An insidious, pervading feeling that a lot of what I am pouring my energy into may not work. And especially because I have to test ideas, improve on them, learn new skills, grow, make money and stay sane in the process.
My fear though, is rooted in the fact that I know I am not giving up to 50% of my abilities to the work I need to do.
Please, don’t call me an entrepreneur. That …that is hard work. I’ve read about this. Seen people build real businesses. Bootstrapped the whole thing and still failed. No. I am not worthy of that moniker.
Don’t you dare call me an entrepreneur. This, what I am doing, is telling stories.
And so far, I’ve spent a better quarter of a century procrastinating: reading, listening to podcasts. Sharing articles on Medium. Tweeting. Retweeting. Saying how great Gary Vaynerchuk is.
I can almost hear my beta self laughing at me :
“He’s being busy, instead of being productive”.
And he’s right. I find it appalling how I know exactly what I’m doing and how wrong it is , yet I pretend not to see it. I might be an addict.
Because I know I could have written a shit ton of books by now…I know I could have been running a successful blog and podcast…I know I could have written great scripts and TV shows…And that I could become an even better photographer…or at least, (let me not get in over my head)on the way to that…
If only I’d not been as lazy and scared as I was.
For a while, I have considered myself a content creator. I still am. Well, sort of, but I think that we content creators, demean ourselves with that title.
We don’t just create content. We drive movements. We tell stories. We make art.
I worked at NeXT the summer of 94. I was in the break room with 2 colleagues when Jobs walked in and started making a bagel. We were sitting at a table eating ours when he out of the blue asked us “Who is the most powerful person in the world?” I said Mandela since I had just been there as an international observer for the elections. In his confident fashion he stated “NO!…you are all wrong…the most powerful person in the world is the story teller.” At this point I was thinking to myself “Steve, I love you but there is a fine line between genius and loco..and I think I am witnessing this right now”. Steve continued, “The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come and Disney has a monopoly on the storyteller business. You know what? I am tired of that bullshit, I am going to be the next storyteller” and he walked out with his bagel.
A storyteller. I like to call myself that. Even though the only stories I tell are the ones where other people see the potential I have and urge me to write more. But I know I am better than that. I am more than a storyteller.
But if I stay in this cycle of mental defeat,I may never become one. A true one.I may listen to Srini all my life, I may notice that my peers don’t get the value of Medium (yet), I may know I have an actual talent as a writer and poet, I may have a pretty voice, a smart mind, conversational abilities…
But if all this potential-and it remains that until it effects visible possible change ( easily measured in $$$)-remains unutilized, I have failed.
Oh, how I know failure is a necessary part of this journey. I have read/seen/listened. But if I don’t stick long enough, if I don’t take the required steps to get an actual business, an activity that has clients and generates recurrent revenue, in the long run, then yes, I have failed.
I have failed the world and especially myself. Because I was scared.
Because I was lazy. It’s just the truth. And I know it.
I cannot keep doing this. I cannot keep dancing the uncertain dance, not being engaged enough to feel progress, not being detached enough to call it a hobby.
The buck stops tonight.
30th August 2016. 12.59 am GMT+1. I write in my parents’ home. About to get back to school for a Masters Degree, with debts and unfinished jobs from clients who trusted me, with a podcast whose potential I haven’t tapped, a blog whose niche I never honed, with ideas that could make money and making a to-do list for the first real-time in my life. This is my manifesto on the web. No one may see it. Someone may. Either way, I know how I feel now.
I’m tired of being lazy and scared.
The buck…it stops tonight.
I’ll be writing a proper bio for this section in time. But know that you can reach me on all social media with tchassakamga. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Soundcloud. I’ve been blogging in starts and stops ‘for 4 years. However, I may (uncertain) move indefinitely to Medium as I learn HTML and Wordpress to be able to build my site alone. I taught myself Adobe Audition and basic graphic design(getting better, yay!). And I hold a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.Starting a Masters in African Literature this October. You will definitely be seeing a lot of me around here since I have a couple of publications I have been procrastinating on. This, is my mini-manifesto. The buck stops tonight ( read that with a Batman voice, it’s pretty cool). Don’t like this post. I really, don’t want anyone to read it. It’s more of a half-ass slap for me to wake-up. But if you want us to talk, I am always ready. Thank you so much for your time.