All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Today’s clip comes from the writing scene in Stand By Me:
We are the model for what we create. When I started wearing my nametag fifteen years ago, I immediately saw how effective it was in earning people’s attention and giving them permission to approach me. But that was interpersonally. And so, when I started my publishing company, I began wondering if the same strategy might work economically. Was there a business model that could make my brand sticky enough to make the market target me? Was there a value strategy that could attract new clients, engagements and opportunities? Absolutely. Continuous creation. That was the solution. And so, writing became the linchpin that activated the value attraction process. I began spending all of my time creating things that brought value and joy and insight and inspiration to people. From articles to blogs to books to videos to music to workshops to mentoring programs to software applications, if writing wasn’t the answer, I rephrased the question. Within a few years, I had written so much, created so much good in the marketplace, that I became the bullseye instead of the arrow. The market started targeting me. The equation was simple. The volume of daily output, multiplied by originality of my brand voice, divided by time, raised to the power of consistency. That’s what kicked open the doors of opportunity. New business found me through the attraction of working. Meaning, I now had two nametags. The label on my shirt, and the labor in the marketplace. Both stuck. What’s your nametag
Generosity is the tax you pay for talent. I’ve been writing music for more than twenty years. But many of my friends and colleagues had no idea I that was a singer and songwriter. Because music was always something I saved for myself. It was an escape. A way to hide from the world. Besides, the material was way too personal. Too bloody. To precious to be subjected to the cruel ear of the world. But as I got older, I started to understand how gifts work. Hyde’s research showed that gifts, not unlike particles in physics, need to stay in motion. Passing the gift along is the act of gratitude that finishes the labor. It’s an essential part of the creative process. Giving the first creation away makes the second possible. Meaning, your gift is not fully yours until it is given away. That philosophy lit a fire under my musical butt. Hyde’s work forced me to stop and say, wait a minute. I’ve been given this gift, something special that allows me deliver value that nobody has ever delivered before, and I’m not sharing it? How selfish. Because the highest form of gratitude for the gift we’ve been given is to regift it in the service of the world. To keep it in motion. Chris knows this intuitively. Gordie, on the other hand, doesn’t have the eyes to see his own talent. He doesn’t realize that writing is the one gift he’s been given, and he an obligation not to waste it. Who helped you assess the gifts you have to offer?
Jealousy is the ember of initiative. When I was in high school, a musician friend of mine got a regular gig at the local coffee shop. I was insanely jealous. I went to watch him play one night, and I remember thinking to myself, you bastard, that should be me up there. And so, between sets I went up to him and asked how he got the spot. Adam said he just walked up to the owner, handed him his demo tape and flat out asked for the gig. Wow. Who knew it was that easy? The only problem was, I didn’t have a demo tape. But what I did have was a lot of friends. That’s a different kind of demo. So I approached the owner and told him that if he gave me a spot for one night, I would guarantee twenty customers. He couldn’t resist. Two weeks later, after plastering the hallways of my high school with bright yellow posters, every one of my friends showed up to watch me play. And they all bought coffee and snacks. The owners were ecstatic. After the show, they pulled me aside and hired me on the spot. Wednesday night was now officially mine. I felt like a rockstar. Like a grown up. Like a real businessperson who just cut a deal. And the best is, I wasn’t even that good. I’d only been playing guitar for about five years. And I’m sure my singing voice wasn’t exactly angelic. But nobody seemed to care. I played every week for six months, and had the time of my life. And I’m sure were people in the audience every week who heard me play and thought to themselves, wow, this guy sucks. But I was the one on stage, and they weren’t. I was the one who took the initiative, and they didn’t. Kiss my ass. Proving, that ideas are free, but only execution is priceless. What’s your legacy of taking action?
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What did you learn from this movie clip?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
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