Taking creative risks

Nine years ago, I took a huge creative risk. The corporate job I had for a decade ended, and I didn’t look for another one. Instead, I started my own company.

The only problem? I wasn’t quite sure what it would be. What I would do. How I would really earn a living with it.

This was a month before my wife and I had our first son. When we were still living in (a rather dumpy) apartment, saving for a house. A house that no one would give us a mortgage for, because I was starting my own business. Turns out, banks require you to have a steady paycheck in order to give you a mortgage.

Nine years ago this week is when I officially opened the doors to WeGrowMedia and took my first client.

It was the bottom of the recession, and soon after, my wife decided to leave her tenured teaching job to be home with our son.

When I shared this news at the time on my blog, I received this comment:

“Think about your family, you dolt.”

While I didn’t like that comment, I couldn’t help but see their point of view. When many other peoples were seeking financial security in the recession, here we were taking big financial risks. No stable jobs, starting a family, launching an unproven business.

But I can honestly say, these past nine years have been amazing. Full of financial risk? Yep. But also full of deep fulfillment in both my work and personal life.

You see, I work with writers and creators. People for whom risk is a daily action. Where they are exploring who they can be and what they can create. Where they are are sharing their creative work with the world, which is akin to wearing your heart on your sleeve. Doing so almost begs for judgement. “Buy my book,” “Review my book,” “Read my essay,” “Sign up for my newsletter,” “Like my social media post.”

Every day is a new opportunity to create. And a new possibility of rejection.

But would you want it any other way?

Hellen Keller said it this way:

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

The risk that writers and creators take is the act of living. Of finding out who we are. What we are capable of. Of attempting to forge new connections between people. To bring us to new places, new ideas, and new experiences.

Nine years ago, I set off on this journey with my family. In that time, I have worked with thousands of writers. For each, I have had the privilege of being a tiny part of helping them share their voice, create their work, and connect it to people who care.

Thank you for joining me in this. Your support means so much to me.