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S2 E25 How AI Can Help Your Creative Business Grow with Lauren deVane

S2 E24 Life’s Initiations and Transitions and How They Help You Serve Your Clients

S2 E23 How to Create, Host, and Sell Out Impactful Retreats with Amber Hagberg

S2 E7 Being a Student of Life with Larry Davis (My Dad!)

Being a creative entrepreneur is a real journey of the heart. It's an up and down journey of love, resilience and perseverance. On today’s episode of Pollen, Diana is joined by a very special guest. Her Dad, Larry! He is here to remind you that sometimes you have to fail on your face to learn what’s truly meant for you and that your art will always have meaning. The right people will find and appreciate your work. You just have to trust your path.

Larry Davis shares his journey as a cowboy, father and teacher. He also talks about art — putting his personal twist on everything he creates, the beauty of works from actual artists, and why art is necessary. Tune in to hear his tips on how to get your art out there!

If you’re an artist looking for inspiration on sharing your work and how to get it out into the world, this episode is definitely a treat for you!

👂 Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:

  1. What you learn from failing and making mistakes on your path.

  2. Holding faith and having trust in your timing and the process.

  3. Find out how artists like you can get your art out there.

📘 Resources

🎧 Episode Highlights

[06:15] Being a Student of Life

  • Diana’s dad is a man of many trades, mostly because he keeps learning.

  • He knows how to do so many things, from woodworking to building. You name it, he does it.

  • He’s also really good at doing them; if he isn’t, you bet he will work towards being great at whatever he’s set his mind to.

  • Larry always thinks there’s a new turning point all the time; that there is always something new so he can keep learning and that he can keep getting better every day.

[06:15] Larry: “I think what I am is a student of life because I keep learning.”

[11:39] Learning from Training a Two-Year-Old Colt

  • Diana’s dad, Larry, is currently training a two-year-old colt named Tuck, who came from a previous trainer.

  • Tuck had obvious fear issues from being forced into training. Despite being deathly afraid, Larry saw that Tuck is still so kind.

  • Tuck didn’t know Larry wasn’t going to hurt him, so he had to help Tuck trust him. When Tuck began doing so, he also started wanting to learn from Diana’s dad.

  • This experience reflects how some teachers treat students and force them to learn in their way. But Larry thinks it should be different.

  • It’s really all about letting them (colts, kids, and adults alike) know that it’s okay to make a mistake. Then, they just need proper coaching afterward so they can learn.

[19:22] Going Back to the Beginning to Learn

  • Diana’s dad teaches Tuck to ride the trailer by letting the action become Tuck’s own idea.

  • He wants to show Tuck the direction, but he also wants to take pressure off. It’s okay if Tuck only gets two feet in the trailer today.

  • Larry thinks the coaching part is important — which is to show the end product. Then, you coach someone through the process.

  • He likens this to seeing a beautiful piece of woodwork. Seeing it makes you want to make it, and it gives sense to the process of making that thing.

[23:08] Adding Your Own Twist

  • For Diana’s dad, each thing he makes must mean something to him. Otherwise, he won’t do it.

  • When making something for somebody, it’s enough for him to know what style they like. He also likes knowing something about them, then his creative juices start flowing.

  • It’s very important for him to put his own twist into things. Because if we all end up making the same thing, we’re really no different from robots.

  • But it’s also very, very important to be open and listen to what the other person is telling you.

[26:33] Larry: “The first thing you have to do, I think, is put your ego in your boots and be excited for what that person is telling you. And then it gives you the ideas to put that special twist on it.”

[30:46] Art from Makers

  • Diana’s dad has a friend, West Shank, who makes saddles, and each one is so personal.

  • Art is personal to artists. So those who get art from actual artists can take part in that emotion, making each piece of art so meaningful.

  • When you see an artist’s name on a work of art, it’s beautiful. It also gives you this sense of exclusivity that you’ll never find another piece quite like it.

[33:58] Getting Your Art Out There

  • Many artists experience the frustration of not knowing how to get people to appreciate their art, especially since it’s way cheaper to just buy something from Target.

  • For Diana’s dad, patience is a big factor in getting art out there.

  • You have to start somewhere, and you want to remain true to your art. Larry believes the opportunity for you will show up eventually.

  • You also have to consider a venn diagram of what the world needs and what you’re good at.

[35:45] Larry: “I’ve always told you, you open every door and you turn over every rock. What you find from that might be completely different than what you thought, but it’s gonna be very meaningful.”

[39:34] Art as a Necessity

  • Many artists think that people don’t need their artwork, but that’s simply not true.

  • Take jewelry, for example. People love putting them on and feeling good, so artwork like that becomes a necessity.

  • Diana’s dad also buys art for Diana’s mom because she loves art. For them, art is definitely a necessity.

[41:18] The Journey of Finding the People Who Want Your Art

  • The journey of art goes both ways. Artists look for people who appreciate their art, and vice versa.

  • Diana’s dad found a guy that makes cinches, and that guy’s family has been hand-weaving cinches for years. Larry had been looking for this product forever.

  • When he asked them about payment, the artist said he could just send a check after receiving the product. It was obvious they cared about their product so much.

  • It’s important to view finding a home for your art as a journey instead of getting frustrated over not going viral on Instagram and social media.

[45:17] Building Relationships

  • Diana’s dad tried Instagram, but it just burnt him out and took away his desire to do things. What he found really interesting instead was the power of word-of-mouth in his community.

