Creativity

Risking Right Now

Personal share on the creative process I’m in right now… Right now, it’s very risky and emotionally challenging for me.
I’m in a phase of high creativity right now. I’m creating two new projects that I’m very passionate about. And with the bliss of each comes the challenges related to putting your voice out into the world, your raw truth, your two cents to be judged or ignored, to be loved or to be overlooked.

Anyhow, I’m risking things on two projects right now.

One project I’m launching is a show (8 min per episode) called “Awakening In Cars.” In it I go for a drive with a guest and we discuss waking up spiritually. There’s a lot of firsts in it for me, and therein lies the risk.

First time I’m sharing my spirituality, and the first time I’m editing video. I have a clear vision of the visual treatment I see as so important to its success.

I’m at the creative phase where I have to do all the heavy lifting, I have to make everything up as I go, and I have to do it all on faith that it’s worth the immense amount of time I’m putting into it with zero idea of how it may result in even a dime. So really, the challenge is in dedicating myself to something that might never find the audience I dream of and is not in any way a “way to make money.”

The second project I’ve titled, “STORY MAN”, and it’s me livecasting almost nightly on FB, telling stories from my life. I’ve decided to jump into this pool fully naked!

Telling stories from my life of course plays well into my experience with doing Man 1, Bank 0 – so the creative challenge is mostly familiar ground to me. But the challenge is still the same, telling stories poorly before I can tell them exceptionally! (Sometimes painful my friend. Sucky performances suck). Man 1, Bank 0 was a bad show for a year – for a year! During that year I failed HARD in front of audiences that were right in front of me.

Now, I’m challenging myself again by letting my “learning/developing/workshopping” performances be viewed by anyone of FB who cares to tune in live. So I’m starting over with new stories and risking it again live. My warts and weaknesses will show!

Yes, both projects are emotionally risky but I feel so fully engaged with my ideas and with my muses that the true reward is in the doing.

But then there’s just that part of me that hopes both projects are a rousing success in finding their way to the audiences and reception that I truly want for each. I feel it’s possible but there are no guarantees, especially in the world of artist endeavors, and the real possibility of failure.

I call the phase I’m in, The Second Phase of Creativity: RISKING.

For those of you clicking like on AWAKENING IN CARS, and like on STORY MAN livecasts, I cannot thank you enough for being supportive of me during this phase. Truly, you are doing me a world encouragement with each like and each comment. You are like my artistic patrons in a way that is more valuable to me than any dollars. So thank you from the bottom of my being.
For those of you with your own stories to tell, shows to create, art to hang, or whatever your muses invite and dare you to go forth with, I encourage you to Do It. Risk It. Brave the rejection. Brave the poor performances that come before the great ones. Go for it and stay strong when very few people care or even notice that you’re putting your heart and art on the line. Go for it, because sharing your self and your creative ideas – it makes life worth living.

And there’s a magic in it.

There’s a deep magic to risking. I promise.

Hustled by Hustle.

I just unfollowed best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuck, (Author of Crush It). I’ll share why I did (and it’s purely personal bc he seems like a great guy).

Gary V has been broadcasting a message of “hustle your face off” for a good five years now. He preaches what he himself describes as an “insane work-ethic.”

If hustling your face off is for you – hear me please – good on you. Hustle creates great results. Behind every great endeavor, is a lot of hustle.

But an insane worth-ethic is just not for me anymore. Nor is “hustling my face off.” Honestly, I don’t even think it looks good on Gary V. To me, he looks really tired, stressed and full of tension in his videos lately. Reminds me of what an Native American Chief once said to Carl Jung:

“Chief Mountain Lake: ‘See how cruel the whites look, their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.’

To me, Gary V comes across as a guy that has no concept of “enough.” He seems to work for the sake of significance. More. More. More. More.

I have undergone a personal change in my life, and for me now, life is better when I infuse all of my days with as much ease, presence and joyful action as possible. Yes, I take actions on my dreams because I still have dreams and love realizing them. But “hustle” is a word I’ve basically eliminated from my vocabulary. It’s been replaced by “create joyfully.”

I like my new way much much better. I found hustle was an awful boss. Hustle didn’t have as much time for my kids. Hustle didn’t condone a long coffee with a friend. Hustle didn’t have room for a day off to do nothing but relax and get back in touch with the quiet voice inside. Hustle loved every time I’d end a long work day wiped out spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Hustle kept me in my mind and out of my heart. In other words, hustle didn’t give a shit about soulful things.

Today, I have the highest regard for actions that come from inspiration, ease, presence and joy – these are the actions I trust in. Not actions that come from stress, tension, exhaustion, and a mind that can’t get enough.
And I like my face. I don’t want it to fall off. And I like my face much better when I look relaxed, content and at peace.

