How to Make Lightning-Quick Decisions Towards Your Best Creative Future

with special guest Ram Castillo

Quote from Ram Castillo on Patti Dobrowolski's podcast
Up Your Creative Genius
How to Make Lightning-Quick Decisions Towards Your Best Creative Future

Ram Castillo is a Design Director, two-time Author, Speaker, CreativeLive Instructor, Decision-making Business Coach and Approved Advisor based in Sydney. His focus is to help business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders get unstuck through human centred design methodologies, creative strategy, digital marketing and branding. For 16 years Ram has been working for global agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, DDB, JWT, McCann. He was most recently the Head of Digital Design for Saatchi & Saatchi and has serviced clients including Audi, McDonald’s, Qantas, Google, AMEX, Toyota and The Louis Vuitton Group. He’s been featured in Apple, GE, Communication Arts, HOW magazine, CreativeLive, Herman Miller, VIVID festival and The American Institute of Design. 

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Up Your Creative Genius


2:02 Why Ram Castillo is a big deal, and how he came to be this way

4:40 On leveraging a tool like Clubhouse

7:31 The most important step of the design thinking process

8:02 You already have the most important marketing tool: your brand

12:13 Finding your competitive advantage

15:27 Defining your version of success

18:03 The true definition of wealth

20:13 Overcoming obstacles on the way to success

23:28 The value of planting many seeds

25:16 The alchemy of creativity and transformation

33:36 The secret formula to success

37:15 How to design a purpose

38:46 Ram’s current fascination with convenience vs. delayed gratification

41:18 The opportunity right in front of us all

43:22 Ram’s decision-making framework

Patti Dobrowolski 00:03

Hello superstars. Welcome to the Up Your Creative Genius Podcast where you will gain insight and tips just stomp on the accelerator and blast off to transform your business and your life. I’m your host Patti Dobrowolski. And if this is your first time tuning in, then strap in because this is serious rocket fuel. Each week I interview fellow creative geniuses to help you learn how easy it is to up your creative genius in any part of your life. Hey, everybody, it’s Patti Dobrowolski with Up Your Creative Genius, oh, god, my head is like exploding because I have RAM Castillo here. You are not going to believe what an amazing Rockstar he is like, this guy is a design director, he’s a two-time author. He’s a speaker. You know, he teaches an instructor and Creative Live. He’s the decision making business coach. And he’s worked with some of the biggest brands, some of your favorite brands, let’s just say, you know, Louis Vuitton and Herman Miller, and Ogilvy and Mather, and DDB and Toyota and it goes on and on. And not just that, but he has his own podcast, which I am so grateful that you’re here because you’re up to number 88 in your podcast, and you have interviewed some big names Kelly Slater, right. Naomi Simpson, Kevin O’Leary, these people, and the interviews are spectacular. And what you really do is help designers who are tuning in –this is my understanding of it –tuning in to help them step into the future they desire. So this is where we aligned we met on Clubhouse. Ram. Thank you so much for being here.

Ram Castillo 01:51

Patti, what an introduction. I’m deeply honored to be here. Thank you so much.

Patti Dobrowolski 01:56

You’re just so incredible. So just Whoa. So tell me like, What are you doing right now, first, tell people from your perspective, what you do right now, and then roll me back in time to how you got to where you are right now. So whichever way you want to start, if you want to start in the past, you want to start in the present and go to the past. I’d love it either way, our listeners are going to want to know all they’re gonna want to get inside your world right now.

Ram Castillo 02:27

Oh, okay. So the short answer is right now I am building my advisory board portfolio. And what that means is I am doing a bit of coaching, a bit of consulting, but advisory it sits in this mix of giving advice to business owners, entrepreneurs, organizations and leaders in the specialty that I’ve been able to accumulate over that last 16 year career in the world of marketing, communications, creative strategy, and most importantly, human centered design. Yeah. And that’s the short answer because I climbed up that world of starting at Ogilvy, which is traditional advertising. That’s right my way through other agencies, all the way up to head of digital design at Saatchi and Saatchi servicing AMEX, Qantas, Toyota building teams. And when you go through that path, you’re exposed to processes, people, tools, systems, and just the different ways that businesses need to operate in terms of capability in delivering their promise to customers and designing a customer experience that is meaningful, that is actually valuable. So taking all that enterprise learning and helping small to medium sized business owners through advisory sessions and workshops. That’s what I’m doing right now.

Patti Dobrowolski 03:57

That’s fantastic. And I think that entrepreneurs, they don’t really have a sense of that, what it requires of you, but what we’re talking about are the long hours. And the access to creative ideas which you are famous for. I mean, you’ve been written up for some of the ideas you came up with or your team came up with. It’s just incredible. And I have a feeling that your paths cross with my nephew, Jon Dobowolski, because he worked at Toyota at some of these places. And now he works at Grail, right? And so he’s head of design there. So I love that you’re doing this in this space, where you’re sharing and you’re pouring into other people your wisdom. Now I met you on Clubhouse because you were in a room that I was in, and maybe I was in with Pete Cohen and I’m not sure but tell me what are you doing on Clubhouse and are you there running any of your own rooms because you’re so incredible. I would be surprised if you weren’t.

