Skid Marks & Donuts

Not the kind of skid marks you’re thinking about. I’m taking about the kind you leave on the pavement as you’re flooring it or slamming on the breaks.

When you’re flooring it you realize something so profound you just have to get on it as fast as you can.

Same thing when your slamming on the breaks. You realize something so profound that you must immediately come to a screeching halt to avoid a catastrophe.

However, donuts are good too! When you’re doing donuts, driving around in circles, you’re in a holding pattern, like the planes at LAX; gathering smart intel, watching for an opportunity, waiting to make your move. The journey may make you dizzy, but the experience will make you wiser.

Important because skid marks are actually tangible evidence that you were so aware and conscious, and your radar was so fined tuned that you were able to make a smart snap decision in the face of advancing opportunity or impending doom. Donuts are also good for dunk’n.

3-Pokes That Will Help Make it All Better

Revisit your circle of influence. We’re a unique tribe of independent, creative thinkers. And it’s empowering and motivating to have regular, deep conversations with other like-minded artists and entrepreneurs who are confronted with similar concerns, share similar goals and experience similar angst. And if we can’t find any like-minded peers, then we need to manifest or create a regular, on-going conversation with a personal confident or experienced mentor who understands our industry and the creative hoopla we go thru, and has the wisdom and foresight to bounce back our options, possibilities and crazy ideas.

Remain Flexible, lighthearted and ready. Flexible like an athlete able to turn on a dime. Lighthearted like the new kid on the block, instead of the grumpy grown-up across the street. Ready, willing and able to finally let go of that which only serves one, and begin to embrace that which serves everyone.

Take It Personally: Work every single day to improve and get “crazy great” at what you do (even if you’ve been doing it forever). Then do the deep research and raise your awareness to a level where you can clearly see the big picture of how our industry is changing today. Then find that place inside yourself where nothing is impossible and steer the ship from there. Not like new age magic, more like intelligent foresight.

Important because just like shifting the camera angle, ever so slightly, changes the entire POV of the scene, we are always just one small adjustment away from changing our circumstances and rewriting our future.

Clear Thinking at the Worst Time

Clear thinking is logical, it’s predictable, it’s unsurprising and it’s rational. It can also stifle your creativity and dam up your constant free-flowing stream of crazy, genius ideas.

When we’re in the throes of working on a scene, composing music, writing a book, directing a video or painting a picture, the outcome is NEVER clear. In fact, it’s usually foggy, and filled with indecision, hesitation, frustration and doubt.

Important because the very last thing we want when we’re in the zone of creating, designing or inventing, is to be clear thinking. On the contrary, the very first thing we want is to be open-minded.

Rewrite!

Rewrite your work.

Rewrite your career.

Rewrite your goals.

Rewrite yourself out of a trap.

Rewrite yourself more options.

Rewrite your circle of influence.

Rewrite yourself out of the worst of times.

Rewrite yourself into the best of times.

Important because we artist and entrepreneurs are the writers and authors of our own destiny. Others gladly hand that job over to a higher-up. But we can rewrite our lives as many times as we want. Until it feels right. Until it feels like the truth. Until it feels like home. Not like a formula to make it, more like the freedom to choose it.

By When?

That question was asked, uttered, mumbled, whispered or shouted by someone scurrying through the halls of our publishing company nearly every day for decades. It’s the single most effective and inspiring motivator I know. And everyone wants an answer to that question but no one wants to commit!

Every stand you take and every claim you stake should include a “by when?” Or the conversation holds no accountability, it carries no liability, and it downgrades what was just said to a half-baked idea!

Important because nothing says commitment like “by when?” Not like a rigid deadline, more like one component of an intelligent plan.

Self Obstruction

One of the many things we’ve learned about our democracy over the years is the destructive side of filibusters. Which is the use of obstructive tactics to hamstring progress and prevent the adoption of a measure, bill, or new idea.

