Why not yet.

A funny thing happened back in December – or was it November? I had the idea and realization that I needed to take that next step. I wasn’t sure exactly which direction to step though – and that was the problem.

Perhaps you can relate – it’s that feeling like that song “you can go anywhere but you can stay here”. Perhaps that wasn’t even the lyrics – hopefully close at least.

In a nutshell, I’ve struggled for years with this desire to do something meaningful. I mean – my background has been meaningful to some people – wedding photos and wedding films are important to those that stay together after all… The great Zig Ziglar would repeatedly say “you can have anything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want” (loose quote). Perhaps the thing that really started to rupture this balloon of pent up emotion  was a podcast episode where someone said your success can be determined by “how deeply” x “how many” people you impact.

I get it. Most mental breakthroughs are not really anything new – meaning they aren’t some brilliant idea that the earth is round – they are just the “break with” (Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) your existing thinking.

My break “with” was I’d been wanting to serve one client at a time – in the way that best served them – thinking that THAT would someday bring me this high level of return. Yes and no. When I look at founders of Tesla, Twitter, Google, they didn’t set out to help 1 client at a time – they set out to change the world with a tool or innovation that would impact 1 client as well as anyone who wanted to use it as well. Tesla – the tangible of the bunch – set out to change the automotive industry and has fought giants to get there.

What are my giants? (It sure helps not to be fighting bohemiths like GM, Chrysler, Ford…) It still sometimes feels like an uphill battle though. Balancing life’s responsibilities, relationships, friendships, hobbies (I suppose work is my hobby for now).

The “break with” seems to have been perhaps more of an awakening, like when I was a kid waking up and realizing that it’s thanksgiving because you just smell something in the air. For me – it was realizing that what I’m doing spending all of my life with one client at a time perhaps isn’t the only route to go. I hesitated there – at first breath I said “not the best route”. I’m careful to remember Twitter would fail fast if it no longer offered an amazing experience or piece of value for every individual user. It’s in THE ONE user experience that startups grow because of – and become major players – and stay winners in the marketplace.

Why did it take till now to finally do something?
I actually filled out a Seth Godin Ship It journal with my idea for what is now Casket Media but it came to 2 major roadblocks.

1) A Name – the name in my head was going to be nearly impossible to rank for given it was a pretty broad term. The domain was taken – the social media accounts were taken – the term was highly competitive already with related but different businesses…
2) A unique experience for the listener – it’s tempting to say “unique competitive advantage”… Basically what I had in my mind as to the WHY simply wasn’t unique – simply didn’t matter – simply didn’t make me think I’d be up for doing this over the long haul. Perhaps more importantly I didn’t see why people would chose to spend their listening hours with my concept versus what was out there. I knew there was something meaningful I wanted to do – I knew I could go anywhere – but I still didn’t know where to go. The direction I wanted to go – wasn’t going.

Sometimes you just need a fresh start – a reset – a clean slate.

That date on my Seth Godin journal came and went – I knew the passion still blazed but the project froze. Until I could come up with the one direction, the calling, the purpose – there was no point in pushing forward. Ugh… I hate waiting.

Then my (by now) annual getaway to Las Vegas rolled around – WPPI. It’s a convention for photographers and filmmakers where 10,000+ of my closest friends gather to learn – inspire – party. Interestingly it’s the partying that at times ends up building the relationships that last much longer than my notes from the 8am class. I wasn’t going to go this year however, last year had been the questionable year – asking “WHY” am I here? Fed up with the sales pitches from speakers to check out their workshops and buy their educational materials to get the information they “didn’t have time” to share in their 90 minute presentation… Yeah. Sorry for ranting there a bit.

Basically this year I nabbed a $122~ round trip ticket a couple weeks before it all and decided to use half the time for education and half the time for goal setting and figuring out my plans for 2015. I said to myself the day before leaving, “If I can come up with a name and a purpose for this podcast thing – then the trip will have been worth it”. Fast forward to day 3 – sitting on the couches upstairs the convention center – with the sun coming in – all of us snowbirds soaking in the warm 60 degree days… It clicked. Figuratively – since I was on my tablet. I found www.casketmedia.com and it was the first name I wrote down among a list of viable options.

I knew it then – I’d been thinking about how amazing it would be to have that type of “success”. The exotic car, the helicopter ride, the service taking care of details and making all the arrangements for me… The seamless experience that takes countless people operating in harmony to pull off – from valet to room service to janitors to restaurants… Even to have my own building, to be one of “them”, even if HALF of the strip was all mine, whoever I am that day would end. Having been in the dessert in trips past I knew full well that Vegas is not a palm tree type of country – it was a dusty dessert. And shockingly – we all know that in 100 years from now we will all be dust again.

From dust to dust. That’s something I can promise, but that’s not the end and that’s absolutely no reason to give up the dream.

I realized that what I wanted to do – to help people get out of the fight to attain financial freedom – to help people make a difference – ultimately ended on this – I want to help people achieve success faster so they can focus on their significance to the world. From success to significance – that’s what I want to do. Yes – we all may end up in the casket but that’s not the point. The point is the dash – as Chris Rice puts it in the song “Tick Tock

– the dash in between the years we’ve been placed here on this earth.

I guess I’m kinda glad I waited – and I’m kinda glad I’m taking action NOW. It’s coming together – it’s going to be birthed. Just like this baby – someday soon. Rush – no rush – hurry up and wait.

– Travis