Struggling with writer’s block? Feeling foolish because you’re not sure what business to start? Trying to look smart, talented and like you’ve got it all together and failing miserably? Have you actually messed up spectacularly at least once or twice in your life?
Rejoice! Your challenges are probably the most marketable thing you’ve got.
Face it, we’re all secretly insecure. Doesn’t it entertain and inspire and engage you more to experience stories of other people’s struggles and foibles, than to read a magazine spread about some attractive smug couple with thriving careers, perfect kids and 4% body fat between them? It doesn’t sell! As one of my screenwriting teachers said, “No one wants to go see a movie called The Village of the Nice, Happy People’.” It’s why people tune in to see The Biggest Loser. It’s why when you’re a US state governor who gets caught with a prostitute and destroys your political career, you get a TV talk show.
Woody Allen has made a life’s career out of his neuroses. Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings may indeed be beautiful, but his life of wending his way in and out of the insane asylum lends them a specificity, meaning and depth —a story –that is really what made them famous. It hasn’t yet cost me an ear, or my mind (I think) but this entire blog, and the book that’s on the way, was born of my (and my co-author’s) own challenges and frustrations with our own brand of “creative ADD” that we’ve dubbed The DaVinci Dilemma™.
Today’s technology makes it easy to dissemminate and share your mishegas (Yiddish for “craziness”) with people everywhere, and use your creative talents to do it. Below, find the latest in the “Tales of Mere Existence” series by Levni Yumaz, self-described Ambassador to the Alienated. His videos use his writing, voice and cartoons to express an angst that is at once universal and his alone.
Think being a whiny, neurotic geek makes you unpopular? At this writing, this video had been posted on YouTube for only five days and already had almost 75,000 views. Yumaz’ video on procrastination from last year has almost 2 million views and counting. No wonder he’s raking in the dough from companies vying to advertise on his YouTube channel. All from hanging his dirty laundry out to dry.
Now it’ s your turn. Take stock. What are your failures, foibles, follies and f*ck-ups that you could celebrate in words, pictures, song or a whole new business? They’re the world’s best creative fodder, and they’re what makes you human, special and could even make you famous. At the very least, they can be the key to connecting with and helping others like you.
Activity: Fill in the following sentences. (Put in as many answers as apply.)
“One thing I would never want anyone to know about me is____________.”
“It’s always frustrated me that I can’t ________________.”
“I’m ashamed that I _________________.”
“I’ve never been able to get over ____________________.”
By now you should have plenty of raw material for any number of creative projects and business ideas. Brainstorm as many as you can and put them in your journal.
Want to re-publish this article? Go for it – just include the author’s name, a link to this original post and the following text blurb:
Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The DaVinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at http://www.davincidilemma.com/ .