Why do we do it?

A person I know in business died from a heart attack.

He sold his business, was getting ready to retire to Florida. And died.

I don’t know how old he was. But truly not old enough.

That was shocking enough news when I heard it a couple weeks ago. But what was even more shocking to me was that it happened two years ago.

I wouldn’t have called him a friend. But he was someone in business that I always admired.

He gave me one of the two pieces of business advice I say to myself over and over: “Sage, don’t do. Think!”

So that’s why I haven’t seen him at the industry shows recently.

This is all so fucked up to me.

He really was looking forward to selling and getting out. He talked to me about it on several occasions.

If he had known that was the day he was going to die would he have made different decisions with his life?

And how is it that I didn’t even know he was dead?

Money never spent. Achievement never recognized (at least by me).

I am on my way home from speaking at a conference in Chicago. I am now really into Airbnb. (Actually, now I’m on deck for another speaking event later today.)

I rented a room from an artist who has live/work space in this massive 3 story artist gallery.

There is art everywhere. The halls, the elevator, room upon room of art. The bathroom graffiti is even clever and beautiful.

Without a doubt, being an artist is a pain in the ass. Shows, fairs, old rich people judging something they never could fully understand.

But at least the effort is going all into something they love and believe in. You can’t be an artist without love and belief in your work.

But then there’s us. The grinders. The people grinding out endless hours in business. Grinding our souls and hearts to the nub.

Is it worth it?

Do you ever ask yourself that? Is it worth it? Really: Why are we doing this?

Rocky refers to me as the minister of new media. I do love it. I believe it is the greatest evolution in communication in the history of humanity. I feel truly lucky and honored to be able to share my thoughts on it all.

But is there something I might love more? Or is there a way of doing the work in a more contributing way? Those are the questions for my bus ride back home.

But I believe this: the retirement, the cash out, the Florida escape. That’s too great a risk. If that’s the only reason we’re doing it. I believe we created our own hell on earth.

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