To Live an Artful Life with Gabe Ratliff

On this episode, we welcome Gabe Ratliff - a creative who turned his personal burnout experience into a flourishing solopreneur shop helping creatives develop their businesses and lives.  Gabe shares the formative experiences that led to his understanding of the power of authenticity and vulnerability, and how he helps himself and his clients remember that they are always their own North Star.

Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.

YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human







Alex Cullimore: Hello, Cristina. 

Cristina Amigoni: Hello. 

Alex Cullimore: We just had a great conversation with – I don't know what else to call it other than a friend of the pod, Gabe Ratliff. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. 

Alex Cullimore: We've gotten to know him over the last couple months. And we got to be on his podcast, which should be coming out probably a little bit after this one is aired. And, man, what a conversation. That guy is living authenticity. And he's so fun to be around.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, love to hear about the journey and how it's not a wake up one morning and be like, "I'm authentic. And I know exactly what to do. And how to live in value and in alignment with myself. And here's a perfect plan and a perfect business." And it's a much, much messier journey there. And it's almost a daily messy journey, honestly. There's never that moment of like, "We've got it. Here's the medal. Done." 

Alex Cullimore: "I'm so authentic now." His story is great. His whole journey to how he's doing, what he's doing, what he finds. He appreciates about it. And why he appreciates that. I mean, just very super helpful, I think, for anybody who's thinking about going on their own journey to authenticity. Because it is a journey. It's never done. It's just a practice. It's a practice of continually rechecking in with ourselves. He had some great illustrations for it. And the way that he approaches it and the way he gets to help other people is very, very inspiring.

Cristina Amigoni: It is. Yeah, I like the combination of art and science, because he focuses on the creative. But he's got a specific methodology, a specific way of getting to the core of allowing people to be authentic in their business and life and not so blurred and not have to wait until retirement.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah, that's one I think I'll be thinking about a lot. We've thought about that a couple times in just recent meetings. We've talked about the art – the blend of art and science, and what we do, and what we get to do, and what so much of life is. And, essentially, I feel like what we end up doing with clients is finding that balance because it usually has ended up skewing one way or another. We've gotten too procedural. Too data-driven without knowing why. Or we've gotten too far out and there's no processes. Nobody knows what's happening. And when you find that balance, it's like authenticity. You can find that continual sweet spot, trying to balance that one and understanding when you're out of alignment, when you need more of one. But having both those muscles built up is a very powerful combination.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely is. Enjoy it.

Alex Cullimore: Welcome to Uncover the Human where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives. 

Cristina Amigoni: Whether that's with our families, co-workers or even ourselves. 

Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.

Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni. 

Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore. Let’s dive in.

Cristina Amigoni: Let’s dive in. 

Authenticity means freedom.”

“Authenticity means going with your gut.”

“Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.”

“Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.”

“It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.”

“Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.”

“It's transparency, relatability. No frills. No makeup. Just being.”

Alex Cullimore: Welcome back to this episode of Uncover the Human. We are joined with our guest today, Gabe Ratliff. Welcome to the podcast, Gabe. 

Gabe Ratliff: Woohoo! Thanks for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Cristina Amigoni: Super excited to have you.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah, we're glad to have you on. We love starting here, what's your story? What brought you here? 

Gabe Ratliff: Oh, gosh! 

Cristina Amigoni: Why are we talking to you? 

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah, good question. A much more aggressive question. 

Cristina Amigoni: Or listening to you?

Gabe Ratliff: I'm going to put that back on you all. Why did you invite me here? Hmm, my story. My story – Gosh! I own a company called Artful. And it's interesting, because having my own business was so foreign to me. In a previous context of myself, a younger version, looking forward, it's really – Or looking back, it's really interesting you kind of think back, because my dad had his own company. And it didn't really hit me until like after I'd already started. And I was like, "Oh, my gosh! I did have that entrepreneurial spirit around me." It just was in a different way. He was a contractor and built homes. And it's interesting, because when I was working on what we do with Artful, I chose to use the word build. And it's kind of an homage to my dad. Because we help people build thriving, purposeful, creative businesses. And so, it's this homage to my dad that I can kind of like I'm now sharing. But it's been this kind of secret that I plugged in there. The nucleus of all of this, to answer your question, is I am an artist. I am a creative weirdo, misfit. I appreciate that we're all unique snowflakes. I don't think we all need to get a trophy. I think that challenges push us to be our best selves and we all go through our own unique challenges. And we also go through our own similar challenges. And as an artist who I've done – I was actually in several bands. I was in touring national bands. I've DJ'd all over the world. I've played Red Rocks, which is a big – I've played there twice actually in two different bands. And like that's like a big deal for a lot of musicians. And so, that's something for me that was a big deal as well. I've played on the coast of Goa India. I've played in Hollywood and done the LA thing. I also was broke and in debt and became a corporate creative. And did that for about 10 years. And it was in marketing and media production, branding. And the last company I was at, I was not only drinking the Kool-Aid, I was making it. I was so into what we were doing, because it was serving creatives. And it was a edutainment company. It was a startup that was in this like online education space. And I loved it. I loved it. But it was soul-crushing, brutal work. It was really brutal work. To put in context, over three and a half years, I worked on 150 feature length shows.

Cristina Amigoni: It's crazy.