Ram Castillo 04:56

So we did meet on Clubhouse by Pete Cohen. He he and I met on there as well. And then he heard me speak about the importance of personal branding and positioning yourself, hence the duck on his head. And so I have found that clubhouse is just a treasure chest, the ways that I’ve benefited have blown me away. We’re talking right now it’s mid November 2021. Buy started day one, mid January 2021. So we’re talking 10 months or so ago.

Patti Dobrowolski 05:33

Me too, same amount of time. Yes, And right around that time, it was just starting to blow up really, I mean, people would say it had blown up before. But it really at that beginning, people found out about it,

Ram Castillo 05:47

I initially went on there just to test. So coming from a design background, it’s important to never assume that’s one of the key things, it’s important to go through an understanding phase. And a lot of that is just testing and absorbing, and gathering information. So for the first three months, I was just gathering information, seeing how the tool works, how it could benefit myself and others. And what I quickly found was that there was the ability to get access number one to people that I would never be able to access. So you know, and you too Patti, right. So that’s a stretch, you know, we would probably be able to access them in some way, but the speed of accessing them. The other thing is the relationship building and rapport building is more real in many ways, because you’re just not influenced by any other factors such as, you know, seeing their face, you just get to hear their voice. And you get a real sensibility about them straightaway. So I’ve been able to invest in many deals, that part of the advisory is also looking at how I might be able to invest in companies. Should I wish to do that. So yeah, whatever you’re looking for, you will be able to get there.

Patti Dobrowolski 07:08

Yeah, I would totally agree. I mean, I just had the most amazing conversations, you know, that I don’t think I would have ever probably met Rob Moore or even known who he was really John Lee, people like this, that are in there. And then also badass boss. I mean, I’ve been in rooms where people have just blown my mind to pieces, and just listening. And you know, what you’re talking about is so you were seeking to understand, which is really a design thinking principle. So for listeners that aren’t familiar with that whole process, but you really seek to understand what the experience is about and what customers are actually having in that experience. And it really is incredible now. So is that a place where you have been able to get some new clients from there? For example.

Ram Castillo 07:58

Absolutely. So I’ll swing the needle to this point, Patti, just to contextualize all this, the reality is that every one of us has a brand, we already have a brand that exists and how I define brand. And personal branding in particular is what people attach meaning to. It’s your personality, your credibility, your reputation. And the thing that I love about Clubhouse is that you’re able to close that gap of saying what you do and doing what you say. And in a world where trust is becoming harder and harder to build and trust is getting harder and harder to come by. Yes,

Patti Dobrowolski 08:36

it’s being eroded all the time, you know, any belief that there’s good out there, you know, you have to really watch out. Right,

Ram Castillo 08:43

Right. So like, you know, prior to Clubhouse, which is a social audio app, we’ve had on an immense amount of Instagram dominance, so to speak, where we’re able to get to know this person that we follow that, you know, we might maybe aspire to, or we learn from or just simply are entertained by, but at the heart of it, where we weren’t really able to dive deep into like this storytelling one on one and throw questions back at the person so easily. And, you know, having Clubhouse I’ve found that we’re able to get to this important thing, which is the personal branding piece, that space that you occupy in the hearts and minds of people, your audience, relative to your competitors. And so when we’re able to understand the space with which we have established some equity, and we can grow that equity, it can really help your business, your career progression, the future you want to design because until you’re able to really pinpoint, you know, what is it that you’re known for? What is it that you can build a found that to be liked enough to be trusted, then no matter if you’re doing business or just building relationships, you don’t have a compass. And so it’s important to find, in my opinion, yeah, what is the thing that you’re able to leverage and build equity with? And then strategically partner and pay the right people to help you get there?

Patti Dobrowolski 10:27

Yes, yes, I love this, because it really does start with you. And when you can get a platform of some kind, I mean, that’s what I tell people, you know, the only way that I ever became such a well known speaker was because I gave a TED talk. I totally nailed it. And it wasn’t even on that platform where it blew up, it was on a bootleg platform, five years later, where somebody said it was the best of whatever, whatever year it was, and then 6 million people, right. And to me, that’s the power of Clubhouse in one moment, you can say something that someone will hear, or you can do something. And this reminds me to of clubhouses. It really is about giving away what you know, to people, and then really giving it away. Like I give away sessions to people that I think, you know, if you just did a session with me for two hours, I think it would explode your business. And so I’m willing to do that, because I’m in a place where I’ve created the client base, such that I can give some things away. And I’ve also met some amazing clients there. And part of that I think you’re talking about so you understand your brand and who you are, that builds then this line of trust, or this bridge of trust to a potential customer or even a person that’s going to be your friend, right? And then you get to reap the benefit of meeting them.

Ram Castillo 12:03

Yeah. And what we’re really talking about here as well. And this is why I love you, Patti, and your podcast title especially, is because if you don’t have the overlap, and this is one framework that I have created to find your competitive advantage. It’s so simple. But it’s two circles on a page overlapping over each other these circles on the left, it has the word appealing question mark. So what’s appealing? Yes. And on the right, it’s exclusive. Question mark. So what’s exclusive, and until you find something appealing and exclusive enough, then you don’t have a competitive advantage. Oh, my gosh, to have a competitive advantage. Otherwise, you can’t compete in a market that’s either being serviced, well, how are you going to compete? And this is why creativity is such an important differentiator.