  • When somebody likes your art, it will spread like wildfire. They will tell other people, who will tell other people, and so on.

  • If you have the chance to show your art to somebody because you know they will appreciate it, do it.

[50:35] Change in Store for You

  • Change is bound to happen, whether that’s in the form of something not working, having to pivot, hitting a wall, or just not being sure about the next thing.

  • Diana’s dad’s first piece of advice is to not let yourself down. You can’t just sit and let things happen; you have to keep looking.

  • There’s always a gift for us out there, but sometimes, we have to fall on our face to get it.

  • Every day is a gift, so we have to embrace it. But we also need to be excited about the uncertainty of tomorrow.

  • Enjoy what’s in front of you now, but be open to what tomorrow will bring.

👩 About the Guest

Larry Davis, Diana’s dad, is a jack of all trades, from being a dad and a cowboy to woodworking and building. Name it, he does it. Really, he’s more a king than a jack if we’re talking about his skills. But above all, Larry considers himself a student of life because he keeps learning.

😍 Enjoyed this Podcast on Art and Learning?

Art has so many layers to it. From learning how to do something to getting your work out there, there’s always so much to explore. That’s what makes the journey extremely exciting!

Pollen is a podcast for Creative Entrepreneurs—just like you! If you enjoyed this episode of Pollen Podcast, subscribe and help us spread the word by sharing it! Your dream life is there for you to take — and you can help others find lives they can love too.

Leave a review and share it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐If you enjoyed tuning in to this podcast, we'd appreciate it if you wrote us a review. You can also share it to help other creative entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram, @dianadaviscreative! You can also subscribe to Diana’s newsletter for travel updates, learn about special projects, and get tips and tricks for the creative entrepreneur life!

Connect with Diana on Linkedin: Diana Davis Creative.

Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources!


Larry Davis: Keep going, keep following the trail, and you think you're going down this road and you wind up going back and down another road and completely backwards, it's gonna be better. Promise.

Diana Davis: The detour is the best part.

Larry: Yep.

Diana: Welcome to Pollen, the ultimate podcast for creative entrepreneurs. My mission: to empower you to make more money doing what you love, work with dream clients and turn your creative gifts into a thriving business without the burnout. I'm your host, Diana Davis. Business coach, gemini manifesting generator, matcha snob and full time nomad.

Here's the deal. I went from creating a six figure photography business to helping amazing creative souls like you build your own empires. So I've been there, I get it.

Whether you're an artist, designer, writer, yogi, or anything in between, this podcast is your treasure trove of inspiration. So grab your favorite notebook, maybe a matcha, and let's embark on this incredible adventure together.

Hello, Pollen. We're doing a special guest episode for real, very special. It's my dad, and never did I think he would be on Pollen, but we've been having such epic conversations about entrepreneurship and life, and you'll have to dig in.

It's amazing, in my opinion. He's got so much wisdom and so much experience and such like a spiritual, holistic way of looking at things. We've been having those conversations, so I invited him on and he said yes. So here we are. Enjoy.

There might be some lingo and some words vocab that you don't know. Like, for example, he was a lineman for the city of Colorado Springs, which means he literally climbed electrical poles and did all the work that had to do with that, which is very, very dangerous work and he loved.

So just imagine climbing a 110 foot power pole that is wooden in some canyon, replacing I don't know what it all is, the insulators or something, right? And the possibility of being electrocuted. He lived for it and it was a whole way of life and kind of like cowboying is a way of life.

So he talks about being a lineman a lot, as well as a lot of cowboy terms. Different tack, saddles, bridles, riatas, all of the above. If you don't know what something is, don't be afraid to DM me and ask. But I didn't want him to have to be an encyclopedia the whole time. So enjoy this. It's just a really wholesome episode and I think we can all learn a lot from it.

I want to tell you about the Ascend Mastermind. It is opening up again this fall. We are so excited to run the fifth round of this epic program. It's literally one of the favorite things I've ever done in my business. Ascend is a Mastermind, but it's also a hybrid of one-on-one and group.

So not only are you in a room with like minded experts in different industries than yours, entrepreneurs who are ready to go up, they have laid the foundations for their business and they're ready to expand and grow.

Not only are you in a room full of those people cheering you on, giving you their expert advice, not just me as your coach, but you literally have several coaches in the room. But you also get one on one time with me, one on one coaching calls where we dig deep, we excavate, we dream, we plan, we strategize, we bust through limiting beliefs. All of the above.

This is a four month coaching program that will change your life. It's incredible. The caliber of people that are in this are just outstanding. The community is unmatched. So if you're at a place in your creative business where you are bringing in income and you have the foundations laid, but you are ready to expand outward, to go up in your business, to scale, maybe to hire a team. Maybe to start that podcast, maybe to be in other places, on other channels. This is the place for you to grow and expand, to ascend.

So join us by joining the waitlist in the Show Notes. If you are ready for the next steps in your business that only can look like your business, not just a blueprint to follow, a really truly meet you where you're at container, Ascend is for you. You can sign up on the waitlist below so you'll be the first to know when doors open.

Hello, Pollen. I have a very special guest with me today. I am coming at you from Big Timber, Montana, where my parents now live. I'm from Colorado originally, but they moved up to Montana right after I went to college in Bozeman, which I love because then I get to visit a lot. So I have the one and only Larry Davis, my dad, here with me, sitting right next to me trying to crowd we're like crowding this microphone together. Say hi.

Larry: Hello, how are you?

