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Creative Mornings: Riaz Meghji
March 6, 2020 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Hosting for brands such as Citytv’s Breakfast Television, CTV News, TEDxVancouver and MTV Canada, during the past two decades Riaz Meghji has interviewed over 10,000 people and studied what it takes for leaders to connect and have their message resonate with audiences. He has a degree in business from Simon Fraser University and has also studied Leadership Communication at Harvard’s Extension School and the Canadian Management Centre, critical training that has helped develop the tangible takeaways he shares to make ‘Every Conversation Count’ (Photo Credit: Charles Zuckermann)
How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career? Creativity = Subjective Curiosity. I believe creativity is a necessity to thrive in whatever it is we may be doing. In fact, creative thinking is what allowed me to break into the television business with no experience almost twenty years ago.
Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy? Two things help drive my creative inspiration: silence and solitude. I find with the overwhelming amount of information and distractions at our fingertips, when I turn everything off and go for a walk to clear my head, some of the greatest ideas to mind.
What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person? “The best way to predict the future, is to create it for yourself.”
Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings? Someone from the audience who was inspired by an idea they heard at a previous CreativeMornings showcase, made big changes in their life because of it, and then be able to share tangible results that would inspire everyone else to not just listen to an idea, but take charge and do something with it.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Surprised my wife buying tickets at the last minute to Game 6 of the NBA Finals when the Toronto Raptors won the Championship. Woke up at 3:30am that morning, hosted Breakfast Television Vancouver, then flew to San Francisco right after and made it inside Oracle Arena just before tip off for one of the craziest nights of our lives.
What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure? That one person’s perception of my worth doesn’t define my worth. I took rejection personally when I first got into the TV business. Now, I realize, decisions can be more subjective vs. objective, and can have nothing to do what I can actually offer.
What are you reading these days? “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier. It’s an easily digestible read and useful resource on the power of questions to teach and help people grow.
How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader? When I was in the sixth grade I wanted to be like Arsenio Hall and have a talk show. I’m still searching for my own Dog Pound.
How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger? I teach leaders, coaches and introverts how to create meaningful connections and make every conversation count.
What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)? That everything is temporary. It was a lesson my father shared with me five years ago over brunch hours before I got married. He talked about overcoming adversity and embracing all the highs and lows that will come our way. Last October, my brother and I spoke to him on the phone on a Thursday night. He was his normal, upbeat, jovial self. The next day his heart suddenly stopped and we never got to speak to him again. It rocked us, yet his passing reminded all of us that no matter how hard you work, you can’t buy more time. I have never been more motivated to create than right now.
What keeps you awake at night? Our 14 month old boss Nico. He keeps crazy hours and likes to take his parents along for the ride.
What are you proudest of in your life? Aside from building a family with my wife Lori, taking risks to create change and deviate from a complacent career path.
If you could do anything now, what would you do? Exactly what I’m doing. Being a dad, husband and building a platform to help people connect on a deeper level.
What music are you listening to these days? H.E.R., Snoh Allegra, Jhene Aiko
What books made a difference in your life and why? “The Truth” by Neil Strauss. Powerful book on relationships that advocates for opening up to others and revealing the difficult truths in your life no matter how harsh they might be.
What practises, rituals, or habits contribute to your creative work? Biggest habit this year is a commitment to a new mindset. “Be Brave Enough to Suck at Something New” has been the mantra driving a new creative direction.
What was the best advice you were ever given? Be as human as possible.
When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck? Call my brother Zain. He’s a creative genius that always offers a fresh and unique perspective.
What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer? “How did you meet your wife?” Lori is by far my queen of quality control. She sees everything, the good and the bad and tells it like it is. Eight years ago, I was asked to audition to Host ‘Bachelor Canada’. I thought “How hard could it be to remind people….heads up everyone, this is the final rose before someone ugly cries.” I auditioned and it came down to two potential hosts. I had to pre-negotiate the deal with the production company in case the decision went my way. Using a friend’s referral, I reached out for legal support and this led to an introduction to Lori. I told her what the potential contract would be and she told me “Sorry, I can’t help you, I’m the lawyer for the show.” Turns out, I didn’t get the gig, but hey I got my wife in the process. Who says you can’t find true love through ‘The Bachelor’?