Ep57: Pursuing Your Passion With Authenticity (And No Apologies) | with Dr Noah Arnold

My guest today is Noah Arnold, a veterinarian and business owner who runs his own veterinary clinic in Shorewood, Wisconsin in a very unique way, to say the least. Before going any further, if you’re wondering why in the world I would interview a veterinarian on a podcast that’s all about reaching your full creative potential, trust me. This is one of the best and most inspiring stories you will ever hear, especially if you’re a freelancer or small business owner struggling to build your own niche.

Noah did all the right things, took all the right classes, got the right degrees, and landed the right jobs. He had 2.4 kids (well actually 3), a car payment, and a mortgage. He was doing everything he was told to do in order to be happy…except he was miserable. Needless to say, living the life that he was “supposed to” live was slowly killing Noah. In order to get to the point where he had the freedom to build a business his way so he could pursue his passion and fulfill what he believes is his true purpose in life (serving animals and serving people who love animals), he had to summon the courage to escape his old life of desperately trying to conform and fit into the corporate world of animal medicine. In our discussion today Noah gives us an incredibly candid look into his journey and what inspired him to give up a life of comfort and security to take a huge risk, bet it all, and pursue his dream.

If you’ve ever felt stuck, lost, or asked yourself, “Is this all there is?” then you don’t want to miss this interview. I’ve released over 180 podcasts, and I can honestly say this is the first interview that ever brought me to tears. I challenge you to make it through without choking up at least once.

Finally as a full disclaimer, similar to my previous interview with world-renowned Instagram street photographer Daniel Arnold (which is episode 54 if you’re interested), Noah also happens to be my cousin…and he’s Daniel’s younger brother. Needless to say, I am extremely blessed to have such passionate, creative, and wonderful people in my family.

Win a One 1-Yr Subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud or Frame.io

» Click here to leave a review of this episode in iTunes (or Apple Podcasts)

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How rejection can fuel perseverance
  • Letting go of the necessity of comfort
  • “The trick to success is not focusing on the success but being authentic”
  • Creating a clinic that feels as safe as your living room
  • Facing your own desperation to be a person you’re not
  • “There’s no reason you should be waking up every day unhappy”
  • Being terrified to take the leap to independence

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Dr. Noah’s Ark

“Guitars at the Vet: Dr. Noah puts his own riff on pet medicine”

Dr. Noah Arnold Sings to Animals to Relax Them Before Procedures

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and it’s also scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. Click here to learn more and get your Topo Mat.

Guest Bio:


I was born in Madison, WI and moved to the East Side of Milwaukee when I was two. As a kid I stole birds from their nests and bunnies from their moms, misconstruing it as a rescue, and fed them by hand till they flew away or hopped off. I read books about boys with pet raccoons and dreamed of a far away life where people and animals and nature were interconnected.

When I was 12 we moved to the North Shore of Milwaukee so I could attend Nicolet high school (where I graduated in 2000 with the esteemed award of class clown). I spent my free time volunteering at nature preserves, caring for the animals on display, and shadowing local vets during surgeries. I received a bachelor’s degree in biology from UW Milwaukee and spent two years studying Animal Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2010 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

After vet school I worked for 6 years as a small animal veterinarian at Spring Harbor Animal Hospital in Madison and The Thiensville-Mequon Small Animal Clinic in Milwaukee’s North Shore. I married the girl of my dreams (we’ve been together since I was 15 and she was 34. Just making sure you’re paying attention… she was also 15), and had 3 beautiful, terrible, lovely children (Sadie, 5, Amelia, 3, and Elliot, 8 months). I have a brown tabby cat named “The Little Boy” and a wooly beast of an Alaskan Malamute, “Bella.” I write sad songs on guitar and piano and play locally on a regular basis. If I didn’t have so many diapers to change I would hike and canoe and explore.

What I really want you to know about me is that I love animals and I love people and I love people who love animals. My goal is not to be rich and famous. I want to create a family where people and pets feel loved and listened to and receive the highest quality of care.If you’re still reading this, thanks… I am long winded and as much as you’re willing to read, I’m willing to write.

I use my Facebook to share stories and I’ve included a few posts that tell about my pets over the years. Follow my Facebook page for my daily adventures.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Elyse Rintelman. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”