Diana: I'm good. Want to introduce yourself?

Larry: I'm Larry.

Diana: You're a cowboy, you're a dad, you're a builder.

Larry: I think what I am is a student of life because I keep learning. I've always been a cowboy. I love the old skills of all of our people in the past, what they've passed on, and I've always tried to keep that alive. And whether it's the woodworking, all the tools that I use.

When they were made, the speed limit was 3 miles an hour. So that's kind of what I am about. It's like I love the old skills and the craftsman and I think it's very important in life to be able to have something like that. You have to work through the problems.

Diana: I love that, student of life. And like we say, you have a lot of trades. You do a lot and you can do pretty much anything. You're one of those people who can really fix anything, build anything, do anything.

And we use that as like that term, jack of all trades. Jane of all trades, but really you're very good at all the things you do, and if you're not, you really work towards being really good at it.

Larry: That's being the student. Yeah. And that's of life in general. I mean, everything that I do is like, I want to learn. It constantly getting better. It's like training a horse. You don't know it the first time, and 40 years later, you're still learning. And I feel like that's everything in life that you do is that way.

Diana: Yeah.

Larry: It's like there's a new turning point all the time or something you missed.

Diana: So that's what we want to talk about today, for the most part, is this whole training, learning, coaching conversation. So my dad and I just took a really big road trip from Southern Colorado and had a lot of time on our hands to chat, and we had a really good conversation about learning versus teaching versus coaching versus forcing and kind of the modalities of that.

So I wanted to bring that here because I know my dad has a lot of wisdom, so I want to share that. And first of all, I just want to thank you for being here because I know it's not easy to be in front of this microphone and be put on the spot, and it's something you could have said no to.

So first of all, I just want to acknowledge that and being willing to be a noob, a newbie at the podcasting scene. But what I want to share really quick is a quick story that I learned about myself that kind of catapulted this conversation.

I was just at a Mastermind retreat in LA, which was an in person retreat, and to be really honest, I was having a lot of frustrations with this coaching container and how I was learning. I was having frustration around how I was learning things and how I was being led and taught. And I realized during this Mastermind Retreat in person that I could sit in front of a whiteboard all day and learn these tactics and strategies and ask questions and dig in and have discussion, and I felt really good about it.

But when I was getting on some zoom calls and having questions and maybe just being told what to do or told that there was a blueprint I should follow, instead of being really asked, I guess, ask deeper questions, what do I want this to feel like? How do I want my business to look? What are the core values? Is this process even right for me? Is this something I'm even ready for?

That was frustrating to me. So I was kind of looking at both of those scenarios going, wow, I'm listening to the same type of information, but it's being delivered in two different ways. One of them felt like I was being forced into it or just told what to do.

And one of them, I was able to observe the process, listen to it and decide what I wanted to take from it. So that was huge for me. I don't know if that's going to be a breakthrough for anyone else, but I think there's a big difference between being taught and being coached.

One is not better than the other, but they're very different. And then, like I want to talk about with you, dad is also being forced basically just whether it's in school, whether it's training horses, whatever the case may be, we can all learn, and this was an analogy from my coach.

We can all learn to riff on a guitar. Like, we can learn a specific song on a guitar just by copying what someone else is doing, but that doesn't give us the skills to be able to make our own music on that guitar. Right? So you train horses, which you just got another two year old, right, colt named Tuck.

He's beautiful. Maybe we'll show a picture of him. And you've learned a lot from this horse specifically, and you've been training horses, like you said, for 40 years or more. So I'm curious what your thoughts are. What has been the big epiphany with training this specific colt and how that's changed for you from the past?

Larry: Well, with this particular colt, he was at a trainer previously, and not for very long, but I could tell right away that he had serious fear issues. Scared to death. Basically, he'd been forced into something that somebody perceived as training.

And I've seen this kind of training and I've actually done some of that training. It's like, okay, you have to do this. This is kind of the blueprint, but it's because everybody else is doing it, you have to do it this way. It's a new thing and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

It's like putting all the students in a classroom and teaching them one thing. All the students don't learn the same. We all know that. But what's really interesting about this colt is he was so scared, but he was so kind, too. There was something inside of him that I could see, and it just broke my heart that even thought that he was put in that situation.

So it's like sending your kid to kindergarten the first day, and he has a terrible experience that first day of school, and it's going to be forced into him. So where does that lead that child or that horse, right? It's either fear or they don't have mom and dad there to help them.

So anyway, for like this cult, it was like I had to basically break it down and let him learn how to trust me, because they don't know what that kindness is. He doesn't know I'm not going to hurt him. He assumes I'm going to hurt him right off the bat. So you have to get through that.

And it's been so interesting because I'm riding this colt now, and the way he wants to learn is amazing. He tries so hard to learn from me now where before it was like, oh, my God, if I screw up, it's going to hurt. It's going to hurt. I just know it.

And I could see that, and it opens your eyes to the whole society, really. It's like how we teach our children, how we treat our neighbors, how we handle any relationships. It's like you almost need to step back and listen and kind of watch before you try to force something on them.

It's like, well, I teach it this way, I teach it this way. Well, if you can't bend and be more of a coach than what we've talked about is about being a teacher, and I think there's very good teachers out there, but a good teacher, to me, will coach you and teach you at the same time, right? I had teachers that you have to do it this way. I didn't learn a dang thing. It's like, basically memorize this book, right.

