Manual Success …

The allure of playing boss [bawse as the young ones say] is as appealing as a glossy hip-hop music video. They tweet about it all the time, “work hard and play hard” only we never quite see the fruits of this perceived hard work do we? All we are afforded are images of drunken stupors and a sink full of dirty dishes. Nevertheless, seems “everyone” [and I use that term lightly] wants to own and run their own business [do my own thang as they say].

Here is my reality check:

  • If the media promotes the one-in-a-million success stories that you consume, does that not make you the million in the million?
  • If Johannesburg has already produced few fashion/media moguls [and I use that term lightly]; what inroads do you think you will make?

I don’t mean to crush any dreams, but how many SA Reality TV show “stars”have successfully parlay-ed their “notoriety” into actual compoundable [read:sustainable] cash money?

No offense but I don’t mean to be standing in front of a class of Creative Students whose only goal is to pass through life with the hope of getting “discovered” in a mall. If there is any “making it” that is meant to happen it will not be made easily. There will be tons of sacrifice that will be made, beginning with that infamous“play” time.

Nobody ever produced a viable product chilling in a restaurant flashing smartphones, sipping on cognac. Business deals are conceived of and compiled in the glaring florescent glow of a permanently chilly air-conditioned office in an uncomfortable chair; with low bandwith and a cheap PC.

Forget the idea of “fake it till you make it” think more, “slog it till you make it”for that is what will bring you long-standing success.  Put in the time and some good ol’fashioned elbow grease and you will see magic [in a few years time]. Success is not automatic it is a manual, transition engine machine; goes nowhere without grease and serious pumping [needs some serious TLC].

If you can wake up on time and arrive prepared for meetings, look “decent” [and I use that term strongly] and sound like you know what you speak of, you have certainly half the battle won.  Ain’t nobody talking about your creativity and the wondrous methods you use to create, nor your Photoshop technique.

Clients don’t care that you arrived on the bus, or are opposed to processing your hair. They care that you always arrive on time [even if they are late], that they can always rely on you to deliver on deadline [even if they gave you the work the day before] and that you don’t curse them out when they phone you at 1am to announce an “idea” that just struck them. What image you choose to project says little about your design ability.  Ultimately, the work has very little to do with you [that’s just your ego talking].

The life of a Creative is not a laid-back Bohemian Rhapsody for the currency of our day is sadly not the blissful notion of “art for art’s sake” you are here to turn a Buz∙ness Man!

This is in large part what training and tutelage is about ∙ Discipline; more than a branch of learning:

  • It is a regulation or order;
  • The act of adjusting, organising or controlling circumstances [in the case of the Creative Arts, it would be the regulation of Messaging];
  • It demands a certain amount of obedience and compliance to rules or the authority of someone that you may not particularly care for,

…and that’s why we call it a Discipline

Writer: Tebogo Serobatse    Photography: Lebo Shmoove