Ruckus

COVID-19 has forced many folks to reinvent their core business, which has been especially challenging for live performance artists and theatre makers.

How do you distill the ambiance of a theatre into something digestible on screen, without the budget of The Royal Shakespeare Company? Whose shows you can (and should) watch online, by the way.

It’s prime time to find a local artist you wish to support and subscribe to them on their platform of choice, but it’s also time for artists to reimagine the wheel.

The rules are changing and in all chaos lives opportunity.

It’s up to us to sieze it.

Birthdays rub me the wrong way. None moreso than my own. I don’t think this is the right way to feel, but it is how I feel.

Stop me if my desperate need for genuine validation is showing, but the idea of undue celebration or praise makes me sick.

That moment when you realise that the nice person in the foyer after your show is saying all the nice things about your work because they feel like they have to, brings me dread.

I despise my birthday like I despised the football participation trophies I got handed every year as a kid. I was crap at football. I knew it, my Mum knew it, the coach knew it, and my team knew it. But I was celebrated anyway. Why?

Why should I be celebrated for simply surviving another year?

After 23 of these, I think I finally get it.

We should celebrate birthdays because surviving is an act of showing up.

Surviving is hard sometimes. So to be able to do it, year after year, with a steadfast consistency is actually quite incredible.

Birthdays are the markers we can use to measure how well we are undertaking the delicate work of carrying on.

Some stand out, others are bundled up, and some skip by far too fast – but there they are. Every year. One of the only guarantees we have.

I’m doing better at surviving than I was a few of these ago. For once, I’m looking forward to the next one.

BrenĂ© Brown’s research shows us that vulnerability is a necessary prerequisite to courage.

There is no courage without vulnerability, no innovation without failure and no greatness without risk.

You don’t become a master at anything by bathing in comfort or skirting around failure.

If you’re comfortable with a reality in which you enjoy the modest comfort in choosing not to strive, all the power to you.

As for the rest of us, it’s time we stopped kidding ourselves and started making a ruckus.

Writers less creative than you have published books.

Producers less organised than you have made movies.

Entrepreneurs less intelligent than you have built million dollar businesses.

You are not the sum of all your parts.

You are the sum of how well you work. Not how hard, but how effectively.

There comes a time in every leader’s tenure when it’s time to start letting go.

Time to pass the batton, or risk letting their team die.

A good leader makes themselves replaceable.

A bad one leaves their project to perish along with their involvement.

If you’re not replaceable, your project isn’t sustainable, and unsustainable projects aren’t worth much investment.

It’s fine to start things on your own. Sometimes it’s the only way things get made.

But your ceiling operating alone is far lower than working alongside a group of compassionate people you trust.

Find your tribe.

Make a ruckus.

Get to work.

We’re at our best when we’re creating.

We create at our best when we’re connected.

We’re most connected when we surround ourselves with brilliant people who care.

And we attract those people by being brilliant ourselves.

Next time you’re wondering what to do, think about what you have to give.

Then give it.

The scariest point in any project is the moment just before you’re all in.

You’ve toyed with the idea enough to believe it could work.

But you haven’t invested yet. You haven’t signed the contract, bought the tool, or told your friends what you’re doing yet.

The scary part about pulling a trigger isn’t actually pulling it. It’s this moment before; where there still exists a version of the future where you did and didn’t do the thing.

Because once you do, there’s no going back. You’ll have too much skin in the game to play both sides.

Pursuits are the infinite games we play which involve clear feedback and trackable progress.

Playing slot machines can never be a pursui because there’s no way to get better at it; over time, you’re guaranteed to lose.

However, playing poker could be a pursuit. There are a set of skills involved which can be honed over time with practice.

Pursuits are not habits, but they can involve habitual practice.

Mixed Martial Arts is a pursuit which benefits greatly from a habitual routine.

Pursuits are the goals we set which never end.

They’re the things which over time we wish to master. Which we do for the sake of continuing to do them.

Nobody ever wakes up and realises that they’ve mastered a pursuit.

Mastery is not a destination, it’s a practice.

If you’re worried about everybody liking your projects, they’ll all fail.

Show anything to enough people and someone’s bound to hate it.

Luckily, this works in reverse too. No matter how many times you get told it’s worthless, there is someone out there that your project suits perfectly.

Whether people tend to like or dislike the work you do is simply another metric to measure it by.

Van Gogh sold only one painting before he died. From his perspective, almost all of his projects failed.

Now they rest in galleries and museums all around the world, admired by thousands each day.

Projects don’t succeed when people like them and fail when people don’t.

There’s much more to it.

Likeability is a metric just like order quantity, quality or returns.

A cigarette isn’t better than a Porsche just because more cigarettes are sold each day.

So why would your project necessarily be worse than any other purely based on how many people like it?

Select carefully the metrics by which you measure failure and success.

In most cases, likeability will prove a far less useful metrics than impact or reach.

When the quantity of work required to achieve a planned outcome increases disproportionately to the resources you have available to achieve said outcomes, you have scope creep.

Scope creep is entirely common and can be absolutely paralysing, but is totally avoidable.

Scope Creep is often a product of poor planning.

Before commencing any project, you should have a clear list of specific tasks which need to be completed in order to achieve the outcome you’re working towards.

The specificity and tangibility of these tasks is directly related to how difficult it will be for scope to creep.

Vague goals generate vague tasks which lead to not much getting done.

Vagueness is the enemy of progress. Which is why we all have a friend who is still writing that ‘thing’ they have been working on and adapting for years. I have been that friend. In many ways, I still am that friend. But I’m working on it.

More specifically, I’m working on setting goals which are strategic, time sensitive, achievable and meaningful.