Gabe Ratliff: It's crazy. We were on a 22-day schedule from wrap of the shoot to marketing out live, which in the video world is – I mean, it's unheard of. Films don't – Unless it's an indie film and it's small crew, that just doesn't happen. And it was crazy. It was such an assembly line. And there are several of us we've had conversations since this job that were traumatized. We had PTSD from this. And it actually like tweaked our connection to our passion. And so, that's been part of my journey. And so, when I come back to what I was saying about like the similarities that we have, once I left that, I asked my partner. I was like, "Hey, give me a minute. I got to sit with this." And I was like, "Let me do some soul searching." And I started to go through this really deep searching around, "Do I want to keep working for somebody else's dream? Or do I want to start to get serious about what I want to bring to the world and the legacy I want to leave?" And one of the things I did was a Tibetan death meditation. It's actually a death and a rebirth meditation. Wow! That afternoon, I'm weeping in tears furiously scribbling in my journal as I'm doing this meditation. And at the end of it, I'm like texting these three lines of like the three things I want my partner to know if we never saw each other again. It's part of the exercise as you've had this rebirth. And when I came out of it, I was like, "I want to help creatives. I want to –" The starving artist is such a dilemma, it's an epidemic, for a long time. And it's enabled. And a lot of times we enable it ourselves. And it's not uncommon to a lot of people, right? I mean, so many people don't feel worthy. They don't feel like they're enough. And it's not just focused on creatives. But it is very rampant for creatives. And they also don't like to sell. And a lot of creatives are introverts. A lot of creatives have ADHD. And a lot of this stuff is coming out more and more and more, like all of these similar similarities that we share. And to wrap up answering your question, I went from being an artist, musician, doing the touring thing, but realizing it wasn't sustainable as an adult. In the context, I did the DIY thing for seven years. Did 10 years at least of corporate. Gave that a shot. And then I said, "You know what? I'm going to go off and do my own." And my partner honored that. And here we are, six years later, still going. What shifted was I was just doing the freelancer thing. I was doing media production, photography, video, all that stuff, what I had been doing. And design. All of those things that I had been doing in the corporate world. But I realized I'm just doing more client work. I'm not really leaving that legacy that came up for me when I did that meditation. And was like, "No, I really want to make an impact. I don't want to just phone it in." Just basically have my own gig and not work for somebody else. But just keep doing work that's not fulfilling. There's not a purpose. There wasn't purpose in what I was doing. I wasn't feeling the purpose. And so, I really started to shift that focus to like, "Now, how can I get more into like the purpose and keep the practicality?" As a business, right? We have to keep the practicality in there along with the passion and the purpose. And to wrap it, 2020 happened. There's a long story in there. I'll leave that for some other time. But the core thing was my dad got sick about six months after the pandemic started. He was diagnosed after I flew out to be there with stage four lung cancer. And I had a backpack. Had gone back to the south, which is where they lived at the time and together, my mom and dad. And I hadn't really been back for this long in 20 years. And so, there was a lot of baggage. And I had left the south because I just was more progressive person and just felt like an outsider, which is why I love serving fellow misfits, and outsiders, and underdogs and helping them thrive. So, I had this backpack. I'm in the south. And what turned into kind of a three-week recon mission in the middle of the pandemic quarantining all that stuff, we get the news, and I was there for three months as a caregiver fighting this vicious, invisible killer while we had another global invisible killer happening. And I was away from my wife. I was taking care of my dad. And we lost him November 8th, 2020. And after that, I was just devastated. I was just toast. I was lowest I'd ever been. It really hit me hard. But I was so grateful for the time that I had getting to like cook for them and share what I learned as an adult and a husband. I had to flip a switch. I was starting to get pretty dark thoughts. And I basically had to build myself up from the inside out and switch my mindset to this place of getting back to that legacy and wanting to pay it forward and to serve others. Not focus on me. Focus on others. And by caregiving for my dad and witnessing the hindsight of his life, and that shame, and regret, and fears, and pain that he took with him on his deathbed, it really moved me. It was a very maturing experience. And so, to come out of that. And I'm a very young at heart, people have said old soul, type person. And so, to be that young at heart kind of person, this was when I say maturing experience. It was like a big deal. And so, to come out of all of that, and then to take all that, and to build myself back up, and then to get to this place of like, "Okay, now, let's go. Get out there. And this is how we're going to make a difference." And so, Artful is that. It's helping others build their thriving, purposeful, creative businesses. And the focus is really to enjoy our lives, to live artful lives, to enjoy how they integrate – how our businesses can integrate with our life and how we can lift each other up and be a global community as opposed to this capitalistic soul-sucking assembly line to our death. That's it in a nutshell. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's quite an amazing journey.

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah, big nutshell. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, a whole basket of nuts.

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

Alex Cullimore: That's a great journey. A great mission. I mean, you went from a company where you had kind of a toxic relationship to helping creatives where it was draining you. To now, you have your company of helping creatives. How do you see the difference? What are some of the bigger things that you learned that you want to not take into your business?

Gabe Ratliff: Oh, transparency is the first thing that comes up. It's tough, right? It's tough. With clients, I'm constantly talking to them about when you're a company of one, company of two, it's – I mean, at least two is something, right? You have people to – someone else to bounce off of. But when you're a company of one, it's lonely. It can feel lonely. And that's one of the – There's like the pay – There are these tradeoffs, right? When you talk about something that comes up`– I talk about supporting people with finding joy, and fulfillment, and freedom. Those are like my three words that I think are just – it's like the icky guy, right? It's like, to me, if you can have joy, just enjoy your day and what you're doing. And not like dread Monday or Sunday night and live for the weekend. No matter what. If you have an employee or not. And then if you can have fulfillment, where you're like serving others and you're seeing them thrive and you're both winning. I love the win-win. I'm like, "Why not? Why not? Why can't we all win?" It's like equity. I love that artwork about equity, right? Where there's this one piece where you can see everybody looking over the fence. Did you see that one? 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 

Gabe Ratliff: That one seems to be the one that resonates with everybody. It was like, "Oh, that one's nice and simple." And I've come from that. I'm like why can't we just all get to look over the fence and like we all lift each other up to look over the fence? We can all enjoy it. It doesn't have to be I win, you lose. There's the tradeoff. The steady, the paycheck, the security, the 401K. But there's also the lack of agency and lack of using your intuition. And to me, I feel like what a great journey it is if you're captaining your own ship personally and professionally. You're getting to like show up how you want to show up and like change the game. To me, it seems like what a wonderful time we're in where we as business owners get to change the world by the work that we do. And like how we engage with each other. And how we can be friendly and not just be, "No, you're my client." It's like, "Okay." But then you can have your local baker that you go and you're like, "Hey, Joe. What's going on?" You know? And you can have that kind of friendly thing. But your clients, you have to be like, "No. We're going to do a presentation. I'm going to show you this deck. I've been working on this deck for two weeks. It's been vetted by 17 people. And it's gone around. We vote by committee here." You know, all that stuff, right? And it's like, "Okay, that worked, I guess?" And we can innovate. We can change. And, yes, there's still business. But when you have your own agency and you can say, "Okay, this is how I want to run my agents, my business," it's tough, right? It's hard to work. You have to sell, which is part of what I work with clients around. But how can you sell in a way that feels good for you? Because it's not selling. You're just being you. And you're working with people you're aligned with. You're being yourself and you're like, "This is where I shine. These are my strengths, my super powers, my unique abilities." And this is what you need. Okay, well, your need fits what I do. And we're aligned. I don't have to prove myself to you. We just get it. We just get each other. It's like if you like – people that love Apple, or people that love Marvel, right? Marvel's a good one. A lot of people – I mean, there's always divisiveness. There's always the people that get in there and they have to get on Twitter or whatever and be like, "No, this. No, that." I'm like you're just showing your geekdom at this point. And it's like when you look at Disney or Pixar, Pixar's a great example. Pixar has movies that can touch you as an adult. They can touch you as a child. They have morals. Just like comic books. And they can allow you to feel. And they tell great stories. They don't have to be with real people. They can be animated. And like everybody can enjoy them. And when you get a Pixar movie, you're like, "This is going to make me cry. It's going to make me laugh. I'm going to learn something. And I'm gonna enjoy myself for a couple hours." To me that feels like, "Hey, what a win." That to me is like a cool – I don't know what the behind the scenes is, right? I don't know what the team is like. If they're like, "Yes, I love this job." Or if they're like, "Please kill me. I've been designing for weeks." 

