Shannon DeJong is a CEO. She’s also an artist. These two things are not mutually exclusive - however, they are extremely difficult to pull off. At the helm of her quickly growing San Francisco naming and branding agency, but equally passionate about performance art and acting, Shannon has been feeling like a woman divided.
Host Kerri Lowe, (an aspiring ArtistCEO herself) documents Shannon's journey as she attempts to integrate her two selves (her "artist" self and her "professional" self) in order to become one self - an ArtistCEO. Listen in to enter the mind of a newly-minted CEO doing business sans MBA...but with a background in performance art and Zen Buddhist philosophy.
Part narrative documentary, part performance art, part live-your-values kick-in-the-pants - ArtistCEO is the real story behind what it takes to make business and art play nice.
An ArtistCEO is someone who is multi-passionate, trying to balance both business and artistic pursuits. In ArtistCEO podcast, we follow the journey of one woman trying to make business and art live in harmony.
When host Kerri Lowe met our protagonist Shannon DeJong, she was keeping her artistic life and her business life totally separate, even going by two different names.
But the two women thought there might be another way…a way to live a more integrated life – to not have to hide art from business, or the businessperson from the artist.
In Episode 1, we meet Shannon and start to get a glimpse of her wacky, poetic, sometimes brutally honest audio diaries as she tries to live an integrated ArtistCEO life. You’ll also dive into the back story of how someone becomes an ArtistCEO in the first place.
From choosing a college major, to getting the first internship, leaving jobs, making art, traveling internationally and finally, almost by accident, starting a brand agency…
As Shannon’s business, House of Who, starts to grow, she encounters a series of disasters, money challenges and straight up failures that go along with bootstrapping.
Firing up a generator for huge client calls, getting tax structure advice, giving yourself a raise and getting thwarted by building codes, in this episode, Shannon gets real about the behind-the-scenes of making it work when you’re in the first year of scaling up.
Experiencing both burnout and excitement as the business keeps growing, Shannon starts to get serious about learning how to be a leader (even if that means delegating beyond her comfort zone), managing her energy and stepping up to be a true CEO.
The client jobs and the team are bigger and better than ever, but can she sustain a life that neglects her art? What’s the opportunity cost of committing to grow House of Who in this way? Is an ArtistCEO doomed to live a life of regret?
When Shannon takes a break from her exploding business, she realizes she has a problem. Her artist side is starving. Though she’s become better fed financially, and even fulfilled creatively, (building a business is a creative act after all) in the making art department, she’s feeling broke. How long can an ArtistCEO be only a CEO?
It’s time to turn the tables as we focus on Kerri (the narrator’s) story of being an artist who starts a freelance business. Held back by a health crisis in her early 20s and discouraged by the lack of financial stability in performance, she begins helping entrepreneurs with their content to pay the bills.
Shannon experiences a breakthrough in her artistic life, embarking on the beginnings of a two-person play that will force her to walk the talk of an ArtistCEO.
As Shannon commits to actively performing again and taking acting classes while running her brand agency, House of Who, she starts to remember why doing it all is challenging (to say the least!)
Kerri and Shannon meet for the first time at the House of Who retreat and she realizes that this person she’s been hearing audio diaries from for months is really…real.
Shannon is facing her first BIG test as an ArtistCEO – being an actress in a two-person play while simultaneously running her business.
Listen in to find out what her team thought about seeing their CEO on stage and what happened when Kerri made a surprise visit to see the final performance of Laughing Wild.
After performing in a play and running her business at the same time, Shannon is having some trouble getting back into the hustle.
So much so, that she’s thinking about throwing in the towel on the whole thing.
Listen in to hear Shannon reckon with whether or not this whole crazy path she’s taken – marching to the beat of her own drummer – was worth it.
In the final episode of ArtistCEO, a newly freed up Shannon travels to Brooklyn to meet Kerri on her way to SXSW.
The two attend a podcast conference and get excited about the future of ArtistCEO until Kerri has an existential crisis about how she’s going to make business and art live in harmony.