"If you build it, they will come."
I love this quote from the timeless baseball classic, Field Of Dreams…a classic in my family, at least. You’ll learn quickly that I love inspirational quotes, especially ones found in film (damn, I just put pressure on myself to include them in all of my blog posts, didn’t I?). No doubt, this particular quote has been relevant over the past week. We launched our fundraising campaign for Don’t Take This The Wrong Way 10 days ago, and I’m happy to say we’re off to a great start! But it hasn’t come without sacrifice.
Time is an incredibly precious thing. The time we spend with our loved ones, our careers, our hobbies, ourselves…it’s all important. Balancing these things, taking time to be committed to all of them, can also be challenging. The time Craig and Nicole are spending with each other right now on their trip is priceless. To say they both deserve it would be an extreme understatement. I am nothing but happy and excited for them! After all, my wife Danielle and I are going to be doing the same thing in a little over a month. That’s right, the four of us are on the same adjusted life plan (hey, I just came up with that). If only I were kidding, right!? But I also knew when Craig was getting ready to leave that their trip meant more of a time commitment for me on our project while he’s gone.
Danielle recently said to me, "You really need to come with up with new definitions for the terms "soon," "real quick," and "it will only take a minute." Fortunately, she said it with a smile on her face! I tell Danielle all the time that I’ll be done with something before she knows it, and before I know it, she’s fallen asleep on the couch waiting for me or moved onto something else. Over the last two weeks, that has happened more times than I can count. In truth, it’s a part of my personality I’m not always proud of. I usually have 100 different things swimming in my head (yes, my wonderful wife is one of them), and once I start working on something, I get completely wrapped up in it. I want to make sure it’s done right and to the very best of my ability.
This obsession with perfection can be both the artists worst nightmare and saving grace. The countless hours of research, planning, meetings, and phone calls (Craig and I were averaging about two hours a day on the phone before he left) that went into building this campaign are proving to be the latter for us. Like I said, we’re off to a great start! But there’s a lot more work to do.
Craig being out of town has also meant that I have to be more of a leader in his absence. Leadership doesn’t scare me, it inspires me, but I’m better at leading kids and young-adults than a team of other artists and business people who, at times, intimidate me with their brilliance. Craig tells me all the time I need not apologize for my ideas or talents. But “Hollywood” is a tough business, and I’m not a very confrontational person. As a leader, you often have to confront tough obstacles and even tough people from time to time. I can honestly say that’s not my forte. I’m more of the guy who says, “I’m happy to be a part of the team. Tell me what you need me to do, and I’ll do it!”
Now I’m the one who’s supposed to pave the way, instead of just following it. To know that Craig has faith in my ability to run the show while he’s gone has definitely helped. In truth, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I’ve helped us utilize our time well (I’m getting somewhere with those new definitions I mentioned earlier). We’ve stuck with our deadlines for updates on the project. We’ve brought more contributors on board. Constantly using Facebook, Twitter, talking, texting, and emailing. Even Craig has been involved in the emails from "across the pond," as they say. His commitment even now is amazing!
Of course I couldn’t do any of this without the rest of the team, but it’s my responsibility to keep us on track right now. It’s definitely keeping me busy and my time is becoming more and more precious. It’s also giving me an opportunity to prove to my team and myself that I can help us reach our full potential with this campaign. It’s an opportunity, a challenge, I’m more than happy to accept.
So there’s a lot more work to do. But we’re making progress!