Cristina Amigoni: Probably both.

Gabe Ratliff: I've heard stories. Yeah. I don't want to bash. I've heard stories. And it takes work to do these. And I think this is coming back to what I was saying about change. By being – things like transparency, as I started to answer your question. Transparency. Being vulnerable is the second, right? Being vulnerable I think is massive to be a smaller business. And when you do work with people, to be on the same level, not I'm above you. This pillar thing of like I know more than you because you're working with me. As opposed to – I've been getting this conversation with some of my clients who are like motion designers. And we've been talking about like the whole X, Y, Z axis, because that's what they deal with in like three-dimensional design. And it's been this interesting breakthrough. Because when you start to get away from the X, Y thing in the pillars, you get in this whole new Z3 dimensional axis. And it's like you might just be further along, but you're not higher up, right? And to me, that's interesting. That kind of thing. And it's like maybe I've – and I think that's what allows us to be coaches, right? We are further along in something. You're further along in your understanding of human skills. And these entrepreneurs aren't. And so, you're not like, "I'm better than you. I know how to be a better human." You're coming in saying, "I understand this. I work on this. I've trained in this. And we can help you to improve that and how you show up as an entrepreneur with your team." Would you agree? 

Cristina Amigoni: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Alex Cullimore: I mean we wanted to sell with we're better humans. But – 

Gabe Ratliff: The show is originally going to be called Better Humans. 

Cristina Amigoni: That doesn't seem to actually quite have the same punch. 

Gabe Ratliff: I could totally see that demographic that would listen to this. Old, white dudes. 

Alex Cullimore: We would be serving a very different audience and doing very different work. But I totally agree. I think there's something about like – and coaching, I think, is particularly – There's a want to help. There's a want to like help people. And so, advancing our own understanding of things like human behavior and being able to convey that. That is how we help best. Or at least it's one way that we can really help is, "Hey, I've got this. I've been doing 
 endless reading, and research, and experience of life, and coaching or whatever." And bring that to a scenario and be like, "Here's what I would love to be able to help you with." Because that's really fun. I find that very fulfilling. Like the, "Hey, wow! This is something I've learned. And I think it could help you." And, "Oh, man. It really seems like you're blocked here. And look at. What if we help with this?" And that's the fun stuff. That's where you get to. And I think it does help to know something about human behavior. But we never come at it with like, I always think of that Parks and Rec's scene. The guy walks into the hardware store and he's like, "I know more than you," to the employees. It's not a recipe for success. There's lots you learn from everybody. I don't know more than you. I just think of things maybe slightly differently.

Cristina Amigoni: I know different things, most likely. But it's not a more. It's not a competition. I'm like, "Well, I know 10. And you know nine and a half." It's not quite there. 

Gabe Ratliff: No. Yeah. I think, transparency. And along with that, like I said, vulnerability. And being on the journey with people. I remember – because I helped three startups get to acquisition. And I remember, I loved that leadership quality of the good ones. Where you just – They would speak and you'd be like, "Man, that guy – I'm inspired." I love that. I love that inspiration that occurs. But when you don't – When the actions don't always match to what's said and that inspirational talk to rally the troops, you're kind of like – it's like being the frog in the pot while it's being slowly turned up. All of a sudden you start to go, "Is it getting hot in here? Guys!" 

Cristina Amigoni: Why am I melting? 

Gabe Ratliff: Why am I in such bad shape? And I have no energy on the weekend? And I keep missing dinners with family? And I had a friend who had carpal tunnel, really bad, because we shot so much. He was constantly holding this camera so much that he ended up like injuring his body. Affecting his body at a really young age. He was like too young to be really dealing with that. You know, it's like those things. When you start to go, "Mmm! I don't know if it's supposed to be –" It's like, "I don't know if it's supposed to be like that." And when I talk about like making the Kool-Aid, I mean, when you have that with employees, that's fire. And that can also fire burns, right? So, you got to watch. You got to watch it. And it doesn't matter if you've got kombucha on tap, it doesn't – When it comes down to it. That's what I felt like the pandemic helped teach us, was like what really matters. And it's like I was saying before, that's one of the things about having – being an employee versus being an entrepreneur or a company of one or two, is that you've got these tradeoffs. And you can appreciate the securities and those amenities and all that stuff. But when it comes down to it, what really matters is family, shelter, water, food, right? All those things that we got real serious about. 

Cristina Amigoni: Toilet paper. 

Gabe Ratliff: I wasn't going to go there. 

Alex Cullimore: Are you serious? 

Gabe Ratliff: I wasn't going to go there. Yeah, that was a thing. There are the tradeoffs. Because then you get with the business. And again, that's why I like to come back to this visual of like how, to me, when I gave myself that space and permission, to give it a go at captaining my own ship, it created this whole new area for me to tap into. And this new experience, this new chapter. Like, "Hey. Oh, man, now I have this opportunity to like get curious and imaginative and like figure out – Because, you know, when you think about like marketing, and accounting, and sales and, and all these different aspects that we have to business, when you start to have to answer that for yourself, a lot of times we look at other people, right? We're constantly comparing to other people. And what I've gleaned is – and this is what I share almost to every single session with clients, is that it comes from within. And we have to enable that. We have to empower that. And that's what I think is so exciting about the entrepreneurial route. I mean, everybody doesn't and can't do that. I don't see that being like societally a thing where everybody is an entrepreneur. Even though the new generation is really into that. I think it's great. I think it's awesome that people are pushing that. And I think it's amazing. And some people, they don't want that. They want what being an employee brings. And it doesn't mean you're safe, as we've seen. There are tons of layoffs right now. And it proves that side of it, is that there is a sense of safety. And there is a sense of freedom to being an entrepreneur, right? And there's always the and. You got to earn it. You still got to do the work. There's more things you have to deal with. And you can also figure out. You get creative. You're like, "Well, I don't want to do bookkeeping. Is there somebody I know that can help me with that? And can I take the money I'm making and invest a little bit in that so that I can spend more time on the things that matter?" And give yourself that, right? You have to give yourself that to get to a point of even scaling just a little bit at some point, and you keep going. Because if it keeps doing well, then you're like, "Well, I want to –" And speaking of that, I want to make sure I book in that with – what I love to ask people, is, "Have you answered, A, what you really want? And, B, what is enough?" 

