“Meditate on what you take for granted; question your assumptions.”
Turns out, this mindset is pretty much a bottomless well for self-assessment.
Because — I don’t know about you — but I’ve developed a lot of assumptions over the years … many of which are long past their expiration date for needing revisiting.
For example, at the beginning of my career, I accepted the argument that:
It is an author’s job to write to a branded experience; if an author wants to switch audiences or ratings, a pen name is appropriate.
Since that day, I have never challenged the assumption that this was a requirement of me.
But what if I was wrong? 😲
What if I can write anything I want under my own name? 🤯
It seems like such a silly question to type on the screen in front of me because, of course, I can write whatever I want under my own name.
In fact, I should!
So I’m going to do something different this year: I’m going to challenge my assumption that I’m supposed to create branded experiences and simply create.
Stop trying to be a brand, and simply be.
This may sound simple to some of you from the younger generations, but I’m Gen X — we were raised to find purpose in performing well in a role and got in trouble if we made things uncomfortable for anyone with seniority.
So it’s no wonder that the idea of splitting myself up into branded experiences made sense across the years. I was simply being considerate to the comfort of an audience’s experience … while coming across as completely schizophrenic in the process.
If you’ve been watching me these past two weeks, you’ve seen how I’ve struggled to turn myself into a predictable, branded experience.
I’ve given you 5 headers in 2 weeks as I tested different visions on people around me.
On January 1, 2022, I was the Coach of Champions:
But then I decided I needed to CREATE a character for my coaching and billed myself as the $5 Storyteller.
Then there was the $5 Bard — similar concept, but with an even-more targeted experience.
Then there was Z Bard for a few beats.
No lies, ALL of these tested horribly.
Response the concepts were universally flat. And that was because I was not understanding my own assignment.
All because I had an assumption.
This was the assumption:
I am not a model, but I have the skillsets to build models.
I have believed this for actual decades.
But what if I was wrong this whole time?
So that’s what I will be exploring in 2022 as part of the Main Character Energy journey I am sharing with you.
I’m just going to be me … even if I end up doing things that surprise you.
Because surprising you just might be my brand. And who would ever want to trade that in for a predictable experience?
BONUS: The FIRST 10 people to book will get their session for $10!
Why $10? Because I currently share space at a local business and you pay $10 to them when you book your appointment. This covers their overhead and reserves our room at the date/time you choose & is non-refundable.
This is where you start the dominoes falling and fund projects that are already in the works.
Patreon supporters can suggest & vote for what I work on. Different tiers also give you FREE access to content that everyone else will pay retail for.
Check out my Patreon page to see which tier is right for you!
Light Up the Yellow Brick Wall
Last but not least: It’s time to light up the Yellow Brick Wall.
What is the Yellow Brick Wall?
The Yellow Brick Wall is a fictional art installation in a story I made up that I’ve decided to bring into the real world.
In fiction, everyone who visits Z Labyrinth (a novella I’ll release later this year) passes along the Yellow Brick Wall.
The stones of the Yellow Brick Wall are actually gold, but visitors can paint over the gold with any images or words they want. Nothing is forbidden, but there is one catch:
The only colors accepted are black and white. No greys, no colors.
“The Black-and-White on the Yellow Brick Wall” then becomes an immortal record of the mindset of visitors who find their way to Z Labyrinth in different times and locations.
In fiction, you need to make a pretty epic journey to find the wall and paint on it, but I will be lighting up bricks to create a digital reflection of the journey we take together across the year.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
This is a close-up of how the bricks look before you light them up:
Each $5 lights up a brick with your name on it:
Your first $5 gets your name (first name, last initial) on a brick in the far-right column of the wall.
Additional bricks are best sponsored in groups of three (because their pattern is woven in groups of three) and unlock your ability to add custom text or images over the bricks in black-and-white.
Unlock the ability to post custom black-and-white text/images when you sponsor 60 or more bricks. (Minimize size requirements exist in an effort to make sure your image/text is visible on different sizes of screens. See image above.)
Post any image you like on 60 (or more) bricks, including:
Signed personal art
A promo offer good for the year of 2022
Any thought or idea you want on record in a time capsule
The Yellow Brick Wall is going to be featured on the landing page of my website ALL YEAR, so keep that in mind as you choose what to feature and how to use the bricks you paint on.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All posts are final.
No altering images in any way after they are posted
Your imagination is the limit!
NOTE: Technically speaking, explicit and objectionable content is allowed, but I will exercise judgment of what shows on the landing page of my website, considering all ages are welcome.
If you’re confused as to how the wall works, the concept will make more sense as you watch it light up.
For now, simply know that it’s fulfilling its purpose when it evolves into a graffiti wall that you enjoy visiting across the year.
Join the Fun
2022 is the year of unlimited potential and new self-expression. And I’m here for you whether you need a sherpa on the path or a Yellow Brick Wall to advertise on.
Make this year amazing by choosing to:
… while knowing I’m right there with you, coaching and showing up real-time.
Starting at $5 per month, you can fund (and vote on what you want to fund) projects throughout the year.
Projects you can expect to see include:
I’m seriously going to give you so much value for your investment that it’s silly. But that’s what you get when you give me a budget to create with.
For every $5 gift, a gold brick will light up on “The Yellow Brick Wall.”
(Can you see the 4 sponsored bricks that are lit up? Take note of how small they look on your screen. This is relevant later.)
If you don’t know what the Yellow Brick Wall is yet, I’ll save you the long story for now.
Long Story Short: The Yellow Brick Wall is a time capsule. Wherever it appears, guests can paint over its gold in black-and-white (NO COLORS, including grey). People can write words, paint pictures, and leave any image they like.
It is a snapshot of a record of time, place, dynamics, and people.
There are no rules of what one can or cannot depict on the wall, only the promise history will remember what you valued over gold.
But more on that later…
How It Works
Think of things this way:
Each $5 sponsors a brick on the Yellow Brick Wall
When a brick is sponsored, it changes from dark to gold with your first name & last initial on it
Bricks can be gold-lit:
in blocks of 60, or more, to depict custom images
And for those of you wondering if you can advertise on the Yellow Brick Wall –which will be featured on my home page ALL of 2022, the answer is:
Not only will whatever BLACK-AND-WHITE image of your choice be featured on my site all year, but it will also have a PERMANENT SPOT on the Yellow Brick Wall when I mint the final image as an NFT at the end of the year.
For those of you wondering: Why a minimum of 60 bricks for custom images?
Well, if you look at the image of the brick wall above, you will see that the individual bricks are quite small/illegible on different screens.
Custom images need enough real estate to be seen.
Simple as that.
Voting For Projects
I’m starting a Patreon, where projects will be pitched, voted on, and completed in order of interest.
But you can also vote outside of Patreon and use Venmo to vote in the memo space.
Projects will have an allotment of bricks that need to be sponsored to begin
Patrons can choose to have their monthly subscription cast votes
Bricks — even custom-image groups of bricks — can be purchased separately to cast votes
If no projects are greenlit, I will work on whatever I want in the meantime
EXAMPLE:Let’s say that Pimpernel 4 is one of the projects and it gets funded. I will then make writing Pimpernel 4 my full-time focus until it is done.
Then everyone pledging $15 or more a month will get it for free.