Patti Dobrowolski 12:53

And this creative genius part, right? That’s what you’re talking about. You’re talking about its creativity, but it’s also accessing your creative genius. And that is accessible to anybody. And that is, you know, the myth is that some people are creative. Rahm is creative, Patti’s creative, but I’m not. And that’s a myth. Because we’re all born with our imagination.

Ram Castillo 13:18

And here’s the kicker to all of this, Patti, when I buy you or choose to follow you, wherever you’re leading me? Yes, I’m subconsciously asking, What does that make me. So when I buy things, when I buy a Tesla, right, out of all the vehicles that I can buy to move me as a physical human, from A to B to C, I can buy any transportation vehicle, but I choose Tesla, because in the back of my mind, whether you admit it or not the person that has bought it also is pro tech, wants to make a statement that they are a supporter of other energy resource, in this case, something a bit more sustainable, like electricity, and is also wanting to have that title of I’m an innovative person. Yes. So when I buy you, I’m always asking, What does that make me because you’re an extension of my worldview?

Patti Dobrowolski 14:20

Yes. So when you think about that, like, to me, this is like how the universe works, right? When we think about that, we’re a big energy field out there. And you think about all of the little sparks of light that are all of us. The way that you spark your spark and magnetize people who are like you is by being your true and authentic self, and finding what it is that you offer that nobody else offers. And that’s really, all it takes for you to build your brand is you have to know that and then you have to help people in some way. Just add the help element Which that for you seems like a big piece of it. Like I watched a bunch of your talks, you know, and you’re so generous in how you are onstage. You really are a great speaker. And you’re funny, and people just love coming up to you. You can just feel it right. It’s great. And it’s powerful. But what is it that you feel in your world that you’re here to do? What are you here to do? What’s your purpose right now?

Ram Castillo 15:27

So my why has always been in currently still serves me well as leading with generosity and following with care. And the reason why I say that Patti is because when I asked this definition of what my version of success is, I still arrive at this answer, which is Success to me is how well I go to sleep at night. Because I’ve had a little, and I’ve had a lot, and I’ll loot this into some tangibility. But I’ve had a little and I’ve had a lot, I’ve had everything in between. You know, granted, I’m Filipino immigrant. My mom is one of five. Her dad wasn’t really ever around her mom, my grandmother had to have a little corner store and then have a sewing machine just to raise five kids, my dad’s one of 11. Now, his father passed away when he was only three. So he grew up without a father of majority his life. And then his mom passed away when he was at uni. And he graduated marine transportation, mechanical engineering, just to get out as with Filipinos back back in the day, especially get to Australia. And those two degrees at a top university were not recognized, of course. And so he raises three kids, I’m in the middle. And I have this worldview of going hmm, I could have lived that life, a life where they only had a tablespoon of peanut butter and a bit of bread to share. For the day. Often, my mum got so thirsty that she, at six years old job in the cupboard, swallowed a bottle of soy sauce, and now she’s traumatized. She didn’t know soy sauce, you know. So there are these things here and in place, where we go back now to your original question, you know, about what is my big why, what is my purpose? What is the thing for me? I didn’t know it would look like going on two global speaking tours. Yeah, you know, writing two books, starting top ranking podcasts. And connecting with so many people I didn’t know would look like that. Because I didn’t

Patti Dobrowolski 17:24

have well, you didn’t have that view of what was possible, really

Ram Castillo 17:29

100%. But at the heart of it, I knew that — and this might not be the intrinsic motivation of most people. I don’t know, I can only speak for myself. But deep down, I knew that I felt joy and at peace. And I recently did a talk about two talks, one was called “Don’t aim to make a million dollars, aim to help a million people”. And that the irony is the money will come. The other talk I did recently, which lands this point around what we’re talking about here is that being wealthy doesn’t necessarily mean being rich, that being wealthy is about overcoming obstacles, and they’re the treasures that you get, you get another coin of resilience, you get another coin of humility, you get another coin of persistence, you get another coin of work ethic and respect and whatever it is that you gain. So

Patti Dobrowolski 18:29

and love, and trust

Ram Castillo 18:32

Yes. 100%. So for me, it’s not it’s less about going. I’m all about goals as well, I think,

Patti Dobrowolski 18:39

of course, of course, because you’re really you’re all about making good decisions, good business decisions that are good for your business in the long run. Right. So yeah, so but I love it, you’re talking about the journey, and the collection of the coins that you get that the challenges that you face, right or that your parents face, or my parents or grandparents face the you know, my grandmother was an immigrant my father was poor growing up in Chicago, both my mother and father’s parents, you know, fathers died when they were seven. That was interesting to experience for them. And then for me to go become a therapist and then have to interview them about that and think about, oh, what was the transmission of Pathology at age seven for me right when they were, but I think that this collection of coins is underrated. It’s underrated by most people because they see coin and wealth as how much you have in your bank account or what your capacity is. But it is in the moments where you’re truly yourself up against the hardest things and that you pushing through it like you did and that the genetic encoding in your genes your family. They did that I think This forward into a future that we desire more than money, and more than fame, and more than all those things. So I love that you’re saying this now, you must have hit some really big challenges in your career and in your life, what kinds of things did you have to come up against in yourself? You came from that kind of a background. So you know, that can make for a very small voice in a room full of very loud people sometimes, right?

