No Middle Ground

When you’ve been blindsided, even if you saw it coming…or when push comes to shove and you need to make an impossible decision…or when you’re up against the ropes and getting pummeled…you’re either John Wayne or Don Knotts. You’re either Meryl Streep or Ethel Merman. There is no middle ground!

Important because when someone suddenly tosses you a hot potato and expects you to react, you’re either Superman or just plain o’l clumsy Clark Kent, because Mr. In-between is nowhere to be found. You either take the high road, or end up in a sinkhole.

Daydreaming!

Pro artists and entrepreneurs may not always look busy on the outside: leisurely picking at the guitar, tapping the keyboard, scribbling and sketching notes, sitting at a chaotic desk twiddling their thumbs, staring out the window, etc. You can understand why others may wonder how a smart, talented, creative person, can just sit there and waste time.

But we’re not! We’re processing, we’re considering options, we’re searching for possibilities, we’re inventing our next adventure, we’re plotting our next move, we’re devising ways to make a buck (or a billion of them), we’re dreaming our impossible dream!

What we’re actually doing is slipping into a stream of consciousness that detaches us from external distractions, and allows our thoughts to soften and our attention to drift in a more personal and creative direction. And while that may look like wasting time to others, what we’re really doing is working very hard (on the inside). That’s our real creative space. It’s the only place where we can invent and create something from nothing, without deadlines and without pressure from others. Whether it’s composing a song, memorizing a scene, painting a picture, or creating a pitch-deck! It’s our private, penthouse studio, where we can imagine what could be. Not like meditating, more like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude!

Important because the truth is, pro artists & treps never waste time daydreaming, rather, they spend time daydreaming. It’s time well spent that others just don’t understand.

Shut the Door or Stick it Out?

After the soul searching settles, the due diligence has been completed, and the final decision has been made, some folks quietly close the door, believing that quitting is an easier, smarter way out of a challenging situation. Of course they’re right! It’s much easier! And often, letting go and getting out is the most intelligent thing to do!

However, when faced with similar challenging circumstances, others choose to change-up the protocol. They rewrite, reinvent, reimagine, and recreate an all new and improved version of themselves and their work, in order to stay in the game and remain relevant.

Important because (unfortunately) it doesn’t matter that much to us if you stay or go, because we have so many choices today. What matters is how many people will be affected by your decision to quit, or how many people will benefit because you choose to soldier on. It’s not always entirely about you.

More Cookies Please!

It’s what every artist and entrepreneur wants to hear: “ You did a great job!” “You completely nailed it!” “ Wow! You are amazing!”

All of us crazy, genius, artists and treps crave acknowledgement. It boosts our confidence, provokes persistence, and can pull us out of a slump faster than any drug. It’s also the shiny bait that lures us to reach our highest level.

And for some, that’s enough! Making ends meet as a starving artist or a struggling business owner is (secretly) plenty to deal with. We all know someone like this. As talented as they are, they could easily spend the rest of their life reveling in the praise and sympathy of their friends and family: “You work so hard!” “It’s a tough world out there.” “You should be proud of what you’ve already accomplished!” The payoff of support and empathy easily outweighs the daunting challenge of growth and change.

However, for others it’s not enough. They know that applause is just a temptation to repeat the same thing over and over, and praise is a sweet cookie that often spoils your appetite to persist.

Important because recognition from others validates the essence of our creative work, and makes us feel relevant. However, when it comes to where we’re headed and how we’re going to get there, we’re on our own. And no amount of praise can replace the insightful, criticism or advice from a trusted, experienced confidante, who is committed to see us achieve our very highest goals. Not like trading compliments for criticism, more like when we begin to see inside the mechanical nature of kudos and praise, its bankruptcy becomes apparent.

Your Big But

Successful artists & treps do the deep research to determine what it will take to solve a problem or achieve their big goals. And after weighing all the options, they choose the best one for their particular situation, then “go for it!” And in that instant they’re on the playing field diligently moving the ball towards the goal.

