Can everyone be a creator?

The Grid

Hey y’all,

I’m on a plane off to Italy and Portugal for a month of testing this remote work thing.

Have any recommendations for Italy or Portugal?

Welcome to each of the 672 readers here this week.

Thank you to each of you that continues to read, reply, and share The Grid.


How do you balance productivity and creativity?

It’s the curse of the creator and it’s the struggle in scaling.

Every creator needs both of these things to find success. Early in the journey the productivity can help a creator find their creativity…

If they have creativity.

Because here’s an unpopular opinion: Not everyone needs to be or should be a creator.

I remember growing up all I wanted to be was a professional baseball player. I watched Ken Griffey Jr with his backwards hat, infectious smile, and that sweet sweet swing that sent home-runs soaring. It was my dream. To be that next generation and take his place.

I swang the bat as a lefty. Just like Griffey. I wore my hat backwards. Just like Griffey.

I wore number 24. Just. Like. Griffey.

But in high school I realized something. I wasn’t Griffey.

I was at a scout camp with a bunch of other juniors and seniors at the time. I came to meet a guy named Jay Bruce. He was also a left handed hitter and one year older than me. We were in the cage together hitting off a tee with a wood bat.

The scouts had a radar gun out.

I took my swings and the ball jumped off the bat in the mid to upper 80s. I felt good.

Then Jay went.


That’s when I knew.

I wasn’t good enough.

And unfortunately that’s the case in every profession. Creators are no different. Now there’s a distinction here. I’m talking about creators who want to make a career out of the pursuit. If you just enjoy being a creator with no need to monetize the pursuit, go for it.

I know friends of mine who still play in adult rec league baseball. That wasn’t my path, but they love it.

But if you’re a creator looking to turn it into a career you need to blend periods of productivity with creativity.

David Perell breaks it down into coffee and beer mode. I’d personally prefer wine or whisky but that’s the lawyer in me coming out. Because sometimes you need to get stuff done. You need to create that video. You need to write that article. You just need to get work done.

While other times you need to find your creativity. Maybe that’s listening to music, walking around your city, or taking an adventure like a last minute month long trip to Italy.

New sights, smells, and experiences to stoke the creativity fire. It can fade if you stay in the daily grind for too long and trust me, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of those daily tasks you think you NEED to get done.

I needed the shakeup. It’s why I left Dallas. It’s why I have no clue what’s going to come out of this trip other than a whole bunch of stories that I will share and build on. Because at the end of the day, storytellers rule the world. And to be a storyteller, you need to live a life filled with them.

So think to yourself what type of creator you want to be. The type who does it for the love of the game or the type who wants to build a career from it. Either answer works but your focus will change as a result.

Sometimes you just need to take a deep look and answer the tough questions.

I still remember that day with Jay when I realized I would never be Griffey.

And that’s why I ended up in this world of Performative Speaking instead.

It worked out quite well.

Last week I spoke on a panel at the Arizona State University + GSV Edtech Conference.

It was incredible to be back up on stage talking with a group of people I respect in the cohort and community based courses space. It’s clear that we are just at the very beginning of a powerful movement and there are a lot of exciting things coming from Performative Speaking and Course Creators Collective (C3) in the coming weeks and months.

Also felt good to throw on the formal attire again. And fun fact, the no sock loafer look is a vibe.

Ready to debate this all day long.

And since I talked baseball earlier…

It was great to check out a Dodgers Game last week. There’s something magical about a baseball game.

One idea I’m playing around with is a 2-3 week Storytelling Sprint cohort based course.

Think principles, delivery, and workshopping your go-to story for personal or professional use. Storytellers rule the world and I want to help you do the same.

If you’d be interested in this, shoot me an email letting me know.

Until next time,