Dustin Feider: Founder of O2 Treehouse – Ep. 78

Video Highlights:

About Dustin Feider & O2 Treehouse:

Dustin Feider is one of those rare individuals who makes work that will blow you away. 

He’s a professional artist who took a highly unusual, earth-forward twist. He put years of design experience into the work of creating out-of-this-world, custom tree-houses. These aren’t your average tree-houses. They look like a cross between Apple’s vision of the future and Avatar—these things are freaking incredible. Not only that, he’s actually joining me on the call today from one of his incredible creations. Discover how he made a career out of his remarkable passion.

Full Unedited Audio Conversation:

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8:10 – “I think people in general need to reconnect with nature and have hopefully profound experiences in nature. Treehouses are a space that unlock all those things in us for a variety of different reasons… being up and high, and out of the way of the creatures on the ground…that gives us this like kind of gleeful, magical kind of feeling.” 

09:14 – “It does unlock those memories of childhood when it was just all about play and like, ‘what can you get into?’ Your brain was just wired into the present moment, it wasn’t wired into these long-term planning spaces that our minds end up in, and become fixated on all the time.” 

17:46 – “My grandma is an artist – my mom’s side of the family, they all bitch and complain that there is not an ounce of creative blood in their body – and that’s so untrue because they’re all more musically oriented. And then my dad’s side of the family, they have more of a creative capacity and my grandma is a painter and so at a very early age we would go over there and do arts and crafts and all that kind of stuff.” 

18:50 – “People have a gradation of various capacities to visualize things – sometimes it’s really hard to understand where somebody falls along that spectrum and I learned this with clients – some you can show a picture and they can take that and really can run with it, and they can end up in the space in their mind’s eye. And others really can’t. You’ll show them a model and be zooming around on the model and they still won’t really understand what it is.” 

21:39 – “I love the challenge of coming up with a form and then trying to figure out how to come up with engineering concepts and connections, etc., to make it work, but also to make it to where it can flow visually, is like the sweet spot, the heart, the flow space of design for me.” 

23:26 – “I was hopelessly uninformed about business. In hindsight I should have read more…just got the core basics but I think that a lot of artists and designers are ultimately put into that position where you need to wear an entrepreneurial hat, whether you like it or not…Now it’s so much easier to just go on YouTube and just binge.” 

28:15 – “The reality is that when you grow a company, and you start to incur all the additional costs of being in that business: insurance, the labor burden, etc. etc., you do need to start to gain efficiencies and make some more conservative choices because now you’re balancing your staffs’ livelihoods and lifestyles on the consistency of your work and the predictability of it and all of that, with the desire to grow.”

32:50 – “There’s a lot of stress. I think, as the company grows, any entrepreneur is going to experience a lot of stress. Your position is ultimately the reception point for all of the biggest, most major problems occurring…The ways in which people handle their stress is incredibly important to what kind of impact it has on you…I can take it a little bit more in stride just because, after a while, you just see the evidence that everything works out.” 

34:40 – “If you find that work that has the right balance of interesting problems to solve and challenge – stress is really just challenges, right? – then I think that’s a requirement. That’s a perfect little balance there.” 

36:10 – [Advice to artists on how to turn their passion into a career] “I think that folks in those positions ultimately need to really search their soul and ask themselves: how much are you willing to give up – of stability or lifestyle or whatever it is… in pursuit of the thing that you prize the most? Your focus, the thing that you feel in your gut that you have to be doing. It brings you to a place of just feeling thrilled and excited, almost regardless of the monetary reward from it.” 

38:34 – “If you can just stay with something for long enough and just keep doing it, eventually you’ll  get better and better, like practicing an instrument. Eventually you’ll be able to really make this passionate music that people want in the world. And ultimately, I think that you’ll receive that financial success. It’s an investment in yourself. And it’s a path where you’re just constantly learning and constantly challenged. And there’s always hurdles but that’s the work of life, right? That’s the challenge, the beauty of it.” 

40:50 – [On manifestation] “There’s just so much information we need to bring in on a daily basis – an unbelievable amount of detail, and fissures, and pathways you go down into conversations and things that you’re pulling out and intuiting from the world. And if you’re making that little list of those things that you want – and making the vision crystal – you just start seeing those things in the world. They’ll pop out at you…It’s so powerful…. It’s so much fun. Because you’re dreaming, and in that act you’re saying to yourself, ‘That is possible.’”

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