This week’s guest on London Real is the photographer, creative entrepreneur and online educator Chase Jarvis. It was truly a pleasure to sit down and get a one-to-one discussion going with one of the world’s most influential online businessmen. Chase has harnessed the internet to build an empire, but it’s an empire that focuses on giving back to others and empowering other creatives to live their dreams. One thing I loved about Chase right away is how comfortable he is with himself. He was totally ready to go into personal stories, to answer questions about his own struggles, and he exudes this focus and passion for what he does, and it’s contagious! Chase has a background in sports and science, but eventually realised that his dream to was to be a photographer. If you have ever harboured dreams about living the creative life, but you’ve doubted whether you are really the “artistic type”, then you are going to find this interview inspiring, and maybe even a bit of a wake up call. Chase goes deep into his own journey, recounting how he spent at least TEN YEARS of his life living other people’s dreams for himself. After working in the soccer industry, dropping out of medical school and quitting a PhD, Chase finally took the leap and embraced his creative dream. Although he confirms what people say – that once you decide to live out your dreams opportunities start to happen – that doesn’t mean it’s been an easy ride. Chase admits that making the transition from being the sports guy and alpha male to becoming a pioneering creative entrepreneur was often frustrating. In the age before YouTube and Wikipedia, changing your career and accessing a new skill-set was a tough challenge to take on. Like Chase says, there are so many obstacles which stop us embracingcreative dreams. Whether it’s being thought of as weird, or you have family expectations about being successful, Chase makes some deep points about how easy it is to give up on our passions. Coming from a middle class background Chase said he had a great childhood, felt loved by his parents and never wanted for anything. EVEN THEN the barriers to following a life path in the creative industries were there, and Chase reveals how heart-breaking it is to look back and think about the years he spent not being a photographer. Chase doesn’t buy into the right/left brain model, and he insists thatwe are all creative. In fact, he says that creativity is such an essential part of our lives that we don’t even know we are being creative. For Chase, it’s a tragedy that so many people avoid harnessing their creative powers because they have grown up being the “science guy’, or the “maths girl’. If you guys know anything about my journey, you’ll know how much this was music to my ears! If I have experienced one thing on my journey developing London Real it’s discovering that I do actually have a creative side. On top of that I have discovered that I don’t need to give up ANY of my training, or my commitment to good practice to be in the creative industries. In fact, that commitment to excellence and execution is also something me and Chase talked about. Chase said he has never before talked so deeply about the reasons why he does what he does. Having started out making a name for himself shooting “behind-the-scenes’ videos about photography, he could have just embraced that IP and run with it. But that’s not Chase. He has to keep evolving. He’s got entrepreneurship in his blood. In fact, he gets very raw on this stuff, talking about the self-work he has been doing recently and uncovering the reasons he is always pushing himself and always taking risks with his career. This sparks a whole riff on meditation and drive, and the fear of losing your high performance if you step back and loosen the grip the outer world has on you. It’s amazing to hear how Chase has navigated this challenge and how he has actually managed to become more effective and efficient in the fearless pursuit of his dreams, after starting to meditate. I think a lot of London Realers will empathise with this problem, and it’s certainly one that has come up more than once in our Academy focus groups and #RealTALKs. It’s easy for us to confuse taking care of the inner self with neglecting our material goals. Chase Jarvis is proof that is possible, actually NECESSARY, to master both. One thing that makes me super-proud of this episode is the way that it will speak to both the artists and the business people in our community EQUALLY. As a professional artist, Chase is a stickler for craft, skills and excellence of execution. In fact, just talking to Chase dispels the myth that creativity is some kind of “out-there’ pursuit. Okay so all great art’s got inspiration behind it, but then, as Chase points out, so do most scientific breakthroughs. In everything you do, there’s a balance between inspiration and basic skills, and the two are most powerful when they are put together. One thing I really recommend keeping an eye out for is Chase talking about how his life has been an exercise in learning, how he has turned curiosity into a practical skill. This is really key to what Chase is all about, and it’s the running theme behind his many changes in careers from soccer player to CEO of his multi-million dollar education platform Creative Live. The way he talks about his daily learning curves as a CEO kind of reminds me of the fighters I’ve spoken to. Chase tells me that when you are on the front lines and you are taking so many hits, you have to be humble, you have to be adaptable and you have to absorb the experience and move on. You can’t afford to get trapped in an ego cycle. Chase Jarvis is unique and he symbolises so much of what it means to be an artist and a CEO in the modern world. Getting Chase on the show was a real score for us, simply because I knew how much you guys were going to love watching him on London Real. So here he is! Take notes people because this is going to be what Chase Jarvis does best – an education!