I’ve considered myself a creative since 1999 after taking a high school graphics course where I first learned photoshop and an architectural drawing course both changing the course of my life forever. I then spent four years in an architectural undergraduate program learning the finer points of design – minoring in the social sciences and the culture of all-nighters. I then spent the next nine years in and out formal design education with a stop at an architectural design office and with an extra year of architectural research thrown in. But nowhere in my education or my quick stops in practice did I think about or pursue entrepreneurship. As a creative I thought it just wasn’t apart of my DNA.
At an early age, probably even preschool, I figured out how to navigate the traditional education system and excelled. There were instances where I would make something but it was more to get an A and less about exploring something new. Therefore, at an early age I became a consumer. A learned consumer – but a consumer nonetheless. That seems at odds as a designer who creates, however, my creations have always been for someone else on someone else’s dime and on someone else’s time. Meanwhile, the extra time in my days were, and are in some cases still, spent on unintentional play or consumption. Sounds odd to write that last bit – but if I’m honest it’s the truth. I’m now at a point in my life – married with two young kids and ample school debt – that I’m realizing the traditional way of working, 40 hours for someone else, is not going to get me where I want to be or how I want to be able to take care of our young family. Enter, Justin Jackson’s 2016 Mega Maker Challenge.
I found Justin last summer via another podcast and became an avid listener to his Build and Launch series. If you haven’t listened – find it and give it a shot as it was riveting hearing him build and launch a product a week. Let me say the last part again. A PRODUCT A WEEK. At the same time I began to explore the design thinking process as a way to intentionally design my life. (Another great pod Results May Vary speaks to that exact topic and launched earlier this year.) So, I’ve been thinking about how to be a creative and have profitable endeavors for about nine months without an intentional direction. Enter Justin, who hopped onto the Build and Launch pod and announced his latest endeavor Mega Maker and at first I wasn’t quite sure if I would get involved but when he showed his list of 100 things he was going to build this year it got me thinking: Are there 100 things I could build in 2016?, How might I use 2016 to develop my entrepreneurial spirit for making things? and Could I begin to create supplemental income for my family?
So here’s my list. I currently have 91 things that I’m going to try to make. I may add, who knows and I’ve already created my bucket list. So, technically – I only have 90 things on my list. Lastly, Justin asked week why do we build things and for us to tell our story – so here’s mine.
Hi, my name is Tony and I want to make a variety of different things in 2016. My biggest obstacle is finding the time and space to make things that I want to make. With a young family and a job that requires a lot of my time I haven’t pursued my own passions in the past. Ultimately, my goal is to have the freedom to work on the things that I want in order to provide supplemental income for my family.
Check back as I’ll be posting updates as we move through 2016. Join me in the Mega Maker movement.