By Kim Artlip, Columnist
Years ago, I was working in retail management, and we were training a new hire. I was explaining to her that there are times when the answers aren’t right there in front of us, and we have to learn to “think outside the box.” She nodded, and said she totally got it. Two hours later, she approaches me to let me know that she’s been through the entire space, looked everywhere and just can’t find that box that I was talking about.
Groan worthy moment, but the question was… who messed up? Did I not give her enough direction, or did she simply not want to trust her instincts and do the work?
No matter what profession that we make our destination in life, we all have those moments when we have to think outside the box for solutions. Whether it is gimmicks, promos, photoshoots, merchandise or advertising, there will come a time to flex our creative muscles. But the question therein lies, have you been working your imagination and getting those creative juices flowing?
Now I know I say it quite a bit in my columns about the tendency to be the new face or next that but why aren’t setting ourselves apart? Is it fear of failure or a lack of imagination? Have we become so numb in our submission that this is why seeing something new such as AEW has been such an eye opener?
Most people operate inside the proverbial “box” most of the time. As we age, our brains become increasingly more ingrained into familiar patterns and routines. We get comfortable in this place. But if we are going to stand out in a sea of sports entertainment, merchandise, streaming video, podcasts, you name it – then we need to shake shit up.
It’s time to disrupt this space.
It’s time to stand up and out.
Throw away the directions. Ignore the “experts.” Don’t ask permission.
Think of some of the big disruptive companies of our era. Both Uber and Airbnb are locked in a never-ending battle against city ordinances, unions and regulations. When Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks said they would sell out their show, no one believed it and they broke records doing it. Why? They ignored what they were told and went with their gut. They believed in the hunger of indy wrestling fans. Why aren’t we?
I don’t know if you have heard the phrase “move fast and break things.” That’s good advice to move faster and break everything when launching a new company. Look at Wrestle Circus when they launched. They went to the beat of their own drum, and it paid off in spades.
Look no further than gimmicks that are so far out of the box you can’t overlook them. They simply work – such as the time-travelers, The Bomb Shelter. Unlike them, I’m not from the future, but I’ve seen your future can be. You could take that idea bouncing around in your head that no one else is doing and intentionally turn up the crazy dial. Stop asking permission from people who play it safe and do a ripoff bland gimmick. It’s time to just ignore their “expert” opinions and guidelines. Move extremely fast, take incredible chances, and smash through walls that you’ve placed in front of yourself. You can succeed in a future where nobody in your past thought it was possible. And when you get there? Remember that you trusted your gut and your instincts.
This is our time to break free so get that new gear, get coaching from a public speaking coach, or take acting classes. Do whatever you need to get yourself out of your box and moving forward.
Until next time, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams.
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