Synthesis Episode 7: CEO Allen Gannett – On Knowing Who You Are + Tackling Creativity
EPISODE 7: Allen Gannett
Synthesis is a Root + River hosted webcast featuring nonconformist leaders whose ideas make them — and us — see the world differently.
Our seventh episode of Synthesis featured our visit with entrepreneur, CEO and author Allen Gannett, whose book debuted June 12.
Allen is the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Depot, Aetna, Honda, and GE. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes. He is a contributor for FastCompany.com and has an upcoming book The Creative Curve, on how anyone can achieve moments of creative genius, coming out in June 2018 from Currency, a division of Penguin Random House. He was also once a very pitiful runner-up on Wheel of Fortune.
“Life is too short to focus on being happy one day a year. You have to figure out how to be satisfied and happy 90-plus percent of it.”
Some of our favorite takeaways from our visit with Allen:
- “It’s pretty easy to waste your time in life if you are not careful. I think there’s a lot of social pressure for young people to do stuff that’s not a very good use of time.”
- “You don’t want to be the person who peaked in eighth grade.”
- “I always knew I felt very comfortable in that place of self-resourcefulness. In high school, I realized that was a skill I could use in a lot of different ways and was something I wanted to use because I disliked being dependent on other people.”
- “I really don’t like people limiting themselves, especially based on some social construct.”
- “For a lot of us, there’s a deep, dark part of us that likes the idea that creativity is inaccessible…I make it pretty clear that no, you can get better at creativity. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it is incredibly difficult, but you can do it. That mindset shift can be really powerful for people, it can sort of take the world from 2D to 3D.”
- “If you are focused on the right thing, all of it becomes way easier.”
- “I think a mistake I made early on in my career is that I was very focused on the outcome and the end result of where we were going. And that gets very tiring. Even when you get to those milestones, you’re like, OK, I’m there. Not satisfied, Ok, next milestone. You’re constantly on this treadmill that is emotionally grueling. And what I found is that over the years, if I get the journey to be fun and compelling and interesting then the whole thing becomes life-giving.”
Learn more about The Creative Curve, go here. To learn more about TrackMaven, go here. To connect with Allen on LinkedIn here.
From Amazon’s The Creative Curve description:
“Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett overturns the mythology around creative genius, and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field.
We have been spoon-fed the notion that creativity is the province of genius — of those favored, brilliant few whose moments of insight arrive in unpredictable flashes of divine inspiration. And if we are not a genius, we might as well pack it in and give up. Either we have that gift, or we don’t. But Allen shows that simply isn’t true.”