Falling in Love with the Process with Creative Hustlers Melissa Rautenberg and Steven Picanza-EP032

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Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride, with extreme highs and lows. So how do you keep yourself motivated during the rough times? Today’s guests are honest in sharing the despair they have faced as well as the successes – and that was just this week! They are prepared to teach you how to be a creative hustler – embracing the process, increasing your bounce back rate, and living at the intersection of creativity and business.

Steven Picanza and Melissa Rautenberg are the husband-wife team behind The Creative Hustler, a lifestyle brand for creative entrepreneurs, as well as the brand strategy firm Latin & Code. Steven brings his talents as a brand architect, business strategist and creative entrepreneur to these endeavors, as he works to connect people, products, and organizations with their core audience.

The yin to his yang, Melissa has the tactical skills to bring Steven’s vision to life. With an expertise in inbound marketing, SEO, and PPC, her no bullshit approach has built meaningful campaigns across a variety of industries. Today they explain the unifying principles of creative hustlers and how they create balance in their lives. Listen and learn how to shift your mindset to accept that ‘the obstacle is the way.’

Key Takeaways

How ‘The Creative Hustler’ originated

  • Steven coined the phrase at a talk in 2011
  • Debuted ‘manifesto’ at conference in London last summer
  • Brainstormed expansion of idea on plane ride home
  • Focus on living at the intersection of creativity and business

The unifying principles of creative hustlers

  • There is opportunity everywhere
  • We can use each other’s strengths in an ecosystem rather than an ‘egosystem’

Why entrepreneurs have a social responsibility to share the possibilities available in gig economy

The greatest challenges faced by creative hustlers

  • Motivation to continue after failure
  • Determination to bounce back

How to avoid highlight reel syndrome

  • Don’t compare yourself to another’s perfect post
  • Remember that everyone is presenting their best selves on social

The importance of mindset

  • Necessary component of long-term strategy
  • Helps you learn to love the process and see the bad as opportunity

How Melissa and Steven decide if a client is a good fit

  • Look for people who ‘get it’
  • Core values must match
  • Client believes in their own product
  • Wants to better themselves and their brand

How Melissa and Steven work together

  • Steven plays part of orchestrator
  • Melissa’s role is tactical, realizing the vision
  • Together, their strengths offer clients a 360° view

How Melissa and Steven stay driven

  • ‘Success is the only option’
  • Surround selves with inspiring people

How Melissa and Steven create balance

  • There is no personal and business life, there’s just life
  • Stop and go on a hike or cook dinner
  • Enjoy what’s around you in order to recharge

Melissa and Steven’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Conquer your tiny corner of the internet
  • No one will do it for you, but others will want to help once you start
  • Serve others and be of value, without expecting something in return
  • Fall in love with the process


The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

Connect with Melissa & Steven

Creative Hustler Website



Steven on Twitter

Melissa on Twitter

65 episodes available. A new episode about every 4 days averaging 26 mins duration .