Authenticity is rare. Those who invest in insight, as well as, the courage to express what is authentically happening for him/her are even more rare. The ability to express oneself through whatever craft of choice: words, movement, canvas, sound, et cetera requires first a command of craft, then insight and the courage to do so.

Suffering is not rare. We all have it. We’ve all faced down challenges that have shifted how we understand ourselves, others, and the world as a whole. Those who move through adversity swiftly, with openness, toughness, and love — and emerge with a creative way of doing things differently —  are some of my favorite people.

Jimmy Smith, Founder and CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment creates, has faced down adversity, and celebrates both the humanness and spirituality of people. He has earned countless awards for his work as a Writer and Creative Director for Nike at Wieden + Kennedy, Executive Creative Director at BBDO and most recently, Gatorade’s Group Creative Director at TBWAChiatDay LA.

Jimmy was voted as Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in business.

Enjoy the simple joys — carving your own path.

“Seek out things that make you uncomfortable and just keep doing it.”Click-To-Tweet

In This Episode

  • Striving for diversity within Amusement Park
  • The story behind Nike Freestyle
  • Putting the “G” in Gatorade
  • Identifying the right people to work with
  • How Nike lost out on Space Jam and what it says about risk taking
  • Clients not actually wanting to take the risks they claim they are willing to
  • Heaven sent with Luke Aikens and why he’s comfortable with what’s at stake
  • Why he listens to others even when he disagrees
  • Belief as a word that cuts to the center of himself
  • Why living his live in uncomfortable spots allows him to deal with his inner critic



“Even if I think something is stupid from the beginning, I will let the person the present it all the way through and I will listen.”

“Just get out of your own fucking way and believe”


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Jimmy Smith was an American jazz musician who achieved the rare distinction of releasing a series of instrumental jazz albums that often charted on Billboard.