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Welcome to episode #84 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Maria Brito, an Art Advisor and Curator.

Top Talking Points

  • How to know when a career is not right for you and how to transition out.
  • How being an outsider in a field can help you be more successful in that field.
  • How to build a routine even when it feels like unnecessary work.

Resources & Links

Connect With Maria at MariaBrito.com

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

How Creativity Rules the World by Maria Brito

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Maria, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Ryan

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20-minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan cote where we featured casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, Maria, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Maria  

Hi, Ryan, thank you. I’m very well, how was everybody who’s listening?

Ryan 

Hopefully, they’re good. And they’re gonna be a lot better across these next 15 or so minutes listening to you. So why don’t we start off by telling everyone you know who you are, what you do for a living, and then give us a win?

Maria

Well, my name is Maria Brito and I live in New York City. I am an art advisor and curator and I’m an expert in creativity and innovation. I used to be a corporate attorney. And I was very miserable in that world. And I completely changed careers 13 years ago to pursue my passion. And I have been very happy and fulfilled. And I created a business that is now an industry leader. And one of the things that I love to talk about is how people can pivot and change even when they think they are stuck or married to a particular job or career. So that’s what I do. And that’s my life.

Ryan 

Excellent. What about a win?

Maria 

Win? Let’s see. What about what are people most concerned about usually are things that never materialized or happen. So I want people to think today that the majority of the things that they have been worried about or concerned about usually never happen. And so the win is to focus on the positive and tried to see how many times you have moved past all the big concerns and dramas that were populating your brain and never materialized.

Ryan 

Yeah, that’s so true. Think about all the problems that were such a big deal in your head and you get through it, or they never materialized or you get through. And it was like okay, that wasn’t that big of a deal. That’s very good advice. Yes. So I want to come back to I like to ask about tips like number one tip, I definitely want your number one tip to be around. You mentioned you were miserable in your attorney career and you made the pivot and now you’re very fulfilled and satisfied. I would love to talk about the number one tip around, like how do you identify like, I think a lot of people are in that position where they’re unhappy or unfulfilled with their careers. But they stay inside that they stay and they don’t leave. Like how do you find the courage? What’s the next step? Like, do any tips around that? Any takeaways?

Maria 

Yes, of course, I think that you always have to think about the pain that the current situation actually represents to you, right. And so what is more painful is that staying in a miserable job where you actually hate everything, or II set the risk, and that kind of feeling of uncertainty that you feel in your gut and all your body to jump and do something else that you are not sure if it’s going to pan out? What if you were to put them both, close your eyes and imagine that you have a skill and one of those skills that you know that the old scales that represent almost like the Justice symbol. So if you were to put both things on both sides of this scale, what would be heavier, right? What side of the scale is going to be tipping, because that was what happened to me. I had to unload myself from all the things that were actually like I said at the very, very beginning, all the stories that I have made in my mind about why I couldn’t go and shift careers. And if I was going to find success doing something on my own completely different. Or if he was going to be for the rest of my life sitting in front of that miserable computer, and working with clients and people I couldn’t care less, right. And so you always hit that pivotal moment. There is rock bottom, too, right? I mean, a lot of people find these epiphanies when they are passed, you know, for a promotion that they were hoping they were going to get or they get demoted or furlough or things like that, or they really experienced dramatic occurrences right? I mean, people actually go through very difficult things in life. And once you hit that on end, you open yourself to the possibility that there is something so much better. On the other side, you start seeing opportunities that you were missing before. But the first thing is that you have to evaluate how do you really feel? And you’re never going to be as young as you are today. And there is never too late to start something new or to shift or to adjust the course. It’s really something you owe to yourself.

Ryan  

What’s the topic for I like talking about business on the show? What’s what stands for one more minute, let’s talk about you. How did you make the change? Was it you were an attorney? Did you phase out of it? Was it a pull the band-aid off? What did it look like for you?