You throw it away when you're done. It does you no good that you take it nowhere in life other than you remember being forced to do that. So in order to learn something and take it with you the rest of your life and expand on it, those teachers that literally took the time and recognize you as what's inside of you more than recognize your feelings and your frustrations.

When I was a kid in school, I was very defensive because of certain teachers, and they were going to force it on me, so I just rebelled. I just, heck with you. So in a way, when I started training colts, I did the same thing, and I look back, and I wish I had every one of them back and I could start over again.

But we can't do that. That's all of life's experiences all have that we want to take back. I wish I could have treated this person a little different or taught them. When I was a lineman, I always had apprentices under me, and that's the same things. Like, I could have made them a lot better. Some of them I made that grabbed a hold of.

But there's other people that everybody learns different, right? And that's where the coaching and teaching comes. And I look at training colts, it's like, you got to let them make the mistake. It's okay to make that mistake, and then you can kind of coach them through it's. Like, they understand the mistake now.

But instead of smacking them on the head because they make a mistake and not letting them make that mistake, they don't understand. Yeah. So it's like a kid. It's okay if you fall down and your knees are bleeding. And this because you learn that, right. If you protect them forever, they'll never understand it. We all have to make a mistake. To me, that's one of the biggest parts of learning is making a mistake.

Diana: Yeah. A lot of people say fail fast and fail often. Like, the most, more you fail, the faster you will get where you need to go, because you're really learning that right. I think another big thing we talked about is knowing where you're going before you start teaching.

I think for the mastermind situation and being coached for several years myself, I've never not had a coach since 2020, if not several at a time. And obviously, if you're listening to this for the first time, I am a coach, a business coach for creatives. And I think it's really important, I've realized, for myself to know that what we're looking for kind of the destination on the map before we just start driving.

And you're just kind of like blindfolded going, where are we going? You're telling me and showing me all these things, but I have no idea how to apply them to the end goal because you're teaching me step by step and then telling me the result of what we're supposed to get, and then I have to go back and relearn it all in that context.

So say when you're loading, tuck in the trailer any of these things where you're basically showing him the opportunity or showing him the door and then letting him kind of get there and guiding, like, what is that like?

Larry: Well, you let him. And the way I teach that is you let it become their idea, basically. So you show them kind of the direction, and then when it becomes their ideas, like, I kind of want to go in there. I think that's a safe place to be. And you don't put any resistance to them at all.

It's like you take all the pressure off, and I got this, and it might be 2ft in the trailer, and that's it. But you don't give them any pressure to try to push them farther in. So it's like, if all we get is 2ft in today, that's okay. Yeah, it's okay. Take that pressure off, and then tomorrow it's like, you know, what the 2ft? And it's like, I want to go all the way in there.

But you let them do that, experience that. But years ago, we would have, all right, you're going in no matter what. And it's a bad experience. And I think that's the way I look at other things, too, is like the woodworking.

So in order to learn it, to want to learn it, you see your end product first you say, oh, my gosh, that is beautiful, and then you tear it down from the end product. I want to learn that. It's like, you got to break it down from there and go back to the beginning to learn it.

You don't start at the beginning and not know where you're going. Right. Because there's no motivation. If I give you a block of wood and says, you got to do this, and this is how we were taught, it's like, well, that makes no sense. It's like, I fixed this block of wood. I got it square, I did, or whatever.

But when we see this beautiful product at the end and say, well, this piece goes here, and you have to make that first, and if you make a mistake on that, then you're going to find out why. It's like, well, it wasn't square, so it doesn't fit.

But I feel like that's the coaching part is to be able to show you the end product and then go back to the beginning and then coach you through instead of I believe you're coaching them through the process. Of the whole thing where, like, when I was in school, what I remembered is it's like this makes no sense because you're making me do this. I don't even care. Right? It's like taking English I don't understand.

Diana: And where do I use it? Where do I use it? You're not telling me where I'm going to use it. It means nothing.

Larry: Yeah, and it didn't mean anything until 40 years down the road when you're like, man, I wish I would have. Right? But that's when it finally comes to you and to me. We're teaching backwards a lot. Yeah, totally. And I had coaches that would basically watch this guy, watch what he's doing. Now I can coach you. How do I make that move? Or whatever. Yeah.

Diana: So I think in art, we say you've got to know the rules to break the rules. Do you think there's truth in that where it's like, okay, if we see this end product, do we need to know how to make that end product really well and right so that we can start to get creative with our own end product? Or does it matter? It doesn't matter to me.

Larry: It doesn't matter. It's like the way you see that end product and the way I see it, the way you make it to me, what I call it, is I always want to put my twist on it because mine's going to turn out different.

And that's when I make something for somebody, they tell you how they want it. Right. It's like, well, I tell them to go buy it somewhere else because I'm not going to do that. It doesn't mean anything to me. So I said, I have to put my twist on it or I'm not going to. It has to have a meaning.

Diana: Yeah. I'm sure a lot of the artists, so many artists and creatives listening to this that feel the same way.

Larry: Right. And I feel like you show me what you want, for instance, this piece of furniture that you want. I like this style. That's all I need to know. And I need to know the person I love to know the person I love to know something about them and then my juices get to flowing. I know what to add on here to put my twist on there. And they're like, oh my gosh, they never pictured it that way ever.

But I really don't feel like what you're saying. If we all come up with the same end product, then we're just a machine, right? Totally. And it's like we'll go buy it. Every student is going to learn. They have a whole different your picture and my picture are completely different. Yeah, they might be very similar too, but there's something that makes them completely different.

