Monday, November 09, 2015

A big fish in a small pond has no place to swim

I heard an interview with a successful comedian whose advice to young performers was, hit the ceiling where you are. Don’t become a local hero. Once you get hot, leave. Otherwise you’ll grow in complacency instead of growing in competency. 

I spent the first ten years of my career working in a medium sized city. Which was perfect for that stage of my career, but eventually, I had reached a point of diminishing returns. I had become a big fish in a small pond, and I was quickly running out of places to swim. 

Meaning, if I didn’t take a risk and abandon the market that I was in love with, I might never have had the opportunity to stretch and grow and evolve into the next version of myself. I would have remained important only within my limited circle of influence. 

And looking back, relocating was the best decision I could have made. Moving to a bigger pond challenged me to develop new skills, allowed me to expand my sense of aesthetic possibility, forced me to raise my creative game and helped me develop a case of the humbles. And now I’m one hell of a good swimmer. 

Proving, that every fish has a choice. They can look backwards and preserve the past, or look forward and create the future. Townes said it best, there’s no prettier sight than looking back at a town you left behind. 

Would you rather be the smartest person at the community college or the dumbest person at the ivy league?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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