Others make up scenarios in their head and say “yeah but…” and never get into the game.

Important because sadly, for those who don’t do the deep research or get coaching, the options are baffling and the risks look too high. For those who do the due diligence, the options are clear and the risks become calculated. And while winning the game is a good possibility, losing the game is guaranteed if you continue to say, “yeah but.”

New rule: Never let your “big but” block the view of the goal post!

Being Human

No matter how great a musician, actor, dancer, photographer, or V.O. artist you are, you’re still mortal. That’s why they say, “Let’s take that again!”

No matter how skilled a writer you are, you’re still fallible. That’s why they call it, “Rewriting.”

No matter how smart, good looking, talented, wealthy or successful you are, you will still say stupid things, make stupid mistakes, and slam face-first into sliding glass doors.

Important because “Through Elf-help books and Elf-improvement courses he had become a better Elf, but still, just an Elf…”

Inspired by Kevin Ahern, Artist

Down to the Crossroads

Many artist and entrepreneurs are blessed/cursed with so many multiple talents, interests and responsibilities, that we often find ourselves stalled at the crossroads with conflicting choices. Instinctively we know it’s time to make a decision and move on. However, we often feel paralyzed by the options and baffled as to which bumpy road to take (they’re all bumpy!)

Important because You’re not alone. I know that every one of you reading this, often find yourself stopped at a crossroads in your career/life, and stumped as to which activity or project you should commit your time, talent and energy to. That scene is written into the script of every pro artist and every risk-taking entrepreneur. We’re a unique society of independent, creative thinkers, and while there are plenty of Google links specifically designed to help navigate the thought-wrenching, unpredictable choices we make, in my experience, nothing returns us to the path of progress faster than an honest, heart-to-heart, free-flowing, unedited rap-session with someone who understands the angst we go thru, and the turmoil that goes on between our ears! Someone who has stood at the same crossroads and has the insight and skill to inspire and encourage us, and point us in the right direction. Not like a therapist, more like a seasoned player in the field of dreams. I know you know this because I’ve said it ad infinitum. However, I also know that sitting at the crossroads waiting for the arrow to turn green, can be a long, frustrating wait. And unlike how-to-books, sorting it out with a trusted cohort never goes out of style.

Q4!

Suddenly, without warning, we’re in the fourth quarter of the game and there’s only 133-days left in 2022! And some artists & treps I know have had a boom’n year so far! For others, it’s been a bust (so far).

And although the fourth quarter of the game always taunts us with so many more frustrating breakdowns, foul-ups, time-outs and challenges, it’s also an opportunity to adjust focus, change-up strategy, and re-commit to that which you say matters most to you. That’s a good insight to remember!

Here’s another good insight: Given my decades long publishing career, I always work better when there’s a deadline in front of me. If not an actual deadline then a big desire. A desire exciting and worthy enough to pull me forward. And like you, I always have an idea, a project, or a dream sitting on the back burner just waiting for a spark of motivation, to ignite a fire of desire, that is powerful enough to pull me out of my head and motivate me into action!

Important because here’s how to start a fire of desire using a simple timeless method that actually works: Take a sheet of yellow legal foolscap, and on one side only, quickly scribble down what you are honestly committed to completing or achieving by the end of this year (don’t think just write). Then quickly scribble down exactly what you want the end result to look like. Then quickly scribble down what it will actually feel like when you achieve that goal. Then scotch tape it where you’ll see it every day. Of course I’d rather just type it in my iPhone, but I gotta tell ya, seeing it taped to the wall in my scribbled handwriting causes it to shout at me! Which causes me to snap out of it and stay focused! Try it! Then email me at the end of the year and let me know how it all worked out!  Happy New year!

Dubious & Devoted

While The Dubious remain hesitant about the economy and anxious about the future, The Devoted are busy making tough choices, confronting impossible decisions, and with cocky confidence, investing their time and resources into their own great ideas and worthy projects.

While The Dubious scratch their heads and wonder what to do next, The Devoted are hard at work growing their brand, extending their reach, and kicking the quality of their work up a notch.

