Turning Pro

There is a distinct feeling that comes when it happens. You will be different. This is strange because it has been small things that have lead up to the leap.

The best I can describe it is how I feel just about every morning when I head to the crossfit gym. The coaches post our workouts the night before, however I do not look at them. I just do not want to know. It is hard enough to roll out of bed pre-dawn, it would only be worse if I had some inclination of beating my body was about to take.

There is always a tinge of fear.

I am over two years into the experience of crossfit, yet every day the anxiety is real. I know what I am about to do will change me. I desire the change, yet the mind makes it hard to pursue the work.

So then I wonder what is it that keeps me going?

The gym is the place where I know I have agency. I decide to wake up early. I decide to embrace the weather during the walk. I decide to enter the sweatbox in the summer. I decide to look at the looming pain prescription on the board. I decide to warm up my body. I decide to work through the strain. I decide how far i will push my body. I decide how great I will be. I decide my future.

The same thing happens in our careers.

Turning Pro is deciding what you will do instead of letting anyone or anything decide for you.

Turning Pro is YOU finding agency over YOUR vocation!

Taking the Next Step

I have been saying that a lot to folks lately. It is time for my own.


Excellence: the quality of being outstanding or extremely good

This past weekend Jenn and I traveled to Asbury Park New Jersey. The Jersey shore was felt but not truly experienced which makes for great, yet pleasant, people watching. My quick note on Asbury Park, they are doing boutiques right. What separates a boutique from a small shop is awareness of audience. You can carry highly curated and high margin goods but you have to be aware of your niche market. The beauty of Asbury is the easy vacation destination of a monied population with Brooklyn style, and the shop owners know it!

Beach trips are about reading in the sun whilst smelling tanning lotion and absorbing the beyond time notion of the ocean. You have to work to not be contemplative. I was prepared to spend my time exploring the images of Christ through History and the initial espousers of existential philosophy. Instead I got worked out by crossfit. No, I did not do WOD after WOD but rather discovered Ben Bergeron’s (he is the smiley man atop this post) book Chasing Excellence.  (Thanks to Jamie Gasiorowski co-flaneurer, and my Beatrice of Crossfit)

The book was meh on writing, but the content was on point. It left me questioning myself and my processes. Of course I wish I was in the running for fittest human on the planet; but my age, and likely my genetics, will hinder that pursuit. I found myself exploring excellence in my work. 

What does it mean to be an excellent agent?

As I am reading a coach talk about making excellent athletes, I realize my role as an agent is to make excellent artists. To be an excellent agent is to excel at making excellent artists.

So what makes an artists excellent?

That is a big question!

There is a lot of debate about what art is, so to define what makes an excellent artist is yet another level. As an agent, my definition of art and therefore an artist is what I hang my shingle on, and what will seperate me from others in the field.

In my mind (and as of today) to be an excellent artists is several fold:

Mastery of a medium

Unending supply of ideas

Ability to communicate in words

There is likely universal acceptance that mastery of a medium is part of the definition of an excellent artist. For even the non-art-scholar their is respect and appreciation for the ability to do things with a medium that others cannot. The technical prowess and the craftsmanship of an artist is likely what first separates them from the mere mortals of communication. An artist can make a canvas say things that other people are unable to make the blank page say. The ability to manipulate a medium is also important because it allows ideas to be put into action.

But where do the ideas come from?

When we speak of creativity, we are talking about the appearance of ideas out of seemingly nowhere. Observations, connections and unexpected mash ups are the essence that puts art beyond the category of craftsmanship. An excellent artist can readily chat you up on concrete scientific knowledge or delve into the current political state of society or certainly explore the cultural phenomenon dejur. Artists are not only aware but have given thought to the world.

There are geniuses out there who have mastery of a medium and a never ending supply of ideas that can whip reality into alignment by the mere act of bringing something into existence that did not exist before. However genius is hard to come by, just as the perfectly proportioned body for ultra fitness is elusive to the majority. What most artist also require to be excellent is an ability to communicate through words. Yes, they must master a second medium. An artist certainly does not have to, nor should they, define the meaning of their work, but they must be able to provide the context of the matter for it to transcend from object to subject. An excellent artist must be articulate either in spoken word, or written, to enable ALL audiences to find meaning in their work.

Now, if only I had a concept for a gym to equip an artist to work on the traits of excellence.