Monday, June 18, 2007


How to Get Off the Plantation in 5 Easy Steps:

Over this week, I’ll offer 5 easy steps to leaving your day gig, and getting into stuff you really wanna do, the stuff that doesn’t feel like work.

I worked at Morehouse College as a grantwriter for three years after graduating in 2003. And it was great. I learned a lot about working with people (difficult or not), getting the job done (no matter what the circumstances), and how to do things like prepare executive officers for meetings, write correspondence for high-ranking officers, and draft proposals good enough to win the College millions of dollars. That being said, there comes a time when you’re ready to move on…so how do you prepare for it?

1. Find your passion.

This is the hardest part. Most people spend their lives, upset and wanting to fill the void in their stomachs…they have a feeling that there is a job—a life mission!-- they can undertake that will make everyday feel like Christmas. But they’re not sure what it is. Or they know what it is and don’t have the grades, funding, skills, talent, background, connections or education to make it happen. Any self-help book you pick up can tell you how much it takes to make it in any industry: For example in the record business, you not only have to write great songs, and sing/dance/play your ass off, but also know the right people who are in league with madmen that will kill somebody if your CD does not hit the shelves within the next few years.

But you must not only find your passion—you must choose the right one. And you know when you have chosen the wrong one when it feels like work. When nothing goes your way. I truly feel, like Sly said, that everybody is a star. But many people are very talented in a field they refuse to dedicate their life to, and spend their time struggling in a “sexy" field where they are C or D students instead of A. The trick about this postmodern world is first to identify and then embrace what you have going for yourself, and then in a real estate sense, flip properties—use your innate ability or skill in one area to leverage your pipe dreams in another.

But how to find your passion? Don’t people spend lifetimes searching endlessly for this? Don’t people end up on their deathbed with a wistful smile on their lips thinking, “If only I’d known about flowers sooner…If only I’d known planting flowers brings me so much joy.." If you’re still in undergrad, running around partying, within ten years you will be working day and night for little money, or making great money without a personal life to speak of, and you’ll be riding the subway, taxi or plane, and you’ll say, “This is got to stop! I’m not enjoying this! I’ve only had 18 months of this! And I’ve gotta do this-wake up, eat my toast, and scowl on the way to work at 8:30 everyday-- for the rest of my life!?

The sad answer is yes. And doing nothing is not an option. The good news is if you’re doing your passion you’ll feel like you’re going to the playground. And not working at all. So begin searching now.


Dot Techno Mania said...

What would you suggest in my situation..

I discovered my passion years ago and have work tirelessly to get where I know I need to go with it...I've mad connections and searched my ass of for like minded people that are willing to dream big...
Problem is I'm still standing alone 99% of the time...I live in Sleepytown Seattle, Washington and nobody dreams here.. they just settle for what everyone else is doing..
There are ones that that I have discovered that can match my drive, ambition and passion for the Arts, with a earth shattering message from the heaven itself to go along with it...But their out of touch... I feel so trapped!

What would you suggest?

W. Hassan Marsh said...

Good stuff Chuck. You are dfefinately providing a service hear. I'm curious though, What got you all into the plogosphere? I'm in it for a couple of reasons. The biggest is probably because I went to a New Media conference and my eyes got opened.

I would definitely have to concur with on the whole passion thing. Joseph Campbell would say follow your bliss. That also means though be willing to adapt, because as dré 3 stacks says, sometimes your needs and your wants grow. You got to to be willing to go for the Cadillac.

Chuck Lightning said...

To dot:

I would suggest moving. Seriously. I was stuck in a similar situation in Chicago.

Moved. Went to Morehouse. And that took care of everything else.

To w. hassan marsh:

What got us into this tech stuff? I'd blame that on Control Z. Who's a flash web developer, as well as a bad ass recording engineer, and the evil identical twin of Nate Wonder.

He's a bad boy!

p.s. and when all else fails, listen to Joseph Campbell- he's one of my favorites!

Chuck Lightning said...
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