Makes me think that not only do politicians prevent each others ideas from happening, we do it to ourselves too. If you’re stalling to start, continue or complete a project, or if you are obstructing, or standing in the way of your own clear path to progress, then you are deliberately sabotaging your goals, undermining your dreams, and filibustering your own worthy ideas! Huh?

Important because in Washington, it takes 60 senate votes to break a filibuster. In your world it only takes one.

Dodge Ball

Dodge the distractions not the work.

Important because as long as we keep doing those things we really don’t need to do, we’ll always be able to dodge those things we really should be doing.

New Beginnings

Most folks are calling 2021 a new beginning. However, artists & treps are used to new beginnings. It’s where we live every day. If the music isn’t right we keep rehearsing. If the painting isn’t right we paint over it. If business slows down we upgrade what works and downgrade what doesn’t. If the words aren’t right we rip the page out of the typewriter and start over. Huh?

Important because as crazy creatives, starting over is what we do every single day. Heck, we slam on the breaks much more often than we floor it, and we frantically flap our wings much more often then we cruise! And while some are prepping for a new beginning, to an artist/trep it’s just another opportunity to improve our work, rethink our strategy, hone our craft, and nose-dive back into the deep end of the pool right where we left off.

The Hill We Climb

Performance poet Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old Los Angeles native, performed her poem “The Hill We Climb” as part of President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day ceremony. Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet laureate in history. And she’s one of us, an artist/trep!

“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?”

She’s an artist because like you, she is gifted with that non-stop, perpetual streaming download of spontaneous inspiration and great ideas. She’s an entrepreneur because like you, she carries the responsibility of pushing her work and talent into the world, and must bear the consequences of that constant battle cry of doubt and resistance between her ears. And just like you, as she stepped away from the mic, she watched the faces in the crowd, for any sign of disappointment. Instead, she saw a roaring standing ovation. Of course you know all this, because you live in the same hood she does.

“We will not march back to what was, but move forward to what shall be”

Amanda is an outlier, a Beatle, a mold breaker. Her words and how she performs them stand out and apart from the dinosaur poet laureate’s of yesteryear. That’s what outliers do, they break the mold, drop jaws, raise eyebrows and cause normal folks to say, “oh my!”

“So while once we asked how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert: How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.”

Important because when one of us artists/treps shines so brightly, it provokes all of us to up our game.

This Boring Life

The pandemic has introduced a new creative challenge for unwitting artists & treps to deal with: Boredom!

Whaaat? Artists & treps never get bored! Our minds are too active, our imagination too wild, and our non stop stream of great ideas & creative solutions never runs dry!

Still, a few creatives I work with are asking the question: What the heck am I supposed to do with something I’ve never experienced before?
Answer: Shift your POV.

Think of boredom as an opportunity. Because without boredom our minds could not wander and our imagination could not run free. Without it there would be no empty space for new ideas to reveal themselves. Without it our fantasies would be fleeting, our daydreams would be dampened, and the light bulb over our head would be forever dim.

Important because without our new buddy boredom we would not ask the question “What should I work on next?”

5 Prompts, Pokes & Prods

I wrote 55 blogs & stories this past year; some great, some so-so, but each of them had a prompt, a poke or a prod. Here are 5-nuggets I pulled out of my 2020 archives to help inspire you to keep your head in the game, keep your mask on your face, and keep pushing that boulder up the mountain. By the way…never forget…the boulder is real, the mountain is an illusion.

1) Revisit, reimagine and reconsider that which you say must be completed, resolved, manifested or begun. Remind yourself what it is you really want. Remind yourself what your biggest most important dream/goal is. Remind yourself what truly matters to you. Then ask yourself, “What am I committed to?”

2) Assess Your Strategy. If you continue to repeat the same work habits or marketing  schemes over and over, convincing yourself that you’re doing something different, your fans, customers and clients will move on to something new, your numbers will start to drop, your results will continue to decline and that dream you have of growing will eventually begin to dwindle…just when you were expecting it to peak. Not budging from your tired old strategy is a lousy strategy.

