Monthly Archives: January 2008

blast from the neo-victorian past

Goodness – I’ve reverted to my ‘old’ template – the one where I’m going through my steampunk sepia phase. Nice, but a little dated now. Still exploring those nice templates and trying to avoid the critical errors. I say ‘trying’ to avoid, but not ACTUALLY avoiding them. Grrrrr. Template could be restored at any moment, meanwhile back to a civilised cup of tea and a club sandwich, and perhaps a little Mr Wells or Mr Darwin…

Update – later that same week – oh how I’ve come to hate upgrades of the software and the subsequent display issues…. grrr!

more on drawing

My mate Trevor Romain has got himself in the papers again.

He began writing for children, only to be met with hundreds of rejections. Rejection, however, was something that he had grown accustomed to throughout his life. As a child he was singled out because he preferred writing and art over sports. He struggled with dyslexia and would sketch to help himself remember things. At age 12, he tried to go to art school but was told that he wasn’t talented enough; he received the same reception when he tried again as a teenager. The disappointment led him to stop drawing until he was an adult. Twenty years after that first round of rejections, Romain has 1 million copies of his books in print in 17 languages.

I got the amazing (and very welcome) opportunity to spend time with Trevor and his wife, Amiel, late last year. Trevor and I got to talking about the creative process, and the pain of rejection. He laughed and said, ‘Oh you should see all my rejection letters.’
Trevor grabbed a bulging folder, replete with paper. Rejection letters, snotty tones – (and this for books that went on to be printed in the millions). Hilarity ensued. Fear of rejection gone.

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow

Over on the Practice of Leadership, there’s been some discussion about Marsha Sinetar’s book, ‘Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow — Discovering Your Right Livelihood’. There’s no indication in the book that doing what you love will somehow guarantee you will become a millionaire. There’s no ‘and‘ in the title. That’s important. From page 5:

I write of this so that, at the outset, no one thinks I am suggesting that material rewards immediately flow out of the leap-of-faith which is made to do one’s right livelihood. The reason that this book’s title contains the phrase, ‘The Money Will Follow,’ is precisely because we must do the work first, invest of ourselves first, seed faithfully in the small, steady, incremental ways of our chosen work first, and then – as a harvest of abundant crops naturally follows the seeding, watering and constant caring process, of seeds – the fruits of our efforts result.

While the people I describe in the pages are working away at their chosen vocations, simultaneously as human beings. And this is the beauty of right livelihood.

I’ve done many different job roles in my life. All were interesting in their own way. Some I loved. It’s been frustrating when the ones I loved didn’t deliver the financial rewards as well as the other rewards they provided. Looking back at them I can see I was still learning the roles. I thought I had the role down, but in reality there was a lot more to learn to achieve true mastery. Had I learned and worked enough to have been in the top 5% of that field the money would’ve been there too. Patience. Diligence. Faith. They sound so old-fashioned. So un-web-2.

My first business mentor gave me some advice, ‘Keep working kid, you’ll be an overnight sensation after about 11 years of intensive effort.’ I’d just grit my teeth, roll up my sleeves, and work on where the next dollar was coming from. I can see now that was actually good advice. In these days of instant ‘whatever’ it’s easy to believe that just because you think you deserve it, it’s somehow your right to be rich. It is your right to discover your right livelihood. You spend time working on becoming enriched, the money will follow.

Money, by the way, is not the same as *millionaire*. Many people are working in roles they love, but they are not ever going to become millionaires. Nursing, teaching, gardening, the creative arts, and many, many more roles – in fact, heads up, people; only a minute number of employees ever become millionaires, government employees are even less likely to achieve that from their role. But that doesn’t stop them from succeeding in every measure, including any financial measure. History is replete with stories of fame and fortune – and failure. Fame and fortune seem to have a way of conspiring to create failure, usually in people who aren’t rich (and I’m not talking money here) in the first instance.

One of the things I would love to achieve is to become financially rich while doing something I love. One of my objectives for this year is to spend time working on mastering more of the things I love to do. I intend entering into a personal enrichment programme. Come back later and I’ll let you know how the money sides of things is working out. I may be some time…