Image: Ftt, Ft, Ftt, Ftt, Ffttt, Ftt , 2010 (Ryan Gander)
Soundtrack: Mos Def, There is a way (True Magic)
Shoot your shot and pray that it lands. That’s the mentality that we’ve been groomed on in the pursuit of employability. Think about the psychology of what that approach means.
Anonymous : You know you’re fortunate to have this job…
Anonymous : You’re lucky to be earning that amount of money.
CL-Q: If you’re told everything your given is enough, and you accept it, when will you get what you deserve?
These are all the things people tell you when they don’t want you to reach your potential. These are the people who stifle your growth and coerce you to build their dream while yours wither and die. All of a sudden you’re a 40+ years old with teenage children trying to motivate them to be all they can be, while they want to follow in your footsteps… do you see the hypocrisy?
(The courageous path is mimicked just like the path to success.)
Let me say this directly, I’ve stopped begging.
I’ve got a target and I’m going to reach it, whether it takes one month or one year. There are only two ways this is going to happen. I can do it by myself on a shoestring budget, where the audience will walk away being impressed by what was achieved with a such a humble budget and workforce, while you miss out on being part of something special. Or, you can partner with me and play a role in realising the master plan and be on the podium when it’s all said and done and be acknowledged. You choose…
It’s a matter of perspective and power, understanding your value is the first step in any venture and business. I had to take a moment and analyse why I, amongst so many others felt so powerless and undervalued. From my experience that’s the way capitalist business structure operates, you’re never given what you deserve, you’re given how much you negotiate for. It’s a matter of power and manipulation, a game I’ve never been a fan of but have finally learned the rules of engagement.
As my business partner Nickel Yudat (Founder of DANCCCE) and good friend Malcom Mbombo (Founder and CEO of AquaFitPro) will tell you, I don’t like the practice of business and generally have always had a sour taste for businessmen. Typically I can see their pursuit of money and power I naturally shy away from their seductive ways. It may be obvious to say but money and power aren’t the same things. Money is the acquisition of currency in order to trade for goods or services, while power is a method of influence over people and organisations. With all that said, I’m left with one unanswered question, ‘Is it exploitation if you underestimate your worth?’
In the journey of emerging, I’ve had to make that decision on which path to carve, because you can’t become the best in the field without one or the other. The same applies for fame and talent you must possess one to acquire the other. Personally, I’ve come to associate power as a synonym of authority, where I can create the environment where people would approach me for opportunities rather than me approaching them.
There’s a motto I’ve adopted ‘I would rather work with you than you work for me.’ It applies to my family, friends, enemies and strangers. Empowering you to make your own decisions and define your vision, but at the same time protect myself from losing sight of what I’m hoping to build. I’m saying this as a reminder of the betrayal and disappointment I have suffered, ensuring never to repeat the same mistakes. The worst of all being in a position where I was theoretically asking for permission to succeed or pleading for acceptance. Will you show my work? Will you write about my work? Can I talk about my work? I’m reminded of my criteria for an opportunity.
‘If you’re not doing it for knowledge do it for money, if you’re not doing it for money or knowledge do it for the notoriety…If none of the above is available build your own company and learn on the job …’ (#002 Timeout!)
I’m negotiating on my future success, not begging for attention or a favour. If what you’re doing is worthwhile it should be an honour or make sense to be in association with it.
Shoot your shot and make it land, success isn’t by chance it’s by dedication.
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