daily practice, like you animating like we get to animate what we want in our life through our daily practices. And so I really appreciate how you've laid it out in creative hustle, you at D school really had this group of people that were motivated to be there, I'm assuming, actually, that's an assumption, I'm assuming that the people were motivated to be there. I'm wondering, you know, as I think about this book for listeners and their kids, it's a great gift. Right? And, you know, and like you said, already, we don't always know what our gifts are. So can you talk a little bit about how in the book, because that's kind of one of the first things that you talk about is discovering who you are? As a as a place to begin to recognize the gifts that are there? Can you talk about that, or even talk about how you facilitated that with the people that you worked with, either at street academy or our street code, street Code Academy? Or they're at Stanford d school?

Olatunde Sobomehin 17:45
Yeah. So, you know, there are some prompts that we found a good like, for the gifts, there's two distinctions. One is like something you're good at, you know, things that you're good at that come easy, and things that you may be good at. Or you may love doing, that you've worked hard at, right. And so, I may have a gift in, you know, fundraising, I raised $3 million a year with a community based small nonprofit. And these pilots, I never liked fundraising, I didn't think I was naturally good at that. There was some I had to develop that skill and work really hard at and now I feel like okay, there are some things that I'm gifted at helping people do regarding fundraising, right, that didn't come easy. But it is something that might be listed as a gift now that I have it. On the flip side of coaching, I've always loved doing right. So I love being able to help people, your son's basketball player, I would love to meet your son, because you know, I love bringing that out. I love the journey of bringing out greatness with them, you know, and overcome the obstacles in the whole nine. And so that's a gift that may naturally have been drawn to or developed. But we ask a couple questions I'll read for them. Yeah, what am I most proud of? About myself? You know, and that takes some reflection. And it's a healthy practice. In general, we should all be proud of something that we earned. What do I love doing? What do people compliment me for? You can either reflect on that, or you can ask people around you, and what am I uniquely poised to do? You asked me about the d school. I didn't know it's a gift to be in such proximity to Stanford University. I'm poised to know with that as a gift. So we can kind of think of our positionality we kind of think of our privilege in that way. And so those are all gifts. And when I start writing those down, right, this is where the secret comes is like, I'm writing those down. Then I look at my goals. I have a sheet in front of me that I did last night, right? So I have my own. I'm going through this process. And I'm looking at gifts that I have I'm energized by community. I love coaching. I love giving encouragement. These are things that are gifts. And then I have this goal that I want to shepherd street Code Academy, my nonprofit that is local to national presence. I circled that gift. And now I got to think how can I use my gifts to get to that goal. And now that is written down, I could begin to map it. And that's kind of my, you know, I want that to be a two three year goal for me. So this is a mapping out, what kind of principles do I need? I believe all things are possible. I believe family is my first ministry, I don't want to leave that alone. I want to write the vision and make it plain. Those are my principles. But now I have people, you know, I have different colleagues that I want to work with, I have family I want to work with, I even put Obama's name on there as people I want to work with, right, these are Yeah. And then now I have, you know, practice what I have to do on a daily basis to create space in the calendar for me to work for me to make time to build certain people. So these are all ways that I'm making it real for me, right. But that's it. The goal is that when I get clear on these gifts, goals, and I'm encouraged by other folks, right, always put down encouragement, I took a strength test, they told me that was one of my things. And I hear other people say, oh, man, I love the way that was very encouraging, or man I you know, so it takes other people to sometimes understand your gifts. But eventually, you're gonna do that and can create a map.

Casey O'Roarty 21:05
Well, and I love that it's so much bigger than just what am I good at? Because especially if you're talking to a teen who might happen to be in kind of a more discouraged space, and you say, what are you good at? And that's the only question you have, you know, often you get met with no, we couldn't do anything, you know. And so to draw forth, that exploration around strengths with those prompts that you stated, I think is really useful. And I love your creative hustle like that creative hustle is something that you are putting into your own life, right? Like, you know, joyful courage is my brand. And that's my goal every day is to live that value and those principles, right, I also love. So just this last weekend, I went to a manifesting workshop, and it's different language, but it's the same thing. Right? What do you want? What do you want to call in? And what are the steps to get you there? And I think it's so powerful. When we can write things down. Like, you know what, Brock, Obama is going to be a part of this vision. And now that's out there. Now that's out there. And now it's like, all of a sudden, I can't wait for you to figure out who in your network actually has a connection to someone who has a kid like it's just getting that ball rolling? is such a powerful, beautiful thing.

