Friday, January 04, 2013

Building a billion-dollar enterprise, 9 - Killing Emily Dickinson

In order to build a billion-dollar enterprise, I must kill my inner Emily Dickinson.

For all my life, a part of me has been content merely to create stuff and then stuff it in a drawer. I need to terminate that part of me, with extreme prejudice.

Poems? Stories? Get 'em out there for others to read. Songs? Get 'em out there for others to sing. Scripts? Get 'em out there for others to produce. Or produce 'em myself and get the shows and films out there for others to view.

I don't know that it is even correct to say that part of me has been content to create content without distributing it. I do know that part of has been afraid of putting stuff out there. Afraid that my stuff would not be good enough.

Which then raises the question, "Good enough for what?" Or better yet, "Good enough, compared to what?"  I could not possibly do worse than some of what people get paid to produce every day.

At the meta level, the work only has value when others value it. On the ground, that means that it's worth what others will pay for it; and that it's gotta be out there for them do that. The worst that can happen when I put my stuff out there is that people will refuse to pay; that out of the earth's six billion people, none at all will find any value in anything I produce.

But every week, SyFy movies offer hilarious evidence that somebody will pay for pretty much anything. There are markets that are ravenous for content. Somewhere out there are markets for my stuff.

Let this, then, be my mantra, to be recited internally, whether I ever say it out loud to anyone or not:

This is what I have. Take it or leave it. If you take it, drop some coins in the hat, and thank you very much.

* * * * *

Today, my primary tasks were preparing for, then leading, the monthly meeting of the Save Race Street Committee's executive committee, which consists of block captains for each of our five blocks, the chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer. Three block captains, the secretary and myself were present. Two block captains were absent, as was the vice-chair. We don't have a treasurer, the post having been recently vacated.

Leading that group, along with SRSC itself, and Block Watch Plus (which I chair), gives me huge opportunities for experiential learning in effective leadership (EL2). Lessons learned in those contexts could be useful in building a billion-dollar enterprise. At the same time, billion-dollar enterprises can provide lessons that prove useful in leading volunteer groups of citizens.

I got in around 8 pm, ate dinner, and basically passed out on the love seat in the living room. Woke up a little after 11:30. And reminded myself that I had not done anything today to build my billion-dollar enterprise, or to make any money at all. And lounged on the love seat a little longer before going to the refrigerator to grab the last slice of Edwards key lime pie (left over from New Year's Eve), and bringing it up to my office with a large mug of cold water so I could do some BBDE work.

I realized that the thing I said yesterday about having goals emerge from my masterplan could have been a dodge to put off actually producing "Quick Flicks." So I worked on "Quick Flicks." I did not do as much as I would have liked, and I'm not yet done for the night. But at least I am doing something, have done something, this day to make money. I have done something this day to build my billion-dollar enterprise.
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