№ 5: On Gumption Traps

This whole thing sometimes feels like a rather sisyphean undertaking. Establishing oneself as a creative professional or entrepreneur is difficult enough anywhere. Doing it in a foreign country potentially introduces a number of additional difficulties on top of what one would normally face. For me, the necessary effort is more than worth it, given the difference between various potential futures differentiated only by the effort that I put in now, but I won’t pretend it isn’t a massive pain in the ass. Last time I talked some about the practical problems of transitioning to working as a full time creative professional in Japan, but today I want to get into what is often a much more serious category of complication: the gumption trap.

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№ 2: What the hell am I trying to do, anyway?

Sakura in Saitama
Sakura at a park in Saitama, as seen my very first night living in Japan.
While it’s easy enough for one to set out with an exclamation of I’m going to start a business! and the vision of assumed future success twinkling in the eyes of the would-be entrepreneur, a lack of specificity is what kills a lot of attempts right out of the gate. This is what has killed many of my projects and attempted businesses in the past. Gumption and enthusiasm don’t count for shit when one’s aim isn’t clear enough to provide enough direction to effectively define mission, objectives, and actions.  The momentum-killing properties of a lack of clarity are multiplied when one’s day-to-day is dominated by overwork and a chronic lack of sleep. Irregular usable free time doesn’t help, either. The list of complicating factors currently driving me crazy is a mile long, but today I’m here not to talk about what’s in my way, but rather that thing at which I am aiming. So what is my goal, anyway?

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