• Tom

Getting better with age…

Why do we equate genius with precocity?

Malcom Gladwell

I wish I had said that. Gladwell’s column is a must read for anyone who has failed to achieve their desired success in life, no matter what that goal might be. The world is replete with late bloomers in all walks of life. Ray Croc made McDonalds a household name at age 52 (watch The Founder). Likewise, Mark Twain, after many incarnations of Huck Finn that he was unhappy with, finally had it published when he was in his forties. Actors, actresses, authors, business men and women, you name it. What was it that allowed these individuals to excel at an older age but feel like failures while younger. The prevailing wisdom says that they simply weren’t good enough at their craft until later in life. Pretty simple answer.

I know that I wasn’t ready to take the plunge into the world of business when I was younger. I actually had a couple of different small business that failed. At the ripe age of 24 I started a commercial cleaning and floor maintenance company until I realized how much I hated doing commercial cleaning and floor maintenance. At about 30 years old I tried to sell a fly fishing show idea to the outdoor cable networks. Unfortunately I had no idea how to sell anything so I put my stock in someone else who didn’t know how to sell anything and you can guess the outcome.

There was a corporate video production company that I started at around age 46….. that would make it 2008. Yep, in the heart of the recession, duh. I also tried to create a website dedicated to fly fishing that encompassed mostly videos. That was in 2010. Video on websites wasn’t nearly as strong as it is today and I struggled with many aspects of this venture. I went broke trying and had to shift gears and go into the long format world of features and TV as a crew member.

I have just given you a number of reasons why my ventures didn’t pan out in the past but in truth, the reason is because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have what it takes. I didn’t have the juice to put into it to make it a success, the know how, the focus. Now I have almost thirty years of experience helping others make beautiful images and I’m ready to start making them for myself. I also have less distractions and a strong desire. How strong is your desire? Do you have the juice? Has your past work experience given you the skills and know how to take that next step.

Podcaster Chase Jarvis speaks of people going from zero to one. Those are the people who are not quite sure what it is that they are wanting to do. Maybe they have an idea but they are still on the fence. The one to tens are those who know what they want but need the push, the motivation, the know how, the actionable items to get them there. Give Chase a listen, he has lots of guest that are quite motivational and offer lots of concrete advice in helping you get there.

First though, check out Gladwell’s column for a bit of motivation, I’m off to sit under my Cézanne to eat some Kentucky Fried Chicken and watch a Helen Mirren movie.

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Our lives crossed when we were 55 years old. We have similar backgrounds: both growing up in a family of five children and both being divorced for the past 15 years raising kids on our own. 

 

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