Olatunde Sobomehin 22:24
Yes. So So Right. I mean, one of the things that we found from, you know, writing this book, and, you know, hosting workshops for hundreds of folks, we've done this is this is the fourth opportunity speak about creative hustle this week. And we were in three in person, we went to Skywalker Ranch and do some things for George Lucas Educational Foundation, we were at Stanford School of Education. We were at the East Palo Alto library in my local community last night. And I'm talking to all these groups of people. And one of the best things that people just say, is just the time and space to be able to step away from the day to day grind. Look at the big pictures, what you did this weekend, look at this big picture, and then just map it out, like what do I want to do? And so that in and of itself, you know, whether it's a prompt from our book, or whether it's a workshop, like you went to, I think it was valuable. So it's a consistent appreciation about the book to allow.

Casey O'Roarty 26:00
What do you think gets in the way? So well, let's kind of focus on young people. And tell me a little bit about street Code Academy. Tell me about your nonprofit, and who you work with and how you serve them.

Olatunde Sobomehin 26:10
Yeah, so street code is proudly in the Middle East Palo Alto, California, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley, for those that aren't familiar with that term Silicon Valley is, you know, the place sort of the birthplace of technology and innovation in the digital age, right. And so, the Hewlett Packard's and the apples and the Facebook's, and Google's all birth, right here in this valley, but in the heart of that valley, is this community of color that often is overlooked and disconnected from that economy. And that's one of the fastest growing economies, you know, it's the billionaires and millionaires that are produced out of that. And but so much of those opportunities are provided to communities of color. And that's a problem, right? And so that leads to objectify community. He's piloto. Folks that I live with, and community with, you know, we struggle to pay bills, sometimes we struggle to be here, rents are increasing homeownership. I mean, a lot of people struggle with that, but particularly this community color, and we feel like that's an opportunity for us to provide those opportunities, what is it look like we can move to color have those same resources have that same access. And so we provide programming to give communities of color, the mindsets, the skills and the access, they need to participate in the innovation economy. And that looks like free classes. It looks like, you know, free laptops that we give out free technology that we pass, it looks like as you know, being the technology assistant in the school districts, it looks like as working with Whole families and community organizations, it looks like as researching what does it look like for other communities to learn what we do. So we work with students of all ages, who provide that free tech education. And our goal is that and our students end up using innovation and then entering the innovation economy.

Casey O'Roarty 27:53
That's awesome. What do you notice? Since you're boots on the ground with young people, when it comes to exploring creative hustle? What do you notice gets in the way? Wow,

Olatunde Sobomehin 28:05
I mean, the biggest thing I think is, so many things come to mind. But I'll name a few. Our subtitle says blaze your own path and make work that matters. And I think we were trying to speak to the audience that feels number one, you feel stuck in a path, you feel like there's a prescribed path for you. And so the biggest thing is, a student may feel like, well, that pathway that's not for me, or that pathway, there is not for me, and we have a beautiful, you know, framing in the book that says like, opportunity to sometimes prescribed, you know, by how much melanin is in your skin, what zip code you're born into, who your family knows how much money's in your bank account, those things almost have a prescriptive path for every person. And what we're trying to say is we got to bust out of those, that's not your, you can blaze your own path. So that's one thing that gets people stuck to thinking you have to do something on a prescribed path. And the second thing I think, for a lot of, especially the people that I'm referencing in community with often is that you have to make work that makes money. And we say make work that matters. So I think sometimes, you know, we sacrifice, purpose and sacrifice for, you know, the idea of survival. And while we know survival and side hustles and things like that are part of the equation, we want people to dream and live even beyond that and think about what is my impact going to be on the world? What am I gonna leave as a legacy, and that always exists beyond money.

Casey O'Roarty 29:36
I think that's so powerful, both in the context of the people, you know, the communities that you work with, but I'm also just thinking about my own two teenagers that I live with, and that drive for making money. Right, and that idea and I think I mean, this is a total side tangent. Have you ever seen the movie The Mask You Live in? About heard about it? Oh, it's so good. Gotta see if you've got to see it. But it's just as specifically for boys, the messages that they get around success, which is, you know, a lot of, you know, fast paced video clips of, you know, guys with a lot of money, a lot of jewelry, a lot of ladies, and that kind of inundates our boys with this is what success looks like. And so I love that it mattered to you and your co author to have that work that matters be a part of your subtitle. Because, I mean, maybe there's been other times in history, but it feels very urgent right now, for people to be focusing on making work that matters. And just even holding that as a context. It just feels like, Now is that time for that. So I really appreciate that, especially for our young people. Because I mean, you know, my son, he's kind of my more traditional developing kiddo, I have an older that did her own thing, which was a whole nother story. My podcast, listeners know all about it, I got to live through something really different than I thought it should look. But in he's pretty traditional. Like, he's involved in school, he wants to go to college, he's got, you know, tons of privilege. And that's gonna happen for him. And that's great. And I still see him inside of this. I've got to make money. I've got to make money. So what are the ways that you with the young people that you work with? How do you help shift that mindset to make room for conversations around impact and conversations around mattering?