The process of learning is completely different and that's where the coaching comes in. I feel like it's like if you can understand that person's difference, his learning yeah. Where they're seeing it and how they're seeing it, it's like they let you know that and then you can kind of like loading that colt in the trailer.

Diana: But you have to be open.

Larry: Yes, exactly. Completely open.

Diana: You have to be open for the teacher or whatever, even as say, let's use a photographer or a textile artist or whoever. It doesn't have to be someone teaching someone, right. Or coaching someone. Like you're saying with your woodworking you're going to that person and going, how do you tick?

How could I make this photo shoot or this piece of art meaningful to you? Because I'm being open and I'm listening instead of just telling you this is what I do and this is how I blah, blah, blah, which I can find myself doing too.

You catch yourself and like my ego is getting in the way and I'm trying to sell myself or whatever, when really it's like we should be asking questions and listening.

Larry: Right. The first thing you have to do, I think, is you put your ego in your boots and be excited for what that person is telling you. And then it gives you the ideas to put that special twist on it. It's like, I got this.

Diana: And then the person feels seen, right? All we all really want is just to feel seen in life.

Larry: Right. I don't think I've ever made something that wasn't that the people just weren't the end results. Like they didn't picture that happening. And a lot of it's very simple, but it's very subtle. But I really feel like that everybody has that.

And to be able to make something by gosh, it has to be my way or no way, you're only going to sell a few of those or I've known people like that. It's like if you don't want it my way, period, I'm not making it. How fun is that? So you're a machine?

Diana: And some of it works like that, where people can be successful that way too. But I've also heard what's really fun. I can't remember her name, I'd have to look it up. But this artist that I listened to a talk of hers, right, when I got to New York City. When I moved there, she was a graphic designer and a hand lettering artist. And she talked about how she had finally felt like she made it when people were finally hiring her for her style exactly.

Versus, for a long time, she did a lot of projects just because it needed to bring in the money, and she had the skills to do it. But when people finally hired her for her style and wanted to collaborate, that was like the gold, like she had finally made it.

Larry: Yeah, I think that's so true. You don't ever want to throw away your style. And that's kind of why I quit being a lineman, because they threw away my style, and to me, it was like a dance or a ballet. My style is like I could just go in there.

And when they basically shut the door on that, in so many ways, you lose your ambition altogether. And it's the same way with cowboy. And I'm not saying that there's not better things to keep going, which we do that, and I've done that. It's like I don't go to ranches anymore, very seldom, unless they need me. I don't want to go just for the fun of it. I want to go use my skills.

But to have a style and always thrive towards that, and I think I saw that in many trades. You could go along and say, well, I know who did that, whether it was line workers, like, because he does his that way. This guy's a mess. But I can always tell his is messy. I know who did that, but it was still okay.

Diana: Right. So I have a couple of questions I want to touch on one on this. There's so many of my clients who are true artists, and we're all creatives, but like, actual make art, that's not practical. People don't need it. Right. And it sells for a lot of money. When it sells like it's priced high, it's a lot of time, it's a lot of effort. It's their heart and soul on the paper, through the lens, through textiles, through woodworking, through metalsmithing, whatever that is.

But it's like, it's jewelry. We don't need it. It's an art piece on the wall. We don't need it. So do you have any thoughts on art and why it's important and why people should buy from a maker? Versus go buy that thing at World Market for $20.

Larry: Absolutely. Because, for instance, my equipment that I use.

Diana: For woodworking?

Larry: For woodworking or for my horses or whatever, like, for instance, I know people that braid rawhide, and it's art. I mean, literally art that they do. But it's usable. I mean, they use it like jewelry.

Diana: Can you give an example of what braided rawhide would be for the people who have no idea what it's like, ropes or bridles?

Larry: Like riatas or bosals is what they call them. And this goes way back to the vaqueros.

Diana: Basically, horse tack.

Larry: So horse tack, what you use to train with, ride your saddles, your whatever. But when you have you can go to a store and you can buy a factory made saddle. Everybody makes it exactly the same and they might be good quality, but then you have this artist, for instance, a saddle maker friend of mine made this beautiful saddle.

Diana: We'll just give him a shout out. Ned Sixkiller, if you need a saddle.

Larry: Well, this other one is Wes Shank.

Diana: Okay, we'll give him a shout out too, here for the shout out.

Larry: And he still to this day doesn't have a cell phone. But his artwork? He sells that. His saddles. He doesn't take any orders. He's like five years out. But every one of them is so personal. And so it all has his twist and his art in there. He's a definite artist. And if you have one of those because it's so personal to you, it's personal to the artist.

So when the artist makes something, it's very personal. And when somebody appreciates that, they're going to have that. I mean, that meaning is like this piece of jewelry, it's so and so made that and that is so important.

Or you look under there and you see it's made in so and so, wherever, it's just stamped out and sure, it's pretty until you see that, but when you see the artist's name on it, it's beautiful. You'll never find another one like it, and that is so special. And it's like the rawhide work. It's like you know the maker when you see it and oh my gosh.

Diana: So these artists, one of their big things though, is like finding those people who appreciate it enough to buy it from, you know, that's a big frustration. Very hard. How do I get people to appreciate this art and realize that this is so important, even though it's not a necessity and even though it's a lot more expensive than going and buying a rug at Target.

