Monthly Archives: March 2011

MIGHT vs Money

Today in my new business, MIGHT club, the revolutionary web application software that is our core product was completed! Six months in the making. Should have/could have cost easily cost us high six figures, but it did not. My partner and I didn't get it done with money. We got it done with what we call MIGHT: power and possibility-thinking.

First of all, we assumed it must be possible to get our expensive dream done without money.

It's easy to think the magic key to all your dreams, visions and projects is lots of money. But I assure you it is not. I recently watched two separate entrepreneurs allocate more than $500,000 to create software and never get a finished, working system. Time and time again, I've seen money not be the magic key. Because money can't buy vision. You have to bring that. Disney had to bring that. And money can't buy success. You have to manage and guide that. When you take money and apply it to your dream, passion or project, it's only going to take your abilities and flaws and magnify them. So truly, money isn't the magic key to your success. You are. You, your vision, gumption, creativity and possibility-thinking are. Remember that and money will be a whole lot less important to you making remarkable things happen.

See most people hope money can help them avoid having to envision, decide or create "it" themselves. But I assure you, if you're out to do something remarkable, you have to lead with vision, clarity and decisions. Money can't have a vision or make decisions for you. And people you hire can only do as well as you guide them to.

We got hundreds of thousands of dollars of programming work done, on-time!, and without money because of a clear compelling vision that inspired both confidence and creativity in the programmers, an insanely well developed series of diagrams that we could show the programmers of what we wanted (when you can give a super-detailed picture of what you want makes it vastly easier for others to give you what you want), and by some sharing of the profits on the back end. See, we got it down with power and possibility-thinking.  

MIGHT is more powerful than money.

Don’t Soul Out

Money is dangled as the carrot everywhere. Millions. Fast. Freedom. Riches. Lifestyle. Millionaire makers. Automatic millionaires. Seven figure success. Etc. Etc. And experience has shown me how many people like to smoke this dream. The dream of becoming the millionaire who loves their life because of tons of money erasing all their problems, confirming them as a bonafide success, and making life easy and wonderful. And as long as people like to smoke this pipe dream, there will be tons of people selling it. (And here's a little trade secret: most of the people selling it won't even have the financial success they're selling).

There's nothing wrong with aiming to become a millionaire. But when money becomes a primary reason for choosing your aims in life, you're inner-tubing down a river with a bunch of other people smoking a seven figure dream that's already bankrupt and headed for a waterfall. What you choose to trade a lot of your life energy (and time) for better have soul, or sooner or later, you'll hit a wall.

One of the grand secrets to success is soul. Don't soul out.

 

Foolhardy Part Phew

In my previous post, I gave the set up to this post, which is a continuation of that story.

So, I arrived in Fresno, without a sing word for my new show Foolhardy, which would be opening the next day, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

No matter how hard I tried, i still had nothing by Friday night. By Saturday at 11:30 a.m., I was sitting in a Starbucks still grasping for a single word and posting a picture of my horrifyingly blank page to Facebook. I captioned it, "The blood is dripping from my forehead onto the blank page titled Foolhardy, so I must be getting close…"

And in fact I was close to the breakthrough. Creativity often requires us to basically demand, beg, bang at the gates of the Universe calling for the inspiration, before it will finally give up the words. An earnest creative plea though is almost always answered, even if at the last hour. In my case, the words didn't just start coming, they began pouring and I wrote to keep up. I gave no thought to editing. I just did my best to keep up with the flow of one suggested sentence after another. By 3:30, I had filled many pages with my scrawl. Two hours to show time. So next I read what I'd written out without any critical review. And when I was done, at 4:30, I finally had a real reason to be gravely concerned. It's one thing to have no show that you believe will come just in the nick of time, even if by improvising in front of the audience. But it's another thing to read words that seem horribly thought out. With no time to change them.

Taking the freshly inked pages with me under arm, I headed for the performance space. Arriving only 15 minutes before my curtain call, there was already a small crowd of ticket buyers at the door. As I passed through them, my heart was on high speed. My senses where working overtime. I had 10 minutes to work with. Just enough time to give the technician my CD for opening and closing music. To set a small table that would hold my notes in front of me. A chair. And a digital recorder, a black box that would later help me understand the crash that was likely about to occur. And then they opened the doors, and as people found their way to their seats, I found my way to my knees. I pray before shows for all kinds of reasons. To remind myself it's not about me. To call for help. To remember that I do shows in hopes of benefiting the audience. To calm down. And today, to beg for mercy.

And then, the small crowd was clapping, giving me my entrance cue. As I walked across the darkened stage, I was merely trying to calm my breath. And just like that, up came the lights. And looking back at me was a room full of ticket buyers. A room full of people I'd never met before, all with a look a heightened anticipation in their eyes. As if they had confidence that they were about to be entertained. Completely unaware that only they felt that way. Completely unaware that the performer in front of them was about to jump off a cliff with new wings he'd just fashioned from feathers, wood and glue. Hoping he'd live to try again on another day. And so with them waiting for a show, and the lights up on me, I opened my mouth and jumped.

60 minutes later – and can I just marvel out loud over the fact that the show was supposed to be 60 minutes and somehow without a single thought to the show's length while I was writing it, somehow it clocked in at 59 minutes! – sixty minutes later, I had my first performance under my belt. And besides a weak last 15 minutes, I was shocked at how well the first 45 minutes went. By the end of the next performance, I had the last 15 minutes improved and I had what experience tells me is the foundation of a very solid show. In my world, that's one hell of a reward.

A line that came to me between the first and second show largely sums up the experience for me. "I've figured out what foolhardy means to me. Foolhardy means you're lacking a gene that tells you you shouldn't."

Live Foolhardy,

Patrick

Foolhardy

Three months ago, I believe it was, I decided to begin creating my second solo theater show. After some consideration, I decided I would go forth with the title, Foolhardy. I liked the word. And thus began putting in for festivals that were far in the distant future, distant galaxies.

But then came the first surprise. One of the festivals required immediately, a 50 word description of the show. 50 words is almost as short as a Twitter post, but made significantly harder to compose when you have ZERO idea what your show is going to be about.  I needed months more time for that, but the application deadline was staring back at me demanding 50 words by 4 p.m.

"What is FoolHardy? For starters, at the time this description is due, Patrick had only the title, but no show. Not a lick. But he put in for the Rogue anyway. That’s Foolhardy. The show will be too. Chronicles of being foolhardy. Live Brave. Crash Hard."

With my 50 words accomplished, I told myself I'd work on the show script next, knowing I had months to do it. Boy can time fly.

I packed my overnight bag today for my trip to Fresno, to debut Foolhardy, with 3 performances. Woke up with not one single word of the show developed. I'm not bragging here.

On the way out the door I caught a lucky break. I discovered my first show wasn't until tomorrow afternoon. One unexpected day in a hotel room to come up with something. There is a God.

And now, I'm in that hotel room. It's 3:23, and instead of writing the show. I'm writing this. Something might seriously be wrong with me, just saying. I sit here waiting for my internal fire alarm to go off. But it seems some subconscious part of me has fallen asleep near the panic button.

I showed up. That's what matters. To get the ball rolling. That's what works.
Must grab a pen and paper. Must write something…. Soon. Time is running out.

To be continued.

From Fresno,

Patrick