Cristina Amigoni: Great questions.

Gabe Ratliff: Because I think that's really the two things that this all allows this conversation when you are captaining your own ship, is that you're saying like, "What do I want? What do I want?" Right? What do you want with SIAMO? What do we want? How do we want to show up? I remember when we talked on your podcast recording for my show, we got into that. And it was so exciting to hear like, "Oh, that's what – That's how they show up." That's so great. It's like that kinship, right? That understanding of each other. Again, there's that alignment. And that's exciting because you feel that alignment. And you're like, "Oh, man. That's great. There's more of us out here that want to make a difference and are running businesses." Like, creating this example. It's like living the example for others. And I think that's just so freaking exciting to be like out here doing it and saying, "It's okay, kids. It's okay. You don't have to be a douchebag." We just watched The Goonies recently. And I love that scene when he's downstairs and he's got his little monologue, Sean Astin. And they're at the well. And he's like, "This is our time down here. We're the goonies. This is our time. That's their time up there." And I totally feel like that's like where we're at. We're the goonies. And it's like this is our time. It's like, "Y'all had your chance." 

Cristina Amigoni: Being douchebags. 

Gabe Ratliff: It didn't turned out so good. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, we're all paying for it. So, let's try it our way. 

Gabe Ratliff: I mean, why not? 

Cristina Amigoni: Why not? 

Gabe Ratliff: You had your go. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. I love the fact that you talk about giving yourself permission, because I find that that's definitely a big piece that we have found after starting, after putting yourselves out there, being in the arena. And then coming back and reflecting to what changed. What fueled doing what you do and how you do it? And it was that. It was like we give ourselves permissions. And so, stop waiting for somebody else to call us to buy what we sell. To give us permission to speak up. To stand for truths. To understand our values. To value us. We had to value ourselves before anybody else could value us. 

Alex Cullimore: I was thinking about that where you're talking about creatives doing selling as well, Gabe. Because it is so much of a feeling of worth. Am I worth asking about this? And that's a personal question. We feel like it's external. We feel like the world will validate or invalidate our feeling of worth on that. But ultimately, it's our choice to decide that that is worthwhile. And sometimes it feels like giving ourselves permission. And sometimes it feels like just getting out of our own way.

Gabe Ratliff: Oh, gosh. Preach to me, brother. I mean, those are both such great powerful comments, right? Because that comes up constantly, especially with creative business owners. Because you're dealing with – because you have to give yourself permission. And you have to find your own value. And they're constantly in the feed comparing to other – Seeing all these other amazing people. And we all know like, "Oh, you're seeing all the best selves of everybody," right? You're seeing all this great stuff. And people are starting to show more behind the scenes. I'm starting to see that shift, which is great. Not everybody. But some more people are starting to do that, which I'll call myself out. I don't always do that either. That vulnerability, there's this fine line, right? Because you're like, "Well, I don't want to shift too much because I also want to like –" It's like you want to plant the seeds. But you also want to come across with credibility, especially when you're coaching and stuff and advising people. You're like, "Well, I don't want to come off as like a complete noob." And I'm going to drop it, authenticity. There's this authenticity that – It's that vulnerability of saying like, "This is where I'm at my journey. And I'm still going to support you wherever you're at in your journey." And that's the thing I love about this work. And that was the shift for me. Coming back to my story, the connecting of the dots for me was, "Oh, my gosh. I've already been helping people. I've gone on my own journey. I've had these experiences of being the touring musician and the DIY-er struggling, struggling so hard. Spending all the money."I mean, I had like pushed away friends. We were practicing five plus days a week. Working so hard on our albums and everything. And then to realize I have to get out of debt and I have to make a living. I have to be an adult. I don't want to. And I have to. And that was tough. And to finally make it. And then to do the corporate thing and then start doing it on my own. And then to have that journey. And now, to be able to pay that forward to people and be like, "I've been there. I got you." Right? I got you wherever you've been. I'm a creative. I have attention issues. I am also very introverted. I also – all of these things. I got you. I see you. I hear you. I understand your plight. I was just helping a client this morning for our session develop his process as a home baker. And he was like, I've been trying to figure this out for weeks." I mean, it was just – it was like a tornado. I'm like furiously taking notes about like how the week goes. And I was like, "Ha! Ha!" Because he's also a dad, and a husband, and like juggling that too. And that's the whole thing about the create your art for life, is like I want this to integrate. You should enjoy this. Enjoy this life. Holy shit! Why do we have to like kill ourselves and just like look forward to Friday and Saturday and then just weep when Sunday comes? And you're like, "I got to go back to work." 

Cristina Amigoni: Sounds like my son in school. 

Gabe Ratliff: Right? Which that's when it starts, right? That's when it starts. Because there's not this like ability to engage in this way that supports that permission. I remember getting made fun of as – I was gay Gabe, four eyes, all that stuff as a kid. And I was like very sensitive, all that stuff. And when I was a kid, I went to the victim place, right? My victim saboteur came up. And I used the victim to keep myself safe and to have people like me, right? Because I'm also a pleaser. And so, there's the pleaser aspect as well. And that's another saboteur. Makes you think, "Oh, people like you." Right? And for so long, it's like you think, "Oh, that works for me. It serves me." And it doesn't. Because you're not your actual authentic self. Brought it back. 

Cristina Amigoni: To make it into a drinking game. 

Gabe Ratliff: I got you. I got you. But once you start to realize, "No, that doesn't serve me." And you start to give yourself that permission, right? To show up as you do as SIAMO, and as I do with Artful, it's the most wonderful experience. Because we can be like this in this conversation. Just laughing, and serious, and jovial, and playful, and curious, and all of these things. All of a sudden, all this stuff starts to unlock. And I just think it's a beautiful thing when – People say that they're not creative. And I am in that same mindset of like Elizabeth Gilbert, and Brene Brown, James Victoria, tons of people. And I believe we're all creative. We just don't use that muscle, some people, as much. Great example. We just carved pumpkins for Halloween. And I said to my wife, I'm like, "You are creative. Look at this." She did this beautiful Dia de Muertos piece of – It's Calavera. It's sugar skull. And I was like, "See?" She loves to cook. All these things. And she really engages with her left brain a lot. But I'm like, "You're totally creative." It's just people don't engage with it that way. And I love how Elizabeth Gilbert puts it. She talks about just swap out creativity with curiosity. Same thing. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's awesome.

