THRILL RIDE! (0:49)  In 2000, after creating a few hundred awesome greeting cards for Paper Moon, my dear friend Steven Rotblatt saw the need for online greetings, and launched one of the first greeting card company’s on the Internet, “Rubberchickencards.com.” Today his small niche business is in fierce competition with all the giant card companies, including American Greetings, Hallmark, Bluemountain, and of course Paper Moon. The fact that these mega-corps can create and develop astounding products, services and apps, seemingly over night, keeps Steven constantly riding a manic merry-go-round, up & down, with doubt and uncertainty all the time. He’s come close to “calling it quits” a few times but he’s managed to hang in there with his own unique creative style of art and humor, along with a ruthless commitment to keep his customers satisfied, and his company relevant.We were talking the other day about the angst and struggle of being an independent artist/entrepreneur, making your own way, and forging your own path, especially when you’re up against a mountain of uncertainty. I finally asked him, “Why don’t you just go back to the easy, certain life of a greeting card artist and collect a steady paycheck every week?” He scoffed and said, “I could never go back! I love the roller coaster ride too much!”We both agreed that it’s in your DNA: you’re either a normal, everyday person who prefers to collect a weekly paycheck and travel in comfort by train, or you’re a crazy, creative, independent, genius artist/trep, who prefers to travel by roller coaster. Truth is, once you’ve traveled by train, it’s almost impossible to risk giving it all up for the uncertain bumpy ride of a coaster. However, once you’ve traveled by coaster, any other mode of transportation seems ordinary and lifeless.That said, I think at some point you just have to stand tall and face your truth: even though taking the comfy train on the road most traveled is tempting, as an independent, crazy, creative, genius risk-taker, YOU are a born roller coaster person, you always were, and you always will be. And finally coming to terms with that fact makes all the twists & turns in your fragile, unpredictable, creative career, worth it.Me? I’m ride’n in the car right behind you with my hands in the air!
J Michael Dolan

THRILL RIDE! (0:49)

 In 2000, after creating a few hundred awesome greeting cards for Paper Moon, my dear friend Steven Rotblatt saw the need for online greetings, and launched one of the first greeting card company’s on the Internet, “Rubberchickencards.com.” Today his small niche business is in fierce competition with all the giant card companies, including American Greetings, Hallmark, Bluemountain, and of course Paper Moon. The fact that these mega-corps can create and develop astounding products, services and apps, seemingly over night, keeps Steven constantly riding a manic merry-go-round, up & down, with doubt and uncertainty all the time. He’s come close to “calling it quits” a few times but he’s managed to hang in there with his own unique creative style of art and humor, along with a ruthless commitment to keep his customers satisfied, and his company relevant.

We were talking the other day about the angst and struggle of being an independent artist/entrepreneur, making your own way, and forging your own path, especially when you’re up against a mountain of uncertainty. I finally asked him, “Why don’t you just go back to the easy, certain life of a greeting card artist and collect a steady paycheck every week?” He scoffed and said, “I could never go back! I love the roller coaster ride too much!”

We both agreed that it’s in your DNA: you’re either a normal, everyday person who prefers to collect a weekly paycheck and travel in comfort by train, or you’re a crazy, creative, independent, genius artist/trep, who prefers to travel by roller coaster.

Truth is, once you’ve traveled by train, it’s almost impossible to risk giving it all up for the uncertain bumpy ride of a coaster. However, once you’ve traveled by coaster, any other mode of transportation seems ordinary and lifeless.

That said, I think at some point you just have to stand tall and face your truth: even though taking the comfy train on the road most traveled is tempting, as an independent, crazy, creative, genius risk-taker, YOU are a born roller coaster person, you always were, and you always will be. And finally coming to terms with that fact makes all the twists & turns in your fragile, unpredictable, creative career, worth it.

Me? I’m ride’n in the car right behind you with my hands in the air!


COMMENTS


Posted By Steven Rotblatt
Sharing a Seat
I love my conversations with my friend Michael. And I love that our conversation inspired this post. There have been times in the life of Rubber Chicken Cards where it all seemed gray. Then, right underneath, is an ocean of possibility. And there is never an end to it. In fact, the longer I am in business the more I understand that my little business can become a big one. But I have to become a bigger person, a more effective manager, a more creative artist and business thinker. Isn't that the real game? We have arguably one life. How big can we be without losing our humanity? What ceiling can we break in our own mind, in our own heart so that we can reach others and lighten this load!


Posted By Kingvegas
The Roller Coaster
So true!!! I found climbing the ladder in business as an employee unsatisfying. Being self-employed has freed my spirit and taken the ceiling off of my earning potential and earnings. Sometimes a little predictability seems like it would be a relief yet I know it would just be frustrating. Just gotta get better at steering my rollercoaster!


Posted By James Kohlman
Roller coaster ride
Love that metaphor!


Posted By Rachel Walker
Oh!
Dear, dear Michael!! Guess what!? I am so excited as I will be interviewed on a show in New York, Susan Brender's "Vitality"!! Legendary, and all round awesome, Alvin Taylor who worked with me will guesting together with me on her show!! Wow! Thank YOU as you and your blogs have deeply enriched me and my life. :-) You're awesome. Rachel


Posted By Tri Max
loving life!
I hate riding the roller coaster. But I love my life as an independent, crazy genius musician!


Posted By Pamela Myers
Inspired!
What an inspiration! Thank you, J Michael, for riding in the roller coaster with us!


Posted By Jenni Day
thrill ride
When Iím climbing the tracks of the roller coaster, full of self-doubt, I wonder why I didnít take that safe job in the burbs. But when I reach the top, and ready myself to go all out and surrender with my hands in the air, no amount of safety could replace the thrill of plunging into the unknown consequences. And I live Without regrets.

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2015 Posts:
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