Is that you can always build a success story from its ashes. I tell my kids all the time, “Mistakes are your best teachers,” because I believe that to be true.
As I count down the days until the first Camp Makearoo (five! there are five!), I could look at the small number of people who registered and count that as a failure. I quit freelancing in January to build an empire, and, well, the empire is pretty small right now. And not (yet) financially sustainable.
I think even a year ago, I’d have packed it in. Given up. Wallowed. I’d have felt embarrassed when people asked me how many registrations I have (four! I have four! I wanted 50). I’d have launched something else, hitched my wagon to yet another star.
But here’s the thing. The four brave souls who did step up and register for the very first Camp Makearoo are going to get an awesome experience. Time well spent. Dreams deepened. Friendships made. Lessons learned in the safety of our merry band of weirdos. They’re going to have unparalleled one-on-one attention from people whose life work is to support those of us who dream big and take risks. Because this thing isn’t about me; it’s about them. And it’s about you.
I have about six emails sitting in my inbox that remain unanswered due to a family emergency this week. Emails thanking me for inspiring the sender to get off their butts and start making cool shit. This is why I do what I do. Sure, I want to–and plan to–earn a great living supporting creative people in their endeavors while also pursuing my own creative dreams. I see Makearoo as a win-win proposition, and hearing from you guys keeps me going, reminds me that I’m on the right path.
If I quit now, or even six months from now, what does that get you? It shows that when the going gets rough, you quit. That big dreams aren’t worth nurturing and fighting for. That the starving artist myth is true. I don’t want that for you any more than I want it for me.
And so this Friday, I’m gonna rock this thing like a hurricane. We’re going to laugh and share and stretch and learn and know, to our core, that our most deeply held creative dreams are worth pursuing and with the proper attention and unfailing belief, they will come true, in ways even brighter and more unexpected than we’d hoped. If you’d like to join us, there’s still time. Get in touch and we’ll make it happen. I’ll also be announcing a fall event soon after this one, so if you’re kicking yourself for missing the first camp, there will be others.
Because I’m going to keep going, and writing about the growth of Makearoo so you can all see how it happens, how to learn from mistakes and missteps and detours and triumphs. How to sift through advice and expertise and find your way to things that feel authentic for yourself. And I’m going to bust that starving artist myth wide open, because as with most things in life, I think it’s only as true as we want it to be, both individually and collectively.
To those of you who are following along and even letting me know how you’re changing and stepping up right along with me: thank you. Let’s get down to the business of making cool shit and sharing it with the world. Because as long as we’re trying and caring, we can’t fail. We can only grow.