Something needs to change

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How are you ?

I'm well — I had a very stressful week this week and thanks to a supportive friend, wife, and colleagues, I managed to pull through OK. 

Just.

In the last three weeks I’ve explored anxiety, sadness, loneliness and fear.  I’m surrounded by Entrepreneurs who inspired me to write Dear Entrepreneur.  I am both a trusted confidant and sounding board to a large group of peers who, like me, struggle with the hustle, every, fucking, day.

They inspired me to write Let's Talk About Fear last week and record the sixth episode of the Fearless Conversations podcast which I host with my amazing friend Damian. This episode will be live next week.

Today, I conclude this trilogy; all inspired by the even quieter voices of business owners in our 2018 Mental Health in Creativity report. Voices within our industry that struggle quietly. 

Parents. Husbands. Wives. Partners. People.

People who carry their fear like a dark cloud inside their chest. A cloud that threatens to vomit out a cold sweaty panic-filled stream, every few minutes on a bad day.

These are normal people who get told "No" more than they get told "Yes". Yet they smile through it because they have to.  I will conclude this trilogy quickly because ultimately, something needs to change.

We can’t be talking about the issues we face as creative leaders and small business owners forever. We have to move to solve them, or get out for our own good. 

We can’t prolong the agony of chasing unpaid invoices, clients who disappear for ‘a little while’ and the pressure, pressure, pressure of the bewildering piece of feedback that begins with "I’m just not sure it’s there yet".

We have to change the machine that exists in the centre of our industry. 

The very cogs that turn within it are rusty and they’ve been turning far too slowly for us to live a healthy life because the grease that lubricated them has all but disappeared.

We have to change the mechanics of our engagements to shift the dynamic and the anxiety of "I hope they like it...because if they like it we get paid."

No. Fuck no.

We have to change the ignominy of the things our industry celebrates and elevates. How and why it elevates and exactly what it chooses to elevate. And why.

We have to replace these celebrations with a different vocabulary for creativity. A vocabulary that says "you take this shit seriously or I'll find someone who does."

Because if we don’t have our own common vocabulary for creative thought, discipline and vocation, — why should they take us seriously at all?

We have to change ourselves to better manage the tidal wave of emotion because life is there to be enjoyed; it’s there to be lived and loved. 

To hug and hold our children and our loved ones. 

To smile at our furry friends.

To exhale.

Not to be spent strapped to our phones waiting for ‘that’ email which will change things for the better. 

We have to change ourselves. 

That’s it. 

We have to change ourselves.