Envy is an often underappreciated emotion for driving new behaviour, and while i dont think it terribly bad to envy others if it encourages you to pick up your own slack, it can go in the wrong direction towards jealousy and perhaps on to some regrettable action from there.
I recently had two critical questions aimed at my current project – The Fakelfuencer film that i’d like to attempt to address here.
One such critique was that i was perceived as high risk in my creative endeavours, not adequately concerning myself with how others might view me and my creative output, and not worried about maintaining some kind of personal reputation.
The second question was on determining success, and how i would know when i have succeeded.
Although i have set a tight deadline for delivery of the film; I do not have a clear finish line for when i can sit back and say “yes we won!” or “boo hoo, it’s over.” and i have not entertained such ideas because i no longer see the creative process as having a good and a bad, a win and lose, a start and a finish type existence.
They were both great questions, and got me standing back and reminding myself of where i am at and what i am doing (of which any creative person should do often); a perfect opportunity to step back and see the project from another’s perspective.
After a number of months embedded, I surely needed that.
So what of success? what of reputation?
For me it can be best expressed in the form of the “young professional”. Fresh out of university, newly minted egos and not a great knowledge of the human condition; and how/why relationships should be first cultivated above everything else in the business world. Honestly, these young professionals can be forgiven as with most education systems around the world they have been failed by outdated and misaligned teachings on key subjects, another clear reason to cut your teeth on the job if you know what you really want.
I got started rather late in my entrepreneurial journey, i had just turned thirty and i had an enormously motivating idea i wanted to pursue. But in order to be taken seriously i cut my hair and started to wear ironed shirts, this was how i thought the business world would best recieve me. Problem was, i never felt really real.
My ideas and ambitions were real but for some reason i thought it necessary to parade them in front of executives while wearing smart clothes, a trendy haircut and speaking with impactful business words like “verticals” and “synergies” as if this would increase my chances of some ill conceived idea of success i had at that time.
Success i have come to feel, is in having the time and resources to do what you enjoy every day, regardless of what others think of the output. There will always be those that dislike, even hate what you are doing for whatever reasons and that’s fine, it’s very likely what you are doing is not for those people anyway.
Although i do like debate and working primarily in marketing blockchain solutions it’s kinda my responsibility to listen to reasoned debate and adjust where necessary, working with your own passion projects gives me room to listen and acknowledge, and then willfully disregard if i view it as not applicable to my creative output. You can’t always do that working underneath others.
So in terms of thinking of success as a destination, and reputation as something to be managed, i think of both success and reputation to be wrapped up in a single truth; and that is to accept who you are, be honest with others, listen to external feedback and adjust and adapt your output where and when it makes sense.
In discovering this i found it both revealing and discomforting, revealing because it makes sense for me as those honest, critical and adaptive people are the types of people i want to engage with but; discomforting because of the lack of finality. Accepting that there will never be an end, a point of success where everything can revert back to normal.
If reputation is all we really have throughout our careers then best make it a truthful honest reputation that can stand the test of time, and be comfortable in knowing that success is made up of lots of little wins along the way, rather than a final destination to try to arrive at.
If you like the sound of a journey with lots of little wins (and plenty of fails), follow the production of The Fakefluecner film going on this summer 2020 here.
For a guiding light on the new business scape consider reading my friend Jonas Bergvall new book Sell the Truth. There are few people that have opened my mind as much as Jonas has. Thanks mate : )
Happy summer holidays!