Posted July 13, 2020 in Podcast

Just Be Available with Noah Elias

Just Be Available with Noah Elias

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

That may seem like a vague question, but it’s a powerful one, and it’s one that we sometimes forget to ask ourselves. 

Sometimes people find themselves in careers where they don’t have a purpose. They may be good at the job itself, but it doesn’t light them up or truly align with their values. As a result, these people experience extreme burnout and dissatisfaction.

Does that sound like you? Are you seeking more purpose in your life? 

If so, then I’m so excited to share this interview with the incredible Noah Elias with you today. Noah grew up to be one of the most well-known artists in the country and around the world. He’s worked for companies such as Disney and Lucasfilm, among many others. If you’re looking to find more fulfillment, whether through pursuing your passion or starting a whole new career, this episode is jammed packed with tools, strategies, and advice that will get you started. 

Noah is a very strong Christian, so if you identify as that — Great! I’m your friend, and I love you. If you don’t identify as a Christian — Great! I’m your friend, and I love you. Whether you’re a person of faith or not, this interview has something for everyone, and I’m excited to share it with you today. Let’s get into it! 


Who Is Noah Elias? 


Born and raised in Orange County, California, Noah grew up to be one of the most well-known artists in the country and around the globe. He began his company on his bike at sixteen by handing out business cards to create art, signs, and illustrations for local businesses. Soon after graduating from high school, Noah received an airbrush from his family, and he began creating custom portraits on clothing and canvas. He caught the attention of numerous corporate companies, television stations, and even internationally recognized clientele, including notable actors, actresses, and musicians.

After partnering with companies such as Universal Studios, MTV, and French Cellar Imports, Noah was voted as one of the “Top 25 Artists in the World” by Art Business News Magazine. But this was only the beginning of his accomplishments. 

Noah partnered with The Walt Disney Company to create a line of “Noah” versions of popular characters. Noah’s line has become a huge favorite among Disney collectors and fans worldwide. In addition to his art career, Noah is the author of the best selling book Speedbumps and the life-transforming book #fearhunters, which helps people remove fear and shame from their life so they may live in their true identity and calling.

Noah spends his time painting, writing, mentoring, speaking, and consulting brands. He and his wife also launched the Ingane Forever Family Home in South Africa, which has helped rescue and care for AIDS Orphans and those with special needs. They have also partnered with National and International ministry initiatives to impact at-risk youth as well as leadership training in underdeveloped countries.

Noah is truly an inspirational guy, and his passion for art, leadership, and faith is incredible. Without further ado, let’s get into the interview —


The Importance of Just Being Available 


After creating custom art for several years, Noah began getting noticed by clients from all over the world. Disney was one of those clients. I asked Noah to share a little bit about how he ended up creating a line of character art for Disney. Before we get to Disney, though, we need to hear the whole story to understand its significance. 

“Well, we got to kind of rewind the tape to make that story matter. … One thing that I’ve learned about God’s nature is He works in kind of a graduation process of elevating you to new levels of faith … And I remember in the early days … I had a lot of ambition, a lot of drive, and a lot of grit, but I had all of that aimed at the wrong target.” – Noah Elias 

Noah’s faith is a huge part of his life, and it caused him to see that he had initially misplaced his drive for success in ego-driven, selfish ambition. At just 14 years old, Noah began to experience burnout, and at 28, he went through an existential crisis. He was commissioned by huge companies and celebrities, but he felt empty inside.

“At the end of the day, there was nothing really to show for it other than some money. There wasn’t anything significant that was really making a big difference in people’s lives. … When you’ve literally died to the idol of your money and all of that, that’s when you go all in. And when I went all in, I said [to God], ‘I’ll do anything, go anywhere, be whatever you need me to be with my talent.’ And I did that.” – Noah Elias 

After surrendering his career and finances to his faith, Noah knew that instead of painting to make money, he would begin to paint pieces that were true to himself and his God. 

“That’s when the Disney thing came. … When I look back on every single amazing thing that happened in my life — my wife, Disney, most of my biggest clients … — I did nothing to go after them and get them and create them. God brought them by invitation. They were served up on a silver platter because I was available.” – Noah Elias  

Whether you’re a person of faith or not, I think Noah’s words apply to all of us. We can get caught up in trying to find the right opportunities or land the best jobs, but sometimes, the best thing we can do is to just be available. Once you can get clear on your values and your mission, then you can welcome in the opportunities that are aligned with your purpose.


Four Tips on How to Avoid Burnout


A big part of Noah’s story includes burnout, which is part of my story as well! I hear it from so many people that burnout is something they are experiencing daily, even when they find themselves in their dream career. In addition to his art, Noah is also an entrepreneurial coach, so I asked him how he instructs others to avoid it. He gave four amazing tips that I want to share with you.

#1. Know what to say “yes” and “no” to. 