Larry: Exactly. I really feel like to get it out there and you have to be so patient. And I can remember one particular project that I did, the dough boxes, and I put so much time in it, but one person contacted me and asked me to see if I could make this I would love to and tried to do it. Mass production, it's like I hated it. It's like, I don't want to do that.

So I started making art. I put it out there, two or three of them, and I didn't put any more out there. I still have people contacting me wanting to know if they could have that particular one. So I really feel like it's like a snowball. It has to start somewhere and wherever you put it, the feel has to be there.

You don't want to put it in flea markets. You have to find that community. And by just going out and seeing and experiencing life in general, it'll show up. I promise you it'll show up. Like I've always told you, you open every door and you turn over every rock. What you find from that might be completely different than what you thought, but it's going to be very meaningful. And it's like, oh my gosh, this fits.

And your artwork is I feel like it all has a place because it's so special. I mean, it's like a simple rawhide bosal, right? It's like, oh my gosh, so and so made that it's made by hand. Or when you go to the store and you see all these, you can't put your stuff next to theirs.

Diana: Right. I think it's huge to go in this sort of Ven diagram. And this is actually something I learned from I think it was like the Jesuits, which is crazy, but it's this Venn diagram of what the world needs, what you're good at, and how that crosses over. And so it's like a saddle or something. People need a saddle, right? That's a necessity. They need it.

And then you're good at it and you love it and it lights you up. And that crosses over and it's like, okay, people are buying it now from you versus a manufactured situation because you are so lit up by it, they can feel that passion in your artwork and they need it. Right? So it's like, okay, I need this thing. If I need it already, can I get it from whoever? So that it means more. Exactly. Which is kind of cool.

Larry: Well, and it's like that bit I showed you. It's like you can go buy a bit. Million manufacturers out there for $99.99, or for me, it's like, I found this maker. He'd been in business, he's a third generation, and it's very hard to get him, but he makes it. He doesn't have to sell a million of them. He just has to make it. That's his whole thing in life.

It's like, this is what I do. I make my artwork, and it's just beautiful. And that's what I want to use, period. And there's no other one like it out there. But I think there's so many people searching for that, that individual artwork. And how we find them is a trick.

Diana: Yeah, they are out there. We always say there's 8 billion people in the world. When you're coming to me and telling me that your people aren't out there, I just say that's a lie. You just haven't made those relationships. And maybe we're not going to go deep into this, but maybe like we're reading The Mountain Is You. It's more of a self sabotaging excuse that like, well, the people just aren't out there.

So I'm just not going to make it because it's too hard, and I'm just a starving artist, and that's how it's always going to be. But I'm here to debunk the starving artist. As I always say, it's not about finding the people or changing your prices or whatever. It's about changing your attitude about it.

First, you have to believe in it. You have to know why you're making it. This person making a bosal, which is basically kind of like a halter bridle situation for the New Yorkers out there. They're not just making it because they're like, well, I guess that's what I do for a living. Right. They're making it because it means something, and they know it's going to change how things run for you when you're training a cult.

And there's energy in that, right? There's energy in the materials that you're using, there's energy. It's just like people saying, things taste better when it's made with love. Like, it's real. So I think that's really important to note, and I want to note if you're thinking out there, that, well, my artwork doesn't have a super function or a need. Like, people don't need it.

Say it's like jewelry. I would argue that people do need it. People love to put on something and feel good. Absolutely. That's just as important as a saddle or it all has a purpose. Right. People want- you should see the room we're in right now. My mom is an art freak. She loves art, and my dad buys her art all over the place. We have pictures all over these walls. We could say that's not a necessity, but that makes her happy. And if we go back to that, then it is a necessity.

Larry: Right. What's interesting about that, too, is when you find that special piece, it's like, oh, my gosh, that was $1,500. But that's the first and only time you ever got you actually see it. It's like, yeah, you're not letting that go. Right. And that was money well spent because we had a picture in a magazine forever, that same picture, and finally found the artist, and then we didn't have the Internet to find it.

Diana: It becomes a journey.

Larry: Right. And that's exactly what I was thinking. When you're talking about it, it's the journey of finding the people that want your stuff. It works both directions. Their journey is looking for it, but your journey is to find the market for it.

And that's very interesting because, for instance, you can start researching something you want, or I want to buy this vehicle, or whatever. It's amazing you have this picture in your mind, but once you start researching that and finding just letting it branch out, it's like, oh, my gosh, I didn't know these were out there. And that's how that works. And I've experienced that quite a few times.

It's like buying, researching bit makers, and all of a sudden, you find this, oh, my gosh, this guy's, he's an artist, and he makes it right here, and this is how he does it. And it's the how he does it. It's what's so important. And I have cinches I was telling you about for my saddles. You can just go buy a cinch, and it's got some manufacturer's name on it. But I found this guy that makes cinches. His family's been making them for years. They're hand woven out of mohair, and they make the buckles that go on them, and they're hand forged there.

And it's like, I've been looking for that forever. I did not know there was somebody out there. And when I ordered it, I asked, I said, well, how do I pay for it? And he's in a completely different state. And he says, just send me a check when you get it.

I thought that was just amazing. They care about their product so much that they don't even want you- When you get it, send me a check. I'm three states. You're very trusting. That's just how we do business. But I thought that was so cool because they still do that. But it's really artwork. A lot of people wouldn't understand that unless you knew what you're looking for. But the right people that are looking for, they know the difference. They know it.