3) Review your support team and inner circle, including staff, agents, managers, bandmates, sales team, coaches, consultants, techs, partners, etc.. I know it can be a heavy scene to split with people you work with (and like). However, a heavier scene is continuously putting up with the pettiness and incompetence of others at such an emotional, physical and monetary cost to you. Don’t flinch or choke on this one. If issues need to be addressed or personnel changes need to be made, don’t be afraid to pull out Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Truth be told, YOU are the CEO of your world. And the goal is to work with the most talented people who are aligned with your vision and committed to the task at hand—not to wait around for people to change or grow up.

4) Don’t complain about how hard it is. Everyone who has ever made it in showbiz worked hard. Rather, revel in how great it is to work hard on something worthy of giving it everything you’ve got.

5) Give it back! Giving and receiving are different aspects of the same energy. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep that energy circulating in our lives.

Important because Don’t Do Anything Stupid! You’re an artist, an entrepreneur, an independent, crazy, creative genius! I know it can be tough; however, it’s a GREAT life, and the only life for you! Don’t screw it up!

I’m Not So Sure

It’s a powerful honest statement. If you were sure, then you probably weren’t creating something unique, or making a risky choice that could take you further along.

If you were sure, then your expectation for a specific result would be fixed, with no chance for any other outcome.

If you were sure, it would mean you probably played it safe and followed the rules of predictable protocol.

No true artist or entrepreneur is ever sure, even when we say the work is finished! It doesn’t matter if we’re composing music, writing a script, shooting a scene, or making a risky business decision. “Certainty” is yet another obstacle to greatness. And when we remain willfully and confidently unsure of the outcome, even a little, that leaves us wide open to unseen opportunities and unlimited possibilities.

Important because there are no sure bets when it comes to creating art or manifesting big dreams. In fact, originality demands an absence of certainty. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that it’s okay to proceed (confidently) with uncertainty leading the way.

Two Geniuses

Somewhere in the world an exceptionally talented artist or entrepreneur, with much to contribute, wakes up in the morning to hesitation and uncertainty. However, even though the resistance is strong and the doubts are convincing, she knows that in order to succeed she needs to be a fully confident and committed participant in the game. So she proceeds to her creative space determined to do her best work.

Somewhere in the world an equally exceptionally talented artist or entrepreneur with much to contribute, wakes up in the morning and is hesitant to proceed, vacillates in indecision, and is secretly doubtful he has what it takes. He permits impatience to set his pace and distraction to steal his focus. So he proceeds to his creative space dubious and disordered.

Both are equally talented and have much to contribute. Both have doubt. Both have fear. Both are uncertain about the future. However only one is committed.

Important because “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy and the chance to draw back. Therefore, concerning all acts of (creativity) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and plans: that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too.” — W. H. Murray, Scottish mountain climber, writer, artist.

4 Things You’ll Need in 2021

1. Your advisory board. Those few people (or that one person) in your life who you can count on, confide in and consult with for opinion, perspective, and inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned actor, a successful songwriter, an independent artist, or a savvy CEO, the last person you should consult when you’re stuck in indecision or faced with arduous options is YOU! You may be the one in the trenches, however the benefits of running the details by a knowledgable mentor, assures clarity, diminishes doubt, and provides the confidence necessary to make a wise decision.

2. Your incomplete to-do list of unfinished tasks, abandoned goals and postponed projects. Add to that your wildest dreams and strongest desires. They lead, you follow.

3. Your unique abilities, exceptional talents, impossible ideas, and that uncommon quirk that no one else in the world has but you. Without them you’re toast! Add to that, the remarkable skill you have to create your way out of crummy circumstances. Without that, you’ll be constantly stalled by crummy circumstances throughout the year.

