Last week I had the honor to sit down with Spirit of Nashville illustrator and owner of Anderson Design Group, Joel Anderson, where he discussed how both faith and failure lead to success in pursuing your passions. I especially loved his description of what he and his staff do with their so-called failures (the artwork that didn’t quite hit the mark): they stick it in the freezer!
Joel also shares in this interview how he started his business with no money and how his pursuit of his passion was an adventure that increased his faith and his exuberance in taking chances, doing things to the best of his ability, and then leaving the rest to God.
“Everything in humanity is a process of growing, stumbling forward and learning as you go by making mistakes…Failures are just ways of teaching you how not to do something.”
Joel talks about how to take calculated risks. He says there will always be reasons why you shouldn’t take chances, but be bold in taking them, while remaining prudent, recognizing confirmation, and ensuring there’s a sense of peace in your decision.
Some questions I ask:
- Who is the man behind the “Spirit of Nashville” prints and what has been your career path?
- What kind of fears did you have when starting your own design company, and again when you decided to re-organize and focus just on your passion for illustrative poster design and product development?
- How did you overcome those fears?
- Had you waited for the “perfect timing” of starting your own business, what would have happened?
- What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from failure?
- Tell me about your experience traveling to all the country’s national parks while working on your most recent coffee table book. What was that like? What makes you glad you did it?
- How do you think your work helps others?
- What advice would you have for someone trying to pursue their own passions as a career option?
In this interview you will learn:
- How Joel made the decision to leave a secure job to pursue his own passions. (1:19)
- Ways to pursue your passions on the side of a full-time job. (1:30)
- How to overcome the fear of leaving a secure job. (1:44)
- How defining moments in life can spark your decision to pursue your passion. (2:09)
- What it’s like to start a business with no money. (2:41)
- Why you can’t wait until the perfect timing or until your circumstances are perfect to start your own business. (3:33)
- How the worst-case scenario can be a little less scary. (3:40)
- How you can’t be successful without failures and mistakes. (3:48)
- What to do with your failures. (5:29)
- How to enlarge your territory with your gifts and talents. (7:06)
- How an entrepreneur can work collaboratively and avoid isolation. (10:10)
- How creative work contributes to the whole economy. (11:01)
- How to give back with the gifts you’ve been given. (11:38)
- How to know if you’ll be successful at your passion. (12:12)
- Ways to begin putting your passion into action. (12:53)
- Ways to spur creativity. (14:03)
- Where to purchase Joel’s designs. (14:54)
- How to make your own creations accessible to the public. (15:29)
- How you can give back. (15:58)
Joel mentioned in the interview above that he was raised to always give back, and true to that form he is generously giving copies of his 10th Anniversary Edition of his The Spirit of Nashville: The Art & Soul of Music City poster book to those who make a donation to the paNASH fund. This fund is designed to provide job search skills to those served by local non-profit organizations. For more information on how to donate and receive a copy of Joel’s book (while supplies last), click here.