No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. This is me actually writing a blog post for the first time in three months. Ta daaaa! (cricket, cricket) No, seriously! This is not a goof.
It includes a link to a podcast I was interviewed for that people have been enjoying, and I have some updates about what I’ve been up to on the creative front. But first, a thought on barriers, what’s possible and what keeps us from moving forward.
If nothing else, technology has decimated or slalomed around the various economic and logistical barriers to entry in most fields. Today, there is nothing easier to do than start.
Want to be a DJ? Take a DJ class. Want to learn how to code, how to cook, how to write, how design, how to start a podcast, how to ….anything? You can take a night class, an online class or type it into youtube for free.
If you’re telling everyone that you’re waiting to start until the timing is right, you’re either lying or you’re lying. What you’re really afraid of is the work and the non-guarantees that comes after starting.
So we often look for shortcuts, for apps, for methods to make the mastery happen faster, to make the vulnerability decrease, to make the unknowns disappear. Which is why so many offerings tell us that we can do whatever it is we want to do in 10 days, 30 days or 90 days. It plays on our gullibility in the belief of a mastery worm hole. But hey, guess what…
Regardless of how you start, how you get the equipment, how you get access to the lessons, to the books, to the teachers, to the office space, to the software, you still have to practice and get good at it.
10 days, 30 days or 90 days is the intro, the preamble, the forward. It’s the easy part.
There is no substitute for the work.
The barrier was what everyone used to sympathize with you about. Not anymore. Technology has rendered the barrier obsolete and revealed the path that stretches to the horizon with road signs that clearly say “Caution: Work Zone for next infinity miles.” The new pavement, AAA vehicles, and rest stops provided by technology can only aid in your journey but it won’t make the journey for you.
Technology has reduced the barriers to entry to reveal an access to work, not an access to success. Success comes after the work.
Which is why the reduction of barriers are actually hampering people. Because so many more people are starting, it means that there is more noise and more competition, and because there is more noise and competition, it’s harder to stand out. And because some of that competition is going to be people busting their ass and showing off what they’ve finished, what they’ve gotten good at, and what they’ve accomplished, it means you have to work that much harder to make your dent. And because there are people going ballistic you with all this new found access to work, it’s easier to change direction and go start something else where a barrier once stood and tell everyone that you’re still trying to “find your passion.”
Make no mistake, just because you can learn it, doesn’t mean you will. And just because you did learn the basics, doesn’t mean that you’ll have the staying power to get good enough at it to be able to live the life you’ve envisioned.
I love music and I have fantasized about being a DJ most of my adult life. A few weeks ago I took a DJ class and was under the impression that after this weekend class I was going to be producing/mixing a hit song on Soundcloud and rubbing shoulders with Avicii in a few months. The chandelier of my mansion’s dreams came crashing on me before I was fully in the front door when my two teachers DJ Reborn and DJ Spictacular had been DJ’ing for decades and they were still learning, tweaking, improving. I was a delusional maniac and I was disgusted with myself for thinking this would be easy.
Having access to knowledge is not that same thing as applying that knowledge.
Yes, Carrie Underwood got her break through American Idol, but don’t think for one second that Carrie Underwood couldn’t have been an award winning singer without it. What she had was talent, a work ethic and luck. Everyone needs luck at some point in his/her life but it’s the work that is the great groomer, the thing that evens things out. The reduction of barriers can be our luck if we so choose.
You can start almost anything these days. The question is, do you have the guts to get good at it? Or are you going to live a life, standing on the rubble of barriers past, too scared to walk down the road of the great beyond?
Don’t mistake an access to an on ramp as a guarantee of an easy ride.
If you want to hear my radio voice in action, I was recently interviewed by Brett Gajdafor the Where There’s Smoke podcast. It’s Episode 11 titled, “Don’t Jump (Bias)” but the entire library is really insightful.
And I am in the middle of my second edit of the book that I’m writing about my Mongol Rally experience. It’s going to probably end up between 150-200 pages, aka a real book. I’m having a ton of fun working on this pet project, so although I’m not sharing my thoughts in writing on the blog every week, know that I’m writing everyday. Of course by “writing” I mean: editing, staring at a blank screen, swearing because I can’t think of the right metaphor, doubting myself, and feeling euphoric when a sentence comes together the way my brain wanted to make it feel.
Other than that, I’m having a blast being Omnibuild and Cava’s Director of Business Strategy.
I hope this finds you living intentionally.