Diana: Yeah. And for the makers out there, I encourage you to look, like you said, look at this whole thing of finding your people or finding a home for your art as a journey instead of a frustrating, like, I'm not going viral on Instagram and other artists are, and when am I going to make it? Isn't that crazy?

It's more about the excitement of, I can't wait to see whose hands this gets to be in. And knowing we always say you're being talked about in rooms that you don't even know you're being talked about in, instead of going looking at the numbers and freaking out about the stats. And like we said, like social media or whatever, instead of being obsessed with the numbers and the stats and all of the stuff, getting a little woo about it and going, wow, I'm being talked about in rooms that I don't even know are happening right now.

Someone's having a conversation and bragging about my artwork to someone else right now. And then you get those people who come and buy your handmade Cinch. That's been I've been looking for something like this. You're exactly what I've been looking for.

So remembering that with your own artwork, you're on someone's vision board, and they get to find you and know that those people are coming to you, that you have to they're searching you. Yeah. But you have to build relationships, and you have to put yourself out there and keep going and keep being persistent and patient.

Larry: I find it very interesting, too. For instance, like Instagram or any of that stuff. I've done a little bit of that, and it kind of burned me out. It took away my why I wanted to do stuff. And what I found really interesting was just the word of mouth in our small community here. It's like somebody's always calling me.

Diana: But because you do a good job and you build the relationship.

Larry: Absolutely. It's the relationships. And when somebody sees your stuff, their mind gets to going, could you make me this? Or whatever. But it's interesting how it spreads like wildfire and it doesn't even have to be on the internet, right.

If you just keep that positive thing going, it's like if you have an opportunity to show somebody, say, look what I made here, I just want to show you this. I know you'd appreciate that. And that starts to spark. That person might tell this person about it, say, oh, I saw the neatest thing. It’s simple.

Diana: Well, what I love is, we call that well, first of all, going back to people buy from people, flat out baseline. I don't care what kind of marketing you have. I don't care if you have a billboard in Times Square. People buy from people at the end of the day.

Larry: Exactly.

Diana: And second of all, this is social. I love to call social the breadth of how you can be social. So I don't care if you're telling someone about your woodworking on Instagram or on a bar stool. It's the same. You should be able to talk about it. You should be so lit up by it, just like you said, like, look what I made, I want to share this with you.

And that's the spark. So it doesn't matter to me whether your modality is literally tacking up something to a cork board in a coffee shop or having a conversation with a barista while you're there or if Instagram you find community there and that lights you up, then great. Follow those things and do what's working.

Larry: Yeah, I really feel like the personal thing, the right person is going to find it. I just about guarantee it. And once that right, everybody, they have to pay their dues. It's so frustrating. So you make something and it's not selling right now. And I love making it.

So I go to town and I get me a job to support and because your time hasn't up yet. Right. And a guy told me many years ago, larry, your times it'll happen. And he was right. It's like I was so frustrated because my life wasn't going the way I wanted it said, your time will happen.

But my time was completely different than what I expected. And it's amazing. If we just let it happen and you just don't want to throw a bucket on your fire and put it out, you might have to just change directions a little bit.

Like I said, the Instagram thing is wonderful and great, but it's just not my cup of tea. Right. And I feel like there's so many people looking at everything, but they're onto the next thing right away. They're not searching for that personal person behind. You know, like if you run into somebody in town in a tourist. This actually happened to me. I had a really nice board that I'd made for I was a cutting board. And this lady from Georgia found it. This was the coolest thing. I just have to have this.

Diana: How'd she find it?

Larry: I actually had it sit in a store over. I just set it there.

Diana: Guerrilla marketing.

Larry: Yeah, well, they just stopped in there. She wanted to see what this store was. And I didn't keep very much stuff in there, and I don't to this day, but I think it was just for that lady. Yeah, really. That was the biggest thing that she had to have it.

It meant something to me because she called me. And what's really interesting, too, is like, I've sold things from Hawaii to Florida to New York, to Washington, all over the United States. It's just a random. It's very interesting.

Diana: So as we wrap up here, there's been so many little nuggets, especially for the artists, which wasn't really the plan of this conversation, but why I love conversations because they just get to go where they want to go.

So I just want you to talk about something that has changed my life, that you always say to the people here about how you always say that if change is in store, if God has change for you, if change is happening, which can be really scary if something's not working.

If you have to pivot if you're hitting a wall, you're trying to open the doors, and it's just you're not sure what the next thing is. You always say, if change is in store, you should be so excited.

Larry: Exactly.

Diana: So can you tell me your thoughts on that?

Larry: I've run into several situations raising a family, living in different parts of the West here, different jobs, and it's like, oh my gosh, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm scared. You don't know where your next paycheck is going to come from. You don't want to let your family down. Number one, you don't want to let yourself down, but you just assume that you're going to go broke. But I've always kept the opening every door type situation. You have to do that. You just have to keep looking. You can't just sit there and let it happen.

Diana: Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Larry: Yeah, exactly. But what I've learned was if you don't know and you know, you just have this anxiety that something's going to happen. I don't know where I'm going. It's always going to be so much better. It's like there's always this gift out there that's just waiting for you if you go after it.

And a lot of times we have to fall on our face to get that gift because we try to manipulate our lives by ourselves, and we can't. We just have to have faith in life in general. It's like, you know what? There's something out there for you that you might not know what it is right now, but it's going to change your life. And it's like, oh, my gosh, this is what I was made for, right? This is wonderful. I don't know how I wind up where I'm at right now, but I'm very comfortable with that. If it changes tomorrow, bring it on.

