Someone asked me recently if I could sum up my latest career in a single sentence.
I am finally in a position where my responsibilities align with what I enjoy doing most, enabling creative people to do better in life.
It has been a long journey with many detours before I finally arrived at a point where I was ready for this position.
I started my career with the viewpoint that technology could save the world. I began my career designing computer systems which were supposed to improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet.
This lofty goal was shattered when I first saw one of my early computer systems in an electronic salvage yard. I began to realize that my designs might not leave a trace, let alone be a legacy for the future.
A later minicomputer
design I worked on was used as the first experimental nodes on ArpaNet,
but by then I was off in Florida working at a series of start-ups. I
decided if technology wasn’t the answer, maybe becoming wealthy at an
early age was still possible.
This part of my life made great fodder for my first book,
but didn’t get me any closer to gaining peace of mind. Hitting the wall
a few times finally got me thinking about the more spiritual aspects of
life as opposed to finding Nirvana through technology.
A long voyage of self-discovery led me to the realization that there
was more to life than working for growth-oriented corporations, and
that helping others was what I enjoyed most.
However, I could not seem to find gainful employment which would
allow me to help others, so I continued working in increasingly insane
high technology companies until they got tired of my attitude and
jettisoned me into a new career as a self-employed writer/business
consultant, and blogger.
Blogging helped me to look at what was important to me and I found
that my interest in helping others needed to be the driving factor in
determining my choice of a post-corporate career.
Helping others to succeed is more challenging than launching a
company because it requires many of the same skills, but you have to
inspire others to acquire the necessary disciplines instead of
enforcing your ideas on them.
In the case of helping artists achieve viable businesses, it means
discovering what will work to increase their economic growth without
altering their creative processes and impulses.
Some artists are happy dealing with customers. Others are very
private people who may do best with intermediaries handling the
hurly-burly of commerce. Finding a solution that works is an art that I
wish to develop. The payoff will come when artists routinely begin to
flourish and this begins to affect the regional economy in a meaningful
I feel this is the best of all possible games that I could be
playing at this stage of my life. It is a game where everybody wins.