I’ve been reflecting on the past thirty years of my career. What have I learned? What are the values I consider most important? What perspective do I want to impart to young independent inventors, movers and shakers?
Passion. Finding my passion changed my life. Taking the time to figure out exactly what the hell that was, detours included, was the single best decision I made as a young man. The first ten years of my life post-adolescence were unconventional, to put it lightly. But I knew I needed to discover what I wanted, what I loved and thrived on, instead of following some contrived path. I took a chance, and it has made every day since a joy. I like to say I’ve never worked a day in my life – some may be more or less fun than others, but ultimately, I’m always doing what makes me pulse. Find your passion and follow it.
Fear. We fear the unknown. No matter how much experience we gain or years we’ve lived, we fear what we do not know. But fear is indicative of an important quality – growth. If you’re fearful, you’re pushing yourself. Fear will help you grow as an artist and as an individual. You are never going to know everything you wish you did. This will always be true. So rather than fight it, embrace what you can affect – your ability to recognize fear and live with. You won’t have all the knowledge. So what.
Courage. It emanates from the self. You need it to combat your fear and move out of your comfort zone, to be okay with not knowing everything. I’ve found it by having faith in myself. Faith in my work ethic, faith in my abilities, and faith in those I seek help from. I know that if I can’t do something or don’t know how, I will be able to find someone who will. A mentor. Relying on others is intelligent and necessary, not a crutch.
Relationships. Meet people, love people. Business is made human and enjoyable through the relationships we form and maintain. Help and trust in others. Understand other’s needs, and try to answer them - yours will be answered in an equally important time. Find friends who share common interests and goals, because the relationships you form can really only help you.