While The Dubious are “reluctant to trust anybody these days,” The Devoted are forming partnerships, forging relationships, joining groups, strengthening friendships, and enlisting advisors.

Important because while The Dubious are exhausted at the end of the day from battling with the relentless, dubious voice between their ears, The Devoted are emboldened at the end of the day from not giving in to it.

Blind Faith

Trust the universe to present a constant stream of ideas.

Trust your intuition to point the way.

Trust your gut to sound any alarms.

Trust the tools of experience and knowledge to manifest your dreams and ideas.

Most of all, trust your own blind faith. Your intrinsic ability to see it, even though you can’t prove it.

Important because trust is like wealth, the more we invest the bigger the return.

Talent is Overrated

The following is an excerpt from the book The KnowledgeA novel written by my favorite author and mentor, Steven Pressfield. In a recent email, Steven titled this passage:

“Talent is B.S.”

“I have a literary agent. His name is Martin Fabrikant. Marty is ninety-six years old. That’s not a typo. Marty is Dutch. He speaks with an accent. He’s about four-foot-ten and likes to joke that he used to be six-four…

Marty is a death camp survivor. He’s got the tattoo. He never speaks about the experience directly (I only know through my friend Pablo, who originally introduced me to Marty) but he’ll make remarks from time to time whose gist is, “Appreciate life. Never complain. Work hard and do your best.”

Marty has one other mantra: “Talent is Bullshit.”

“I’ve seen a million writers (musicians, actors, entrepreneurs) with talent. It means nothing. You need guts, you need stick-to-it-iveness. It’s work, you gotta work, do the freaking work. That’s why you’re gonna make it, son. You work. No one can take that away from you.”

“And I’ll tell you something else,” Marty says to me now over the phone: “Appreciate these days. These days when you’re broke and struggling, they’re the best days of your life. You’re gonna break through, my boy. And when you do, you’ll look back on this time and think this is when I was really an artist, when everything was pure and I had nothing but the dream and the work. Enjoy it now. Pay attention. These are the good days. Be grateful for them.”

Important because check out Steven’s new best seller: Put your Ass (where your HEART wants to be)

Waiting For Easy

Clearly it’s confusing.

Obviously it’s frustrating.

Needless to say it can be heart breaking.

Of course it’s hard.

If it were easy everyone would be a crazy, genius, independent artist/trep!

Important because the best we can hope for is that if we stick to it long enough, we will get better at managing hard.

— Inspired by Maria Shriver

Sudden Setback!

Just when you’re sure it’s going to happen for you, it doesn’t!

Just when you think you’re in, they pull you back out again!

Just when you are anxiously checking and re-checking your messages for the one call that will send you to the next level, the call that actually comes in sends you directly back to square one.

And while it’s true that this is an all-too-common scenario for most pro artists & treps, it is also nevertheless true that the sudden sting of a setback is always a painful surprise. 

Important because when others are suddenly blindsided with unexpected negative results, they often think, “Why me?” However, when a pro artist or trep is suddenly slammed or stymied she immediately retreats to her Fortress of Solitude and calms her doubting mind. Then she conjures up new ideas, invents better solutions and explores different options. Finally, she re-commits to that which she says is most important to her. Not like whoa is me, more like Wow is me!

The Future is Coming!

The future is coming, and when it arrives we will either be reveling in the awesome progress we’ve made, stuck in a mess of our own making, or standing in the same spot we are today, not having moved the ball much.

Important Reminder: where we stand now, in our creative careers and free-spirited lives, is a direct result of every single choice and decision we made leading up to today. Therefore, it stands to reason, that the choices & decisions we make going forward will land us toe-to-toe with the promises we made, and face-to-face with the person we are destined to become.

4-Prompts

It’s hard to remain motivated and excited about our big goals and future dreams when there are so many confronting, disheartening distractions happening all around us!

That said, here are four reminders that you may have forgotten in the heat & hoopla of these challenging times:

1. Progress, growth and success are a consequence, an upshot, a by-product of focusing our attention on the goal ahead, and simply doing the work, in spite of the distractions.

