The Accidental Creative



The Accidental Creative podcast shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at


  • Why Do You Want What You Want? (with Luke Burgis)

    07/06/2021 Duration: 25min

    Gravity affects every aspect of our physical being, but there’s a psychological force just as powerful―yet almost nobody has heard of it. It’s responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attractive to some and not to others, and fueling cycles of anxiety and conflict. In his new book Wanting, Luke Burgis draws on the work of French polymath René Girard to bring this hidden force to light and reveals how it shapes our lives and societies. In this interview, we discuss the nature of mimetic desire, how it affects everything from creating to collaboration, and how we can discover what we truly want as creative pros. This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Go to right now to schedule your free HR audit.

  • Anxiety At Work (with Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick)

    31/05/2021 Duration: 29min

    This year has brought a lot of "firsts" to our lives. One of the most prominent ones is that we had to learn how to work completely remotely for the first time. In the midst of all of these changes, anxiety has become an ever-present dynamic in the workday. On this episode, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are back to share how we can better manage anxiety in the course of our life and work. Additionally, they share practical tips for managers about how to create space for conversations about anxiety with team members, and to lead with empathy. Their new book is called Anxiety At Work. This episode is sponsored by Skillshare. Explore your creativity at and get a free trial of Premium Membership.

  • Dream First, Details Later (with Ellen Marie Bennett)

    24/05/2021 Duration: 27min

    As a 24-year-old line cook, Ellen Marie Bennett couldn’t stand the kitchen staff’s poorly designed, cheaply made aprons. So when her head chef announced he was ordering a new batch, she blurted out, “Chef, I have an apron company”—even though she had no company, no business plan—just a glimmer of a design idea and a business license. Through hustle and a willingness to leap into the unknown, she built that first order into the company Hedley & Bennett is today, making aprons and kitchen gear worn by many of the world’s best chefs and home cooks everywhere. In this interview, we discuss Ellen's new book Dream First, Details Later and principles that anyone with an idea can apply to bring it into the world for others to enjoy. Become a support of the podcast and get ad-free episodes and access to the full archives. Join AC Premium at Today’s episode is sponsored by Headspace. Visit for a free one month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditat

  • How To Change (with Katy Milkman)

    17/05/2021 Duration: 23min

    We all have things in our life that we'd like to change, but change can feel like a bit of a "black box". What is lacking for many of us, according to Katy Milkman, is strategy. We don't have an effective path forward to create the change that we want to see in our lives and work. On this episode, we discuss Katy's new book How To Change and some practical strategies for accomplishing your goals. This episode is sponnsored by Indeed. Get started right now with a free $75 sponsored job credit to upgrade your job post at Offer valid through June 30, 2021.

  • Digital Body Language (with Erica Dhawan)

    11/05/2021 Duration: 25min

    When collaborating digitally, there are a different set of rules. Your peers may not catch the subtlety in your email in the same way they would in a face to face meeting. Your team meeting may lack the same punch as an in-person collaborative effort. Formality and informality can be easily confused. On this episode, Erica Dhawan shares some key principles for working effectively together as a remote team. Her new book is called Digital Body Language. This episode is sponsored by Skillshare. Explore your creativity at and get a free trial of Premium Membership.

  • Developing Fantastic Products (with Phil Libin)

    03/05/2021 Duration: 31min

    How do you know an idea is the right one to take action on? How do you sift the really good ideas from the mediocre ones? Phil Libin has been a part of and led a number of companies that have created products that changed the way people work. (Evernote is one of my favorite tools of all time.) His most recent company All Turtles is the mission-driven product development studio behind the video service Mmhmm. In this interview, Phil discusses his philosophy of product design, how to know when it’s time to act on an idea, and some of the best advice he ever received.

  • Building An Innovation Stack (with Jim McKelvey)

    26/04/2021 Duration: 28min

    Imagine sitting in a cab in New Orleans as the driver pulls out a small device, hooks it up to his phone, and begins raving about how excited he is to be able to take credit cards for the first time. Now, imagine that you are the co-founder of the company that made it possible. Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of Square, a company that has opened a door for small businesses to take credit cards simply and securely. He’s also the author of a new book called The Innovation Stack in which he shares the core principles by which effective companies develop products that resonate deeply in the marketplace. In this interview, we discuss the founding of Square, that an innovation stack is and why it’s important, and what he’s learned from companies such as Southwest Airlines and IKEA about gaining a footing in a crowded marketplace. AC Premium subscribers: stick around at the end, where I’ll share my personal takeaways from the interview.

  • Developing A Scout Mindset (with Julia Galef)

    20/04/2021 Duration: 22min

    Why do two people look at the exact same circumstances and form two completely different opinions about what’s going on? Not only that, but why are those people often willing to defend their perspective to the very end, often causing tremendous misunderstanding and conflict? This is important to understand if we want to have effective collaboration and be able to lead well. On this episode, Julia Galef shares how we can learn to see things more clearly by developing a “scout mindset”. Her new book is called The Scout Mindset. This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Go to to schedule your FREE HR audit.