Alex Cullimore: I like that. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 

Alex Cullimore: Well, it's not the left brain, right brain differentiation was weird. Yeah, as if people are only on one side or could ever really only be on one side. We can train one side. We can try and ignore the other side. But we do have both. Short of disastrous accidents.

Gabe Ratliff: Right. Right. Right. What's the story of the guy in the nail? 

Alex Cullimore: Phineas Gage. Yeah, the guy that had like the railroad stake.

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah. 

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Took out his frontal lobe. That's where he realized that personality was stored in the frontal lobe. Yeah. 

Gabe Ratliff: Phineas Gage, right. I was thinking Punch and Judy. I was like, "No. That's not right." 

Alex Cullimore: I'm glad that you touched on vulnerability as what ends up being a useful tool. I mean, I think, yeah, anybody who listens to Brené Brown can see the use of it in life. But for a business, I think sometimes it's still often treated as a taboo. And I love getting to be the example of like, "No. Look, we're just going to be open about this. This is how we do it." And when people – I ask, like, "Yeah. Okay, well, we'll give them a little bit. We're not going to –" To your point earlier, there's a limit. You don't just come out full bore, like, "Yeah, I was so exhausted. I didn't do client work or something today or something." You don't necessarily come out and be like, "Yeah." Unless we really did. And we're like, "Hey, look. Yeah, I'll get to that over the weekend." And providing that example. Living an example ends up being this really powerful way to motivate people. Because you just show that it doesn't have to be that way. We have a great time. We throw gifts in cartoons and whatever else in our decks because we're like, "Well, look. We found it entertaining." And half the time, that ends up being what sticks the most, because that ends up being what people really relate to. And I think you're dead on that you should actually have some fun in this life. And I think people totally could have a lot more fun in the corporate world. And they've trained it out a lot. But, man, it could be a totally fun job to be VP of business development somewhere. Why not? 

Gabe Ratliff: Right. Yeah. I mean, that's the thing. I love that invitation to people about – that's why I was trying to really like kind of shift back and forth around the difference between serving someone out, like an entrepreneur, right? Versus an entrepreneur. And how they can both be amazing. And they can both serve you. Because people are generally one or the other. You're either serving, helping other people, or you're creating your own thing and developing that. And so, there's that interesting dance of how you can have those things and you can figure out like where that sits with you. But that it can also be – Oh, man, I love the example of Mr. Fred Rogers, man. I go back to him. And, man, recently a client said I was the Mr. Fred Rogers of branding to them. And I was like, "Oh!" I don't even know – I did not know what to say to that. I mean, that was a big compliment, because I love that, man. I just think having that influence as a kid was just such a special thing. And I recently had watched the document. Have you seen the documentary about him? And there's also the Tom Hanks film. It's just so cool to see that like that he had that courage to be who he was and to see the way – He knew like the way he was serving others was from this place of authenticity, in this place of purity. And I remember, I loved the speech when he went to the Capitol Hill and spoke in advocacy of keeping the show on PBS and the benefits of it. And that he literally changed the – I believe it was the – I think it was the Supreme Court. I may be off there. And I apologize if I'm incorrect. But I just remember, they spoke to the main guy was like a hard no coming into it. Very cynical and just like, "What is this? Silliness for kids?" And within that one speech, he changed his mind. And was like, "Well, I think this is a wonderful offering for the kids." And they kept it, right? And he went on for years, years. And he changed so many people's lives, including mine. And I just think having that courage, and that vulnerability, and that authenticity, and all of that, coming from that pure place of service and like seeing – having your North Star. I have this tattoo. And I have the compass rose and the north points at me. And it's just that constant reminder. And I show it to my clients all the time, like, "Remember, you are your North Star." Just like you all are for SIAMO. I love it.

Alex Cullimore: It's a great tattoo.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it is a great tattoo. What do you think stops us? Because I'll put the three of us in that pool of people. We're not better than others. Only sometimes. Not all the time. What do you think stops us from being our own North Star from giving ourselves permissions? I mean, we've all had to learn. And probably, we've all learned by getting to a very low point of our lives and realizing like, "Okay, if there is another bottom, I really don't want to go there." Time to look a different direction for things. But what stops people from just being that way?

