This year saw the launch of the #NoFilter with Danielle Snyder podcast, in which Dannijo’s co-founder interviewed a star-studded roster of friends including Gary Vaynerchuk, Questlove and Brooklyn Decker. Here, we share their most insightful words of wisdom.
From left: Danielle with Gary Vaynerchuk, with Brooklyn Decker, and with Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson.
1. Boredom is essential for creativity
When Danielle interviewed Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson in October, he argued that boredom is critical for creativity, and our collective social media addiction doesn’t offer much opportunity for our minds to wander.
“If you're over-stimulated you don't allow ideas in or out, because your brain's on a high. When your phone is on 8% and it's red, you have to charge it. And to charge it you need silence, and meditation. So yeah, in the last five years I've learned this lesson that you need silence and boredom. It's a lonely thing, but it's also necessary.”
2. Balance is BS
Influencer, writer and television host Louise Roe spoke to Danielle in September, and in a wide-ranging conversation, got real about being a new mom and the work-life juggling act.
“A friend of mine said to me recently—another influencer who has a child and is about to give birth again—she was like, ‘Balance is such a sort of bullshit.’ She said, ‘You'll get balance for five minutes or maybe a day, and then it goes away again.’ It's very fleeting… That made me kind of go, ‘Ah, okay. So I'm normal and it's all right.’ Because I left my baby who's eight months old for the longest I've ever left her, and I cried lots.”
3. Asking friends for favors can suck at your soul
Danielle’s friend Brooklyn Decker was a guest on the podcast in August. She spoke about her fashion-tech startup Finery and the challenges of entrepreneurship.
"It’s really hard. It’s probably one of the biggest challenges I'm personally facing in being an entrepreneur. And it’s not that I’m afraid of the hustle, it’s that I have never had to ask friends for favors.
"Hollywood, specifically, it sounds horrible, but people are constantly looking at each other like, how can I use you, how can we benefit each other. I’ve never been that way — I live in Austin, Texas, I have intentionally worked my ass off and then removed myself from that, so I never am a person who is friends with someone because they can help me. Or vice versa. It’s why all of my relationships in Hollywood are really authentic and they're rooted in something that's real.
"Now I’m going to those people who I trust and love and I’m like, 'Hey, can you post for me? Can you talk about me? It’s really hard because especially in this day and age, with social influence, that is currency for a lot of these people, that’s how they make their money, so to go in and say, 'I can’t afford to pay for you, we have no money as a startup, but can you post for us?' It sucks at your soul."
4. We learn more about ourselves during the tough times
Seven-time Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson was Danielle’s first ever podcast guest, and spoke about how his toughest moments also served as important learning curves.
"2017 was a tough year for us, we didn’t win a few races, and so far 2018, it’s been a struggle as well. But I’ve learned more about myself during the tough times, I had a huge struggle getting to my opportunity, and then it’s been great. And people only remember me at that top level, when I’m winning all of those championships and having that success, but I’ve had a tough 18 months."
5. We’ve all become too dependent on Instagram
Investor, entrepreneur, author, podcast host and television personality Gary Vaynerchuk spoke to Danielle in November about diversity on social media.
"Watching everybody put their entire life into Instagram is the most interesting thing I'm watching. People are becoming so disproportionately reliant on Instagram socially and business-wise that when, not if, Instagram starts losing its attention graph, that's gonna be a big fucking problem for a lot of people...
"Fashion brands that used to rely on Vogue and Bergdorf [Goodman], who are now gonna be 100 percent fucking Instagram, are gonna be really sad in seven years, and that's what I'm watching.
"Diversity matters, and everyone's getting pot-committed, they're not posting anywhere else, they're not doing anything else, all they care is about is how many 'likes' they got on an Instagram post, how their Instagram — here's my favorite — people care about how their Instagram layout looks when you land on it so that it's aesthetically aligned.
"As a brand, somebody who produces content, across the board, [I'm] massively diversified: website, email, text messaging platform, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram… I mean we're 25 [percent] here, 10 here, 15 here, seven here… diversity is, like… I'm not going to be vulnerable to anybody."