“When it comes to burnout and opportunity, I [am] like, ‘What do I say yes to?”… If it matches three of my five strengths and increases [God’s] kingdom, I say yes to it.” – Noah Elias

A lot of the time, we end up saying “yes” to every single opportunity that comes our way, especially if we are just beginning in our career. We fear that we’re missing out, and so we accept every single invitation without hesitation. And while pursuing opportunities is great, accepting too many leads to quick burnout. The next time you’re faced with a new opportunity ask yourself — “Does this opportunity align with my strengths, my goals, and my values?” 

#2. Don’t place your worth on the hours you spend working, but on the value your work produces.

“I don’t look at a painting and go, ‘Oh, this painting took me a thousand hours, therefore it’s worth X. No. I always base everything on an end result — a finished product, whether that takes me an hour or whether it takes me a hundred hours. … Start basing your worth … on the value [your work] creates [and] not on how long it takes to create it.” – Noah Elias

I think this one is huge. We often measure the importance of something based on the hours it takes to create it rather than the value it produces. If you’re only focusing on the time, then you’re losing the mission. And time doesn’t fuel motivation — a purpose does. 

#3. Take a rest day. 

“Any pro athlete will tell you … [that] rest is equally as important to [their] training. … My recuperation allows my muscles to rebuild. … But most people that are in achieving leadership … have a tendency to think that it’s all based on performance and go go go.” – Noah Elias

As a Christian, Noah takes a Sabbath on Sundays to rest from his work, focus on his faith, and take care of himself. Are you taking a rest from work and making time for self-care? If you’re a high achiever, you may be tempted to go go GO, but you’ll be working at a pace that’s not sustainable, which will eventually end in burnout. 

#4. Remind yourself of your mission.

“Why am I doing what I’m doing in the first place? What’s all this leading towards? I mean, that’s the core issue. … Everybody wants to pick out a beautiful rocket and a beautiful mission and pick up business cards and put their name on the building, but everybody’s building critical missions on an unstable foundation of their launching pad. … [There are] very few leaders that are willing to drill down on the launching pad, [but] that’ll keep you from burnout. Burnout is just the pressure release valve. The siren that goes off of [showing that] something that just was allowed to go for way too long.” – Noah Elias

I love the metaphor that Noah used about the rocket, the launching pad, and the release valve. It makes so much sense. If you’re not clear on your purpose, your values, and your mission, then even your dream career can fall apart. 


How Noah Maintains a Work-Life Balance


As a father, husband, kingdom investor, artist, and author, Noah wears a lot of different hats. I was curious about how he manages to keep all these cups full and make relationships his top priority, even in the chaos of everything else going on. One important thing that he does is intentionally set apart time to spend with his wife and children.

“My wife and I do date nights every week, and this is an intentional time. … we [take] inventory every week. ‘Hey, how are you feeling about things? … What do you need right now? What’s on your radar? What do you want less of? What do you want more of?’ When was the last time you asked your spouse those questions?” – Noah Elias 

It’s so important to intentionally set aside time to reflect on life with the people you’re doing life with. If you don’t, then it’s easy to be caught up in your career and let special moments and relationships pass you by. Another great thing Noah does is spend a “yes day” with his kids — where they’ll do anything they want to do with him, whether it means eating four gallons of ice cream or watching movies all night.

“It’s a yes day — these days are … for just saying, ‘Listen, are we just going to have moments in our life, or are we going to build memories?'” – Noah Elias

And to round it all out, Noah sets aside time for self-care and booking himself as his own client. After our interview, he actually had an appointment for an hour and a half massage! 

“Having that carved out, intentional time can put a massive amount of wind in the sail and really reboot everything.” – Noah Elias 

Are you intentionally spending time with the people who matter most to you? Are you giving yourself the time and care that you need to refuel so that you can be present with those people? A perfect work-life balance is difficult to achieve (and probably not even possible), but if we don’t make an effort, we’ll find ourselves making moments and not memories. 


Reach Beyond with Noah Elias


Friends, this interview was powerful. Noah is full of wisdom, and I was blessed to have him on the podcast. If you need help in your creativity and building your business, definitely check out Noah’s amazing coaching programs. You can also learn more about Noah’s story and his faith through his incredible books Speedbumps, #fearhunters, and 31 Disciplines of Highly Successful Creatives

To connect with Noah on social media, you can find him on Instagram @noah.j.elias where you’ll see tons of amazing content from the artistic process to coaching advice to family memories!

Make sure to listen to the full podcast episode to hear more about Noah’s mission, his faith, and how to live a purpose-driven life. If you enjoy the episode, make sure to tag Noah, @noah.j.elias, and me, @kyle_depiesse, with a screenshot of the podcast and your biggest takeaways on Instagram. We would love to hear how this episode inspired you! 

Friends: Remember that chasing money or fame for the sake of itself won’t bring you fulfillment. I want to encourage you today to take a moment to get clear on your values and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Who knows — it may be time for a pivot. 

Cheers to your success. I’m rooting for you.