Gabe Ratliff: Fear. I think it's fear. What I find, especially with creatives, especially – or when you get into this place of like captaining your own ship, it's the fear of failure and the fear of success. Because, it's interesting, I have several clients that they want to be seen and they don't. There's that introvert in them that like doesn't want to be on spotlight. I have some friends that they're like scared of being – they actually haven't had a wedding, like a proper wedding, because of that fear of being in the spotlight and just not wanting that attention. And I find that with people I work with. It's like they want to be – Right? When you're in social media, you want people to like your stuff. You want them to comment you want them to like click the link and maybe buy the thing, "Buy my thing. I got a good thing. Buy it." Right? I got a service. Because we show up in this. For people like us, showing up in service of others. You're like, "I'm doing this good thing. I'm being authentic. I'm being vulnerable. I'm doing all this hard work. I'm really living this example." And we all have the struggle, right? We have the struggle just as much as people who are like shady, and are salesy, and like greedy and all that stuff. That's the capitalist thing, right? You both have a chance to succeed feed. And you also have this like, "But I'm showing up as this like creative person. And I do great work. And I'm passionate about this. And I love it." And they hate selling. They don't want to be salesy. They hate like having to keep selling. So many of them I talk with, like they don't want to sell again. They get a client they're like, "Oh, God. Thank God." But then they get slow again, right? And like, "I got to go back out." But that's one of the things I love to get into, is like what if you had a long engagement? What if you rethink how you sell? What if you only – If you start to break it out and look at the numbers and you're like, "Well, what is it again?" And get back to that, "What is enough?" Right? You start to get to that. What is success for you? That's the thing. So many people don't answer the question. They just think of success. And they go, "Well, The Rock is successful. And Kevin Hart is successful. And Oprah is successful." Yeah, but what is successful? What does that mean to you? When you start to put – which is so hard for artists and creatives. When you start to put a container – I call it the amoeba-shaped container. Let's just figure out your amoeba-shaped container. What goes in it for you? What doesn't go in it? And then you start to get clear. And I've done this for myself. And that's where it comes from. Like, "I've done this. I've had answered these questions. And it's hard. It's hard questions." And that's the thing where I think it gets interesting, right? Because you're answering it for your life personally and for your business. And that's where you're doubling up on, to me, this wonderful journey when you look back with your own hindsight on your life and you go, "Look what I did. How cool is that?" Right? Look at this example. I think of like Richard Branson. Richard Branson is somebody to me that I think he's like lived an example, like rebel. But he's been super successful. He has his own island. And he's also gone to space. And he's had Virgin Records. He's been like all over the place in the industry and in the market. And he's also a huge philanthropist. And he's now – he does all the stuff where you ask Richard where he'll – On LinkedIn. Where he'll put out what he's learned over the years. He's written books. All this stuff. And it's like, "There you go." He's not perfect, right? None of us are. And to me, that's a great way to live an example. And it also shows to people that's what you can do with your success. That's what you can do when you say what's next. What is enough? What's next? What can I do? There's so many things about money mindset is the next thing, I would say. That's like the next big thing, is, for so many of us, is the money mindset. I've had this same issue myself, just thinking like, "If I do well, I'm going to become that douchebag. I'm going to become that person that like is greedy, and obnoxious, and mistreats people, or wastes it." Right? All that stuff. And so, you're like, "If I stay small, I won't turn into that." And that is one of the deepest blocks that we have to work on and that like I've found I have to work on with clients, is there's the fear, again, of failure and success, and then that mindset. Just general mindset of abundance and what is enough. And then, also that money mindset. I posited this question to a client recently. I was like, "Have you ever thought about starting a foundation?" And she was like, "Oh, my God. No." Right? And all of a sudden, possibility. Opportunity to like – You think about like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, right? And these foundations that have made this huge achievements and serving this society and positing that to someone who's already just such a champion for creatives. And she was just like, "No, I've never thought about that." But you could see the light go on of like possibility and abundance, right? And all of a sudden you're like that's where money can go. I could pay this forward to other women, other artists, female artists, other people, right? Whoever. Other underdogs. And it's like when you start to get in that place, that's when stuff starts to get fun, I think. Because it's not about you. And I think that's how you break through that. You shift it, right? That's the purpose. It's not about you. It's about others. And that's where I think – that was what saved me. And that's what I'm finding is saving others who will align with me and that I want to work with, is that they found this – they're finding or have found this purpose in their passion. And then figuring out how do we practically do that so that you can succeed, and that you will succeed, and that you can pay it forward, and live your own example, and like change this game that has just been toxic for so long. 

Alex Cullimore: I love the sentence, live your own example. That's perfect.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 

Alex Cullimore: Live your own examples. It became overused. But there was that phrase a while back that was like just be yourself, because everybody else is taken. That feels like next iteration of that live your own example. The just individual. Because there is a room. And when I think about abundance, I think it took a while to reprogram. And I still have to remind myself constantly. But I like to particularly remind myself that when I want to imagine abundance, it's about there being enough. It's not about their being surplus. It's not about there being like so much. Yeah, you don't have to go out and earn 20 million dollars. You could just earn enough. 

Gabe Ratliff: And it's getting clear about those numbers. That's something that I do often. We get in there and we actually – Because a lot of times, there isn't that part of it. It's like absent there for a lot of creatives, that whole business side of things. Even artists. Straight up artists that do contemporary pieces. Gallery pieces, exhibits and things. Getting into that world is fascinating because it's a different game of how you like break it down and how you look at it. But it's still a business. And once you start to get into that space of like you're a creative business owner. You might be an artist, you know? But if you want to be a working artist, you have to be a creative business owner. Otherwise, you do have to go back and work for somebody else. And you can just – it's a hobby, you know? And you can do your art on the weekends and at night or whatever. And so, it's like when you get into that space and you actually start to create like that amoeba-shaped container, and you start to get some hard numbers, it's – I love doing it. I love it with process, and pricing, and projections, and what your product or services are, right? Like, how do those all align? Because once you start to get into those spaces, stuff starts to get real clear. Like I was saying about the baker earlier, all of a sudden, it was like, "Two or three things a day instead of like five, six, seven. Well, I'm testing this." It was a whirlwind. And I was like you're testing too much at once. Test one thing at a time. And let's get you like locked in with a steady cadence so that you know what you're doing Monday. You know what you're doing Tuesday. You know what you're doing Wednesday. And you're working for yourself. You're working for your best interest. You're working with the constraints in your life. Having your kids. And, "Well, you got to watch them these days. And these days they're at school." All of a sudden, you start to see like, "Oh, okay. I can flex." And then it's like you have this – we got in this conversation about like this is a big one. This has been big for me as well. But when you – this thing about routine and habit. All of a sudden, we start to get boxed in. And we're like, "No!" Kicking and screaming. "No!" Right? I don't want all these habits. I don't want all these routines. I don't want to go to bed at 10 o'clock. Whatever. I don't want to brush my teeth every morning and night. I don't want to – It's like all these things from childhood of like I want to be free. And what is such a just freaking hilarious irony is that by establishing these simple little routines that work for you, like I just said, like in the example of the baker, it gives him freedom. That's the funniest irony to me, is that it actually like creates freedom. He can be creative and like experiment with bakes and like have flexibility. Because all of a sudden, it opened up and expanded his days because he had less stuff. He was focused. And those are the three big things I focus on, is clarity, alignment and focus. Are you aligned? Is your brand aligned? Are your customers aligned? Does it all feel good to you? And then clarity. Let's get clear, right? Let's get clear on this shit. Do you really – Sorry. Can I curse? I don't know. 

Cristina Amigoni: Oh, yeah, yeah. 

Gabe Ratliff: Let's get clear. There's so much fog out there that people have about things. Because they're just moving along, right? That whole thing about working on my business and working in it. It's real. And especially, when you're in that kind of a thing – I love to bake. I see your book back there, Cristina. I'm a big pizza fan. 

Cristina Amigoni: Ooh! When you're in Colorado, you got to come over for pizza. 

Gabe Ratliff: I will gladly, gladly. I love making – I make my own sauce, make my own dough, all of that.

Cristina Amigoni: That's what we do.

Gabe Ratliff: Awesome. Yeah, I also make my own granola, hummus.

Cristina Amigoni: Ooh! Nice. 

