Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

076: Your Voice is Louder than Words: Interview with Todd Henry

Most creatives think finding their voice is as simple as digging it up in the backyard. But the reality is this process is shrouded in a lot more mystery.

076: Your Voice is Louder than Words: Interview with Todd Henry

My friend, Todd Henry believes your voice is developed in layers. It’s something you uncover and develop over time. Ultimately, it’s how your collective body of work speaks. It is louder than your words and bigger than a single event. I like that.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Todd and I talk about using your voice to create lasting impact. Listen in as we explore deep ideas like active patience, authenticity, and vision.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

Play

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Fear disguised as wisdom

Soon after starting work at a non-profit, I was promoted to marketing director. In this role I created a new department and had a lot of fresh ideas.

Once in awhile, veteran employees took me aside to share how they’d seen it all before, and what we were trying to do wouldn’t last, that this was another pet project doomed to fail. While they probably had good intentions for sharing these words of caution and saw them as wisdom, I took it as a dare to succeed.

Today, most of the naysayers aren’t around anymore. They were either let go or left the organization while my team worked hard to create lasting impact. Stasis feels like that safest thing, but there’s a risk to standing still, as well.

Show highlights

In this episode, Todd and I discuss:

  • Redefining the meaning of “voice”
  • Sensitivity to whatever audience you’re in front of
  • Taking big ideas and connecting them to different contexts
  • When people consider you, what do they think about you?
  • Shaping and honing a voice that represents you
  • How your voice reflects your body of work
  • The danger of compliance, conformity, and compromise
  • Anticipating hurdles on the journey
  • The paralysis of false narratives
  • How success amplifies the imposter syndrome
  • Sacrificing short-term attention for long-term impact
  • Three higher order patters of the “voice engine”

Quotes and Takeaways

  • Fear often comes disguised as wisdom.” —Todd Henry
  • We discover our voice in the context of community.” —Todd Henry
  • Making great art is making bold decisions in the face of uncertainty.” —Todd Henry
  • “Be clear even when you’re not certain.” —Todd Henry
  • You can’t find your voice buried in the backyard.
  • Your voice is a means for creating impact, not achieving self-gratification.
  • The job of the artist is to tell the truth.
  • Writing is work. The muse isn’t going to kiss you with the fairy dust of inspiration while you binge on Netflix.

Resources

BONUS: Download the full transcript here.

What is your voice saying about your work? What does your work want to become? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Cheryl

    Thanks, Jeff and Todd. You guys really hit the nail on the head for me. I had been specifically searching for information about “finding your voice”. Then during my lunch-break I randomly decided to see what the latest post was, here on Jeff’s blog. Great timing! And, great conversation!

  • Danie Botha

    One thing that especially stood out, was a comment by Todd when referring to the negativity and fear of others, disguised as wisdom: “Your action will be an indictment of their inaction …”
    I needed this affirmation.
    I’m setting up a new blogging site, and ask myself from time to time, “Are you out of your mind?”
    No, I’m not. For me, it’s only forward!
    I had a look at your blogging site as well, Todd.
    Thanks, Jeff & Todd!

  • Lady Bird

    Great interview! Thank you for the opportunity to listen to it.

  • Thank you for this! I’ve begun reading the book.