My Dream Job
Finding product market fit.
You can have anything you want, but first you have to decide what that is. - Stephan Silver
In Art school, you learn a diverse range of skills, mostly to do with design, creativity, and problem-solving. Skills that are useful in any number of contexts. But being an artist is not a job you can apply for. It’s a career you have to build for yourself.
There’s no path
Only a compass that doesn’t even always point in the same direction all the time. Like the one, Jack Sparrow has in Pirates of the Caribbean.
It’s the same thing that ‘Wolf-dog’ in ‘Call of the Wild’ has inside of him that gave the book its name.
A map is no good because no one has gone on your journey before you. And no one can follow in your footsteps.
There is however a structure that seems to work. It’s something like a stand-up
comedian and their ‘Act’. And ‘Act’ is a precious and limited thing, normally measured in minutes.
How you create an act is you show up for 5 minutes. Normally in a small club with an audience smaller than the number of people who opened this email.
You figure out a way to get on stage for 5 minutes and you do your Act. Most of it will suck but if you’re lucky you get a few seconds of laughter. Keep that piece, rework the rest. The piece you keep is called Material.
Show up tomorrow.
Repeat until you reliably can get 4 minutes of laughter out of the 5.
Then expand your act. Show up to a place that will give you 15 minutes to do your act. Give them those 4 good minutes then work out what to do with the other 11.
This is how you build up an Act. If you show up a lot and repeat the process. In 10 years you might have a good hour of Material.
So many people fail because they show up to a place asking for an hour when they barely have one minute of Material.
There’s no map, but I use this standup comedy idea as a metaphor for my own creative journey. A system for progress. A story to tell myself as I continue to show up :)
And here’s the funny thing. Showing up like this is actually my dream job. If it was a job.
I’d show up in your inbox in words and drawings. And every day it will widen your perspective and inject your day with creative goodness. I’m happy to do it for free, but the only way I can be free to do this is if I get paid. So one day I’m going to ask you for money to get this newsletter. Not today. I’m still working on my act. But what you could do today is share this with someone. Thanks!