This is What Success Looks Like

This is what success looks like.

I bought this postcard while overseas. Look at it. Just a simple cafe with six people in it. One of them is looking out the window. Three of them are talking. Another sitting alone.

And one of them is writing – with pen and paper. This is the person of interest in the picture.

She is a single mother. She carries a heaviness in her heart. She is broke and lives in poverty. She is insecure. And she is fighting for her dream at a time in her life when she feels like a complete failure.

She is a single mother because her husband divorced her shortly after their child was born.

She carries a heaviness in her heart because her mother died recently, and her mother meant the world to her.

She is broke and living in real poverty because she is jobless – a fallout from her divorce. She has recently been diagnosed with clinical depression. Somedays she thinks about committing suicide.

She is insecure because she’s always been insecure about her dream. She’s always been afraid it’s unrealistic and that she’s not good enough for it.

If you look close at the picture, she has only one cup of coffee. That’s because she comes to this coffee house and only ever spends 50 cents for a cup of black coffee – she can’t afford more.

Look closer and you’ll see she’s writing with pen and paper. That’s because she doesn’t own a computer of any kind. She has to make do with pen and paper.

What’s missing from this photo is her child who is usually with her in a stroller. She has to bring her child and hope she falls asleep because she can only write when her baby is asleep.

All this, but she’s working on her dream the hard way.

Hard on the outside because she’s so broke. And hard on the inside because she’s so full of doubt, torment and sadness.

Her dream is to write a book. It’s been her dream since she was a child.

She’s living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Outside the window of this cafe, The Elephant House, she has a view of the Edinburgh Castle when she writes.

She’s working on a book for children. She got the idea for this book while riding on a train between Manchester and London. The idea is for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry. She has named the boy in the story, Harry Potter.

In this postcard, now you can see it all happening. Joanne Rowling is fighting for her dream… This is what success looks like. Someone believing in themselves.

Stay Young at Heart

I live with a person who dresses up in costumes about every day.

In this photo, he was a “Wild Kratt.” The other day he was a secret agent. Last week a cowboy. Just after New Years he jumped out an attacked me as Green Arrow. The kid is starring in his own action movies about every day of his life.

But he’s still young and has much to learn. Thank God he has me.

Monday, on a drive home from Los Angeles, him and I hoped to ride a Ferris Wheel we’d seen on the way to Los Angeles, visible from the freeway..

But as we drove past, the Ferris Wheel wasn’t operating.

Will was disappointed and being just 7 and vastly inexperienced in the great art of life, thought we should just continue on our drive home, sad that it was closed.

The kid has so much to learn. Thank God he’s got a dad.

“No Will, we should stop anyway! One thing I’ve learned about life is stop and check things out. It’s almost always fruitful to stop and check out new places, especially places you’re interested in. Good things come from stopping and checking it out. We walk to it. We stand in front of it. We see the times it’s open. We see the ticket prices. We stare up at it in awe. We do all of this and it draws us so much closer to the day we actually ride it! … If we just drive by, we’re no closer to our dream of riding it.”

So we did stop.

Well all be damned, turns out the Ferris Wheel was open! And we rode it.

After the Ferris Wheel, we discover the world’s greatest candy store. The seriously greatest, most epic, gobsmacking, unbelievable candy store in the history of the world. I know because Will says, “I can’t calm down! I can’t calm down!”

We emerge with three new Tic Tac Flavors – we are professional Tic Tac lovers – and with four of the weirdest soda’s on Earth: Bug Barf soda, Bubble Gum soda, Chocolate soda, and Peanut Butter & Jelly soda.

Then we decide to hit Dave & Buster’s.

Between us and the door was a straight line of about 20 feet.

I’m ready to proceed, but Will says,

“Wait! Dad! We can only walk where there are shadows!”

I pause. And assess.

Looked impossible. Not many shadows leading to the door.

Unless….

We make like Tom Cruise entering a bank on a Mission Impossible.

So we jumped. We wall climbed. We stretched. We shimmied. We retreated. And it took a long time to cover 20 feet. And at times it didn’t look like we were going to make. But we freakin succeeded!

As I grab for the Dave & Buster’s door, I realize, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to proceed the way a Wild Kratt or a Secret Agent would… I don’t play enough. I should play a little every day. Or a lot. Yes, as much as possible. Playing keeps you young.

Jeez, I have so much to learn. Thank God I’ve got a son.

The next day, we go to the top of a mountain for the view, drawn by an especially clear day. Will teaches me it’s better to jump for your photos.

Believing In Yourself, When It’s Hard

I watched this interview on the Daily Show and pulled the quote myself because I related so much to what J.K. Rowling was saying.

