Art first. Business second.
If you get the chance, be sure to watch the documentary, All Together Now. The feature-length documentary chronicles the making of The Beatles‘ Love show by Cirque du Soleil. It’s a staggering work of creativity, and we’re not talking about the majesty that is the everyday performance, but rather how this very unique partnership of the two living members of The Beatles (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) with the wives and family members of the two members who are no longer with us (John Lennon and George Harrison) with producer Sir George Martin and his son Giles Martin worked alongside of Guy Laliberte and his intensely intense creative and management team at Cirque Du Soleil to create this stunning live entertainment spectacle.
Toiling in the minutia.
What becomes immediately clear throughout the documentary is that success is predicated on what you bring to the table every day. Success comes from labouring (and yes, even fighting) over the details. Success comes from delivering a creative product that is driven to success by the sheer perseverance to do things that have never been done before. It is about the Outliers (as Malcolm Gladwell says).
Marketing falls short.
Why can’t this be our raison d’être for every mandate and campaign? Why not bring the same kind of intensity to our Digital Marketing and Social Media lives? This movie is an eye opening experience for anyone who struggles with trying to understand where passion comes from. Passion is a joke to these people. It’s not about the passion… it’s about something deeper. Like the name of the show itself, it’s about love. Even though each person behind-the-scenes comes from a different discipline of the arts, they have a love for what they do (even if what they do won’t seem obvious to you to while watching the movie). These people take a bucket of question marks and turns it into a masterpiece.
Bring that love to what you’re doing now.
No one will understand what you’re doing at first. New business models look weird. New ways of doing things look weird. Think about how strange and foreign Twitter first looked to the world. Think about the heads that turned sideways when Tony Hsieh explained what he wanted to do with Zappos. Do you really think everybody knew that four chaps from Liverpool would reinvent how we connect to music? Do you really think everybody knew that one guy from Montreal would re-invent the circus and change the live performance industry forever?
Don’t be afraid to reboot your business model, that campaign you’re working on or that Blog post you’ve been procrastinating over. The only way you’re going to push forward is to CTRL-ALT-DEL your current thinking/way of doing things. You’re going to have to push yourself to really find the love in everything you do, and if you can’t find the love, watch All Together Now (it is sure to inspire you). If that doesn’t work, believe these words: art first. business second (and yes, whatever you do for a living is art. Don’t believe me? Read Seth Godin‘s latest business book, Linchpin).
All together now… all you need is love.
THANK YOU! I love how you presented the info in this post. I’ve got a long history of working on passion projects with large groups of people and I have to say everything you say here is TRUE TRUE TRUE! (P.S. I listen to Linchpin on audio book while I work. I find Seth’s voice soothing.)
Thanks for this inspiring post. It really resonated with me.
Another great share Mitch, thank you for all that you do.
Great insight. It is often hard to translate what we are trying to do into business terms it is when we understand how it fits into the business model that people will understand what we are trying to do.
As Gandhi once said: “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” Great insight Mitch, thank you for reminding us once again the importance of rebooting our minds, and embracing the courage of excellence and curiosity.
I love love. Great post and a great reminder. Doing what you love is harder to put to practice than to read – it requires fresh thinking every day – but people are doing it. For example, I was recently in a FB dialogue with a musician about his business model. All his fans chimed in. His questions were about radio play time and reaching the masses. The answers: the old music business model is over, so get over it. Just make good music. Love will figure the rest out. (we make the audience, we don’t serve them) I wish I had this link handy then.
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