What’s up Creative Hustlers? I’m Steven Picanza. I want to thank you for joining me for the very first episode of the #CreativeHustler Podcast.

I’m truly grateful that you are taking a listen.

Every week, I am going to be interviewing global entrepreneurs, creatives, digital nomads and all around bad-asses to find out the one important question we are all craving to know.

How do you stay balanced in such an unbalanced world?

And that right there is basically the mantra of the show.

Celebrating the creative entrepreneur lifestyle.

So the goal is to have the full interview will come out Tuesdays and a recap episode will follow on Thursday.

This means that not only will you hear the inspiring story, but we are going to dissect it and hopefully help bring their tips and hacks to life.

Actionable steps to incorporate into your life NOW!

And interspersed between will be shorter, more compact episodes which we are calling “3oz or less”. Inspired by our constant travels and struggles to get passed security at times.

Oh, and since we are always out and about anyways, we will be doing some episodes “Live, on location” from events across the globe.

So I bet you’re asking who “we” is? Fair enough. Great question.

But before I get to me, I’ll introduce my cast of characters.

Our interactive producer is Alan Bush. You’ll hear him here and there, dropping value like it’s hot. A podcast and marketing veteran whom I have had the pleasure to have known and work with for a few years now.

And joining me on this journey is my wonderful and supportive wife, Melissa. The hope here is that her female perspective adds a different tone to the topics and “balances” us out.

And speaking of perspectives, don’t be alarmed if our at-times NY / BOS rivalry comes out. It’s apparently the thing that balances us out.

We are going to break the interview episode up into 4 main parts:

So our first segment we call Awaken. This is where we look to dive deep into your world and explore the internal motivation that keeps you going. While other podcasts solely focus on this, that’s not us. Curious by nature, I really want to know and understand why some people are motivated like a freight train and what they do when they just don’t feel like doing shit.

A big part of this lifestyle, because that is what this is, a lifestyle, is about the tools we keep in our tool belt. The next section, Gadgets & Gizmos is all about that. Our tools. Being global and always on the go isn’t for everyone and the tools we utilize is pretty specialized.

So we pose the questions, what’s in your mobile office?

While on the subject of traveling, our next section is appropriately titled Voyage + Explore. The world is our oyster as global entrepreneurs and creatives, but it doesn’t always work out as planned. This is where we explore your journey, literally, and the obstacles you’ve overcome along the way.

And finally, we end with balance. This journey cannot work unless we are balanced first. Burning-out is real. Becoming an unhealthy workaholic is closer than you think. We need to get back to center and align ourselves because being a creative hustler and a global entrepreneur is often a rollercoaster ride.

So maybe now is a great time to tell you a little bit about myself. Well, I’m pretty fast-paced as you can probably tell already. It’s my new york-ness, even though I’ve been in southern California for quite a few years now.

I started my “career” – career in quotation marks – as a musician and naturally, I was in charge of promotions and getting us gigs. From there I was addicted. I would be out day and night “hustling” our music and trying to make connections. That lead me to dinner theater. A great segue huh?

Doing a dinner theater for 10 years lead me to meet amazing people and travel around the country performing. It is also during this time that my “formal” education happened. Once again “formal” in quotation marks.

In 2006 I got my first “real” job. I was an education counselor at a very large for-profit university. Basically, I was in a boiler room slinging degrees. I was miserable. First off, I don’t belong in a cubicle. I’m way too energetic for that shit. Secondly, I didn’t believe in it. Sure I’m all about education and the art of learning, but I didn’t believe in their business practices. I needed to escape. So I did. With no plan and no direction.

It was 2008. So I did the only logical thing I could think of. I started a business.

Starting in 2008 and lasting until 2013, I ran a boutique creative agency. We were small with big ideas. We also had no real clue what we were doing. We dabbled in podcasting, created campaigns for some really cool brands and even built a start-up SaaS software, which I still own and run to this day.

But the best part? We failed. No one got hurt, well, maybe emotionally, but we were able to learn a ton of valuable lessons. In 2013 we closed our doors for good, but not before something memorable happened.

Within a 6 month time period, my life fell apart. A long-term relationship had ended, the business was on it’s way to closing and I had gotten stabbed in the neck by a random homeless man in broad daylight. With a mini-philips head screwdriver nonetheless.

This was my bottom. There was no way I was going to keep digging my own hole. But I never thought of it in such a negative way. To me, this was my opportunity rise from the ashes. My renaissance! The obstacle I must endure to find my way.

This is when the idea of The Creative Hustler was born. It came from a talk I had done at a local university on what happens after you graduate with a marketing degree. About how you have to go out there and want it. Work your ass off for it. And get rid of that entitled attitude most college students have.

And for a long time, it was just something I spoke about, whether on a stage or with my friends.

With my shop closed for good, I knew I had another chance to do what I want to do.

Fast forward a few years, I once again found myself in the advertising / branding / marketing world, working for awesome agencies on even cooler projects. But this time, when I left, I knew I was leaving for good and on my terms.

I had to just jump. Jump off that cliff. Attempt to build a plane on the way down and hope I don’t crash and burn along the way.

And I’m taking my wife, who has taken the plunge with me.

It’s go time. So while we still are working with agencies and within that industry, it all boils back to the impact we can make as human beings.

That is what this is all about. Value, impact, and ensuring that our purpose is lived fully.

That is the story of the creative hustler thus far. But let’s be real, the story is just starting. Hopefully to be written by all of you in one way or another.  

Again, I’m truly grateful you’ve taken the time to listen to this first episode. I hope it is one of many.



Cheers to the future, creative hustlers.

– SP