Have you ever had a calling that you weren’t sure how to pursue? Maybe you didn’t even know what that calling was, but you had this itch to do something — anything — big.
A big project that you struggled with. An idea that just wouldn’t take shape. If you’re like me (Josh), you’ve had tons of those projects and ideas that just got abandoned because you didn’t know where to go.
The stars don’t align
I like to make excuses when I give up on a big project. I shouldn’t make excuses, and I shouldn’t shame myself for putting an idea down, either.
Sometimes the stars don’t align. Sometimes it’s a bad idea. And sometimes you need to call it quits. There’s no shame in stopping something that doesn’t work.
Defining what success and failure both look like is a fantastic way to determine when to keep pushing and when to cut your losses. That’s something I tried to do at the beginning of this, with Chris.
A turn of fate.
Before I get into why we decided to keep pushing, I’d like to roll the clock back — to the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
I had been tattooing for over 3 years at that point, my career was finally going well. I was booked, I was able to support my family, I was doing art every day.
But I was surrounded by people who weren’t as growth oriented as I was. I had coworkers who enjoyed tearing other people down more than they focused on building themselves up. In fact, most of the people in my local communities were very much the same.
Rural towns breed gossip and feedback loops that slowly turn everyone into the same person. If you don’t fit in, it’s easy to find yourself isolated. Well, I didn’t fit in locally, so I sought a tribe online when the shutdowns started happening — and my place of business closed permanently.
I found myself suddenly unemployed, worried for my future, alone with my family and no idea how I would be able to support them.
Fortunately, I found a community waiting for me in Optimize. And within Optimize, there was an even smaller sub-community of creators that Chris started to bring together.
I started meeting with Chris every week, we became “swim partners” through the turbulence of a quickly changing world, and we discovered that we had some eerie similarities.
- We both love art.
- We’re both from Kentucky.
- We both love to do web development and design.
- We both have a love for philosophy and reading.
- We both believe strongly in the ability to develop ourselves to our maximum potential.
- We’re both incredibly positive, though Chris has more practice than I do.
As we started discovering these similarities, it became clear that we had to develop these interests into something bigger. If there were two of us out there, surely there must be more. Right?
So, we started recording some of our conversations and publishing them as a podcast. The birth of the euCreativ Show. We started meeting weekly with other creatives in the Optimize community to share ideas and discuss our growth.
And then we realized that nobody knew how in the hell to spell euCreativ. It was a fun inside joke, but it was time to try something different.
The birth of a network.
Chris and I spent a week brainstorming what we wanted to accomplish with our little project. We both had big ideas on the mission in front of us, but it was time to pick a firm direction.
How could we empower creatives to improve the world? That was the mission — the why. But how to accomplish it was still a big question that needed answered.
We both had our issues with existing online communities — whether they were general communities like Facebook, or niche communities for artists. Either your information was being sold to the highest bidder, or you didn’t find support you needed from the community, itself. Sometimes the information was gold, but the structure to keep things engaging was lacking.
Addressing these issues got us to tinkering and we developed an idea — a social network…married to a learning platform…that was gamified to motivate people. We want to empower creatives by making the development of creative habits fun and challenging.
Now, as we’re approaching an alpha release on Saturday…it’s time to see how well we did.
What does “alpha” mean in this case? It means limited functionality (though not lacking) to a closed community of creators. We want to shoot this rocket off, see where it flies, then start steering it in the direction that our community wants to go.
We have a target, though — you. You’re our target user, so the alpha flight is directed at getting your feedback. We want to hear what you have to say!
If there’s a specific bug that you’d like to report or a feature you would like to see, then visit the support forum to help us make this place even better.
The alpha release is how we’re going to figure out what YOU need to succeed as a creator, no matter what type of creative person you are. We want to help you scratch that itch to do something huge. We want your creative projects to blast off in this community with the support of fellow creators.
We want to support you in your dreams, because that’s how we’re all going to improve the world, not just change it.
Earlier I said I would explain WHY we decided to push as hard as we have on this project — so here’s why: the possibilities are unknowable.
This platform is being built with respect, creativity, and empowerment in mind. We’re not doing it to get rich. We’re doing it to help as many people as possible in a sustainable way. For us, for you, and for the rest of the world.
Help us start uncovering some of those possibilities. What do YOU want to see in the future of CreateQuest?
Respond to our emails or drop a comment once you’ve signed up and let us know! How can we help you scratch your creative itch?