  • Win At Work, Succeed At Life (with Megan Hyatt Miller)

    12/04/2021 Duration: 31min

    It often seems like in order to succeed in your career you have to compromise other areas of your life that are also important to you. That’s especially true right now, when many of us are only five steps away from work at any given moment because we are working out of our home. However, today’s guest thinks that mindset is wrong. Megan Hyatt Miller is the CEO of Michael Hyatt & Co and the co-author of the new book Win At Work, Succeed At Life. In this interview, she shares some core principles for finding success in all areas of your life, not just a few. This episode is sponsored by Indeed. If you are hiring, you need Indeed. Get started right now with a free $75 sponsore job credit to upgrade your job post at

  • I Love It Here (with Clint Pulver)

    05/04/2021 Duration: 24min

    Why are some workplaces amazing and others loathed? What is it about some cultures that bring out the best in people and others that cause others to be in perpetual job-search mode? Clint Pulver has spent countless hours undercover inside some of the biggest companies in the world, and in this episode he shares what employees say about the places they work, and how managers can improve their workplace in simple and practical ways. His new book is called I Love It Here. This episode is sponsored by Policygenius. You could save 50% or more by comparing life insurance quotes, and feel good knowing that if something happens, your loved ones will be taken care of. Go to to get started.

  • The Ministry Of Common Sense (with Martin Lindstrom)

    30/03/2021 Duration: 31min

    Pointless hurdles. Legacy rules and regulations. Red tape. It seems like organizations are often rife with needless challenges and over-complexity. If we truly want to produce effective creative work, we must parse the unnecessary complexity and aim to approach the work in a common sense way. Today’s guest is international best-selling author and consultant Martin Lindstrom. His new book is called The Ministry Of Common Sense, and in this interview we discuss creativity, collaboration, and how to organize our lives and work so that we are eliminating pointless distraction and focusing our attention on what matters most. This episode is also sponsored by Skillshare. Explore your creativity at and get a free trial of Premium Membership. This episode is sponsored by Back Country. Go to and enter promo code AC to get 15% off your first full-priced purchase. Some exlusions apply.

  • Building Your Personal Brand (with Rory Vaden)

    16/03/2021 Duration: 37min

    When many people hear the term “personal brand”, they think about entrepreneurs, authors, and celebrities. However, the reality is that every one of us has a personal brand. Your brand is how others think of you, or the space that you occupy in their mind. So, if you are an organizational leader, a civic leader, or a freelance designer, the way in which others perceive you defines your brand, regardless of what you say or do. On this episode, Rory Vaden – co-founder of Brand Builders Group – is here to help us think through the core elements of a personal brand, and why it matters to everyone regardless of your role in the marketplace. This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Get your free HR compliance audi at This episode is also sponsored by Indeed. Right now, our listeners get a free $75 credit to upgrade your job post at Offer valid through March 31, 2021, terms and conditions apply.

  • How To Get Influencer Marketing Right (with Jason Falls)

    11/03/2021 Duration: 25min

    When you hear the phrase “influencer marketing”, what comes to mind? If you’re like me, those words probably conjure up images of selfies and perfectly-lit location shots. However, marketing through those with influence is much more powerful than those surface understandings imply. If you want your message or product to resonate, identifying with those with influence can help you reach the audience you’re trying to serve. On this episode, Jason Falls explains to us the nuances of influencer marketing with tips from his new book Winfluence. We discuss how brands get it wrong, and some strategies for leveraging influence to connect with the people your product or service is designed to help. This episode is sponsored by Back Country. Go to and enter promo code AC to get 15% off your first full-priced purchase. Some exlusions apply. This episode is sponsored by Policy Genius. You could save 50% or more by comparing quotes, and feel good knowing that if something happens, your loved ones will b

  • Everyone Deserves A Great Manager (with Scott Miller)

    08/03/2021 Duration: 28min

    When you hear the word “management”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Red tape? Bureaucracy? Stasis? For many people, management is perceived as the enemy of progress. But in reality, effective managers are necessary for progress. We need leaders who can work within constraints, maximize resources, and clear the path for team members to do what they do best. Today’s guest is Scott Miller. He’s the author of Everyone Deserves A Great Manager, and on this episode he shares with us the six core principles of effective management. This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Get your free HR compliance audit at This episode is also sponsored by Skillshare. Get a free trial of Premium membership at

  • A World Without Email (with Cal Newport)

