Doing more of what works

I used to write scripts for an oil tycoon from Fort Worth, Texas.

He dabbled in a number of businesses, including a chain of comedy clubs, restaurants, and his own radio show.

And one day, this oil tycoon sent me a message.

How had he found me?

I had written an answer to a question on Quora about what the script for a talk show looks like.

Some months later, he had looked for how to write a talk show script, found me, and hired me to help write episodes of his show (later on, we developed a reality show too, but that’s another story for another day).

Sometime later, I stopped responding to questions on Quora.

Years ago, I used to draw with Sharpies on blank shoes. I would photograph the process, stitch those photos together into an animation, and upload them online.

(The inspiration for the first one came because I had spilled warm brownie goo on my shoe. Instead of cleaning them, I disguised the stain. Art?)

While I did more shoe art throughout the year, I averaged about an upload a year for four years. Each upload got a little better, a little more visually interesting, a little closer more compelling.

Then Sharpie reached out to feature my videos on their website.

Sometime later, I stopped doodling on my shoes.

Earlier this year, I recorded a video about how NFTs could shape the future of tourism.

Having been thinking more about travel and tourism lately, I was interested in the idea of a digital way of connecting travelers and tourists to a place, a type of collectible (and what is travel for, if not amassing collectibles) one might nab before a trip to make the trip better.

A digital souvenir, if you will.

Anyway. I uploaded it and shared it on LinkedIn.

Now, I am far from an influencer. I shy away from regular posting. Yet, a few days after sharing it, I heard from someone whose copy I had written six months prior.

Would I be interested in helping write the copy and market their own NFT tool?

So, I did, helping bring them through their closed beta.

Now, sometime later… I am still reaching out to travel and tourism projects (some related to digital souvenirs, some not).

This time, though, instead of stopping after the first sign of something… I’m still going.

Sometimes, I get interviews and I can share new videos. Sometimes, not.

I would like to be more consistent (weekly videos! daily videos! a media empire!), but I also recognize there is a consistency that develops over the length of a project, even if our daily or weekly goals are a level below our ambitions.

Recently, another group found my videos.

This time on Instagram. Where again, I am far from an influencer. And I shy away from posting.

Yet, I did post something. And in sharing something – something I was interested in, something I believed to be valuable (we can debate the value of NFTs at a later date) – someone found it.

This someone is a much better fit for what I’m interested in, what I’m doing now, and what I would like to be doing in the future.

What I used to see with the first two examples above was a lack of my own sticktoitiveness (of which I have a thousand other examples). What I see now is the potential of network effects.

Before, I considered my network the people I knew from television. They were the ones who might call when they had a job with which they needed help.

Now, as someone adrift in the seas of the world, my network isn’t always going to be someone I know, or someone they know.

It will be people I can help. People who share my interests. People who go for overly long runs even on Saturday nights when it’d be more fun to sit on the banks of a river drinking beers.

Those kinds of people.

It’s with those kinds of people that I will get to do the kind of work I would like to do.

Getting to those people means doing more of what works now.

And to do more of what I would like to do in the future, I need to do more of what works right now.

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