Maria  

I didn’t phase out of it, because I had been thinking about it for a long time. And I think the catalyst and the moment where I really had the breakthrough was I got pregnant with my first child. And I knew that I was not going to be able to see him or raise him. But because I was working 16 hours a day. And that’s kind of the average for an attorney and a big law firm in New York City. But also I did not have any satisfaction or personal fulfillment out of it. And what I did is that, you know, a night, you know, sometimes you work in law firms, and literally, all the work comes at night. So you have a lot of time during the day. So I started jotting my ideas and the things that actually gave me passionate fulfillment. And for a long time, I had been exploring the art market, I started buying art for myself and collecting as soon as I moved to New York in the year 2000. So I had a pretty burning desire inside of me to do something in the arts. And basically, what I do is I build art collections for people and it’s a financial asset for them as the same at the same time is a very important asset. So I’m a little bit of a financial advisor, I’m a little bit of a broker, I’m a little bit of like a curator, obviously a designer, because I help them curate their homes. So I was paying a lot of attention to this market. And I remember, this was also a time when there was no Instagram. So the access was very limited. The galleries did not necessarily have websites that they have to contact access wasn’t very, very easy. And I was paying attention. And I saw a couple of people who were working in the same area that I am today. And honestly, I thought that we were missing out on so many opportunities, not only the opportunity to work one on one with clients, which is fantastic, and really what is the bulk of my business, but also they were missing out on the opportunity to educate the people at large, to make a contribution that allowed people to understand the art market, the art world, the artists, the differences between you know, a friend and one of a kind and a sculpture and things like that because they were not invested in social media, they were not invested in blogging, that they were not occupying that space at all. And I was very puzzled by it. Even though it was an attorney, I was like, Why are these people so buttoned-up? Why are these people sharing more, and I went straight to that as soon as I opened my business, and really it has afforded me the most incredible opportunities because I was out there making noise on social media. And you know, people notice me friends referred me clients like celebrity clients that I would have never thought in my life, I was going to have organic because I was the first one in the space. And you know, that when I realized that there was so much potential that was on discovered and I’m tapped, that actually was part of my business plan from the get-go like content was going to be a very important part of my business when content wasn’t a thing. And that only happened because I was paying close attention. And as an outsider, you always have a leg up. And that’s very important if anybody is considering switching careers and going into a different area. And they say, but I have no experience in that area. Believe me, you have so much as an outsider because you don’t have preconceived notions of how things are to get done or things need to happen in this specific way. So as an outsider, you bring exactly what you need to bring, which is a whole other perspective. You are creative and you’re innovative because you’re bringing things that nobody’s thinking about in that industry.

Ryan  

You can really hear the passion and the energy in your voice you must you must pop out of bed excited to tackle the day.

Maria 

I do actually I do I you know, I’m a morning person because I trained myself to be and that is actually the opposite of an attorney when I was going to bed at midnight or 1 am or 2 am Every night because I was working in closings and as I told you like the majority Get things usually happen at night. So I wake up really early at 5 am. And I jump out of bed and I have black coffee, and I run out the door to my gym and I work out for one hour or 90 minutes, I roam back, I shower, and then I meditate, or I do tapping, or I do breathwork for about 15 minutes or so I could be journaling to anything that actually grounds me in the day and allows me to have a moment with me and organize my thoughts before I jump to sit in front of the computer or coal clients or start negotiating something. And that really has been incredible for me, because it’s almost like, you know, you get things out of the way when you have to get them out of the way. Because as you know, and your day progresses, you start losing your steam and your willpower so when things you know can be complicated to schedule or things, people are proceeding them as chores instead of a fun activity, then it’s better to have them write in the morning. And really, I feel so much better when I do all those things that if for whatever reason I don’t, but it’s almost like, I’ve trained myself to do them automatically. When you think about it, I made it in the middle of the winter, it’s like 20 degrees in New York City, right? I mean, I don’t really want to get out of my bed at five in the morning. And it’s been black, you know what I mean? But I have put myself into a routine that is nonnegotiable. And what most people do not know is that routines are so important for ideas and for innovation. And for creativity, which is actually what people think is the opposite. Oh my god, you know, I would love to be one of those people who have no routines and come in and out and do whatever they want. And you know, eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for lunch and show up every day at whatever time they want. Actually, that’s not how we work. Having a consistent routine is the best face that anybody can have for allowing those ideas to flow because you set the tone in the morning. And then as your day goes by, you start playing with different elements, right, you start adding things, you start playing with things, and the more attune you are to your routine, the more you can get far away from what already gave you the foundation, right? The more you can play with the other elements of the day, if everything is that disorganized moment or a disorganized day, you’re never going to be able to really harness the power of having an initial, you know, two or three hours of your day really mean for you.

Ryan 

Did you have the morning routine when you were in your attorney career?