    01/03/2021 Duration: 28min

    Ever feel a little out of control of your inbox? If you’re like most people, you probably spend a significant part of your day responding to emails that are of relatively little significance to the work you actually need to do in order to be productive. There’s a dynamic I’ve often written about called the Ping, which is the perpetual pinprick in your gut that says “something out there might be more important than what’s in front of you”. It has us living with divided attention. How do we deal with the expectations of the inbox and still produce great work? Cal Newport has an answer for us. He is the author of the new book A World Without Email, in which he argues that there is a better way to work. On this episode we discuss his theory about why email is so destructive to workflow, and practical ways that we can improve our approach to creative work in a world that’s obsessed with immediate responses. This episode is sponsored by Indeed. Right now, listeners get a free $75 credit to boost your job post at In

  • Unleash Your Creativity With The Dailies

    24/02/2021 Duration: 15min

    For many people, days are starting to blend together. Our lives for the past year have consisted of the same places, people, and circumstances day after day, and this can result is a sense of “stuckness” or being in a creative rut. Ironically, one of the best ways out of that rut is by instilling daily practices to help you develop your mindset, hone your creative instincts, and spot opportunities and ideas. I call these the “Dailies”. Here are a few of mine: Study 60 minutes each day Write 500 words each day Review my “Big Things” and objectives Do one act of business development Create one piece of useful content I do these activities each day, regardless of circumstances, and regardless of how I feel. It keeps me focused and prepared for whatever comes my way. On this episode, I share insights from my book Louder Than Words about how to develop your own set of Dailies and implement them in your routine. Today’s episode is sponsored by Headspace. Visit for a free one month

  • A Change of Brand (with Blake Howard)

    16/02/2021 Duration: 32min

    At some point, every brand realizes that it’s time to do a “refresh”. However, there are any number of factors that can make a change difficult if not nearly impossible. You already have brand equity with your customers or clients, you have invested heavily in your brand design and assets, and rocking the boat can mean accountability if everyone ends up in the water. How do you know when it’s time to make a change of brand? On this episode, we’re fortunate to have Blake Howard. He is the co-founder and Creative Director at Matchstic in Atlanta, and also the host of the new podcast A Change Of Brand on which he interviews leaders from companies who have made a significant shift within their brand and asks about the challenges and opportunities they encountered along the way. On this episode, Blake shares some of the biggest lessons that he and his team have learned while working with companies who have made a significant change to their brand. This episode is sponsored by Indeed. Get a free $75 credit to upgra

  • Creativity Under Pressure (with Gavin Purcell)

    08/02/2021 Duration: 37min

    In the world of “on demand” work, television is certainly one of the most pressure-packed environments. The next show comes at a regular pace, and there’s no room for a “plan B” when the ideas just aren’t flowing. You must deliver, every day. Gavin Purcell (showrunner and writer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, I Love You America with Sara Silverman) knows this world well. As a 13-time Emmy nominee (and multiple-time winner), and a key collaborator with TV’s biggest names, he has helped create some of the most beloved moments in recent TV history. In this conversation, we discuss the importance of systems, why we need to get rid of the “romantic” notion of creating for a living, how to adapt when things go off-plan, specific tools and methods that he uses to produce work every day, and resources he relies on to help him stay fresh and creative. This episode is sponsored by Bambee. Get your free HR compliance audit at This episode is also sponsored by Policygenius. You cou

  • Re-Imagining Collaboration (with Phil Simon)

    01/02/2021 Duration: 24min

    As we’ve mentioned many times on this podcast, things are not necessarily going back to “normal” after Covid. In fact, there are a number of ways in which our world of work has shifted that are likely to remain the same long into the future. We’ve had to adapt to new technologies, and learn how to make them work in the absence of face to face communication, but those same technologies will be powerful complements to our workflow once we return to being around one another more consistently. On this episode of the AC podcast, Phil Simon shares what this new world of work might look like in the near-term. He’s the author of the new book Re-Imagining Collaboration, and on this episode we discuss what leaders and creative pros need to know about the post-Covid work world. This episode is sponsored by Indeed. Visit and get a free $75 credit to upgrade your job post. Offer valid through March 31, 2021. This episode is also sponsored by Visit, click on the microphone at the

  • What Comes Next? (with Scott Belsky)

    25/01/2021 Duration: 29min

    Given the number of surprises and twists that 2020 brought us, it might seem like a foolish exercise to try to predict what will happen next. However, there are some people who have their finger on the pulse of the creative community and how work is happening and will likely continue to happen over the coming years. Scott Belsky is the Chief Product Officer at Adobe, where the team has been doing extensive research into how the creative community has adapted to remote work and is striving to create tools to facilitate where the world of creative work is headed. On this episode, we talk about some of the tactical ways in which creative pros have adapted to the circumstances we find ourselves in, why some things have changed forever and others are likely to revert to the way they’ve always been, and how creative pros can adapt their mindset to help them deal with what comes next. This episode is sponsored by Headspace. Headspace is meditation made simple. Get a free one month trial at