In this podcast episode, the host explores the concept of time preference and its application to the creative hustle. Drawing inspiration from Austrian Economics and the teachings of Eugen Böhm-Bawerk, the host encourages artists to choose between quick gratification and long-term impact. The episode discusses the importance of investing time and effort into meaningful projects that can leave a lasting legacy, rather than focusing solely on disposable content. Examples of artists who have followed this approach, such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey, are provided. The host also shares practical tips for balancing immediate needs with long-term vision, emphasizing the value of creating content that stands the test of time. The episode concludes with a challenge for listeners to embark on a passion project that has the potential for long-term success.
Tired of the same old same old? Well, it’s time to tune into something different. In this fresh episode of the No_System podcast, we’re slicing through the fluff and getting down to brass tacks about time preference, with none other than your host, Brian Behm. It's all about the slow burn versus the quick fix in the creative world.
Brian isn't just tossing around high-falutin' economic theory for kicks—he's here to show you how it's done, with a nod to the big brain moves of Eugen Böhm-Bawerk. You're an artist, not a day trader, right? So why rush your masterpiece like it's a two-for-one sale at the dollar store?
We shine a spotlight on legends like Banksy and Shepard Fairey to prove a point: playing the long game in art is like investing in a solid gold chain. It just doesn’t lose its shine. We're serving up the kind of content that’s meant to stick around, not just stick for now.
But hey, we're not just here to preach. You'll get the real deal—actual tips on how to juggle your need for bread with your dream of leaving a mark.
And since we’re all about that action, step up and take our challenge. Go dust off that big idea you shelved and start sculpting it into something that’ll echo through the ages—or at least outlive the latest meme.
Before you dash off to make your mark, hit up nosysknows.com. Grab some gear that's as unique as your fingerprint and as loud as your art. It’s not just merch; it’s a statement that you’re part of a tribe that values freedom, expression, and a good chuckle at the system's expense.
This is the No_System podcast—no gatekeeping, no ivory towers, just real talk and a good laugh, where all rights are reserved and all lefts are celebrated.
Written and performed by Brian Behm Original Music (unless noted) by Brian Behm/No_System Stock Music provided through Audiiio Music Included In This Episode • Brandon Kai - Finally Going Home (Instrumental) • The Prams - Now That We're Far (Instrumental) • Wes Harris - Mini Vlog (Instrumental) • Adi Goldstein - Inspiring Heights (Pt.2)(Instrumental) • MNRCH - Spitfire (Instrumental) • Crowley - MANTRA
—- Take a look at No_System’s apparel and accessories at nosysknows.com ——- Transcripts available at nosysknows.com/podcast ——-
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Special Thanks Angela Behm Jessi Bennett Lee Van Wallene Krysta Walker Nathan Hinson Zach Carter
There Is No_System is a production of Brian Behm Creative.
Hey, it's Brian . I know it's been a while since the podcast has been alive. I'm sorry for the absence, but we're back and I think I have a much better way of keeping the lights on. Podcasts might look a little different, but you'll still have a lot of the same ideas. Just maybe retooled a bits that I'm not doing. Things like writing 20 minutes of music for each episode. If you're still here in the feed, thanks for not unsubscribing. Today we're diving into a topic that might initially sound like a snooze fest. Austrian economics. It's a philosophy that underpins a lot of the no system beliefs, but it also powers a lot of the ideas that the place where I spend my days as art director Emergent Order Foundation. Before you hit the skip button, I can promise you this won't be a dusty lecture with dusty theories scribbled on a chalkboard. I just feel like sometimes there's value in old things, and we could take lessons from one part of the world economics and apply that to another part of the world, like your hustle, your art, your life. So pour yourself a cup , whatever keeps you sane. Coffee, whiskey. If you're a hippie, kombucha, I, I won't judge you and let's get the ball rolling.
The Voice of God: There was no system. There is no system. Episode eight , playing the wrong game time preference and your creative hustle . To know more about no system , visit nosysknows.com. Section One. Who the heck was Eugene von Bohm-Bawerk?
