12/26/2013 11:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Today in the Mind of Michael Parrish DuDell


Michael Parrish DuDell is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and founder of race + vine. Previously, he was the managing editor of The Domino Project and the editor of GE's Michael's first book will be released in November 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @notoriousMPD.

What can light up your creativity/inspiration instantly?

MD: For me, creativity, inspiration, and productivity are all about environment. I'm an author, speaker, and entrepreneur-each of those roles come with a melange of demands and challenges. Over the years I've learned that by making small and sometimes large adjustments to my environment I can dramatically alter performance. I just finished writing my first book, for example, which will be in bookstores this November. In order to meet my deadline I actually had to leave New York City and return to my hometown for a little over a month. New York City is just not conducive to writing for me, and I was on a very tight deadline. Not everyone is as influenced by environment, but for me it often makes all the difference.

What's one good question you ask a lot?

MD: The question I probably ask myself most is: "Does this align with your goals?" Although my work is often rooted in the creative services, I am a highly right-brained person. I love lists, order, rules, and plans. Therefore, quite naturally I'm a goal-oriented person. I have a very clear vision of what it is I'm trying to build, and I'm constantly checking in to make sure that my daily life is aligned with my short-term and long-term goals. The great part of achieving any degree of success is that more opportunity comes your way. It's important to me that the projects I choose to work on are meaningful and make sense in the overall context of my life.

If now is a good time, what would you let go of?

MD: If I'm being honest, I would probably let go of some of the anxiety I feel about achievement and success. I've gotten much better over the years, but I still have a ways to go. I am a person of faith, and I really do believe that things work out how they're destined to, if you have the good sense to listen to the world. And yet still, I'd be dishonest if I didn't acknowledge at least a little daily anxiety.

If you could experience for a day the life of one other person, whom would that be?

MD: That's a tough question. I guess immediately someone like Richard Branson comes to mind. I love entrepreneurship, and I'm always inspired by the trailblazers and disrupters who've spent their life changing the rules. He's always been an idol of mine, and it would be thrilling to experience a day in his life.

What do you know to be true?

MD: I know that if you put in the time and hard work you can accomplish almost anything. When I was 24 I made a huge career shift and made a conscious choice to spend the rest of my twenties working nonstop to build a career and life I could be proud of. You know, we're so lucky to have such an abundance of access and opportunity in this country. Everyday I'm reminded of that. It's amazing what you can create when you fully commit yourself.