A little over ten years ago, around 2006 or so, I was working with my co-founder Christina Wodtke on a product startup centered around PublicSquare, a collaborative publishing platform, a product, business, and relationship that didn’t go anywhere. At the time I was on a Tony Robbins binge. I was reading his books, listening to his audio programs, and implementing his advice. Fun fact: I’ve actually never been to any of his live events.
One thing that really resonated with me, and has stayed with me ever since, was a story about Stephen Spielberg, and how he worked. I’m going to paraphrase from memory here, because even if it turns out I got the whole thing wrong, it’s the story that stayed in my head that mattered. As I recall it, Tony described Spielberg’s way of working as going around sprinkling magic fairy dust on things. His businesses and productions were all running smoothly without him, so he’d just go around, almost unnoticed, and see where he felt called to add his special little extra something. Immediately I knew, this is how I want to work.
A few years later, around 2010, I read an interview in Inc. magazine with Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMs Shoes. No, his name is not Tom. He talked about living on a yacht on the water ouside Los Angeles, and starting each day by meditating, journaling, and doing his spiritual practice. The company staffed with talented people who know what they’re doing, he was free to ruminate on the bigger picture, and he’d just stay in touch with his team daily by phone. Again, I knew, this is how I want to work.
Fast-forward to today, it’s March 2017, and I just relaized, holy shit, this is my reality now! I have a software company generating money and happiness for myself and our many customers all over the world, and a wonderful, talented, committed team doing great work, and I get to start each day meditating, journaling, and doing my spiritual practice.
I just spent 10 days in Austin for SXSW, and I went in with the intention of connecting with a manager for my music career, and came back with something much deeper and more profound: A complete reorientation of how I live my life and how I do my art. And I’m realizing, this is exactly what I do best, and this is exactly what I always dreamt of.
I don’t fancy myself a traditional business leader or CEO. I see myself more as a spiritual leader, like Richard Branson, or perhaps Steve Jobs. I can’t do the day-to-day managerial stuff. I can’t even show up in an office each day. It would never work for me, I’d hate it, and I’d end up creating way too much chaos.
What I can do is exactly what I’m doing. Allow myself the freedom to experince, learn, grow, discover, download, envision, and then take that and create art from it, in the form of businesses, products, strategies, paintings, music, writing, food, events, and everything else.
That’s what I always wanted to do, and now I’m doing it. And I didn’t even notice it.
That’s the power of visions, of dreams, of knowing what you want. One day you might wake up and realize, you created it, and you weren’t even consciously trying.
What do you dream of?