You trust it, right? I'm excited about it. So be excited about tomorrow. But today is a gift, right? Every day is a gift, but be excited about tomorrow because none of us know what's going to happen when you have that feeling, that excitement of tomorrow, something's going to happen, something really good, special.

Diana: The first time you told me that, I think I was transferring colleges, and I move around a lot, and I'm realizing from the book that I'm reading what's it called, a rerouting is kind of a coping mechanism. But anyway, I tend to start chapters and not finish them, basically. But this was an example of that, transferring colleges after one semester, right?

But there was also a lot of anxiety for me in college because there were so many unknowns. And I've talked about this before, but in graphic design and photography school, so I was in two different degrees. We both had portfolio reviews where if you didn't make it, you didn't go through. And I had so much anxiety around that all the time, just like, what's going to happen if I don't make it through?

And I finally had this advice from my dad and realizing that if I didn't, that it was going to be even better than I could have ever imagined, right? Whatever. Even if a door closed that you just assume is going to be open for you always, right? Even if that closes right in your face, which has for me many times, everybody, it's always better than you could have ever imagined. But you can't be the victim of it, right? You have to be my layoff, my divorce, all of it. You have to be like, okay!

Larry: This is going to be good!

Diana: What's next!

Larry: This is going to be good. Because that's what's interesting. I got laid off. I'm going to go home and cry. I'm going to get drunk, I'm going to pout, I'm going to do whatever. But then you realize tomorrow your life just changed for the best. Everything. It's like, I'm glad that's behind me. Sure glad that door got shut.

Diana: Yeah. If you can look at it through that lens versus this other lens of poor me, life happens to you.

Larry: I wanted that so bad. This is what I wanted. I had to have it.

Diana: I never get what I want, right?

Larry: Yeah. And then it slams in your face, and then you wake up the next day and you're in heaven in such a beautiful place that it's something that you never plan on is what's cool about it. That's why I always it's like this Christmas present that you never expected, right? Like, who'd ever thought of that? And that's where we go through life. To me, that's life’s gifts. It's like, my gosh, this is not what I planned on.

Diana: Right. That's why I'm not a big fan of the five year plan situation.

Larry: It's not going to work.

Diana: No, it never happens the way.

Larry: Because you're going to be disappointed, I'm telling you.

Diana: But it's like, yeah, it's all about expectations. And that's what my mantra this year has been in this nomad journey, every new city, every new place, what this has to look like is I have to have no expectations because then I can be open to whatever is in front of me versus being like, oh, I thought it was going to be this way. And it's not. And now I'm disappointed.

Larry: Yeah, we get that. You're going to be very disappointed. Yeah. We talked about just making plans, like the rules that we have to go by, that we create in our minds.

Diana: Can we just enjoy right now, right. What's in front of us? Be open?

Larry: That being open. It's amazing. And I learned that a long time ago too, and I was kind of forced into it. I'm going to be alignment and that's what I am. Yeah, well, somebody's going to change that for you. And it's crazy. It's like I'm going to be a cowboy forever. You might be in your heart, but here I am and I'm perfectly happy with it.

Diana: So we're going to end on this. First of all, thank you for being here. Love you. Love you too. And I want to just know well, two things I know. First of all, what are you most excited about right now?

Larry: It's very basic. So like I said, I've been training this colt and I just look so forward to seeing what he is learning or how he's learning or it's just amazing to see that the difference in coaching him to he's excited to be with me too, and that's what's interesting. It's like he looks forward, you'd have to experience it.

But anyway, I'm excited about that so much and I'm excited about all my work. I don't know what tomorrow is, so I'm excited. I just don't know whatever's going to happen, I'm excited about it. Nothing's set in stone.

Diana: Second thing, you have a lot of years on us.

Larry: That's sad.

Diana: It's not sad, it's experience. If you could give the creative entrepreneurs out there any advice, what would it be?

Larry: I think the number one advice that I think about, and it's very simple, is you don't force it. If you want to force something, you're going to be very disappointed. You just don't force it and enjoy it. And if you make something, whether it be art, or if you try to force it, it's not going to work.

But when you just let it take kind of like not knowing. So if you just let that not knowing come, it's going to be there. Whatever you're making, your entrepreneurship, maybe you intend it to go this way, but don't be afraid if it goes this way because it's going to be even better. Yeah. Just let it mold itself, right? Love it. It'll change. Guarantee. My stuff has changed immensely.

My woodworking is like, what I do. It's what I love to do. I didn't plan it. It happened because of something else happened. Right. It's like a train wreck happened. It's like, okay, I got to change. It's like, wow, I'm glad that happened because now I've learned this.

Diana: Right. Or even your horse stuff. Like, you sold your “last horse,” right? And then this is this new horse you didn't even know you were going to get.

Larry: It makes me look at life completely different, and I think that's what I appreciate about him so much. It's like he's changed the way I look at people children, how I was treated. It was meant to change me inside, how I look at things. It's like I'm a lot more at peace now because of that. And had no idea that was going to happen.

That's what we're all striving for, just to be at peace. That's right. And it's a choice. But when we force it, it's a choice. It doesn't work. No. That's my number one advice. It's like, I'm okay with that. So just keep going. Keep following the trail. And you think you're going down this road and you wind up going back and down another road completely backwards. It's going to be better, promise.

Diana: The detour is the best part.

Larry: Yeah.

Diana: All right. Say goodbye.

Larry: Goodbye. Thank you.

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