Ram Castillo 20:32

Absolutely. So few key obstacles that have really shaped how I have gone about life. In primary school, I was bullied quite badly, I had my arm broken three times and got 16 stitches. before the age of 11. I was the shortest kid in school. Never the most athletic, never the most wealthy. As I said, in terms of financial wealth, I was never the most intelligent, I was always. So very, very average. And all below, I was only great at art, funnily enough. And I remember my mum cooking spaghetti in our small apartment. I was about four years old, I would collect empty tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, and I’d make stuff we obviously didn’t have devices back then. And she said, What do you want to be when you grow up? And then I go out, and I’m, I just want to make stuff. Yeah. And then she put her hand on my shoulder, and she’s still cooking. She said, Well, remember whatever you want to be, make sure you dream big. Make sure you dream much, much bigger. So although I had these obstacles, she gave me permission to just go for it. You know, there’s no, I love that TED Talk by Ken Robinson. And yes, bit in his mother passed away at age 70. Last year, of course. But there was this one bit where he said that there was a girl, she was six years old. She was always very unattentive. She didn’t have concentration. One time she did in drawing class and the teacher came up said, Hey, what are you drawing? And she said, I’m drawing a picture of God. And then the teacher said, wow, that’s not possible. No one knows what God looks like. And then the child said, well they will in a minute? Yeah, exactly. And the point was that they weren’t afraid to try as children, we weren’t frightened to try to just give it a go. And so my mum instilled that in me at a young age. So despite the obstacles, and I wasn’t a formally trained writer, I was able to write two books, even in my first book, when I went to 20 different publishers, and sponsors, and I tried to get funding for something. And then eventually, I was like, well work another job and self fund it yourself. Yes. Yeah. Get it out. Exactly. I did that. And American Institute of Design in the States were like, wow, you know, you’re doing great things. Why don’t we host you we’ve got 72 chapters will host your first speaking tour. In front of crowds before, I’d never done that. I just throw myself to plant many seeds, not knowing which will blossom. But sometimes it’s a numbers game to Patti, I get people in finishing university and college. And then they’re like, man, it’s been four months. I haven’t gotten a job. I’ve finished my degree. And I was like, how many emails have you sent out? How many people have you reached out to how many messages have they like, all like, I sent out like, 15 emails? I’m like 15 emails? I, like I said, 300 emails in the first week. And I was actually in the mailroom.

Patti Dobrowolski 23:25

Yeah, exactly. I was thinking, you know, one of my first interviews was Jonathan Javier. And he tells people what he did on LinkedIn, you know, he would send out hundreds of emails and notes to people in LinkedIn every week, until he was able to get the connections that he did. And then he posts these pictures from where, and he just is amazing, right, but it takes this grit and courage and persistence. You know, I think probably I wanted to be a keynote speaker long before I mean, I never dreamed I would be on Broadway, I never dreamed that I would be a keynote speaker for, you know, on a stage of 4000 people that just, you know, the thought that that would be part of my reality. I didn’t even know. Future Me was way ahead of me. And I was way back in the past in this limited sphere of can somebody call me right now. And then I’ll just go and do it for a couple $100. You know, but this is where you start. And then you learned through doing and working and doing, I don’t know about you, but I’m all about 500%. If I can do give you 500% of what you’ve asked for, then you kind of want to have me back, no doubt, or you’re going to say something about that to somebody else. And I think there’s something about you know, really and I think this is true for you like when I look at all the big brands that you’ve worked with. You know, you started out in advertising and we know what a grind that is that is a grind, right? And then you’ve gotten to this place now where you’re ready expert in brand and so many other things. So what other things? Are you fascinated by now? And what are you looking for in your own career and also out there in the horizon to see if you can’t tap into it?

Ram Castillo 25:14

So here’s the thing, everything that we’ve spoken about here, Patti, has kind of tied back to that theme about creativity, and wealth and designing the future that you want. It is only as successful as how many internal treasures that were looking to acquire, and to turn that into external change. And so we need to

Patti Dobrowolski 25:42

say more about that, get that unpack that for people. So you’re saying something very deep there. I want everybody who’s listening to get this, the internal treasures to impact transforming

Ram Castillo 25:53

that. Yeah. And turning that into impact. External change is one of that version, right? Acquiring internal treasures for external change. Because we need to look at back to the coin analogy. Yes, we need to look at that as a point of difference. We need to look at what’s creativity, creativity, is putting something that’s different and new. And something that requires new means that we need to look at testing, exploring, trying stuff. Yep. And you get this weird, strange, but interesting combination. And that’s you. Yeah, that’s, you know, one’s walked your steps. Yeah, was grown up the same with the same parents mixed with this education mixed with this life experience. ABCD? Yeah, it’s a combination that’s unique to you. There’s already Anthony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey Brene. Brown and Marie Forleo, or Gary Vaynerchuk. There’s already so many Yes, them, but we don’t have one of you. Right. And this is what happens. It’s not just about believing for belief sake. And so now, I look at it as being very popular to a few, right in whatever you’re doing means accepting that we’re going to be very unpopular to the other end. And we’re going to be very neutral to the majority. And this is why I think people are not pursuing the fullness of their gifts, and then going down the truth. The rabbit hole is because they’re trying to please everyone. Yes.

