Creative's Workshop 2020

Your Own Battlefield

Choose your own path.

8. Be the Impresario

You don’t have to wait to get picked…

Without permission, what could you ship? Without permission, who could you organize? What’s the soonest you could make this happen?

It’s not that you can’t organize and ship a minimum lovable product. It’s simply that you’re hesitating.

Welcome to the resistance.

Prompt: What are the pieces you need? Make a list. Then next to it write an idea for how you’ll be the impresario and make it happen.

Useful bonus prompt! Describe your ladder. If your dream is to have Elvis Costello on your podcast, or to be reviewed in the NY Review of Books or to get a huge payday, what’s the step before that? and before that? and before that? How many steps before you get to one you can do tomorrow?

Your Own Battlefield

I keep hearing about this amazing book named Sun Tzu and the Art of War. I stayed faaaaar away from it because the idea of violence, bloodshed, and conflict churns my stomach like very little else does. What I’m starting to realize as of late is that a war doesn’t always have to physical; a war could be stirring inside your very soul and its up to you (and only you) to see this campaign through to the very end.

Enter the Impresario

Somewhere along the line I snapped. I grew tired of all the petty games and useless meanderings my peers endlessly engaged in, and no longer sought their approval in any of my attempts to find true fulfillment. Why would I ask for advice from people who aren’t even where I want to be in life? It took a while to realize, but I carry this valuable advice forward throughout my days.

Unfortunately, I took this advice a turn too far and for quite a long time, I sought advice and feedback from no one. How could anyone else ever understand why my soul was stirring? This wasn’t the right path either, so eventually I adapted, and learned that as much as I have to be the one to finish my fight, I can’t do it alone.

I need allies, both to fight alongside me and to cheer me on even when I began to falter and lose faith in myself. My tribe, my audience, as Seth so succinctly puts it. Waiting for others to validate you will be a losing battle no matter how well you fight. Loving yourself and fighting for what you believe in will inspires others to believe you in, and hopefully light a fire within themselves to start fighting their own wars too.

Your Battle Plan

Having indulged endlessly in self-help and start-up small-business books before entering this workshop (or the dojo as I will now refer it as), one of the biggest warning flags that was waving inside my head is that PRO2 never talked about having a plan to success. From my previous readings, over 90% of all business fail and never make it to the second year because they don’t have a plan. My biggest worry is that PRO2 would send us out into the world and tell us that as long as we believe in ourselves, everything will be okay! I’m relieved to know that we aren’t flying blind out there anymore.

Now I must make the important distinction that laying out a business plan and laying out a path to creative success are TWO VERY DIFFERENT documents. A business plan is just a document you submit to loan dispensers for the amazing opportunity to incur debt from someone who doesn’t understand your vision! Investors become owners, and now you worry about about small things like having to make tomorrow’s payment rather than focusing on the creative battles that are really important. A creative plan to success is just what the impresario must piece together: all the missing elements to showcase why you and your voice matter in the first place.

The Other Self

One of the most important battles you will continually face is admitting everything about yourself that you lack. For most, it is a reminder of our failures and every reason why we should continue to hate ourselves, and infinitely repeat the cycle of despair. Shedding another light upon the same faults, we turn the narrative into opportunities for ourselves to grow. Life would be boring if we were naturally amazing at everything, and I think that’s an important element that several of us are lacking when it comes to truly wanting to take ourselves to the next level.

Your Army

No matter how different our starting places might be, we all share same limiting factor: time. As much as I would personally love to do everything in my impresario act, there just isn’t enough rotations around the sun that my body can handle. So we decide to play to our strengths, improve on our weaknesses that we feel will be of the upmost importance further down the line, and delegate others to round out the rest of the creative plan.

My hope is that when I employ someone to cover a gap in my creative plan, it is not necessarily someone who is already perfect for the role, but rather someone who will be perfect for the role. To find others who are fighting their own battles and to stand side-by-side each other is a rare opportunity to not only build bonds and comradery, but also have the same chance to fight the world who said you were not worthy, and prove them wrong.

Of equal importance is to find the people you are fighting for. Our creative selves yearn for the opportunity to make an impact not just in our own lives, but in the lives of others as well. When you touch the life of one person, you influence can grow to two, four, eight, an infinite amount of people. All it starts is with finding your audience, no matter how small, and growing together with them.

The Road Ahead

I’m at the quad-crossing of fate where I have a lot I want to accomplish and I’m not really sure how I want to go about completing them. The short summary is this:

  • My short-term goal is to make passive income streams so I can focus on my long-term goals
  • My long-term goal is to make a virtual reality software company in my hometown or somewhere else opportunistic for minorities to be shown that anyone can code, not just those who have the tools and resources to be successful. I would work because I want to work, not because I’m worried about paying the bills.
  • My lifetime goals are to always be in tune with my creative self, no matter the medium, and to cultivate the social bonds that I feel strongly about.

I’m already taking the first steps towards all of my goals (a far-cry from the person I used to be in the beginning of 2020), but in my ideal world, I would follow all the outlines of this post in completing each one of them. The glaring weaknesses I currently need to address are my lack of time-management skills, my gut-reaction to rely on only myself instead of leaning on others, and to continue finding the others who can make my passing dreams into a grounded reality.

What about you? What are your thoughts and what are some battles you are facing?


Dialogue & Discussion