Our guest for this week is Mykel Dixon, a musician, author, creative entrepreneur and a renowned public speaker.

Michael is the #1 choice for a keynote speaker on artistry, creativity, innovation, leadership culture, and experience. He describes himself as a jazz musician by trade, gypsy by nature, fierce nonconformist, and a prolific anti-perfectionist. His work revolves around helping people and organizations thrive by rediscovering their creative confidence, reimagining their creative potential and reinventing their organization for relevance in what he calls a 21st Century Renaissance. His lectures provide answers to questions like how to foster creativity in teams through improvisation, inclusion, and agility, how to harness high-performance creative leadership, and how to activate, articulate and amplify your authentic, differentiated edge.

In 2016, Mykel published his book titled “Just do 5omething: A handbook for turning dreamers into makers”. It highlights the utter necessity of creativity and emphasizes that creative recovery is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. Best-selling author Dr. Jason Fox has said about the book that it is “an affront to the banal predictability of convention” and that “it’ll have you make something that is utterly original, beautiful, and true to you.” In late 2018, Mykel released his second book titled “Enterprise Artistry – A brave new paradigm for a bold new world”. There are also three ebooks available for download on his website!

On his rich and admirable list of clients, you can find corporate giants like Google, Youtube, World Vision, Intuit, Lululemon, Johnson & Johnson, Atlassian, Parmalat, Bayer, CPA, Tabcorp, Pause Fest, BUPA, and Tennis Australia. He was named ‘Australia’s Breakthrough Speaker of The Year’, for 2018.

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Mykel’s Story of Inspired Evolution

“There was always a lot of depth. There was always a lot of this spiritual element to my life and my work.” – Mykel Dixon

In his early 20s, Mykel was lead by a dream of becoming a rockstar. Late night practice sessions, daily busking just to get by, hoping one day someone would recognize his talent and give him the opportunity he thought he deserved. As his 30s came by, he was faced with a difficult situation of not having any savings and no equity to his name. He sold his vintage keyboard collection and embarked on what turned out to be a spiritual journey which started in India. Later, he explored Nepal and his journey culminated with him accidentally buying a beach bar in Cambodia 10 meters from the water!

He spent his time meditating, practicing yoga and writing a lot of music. But he still felt like he wasn’t done with his old life and that he had a lot to offer to the place he came from.

“I came back with, literally, just a clear intent and no clarity whatsoever of the how.” – Mykel Dixon

Working gigs and cash-in-hand jobs where a way to get by, reminding him closely of the things he had previously purposefully left behind. He quickly got an opportunity in the form of managing the culture of a startup hub coworking space. Being surrounded by ambitious entrepreneurs sparked an idea. In his mind, a vision was forming, and his pure intent slowly gained shape and transformed into something that will make him the person that he is today. His speaking engagements came very organically and by working closely with a mentor he perfected his craft of inspiring business folk to incorporate, utilize and harness the power of creativity.

“Through a lot of risk, a lot of vulnerability, and a lot of humiliation, somehow I arrived to where I am now.” – Mykel Dixon

A Spark of Curiosity

Mykel credits curiosity as fuel for creativity. Whether you’re producing form an artistic or entrepreneurial standpoint, immersing yourself with your work and interests will allow you to create on an entirely different level. It also comes with a great dose of humility, as this partnership you’re making with your interest transcends you and your basic desires and needs, and provides a context for making greatness. Greatness in the form of finding novel ways of adding value. He shares with us his insights on how to achieve and reveal this curiosity within ourselves.

“Just sit… and look at something… and get bored… and then notice that you’re getting bored.” – Mykel Dixon

Becoming aware of the fact that we’re disengaging from our surroundings is the first step to becoming more curious, as it allows us to do something about it. Behind boredom lies great power and potential, because the other side of the coin is finding something that moves the very core of your being.

The Relationship Between Art and Science

“If what is being experienced is expressed through a lens of emotion and intuition we call that art. If that same thing is being experienced and expressed through a lens of logic and reason we call it science.” – Mykel Dixon

Mykel’s professional journey is a story of unity between the artistic and the scientific. He postulates that science and art are two sides of the same coin and that we’re always balancing on that unbreakable bond between the two, leaning towards different sides in different times from both personal standpoint and the context of humanity.

“The key piece is that it’s not versus, it’s not or, it’s not but – it’s and. Form and function are both parts of the same, and they couldn’t exist without each other.” – Mykel Dixon

Progress, in the technological sense, has indeed come from science. And in fact, technological progress is probably the perfect example that showcases the indisputable connection between science and art. By adapting ourselves to the digital world which is being dominated by gadgets, machines and AI, our culture will indeed draw from these advances as inspiration for creative content. The obvious benefits of advancement in terms of science often masks the need for something different. There needs to be a balance and the gorgeous thing about it is that both science and art can be consumed and produced together. The general feeling is that we’ve neglected our artistic selves in pursuit of wealth and economic growth. It’s about time we thought about personal growth as well.

“There is no greater imperative for us than to recover creatively.” – Mykel Dixon