4. You’ll need some form of secure, digital proof that you got the vaccine. No matter who you are, what you do, or what you believe, you’ll undoubtedly be working with others, whether it’s in the studio, on the set, or in the board room. And trusting the health of those around you will now be a required asset. At this moment, several tech companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, are scrambling to create apps that would include vaccine and coronavirus testing info. Plus, a digital vaccine passport for travelers will soon be introduced by the International Air Transport Association. (Source: Healthline, Washington Post, CDC).

Important because the only thing you won’t need in 2021 is proof that you survived 2020.

The Nag!

As self-reliant, independent artists & entrepreneurs, the one thing that incessantly troubles us, the one thing that mercilessly crawls under our skin, the one thing that causes us to anxiously fidget and squirm the most, is that continuous nagging voice between our ears that relentlessly reminds us of what we haven’t achieved, what we haven’t attained, and what we have yet to accomplish!

Important because without the coaxing of the Nag, we’d never get anything done!

Rearranging The Furniture

It is now apparent that the dark cloud that has hung over our lives in 2020 will finally be obliterated with a painless, double shot of much needed hope! And many of the artist and treps I know are celebrating by rearranging their furniture, slapping paint on the walls and redesigning their creative space to clear out the dark energy and make room for new exciting projects in 2021.

It makes me think that you can redesign your studio with the coolest gear and the latest technology, and surround yourself with awards, citations, gold statues and platinum records. You can even create a cool creative vibe in your space with inspiring posters, meaningful artifacts and memorable chachkies. However, it’s your greatest ideas that will ultimately be the most imposing energy in the room, and your most important unfinished work will be screaming at you the minute you set foot in the door!

Important because when you take a look at the genius, brilliance and talent that has come out of small, dusty garages (from tech giants to rock stars), it becomes evident that your great ideas and biggest dreams could care less whether you do your work in a small cubicle, a dusty garage or an elaborate studio. The only thing your best ideas want is to become meaningful, relevant and alive in the world.

The Crack in Our Head

Somewhere, between the urgent disruptions, the thought-robbing distractions, our screaming to-do list, and the continuous lure of breaking news, there are openings where we can slow down, slip through the cracks, and actually find enough peace of mind to get some creative work done. Some days, the openings are so wide we can spend long hours catching up on our most important projects and goals. Other times the days are jammed with a boatload of responsibilities or unexpected urgencies and there are no openings to be found anywhere.

However, what I’ve come to learn is that manipulating our busy schedule is easy, because most of us artists & treps have our own favorite software, or built-in time-management system that helps us triage the storms of the day. But finding that time to contemplate, create and manifest our imaginative ideas, can be illusive.

Important because the cracks we need to slip through, are the ones between our busy thoughts, where pure creativity lives, not the ones between our busy schedules, where time-management lives. And the only way I know to slow down my frantic thoughts, just long enough to slip through the cracks and experience that illusive, creative peace of mind, is to sit in a private space, for 10-20 minutes, close my eyes, and allow the cracks between my thoughts to open up effortlessly, so that I can slowly slip into the deep end of the pool. And for over 30-years, the balance I’ve found in my life between the hoopla of showbiz and the silence of my soul is astounding. I’m not sure who I would be without this one simple, daily practice in my life. As Leonard Cohen would say, “that’s where the light gets in.”

The Big Shift

Nothing is more damaging to a career, destructive to a business, or catastrophic to a creative spirit than an inability to pivot, an unwillingness to change, or a resistance to remain flexible. Especially when our comfort zone, and the circumstances that we are accustom to suddenly collapse and shift.

Important because the way we have always dealt with our industry, our business, our careers and our world is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift. And by definition, “a paradigm shift calls into question the rock-solid assumptions on which the previous paradigm existed.” And shrugging our shoulders at the many new eccentric ideas and unique possibilities that are currently swirling around between our ears, will continue to make it harder to thrive during this big shift.

