Chris Barez-Brown, How to Make Business and Life More Fun – InnovaBuzz 342

Chris Barez-Brown

Chris Barez-Brown, Upping Your Elvis

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Chris Barez-Brown, a master of transformation. He is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. By teaching folk how to think differently, he makes their lives and businesses more technicolour in hue.

The author of 4 books, Chris is an internationally acclaimed speaker and expert in the world of wellbeing and creative thinking. Chris’s latest book, “Wake Up! Escaping a Life on Autopilot”, has brought positive mental wellbeing to people around the globe. Chris is the founder of Upping Your Elvis, a consultancy that embeds a human, energetic and creative working culture to create healthy, happy businesses. He is also the founder of the charity Talk it Out.

In our discussion, Chris and I talked about:

  • Celebrating our uniqueness and unique stories
  • Talking to yourself as a creativity and innovation tool
  • The self-awareness that comes from truly engaging with your feelings

Dr. Mark Goulston in episode 305 introduced us to Chris.

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People do better work when you trust them, when you create conditions for them to truly be themselves, and when you give them enough freedom to do it their way. @BarezBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Chris Barez-Brown of Upping Your Elvis

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • It’s really important to have some quiet time at the beginning of the day.
  • “Elvis” is a metaphor for a brand or people that get stuff done, who have loads of energy in them. They love what they do and they stand out from the crowd.
  • If you get your energy right, work becomes fun and easy.
  • People do better work when you trust them, when you create conditions for them to truly be themselves, and when you give them enough freedom to do it their way.
  • Companies and leaders need to be more about creating conditions rather than managing and directing all the time. Set up more conversations, create a more flexible environment, and celebrate uniqueness. Capture more stories of people truly being themselves and help them deliver that for the business.
  • Some people love to be told what to do. Create conditions that encourage them to step forward.
  • There are some jobs that people just love and want to stay in because it suits their lifestyle and how they contribute. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is different. You just need to help them understand who they are, what their needs are, their purpose, and then, cultivate an environment where they can live that every day.
  • We are constantly changing. The world in which we live changes and tomorrow could be completely different. You just have to tune in to it and flex as you go. That gives people way bigger smiles on their faces, way more energy, and way more chances for success.
  • A vision statement is not just a document. Turn your vision into something that people do on a daily basis.
  • It’s the simple things you do every day that makes the difference. Look at what people do and how they add value and make it 10% better every day. It makes a massive difference in culture. 
  • Talk It Out is a creativity and innovation tool that provides a simple way of getting deeper into your subconscious.
  • Your anxiety decreases when you do talk it out. Your happiness increases, and it’s something that you could do every day.
  • 95% of our process is in the subconscious. Our thinking creates our feelings, and our feelings create our daily reality. 
  • Walking is important. Walking enables you to process kinesthetically to get more quickly into your subconscious.
  • If you are a fast thinker, Talk It Out allows you to talk quickly enough that your subconscious brain won’t be able to keep tabs on what you are saying. It allows you to get into your subconscious quicker especially when you are walking. It captures your insights without breaking your subconscious flow.
  • Getting into the power of untangled thinking is brilliant for wellbeing, productivity, and focus.
  • Reviewing your day is as important as setting it up.
  • Deviate from the cultural norms by knowing what makes you tick and learning how to make that show up every day.
  • Humans are built to be negative. It’s our survival instinct. The first step in dealing with that is to accept that being negative is part of your programming. Don’t beat yourself up, otherwise, you’ll get negativity over negativity that doesn’t help at all.
  • Monitor what you see and the stimulus you take in. Manage your feeds. 
  • You have to be positive to come up with great insights and ideas when it comes to innovation. Otherwise, you’ll just come up with the usual barriers.
  • Talk It Out’s primary objective is wellbeing. It helps people to lead more extraordinary lives, to be more in control of how they show up, and how they feel every day. 
  • We all have the opportunity to have an extraordinary day, every single day. We only have today and tomorrow might not happen. Keep experimenting. Tune yourself to what it is that gives that buzz, and make sure that you keep your standards high, so that it shows up for you on an hourly basis.
  • There are many ways to make money. You have a choice at which job you do and how you do it. Just because a company has a way of doing things, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change the way that works for you. Step up and own it. Realise that you’ve got all you need to live a brilliant life right now and get on with it.
Stay true to who you are. Make sure that the things that are important to you show up every single day. Don't settle for a life that is half way could be. @BarezBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Chris’ answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Realness. Do more stuff and experiment. Get your hands dirty, get perfect data back, and learn from it. The best innovators go out and do it. They do it cheaply, they do it fast, and they keep iterating. Just do it more and make it real.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Listening to your inner voice. If it bugs you, you have to do something about it. Experiment a lot. Try a lot of things and get feedback. Surround yourself with brilliant people and get help from them as much as you possibly can. Get them to be inspired and excited as you.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Talk It Out and Engage Works.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Get the right brief at the beginning that you both signed up for and are totally in agreement with. Make sure that you are working with one client – the one person that has responsibility and accountability for it.
  5. Differentiate – Stay true to who you are. Make sure that the things that are important to you show up every single day. Don’t settle for a life that is half what it could be.

To Be a Leader

If it doesn’t feel right, change something. We always have choices. We have different ways of doing things and our subconscious would tell you when you’ve made a bad choice. It will do that by making you feel it’s hard work. Tune yourself to that energy and if it feels tough, change something.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Chris through his website.

Suggested Guest

Chris suggested we have a conversation with Matt Kingdon and Dave Allan of What If. So Matt and Dave, keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Chris Barez-Brown.



Cool Things About Chris

  • He was recently described by The Guardian as a long-haired twinkly eyed cross between Richard Branson and a wizard.
  • He has worked with The Nike Foundation to help teenage girls escape the poverty cycle in Africa.
  • He is the co-founder of Street Wisdom, a social enterprise that explores the idea that urban environments are full of wisdom and answers which people can learn to tune into. 
Getting into the power of untangled thinking is brilliant for wellbeing, productivity, and focus. @BarezBrown on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.