Educational and Inspirational
When I began a new business in 2009, I set a clear mission statement that would guide my choices. This helped me to feel that I was moving in the right direction, and doing work with a purpose. The short version: “to work on projects that are educational, inspirational, or bring about awareness”.
In video production, this meant turning down gigs that didn’t fit those categories. I would not work on horror flicks. I turned down offers to produce viral videos or commercials for plastic surgery. Instead, I focused on educational videos and felt proud to not be contributing to the “noise” of the digital world.
Even as a video professional, I believe that people need to spend less time in front of the screen. Instead spend more time out in nature. While hiking in Norway, I found myself completely surrounded by more tones of green than I even knew existed. Greens shaded with purple tones, yellow, red, and blue all in the same place. It was as if my eyes were being bathed with a full spectrum of green light. An image of the same green forest doesn’t do it justice, nor does viewing it on a tiny screen.
Obviously, we also need to spend more time with each other, IN PERSON, and do actual physical and creative activities. The artisan movement is a welcome way to balance our digital lives. With everyone crafting soap, beer, or butter in their basements it seem clear that hands one, tactile experiences are craved. This is one of the reasons that I’m excited to start this new journey, Paint-Trip.com. Here I create videos and a website that will hopefully inspire you to play, create, and explore the world.
Stability Through Uncertainty
In 2016, I left a comfy dotCom job to live and travel abroad. It wasn’t easy to leave a steady paycheck behind. But three years later my life is richer in ways I hadn’t imagined it could be. The journey continues, and it keeps getting better.
Dealing with uncertainty is just one of the many lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’ve also found a new sense of self-confidence, grounding, and courage. I used to think that I needed to carry around a mobile studio complete with the best gear. I’ve since realized that the value is in me, the user of the equipment. When needed, the equipment shows up.
“Life is short. We all have something unique to offer. If we work together in ways that are meaningful and mutually beneficial, everyone wins.”
This happened early in my journey, in Thailand. I had just declared part two of my mission statement: to work on projects that are mutually beneficial. A wellness resort was going through management changes. I could see the potential of the beautiful campus with the fresh energy of a new team running it. We worked out a deal: I would create short videos for their website in exchange for an air conditioned bungalow.
At the time, I only carried my laptop and my iPhone. I knew the iPhone’s 1080p footage would be sufficient for their web videos. As luck would have it, the yoga director had equipment for me to borrow. This included a DSLR with a long lens, a lavaliere mic for interviews, and a waterproof action camera, that I used to capture a kayaking trip in Ang Thong National Marine Park. All the equipment showed up. And this wasn’t the only time. If you travel light, and are resourceful, you can travel farther and with a greater sense of freedom
The Evolving Mission
Operating with a mission is not new to me. After graduating from art school I fell into social work for two years. It wasn’t what I had ever planned for myself. I considered it to be a pseudo-peace corp mission, but I knew it was not what I wanted to do long term. So, I decided to work for art organizations in any role. As a result, I worked in a fine art company, a theater, and eventually for myself (after going back to school to study film making) producing and editing videos. That mission kept me on track with a purpose that built my experience and clearly demonstrated my commitment to the arts.
My mission statement hasn’t changed drastically over the years, it has evolved:
- employment in the arts (in any way possible)
- focus on projects that are educational, inspirational, or bring about awareness
- work on projects that are mutually beneficial
- next phase: collaborate with various types of artists in exciting ways and in new locations.
All aspects, or phases, are still important, and the overall intention is in the same direction.
Establish your own mission statement to create a sense of stability and direction. Whether you’re taking gigs as a nomad or mapping out a traditional career path it will keep you on your right track.