Headspace

Narrow the influence of the narrow minded.
Quiet the mantra of toxic chatter.
Reject the attraction of pointless distraction.
Resist the temptation to aimlessly click.

Important because artists and treps need all the clear, headspace we can get.

Where Wizards Live

Possibility is never razor sharp. It’s always a bit blurry and out of focus.

When we imagine what’s possible in our life and career it looks a lot different than looking at it through the lens of reality. It also has a completely different impact on the choices and decisions we make (when we act on what’s possible instead of the same o’l song & dance).

And while others strive to live in predictability, artists & entrepreneurs spend their entire lives surrounded by uncertainty, which is where possibility lives, which is actually very familiar territory for us. Kinda like when King Arthur asked Merlin the Wizard why he always wore robes with moons & stars on them? Merlin replied, “Why it’s because everywhere a wizard goes he is always at the center of the universe.” 

When we finally come to realize that possibility and uncertainty are at the center of our universe, we find ourselves standing in a limitless, unbounded creative space, from which we can pivot at the drop of a hat, and perform our work from an absence of formula. That’s what makes us different from the others. Not better, just different.

Important because fortunately for us, living, navigating and operating our creative lives in the space of possibility is actually how we come to discover what’s possible in the first place.

Starting Up A Brand New Day

Today presents a profound opportunity to revel in your win, succumb to your loss or sit frozen in your fear. Huh?

Today also presents a profound opportunity to wake up your creative spirit and harness your emotions, whether they are excitement, sadness or anger, and express your unique talent, produce your best work, flaunt your best art, and exploit the very best version of your creative, independent self!

I’ve said this before, this is what artists and entrepreneurs do: we use our emotions and “gut feelings” as a lens to see what’s missing, to see what’s wanted & needed. Then we use our precious gift of creativity and our incredible talent to provide it and manifest it.

Important because “I’m thinking in a brand new way…I’m starting up a brand new day.” —Sting

Your POV Matters

There is a reason why us artists, writers, musicians, actors, editors, directors and creative entrepreneurs are eager for this current political season to end. And it’s not about money, or the pandemic. It’s about truth. All of the creative work we do is about truth. Creativity itself is all about expressing and manifesting your truth through your creative skills, talent and expertise. Heck, most of us rely on expressing our truth for our livelihood! And we all crave it like a drug. Especially during these dark days when fiction, falsehood and cock-and-bull stories are so transparent, making it clearly obvious who’s trustworthy and who’s not.

And if we want to send a clear, personal message to the current leaders of fabrication then voting is the best way to do it. So if you haven’t voted yet, go out and vote like you’ve never voted before! Vote like the future of your awesome creative lifestyle depends on it. Vote like you would vote if you were the only one voting!

Important because turnout is everything and your POV matters. And we’ve all learned the hard way that it’s not only about who votes, it’s more about who doesn’t.

Getting Your Groove Back

Some interruptions are necessary, some pauses are helpful, and an unexpected break in our routine can be valuable. However, some other disruptions really suck! Like career setbacks, money loss, project flops, personal heartbreaks, pandemics, politics, media overwhelm, etc. And getting our motor running again, at top performance, during a dramatic, drawn-out slowdown can be an effort. Why? Because the brute called “mayhem” will keep you wallowing in the mire, and the thug called “resistance” will stop at nothing to prevent you from doing anything about it!

Important because if you can just get your head on straight and remind yourself what is most important to you, and reconnect with whatever it is you are committed to, then your ability to navigate the mayhem becomes effortless, and your resolve to push through resistance becomes ruthless. Once that happens, getting back in the groove becomes exhilarating…actually intoxicating…actually “heady!” And if you’re really smart, the choices and decisions you make during your big “slowdown” should actually put you further down the road than you were before. Why? Because you’re not starting from the beginning, you’re starting from HERE.

Getting it Right

—Asking for career direction, especially in the entertainment industry, doesn’t mean you’re a new kid on the block. On the contrary, it could mean you’re a seasoned pro and you are once again, standing at the crossroads of choice.