Gabe Ratliff: Bread. Yeah. Boules, baguettes. Yeah, I love it. But when you're getting into that, right? Baking is tough. Because you've got chemistry. And you've got to mix your dough. Then you got to shape it. And then you got to proof it. And then you got to bake it. And it's a lot to manage. And so, again, I see you. I understand this world, right? I'm able to like help that kind of person. And it's exciting. And it's tough. It's hard, because you're like, "Wait. Do this and that." And you're dealing with that chaos. But then when you simplify and come back, like, what are the have tos? Okay. Now, let's look at the have tos. Now, let's reverse engineer it. And it's the same thing with your numbers. And once you start to get those numbers – I love it. I love seeing people when they're like, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God." Because then you go, "Oh, well, what is enough?" Right? In part of my framework, we look at like what do you want to bring home? What's your revenue? What's your profitability? And a big thing I constantly run into is people don't do a markup for their business. They just charge for like the cost of supplies and their labor. But they're paying expenses. They're paying taxes. They're paying themselves. They may have subcontractors. All this stuff. And I'm like, "Did you do a markup?" "No." "You know, your business has got to make money, too, right?" And we get in that conversation, right? And it's – I was in the same place. I was my – again, I've learned all these same things. I mean, it's like getting to that place of going, "Okay, well – Oh, okay." It's educating, right? And you're going, "Oh, okay. This is how we can thrive." That's where you get the thriving part of helping people as well as the purpose. Again, it's that practicality. It's bringing those things together where you're like, "Yeah, I'm doing this thing. I'm serving my community." Like with the baker, to keep with that example. It's like I'm breaking bread with people. I'm feeding people. I'm sharing my love for food with people. How beautiful is that? How just empirically cool is that? I love that. And it's the same thing with artists. It's this beautiful aspect of life that we have to be able to like create. And if you can thrive doing that, come on. And when you get clear about it, like I was saying, one of my clients. I was like, "Well, hey, look. You've already got this good client. You're making a great yearly revenue from them. If we can just replicate them one more time, you're at six figures." We've triangulated the good client and we cleared away the ones that were bad, the ones that were douchey Silicon Valley people, that startup-y vibe, right? And they're like asking for more. Not paying what they're worth. Not trusting them. Not letting them be them full selves, right? We were talking about that authenticity and being your complete self. So, then they're feeling doubtful even though they're a badass. And they're getting like scraps. It was like so much lower when you look at the year revenue. And I was like, "So, if you just ditch them and all the work you're doing for them, and you replicate this person we've now triangulated as your good client. And then you only have good and great." Great means you're doing really exciting projects all the time and even better revenue. And you don't go any lower than the good client. And it was that permission thing. It was like, "Oh, my God. It can be that good?" Yeah. When you have clarity. And when you know who aligns with you. And when you focus on what matters. It's just so cool. I love that, right? It's CAFE, is my acronym. It's clarity, alignment, focus. And then the last little thing I think that brings it all together is like what's your experience, right? What's the experience with SIAMO? 

Cristina Amigoni: I love that.

Gabe Ratliff: and I think that's just such a cool idea when you put those together, because then you go, "Oh, what is my experience? What is it like to work with me? What do I want my experience to be? How do I want my life to be? What permission am I going to give myself? Do I want to do yoga in the morning? Enjoy time with my kids? And how do I want my day to be?" And when once you start – that's what I think that cool, that permission, and that captain in your own ship, that's that tradeoff of you get to do that. And the flip side, the dark side of that, is a lot of times we don't honor and celebrate our wins. And we don't honor and celebrate our time away from this thing, our baby, right? The vacations. And that's the other thing that we have to get in conversation about, is like how can you create this in a way where you're setting up for – Like when we do their quarterly building blocks of getting to their year goals, where are you blocking out your vacation? Where are you blocking out time with your loved ones, right? How are you integrating this into your artful life? How does this all work together? And that's what I think is so fascinating about it. Because then you start to see that possibility again. They're like, "Wait, I can have it all? I thought I'd have to work for somebody to have that." You're like, "No. Not if you –" You map it, though. You have to map it out. It's your map inside. That's why I use that language a lot of like, you know, your North Star, and your inner compass, and captain you're on a ship. Because you're doing exactly that. You're mapping your route to that place, that destination that you want to get to. And I just think it's – I'm also looking at your maps on the back. I love those. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, using the prompts. 

Alex Cullimore: I love the phrase, captain of your own ship. Because it feels like that's the cycle. First, you're like, "I'm the captain of my own ship." Then you're like, "Oh, I'm the captain of my own ship." And then you're like, "I'm the captain of my own ship." 

Cristina Amigoni: "Headed for the iceberg. Okay. Somebody's coming to rescue me." Is that what that is? 

Gabe Ratliff: Oh, man. And that's a tough one too, right? The no one's coming to rescue you. And it's the same if you're an employee, right? No one's coming to save you there either. And that's, again, like there's – And that's the thing we saw. When you look at like legacy companies, people were there for – Right? It was like 30 years they work and they get their pension. And that was like what we saw for so long. And now you see people and they're like one-year, two-year and they're off like. It's really shifted. Because they want to keep trying new things. And now there's this – most recently, there's this gamification of like how do I – I'm going to leave and get even more salary, even higher salary. And then I'm going to bounce and go to this place and get higher – So, now there's this gamification of the workforce, which I think is kind of funny. But in that kind of context, there was such a complacency. Again, there's like not that – And this is what people would find, right? So many people in previous generations, they would wait until retirement to finally unlock that thing they always wanted to do. But they might have arthritis at that point. Or maybe they've had a debilitating tragedy happen, a disease or something that's taken their abilities to use their hands or something, right? Or maybe they have an accident and they hurt their back, whatever, right? There are all kinds of things. And same with travel. We're big travelers. And that was something that I learned. I've been traveling now about – I've been to almost two dozen countries. And we've been traveling together now since 2007? And 25 years? 

Cristina Amigoni: 15.

Gabe Ratliff: 15 years. Thank you. Carry the two – No. That's the same thing. People are like, "Oh, I'm going to do all this when I retire." And that's assuming that they're going to be healthy and able and that they can. All these assumptions. And there's that complacency while you're like able to go do those things and you might never get to do it. And I think that's one of the things our younger generations have really latched on to, and that I love seeing, is just what it's like outside of our backyard. Realizing what other people go through. And like how good we have it in the states. That's why a lot of times people say that Americans are entitled, because they don't get out of their backyard and they don't go and see what it's like in developing countries. And see like how certain countries like India. They didn't have refrigeration until not that long ago. And if you don't know that, you don't understand like how amazing that – And how grateful that – how grateful that we, I believe, should be. Not to say what we should or shouldn't do. But I believe that there's gratitude there for what we do have at our access, you know? Kind of went off there. But hopefully that was still relevant.

Alex Cullimore: No, that's great. 

