Be yourself. Anybody else is already taken.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often take for granted we are part of a community, so we must adapt to fit in. Nothing could be further from the truth: to form a community, we should be extremely unique individuals, each one with a set of skills, characteristics and limits, so to integrate and match with other members. In order to be complementary, we can’t be all the same, otherwise how can we work together toward higher goals and pave the way for ambitious projects and find our purpose?
Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
– Steve Jobs
The picture above is taken from a meetup I had around 3 years ago at Tech Campus by Google in London, when I was about to launch my first tech startup, Nightpusher (that failed, and I’m happy for it. That way I had the chance to learn a lot before trashing away more money and these days I find the reminiscences really useful to avoid getting in that same trap again, while I launch my new projects).
The person showing me that book, which I then purchased, was a Google engineer and he introduced me to the concept of Mindfulness.
It really helps me out and I practice daily, nowadays.
For persons like me, with two major internal sides and mental operation procedures, an artistic one and a business one, the temptation and pressure to choose one over the other is extremely strong and constant. Of course, you have to focus on specific tasks and exclude others, when you are on a roadmap toward a strategic milestone or you have impellent deadlines. But “slashers” as someone calls them (persons with more than one job/characteristic/attitude/persona/skill/mindset) are incredibly important for society and for themselves.
I always resisted the urge to shut down one side or the other and I invite you to do the same. Creativity and the creative process is similar, being composing a song, writing a treatment for a movie or just jotting down your next millionaire idea and start strategizing and executing on that.
The process is pretty much like this:
ART: you got an inspirational moment, a melody (text/concept/story/groove) comes to your mind, you open your software or diary and put a reminder down. Then you have to start building around it, shaping it, develop it and create a structure. Even after you got the piece of art/content at the final stage, you have to start crafting a distribution and promotion phase to bring it out there and publish it.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: you got an eureka moment, a business idea comes to your mind, you open your laptop notes app or a post-it note or whatever productivity tool you use, put black on white and then you start brainstorming about it. You then start market researching, doing your due diligence, keywords planning, building a MVP or writing blog posts about that niche to test the waters and if you are on the right path, you start creating a product building/fundraising/bootstrapping strategy to market your idea and distribute it to the world.
You see, the process looks quite similar, basically being split in two major phases: pure creativity and rationalization.
That’s why I think makes no sense choosing between the artistic side and the business side, if you got them in you, there’s art in business and marketing in art. The truly important concept is to focus on one thing at the time and one phase at the time, as you would do with your nutrition intake. There’s a moment for beer or wine and being lazy and chilled. And there’s a moment for coffee and be laser-like sharp and focused as a knife. Your brain reacts in different ways.
I’ll write about this two-speed brain concept (inspired by the Nobel’s prize winner Daniel Hanneman) in a later post.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
– Bernard Baruch
Being yourself will open up tons of different avenues for you, both for your career and for your internal mental and spiritual maps, which then will reflect on how you act and behave into the external world. Sometimes it’s best to let go of past feelings and anxieties and embrace your new, whole self completely, denying access to “how to’s” and “what if’s” and just serendipitously follow the flow of this interactive game that’s life.