Patti Dobrowolski 27:41

Oh, my gosh, this is a best marketing tip you could give to anybody. Right now, this is it. Because there are people that will throw shade, and you can’t please them, no matter what you do, it’s not going to happen. And then there are people who don’t really care. They’re living their life, just on this flatline way, no harm, no foul. But then there are a few people who are really expansive, and they’re expanding what they’re doing into places that they are afraid and maybe scared, and they’re not sure what to do. But they know they’re excited, and they’re passionate about life. And they understand that life is about experience. It’s not just about product, but it’s about experience. Right?

Ram Castillo 28:30

I’m going to give you one really interesting example. Real quick story. We’re in the pandemic. Of course, we’re still in that. I used to go to the gym a lot. I switched to an outdoor sport that I’ve never tried called tennis. Okay, I’m in my mid

Patti Dobrowolski 28:45

year, I was gonna say you’re not gonna say pickleball Are you? That’s gonna scare me. Okay, good. tennis.

Ram Castillo 28:52

Tennis, right. And so I’m in Sydney and we got lost on a lot of tennis courts, right, a big tennis community here, but I’m new. Definitely. I sign up mid last year. So in June, July 2020. I pick up a racket for the first time in my mid 30s. Okay, so I’m learning tennis. I started documenting videos, I posted some YouTube videos, this and that. This coach here in Sydney that finds these videos. He’s got a Spanish accent. He ends up DMing me and he goes, Wow, I saw your test videos. I’d love to learn about entrepreneurship and design and digital media, the whole thing. I go, Well, I’m learning tennis. Why don’t we do a value exchange? You teach me I’ll teach you : happy days. So we start teaching each other. He’s teaching the tennis and then after the tennis lesson and by the way he grew up with Rafael Nadal. The whole thing is just amazing. Yeah. So this is what I said about putting yourself out there. Now I’ve talked about one crazy seed planting activity. Yeah, I said all this stuff. I’m teaching about business and entrepreneurship, we should apply it to something so that it lands so that it’s not just theory. So let’s start a little side hustle just as a project. And let’s do it because I’m down. I said, his name’s Andy, I go, Where is an opportunity in the marketplace? I’ve got insights, being not in the tennis world that might be valuable. And you have insights, being in tennis world for, you know, over, like 25 years. Yes. And then what we came to arrive at going back to the design thinking, which is about empathy. First, it’s about defining the problem that needs to be solved prioritizing that, then it’s moving into ideating, prototyping, testing, and then deploying that in the market. So I said to, you know what? To learn tennis as an adult, you’ve only got two options. One hour private lesson, yes, one hour group, which is only about four people. So, right. There’s nothing really like three hours, bootcamp style. Go, there’s summer camps, but they’re for kids, and they’re like, a week or two weeks. Okay, let’s try that. Three hour boot camps for beginner adults. We posted it on Eventbrite.

Patti Dobrowolski 31:06

I’m sure that you sold out in a second.

Ram Castillo 31:10

Sold out 24 hours, but 100 bucks a ticket. 10 people, Max. And so that will uh huh. Let’s post another date up and see if that posted another one sold out with another 24 hours. Like, huh. I wonder what else? Let’s do a serving specific one posted that that sold out long and the short of it for started, just as an idea is now a fully fledged business. Right? And this is what I’m saying? I’m not even from the tennis world. Exactly. I’ve not been introduced to tennis as a child. Right? Right. New to this Yes. And yet, I was able, talking about creativity, talking about mixing and matching a combination that is going to be equity in that idea. I love

Patti Dobrowolski 31:58

that. And the other piece that you added to this was a value exchange, which I think this is often underrated. People don’t realize how easy you know, that’s how I met Pete Cohen. value exchange, I came and gave a talk. And then we went and work together, we did all this stuff in Europe, and then you know, just all the time, this value exchange exists out there for you as a possibility. Anytime that you put yourself out there because you did this first. You thought okay, I think I’ll document this. Because why not? It seems crazy enough to do right. So you posted it on Instagram or Tiktok? Or whatever you did you like struggling with the racquet and the staff and then getting some stuff down. And then this person sees you because he watched all the videos right of you doing it? Where’d you put it on YouTube? Must have been on

Ram Castillo 32:55

my Instagram. Yeah. And so they’re documenting my learning journey. That’s right.

Patti Dobrowolski 33:00

And that’s what we’re hungry for? Is people learning, being vulnerable, and starting out Because all of us a) we want to learn something new, b) most of us are afraid to try. Because we think oh, I don’t know, could I be any good in that, but I’ve always wanted to. And then somebody comes along and post something where they’re doing the thing. And we think, Hey, that guy can do it. And he’s really short. I think I could do it too. Right. All right. Yeah. So that’s fantastic. I love that and then

Ram Castillo 33:33

That’s right. Absolutely. And just thought that Patti, what we’re really talking about here as well is around, going back to that point about when I buy or follow or am connected to you as a fan, or whatever, customizers, you know, I can see myself in you. And there’s a really important piece here, which is, I can trust you enough to go where you’re taking me, trust is only possible with safety. Now, if I’m being vulnerable, and I am saying I’m learning and I’m showing you my mistakes, documenting it, I feel safe. And when I feel safe, the only way I can get that is if there’s familiarity. And the only way that there’s familiarity, is with consistency. And the only way that there’s consistency is with repetition. So repetition, showing up, even when you don’t see results straightaway, will lead to consistency. So I’ll go back the other way. Repetition, consistency, familiarity, safety, trust.

