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The Truth Of Creativity with Jeff Leisawitz
On this episode, I have with me Jeff Leisawitz. He says he burns with a mission to inspire writers, artists, musicians and everyone else to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world. He is an award-winning musician and producer, a critically acclaimed author and internationally distributed screenwriter and director. He has devoted his life to the art of creativity. Jeff, welcome to the show.
It’s good to be here.
I found you when I was looking at all of the things that you do and you have done. Before we get into some of the other things that I didn’t mention, how did you get on this journey?
I was born on the journey. I had trouble making friends. I was one of the weird, friendless kid who would hang out in the corner in his imaginary worlds and create stories and little playthings. As I got older, that turned into, “What can I do with music? What can I do with photography and filmmaking and all these pieces?” That eventually matured to, “How can I make money with this stuff? How can I help heal the world with this stuff?”
You have training as a life coach and you also have NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Repatterning. How did that journey help you and take you to where you are?
It helped immensely. It always helps. I first got into NLP when I was about twenty years old. I was having a tough time with college. Things are all going crappy. I went to see a psychic and the psychic said among other things, “You should check out this NLP person that I know.” I was like, “What’s that? Whatever.” I went to my parents and I said, “I want to do this NLP thing.” They said, “Who hooked you up with this?” I was like, “A psychic.” My dad is a pretty straight guy. He did some research on this NLP person, which was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It turns out that this woman was not only an NLP practitioner, but she was a teacher at Franklin & Marshall College. She trains the trainers for this stuff. She was top of the line as far as a practitioner of NLP. It blew my mind. It changed the trajectory of my life. She taught me some stuff and it revealed some stuff within me that to this day are key parts of who I am and what I’m about.
You got a gig as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University. What did you do there?
I teach songwriting and recording. It’s lessons. They come in one at a time. I’ve got the Goth girl and hip-hop dude and the metal guy, the whole thing. They come in there and I teach them how to record on the computer and then how to create better songs essentially. If they stay with me long enough, we get into what creativity is about. It’s not the song structure, but it’s how can you express your truth through this thing because that’s what the best art and any creativity is all about.If you don't know your why, you're either barking up the wrong tree or it's not powered with as much energy and love as you have. Click To Tweet
What is the Electron Love Theory?
The simple answer is that’s the name of my music project, which I’ve been doing for many years under that name. It is essentially electronic-based music where I use other musicians at various times, but it’s my thing. That has won an international award, Best Independent Electronic Artist in the World. I was hoping that would jet me to the top of the Grammy’s or something. It didn’t quite happen that way, but that’s okay. The Electron Love Theory is an idea that I developed in college, which relates chemistry to human love. It’s big so I turned it into the name of my band. It sounded cool too.
How many albums have you done? What other things have you done with music?
It depends what you mean by albums. Publicly released albums, five. I also do and have done a lot of music for film and TV. I’ve written and recorded hundreds of other songs that were not publicly released on albums for consumers. They are designed to be licensed for TV shows and I’ve had thousands of licenses. All your favorite TV shows all over the place.
Give me a few.
I can’t even remember them because there’s been many. The first one was MTV’s Real World where I had a friend in college who got some music on there and I always thought that was cool. A few years later I was trying to get into this. I got the address to the production company and sent my music in. I called them up, “Did you guys get it?” They said, “Yes.” I said, “Did you listen to it?” They said, “Not yet.” I called them the next month, “Did you listen?” They said, “No.” Next month they said, “No.” On the twelfth month, they were like, “We listened to it and it’s great. We love it. We want to put it on the air.” I was like, “Okay.” The deal was signing this paper that says you’re not going to get paid anything. I signed it and watched it on TV and it was amazing. They used four or five of my songs on MTV’s The Real World: Las Vegas. That was fun and cool and that was the end of it. Several months later I go to the mailbox and there was a check for $1,500 from the royalty from this. Next month is another check for $1,500. After that show had run its course, I ended up making more than $10,000 from music that I gave away, which got me thinking, “Maybe I want to get more into this and lugging my stuff around town playing gigs.”