Olatunde Sobomehin 31:29
Yeah, I mean, thank you for that. And it's difficult. I have four kids. And we live in similar contexts in the sense that, you know, there's a lot of definition in media, and there's a lot of, you know, things out there that are, you know, and it's attractive, and they see me struggle with that they themselves struggle with that. So it's not an uncommon struggle. I think what we've been happy with is that there's not anybody that we talk to, in or outside of media, young or old, that doesn't, you know, have something pulling on them that it lives beyond that. I think just the question doesn't get asked enough. Yeah. And that's why I mentioned like the biggest trap, one of the biggest hurdles is that that's just where it stops and lands, right? Like, we have a part in this book, where we say this is about making money. And this is not about making money, of course, a creative hustle. We want folks to be able to live, you know, you have a podcast, my hope is that, you know, you with this energy to be a resource and a blessing to other parents, that that could give you the life you want. Right? And that that could be a full time thing. But how many podcasters? Do we know that? They're dying for that opportunity? Right? I'm still waiting for it. Yeah. And so we want it to be about money, right? We want you to understand how to make money. At the same time. It's not about making money. And so we pull in that tension of like, yeah, it is that But oftentimes, we don't have conversation about maybe when it's not that right. And so you have found a lot of other reasons clearly, to hold on to this and to keep doing this because there's, it's more than just Can it pay the rent, or pay the mortgage, or pay the bills, or whatever it is? So yeah, I think just leaving space for that is good. And we specifically asked questions, we talked about goals, what do you want to leave in the world think beyond just making money? You know, like, what do you want to do? Because of course, our goal is, you know, sell a million more books, make a million more dollars, or a billion, whatever the idea is,

Casey O'Roarty 33:28
okay. And the amount of impact that happens. I mean, it's all like, right, it can all feed on itself to with the vision of impact and the vision of creating something that matters. And yeah, I mean, one of the things that keeps me going with this work on the podcasts and other things that I do is the emails that I get from people who listen to interviews like this one, and they say, Oh, my gosh, I loved listening to that conversation. And it meant so much to me. And I took this piece of it. And I went into my child's room, and I asked these great questions that Sunday talked about, you know, like, that's what keeps me going. I'm so grateful. Like, when you talk about, what do you strengths? And what are your gifts, like when I think about that for myself, I'm so grateful that I'm aware of how important that is, like how powerful that is, is impact and making a difference in other people's lives. I'm so grateful that my life gives me enough room to really see how much that value is have that kind of feedback. So,

Olatunde Sobomehin 34:33
I mean, you talked about like hearing it from listeners, but I want to make this podcast, but I'm curious. I want to know how you do that. Right? I mean, you would be such a phenomenal person to hear go to the entire thing, right? We interviewed hundreds of people like you that have found a way to do that. And I'm just fascinated. Like, is there a principle you hold on to or are there people that you surround yourself with? Is there a practice like how do you do it?

Casey O'Roarty 34:57
Yeah, well, for me, it's about out when I first started podcasting, it was to tell. So I'm a positive discipline trainer and the parent educator. And I felt like there was this idea that parent educators have this formula to make everything really neat and tidy and smooth, you just have to do the steps. And my experience in my house was very messy. Like, that didn't fit for who I was. And so the podcast, plus, I've always wanted to have a microphone to myself, so exactly useful too. And I just started playing around with this medium, and it became like, I want to be real and raw and transparent and authentic. And, you know, we've been through some shit my family, you know, and my kids have been so generous in so many ways to either come on the podcast, and let me interview them, or allow me to share some of the stories that we've been through. Like, for me, it's a way of breaking through my own imposter syndrome, because I can't be an impostor. Because I'm being really honest and really true. It's not like I'm pretending to be somebody else. I'm being my whole self. And then that gets the feedback loop then supports me in recognizing and shutting down the little voice that's like, but are you being helpful? Or is this what you should be doing? So you know, I'm really grateful for the feedback loop. But that's, I mean, I just want, especially once I niched into the teen years, it just felt like the real messy conversations did not exist. And that's where I like to live. Because that's the experience, you know, you've got four of them. That's the experience of adolescence. It's messy. We flip out, they flip out, people make mistakes, we make amends. And so this podcast exists as a place to kind of pull back the curtain and not be curated, and not be polished, and to just be really real about the experience.