Cristina Amigoni: Definitely. You touched on it a couple of times on authenticity. But we do like to ask our guests, what is your definition of authenticity? 

Gabe Ratliff: I've been doing – are you familiar with Positive Intelligence? Shirzad Chamine? 

Cristina Amigoni: Heard of it, yes. 

Alex Cullimore: Head of the idea. Not read into it. 

Gabe Ratliff: It's powerful stuff. My coach. One of my coaches. It got me started on this work in positive intelligence. And it's this wonderful aspect of – it actually ties into your two brains, our saboteurs, our master judge and his accomplice saboteurs, the pleaser, the hyper-achiever, all these people, the restless. There's nine of them. And then you have your sage. And there's five sages. And that's your other side of your brain. And we have two brains, right? What's happened is, over the years – and I'm not going to leave the longest answer here. I'm going to be quick. Over the years, we keep going – we keep – Like I mentioned from my own story, we keep going to our saboteurs to save us. And so, we think that they're serving us. And we get away from our sage. And the difference between one and the other is the saboteurs and our master judge come from a place of judgment, which we see all over, right? We see it in social media. We see it in the news. We see it everywhere. Finger pointing. And you did blaming and blame shifting and all this stuff, right? And that's all judging and saboteurs, right? It's all this work that needs to take place inside. Meanwhile, the sage comes from a place of discernment, this positive side. And so, to answer your question, what I've come to learn in doing this work in this practice of connecting with our sage is it's our deep down, untouched child self. It's that little version of us. And in the way that he did this in the exercise, I'm actually working on it this week, is looking at a childhood photo of yourself and remembering how you showed up back then, right? Before all the stuff happened. Before all those bad things happened. And brought the saboteurs up to help you, right? And for me, the three things that came up was imaginative, playful and caring. Those were the three words that came up for me when I was looking back at my little photo with my mom. And it's just this cute little toe head kid, right? Just big glasses. Kind of goofy. And the way that he speaks to it is like that kid is still inside us. I remember growing up, my mom – she said this to me every once in a while. She'd be like, "There's still that young version of me inside. It's just my outside is getting older." And that stuck with me for so long. And now that's what connects with me when I hear this in this work with PQ, is that that's really what's happening, right? That's our soul. That's our spirit. That's that young – They talk about Peter Pan complex. And a lot of guys have the Peter Pan complex and all this stuff. And I think we all have it, right? There's like that little kid inside that wants to play and just enjoy. But we have all this stuff on the outside that we've had to deal with, and go through, and manage, and struggles, and challenges and all this stuff. And being adults, right? All that. And then having families, and kids, and grandkids and all that stuff. And there's money, and investments, and houses, right? All of these things we have to juggle, insurance, health, all of this stuff that we juggle. It like puts these layers on. And his example was about – Have you heard the example about the Golden Buddha that they covered? 

Cristina Amigoni: No. 

Gabe Ratliff: There was this Golden Buddha. It was like 12,000 pounds of gold, 15 karat gold. But when these marauders came into their town, to their village, they had covered it. And so, it looked cheap and old and like not worth anything. And so, they stole everything else out of these temples, everything else. And then 1955, they discovered this Buddha is covered with this cheap material but underneath is 15,000 pounds of 15 karat gold. 12,000 pounds of 15 karat gold. Just so – and they saved it. And it's gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous Buddha. But they saved it by having it covered with that. And so, in his example, that's what we've done. We've covered ourselves with all of this like cheap layers to protect ourselves. That's our saboteurs. But inside is our sage and this is like golden – Right? It's this golden person inside. And so, to me, that's being our authentic selves. I went on a little bit. But I felt like it was really valuable there to share those stories. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, that's a really good visual. 

Gabe Ratliff: Right? 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, that's exactly why I shared it, because I think it's such a great visual of like that's who's inside. And that's really the authentic self. Because it's unadulterated by all the other things. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. 

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah. 

Cristina Amigoni: Well, one last question for you. Where can people find you?

Gabe Ratliff:, I'm on the socials @gaberatliff. Yeah, LinkedIn and all that stuff. Yeah, that's the main place.

Cristina Amigoni: Awesome. Definitely recommend his material, all his content. Go check it out. 

Alex Cullimore: Absolutely.

Gabe Ratliff: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Cristina Amigoni: Lots of great content. 

Gabe Ratliff: Well, thank you so much for having me.

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you.

Alex Cullimore: Thank you so much for joining. Wonderful conversation. So glad to have you on.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, great stories. And lots to think about. I like the two key questions as take away. What do you really want? And what's enough? 

Gabe Ratliff: Hmm. Yeah.

Cristina Amigoni: And doing the work to answer those questions.

Gabe Ratliff: Yeah. And thank you for recognizing that. Because I'm finding that same thing, that there's like these little elements like that that are so powerful. It really gets down to the toughest questions, I think, that we have to kind of answer in life. A lot of people don't. And I think that's really where they end up kind of suffering is the word. And I think the other part too, just a little tack on there, is just also surrendering to your place in the world at that moment, the universe, where you're supposed to be, you know? The universe provides. But it's also about answering those questions so that the universe knows how to provide, right? And like how you lay that groundwork and do the work because you're getting clear on those things. And giving yourself that space and permission to go after them because you've answered it. And it's hard. I constantly hear that from people. This is hard. They're like, "I don't know." 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it is hard.

Gabe Ratliff: Well, what don't you want? Let's start there.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And if you need help, call Gabe. 

Gabe Ratliff: Hey, I'm here. I'm here. I'm happy to serve. Let's go. Let's go. I love doing the work, man. I love it. I love it.

Cristina Amigoni: Well, thank you, Gabe. I know we'll see you soon, especially for pizza.

Gabe Ratliff: Yes. Yes. Yeah, thank you so much. This has been such a great conversation. Thank you.

Cristina Amigoni: And thank you everybody for listening.

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo podcast. 

Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Lara; and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood. 

Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas or questions. You can reach us at podcast, or at our website,, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. We Are Siamo is spelled W-E A-R-E S-I-A-M-O.

Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.

Gabe RatliffProfile Photo

Gabe Ratliff

Create Your Ärtful Life

Gabe was a broke, in-debt touring musician that became a corporate creative to make a living. After ten years of grinding and order-taking, he built a creative business that generated a 6-figure revenue. In late 2020 he lost his dad to stage 4 lung cancer, propelling him toward a fuller sense of meaning. As the Ärtful Advisor, he helps people build thriving, purposeful creative businesses so they have joy, fulfillment, and freedom in their lives defeating the shame, regrets, and fears holding them back.