I haven't been around long in this world, but I can safely say that my journey has shown me wisdom most either never encounter, or never take into themselves, like the courage it takes to put everything on the line in pursuit of something you desire-even if it could mean your life, as it did for the woman who helped me become the man I am today. Because of her, I found a world of wonder, a world of riches, a world I likely never would've approached if my hormones weren't dragging me into it by the scruff of my neck. I may not learn something amazing everyday, if anything of significance even bubbles within my subconscious before the day is done, but these past few years have been some of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life, each one letting me become that much better of a person.
In time, however, any amount of deep knowledge begs the question, “What'cha plan to plan to do with all that, eh?”
This is often the key moment that decides whether people choose to let their knowledge become something brilliant, or just the largest shiny bauble in the gallery of them we collect while we live our lives and try and live to see another day. The concentration of a person's depth of knowledge paired with whatever innate talent they have takes that brilliance and turns it into something they distribute to those around in whatever fashion they choose, whether it's painting on walls for free or charging $40 a pop for someone to have that work for themselves. This has followed me for as long as I could remember, and I thought that the very first book I wrote would make me into some sort of J.K. Rowling-sized mega millionaire writer, ignorant of the path she traveled for years to first survive, then, when the cards were in her hand, play them well, so she could thrive
Time has taught me, however, that there's far more to using concentrated brilliance than it's role as a bargaining chip or product to hawk.
The times and tech have evolved to the point where its vastly easier to share that concentrated brilliance than ever before, making $40 for a piece you turned out in the span of a week, charging per hour to let others see you do what you on camera, or asking for donations for the same thing, among countless other services out there, even in a more traditional media setting, like performing a tune at the Santa Monica Pier. Likewise, there are those who say that when you get smart or talented enough at something, they think themselves better or more sophisticated than someone else, especially when they charge money for it, and wish to make others compensate them to taking the time to lend them their concentrated brilliance. It's happened time and again, and likely will continue to as long as ego continues to convince them that the best way to go is to make sure they compensate you before anything takes place; of course, the more one lets go of ego and can rely on other means to facilitate basic needs, another truth starts to emerge
To gain the total support and trust of your fan base, you must be willing to trust that they, through whatever means they have, will lend you their support, especially on the financial front
It's a very large risk to take, as it requires not only letting go of the ego that's guided you all this, but also leaving yourself open to the possibility of them doing what they will with the work and not give you a dime in return for all the blood, sweat and tears you've invested in the project. In time, as more experience is gained, this trust in the people who enjoy your work will grow, and forge avenues much different than if you just made them open up their wallets to give you some backup. It is tough, yes, but it's my belief that when you let the concentrated brilliance flow at will, people will be more willing to put their money when their mouth is. Making them pay ensures you get the support that one time; trusting them to show their financial support ensures they'll keep giving it to you for as long as you uphold the unspoken contract you forge with them about it.