Lessons learned from “Dallas Buyers Club”
All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Learn to let the world in. Woodroof is initially hostile towards the terminally ill transvestite. But in this moment, it occurs to him that he might be able to help an entirely new population of patients by creating an alliance. Rayon, he realizes, is the linchpin that can open up an entirely new marketplace of customers who need his help. Reluctantly, he partners up and with the streetwalker and forms a profitable membership club that they operate out of a motel room. But over time, not only doe they begin to turn a profit, they also begin to respect each other. Despite being shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, Ron treats Rayon as a friend, confidant and colleague. The two rebels, unwilling to wait for the government’s medical establishment to save them, don’t wait for permission, they just hire themselves and get to work. It’s a beautiful lesson in learning to let the world in. Even if that means supporting the very people that you once despised. This movie is a gritty example of pure enterprise. A story about two people whose immune systems are failing, but whose opportunity agendas are thriving. And let us not forget the story behind the story, the one about two artists whose careers were resurrected by their embrace of their difficult choices. Both actors transformed their bodies to play their respective characters, both demonstrated magical cinematic prowess in their performances, and both were bestowed with the highest awards actors can receive. What do you see when you see people?
Everything you do should lead to something else you do. This movie is about an entrepreneur who diversifies and expands his offerings. Business schools should show it in their marketing classes. Because it teaches us to constantly reexamine the smallest revenue centers of our enterprise. To pose the crucial leverage question, now that I have this, what else does this make possible? Years ago when people started asking to work with me one on one, I created a service called Rent Scott’s Brain. The program was unsystematic and unpolished, but it still created value for people. And it became a solid revenue stream for my company, despite its imperfections. Awesome. What’s interesting is, after several dozen coaching engagements over the years, I started to experience dimensional shifts as a service provider, as we all do. Since there were personal skills and wisdom I wasn’t tapping into to create value and build my business, I decided to diversify. To expand on my current offering with better and more sophisticated variation of my one on one service. Now the program is much more comprehensive. A unique combination of coaching, mentoring, consulting and strategizing. That’s what’s possible when we put our diversification caps on. With some reinvention, each of our revenue centers can become a entirely new business unit. Each of our offerings can give our artistic voice another outlet and therefore activate a new market segment. And each of our services can become another option for our clients to become involved with us in an inexpensive and accessible way. That’s how businesses evolve. We build organically, but we leverage strategically. What could we do today that would be a complete step forward in your brand’s evolution?
Turn your creativity loose. For the true artist, there is no vacation. If their eyes are open, they’re working. Always scanning the horizon, always panning for gold, and always ready to build a home for the next great idea that appears somewhere in the world. But they also understand that observation alone can’t always single handedly operate the machinery of creativity. And so, they reserve a portion of their minds for inspiring themselves. They build an environment around themselves that allows their creativity to erupt. Joni Mitchell comes to mind. What I loved about her was, she invented everything about her music. From performance style to lyrics to genre to guitar tunings to chord progressions, there wasn’t an element of her art that wasn’t original. That’s why she became her own adjective. And so, if we want to follow her lead and turn our own creativity loose, we ought to think about building a system of our own. Making things that help us make things. This past year, I spent six months developing a framework for being prolific. It’s an entire curriculum. A master class on creativity. A robust intellectual property development system that demystifies my own creative process. Interestingly, since I started to put more rigor around my own systems, it has released new levels of output and expression in my work. Funny what happens when we embrace the privilege of having ourselves as a client. Where will your creativity find access to you?
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