—Asking for tech support doesn’t mean you’re unskilled or tech deficient. On the contrary, it could mean you’re eager to learn something new, or figure something out so you’ll know what to do next time.

—Asking for more info on how and where to vote, or where to drop your ballot doesn’t mean you’re dance’n in the dark. On the contrary, it could mean you just want to get it right, so you can finally move past the rhetoric and move on to the results.

Important because asking for help doesn’t mean we’re not ready. On the contrary, it means we’re ready to move on.

Timeless

If we wasted money the way we waste time, we’d all be busted, broke and bankrupt!
Important because we can always make more money!
(Inspired by experience)

Is it Really About The Journey?

Of course it’s about the journey!

But “The Journey” sounds like a Sunday drive in the park, a pleasant Hawaiian holiday, or cruising up Highway 1 with the top down, listening to “Panama!”

That popular comment is usually made after someone slams into brick wall and a supportive friend tenderly says, “don’t forget, it’s all about the journey!” 

Why don’t they say the truth? “Don’t forget, it’s all about the bumpy Jeep ride through the forbidden jungle of doom!” Or, “it’s all about the rubber raft ride up the root canal.” Or better said, “it’s all about a glorious quest, fighting an unbeatable foe, and dreaming an impossible dream!”

Important because while “the journey” promises an experience, which promises a boost in knowledge and wisdom, a “glorious quest” promises adventure, achievement, and a march into hell for a heavenly cause…no matter how hopeless, no matter how far!

King James Has Doubt

The Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA Championship! It’s like a Grammy for best group vocal. It’s like an Emmy for best series ensemble. It’s like an Oscar for best picture, and it’s like winning the World Series. And LeBron James also won the MVP award. It’s like being voted best artist of the year.

King James joined the NBA right out of high school at age 18 (he’s now 35). He’s played 17-seasons, and 14 have gone to the playoffs. He just became the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA playoffs, surpassing Michael Jordan for the top spot, and he broke his best friend Kobe’s record for most career points scored. He also has four world championship rings, and he’s not done yet.

During a postgame interview LeBron was overwhelmed with lights, cameras, reporters…and emotion. And when asked what motivates him to keep playing, keep pushing, keep climbing, and keep reaching for that brass ring when he already has so many of them? King James paused, and then said, “The thing that motivates me the most is doubt.”

He went on to say that he reads all the reviews about how great he is, and what a champion he is, and how he has become the greatest player of all time. But he said deep down inside he doesn’t feel that way. He still has the same feelings he had when he was a kid shooting hoops in the park. “That some day I’ll make it. But not today, I still have more to learn. I still need to improve.” He said that doubt motivates him to work harder to be a better player, a better teammate, and a better man.

Important because for whatever reason, it’s hard to get that our heros have doubt, or they procrastinate, or they question their talents or abilities. We place our heroes one level above ourselves, and then we are surprised when they reveal a side of themselves that is well…just like us. And the more you listen to the acceptance speeches of actors, musicians and champions, the more you realize that doubt follows artists & treps around like a fly on honey. A reminder to all of us, that the main ingredient in the DNA of every artist and entrepreneur is honey.

Waiting On The World To Change

“Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood,

They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could,

Now we can see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it,

We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it.

So we keep waiting (waiting),
Waiting on the world to change,
We keep on waiting (waiting),
Waiting on the world to change”

— John Mayer 2006.

That song reached number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart, and remained there for over a year. It is Mayer’s most successful single to date (both in sales and chart positions).

When you listen closely to the lyrics of the song, it’s spooky. They are as profound today as they were in 2006. In fact, more profound today. That’s the difference between something good and something great. The moment greatness is recognized by the herd, it jettisons to the top of the heap, and stays there indefinitely. Doesn’t matter if it’s a song, screenplay, video, book, performance or product. If it’s great, word spreads fast and we all clamor for more.

