2am Thoughts

A Thing That I Thought: Honesty & Opportunity

To be honest, I haven’t figured it out yet.

Let’s talk about opportunity for a second.

My definition of opportunity is when you identify an event or situation as having a possibly advantageous outcome if you make certain calculated decisions to maximize likeliness of success. In other words you see something that could work and a way to make it work. Opportunity is 100% subjective. For example, one person may see something as an unpaid internship, while another may see it as a stepping stone to getting paid work and make the most of it. Opportunity is everywhere. Especially with the internet, just about anything you come up with can be shared with the entirety of the world.

Right now, I have around four events happening around me that I would define as opportunities.

I have recently been given media access to just about every major video game developer’s press releases.
I have been thinking about using my relationships with all the people I know in the skate industry to make a skate magazine.
I have a pretty sweet arrangement with Canon which gives me access to their products.
I have been given a chance to write for Zen Garage again which would be an awesome way to launch my budget track project and get back into automotive journalism.

I’m hung up, in a rut. I can’t choose. These are all huge opportunities and I’m almost certain it’s given me the yips because I know if I play my cards right I’ll probably end up working in one of those industries – after all, it’s impossible to get nowhere when you commit to doing something.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can afford to do them all at once. Time wise and financially it’ll be hard enough focusing on one or two of them. If I had a full time job I would have the money sure, but definitely not the time. I also don’t want to divert my plans to work full time and put what I’m doing on hold. This stuff has got to happen now. I’m young and full of beans, the weight of the world has only just started to crush my spirit so I still have motivation in me.

Now let’s talk about honesty for a second.

My definition of honesty is assessing a situation or event without bias or compromise. I genuinely believe that most of the world isn’t honest. I believe people aren’t honest with other people, but more importantly I believe people aren’t honest with themselves. I’m guilty of it too. For example, I occasionally find myself heading in a direction because of the financial benefits. I start to feel parts of myself freeze up and the little voice of reason that says “you don’t actually like this” starts to get drowned out by the big booming corporate voice shouting “MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!”

If I was to be completely honest with myself, I would admit that I think that the whole concept of money is stupid. To me it seems like the more unhappy you are, the more money you earn as well as being respected as an adult which makes absolutely no sense to me. I would be over the moon if I could simply earn enough money to live an average life doing what I love. If I won the lotto tomorrow you’d find me blogging the very next day and the day after that, I’d probably buy an Aston Martin the next day but the following day would be all about my new car. I would relax and focus on what I love doing. Money wouldn’t change that, it would simply give me clarity to really make the most of it.

Unfortunately, in the real world, I have to be dishonest with myself. I have to convince myself that money matters. I have to consider it and even make it a driving force if I want to keep doing what I want to do. I’ve realized that no one is going to hire me right now, maybe ever. Since the start of this year I have been offered jobs and internships all over the world but unfortunately for mainly health, and to some degree financial reasons I am unable to do take them on right now. In Sydney it seems like no magazines or websites are willing to pay me or even give me a chance to learn. Perhaps it’s because I’m young and new to this, perhaps it’s because they just don’t like me. I’ve reached out to just so many publications, websites, magazines and media outlets trying to get experience or work and have had some really negative experiences but hey that’s the name of the game and I try to not take it on board.

With that in mind it’s becoming clear that there is a fine line between earning a living and compromising myself on a fundamental level. Is it wrong to let a company I don’t like advertise on my site to allow me to continue to pay for the things I do like? If I genuinely don’t like a product that has been sent to me should I tell the truth and risk offending the company and have them never send me anything again?

Luckily I am only working with companies I love and swear by at the moment so these aren’t problems I’m facing now. But when I need to pay a mortgage or save for a rainy day then what? How does one find the balance of being honest while still earning money?

I want to wrap this up with a lyrical quote from a song called Maps by a band called The Front Bottoms which I am finding very easy to relate to these days:

There is a map in my room,
on the wall of my room and I’ve got big, big plans.
But I can see them slipping through,
almost feel them slipping through the palms of my sweaty hands

All I want is to create content for a bigger company, one that is well established enough to actually pay me. Or get myself to a point where I can make enough money by myself, doing what I love.

Honestly though, I think if I focus and play my cards right, these opportunities may get me closer than ever.

Fingers crossed.

– L

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