Olatunde Sobomehin 36:57
I love it. I love it. I love it. Yeah. Love it.

Casey O'Roarty 36:59
Thanks for asking. Yeah, no, it's

Olatunde Sobomehin 37:01
good to hear. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 37:03
And speaking of like people's processes, so you highlight like you've already mentioned a bunch of different creative hustlers, from rappers to filmmakers, and politicians, and activists, will you share one of the profiles that you share in the book and kind of walk us through what it was about that particular person that inspired you to highlight them?

Olatunde Sobomehin 37:25
Yes, I think I may share. The very first chapter is probably the closest person I know from the book, he's a dear friend of mine. And, you know, he's a photographer, storyteller, filmmaker, you know, not a lot of black men are in that field, where he is in, so he overcomes a lot in that respect. But he's gotten to a place in his career. That's like one of one. You know, he has relationships with folks from knives to Steph Curry, Marshawn, Lynch, Maxwell, he shot so many folks at the top of their field. And I've seen him move up close, because I'm his friend. And so I've seen him turn down a lot of jobs. And I've seen him do jobs for free. And so it's clearly not money that's motivating him. And so there's always this real firm sense of like, this is what I want to do. And I'm only going to do this because I feel connected to it. And that was, that was really interesting to me, right? Because for me, I was sort of like, Look, man, I have to survive, I know I have an end, that end is positive. But I'm gonna have to get there, you know, doing whatever I got to do, essentially to do that. And, you know, he's a person who won't park in a spot they didn't pay for, right, and I'm the complete opposite part, wherever I need to park to get me you know, I'm just cutting corners, right? And this person is living with his firm integrity. And I was very curious, you know, when we started interviewing him and got his story, and got more of his wife got more of his, how he sees the world and why he does what he does. And it made sense, why he is who he is. And then it made sense to put him as a first chapter. Because as you mentioned, it starts with like knowing yourself, and this is somebody who was born on Valentine's Day. And his parents and grandparents always told him like, you know, you were born to love. And so he had love as like this anchor for how he did it. And if he didn't feel like he could bring a perspective of love, he didn't take the job. And the shots he gets in the intimacy that he shoots with, is the reason why he's able to break through and become more than a photographer, become a friend of these folks. Become a colleague because everything he's doing is through this lens of love. And then we found out Oh, wow. So you know, he believes very strongly in his perspective, so he would hear this podcast and through a lens of love, hear you as a mother hear you as concern for others. Hear you in this desired, you know, is love itself and understand that's how he would see in the podcast, right? He would engage with that. So he feels like that's the perspective he has. But that perspective is valuable. Yeah. So he calls himself squint. So he has a nickname that he goes by, he also wears the color red every day, to remind himself of that love. So when he's frustrated when he gets, you know, it's like, no, I'm gonna be anchored by this principle of love. So we say squinting uses his nickname to remind himself of his unique perspective. And he wears a color red to remember to lead with love. Can you come up with an outward manifestation that exemplifies your principles? Perhaps you come up with a new nickname for yourself, carry a certain totem in your pocket every day, change the backdrop of your smartphone, or add a message to the cover your notebook experiment to find what's right for you. I love that I know him deeply. I know how principled he is, and how many doors that opens up. And so, you know, that's just one of the nine.

Casey O'Roarty 40:57
Yes, and so practical. I love and I'm a total visual girl, like, I've got post it note, like when you showed me just a little bit ago, you're mapping it out of your goals made me so happy to see all the different colors of posted labor, I was like, yes, post it notes. I'm like, taking my own notes right now on my orange post it notes, visuals, outward manifestations of your driving principle. It's so powerful in such a lovely invitation. It's not a typical conversation that we're having with adolescents. And that's what I love about this book is it's simple and profound, at the same time, but I think it's just the right amount of shift of focus that not only, like I said, with the design, and the people that you're highlighting, engages, I mean, I know it's for all people, but I'm really thinking about adolescents should engages them invites them in. And then like it's for everyone, right? It's for everyone. It's not, again, coming back to not what are you good at naturally, but like, what have you worked hard to become good at? And let's celebrate that. Because I know, that's been something that's gotten in the way here in our house where it's like, well, I'm not good at that, you know, I can't do that, because I'm not good at it. And it's like, well, you know, or we'll talk about we'll watch some of the competition shows on TV. And, you know, we talk about the number of hours, that that person probably has been practicing to get to that level. Yes, there's natural talent, and then there's hard work. And I just really appreciate bringing that back to teens, because I think it's something that's often for gotten in the teen brain. What are some other ideas that you have for parents to encourage their teens to stretch into their creative hustle? I'm gonna give the book to my son. That's my first step.