Brian: Now, if you've been paying attention to no system at all, you probably know about our badass of thought and action collection. I'm actually in the process of building out the next version of that project now and going a lot deeper and a lot weirder. After the 2020 election, I started to see commonalities between the economic malaise and 1970s London and the outsider status of the early punk community with the views of the early to mid 20th century Austrian economists , people like Frieder Kayak , Ted Gun , MEUs , and their later contemporaries like Thomas Oul and Milton Friedman. One of the people we didn't focus on in that first round was someone who might've slipped under your radar. He slipped under mine. You ? Eugene Von Bohm-Bawerk. Yeah, it's a mouthful, but stick with me. He was a rockstar in the world of Austrian economics and he's got some gems to share that, dare I say it, are game changers for the creative entrepreneur in all of us. I'm actually very curious if he could be a, a super distant relative. My last name is Beam, BEHM, but apparently it was supposed to be spelled BOHM, like Bohm-Bawerk. It's part of the root word for Bohemian. Now, I have no idea if he actually is, but he could be.
Bohm-Bawerk was a a man ahead of his time. He looked at economics not just as numbers on a page, but as a study of human action. What drives us to make the choices we do and let's be real. That's the golden question, isn't it? Why do we do what we do and how can we do it better? So what was his claim to fame? His primary teaching was something called the time preference. Theory of interest. It sounds complex, but it's actually straightforward.
It's about the value of now versus the value of later. Imagine you're standing at a fork in the road. One path leads to a quick win, immediate satisfaction, but nothing much after that. The other path, the longer and filled with challenges, leads to a treasure trove that could change your life forever. Which one would you pick? That's what Bohm-Bawerk work wants us to think about.
He's saying, Hey, life's short, but not that short. Don't sell yourself short for a quick thrill when you could be building a legacy. And that's not just economic talk, it's life advice, but it's wrapped in the language of supply and demand make of bombo work is that wise Elder who's seen it all? He's our obiwan in the Jedi journey of life choices. So why does this matter to you? The artists , the designers, the rebels of our no system community? Well, each choice you make in your creative journey is like a mini economic decision. Are you investing in quick disposable content that's as fleeting as yesterday's news? Or are you pouring your soul into a masterpiece that could be your legacy? Bombo work challenges us to be the architects of our destiny, and I'm here for it.
The Voice of God:
Section two, your two choices are art versus content.
Okay, time to get our hands dirty in the nitty gritty of daily life, picture this, you wake up not to an alarm clock, but to one of those light bulb moments. You've got an idea for a design that's so off the charts incredible. It could be your Sistine Chapel. Here's the kicker. It's gonna take time. A lot of time, weeks, maybe even months of intense focus in labor. You're basically giving birth to a creative baby, and that's not a weekend project.
At the same time, your bills aren't gonna pay themselves and your social media followers are as impatient as a cat and you're an empty food bowl . You gotta feed the machine so you whip up some content stuff that's good enough to keep the likes and shares rolling, but not epic enough to be carved into the annals of history. It's your creative fast food. It's quick, it's satisfying, but ultimately it's forgettable.
Bohm-Bawerk work would look at this situation and basically say, okay, you've got two paths, or He's Austrian, so I , I'm not even gonna try and do an Austrian accent. One is the shortcut to instant gratification, and the other path is the scenic route to something far more valuable. And you know what? The dude's spot on.
Your epic design? That's your investment in the future. Your moon landing, your legacy in the making. It's what people will talk about when you're not in the room, but the quick content pieces, that's your pocket change. You're here and now you're 15 minutes of fame. It's like eating a bag of chips when you're hungry, it fills you up, but it's not a gourmet meal. Don't get me wrong. We all need some chips, but it can't be the whole diet.
You also need meat and potatoes and vegetables, and if you work for an industry that is trying to push some sort of product, you'll adjust the pyramid and then you'll eat much more of that. I digress. So ask yourself, what are you cooking up in your creative kitchen? Are you the short order cook flipping burgers or are you meticulously crafting a five course meal? Bomba work wants us to weigh our options and for once maybe opt for the path that requires a little more spice and a lot more simmering.
