Want to Be an Artist

I recently hired an agency to help with the minutiae of selling online. I’ve hired this out before and never blown my load over results, so I play the field. Meeting my account manager (virtually) was something of an awakening.

The guy is oozing with enthusiasm. He says things like, “We’ll set our goals, which will inform our strategies, strategies into objectives, and our objectives will form our tactics. Executing on our tactics should help meet our goals.”

Video was turned off so I could roll my eyes. I wondered if he was reading from a textbook. I scowled when he told me he loves marketing, is and I quote, “passionate about marketing.” His interests include evolutionary psychology and consumer behavior. He loves his company.

This is not the salesman. I’m already sold, I’ve already cut a check. This is the guy who will be working the controls of my digital minutiae. I was just beside myself, and then I learned he’s 47 years old. He studied marketing, and has only worked in marketing. He’s been doing this longer than I have. So what is wrong with me?

Is that what I could be as passionate about as this guy is about marketing? I thought for a moment and had an idea. What am I just as passionate about as I was 20 years ago? Is there anything? Back then, let’s see, hip-hop, boxing, St. Louis sports teams … And today? Nope, nope, nope.

Wait, I know one. Something I was passionate about then that I still am … beer! Not just beer, but Chartreuse and Fernet and Campari and pisco sours. Never heard of Chartreuse? It’s 110 proof, bright green and tastes like Christmas. Shock your high-brow culture snob friends who are too cool to drink beer with this smack in the face. Pisco sours seem like a girl’s drink because they’re frozen, but the egg white gives it body and the pisco is strong enough to leave you ralphing in front of hundreds.

I could say something nice about even wine. It’s easy to sneak into public places like the Magic Water Circuit in Lima. You just empty out a few bottles of Coca-Cola and fill with red wine. You can easily fit four bottles in a backpack and get mad out of your head while the children have a blast in the water. I don’t even drink and I still love to talk about it, and it’s not just alcohol, but drugs too. I have an entire drugs tag here on the blog.

My reaction to this guy was the epiphany. Why the contempt? Maybe I don’t care about business anymore.

They say don’t make any big life changes during your first year of sobriety. I just passed eight months, many of which I have spent dreaming about doing something else. Specifically blogging. During the depths of sobriety depression, I had this crazy idea to launch a podcast, write books and launch a family YouTube channel. And they would all create some kind of magic synergy where I could support the family, as a creator. My wife started a YouTube channel: Hardcore Family.

I know people decide all the time that they made a mistake. They spent a lot of time and money studying something they don’t want to do. I studied business twice, but I don’t think I like it anymore. Even if it has given me a comfortable life. I don’t think I like it. It’s boring.

I’ll never forget in the beer business when a sales manager explained that beer had elastic demand. If Miller ran a promotion for 10% off, their sales would climb more than 10%. For somebody who drank the Kool-Aid on branding and bled Budweiser, this was a bucket of cold water. None of it matters. People would rather save a buck getting drunk. I don’t want to fight over the loose change.

I’ve wondered if this is a metaphor for the moment Jesus walks by and ask me, a fisherman, to leave everything behind and follow him? I may have to bring the family with me, but I’ll throw down the nets.

It is a rich-world problem, a dilemma of privilege, that I face. Most people don’t have the freedom to up and switch careers after having three children. And most would kill to make what I do with the freedom to work from home, or not work at all, with no boss. Maybe I should appreciate what I have. I know how quickly things could change. Cut off the money flow for a cycle or two and I’ll be begging to get this business back on track and swear to God I’ll tend to it like a garden belonging to Himself.

But something inside is yearning to be a creator. To entertain. I was a class clown as a child. Maybe that side needs to come out. I’m going to allocate more time to creating.

One comment

  1. If you wife backs you then why not? You only live this life once, best off giving it a go than living with regrets, you are still young enough to get back on track if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out.


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