“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
― Herman Melville
It’s All A Dream
James Altucher recently tweeted “How To Make A Billion Dollar Company From Scratch” and the graphic is someone holding an American billion dollar bill.
It’s the poetic American Dream.
Last night I had a dream that I wrote and sold a piece of writing for a large sum of money. Dreams are loose on details and jump around a bit, so I left the negotiation without knowing how much this number was.
What was clear, is that I retained all trappings of being an amateur. I knew that I couldn’t fool them, but hell they were interested in my work.
The Opening Scene
Jump forward to the production set on the road.
I have no idea how these transactions occur in real life, but I showed up at the executive producer’s tent and didn’t get to talk to him directly, but rather an assistant was sent with the paperwork for me.
I can remember the two of them shuffling through a stack of paper looking for my documents. When they found the envelope it had already been opened, with the check out for all to see.
The guy looks closer at the amount and says, “Ohhh.”
I stood there willing to accept anything they offered. In my mind, I hadn’t made any money for a single sentence, so this was big. He didn’t tell me the amount but quietly gave me the cheque.
The number was large.
Large enough that I had to sit there and count up the zeros to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. There it was right in front of me, the quintessential American Dream in a nutshell.
Build something from scratch and get paid in US dollars.
The Universal Force
I remember feeling resistance rearing up and not believing what just happened. Part of me wanted to take it back to accounting to make sure they didn’t just bankrupt their company.
Even in my dreams, I feel resistance!
I began walking down the hill, and one of the production crew accompanied me. The moment was powerful. Tears welled up inside and flowed down my face.
No more mortgage.
No more debt.
A Simple Sheet
One single piece of paper could change all these things with a couple of powerful chicken scratches. The moment concluded when I woke up to my miracle morning.
The timing was awesome.
Dreams Are Powerful
I rarely remember them which has been a concern, as I find they stir up emotions and provide food for thought. Every time I remember a dream I try to write it down.
Contrary to most dreamwork programs this practice hasn’t increased the frequency of dream recall, but I’m still hopeful that if I improve my sleep habits, performance will improve.
How do I make a billion dollars?
I have no idea.
Watch the Social Network?
That is my first knee jerk response. However, I think there is a path out there that takes SOME people with ambition there.
Go Play With Your Darlings
Yesterday I accompanied my twin boys Hunter and Sawyer, and my wife Calissa to Paw Patrol Live. We were on the main floor packed with what had to be 500 kids and their parents.
That’s a lot of children.
The air was filled with excessive amounts of energy that young kids seem to have in abundance. The show was fun, but it didn’t blow me away, and the boys loved it and that makes me happy.
Happy for a moment.
The Question In Stillness
Hunter was quiet early on before the show had started and I knew something was wrong.
In one of the photos that Calissa took for facebook, you can see clearly he isn’t impressed. When I asked him, he explained he wanted the toy that all the other kids had.
He was already willing to keep up with the Jones’.
During the intermission, Calissa convinced me to go back with the boys and grab a couple of the toys to make Hunter happy.
Reluctantly I agreed.
No, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to spend the cash, but rather, I didn’t want to thread my way back through the herd of people.
It’s All About The Kids
Standing in line I noticed that the toys cost $25 each!
The cheapskate inside me did a backflip.
I immediately interrogated Calissa at the front of the line, while she was handing over $50 to the cashier, whether she knew how much they cost.
I know my tone embarrassed Calissa, but the spell was broken. These kids and parents were under the entertainment companies control, and this included my family.
It made me mad.
Advice From Above
I think it was James Altucher that once said anger is fear dressed up in nice clothes.
In this situation, I agree.
My reaction was fear. We were in the middle of an audience spending money that we didn’t have, on cheap toys like everyone else. My fears play out like this.
Thankfully in a moment of clarity, a small voice turned it around.
To make a billion dollars, I need to provide many customers with something of value.
Seth Godin explains that first you have to find a tribe, and then feed the tribe. In front of me was a tribe of customers that I am in a unique position to write for. Seth would also explain it’s not about the money.
Children are more than customers.
In purely economic terms, kids represent a huge market, and their numbers increase daily.
My take away from the “billion dollar dream” I had this morning is that the timing is right for me to finally engage with this competitive marketplace.
I have found the Paw Patrol Tribe.
Go Paw Patrol!