2. It’s what we are not doing that could move the dial and make a difference. It’s the confronting actions we resist that could produce the breakthrough we so desperately crave.

3. Procrastination can be ass-kicked! At any moment we have the power to quit a mind-numbing, time-crunching, useless habit and choose where to give our complete attention.

4. Your Choice: Stand up on your own two feet and declare, “this I shall do!” Or, continue to vacillate in indecision and wallow in the mire.

Important because in the heat of the hoopla, never forget who you are as a crazy, creative artist/entrepreneur. And lean-in to all the experiences you’ve had, the knowledge you’ve acquired, the talents and skills you’ve learned, and your unique ability to create, invent or dance your way out of any challenging situation.

F#ck It!

I’ve published 739-blogs in the past 573-weeks. And with great respect to all the Dad’s in my readership, I’ve decided to re-post the one blog that has generated the most feedback more than any other by far! Happy Father’s Day!

F#ck It!

This July 30th would have been the 39th birthday of my awesome stepdaughter Michele. It reminds me of the time I had the great opportunity to teach her how to dive off the board into the pool. She was 9 years old. She could dive off the side of the pool real easy, however head first off the board was a different conversation. Over and over she would come to that place that we’re all familiar with: the very edge of the diving board, with her toes hanging off the very end, shivering with a combination of fear and cold. I kept encouraging her, and reassuring her that she was a great swimmer and she could do it. However the voice in her head convinced her she couldn’t.

Finally after so many failed attempts and aborted efforts, she was once again on the edge. I had run out of pleasantries and supportive slogans, and finally I just said, “Fuck it Michele, just dive in the pool!” She looked at me shocked, like I had just committed the mortal sin of a lifetime. Then she looked at the water, looked back at me, and dove off the board. Of course as soon as she poked her head out of the water I hugged and praised her like she just won an academy award. She was thrilled, I was proud and when the summer sun finally set in the backyard, it was a milestone day to remember.

There are only a few words or slogans that provide so much wisdom and provoke so much action: “One day at a time,” “Be Here Now,” “Live and let live.” However “Fuck It” has a certain finality to it. It’s loaded with power and filled with commitment. To finally arrive at “Fuck It” is to finally get to that place where procrastinating has lost its lure, fear has loosened its grip, frustration is at its highest peak, and pettiness is something you are no longer willing to put up with. To finally arrive at “Fuck It” means that your commitment to the task at hand is now resolute.

Important because it just could be that the phrase “Fuck It” is the secret password that finally opens the door, and provides the breakthrough that will push that big idea, project or desire to the next level and beyond. Not like an angry profanity, more like a determined resolve.

Sinners Among Us

I’m fortunate to work and consult with a clientele of successful, committed, intelligent, talented, artists and entrepreneurs. However, the conversations at the deep end of the pool are not always focused on their success but rather their sins. Here are ten examples of the sins that we artists & treps consistently commit against ourselves:

— Resisting raising the bar too high because that would equal more time-crunching responsibility.

— Allowing the dramatic breaking news of the day to invade our creative thought-space and slow the progress of our goals, projects and dreams.

— Permitting pettiness to invade our to-do list.

— Faking it.

— Working so hard, for so long, for fleeting results has become the new normal.

— Dragging our feet until the interest in a worthwhile project fades to black.

— Setting attainable goals instead of impossible ones.

— Continuing to placate and put up with the uncooperative, unhelpful, ineffective or righteous ways of others at such an emotional, physical and monetary cost to you and your goals.

— Resisting change as if it were the enemy.

— Knowing exactly where High Street is, but constantly choosing Easy St..

Important because there are persistent “personal” challenges in the daily lives of pro, independent, creative artists and entrepreneurs that are worth enduring in order to advance forward, and forgiving yourself is one of them.

Reading The Room

The reason your followers are not buying more of what you’re offering, is not because they don’t understand your pitch, it’s because you don’t understand theirs!

