When I first created this blog, I started sharing stories about projects and people with a multi-faceted life. And this led me to meet really interesting people who also lead a multi-faceted life and I thought it would be great to share their stories with you.
You might remember a few weeks back, when I told you I was mentioned in a podcast (you can check out the post about it here). I had met Derek Walker, creator of The Weekly Creative on Twitter. So today it’s your turn to meet him since he happily accepted my invitation.
I am a podcaster, skier, reader, husband, father-to-be, dog owner, freethinker, minimalist, meditator, and an overall nice person.
What do you answer when people ask you ‘What do you do?’
I usually explain that I am a self storage developer by day and a podcaster by night. And a superhero by late night. I guess it just depends on who is asking the question.
And what is a self storage developer?
I work in real estate development, building self storage facilities in the US.
How did you end up doing this?
My father is a real estate investor, so I grew up driving around to properties and sitting in on meetings with bankers and brokers. I ended up getting a degree in Sustainable Development and followed my dad into business.
Do you like it?
Buildings account for nearly 50% of energy consumption in the US, leaving plenty of room for innovation. Long story short, it’s a great job. It’s entrepreneurial and I feel it takes a great deal of creativity. And not in ways you might expect.
Have you ever considered self employment?
I definitely have. The prospect of self employment is arguably the biggest lure of real estate investment. My wife and I own one rental property in Phoenix, Arizona, and hope to add to it in the years to come. For now, I’m happy where I am in development.
And why did you decide to create The Weekly Creative?
Before starting The Weekly Creative, I had been on the prowl for two things: A new creative outlet, and a place for me to share cool things I read. I have always been a podcast enthusiast, so creating a podcast became the natural thing to do.
How did you come up with the idea?
I remember reading somewhere that Steve Jobs was more of a creativity appreciator, or curator, than he was a “creative” himself. He saw the value in the creativity of those surrounding him, and was able to harness that creativity and turn it in to something amazing. Once I read that, I realized that I am kind of like that. I am not necessarily artistic or anything that would traditionally deem me “creative,” but I love creativity. Especially in everyday life problem-solving situations–like the kind of creativity that parents use with kids, or the type of creativity that allows us to step out of our boxes and see the world a little bit differently. I liked the idea of taking principles of creativity, ones that “creatives” may adhere to, and apply them to real life.
What are your plans for the Weekly creative?
I am having so much fun right now doing weekly episodes and blog posts. I have especially loved meeting new people and gaining insight from people all over the world in varying fields of work/hobbies. For the future, I plan on continuing putting out weekly episodes and possibly increasing my blog-posting activity. Another thing I would love to do is create a tighter-knit community among listeners. I’ve thought about making The Weekly Creative into a sort of online community with regular contributors and such. I don’t know. Only time will tell!
What other interests are you currently pursuing?
I am pursuing trying how to figure out to be a parent! Aside from that, I have been trying to read more widely and listen to more diverse music. The wider the variety, the better! I am also working on being more alpha-male-ish to my dog, which has been a fun challenge.
Are any of them earning you some money? Would you want them to?
None are earning me money. With The Weekly Creative, I am not thinking about money for the time being. Maybe someday in the future, but right now it is purely a creative outlet for me and that is, as they say, priceless.
How did you choose among your many interests which one you wanted to pursue and which one to let go?
Throughout high school and college, I spent hours writing and recording music with my little mic, keyboard, and guitar. It was my true passion. When my wife and I moved to a tiny studio in NYC, we didn’t have (nearly) enough room for my recording gear. Sad, sad times. After 2 years in NYC, aka 2 years of not recording, I was thrilled to move back west where I would have enough space for my recording gear! After a few months of on-again-off-again stints with songwriting and recording, I started The Weekly Creative. Between having a family, friends, and a full time job, my free time was pretty limited. Ultimately, I had to choose between music and the podcast. At this point it’s probably clear which one I chose–and I have never been happier. That may reverse at some point in the future, but for now, I am happy where I am.
With the new baby, how do you think you’ll manage being a parent and work on your projects?
I don’t want to speak too soon… But, in the past, when I have juggled busy schedules, I have been able to adapt OK. My pre-baby life has been busy, but it’s still chill enough to where I can be soft on time management. For example, I wake up at around 7:30 every day, but if I really needed to, I could wake up at 6:30. Having a child, I will just need to get serious about my time management and prioritizing. I’ll probably get serious about scheduling 2 or 3 hours in a coffee shop per week to knock out my scripts, versus pre-baby life where I just work on the podcast whenever I get time. Maybe you should check back with me in a month to see if I’m still this confident!
Are there many people around you that have embraced their multiple interests into their lives?
Actually, a big chunk of my audience are people who have normal day jobs, but who are actively pursuing creative side projects. I have a couple friends who are working on starting their own podcasts, some who are working on books, some who are taking art classes, etc.
I’d like to thank Derek again for answering my many questions. The interview started a few weeks back and he is now the proud father of a beautiful little girl.
on his website www.weeklycreative.com
or to follow him on Twitter @weekly_creative