Serious Business



Make creativity, career, family and fun work better together. Join your decidedly unserious hosts Mike Morrow and Toni McLellan as they discuss creative work, life in the sandwich generation, and being a person.


  • 59: A Spicer Suit of Ill-fitting Expectations

    59: A Spicer Suit of Ill-fitting Expectations

    02/01/2018 Duración: 48min

    Happy New Year! Toni and Mike ring in 2018 with a lively discussion on how to turn your expectations into action. Instead of blindly setting unattainable resolutions for yourself, take time to really think about the past year. What did you learn? What can you take from the past year to deepen, grow steady, and then create change? It’s a subtly different way of thinking about setting goals for the new year. What will 2018 look like for you? Show notes: Raptitude: Go Deeper, Not Wider James Smith: The truth behind why I rip so many traditional diets… Todoist  

  • 58: ​ A Bathtub Full of Acid

    58: ​ A Bathtub Full of Acid

    28/11/2017 Duración: 54min

    Toni and Mike discuss the value of critical thinking skills and how to measure success before getting to the heart of this week’s episode: getting started, showing up (even when you don’t want to), and envisioning your own version of the finish line. Show Notes: Power Causes Brain Damage What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

  • 57: Summon the Pie

    57: Summon the Pie

    22/11/2017 Duración: 36min

    You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. This week, we touch on the upcoming holidays and the sensation of mandatory fun and enforced renewal.  Happy Thanksgiving! Team cake!

  • 56: ​ The Winter Suburbanite

    56: ​ The Winter Suburbanite

    07/11/2017 Duración: 45min

    ​This week, Toni and Mike take on the insidious Impostor Complex, and it's evil twin, Inferiority Complex. BUT ARE WE QUALIFIED? Show Notes: Failing at Normal: An ADHD Success Story - Jessica McCabe How to ADHD - Jessica McCabe BUCKY RUNS OVER A FUCKING CAR Tanya Geislr  12 Lies of the Impostor Complex Jumanji 2  I Don't Wanna Grow Up (Tom Waits)

  • 55: Cat Ear Medicine

    55: Cat Ear Medicine

    18/10/2017 Duración: 43min

    This week, we turn to beauty, joy, and delight. It’s a celebration of things that make us happy, the little dopamine hits and attention resets necessary to thrive in today’s chaotic environment. + Show notes: Outlander National Parks Webcams Bureau of Land Management Instagram New Star Wars trailer The Flash Neil Gaiman Mike and Neil Gaiman Norse Mythology Good Omens Terry Pratchett Octavia Butler Mary Oliver David Sedaris Unsplash Vellum app View from the Cheap Seats Pixelated boat Simpsons jokes on Twitter  

  • 54: New to Yaks

    54: New to Yaks

    10/10/2017 Duración: 58min

    Yakspo! We're trying to turn our emotions from the tragedies of the week into being part of the solution (or at least not caving to the continual chaos and outrage). Turn on Do Not Disturb and stay to the end for our special tribute to the late Tom Petty. Show Notes: Yakspo! Delightful local coverage of Yakspo Temple Grandin Homeless Bird Do not disturb while driving FruitJuice for Mac Everytown for Gun Safety Writer John Scalzi Nails Why It’s So Hard to Be Creative Under Trump Tom Petty’s America Is The One We Want To Believe In Tom Petty’s final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more Netflix Documentary - Running Down a Dream  

  • 53: Matlock People

    53: Matlock People

    03/10/2017 Duración: 42min

    We needed some comforting last week, so we turned our attention to fur pants and comfort-food genre media. Toni and Mike talk at length about the new series, Star Trek: Discovery, and its (frustrating) distribution model. We touch upon the value of genre, “lowbrow” media and outrage fatigue. We might have made the Trekkies mad.

  • 52: Weird Raisin Cats

    52: Weird Raisin Cats

    25/09/2017 Duración: 36min

    We are back for Season FOUR, and we're going back to our roots. That is: tasteless humor and occasionally insightful observations on making creativity, career, family and fun work better together. This week, Toni and Mike catch up on what's new in their writing lives, Toni's Nested Set of Skills™, and the power of empathy in communication. We discuss reward system and getting kids to help out. Also: vengeful peanut stains and Letterman's beard.

  • ​ 51: Form Of, A Turkey Vulture!

    ​ 51: Form Of, A Turkey Vulture!

    14/07/2017 Duración: 36min

    Show Notes: ​Quelf Buzzr Resistbot

  • 50: Dont Tell Me to Keep Calm

    50: Don't Tell Me to Keep Calm

    22/05/2017 Duración: 45min

    It's our 50th episode! How is this possible? While we ostensibly talk about being a parent in the Internet age, balancing keeping an eye on your kids while giving them autonomy to make mistakes, we’re also discussing all the tradeoffs we each have to make to stay sane. Mike and Toni revisit classic themes of feeling overwhelmed, getting involved, and how to keep the demon dogs at bay.

