Doing The Rad Thing


“It really boils down to your forecasts and estimates, and the likelihood of them happening. With the 20+ years of historical data I have at my fingertips… we still can’t perfectly estimate how the coming year will pan out. We’re always above or below the mark by a significant margin. Especially on the expense side which shouldn’t change much year to year; it changes a lot year to year. But, we have flexibility because we have an entire year to make adjustments from one quarter to the next or month to month, rather than everything happening in 3 days. Some years we blow the profit goal out of the water and others, well we’re way below it. I think your budget prep is right on point…”

This is the kind of brain fuck I submit myself to regularly as a creative layman creating a business to draw world-class talent where there wasn’t one before.

I create events, different from an event planner in that I don’t plan the things you’ve done before, I plan the stuff that you haven’t dreamed of yet and then get an invite to regarding an r.s.v.p. (I know!) I’m obsessed with creating space for people to connect, which is the only way I can explain my ability to press through otherwise entirely intimidating prospects like asking for money from people I don’t know. It’s my perspective based in a singular obsession that carries with an an authenticity so powerful… I’ve tried to ignore it, I can’t and no one else can either. It’s electric.

So, the moment someone else sat through a meeting of this caliber, they wanted to back out. I was at once stunned and realized the level of risk I was tolerating, even to the extent of discussing ideas, wasn’t mainstream. Really? Back out of the volunteer engagement? Volunteering has nothing but upside, no? I considered volunteering by definition up to that point as: Not a heady life-altering commitment to the fruition of the thing, but some futzing about, finger-licking, possible back-aching work when and where the volunteer chooses to have it for working toward their vision and copious amounts of craft beer and love…WHAT ELSE COULD YOU POSSIBLE WANT FOR WORK. This is my rhetorical question.

I have attempted to get a couple of people under contract. So far, half have not responded and the other half have said No. Presumably the No people work for free as closeted Yes people and so I have deduced that 100% of my sample is fucked up. It is also possible my sample size is not sufficient to deduce a conclusion about the population. I am an optimist in the morning and a pessimist by night.

I digress.

The moment my first card-carrying volunteer wanted to leave the endeavor from the off-gas of a meeting I willy nilly invited them to, I learned: a) Building something that has never been done before requires that you leap entirely into a different brain space and be dogged about seeking and accepting all knowledge in and about the thing you want to build which is separate from b) what you actually employ–people, ideas, strategies, feelings, process–these are an entirely separate deduction, c) it is possible to hold both simultaneously and d) the visionary is probably the only holder because it is a far out way to be and e) to be within their right mind, the visionary understand this and protects people.

To shepherd a rad thing is to hold your vision up, invite people that believe in the same thing into it, and to take care of them both.


Listening: Carry the Zero by Built to Spill Reading: Built to Spill’s Keep It Like A Secret is the sound of harmony between extremes

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