Patti Dobrowolski 34:32

That’s right. And all of that equals success over time. You know, people they’ll say to you, you know, like the person that said, you know, I’ve spent four months or three months since I graduated and I haven’t gotten a job. How many emails did you send out? Well, 10 a week and you’re like the Yeah, okay, get real and get into the present moment because we’re talking about 7 billion people online right now. So you are just invisible. In that until you make yourself visible, and how do you do that? You do that through repetition and consistency, and then vulnerability, and then over that, that builds trust. And I’m using my own words here, but this is what we’re talking about. That’s the bridge to someone else. And that bridge becomes friendship, it becomes client relationship, it becomes value exchange, it becomes love, it becomes network expansion, all of that. But part of that is about you risking, you have to take a risk, and put yourself out there, this is how you create change in your life, is what you’re talking about, is that you get an idea. And you could shelve that idea. And you could ask people, if you should do that idea, which often will bring shade on your idea, and then you don’t want to do it. Or you can go out and you can find people that want to try an idea or want to expand something. And then there you go.

Ram Castillo 36:07

And one of the things that I often suggest to people, Patti, because we’re talking about not just you know, throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks for no Rattray, right. What we’re really also talking about is designing the future that you desire, and tapping into your creative genius. And what might that be sure there’s a bit of there’s there needs to be experimentation to all this. But there’s also that bigger question, which is, and full of you listening, I suggest you finish this sentence, and really write it down. Don’t let it live in your head. But my vision for a better world is one with more designers, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers. Because that is what the world needs. So now how it lives, I’m not so tied to if I have to go on and explore this speaking thing, or this writing thing, or this podcasting thing, or this YouTube documenting thing? Yeah, it’s less about that. I’m willing to try those things. If they meet the vision, the purpose, because if the purpose isn’t there, then the product doesn’t matter. That’s right,

Patti Dobrowolski 37:14

if the purpose is for you to make a million dollars, it’s not the same as if the purpose is to expand and move women into technology, or to show people all around the world that if you draw a picture of your vision, that you can take action on it, you can increase your chances by 42%. These are the things that will drive you that you can help people with. And the helping other people is the expensive element. It is to me the creative genius equation, right? The equation is around imagination and intuition and desire and drive. But it leads you to outcome to the infinite power, then outcome to the infinite power is I live and I serve the universe. And what I do is to live my biggest self and serve at the highest level, right? And that’s what you’re doing right now, which to me is so amazing. You’re pulling together these people into your podcasts. And also I’m sure that you know, I see the photos of you in design sessions with people to design and develop new ideas and expand them. And I just love that because we are creating a new world every second. And you really are. What is it that fascinate you right now? What are you fascinated with? That’s happening out there that you’re looking at? And you go, Huh, that’s interesting. I kind of like that, or is it this value exchange? What is it?

Ram Castillo 38:46

So the first thing that comes to mind that fascinates me right now is how low the bar is for convenience. Let me contextualize this. It’s so easy to be inconvenienced now. Yeah. Okay. So, I myself, I had to fill up the petrol my car, and there was one car in front of me, and I rarely drive but I’ve gone for a long drive the other day, and there was one car in front of me, and then I started to feel impatient. Yes. I also realized that because we were locked down in Sydney for good for

Patti Dobrowolski 39:21

oh, yeah, you couldn’t even you know, people had to be in a place for a month before you were actually able to go home if you flew in the country. Yes.

Ram Castillo 39:28

Yeah. So we had like four months of lockdown we had one hour was the max that you’re allowed to go outside and only for specific things. If there’s cops all around who get like $5,000 fines, those curfew, the whole thing. So I didn’t even have to leave my couch. Technically, I could order my groceries and I actually enjoyed going to the groceries, you know, and now I’m comfortable enough. I don’t even need to, like do any kind of like it’s convenience. Yes, it’s so low now. Yeah, so it’s easy to be inconvenient. So I’m fascinated by the lack of voluntary delayed gratification,

Patti Dobrowolski 40:05

yes. O.M.G. Wait. The lack of involuntary gratification, right of that waiting. Nobody wants to wait anymore for anything. You don’t want to wait for the lack of voluntary, voluntary. Yes, sorry.

Ram Castillo 40:24

Like for example, if I’m, you know, uncomfortable, and I’m agitated, it’s like, that means there’s no consequence Patti. Yeah. You see, it’s like, if I can’t get this right now, then I’ll blow I climate a blow behave this way.

Patti Dobrowolski 40:42

Yeah, exactly. I’ll just blow up. Hey, I live in Texas. I know all about that. Right? Yes. So you can see that everywhere. But it’s everywhere. It’s pervasive in, you know, if I can’t get what I want right now, I’ll just turn on Netflix. And then if I can’t get the internet, then I’ll find something else. And I’ll do this and that. And I’m just filling up all the space that was in waiting in that silence. And that patience in that beautiful quietness, has somehow just evaporated?