6. Every recipe is wrong
Nineteen-year-old chef prodigy Flynn McGarry shared his common-sense approach to learning how to cook when he was interviewed by Danielle in November.
“Every recipe is wrong. Don't follow it to the tee. If something feels wrong, don't do it… If you don't like something, take it out. “Don't learn how to cook from a cookbook that's like, ‘I'm gonna make this dish today,’ or ‘I'm gonna make this dish today.’
"Learn how to do knife cuts, learn how to make a sauce. Learn how to do these sorts of techniques that apply to all cooking, so then when you read a recipe, you're like, ‘That's weird that that says 35 minutes,’ and you're like, ‘It usually should take this long.’ Get the knowledge of how ingredients work, then you can just sort of apply that to whatever.”
7. Tennis needs big personalities.
Former world No.1 tennis champion Andy Roddick told Danielle about how instant replay has been bad for tennis and why the game needs big personalities on court.
“I’m in the extreme minority in the tennis world, I want to get rid of instant replay cause no one argues anymore. You asked me about Nick Kyrgios because he throws fits and argues with people. I get asked about John McEnroe, I get asked about Connors.
"Tennis is weird, there’s no home team, you can’t count on everyone from Dallas going to Cowboys games, so it does rely on individual personalities. I would get rid of instant replay and bring in a human element.
"I got screwed in a line call in the ‘01 US Open when I was 18 turning 19 and I don’t know if I would have gotten through that match, [but] it certainly expedited the process of me losing the match. I went nuts. Lost my stuff, went yelling at the umpire, going crazy, and then all of a sudden, you’re famous a week later. So, I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I think you have to bring out big personalities in tennis.
"Young kids are obsessed with Nick Kyrgios. And I don’t think it’s a great thing cause there’s a million things that he does that I wouldn’t want my kids to do, but he generates eyeballs, he generates interest.”
8. Young people today have no patience
Vaynerchuk also told Danielle that the lack of patience among young people today is their greatest vulnerability.
"The biggest vulnerability to all the youth — which I'm obsessed with, I hate that people shit on young people, I'm obsessed — is the lack of patience. This thought that you printed 50 t-shirts and a week later you're gonna be Supreme with your business? Or that you've taken two cute photos and you're gonna be a supermodel? The complete entitlement and lack of patience that parents have created for the 18-to-25-year-olds in our society is an enormous vulnerability.
"I [meet] kids [who] literally shit on their parents... and I come to find out that their parents bought their apartment and pay for their Uber, and I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' You're mad at your parents for not writing a million-dollar check for your ridiculously shit business idea, yet they pay for your Equinox membership? You're a fucking piece of shit."
9. All relationships need work
Johnson also shed light on the number of people it takes to make a Nascar champion, especially the role of his crew chief.
"With all driver/crew chief relationships there’s a conflict there from the start, it’s a very interesting dynamic. But we’ve been together for 17 years now. We’re brothers – we fight like brothers, celebrate like brothers — but it’s been a wild journey, it really has.
"My crew chief is a lot like the head coach of a football team, they're there to push and extract everything they can out of the players. In our industry it’s very technical, but when the car is on track we cannot capture data, so I end up being the computer for the team. I have to tell them all these sensations and understand vertical load and lateral load and when I let off the gas and put on the brake, where does the load shift? What corner of the car does it go to when I turn the wheel? It’s a very interesting dynamic and that relationship takes a lot of work.
"I think any relationship that’s important takes time. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a spouse, a sibling, a parent, there are certain relationships — especially blood relationships — you have to work on them to make them important and meaningful."
10. Don’t be in thrall to nostalgia
Questlove also spoke about balancing a respect for the past with creative evolution.
“Hold onto [nostalgia] but make time for yourself so that you can be great as well. It's cool to hang onto memories and to worship tradition that you're known to. But you also have to make space for evolution and whatever else is around the bend. That's what makes a real maverick, a real innovator.”