Important because be the genius artist/trep who is not afraid to read the room, and lean in to what is truly wanted and needed by the folks you’re trying to help, impress, or sell, then provide more of that. Not like giving in, more like letting go.

Slowly I Crept Step by Step

“It was in Niagara Falls! Slowly I turned, and step by step, inch by inch, I walked up to him and I smashed him like that…and bonked him like this…

That was a classic Three Stooges bit that is embedded in my bones forever! It also reminds me of how fast we progress when we slowly chip away, inch by inch, at our most important goals and dreams:

Author, Stephen Pressfield says to devote one committed hour a day to your book, script, treatment or songwriting, and before you know it, you’ll be pitching your project.

Pro guitar coach, Tony Polecastro says to devote a minimum of ten committed minutes a day to learning a guitar part (or any instrument), and in a very short time you’ll have exceeded your goals.

Marketing/business leader, Seth Godin says to block out thirty committed minutes a day to work on your biggest dream project, and before you know it you’ll be liv’n the dream.

My physical therapist says 20-minutes a day on the bike will help soothe my aching knee (ouch!)

My meditation guru, Swami Muktananda said 30-minutes, every day, in silent meditation will relieve stress, and quiet my anxious mind (I’ve been a daily meditator for over 30-years! Yikes!)

Important because as crazy, genius, artist/treps, we should devote a “committed” amount of time every day to those specific, worthy activities that clear our foggy brains, quiet our chattering minds, nourish our hungry souls, and move our biggest impossible dreams, quicker and further up the road toward completion.

Three Tempting Rabbit Holes

Logic: The heck with logic! Give me illogical and let me wrestle with it! 

Common Sense: The very last thing I want or need when I’m in the process of creating or concocting (anything) is a consensus of everyone else’s logic!

Rational Thought: Thinking in accordance with logic & common sense. Seriously?

Important because your most ambitious, stimulating work to date was a risky idea, loaded with doubt just before you went with it. And if you zoom in closer you’ll also notice there was an absence of logic, common sense and rational thought.

Howlin’ at the Moon

— You can blame the lagging effectiveness of your brilliant marketing strategy on the over-saturation of your audience, and the over-population of social media, but that shouldn’t stop you from shifting gears and inventing a new strategy from the pool of unlimited possibilities.

— You can point to the economy, curse technology and blame the pandemic for the decline of your project or business, but that’s not going to help grow your company or make you a better CEO.

— You can belittle your crew, berate your audience and blame yourself, but that wont make you a better communicator or thought leader.

— You can criticize the current explosive transformation of the entire entertainment industry for rejecting your art, your talent, or your brilliant ideas, but that’s not going to make you a better artist or a smarter entrepreneur.

Important because after your howlin’ is done and the moon has set, the sooner you refocus your attention on what is truly wanted & needed, the better.

Choke, Pause & Flinch

The Three Stooges that forever chase every artist & entrepreneur:

Don’t Choke:
Stand your inner ground and recall the 10,000 hrs. you’ve invested in your career. Trust the experiences you’ve had, honor the knowledge you’ve acquired, and have confidence in your talents, abilities & skills. No one can question the hard work you’ve put in, the people and projects that have benefited, and the rewards you’ve reaped so far.

Don’t Pause:
Distraction wants you to pause what you’re doing and give your attention over to something more mundane and less essential. Don’t Pause! Keep your two eyeballs on the ball, and your third eye on your impossible dream!

Don’t Flinch:
Reminder: Behind every great jaw-dropping success there’s an artist or entrepreneur who faced a difficult internal struggle at a critical moment of choice: Choose “Fortitude” and possibly become a legend. “Flinch” and possibly become an unexceptional footnote.

Important because when doubt takes center stage, and your insides are “shake’n like a leaf on a tree,” have faith in that deeper wisdom you’ve attained to help navigate the perplexing labyrinth you often unexpectedly find yourself entangled in.