Ram Castillo 41:14

Well, here’s the kicker, all this. It’s not just that. I’m fascinated by it. I want listeners to understand that because the bar is so low, it’s so easy to be inconvenienced. That’s why there’s so few great people now in the world, that you can be great. Now is the time. Yeah, my point is, start the thing. Yes. write that book. Finally, you know, launch that podcast, business, meet that person, send that email. Yeah, make that phone call. Now, you might think it’s more difficult.

Patti Dobrowolski 41:53

But now is the opening. Now’s the opening, now’s the time, you better step in, now is the time for you to step in. So you have shared so many like jewels, I’m going to go back and listen to this over and over again, for myself. And listeners, I hope you will too. Because we are talking about just really simple processes for you to get out and get your brand solidified, so that you can be known and trusted. And then you can make money doing what it is that you love, which is I know what people want, right? And this piece that Rahm is saying right now, he’s saying, Listen, you got to go and do this. Now. Don’t wait, because the bar is really low. And so everybody is easily inconvenienced to step on in there. Because you’re going to be able to solve somebody’s problem right away, right away, because the problems are really simple. Now. They’re really simple. So tell me, you know, from your perspective, you gave a lot of tips, but tell me, so let’s say somebody’s sitting listening, and they’re thinking, Oh, I don’t know, you know, can I go out and do? What would you say to them about this? You said this about the now but what steps do you think that they might consider as they go out? You mentioned a few buttons, say them again, if you would?

Ram Castillo 43:22

Well, I’ll give you one framework that I designed for decision making, specifically, because I consider myself a decision making business coach specializing in rapid decision making specifically. And I’ve created a framework that everyone can use, and they can check out my website, if they want the diagram, or my Instagram.

Patti Dobrowolski 43:41

It’s all there. And it’ll be in the show notes too. So look down there. Absolutely. And

Ram Castillo 43:46

take this, you know, this framework, which I which I’ve coined the lightning bolt method, it’s a rapid decision making framework. So it’s helped me with both micro and macro decision making from deciding what to cook to dinner for dinner or to business I’d now allow meals today. future transport experiences as well. Right. I actually desired stage one of what the next 10 years of New South Wales trains look like. And so

Patti Dobrowolski 44:11

as a three pints house, Okay, I’m ready.

Ram Castillo 44:14

Yes. So you start here, interrogate your objectives.

Patti Dobrowolski 44:17

Okay, first, interrogate your objectives. Alright,

Ram Castillo 44:21

got her got your objectives, and I’ll expand in a little bit, but we’ve got these three main buckets, interrogate your objectives. Number two is curate your criteria. Yes. And number three is dismantle obstacles. Okay. So the interrogate objectives is, you know, we’re not in a shortage of having an objective a goal, a dream, we want many things.

Patti Dobrowolski 44:49

No, it’s not. It’s not. Yes.

Ram Castillo 44:52

I think the issue is that we don’t interrogate it. We identify so many. That that’s part The problem first of all, so we need to interrogate which objectives are going to be really meaningful for you. Yes, and interrogate them. I define interrogate objectives as this. What is the minimum viable intention? The minimum viable intention? So I want what to happen. Yes. So start there, like I said to you, my intention was to help, actually about the beginning, it was just to help designers get a job, right. So now I’m not tied to if it turns into a speaking, engagement, or you’re

Patti Dobrowolski 45:39

teaching online or you’re doing whatever, right exactly book

Ram Castillo 45:43

audio paperback, what podcast whatever, right, exactly. So interrogate it, interrogate the objective, don’t just identify it, interrogate it down to the minimum viable intention, just Yes. The

Patti Dobrowolski 45:56

minimum viable intention. So the simplest, simplest, right, simplest, clearest since we’re talking about specific and clear, thank you.

Ram Castillo 46:07

Correct. That’s why the second is curate criteria, which is being brutally honest with your non negotiables. That’s it. So with the criteria, the problem that I’ve often found is that or a sometimes there’s not even a criteria, but there’s there’s so many maybes or I want it to be like this. No, no, non negotiables. You want to take that job? What are your non negotiables? You got a newborn, you need to clock off five, that’s a non negotiable. You can’t work weekends that are non negotiable, that you’ve got a certain limitation or comfort around how far you’re willing to travel. Specify that. Yeah, that’s a non negotiable.

Patti Dobrowolski 46:48

Yes, yeah. And you can see on the in the Amazon ads that are on right now, that’s what they’re appealing to. That’s what they’re appealing. Absolutely. The non negotiables, right.

