Create a residual ongoing effect

I recently heard an interview with renowned chef who compared her career to getting a tattoo. 

There was never any plan, she laughed. Every single choice and endeavor focused around what felt pleasurable in the moment, and she trusted that this new tattoo, which was now stuck on her body forever, would create a residual ongoing effect that nobody could ever take away from her. 

It’s a deeply courageous career path. One that demonstrates an awareness of a pulsing presence in the heart of things. One that’s paved with authenticity and uncertainty and faith. 

And the tattoo metaphor is actually quite perfect. Because in addition to the liberated spontaneity of her projects, she’s also forced to reckon with their inevitable permanence. 

Once the work ships, aka, once the ink dries, she wakes up and stares at her new tattoo in the mirror and thinks, okay then, for the rest of my life, I need to take real responsibility for this thing in the world. 

That’s the balance each of us should hope to strike in our careers. When that thing sticks inside of us and says right now, we execute with all of our might. 

And then, when that thing is living and breathing and creating value in the world, we do everything we can to keep that project alive for as long as possible. 

Because even if it doesn’t quite turn out the way we originally envisioned, it’s still our baby and deserves love. 


How many career tattoos are you willing to get?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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