Every Step We Take

The reason we take so long to make choices and decisions is because we’re afraid of making the wrong choices and decisions. That’s because as independent artists & entrepreneurs we live and work in a domain of uncertainty. Our livelihood depends on what we create or manifest on our own. And every step we take and every choice we make has profound consequences that we alone are responsible for.

Important because the truth is, once we look deep inside, past the hoopla of concern and consideration, we always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

Let The Cards Fall?

What a crummy slogan: “Let the cards fall where they may.”

Why would you hand over your fate so easily?

Why would you give the cards so much decisive power?

How can you just stand by and let the cards fall, without at least making an attempt to have them fall your way?

Important because sadly, we still believe we have no control over the cards we are dealt.

Buffalo Chips

While it’s true that continuous chipping away gets you closer to the goal, it is also nevertheless true that what you’re actually chipping away is everything that doesn’t align with your commitment to advance & succeed. What you’re actually chipping away are activities & behavior that slow your progress to a crawl. What you’re actually chipping away is that which blocks the path to the goal. What you’re actually chipping away is everything you are no longer willing to put up with.

Important because if you plan to build a Buffalo in 2022, you need to start chipping away at all the stuff that doesn’t look like a Buffalo.

Mind Games

Reminder: The enemy is not our bank account, our timeline, or the unreliable, cantankerous people we work with. Those are external circumstances that can be worked out, untangled and negotiated.

The enemy is that relentless chatter between our ears, which constantly questions and doubts every step we take, every thought we think and every choice we make, often to the point of mental exhaustion. Not so much like the voice of doom, more like a continuous streaming download of what-if’s, what-for’s, why-not’s, and how to’s.

Important because unlike other enemies, the way to win over this one is to not resist at all! Not like Gandhi, more like constantly shifting your focus back toward your work, the work you love to do, the work you were born to do. And to the degree you can keep re-focusing your attention back to the task of the moment, to that degree the chatter will subside. Swami Muktananda said: “The purpose of your mind is to question and doubt everything, allow your mind to do its job, while you give all your attention to doing yours.”

Dragging Your Feet

Too often we spend more time thinking about it than doing it. It’s a high cost for such a petty payoff. We must continuously stand toe-to-toe with, and take action on those responsibilities that are truly wanted & needed (in our careers and personal life) in order to get closer to what we say matters most to us.

Important because we artists and treps are notorious for dragging our feet, until the resistance to do the work is exceeded by the (mental) exhaustion of avoiding it.

Aspirations

Take a look down the bumpy road ahead at who you will become after you achieve your biggest goal and your impossible dream. Here’s my hunch:

The brilliant, fascinating, talented person you aspire to be will no longer need to prove anything to anybody, for any reason.

The person you aspire to be is no longer concerned with how much it costs, only with how much value it adds.

The person you aspire to be is less concerned with “do they like me?” and more concerned with “did I give them the very best I’ve got?”

The person you aspire to be will finally be free from instinctively reacting to the expectations of others.

The person you aspire to be is more than willing to give back, lend a helping hand and offer coaching, guidance and direction to others who may be knee-deep in the hoopla.

Important because wouldn’t you agree that all of these are within reach right now? Wouldn’t you also agree that the brilliant, fascinating, talented person you aspire to be is getting restless? Perhaps it’s time to ramp it up!

How to Play Hide & Seek

Rules of the game:

1. Stand next to a tree and shout as loud as you can: “NOT IT!”
2. (Sorry, you’re IT!)
3. Cover your eyes and count to ten.
4. Then shout as loud as you can: “Ready or not here I come!”
5. Now start hiding & seeking.

HIDE from those who say: “I’ve been in this industry long enough to know better!” 
While that may have a nanometer of validity, the truth is, we have ALL been in the NEW entertainment industry for the exact same amount of time!
SEEK A&E’s that are knowledgeable and experienced in the way our industry is operating today, and exchange views & ideas with them.

