One of your thoroughbreds
is biting at the bit at the starting gate, and other stories of success, one day at a time.
One of your thoroughbreds is biting at the bit at the starting gate. She’s really testy, and wants to start the race. Salivating at the mouth, eyes zealous, mind going a hundred miles an hour. But the gun has not gone off. There is no start.
She realizes she’s not alone. There are six, maybe ten, other horses also at the gate, desperate to start: hooves kicking the dust, rump hitting the sides of the barrier, leg muscles twitching.
Then you realize, all of these thoroughbreds are yours. You own all these horses, and they are all ready to go, as soon as the mark is heard. They’re all biting at the bit, ready. A few false starts, and back into the barriers. Still, it’s a waiting game.
Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel like the thoroughbred inside you just wants to get out there and on with it? Are you feeling restless, frustrated, anxious, and yet: full of energy, desire, passion and ambition?
Do you have too many horses at the starting gate? Are all your projects/desires/dreams at the forefront of your starting gate ready to be unleashed? Do you feel like you have false starts and then you’re back at the starting gate, once again kicking your hooves into the dirt? You are not alone.
The conundrum of the new creative entrepreneur is that we are not only passionate and ambitious as the ‘creator’, but also carrying the load of the ‘business startup owner’.
You have to do it all, don’t you?
You may also just be that A-type personality who has so many ideas, and you want to do them all. Now. Or, you just know that inside you, your artistic light just wants to shine and it deserves to be heard. Ambition is a curse and a blessing. It provides a wonderful kick in the pants to make you not only believe you can “do it”, but gives you impetus to get on with it. But it can also be a detriment. Because you want your light to shine so much, you can get frustrated if the opportunities and successes don’t come fast enough. That thoroughbred of yours kicks its hoofs in frustration, eyes jealous of the next one next to you “making it”.
I have often wondered if my life had turned out differently. Some of you know this, and some of you don’t - but when I was younger all I wanted to do was music. Yep, a rockstar. I thought, at the age of 18, when I felt the ambition rising in my soul, that I was going to be “discovered” by a record company, win a Grammy award and reach worldwide acclaim. But my road was very different. I couldn’t wait for someone to come along and determine my fate: I took the ball in my own hands and created my own record company and distribution channels, thereby circumventing the “system”, using guerilla marketing tactics and making a go of it on my own. In fast, so much so that I kept going - I had one of the first “startups” (a term that’s relatively recent in the grand scheme of things) for the music business, running my own label, which became a marketing company, events company and now, a coaching company. In my mind, I created my own success. Damn right. It’s my definition of success. Honestly, if I’d waited around thinking I could be “discovered”, that artist light inside me would have been extinguished. I had to create my own destiny.
This creative light is always there. Your creativity - think-outside-the-box mentality, your inner talent, your mission, your essence - is yours. No one else’s. You own it, and therefore you can make your life and career what YOU want it to be.
While you are waiting for that long term goal to realize; while you are working on your big opus, don’t forget to continue to nurture your light. In fact, creativity - whether in music, arts or business - is a life long journey – it’s about the day to day process. Let your light emanate on a daily basis, even if, in your heart, you’re waiting for that “big thing”. Getting to that big dream takes a while, to do it right. And often it turns out differently than you initially expected, which is OK. Maybe, just maybe, you might discover that the little things you achieve, are way cooler than that vision of what that “big thing” may be, or never be.
Many artists who get the Grammy, or actors who get an Oscar, or CEOs of Startups who sell to a larger company, ask themselves, “what next?”
Exactly. You see, once you get some kind of recognition, or reach a milestone, you’ll only want MORE. What’s next, what else? And even worse.. "is this all there is?"
Don’t be deceived by the Holy Grail, that magical destination you’ve set your sights on. Yes, the grass is always greener, they say, but let’s just imagine the grass is green right where you are, right here and now. Right with what you have in your hands.
Take a look at your thoroughbreds right now. Go pat your favorite one, and give it some hay and water. Give it the love and power. Focus on that talent of yours, and find little wins you can appreciate on a daily basis. They are the ones you’ll look back which will create a sea of wins in your life, and that is a life well lived.
Go shine your light!
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