Her words hit at the heart of one of my own life experiences.

Creating my one-man comedy show took bombing in front of audiences, over and over again, for a year. My courage was believing that I could possibly create a comedic show, even when faced with evidence that I was not (yet) funny.

One of the greatest acts of courage is believing in yourself.

When You’re a Creative with Kids

Do you have kids?

And do you invest a lot of time with them every single day?

I have two kids (16 & 7 years old) and I’m all in with my kids every day. I drive them to school. I pick them up from school. I go to every soccer game and every volleyball game. I shop and I clean up after them. I watch movies with them and do fun things with them. I help them with school. Etc. Etc. You know the drill.

It leaves me only a few hours a day to work.

But I’m also a passionate creative/artist/entreprenuer. So to have a career these days, I need a different approach to my creative/work endeavors.

So I thought I’d share how I do my career even though being with my kids leaves very little time for work.

 

I explain it all better in the video, but some of the cliff notes are (a) I don’t compare myself to entrepreneurs who don’t have kids or who do but are workaholics, (b) I don’t compare myself to myself in my 20’s before I had kids, (3) I embrace the season’s of life, (4) I still hold that I can produce wonderful results even with the time limitations, (5) I leverage my ability to work more efficiently and masterfully. I explain it all much better in the video.

It’s cool to build an epic company. But you know what’s even cooler? To build an epic kid. If you’re making career sacrifices to raise your kids well, you need to remember that!

Living Present, Passionate, and Purposefully,

Patrick Combs

Creatives, please Stop Trying to Be Rich, Famous or #1!

Okay, I’m tired of seeing so many creatives and artists screwing themselves over with the counter-productive aims of trying to be rich, famous or #1. 

So today I made a throw-down video about it.

 

What’s the matter with trying to rich, famous or #1? (the big ugly 3).

Almost everything!

For starters it’s an emotional hell, a self-imposed suffering because you’re never going to be rich enough, famous enough or #1 forever (if ever). 

– There is always someone richer.

– There is always someone more famous.

– There is always someone ranked higher.

Secondly, the big ugly 3, will never leave you feeling fulfilled. They are hollow goals.

Ask a rich person if they’re fulfilled by money?

Ask a famous person if fame fulfills them?

Ask whomever is currently #1 if they feel secure?

But worst of all, the big ugly 3, will leave you suffering at your desk daily as you try to achieve them. If they are your aim, you will carry constant feelings of disappointment in yourself that come in the form of, “not there yet,” “not good enough”, “failing my goals,” “still poor,” “still not famous”, “maybe I suck.”

Many a good creative/artist/entrepreneur has been K.O.’d at their desk by these underlying mal-aligned aims.

I learned long ago there was a better way. A better aim. And I’ve lived by it as I set out to follow my passion into speaking, into theatre, into writing and into software. 

My aim isn’t rich, famous or #1. My aim is Love of the Game. And my aim is a process not results. When you make the switch your career suddenly starts working, really working!

I hope what I’m saying on this video I made today help you up your game, and live your passion on a daily basis with far greater ease and fulfillment. Hey, leave a comment. I want to know you. Subscribe. Connect to me on Facebook. Tell me about you. Call me if you want, 858-759-6994.

Rock On,

Patrick Combs

San Diego, CA

The Score & The Work

There are two things you can be about:

The Score. Or…

The Work.

If you’d like to make some money faster, be about The Score. Take or make whatever product you think will sell and quickly get to selling it for as much as you think you can grab.

Many people are about The Score. You’re about The Score if you have your mind firmly trained on the dollars and the deals. I’ve been behind the scenes with people who are about The Score.  I can tell you from experience if you want dollars faster, put your energy into becoming great at selling. Period. Selling. Selling yourself. Selling your product. Selling the Dream. Selling. As much as I tried to make it different, my previous company was about The Score. So is that toy company that sells a crap kid toy that breaks in a day.

Or…

If you can be about The Work. When you’re about The Work you have your mind deeply entrenched in making your product or service great. Period. You cannot rest until it’s great. You are making it more for the achievement of something great than for The Score. You measure your progress not by dollars, but by greatness. Steve Jobs was about The Work. Yes, nobody said being about The Work can’t make you rich, but getting rich isn’t the point for those who are about The Work. Job’s last words to the John Lassiter, the man who runs Pixar, one of the companies Job’s founded, wasn’t “Keep it profitable.” His last words to Lassiter were, “Keep the stories great.”

The Score & The Work.

Both are valid ways to be.

And both can make you wealthy.

But only one way can make you deeply fulfilled.

And only one way can make you epic.

MIGHT On,

Patrick