I was musing the other day if a person really can ever be at peace with the constant demands of doing many things… well.
This question came from the perennial conversation with my interlocutor. The inner conversation about the enjoyment I get in making things happen on the tightrope of uncertainty working with fledgling startups and struggling organizations. Of course, to do so requires a constant sharpening of the saw as Steven Covey said. That means staying current on trends in business like Red and Blue Ocean, Lean, Agile, Go-To, Growth-Hacked, Two-Sided Markets, Network Effects, and all things Platform.
Then there is the constant process of keeping instrumental chops up, placating artistic predilections, and commanding fluency with the myriad of skills that go along with modern music production.
It’s a constant re-shuffling of blocks of time, parallel processing and an exercise in self-control. That’s in the aspect of not chasing every scent crossing the trail like a hound yet, being sensitive enough to the nuances of circumstance to see opportunity that aligns with life’s purpose.
I put it out there in my previous Neo-Renaissance Human post: I’m just flourishing within the blurred lines of modern career at the intersection of art, music, technology, and business. Sometimes underemployed by design, providing maximum flexibility in tending to matters of family. Other times feeling pretty adept at keeping multiple plates perpetually spinning in the air.
Of course, I’m not alone in this. There are many Generation Fluxors out there. I have observed my friend Craig Anderton like myself, grounded as a guitar-playing musician, exhibit exhaustive execution of parallel processing for decades: as prolific author, lecturer, philosopher, electrical engineer/designer and Chief Magic Officer at Gibson Brands. Another embodiment of the Neo-Renaissance Human embracing the entrepreneurial zeal is Questlove (Ahmir Thompson), rumored to have something like twelve jobs. Questlove is known as a tastemaker, restaurateur, designer, DJ with a weekly residency at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York, and most known as the drummer for The Roots, house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “Hip-hop is such a survival-based art form,” If you are strictly in this industry making music, and that’s it, you are on a very thin line. You have to supplement,” he said in a Fast Company Magazine interview. Supplement or just entrepreneurial, one could argue?
Then of course, we all know of Leonardo of Florence, yet lesser known as a multi-disciplinarian of his time was none other than William Shakespeare. Yes, the man with the distinction of being the greatest Romantic Poet of all time was a successful entrepreneur. He was a principal shareholder of London’s leading theater company, investing in tithes and real estate, that so afforded him to own the biggest house in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Here in the present I navigate my Neo-Renaissance path along with all the crafters, makers and artisanal producers. Perhaps to offset keeping pace with technological change and the ever emergent digital economy that MIT’s Brynjolfsson and McAfee coined Industrialism 2.0 (topic of a future post), I keep sharpening multiple saws.