In business, some of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders maintain right and left-brained strengths. In this episode, I am joined by Zeke Zelker, a critically acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker. Both his background in economics and finance and his uniquely creative approach have lead to his success as a producer and entrepreneur. Zeke produced the first transmedia project at the Sundance Film Festival, Pandemic and most recently produced part of David Cronenberg’s Body Mind Change which is touring various museums around the world. Raised at an amusement park (Dorney Park), Zeke shares how his unique upbringing fed his history of creative endeavors and shaped the way he thinks about the world.
In this episode, we explore:
- What it was like to grow up with a “Disney” mentality and how that shapes the view of entertainment and business.
- Zeke’s unique path to becoming a Sundance-recognized film producer and why he decided to keep the Lehigh Valley as his home.
- Balancing right and left-brain to create economically-viable creative projects.
- The struggle of quantity over quality when it comes to content, entertainment, and business.
- Managing several irons in the fire and balancing multiple interests and ventures.
- Being a “grunt of creativity” and using it as a strength in problem solving and leadership.
- Leading by example and showing your people what it take to “make things happen”.
- Creating Art Spark and Art Wars as a way to give back to the art and creative community as well as promote healthy eating and decision making.
- The power of “owning the idea” in addition to being creative.
- Incorporating a Chief Creative Officer into your business and how a creative perspective can add value and longevity.
- Finding inspiration from others when you can’t find a mentor.
- Developing diversity as a means to mitigate risk in business.
- Adapting to the world around you as an entrepreneur.
- Taking uniquely better ideas and making them your own to creative a compelling business or story.
- Creating quality product and embracing quality of life.
- The difference between creating and curating.
- Advice for young people starting their career and how to build resilience and integrity in 2020.
- Dealing with adversity and seeing resistance as friction and energy rather than “being stuck”.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Devil in the White City by Eric Larsen
- Simon Sinek
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Atomic Habits by James Clear