Here's where it gets real in my life as someone juggling the hat of a designer, an entrepreneur, a dad, a husband, a full-time employee, I've had to grapple with that dilemma myself. I've been investing a lot more time in social media this year, and to be super honest, it's been a mixed bag. You can't sell if you don't build a community and you can't build a community by just selling.
Every day we post a photo of someone in a piece of merch and every day we post a piece of advice. I've experimented with a whole bunch of things, but with some planning and practice, this schedule has seemed sustainable. At the same time, it has taken me away from focusing on the work. First generation of this podcast was one of those longer roads bomber work talked about. I thought it was important to put it out into the world, and in that case, the T-shirts were the thing that was the dopamine hit.
In hindsight, I bit off more than I could chew and with the other obligations we had at the time to other clients, we were spending as much time on the dopamine hits of serving our partners as we were neglecting the long-term work of building no system. I do think social media can be positive though, and we don't have to throw the idea of feeding the machine out the window. We can use it to share our journeys. We're going down the longer road and sort of accomplish two things at the same time. We can capture the highs, the lows, the messy middle of creating something truly epic.
And while you don't have to share all of the secrets, giving people a backstage pass to the creative process can be a positive thing, can help people feel like they know you. It can help people who feel like they're supposed to be an artist know that it's something actually attainable and it can help people get more interested in the work we're creating. I'm still wrestling with how much I share and how much I hold back. Having to lay the no system staff off earlier this year was definitely one of those things I held back at the time.
I didn't help build the right infrastructure and tool set , yay ADHD , and that ended up impacting everyone on the team. That's precisely where Bohm-Bawerk comes back into play. He reminds us that each decision whether to post a quick doodle or share a painstakingly detailed work in progress is a choice between the now and the later. Between quick gratification and long lasting impact. It's a constant tug of war and trust me, it's okay to be torn. At the end of the day, if we're aiming to be more than just a flash in the pan, we've gotta make room for the kind of work that builds a legacy. And if sharing parts of that journey helps others see the value in it, well that's a win-win. In my book.
The Voice of God:
Section three, the no system approach to time preference.
If you've been following me or the brand for a while , you know that my goal is for no system to be more than just some shirts or a logo. I really want it to be a whole philosophy, a way of life, a secret handshake among rebels and anyone who daress to think different. And that's why our buddy Bomba work is like a spirit animal. Bomba work wasn't just spewing economic jargon for the sake of it. He was laying down the fundamentals of what we breathe here at no system. The freedom to choose the audacity to be different and more than anything else, the courage to build something that will outlast the Twitter trends.
When you invest your time and soul into creating art that's not just a flash in the pan, but a blazing comet in the night sky, you're not just making an economic choice, you're making a life choice, a a freedom choice. You're basically flipping the bird to anyone who says you have to follow the herd. It's your personal declaration of independence. But instead of breaking away from a country, you're breaking away from mediocrity, from the ordinary, from the system.
So when you're pondering whether to invest in something meaningful where you chase the quick buck, you gotta remember choosing the path of substance over flash isn't just smart economics, it's living the no system philosophy. It's saying, I'm not just here for a good time. I'm here for a long, I'm epic game-changing time. If Bomba work were around today, I hope he'd be a no system kind of guy.
The Voice of God:
Section four, the real world Impact.
For a dose of reality. Let's talk about artists who've made the Boy-Bawerk playbook their Bible. I'm talking about the Banksies and the Shepherd Fairies of the world. These guys didn't just wake up one day and decide, "you know what? I'm gonna be an internationally renowned artist." They played their game on a much longer timeline.
They also played it in a way where the idea was more about the message that they were putting out into the world than marketing. They invested years into honing their skills, experimenting with different mediums and getting their hands dirty sometimes, literally in the messy process of creation. If we were thinking about this in economic terms, this would be their artistic capital a term that should absolutely be a thing if it isn't already. They went all in on their own unique style and the gamble paid off big time.
Now we also have to switch gears and look at the other side of the spectrum though . One hit wonders, people who burst outta the scene with a piece that went viral, they had their 15 minutes of fame and then, maybe they were selling squirrel NFTs. Maybe they invented the piano tie. Either way, the work they were doing was disposable. They vanished into the black hole of obscurity. It's kinda like they built a house of cards, they looked cool for a hot second, but it couldn't withstand the test of time.