You did something most people don’t do. You got your music in front of them. You checked in with them. Some people will be like, “They probably won’t use my music. I’m not even going to bother to get it to them.” You got it out there. You persisted with it and you start to make money from the music you gave away.
Being a coach and being human, a big part of it is the movie. You keep going.There's catharsis that happens when you create something powerful that means something to you. Click To Tweet
For me, it’s about knowing what you’re passionate about and having confidence in your passion and wanting to share it with the world. Would you agree with that?
Yes, and I would take it another step. This is something that I’ve talked about in all my coaching, my classes, workshops and all that. It is the why. Why are you doing this? Why does this matter to you? If you don’t know that, you’re barking up the wrong tree or it’s not powered with as much energy and love as you have. It’s essential to know why.
I was at an event and I said to people in the audience, “If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, what you’re offering, what you’re selling, please stop.” People looked at me and I was like, “Go do something else. We don’t need you to hawk a bunch of stuff that’s not going to make a difference or that you don’t care about, just stop.” Tell us about your book.
Not F*ing Around: The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground. It’s how to get over yourself so that you can identify what you truly love and then do it. Go out there in the world and do something. What I didn’t understand fully when I was writing this book, but I did after I was done. This creative dream of, “I want to have a best seller or a blockbuster movie or something like that.” That’s all cool and I’m down with that. The truth of creativity is not the success of it, in terms of financial or popularity or something like that.
What it’s about at its deepest level, creativity of any kind is a method to be seen, expressed, and healed. You’re doing your thing, being seen in a different way through the expression that you create. When you do that and you are healed, there’s a catharsis that happens when you write that novel, that poem or that song, paint that picture or even as an entrepreneur. You’re creating something powerful that means something to you. When you are seen, expressed and healed and you give that gift to the world, you become the gift because you’ve shown others that they can be seen, expressed, and healed. If we crank that up, the world gets better. It automatically happens.
When you said, “The truth of creativity is not the success of it,” I’m like, “How true is that?” Although I’ve published almost 40 books in the last few decades, one of my books that haven’t been published that I wrote and I have no idea if it will ever be published. I know that book has helped more people than any other book, it doesn’t make a difference. I also resonate with the seen, expressed, and healed and becoming the gift. It’s in alignment with Heartrepreneurs. Heartrepreneurs are here so we can be seen, we can be expressed, we can be healed and then to pass that forward so that other people can be seen, expressed, and healed. You called that become the gift and I’m like, “That’s it.” Where can we get your book?
You can get the book on Amazon, but the best way to connect with me is on my website, JeffLeisawitz.com. We can get on the newsletters and all that stuff.
I believe that people need a book like this. There are too many people that I meet who have amazing ideas and thoughts and can make a huge difference in the world and they’re not getting it done. You are doing it and helping others do it. It’s been great having you on the show. Thank you so much for being my guest, Jeff.
Thank you. This was fantastic. I appreciate it.
You’re welcome. For the audience, we have a wonderful resource that if you missed it, you want to take advantage of it. You’re going to go over to HeartrepreneurAcademy.com. You can join for free. It’s a forum. You will join. You will create your own login and then go to the forums. Under the forums, begin with what says, “Start here.” There are thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of my coaching materials, business training, business advice, free tools that are on my website. They’re my gift to you for being a reader of my blog. Thank you so much. I will see you next time on Heartrepreneur Radio.
- Jeff Leisawitz
- Not F*ing Around: The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground
About Jeff Leisawitz
Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire writers, artists, musicians and everyone else to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world.
Jeff is an award-winning musician/ producer, a critically acclaimed author and internationally distributed screenwriter and director who has devoted his life to the art of creativity.
As the guy behind Electron Love Theory, Jeff fused interviews with Seattle’s WTO demonstrators into electronic music, garnering more than a quarter million downloads worldwide. Jeff has released five studio albums and has landed more than 5,000 music placements in film, TV, and multimedia— including clients like HBO, MTV, Discovery, Microsoft, NBC, and many others.
After training as a Life Coach and practicing NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Re-Patterning) Jeff landed a gig as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University— teaching college students to rock. (Seriously)
Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground is Jeff’s first book.
To receive three free chapters of Jeff’s book go to www.jeffleisawtiz.com
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