Olatunde Sobomehin 42:52
You know, for sure. I mean, so you know, I think it's funny, you got me going now. I'm in the middle of the people as we speak now, and just feel led to just read these two, right. So one of them is another dear friend of mine named Sara Lee Salamanca, and she came here at four years old from Mexico, and eventually was told by her college counselor, she cannot go to college. And then there was a lady at church that believed in her. And eventually, she made an app, use that kind of energy and that perspective to make an app she's not a technologist, but enter this competition, create an app called dreamers roadmap, and it's served and the serving 1000s of students to do the same thing. Right?

Casey O'Roarty 43:42
Dreamers, right. So like for kids that are part of the dreamers cohort?

Olatunde Sobomehin 43:47
Exactly. Got it. In the third chapter is called receive better so you can get better. So it's about how do you receive other people. So what I hear you talk about are kids who don't believe that they could do something, how beautiful it is to be around other folks who believe they can, you know, but it's up to the kid to receive that. You got to receive that. So that prompt says this, said I received the generosity of knowledge from Sister Freeman, which enabled her to attend college and later pass on a similar generosity to 1000s of others through the app she designed. Who do you need to learn from? And how can you set yourself up to do so write down the names of five people to whom you already have some connection, and from whom you believe you can learn more from next to each name, write some ideas of what sorts of things they might teach you, and what you could share with them and how you might contact them. When you're finished making your list reach out. It's partly a numbers game. Not everyone will get back to you. But if you reach out to enough folks, some will.

Casey O'Roarty 44:44
Powerful for our kids and powerful for us, like as a creative hustler myself. I'm like, you know, as I read your book, taking notes.

Olatunde Sobomehin 44:52
Exactly. And there's a lot of those in there. I think. I learned a lot from these folks and learn a lot from the people around kind of taking them piecing together? How do you actually do it? And so I think there's nine practical ways in which it prompts us, and particularly our teens in this case, to do things in their life that will get them out of their comfort zone and move into their own path.

Casey O'Roarty 45:15
Yeah, it's beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for this resource. Big time. So as we wrap up, is there anything you want to make sure to leave listeners with today? Today?

Olatunde Sobomehin 45:27
No, I think, you know, this is maybe more for myself than for others. And you know, this well, and all of us as parents know this extremely well. You know, our kids are unique, they have their own paths. And so do we, you know, as parents, right, that no one has parented for kids and 2022, you know, in Silicon Valley. And so why have a lot to learn from you, as a parent, learn from others, right, there's also my own path. And that's why I felt like creative parents are the ultimate creative hustlers because we have to choose our own path. And I think, being forgiving, being understanding, allowing ourselves to learn from others, allowing ourselves to take time to reflect. These are all necessary. Keys, I think, for us to live our creative hustles as parents.

Casey O'Roarty 46:10
What is joyful courage mean to you.

Olatunde Sobomehin 46:13
I'm tempted to say joyful courage is creative hustle, but I'll try to live beyond that joyful courage is enjoying the process of living out our unique paths. How much I love the word courage, the strength and the courage to kind of blaze our own path. But what I love even more is the joyful part, to enjoy it, to consider it an honor to be grateful along that path. Because it's not easy. You know, it's not easy blazing new paths. It's not easy. Raising kids, you know, that are living their own way. It's not easy in our own time. I mean, things like to your point, change so fast, but to do it with joy. I love one scripture that says Consider it pure joy when you face trials. That means even in hard times, you can consider period, you may not feel happy, but you can consider it joy. And I love that joyful courage is like, as we try to do things that take a lot of heart, take a lot of courage that we enjoy it and that we consider it joyful sort of means.

Casey O'Roarty 47:14
Yeah, thank you. Where can people find you and follow your work?

Olatunde Sobomehin 47:20
Well Instagrams, a good one at coach today is my handle at coach today and then all of our work is creative. hustle.org.

Casey O'Roarty 47:29
Okay. And listeners, I'll make sure all those links are in the show notes so it's easy to get to thank you so much for spending. Thank you. Yeah, it's super fun.

Olatunde Sobomehin 47:39
Every week that was good. That was that was good.

Casey O'Roarty 47:43
Thank you

Casey O'Roarty 47:52
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at beasts brothel.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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