Between work and art is opportunity.
I’ve been thinking about this because of the kid who works at the gas station near my cottage. This kid is one of the best ‘counter people’ I’ve ever encountered anywhere in the world, and I’ll remind you that the amount of attention I pay to these things borders on pathological.
Can it be pathological if I get paid to do it?
Instead of seeing his job serving people at the counter as a mindless task, he uses the counter as a stage for engagement, where he delights customers while building an excellent brand for the business. The kid is an experience.
Robert Plant could tour with Led Zeppelin and gross a billion dollars. That’s ‘million’ with a ‘b.’ Instead, he uses his stage to continue making and sharing new art. He keeps pushing.
An investment firm hires a brilliant young advisor. Instead of seeing the early years as a grind, crunching numbers, and cranking out content and sales calls, they use it as a stage and create an experience that changes everything.
A podcaster starts measuring downloads and ends up racing to the bottom with nothing but recycled ideas because they’re safe. Or, maybe they decide to use the podcast as a stage to take themselves and their audience somewhere they’ll be happy to go.
There isn’t a chasm between work and art. There is only an opportunity.
You get to decide if your job is a stage or a list of tasks you complete for money.