#008: THE WRONG MARKER OF SUCCESS

008-the-wrong-marker-for-success

Image – Undoing Africa, The Adversary (www.theadvrsry.com)

Soundtrack – Beneath The Tree – Sampha

Allow me to correct myself. I slipped into a familiar path of being subservient.

To briefly recap, in #005 I stated that if institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) could appreciate the work that I create, to the point of permitting me to show work within their walls, it would serve as the ultimate sign that I had made it. A level of credibility and formal acknowledgment that I have been validated at a high standard.

On so many levels that doesn’t sit well with me.

It’s shocking how we easily slip into the shoes of asking for success rather than creating it, it’s the shift between being accommodated and being desired. It’s fair to say that originates from the belief that ultimately we don’t deserve success? Of course, acknowledgment from such organisations is appreciated, but the terms in which you receive those commendations define the extent of your success and the power you retain over your practice.

For many who have freelanced for companies, I’ve constantly been on the receiving end of conversations where employees have become frustrated. Typically, it’s the unspoken limitation of their capabilities and stifling of their growth due to the ego of their boss, but mostly the feeling of  powerlessness in avoiding redundancy. Let me clarify, there is a difference between being subservient and being studious. I assume it’s easy to understand where my advocacy for self-employment stems from, coupled with my discomfort with debt.

Nevertheless, it all comes at a price. The pursuit of your goals will undoubtedly take longer, with a lot more to learn on the way, but first-hand experience has always been the best teacher because the scars and wounds will not allow you to forget the lesson. If that’s not available, a front row seat as a spectator will have to suffice.

I guess the question is how do you want to acknowledge your success and how long are you willing to ‘actively wait’ for it to materialise?

’Actively wait’

Def.  1. The pursuit of an answer or path while bewildered.

  1. Preparedness for success, in the midst of failure and/or idleness

Synonym. Actively lost

It was in the midst of preparing for opportunity, I was asked about The Adversary;

Anonymous : How can you make more money from it? Can it be franchised?

CL-Q : The goal is to have a six-month waiting list.  It’s success is based on excessive demand, where the impact of each scenario is strong enough to carry the word out to the next…that way I can maintain control over what I create without diluting its quality.

Case and point, for decades many were unaware of the legend that is Shuggie Otis, (many probably still are) labeled as an heir to Jimi Hendrix with music on par with Prince, with three albums before his twenty-first birthday, which all would become cult classics. It took him forty years to gain global recognition but that wasn’t his goal.  

“I didn’t want to be a sideman,” he explains. “I wanted to do my own music.” Whatever the cost? “I could have been an instant millionaire, a few times, probably,” he acknowledges, “but that wasn’t on my mind at all.”

For full article :

www.theguardian.com/music/2016/mar/31/legend-shuggie-otis-instant-millionaire-r-and-b-singer-hendrix

This is the best example of integrity, persistence, deviation and self-belief I have found, but better yet an understanding that fantasies only exist when you don’t have the skill-set to make them happen. So even in hindsight could I be that patient? How much do I believe in myself? How much do I believe in the agenda? What price am I willing to pay to eventually reach my goal?

Sooner rather than later, I need to answer these questions, because ultimately, I define how successful I’m going to be and at what cost. The only currency in this transaction is sacrifice.

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