Maria  

I did not have that you know like it was not necessarily like a routine that I can say because it was I never knew at what time I needed to be a law firm and I also everything with every day was different. I mean I tried obviously to go to the gym because I think it’s so important to exercise for your brain more than for your body right I mean your brain gets going and your spirit and your energy elevate when you work out is not just like oh I look this way or my muscles. It’s a whole thing that has to do with your vibe. So I used to try to go or hit the gym at least I would say three times or four times a week. And you know, sometimes I did it and sometimes I didn’t because things I probably would have gotten to bed at three in the morning and I was in no mood to wake up at five or six. So those things actually were not necessarily routine and I had no time to meditate and I had no time to tap and look I mean people also call it SES come with maturity right I mean it’s not the same thing 13 years ago, that it is right now and how I have the perspective to look back and say well, I would have benefited myself so much if I would have been able to do all these things but it was then and now is now and thankfully I was able to structure all these things around me and they are working seriously it is working to wake up at 5 am every day but again, the benefits are enormous, especially because my day gets to have so much time to actually do what I need to do every day right? I mean is like I am Ellen gating the day by adding those two extra hours in the morning that most people do not necessarily feel that they want to wake up so early or you know, workout in the morning.

Ryan 

You got me thinking, if we were doing this podcast interview is that it just sounds like you’re a much different person now than you were back in when you were an attorney. Like, it’s amazing what following your purpose and, and, you know, living in your zone of genius, as I say what it can do to a person because I’m assuming you’re like a completely different person than you were used to what 10 or 13 years ago.

Maria 

I am a completely different person. And you’ve said it right? I am the person I was meant to be right now. And back then, I was hiding behind the idea of a successful career according to what my parents had taught me. So it was not me, it was them, right. And so I was miserable for that reason because I wasn’t me. I had to wear the clothes that attorneys are meant to wear, I was supposed to be at an office, that was boring, and, you know, not diverse. Creativity was not celebrated. Because you are not, you know, you’re giving a manual has things are done, and you are never going to say otherwise. Because, you know, it’s not your call to do that. And I was very sad. That’s the truth. I was sad. And I was unfulfilled. And when I allowed myself to take such a drastic measure, right? I mean, I’m leaving a career where I had already not only gotten to law school, passed the bar and moved to New York City, and dedicated nine years of my life, it was not only that, I was breaking through completely different industry, with completely different people, without clients without knowing what to do or how to do it. And I just said to myself, if I can be the person I was always meant to be. And I can let my own gifts and talents shine through this incredible transition. I’m allowing myself, I can’t there’s no way I can fail. And I did not.

Ryan 

I’m really glad we had this conversation, Maria, this, all the stories and advice you’re sharing, I know is gonna help people that are listening. Yeah, I want to wrap up with you telling everyone about your book, you have a book coming out. So why don’t we end with you just giving us some insight into the book and where we can find it?

Maria  

Yes, of course, the book is called How Creativity Rules the World. It’s published by HarperCollins. And I repeat How Creativity Rules the World, it’s everywhere where books are sold. And this is a book where I put together a methodology that I have been teaching to companies and executives. And later I opened an online version for different you know, freelancers, artists, and business owners and entrepreneurs. And it’s a methodology that teaches people how to come up with their best ideas and ideas of value that they can materialize. I believe that the cornerstone of every business is created because it’s not arts and crafts and cutouts. And it’s not technical wizardry, I think, people have to know that creativity is your unique ability to come up with ideas of value that are relevant to the business that you’re in. And if you utilize the principles that are super actionable in my book, to either design your new career, design your new business, expand the business you already have, or pivot, right, Viva is kind of the word because, in the past two years, we’ve had to shift adopt adjust so many times. And so it took me basically 13 years since I transitioned to put together this and I have the enormous desire to help people who either are on the fence about taking a chance on themselves the way I did it, or people who actually feel that they are really creative, but they can get more out of it. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an accountant or it doesn’t matter if you are someone who owns a variety of different businesses, it just applies the same to everybody. It’s very timely, and he’s very timeless. I actually made a purpose of making this book read like a classic like never goes out of fashion and nothing is a trend of today. These are ideas that have been also proven by science. I wanted to make sure that I backed up each one of my claims with scientific research, psychology, neuroscience, and the science of entrepreneurship and I feel super excited for people to have this in their hands. So don’t forget about it. How Creativity Rules the World by Maria Brito and you know, yes, it’s exciting it is I am excited to bring this to the world.

Ryan 

I can tell you love the energy. I will link up the book in the show notes. Everyone check it out. And thanks again, Maria, for all the insight you shared. Appreciate you.

Maria  

Thank you, Ryan. Have a great day too.

Ryan

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morning upgrade.com For more content

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