  • 49: I Woke Up Next to Steve Bannon

    49: I Woke Up Next to Steve Bannon

    20/03/2017 Duración: 42min

    Toni and Mike continue their ongoing conversation about how we cannot limit external inputs to help us focus on what matters most. They push back against the notion that not being on social media makes you somehow less “real” of a person, and building your platform before you build the project your platform is designed to promote. The discomfort is were the work happens. Show notes: Iowa Parrot Rescue Wildlife Center Admits Lead-Poisoned Bald Eagle From Chesapeake This Polar Bear Loves To Wear A Bucket On Her Head Freelance Success George Saunders: what writers really do when they write  

  • 48: Ill-Fitting Book Jacket

    48: Ill-Fitting Book Jacket

    13/02/2017 Duración: 36min

    Toni’s on a 30-day social media hiatus, which is our starting point for a discussion of the intentional consumption and sharing of news and content. Ask yourself: “Is what I’m sharing furthering my priorities? Is it useful?” And “How do you know which hill to die on?” Mike and Toni share their favorite daily and weekly news sources among the shock and awe of American life in 2017 (see show notes below). Here’s our recipe for fighting overload and prioritizing your own thoughts instead of others’ when you’re “emotionally porous.” Turn off the fire hose Firewall higher quality sources of information Consume them intentionally Take action accordingly What about you? How do you manage the media onslaught? What are your go-to resources? Show notes: DMCA takedown Re:act newsletter Indivisible Elizabeth Warren WaPo 5 Minute Fix WaPo Amazon Prime subscription / trial What the fuck just happened today? The Daily podcast  

  • 47: MUST BE COOL

    47: MUST BE COOL

    30/01/2017 Duración: 36min

    To all our many enemies, we’ve handcrafted an episode about priorities — discerning and setting them, managing, and living with them. Show notes: Study Hacks blog by Cal Newport Cal Newport  

  • 46: Rage Vitamin

    46: Rage Vitamin

    27/12/2016 Duración: 42min

    In the final episode of the dumpster fire of 2016, we discuss Christmas traditions and examine our privilege. This time, we don’t shy away from current events and our feelings about them. We reflect on how we can resist the current state of afairs with a unified collective narrative and action plan of our own. Also: Mike is confused about who’s who. Show Notes: “Pantsuit Nation had the potential to mobilize millions. Instead, it’s just a feel-good commodity (LA Times OpEd)” 20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe Serious Business podcast on Pinterest People About to Spill Coffee on a Bed on Pinterest  

  • 45: Baby Jesus Said No

    45: Baby Jesus Said No

    23/11/2016 Duración: 30min

    For our annual Thanksgiving episode, we grease the wheels for your holiday travel with the perils and pleasures of Black Friday, getting into the end-of-year contemplative mood, exploring ways to broaden our mindset, and finding peace in stressful times. We definitely don’t talk about current events, nope, not at all. Mike’s notes for how to survive this week   Read Walk Relax Limit or no social media Make progress Smile Plan Daniel José Older’s tweet/advice Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang  

  • 44: During a Bears Game?

    44: During a Bears Game?

    26/09/2016 Duración: 42min

    Much to Dan’s chagrin, we recorded this episode during a Bears game. Unsurprisingly, Pinterest is making Toni sick in the brain. Mike got roped into being the math parent, so he complains about homework…which leads into some discussion of education and opening your kids (and yourself) to new possibilities. Also worth noting: Toni’s innards haven’t been right since she rode the chia train. Show notes: The creepy Ronald McDonald chainsaw statue The Serious Business Pinterest board Instapaper acquired by Pinterest  

  • 43: At Least One Dead Possum

    43: At Least One Dead Possum

    12/09/2016 Duración: 48min

    We’re back! The third season begins with Mike’s new office and what happens when you get everything you wanted. We talk about Toni’s recent move and how asking more of life has meant life has asked more of them in return. Plus the usual doses of parenting, productivity, and navigating your life by the beacon of a fecal fast food franchise. Show notes: It’s All Greek to Me—Restaurant Impossible Pengun falls down Swedish Fish Oreos Going Deep Workshop Is calendar-based productivity a fad? Google Goals Momento Word Warp How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain  

  • 42: Sugar Twin Powers Activate

    42: Sugar Twin Powers Activate

    12/02/2016 Duración: 33min

    Mike and Toni spend some time remembering ashtrays before continuing their discussion of stuff and how we release our attachments to it. They also share some thoughts on making your projects a priority when life gets in the way, setting realistic goals, and how forgiveness can help you forge new patterns of productivity.​ Show Notes Rich Litvin - The Prosperous Coach   Steven Covey's matrix of urgency vs. importance   Going Deep workshop  

  • 41: Chewbacca ProAm

    41: Chewbacca ProAm

    02/02/2016 Duración: 40min

    Mike and Toni consider the slightly silly world of smart appliances before the bulk of this week's discussion on going through Stuff, paper "hoarding," and how we decide what to keep and what to eliminate from our lives. We touch upon Mike's project, the Life Changing Art of selling a lot of self-help books and ask the burning question, "Where do all the scissors go?" Last, but not least, we discuss our unabashed affection for The Force Awakens and which Star Wars characters would be good at golf (spoiler alert: probably not Chewbacca). Show notes: Dynamite magazine Star Wars Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base - SNL

  • 40: A High Bar for Fart Jokes

    40: A High Bar for Fart Jokes

    18/01/2016 Duración: 47min

    Back for 2016, Toni helps Mike to get a better handle on overreaching for personal development goals, and to instead focus on what he can be curious and playful about. Toni explains her position on the law of attraction, magical thinking, and pattern recognition. And that’s not to mention the horror of caricatures, the eldercare shitshow, operating within systems, and kids using tech for unintended purposes. Here’s to a great year ahead, friends! Show notes: Duolingo Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life by Denise Duffield Thomas

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