Important because throughout history, even in the darkest of times, people were inspired and enriched and often dependent on art to help get them through tough times. And thank God we have an abundance of great art and plenty of outspoken, higher-conscious artists & treps, like you, to help us get us through the tough times we face today.

An Actor’s Life For Me!

“Hi diddle dee dee, an actor’s life for me,
A pot of gold in a sea of glee,
It’s great to be a celebrity,
Hi diddle dee dee, an actor’s life for me!”

—Song from the 1940 Disney movie, Pinocchio.

Sorry Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio was right: The independent life of an artist/trep is truly an extraordinary, worthwhile adventure. Actually, a lifetime career in any area of entertainment is more like a magnificent, meaningful mission. A mission that is filled with unpredictable chutes & ladders, which lead to an illusive, ungraspable brass ring. Like the song says, it’s a great life, and the only life for you and me!

That said, every single minute of every single day during this dark time, we have the choice to either sit it out and watch, wonder and wait for our industry to recover and our lives to reset. Or, we can re-adjust our focus, modify our circumstances, and start making the tough choices and decisions that will ultimately manifest our own new future. Not like Marvel fantasies or Disney magic. More like every wobbly stand we take, and every uncertain choice we make sets off a chain reaction of interrelated events that ultimately link together and determine the outcome of our goals and dreams. No wonder people are always so fascinated by, and in awe of artist & entrepreneurs!

Important because while you’re manifesting your destiny be sure you are registered to vote!

The Final Breakthrough

The problem is not that you’re not talented enough. In fact, by now, you’ve probably mastered your craft, and your level of talent far exceeds the level at which you are currently playing. The real problem is a personal, deep-seated trepidation that has always stopped you from going any further, playing any bigger or making it to the pinnacle of your particular profession. And if you’re not willing to take the plunge into the deep end of the pool and discover what it is that’s really blocking the road forward, then you’ll forever be parked on the side of the road where you’re sitting right now, which for some may be further down the road than others.

Important because where most people stop has less to do with gatekeepers, management, timing, age or connections, and more to do with some long-standing, deeply personal reluctance to advance to “the bigs.” And now is the perfect time, while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, and while our awesome industry is in the midst of reinventing itself, that you could take steps to reinvent yourself too. Only from the inside out! Perhaps you could go deep with a trusted confidant, a reputable coach, or a personal consultant. Anyone but you! Because the last person you should consult with about this is you!

That O’l Second Wind!

Someday, it will happen. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s the mantra of every artist/entrepreneur: “Work hard, never quit, and someday I’ll get there.”

Back in the day, it was the gatekeepers that got in our way. More recently, it’s the challenge of mind-numbing, non-stop, exponential technology, and the total transformation of our entire industry, caused by the disruption from the global pandemic.

However, for an aging artist or entrepreneur it’s the challenge of time—the push to achieve our big goals & dreams before we run out of gas. Many artists & treps find themselves growing older with an ever increasing fear that the biggest opportunities have already passed them by, and the only thing left to do is settle-in or toss the towel. To others it’s no longer about getting there, it’s now about staying there. Even the word “dinosaur” has shifted from a jurassic zoo animal, to a personal insult to anyone approaching 50.

That said, I think the biggest time-wasting mistake we make is waiting; waiting for the economy to turn around, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for new leadership, waiting for the kids to grow, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for an offer, waiting for things to return to normal, or waiting for that breeze to blow in, and that ol’ second wind comes along!

Important because maybe it’s as simple as changing our mantra, from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I continue to be relevant and offer my best work, to those who continue to want it?” Truth is, you may not have an audience of 100k, but you still have an audience. Your video may not get a million views, bit you still have viewers. Your company may not have 50k customers, but you still have customers.

In the meantime, Elton John continues to shout his own timeless mantra from the mountaintop: “I’m still Standing, better than I ever did, Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.”

2021 Posts