They Will Not Break You

I’m planning on doing something, starting in the spring.

Many people have told me it’s a foolish play with a low ROI.


Almost every time you say you’re going to do something, remember you will almost always hear well-intentioned people tell you why it’s not a good plan.. They will kindly and generously offer you all the reasons why your idea isn’t a winner.

Ask anybody who has ever started their own business. They will give you a knowing smile. They heard the naysayers drumbeat incessantly while they were ramping up. When they failed, there was that avalanche of “I told you so!” that they had to hear from this same crowd – many times close friends and family members.

As if a fail was the endgame.

Your current boss may be trying to break you down, filling your head with noise. That’s one of the worst kinds of slowdowns. You’re trying to make it to Monday morning, right? It’s hard to be a creative genius when Bad Boss is in your dome.

They will not break you. No one will, because in the big picture, they aren’t all that important. They seem larger than life right now, but they will fall away and (in the case of a boss) move on to torture someone else.

Whether it’s yoga, wrenching on a hot rod, walking, or just sitting still for a while, do what you need to do to quiet your head and stay focused.

I Skype with my surrogate conscience (also known as a casual friend) every week for 30 minutes.  We tell truths to each other. We poke real holes in ideas. He helps keep my head quiet, so I can do the work I want to do.

This is your life, not anyone else’s.

This is the one thing that you don’t have to share with the world, this determination you have. Your personal board of directors will help. 

Maybe it’s time to go shopping for a surrogate conscience.

John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. John’s book “Destination: Reinvention” is on sale in the Amazon bookstore. The hardcover edition is at Lulu. Audiobook available on Audible and iTunes. Follow John on Twitter @ johnscottsf.

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