Towards the end of our podcast with Russell Grant we started reflecting a little on 2020 and how the year has forced us to go back a bit and re-evaluate what we’re doing. It makes a lot of sense, when you’re forced to just stay at home for a while and don’t have many distractions going on it’s hard not to think about what you were spending your time on and what really matters to us. It can be all too easy to lose track of our passions in the pursuit of mainstream success or money. That’s not to say that those things aren’t important, but is it worth throwing away your dreams to pursue it? We don’t think so, and neither does Russell.
Russell has been a part of a lot of creative ventures and businesses, including his band Shortstraw, clothing label Limited Edish, events like The Late Night Arcade and Boosh, and of course the independent theatre The Bioscope. While all these ventures are vastly different, all of them are things that he honestly cares a lot about. They weren’t started with the intention of making as much money as possible but rather making something that he cared about, and therefore other like-minded people would care about as well.
This way of doing things definitely makes it more difficult as you have a very small economy of people that would share the same interests as you. However in the process of doing it, you’re increasing the intangible quality of the business, because it’s honest and genuine. Quality doesn’t always refer to tangible characteristics of a product, but can also refer to the mindset and intentions behind the business.
The other thing that came up on this topic was time. Things that matter don’t just happen overnight, nor do they need to. We’re all bombarded by Google and Facebook ads about some marketer who made an insane amount of money in a short period of time through some secret “hack”. This is not the best way of going about things though, some projects (especially passion projects like Limited Edish) take a great deal of time and care to build. The overnight success story might sound super tempting and inspiring, but it isn’t the norm. Russell spoke about just how much time it took to get Limited Edish to where it is today, and that’s because he had a clear vision of what it should be, and wouldn’t compromise on that vision for short-term gains.
So what does all this mean for you and your business? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re not sure what the next move is, maybe go back and think “What’s the most important thing to me?” and plan your next move according to that. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for how quickly you want things to grow. If it’s something that matters to you, just keep working at it and don’t compromise on your vision. You will get there in the end and that experience certainly will pay off, even if it does so in a completely unexpected way.