HIDE from the temptation of copying, imitating or plagiarizing other’s work or style.
SEEK inside yourself that unique spark that only you have that matches your vision of how you would do it, if and when the opportunity presents itself. Because every artist fits perfectly into a little corner of the vast entertainment spectrum. And although the competition appears steep, there’s no shortage of work in our industry! There’s always room for another hit song, another jaw-dropping performance, another great story, another breathtaking work of art, or another worthy business adventure.

HIDE from setting small goals that keep you stuck in an illusion that you’re getting somewhere.
SEEK to raise the bar from doable to impossible. Because deep down inside you know you’re capable of playing a much bigger game.

HIDE from thinking that “success” has to match your definition.
SEEK to be open to any of the many ways that success will present itself throughout your lengthy career.

HIDE (actually run) from those who say: “Oh well, that’s just the way it is in show business!”
SEEK those who realize that unlike the fixed protocols and common trade practices of other global industries, the entertainment industry is a unique empire unlike any other on earth. Where contracts are unconventional, deals are off-beat, timelines are fluid, and negotiations are like buying a neck-scarf at a street fair—everything is negotiable! Right down to the color of the ink on the contract! And when someone says “that’s just the way this industry works,” that tells me they talk like they’re in the bigs, but they play the game like they’re in the minors.

Important because although hide ’n’ seek is a game we learned as kids, it has become a worthy and valuable grownup game where we can change the rules to suit our needs and play the game ad infinitum. Have fun!

No Big Splash

You don’t have to produce astonishing feats or amazing achievements—you just have to produce. If you can resist the tug to impress everyone with a big splash, and instead pursue the audacious process of expressing your unique talent & exceptional skill with exhausting honesty and unguarded authenticity, you’ll end up with more loyal fans, more repeat customers and ultimately more career longevity and personal success.

Important because if nothing else, a pro has confidence and faith in herself. She is not out to impress everybody, and lives to express her art from the inside out. And in doing so, inspires all of us.

Forecasting

When I was climbing the infamous ladder of success a five-year plan was important. It was drilled into my young, inflated ego that smart entrepreneurs make long-term plans.

Now that I’ve put the ladder in the garage, it has become clearly obvious that the rabbit speed of technology, running neck ’n’ neck with the turtle speed of the pandemic has drastically deflated that strategy.

Today, unless you’re beholden to investors, long-term career plans are an illusion—a blind guess. And given the blinding speed at which our beloved creative industry is exponentially changing, I place little value on future forecasting. Rather, I remain conscious and aware of what I am rigorously committed to achieving today, or this week, or this month, or this quarter. Not like selling out the future, more like day trading.

Important because planning too far in the future keeps us at a dangerous distance from our destination and supports the excuse that we still have plenty of time to reach our goal.

The Grand Chasm

When you stand on the southern edge of the Grand Canyon you can clearly see the dangerous, rocky, risky, steep, treacherous hike it would take to get to the other side. An ominous trek indeed.

That said, if someone pointed across the dangerous, rocky terrain to the other side and said:

“Look…that’s where your big goals and dreams are! That’s where you’re headed! And hiking from here to there is your only chance!”

Your jaw would drop, your eyebrows would raise and you may say something like: “No way! Are you kidding me! How do you expect me to get there? There must be an easier way!”

Important because the good news is there is no chasm between us and our big goals. It just looks that way from our doubting POV. And while many amateurs look across the imaginary chasm to the other side and say, “there must be an easier way,” the pros are excited by the challenge and committed to the adventure. They research all the possibilities, consult with experienced advisors, and muster up the confidence to stand on the very edge of the great (illusionary) divide that (appears) to separate them from where they are now, to where they want to go, and proclaim “This I shall Do!” And once that happens, the entire universe bows at their feet!

“There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too.” —William H. Murray—Forbes

Resisting Simplicity

– What project (or projects) are screaming at you to be started, refined, clarified, or completed?

– What confronting issues need to be addressed, before you can move forward?

– What are you avoiding that you know you should be pursuing?

– What is the truth that continuously whispers to you from deep within, that gets drowned out by all the other noise?

Important because there’s a mighty resistance that bubbles up when we artists & treps confront these simple questions. (Read them again…)

2022 Posts