Ram Castillo 46:58

Absolutely. I’m advising these two founders. They’re two dads with three kids each, and they both work full time. And when I said to them, alright, you’ve got this new startup. It’s kind of like Airbnb for backyards. And they’re like, we’re willing to throw everything into it time, money, energy, you name it, and I go, Whoa, you have to let me just for a second. Yes. Yeah. Didn’t have all the time in the world. No, yes. What’s the non negotiable? They were like? Well, every night, maybe one hour, maybe max. And then on weekends, maybe like, two hours, three hours, and I go, so you don’t have all the time? Money? How much you’re willing to spend on it. They said collectively, like 35,000 for the first sort of milestone I go. That’s not an unlimited amount of resources. It No. And energy then looked tired. Yeah. And it’s like, so curate your criteria. What are your non negotiables be brutally honest. And the third bucket is dismantling obstacles, which basically just comes down to pull it apart? Yeah, here are the things stopping me from getting to that, write them all down, pull it apart and search for the source of it the root cause. Yeah, cuz, Patti, often, it’s might be even internal.

Patti Dobrowolski 48:13

In my mind, I was thinking like, I was thinking limiting beliefs might be limiting

Ram Castillo 48:17

beliefs. But we’ve got to list all these things down so that we’re able to pair a specific Yes, yes. Or tool to just tackle that root cause?

Patti Dobrowolski 48:28

Yes. Right.

Ram Castillo 48:29

And some people say to me, Ram, I’m not great at Adobe Creative Suite. Now. There’s Figma. Now there’s all these tools like Miro board and this and I’m like, What do you want it to do? They’re like, I just need a bit of animation. Exactly. It will constantly update the technology will constantly go higher and higher. Yes. So you just learned the minimum amount? careers that look like yes, basics, intermediate level, what does that look like? See too many people get caught up, and they don’t address and measure? Yes. So this hopefully will help you get unstuck lightning fast.

Patti Dobrowolski 49:05

Well, and I would say that is a lightning bolt right there. Kaboom. Really, this is a very simple three step process. You can use it anytime that you’re thinking about changing anything in your life in your world, or what you’re going to eat for that evil.

Ram Castillo 49:21

Even the other day, I was like, a doll, what are we going to eat and then so my minimum viable intention was to just cook a healthy meal, right? And something that wasn’t going to take, you know, half an hour.

Patti Dobrowolski 49:34

That’s a parameters.

Ram Castillo 49:36

So it was you know, simple protein and veggies like and you know, what was stopping me was like, okay, all these ingredients. I don’t have this as well, you know, got salt and pepper. That’ll do. Like, again, it’s just when you go through it. The criteria was this. My wife didn’t care. She was just tired. She just wanted you know something. Yeah.

Patti Dobrowolski 49:56

Can you forgive me, right? I love Yes, yes, I know. My wife was that way last night she goes, can we just have eggs and then you cut some vegetables and put it in, I go, No problem. Got it. Now it’s solved. Now we don’t have to worry about, we don’t have to think about where we’re going or ordering or going to the grocery store or anything like that. It’s all done. Because it’s really the smallest and simplest and specific. And then we just take away the obstacle, whatever perceived obstacle there is, I love that you are so fantastic. I could talk to you all day long. I really could. And I hope I get to again, I hope that you’ll come back and you’ll tell me everything else that you’ve learned about the world. And then I can ask you about the other ventures that you started, you know, by just going to the tennis court or maybe going to the test a lot or whatever it was that you were doing your latest thing that you’re just experimenting with? Because why not? Now you’re not in lockdown in the same way. I don’t think are you still walked down there? Not necessarily free, yay, free at last free at last. I love it. Okay, good. Well, thank you so much for everything that you poured into us. Because in this podcast, I mean it I’m serious, I’m going to listen to it over and over again, because there was so much good thinking around you and your brand. And so I thank you for being here. And everybody who’s listening, please follow him. His podcast is called the giant thinker. And it’s singular, right? The giant thinker and just want to say we want to get him back into number three status. So go in there, follow him. He’s on Apple, Spotify, he’s probably everywhere with his podcast. So just follow him on Instagram, same handle there. Also in the show notes, you can find him on Clubhouse in this room and that room, mostly around creativity. And I just can’t wait to see you again. Thank you so much for being here.

Ram Castillo 51:50

Thank you, Patti. Yeah, the podcast is available there for anyone. It’s called giant thinkers, my handles the giant thinkers, on that on everywhere. I’d love to hear from you, you know, continue to conversation and it’s just about that, you know, planting many seeds. And Patti, I am so grateful to be on your show. You’re an absolute rock star, you are a beam of light. And all of us honestly, like

Patti Dobrowolski 52:12

one beam to the other there. I’m just saying. So anyone who’s listening in, you know, just put all of his great wisdom into your life. Try it and tested. See what parts work for you. Because this is a simple process that will just explode everything that you have thought was hard to do. You’ll be able to do it. I just know you will. So to everybody that’s tuning in, you know what I’m saying to you is go out there be your best self bring good things to the world because we need you now more than ever don’t mess around. Get in, step into your brand. Go out kaboom the world. And until next time, up your creative genius. Thanks again. Thanks for coming on. I love you.

Ram Castillo 53:01

Thanks, Patti. Big Love. Thank you so much.

Patti Dobrowolski 53:06

Thanks so much for listening today. Be sure to DM me on Instagram your feedback or takeaways from today’s episode on Up Your Creative Genius . Then join me next week for more rocket fuel. Remember, you are the superstar of your universe and the world needs what you have to bring. So get busy. Get out and up your creative genius. And no matter where you are in the universe, here’s some big love from yours truly Patti Dobrowolski and the Up Your Creative Genius Podcast. That’s a wrap.

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