What sets the banksies and the fairies apart from these flash in the pan artists is the depth of the investment in their craft. They didn't just aim for the low hanging fruit they climbed to the top of the tree to get the best pickings, even if it meant a few scrapes and bruises along the way.
I guess it boils down to which club do you want to be a part of? The legends or the lost 'cause ? If it's the former, you're gonna have to dig deep and put in the time. And maybe, just maybe, take a page out of Bohm-Bawerks book.
Before we wrap this segment up, let's talk about something so dripping with irony. It's like a Philly cheese stick , a paradoxes, shepherd Ferry . The man behind the iconic Obama Hope poster and the Obey Campaign is an artist heavily influenced by Marxist and constructivist themes. What's ironic is that whether he realizes it or not, his career totally embodies Bohm-Bawerks time preference Theory.
Farry , when he's at the Rhode Island School of Design, starts spreading his :Andre the Giant has a posse" stickers. He wasn't even trying to do anything. He was just amused. They were anonymous and they spread. Nobody knew exactly what was going on. There was an err of mystery, and because of it, that built curiosity.
As his art expanded, he spent years refining his style, exploring sociopolitical themes, and basically investing in his artistic capital. And this long-term investment paid off. His work is really among the most recognizable modern art, whether he is aware of it or not. Fairy's playing into an economic model that's more Austrian than Soviet. So if Shepherd Fairy can unknowingly embrace a concept that might run counter to his ideological leanings, what's stopping us from leaning into the wisdom of Bohm-Bawerk?
Even if you're not big on economics, the real world application is undeniable. It's like finding out your favorite punk rock anthem uses the same four chords as a cheesy pop song. different genres, same underlying principles. and spoiler alert, there's actually a lot of crossover between the DNA underneath the pop and a punk song. Even outside of Pop punk
The Voice of God: Section. Five Practical Tips: Balancing the present and the future.
Brian: How do you actually juggle the immediate needs with your long-term vision? Speaking from my own playbook here at No System lately, I've been geeking out on building tools that help me see the big picture. For instance, those bite-sized pieces of wisdom I drop on Instagram. They're actually not just for likes and shares, although those are nice, don't get me wrong.
Those posts actually serve as a feedback loop for my other content, like these monologues and my Tiktoks. When they resonate, it's a sign to double down on those themes in my other projects, sort of like homing beacons if something resonates and put more homing beacons in that area.
Earlier this year, I boosted a post on Instagram that just said, you know more than you think you do. No sales message, no call to action. Just, Hey, I bet you're smarter than you think you are. That little bit of positivity has helped a couple of hundred people to follow and start seeing all of the other messages that we're putting out.
The other thing is that those instant posts are crafted to stand the test of time. Someone's scrolling through my feed five years from now will hopefully, hopefully find them just as useful. It's a win-win. I'm feeding the short-term need for engagement while also building a long lasting repository of wisdom. Took a while to get there, and I'm sure there will continue to be changes, but I'm happy that I've been able to post more bits of good out into the world and be able to bring more people back to the bigger things I think have more value.
So be your own creative strategist. Use your quick wins to inform your long-term projects and vice versa. It's not just about balancing your portfolio, it's about making each piece work harder for you. And when you get that right, it's like nailing the perfect chord progression into punk rock anthem.
Time for a call to arms, or should I say a call to art over the next month? Pick one project that you're truly passionate about. I'm talking about something that pushes you outta your comfort zone and has the sweet, sweet potential for long-term glory. Don't just take my word for it, try it out and let me know how it goes. Whether we know it or not, we're all building futures, futures that our present selves will nod approvingly at while sipping on some good coffee.
And that fellow conspirators just wraps things up. Remember, life isn't about the likes, the shares, or even the immediate applause. It's about the art you create, the legacy you leave and the impact you have. The daily grind. It's just the stepping stone. Your future masterpieces, it's your stairway to the stars. So go invest in your own epic saga and let's create art that's worth more than just a scroll. 'cause at the end of the day,
The Voice of God:
There is no system. To know more about no system, visit nosysknows.com.