Origins, Beliefs and Declarations

A few weeks ago my friend Michelle featured me in her weekly newsletter that goes out to a community of execs in the music and entertainment industry.

My piece in the newsletter was very simple as she asked me to give her just 3 things;

  • The reason why I started
  • 10 things I believe
  • A declaration

It was an interesting exercise to tackle.

Origin stories are powerful and can tell us a lot about someone – even when they’re seemingly unrelated to what they do now there’s often a strong theme, trait or desire that runs from that start point.

Beliefs open us up. We spend a lot of time adhering to the rules of whichever game we’re playing; thinking about what beliefs are allow us to go past those rules and see other ways of looking at the world and our place within it.

A declaration is a great way of putting a goal or an intention out into the world, with public accountability and personal vulnerability.

 

I deliberately didn’t think it through too much, I just shot from the hip and decided to stand by whatever came out. 15 minutes and a minor edit or two and I was done. I’ve already referenced back to this a few times in the last month – it feels like a very simple and effective way of keeping anchored to where I came from, where I want to go and how I want to get there.

Give it a try yourself – you may be surprised at the themes you see appear.

 

The reason why I started

When I was 15 I got a Saturday job in my local record store, in a small suburban town in England. I was paid about £3 per hour plus as many 12” records as I could fit in a plastic carrier bag. I spent every Saturday there for the next 3 years until I left for university.

I learnt about Chicago house, Bristol drum & bass, Belgian techno, and New York hip hop.

I wired plugs, bought lunch, and cleaned the windows.

I borrowed the shop’s sound system to run all-night parties in the woods.

I learnt what makes people love music so much.

 

10 things I believe

– Storytelling is still an underrated skill

– The long game wins out in the end

– Exciting things happen at the Adjacent Possible

– You can learn more from other industries than you realise

– Your gut instinct is usually right

– Small teams have big impact

– Teachers are the next celebrities

– Resumes are usually a terrible indicator of ability

– Everyone has a hidden superpower

– People are fundamentally good

 

A declaration

Education is fundamentally broken; at school, university, and in the workplace. A new breed of lifelong learning providers will appear and do things in completely different ways.

I’m compelled to design and deliver solutions to help people thrive and follow the paths they want to explore in their lives; no matter how long, short, winding or steep those paths may be.

There’s a small collective of smart creatives out there for work with me on on this, and as of now I’m seeking them.

We’ll fulfil this mission through engaging professional development programs, building amazing digital products, connecting diverse talent, and opening up IP in new ways.

This path is fraught with risk, tough conditions, and no guarantee of success, but it’s a path worth taking.

 

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