Everyone is Better than You at Everything (and why that’s okay)

Bonfire Music team from left to right: Travis, myself, Andrea

You can only make cool shit happen when you admit that you’re only exceptional at one thing or two things — and mediocre, at best, at the rest. Reject it, and cool shit will remain a façade only conjured in your mental creations.

Think about the last time you had a great idea. Where were you? Maybe you were in the shower when a melody struck you mid-hum, or a blog idea slipped into your ear.

Remember that moment of ecstasy: Suddenly, you’re daydreaming of a life in which you — and you alone — achieve your great idea. Then the daydream fast-forwards: Now, you see the result of your make-believe work.

The fame. The love. The verified Twitter account.

Then you turn off the shower.

What follows is the demise of every great could-have-been idea: the inability to share it.

Your unshared idea is the hippie ginger trying to find love in College Station.

Late 2011, a freshman at Blinn College, I experienced this firsthand, having the great idea to go two-stepping (since two-stepping is the only way to meet women in College Station). I was recently single and ready to discover if any other women like gingers.

Knowing my dance moves — and more so my wardrobe — my Aggie-obsessed friends would have been more than willing to help. Instead, I clung to my own idea of a successful courtship, and rolled up to Daisy Duke’s in a straw fedora, skinny jeans, and TOMS.

Not one girl agreed to dance with me (in an environment where few men are declined a dance — especially 7 times.)

Your unshared idea is the hippie ginger trying to find love in College Station.

But it doesn’t have to be; you just have to do one thing…


After one semester in College Station, I moved to Denton (where girls actually talk to guys that wear skinny jeans) and started doing what I love most: attending shows.

Mid-shimmy during Spooky Folk’s set, an idea hit me: start a Denton music blog. Simultaneously, a mental creation formed. Images of me interviewing my favorite local musicians; writing praised music reviews; and recording concerts flooded my mind.

I even gave my make-believe music blog a name: Bonfire Music.

But there was an issue: I didn’t know how to do anything that I was imaging myself doing.

Like, how the hell am I supposed to record a concert if I can’t take a picture of some family when the mom has a fancy camera?

However, I knew I wanted to see Bonfire Music come to fruition. So I did what every smart idea-generator would do: message a stranger on Facebook.

FB message to stranger, Andrea

Andrea was one of my 4,000 classmates in high school, and I only knew about her design work from Facebook. So I had to be extra creepy (um… crafty) in my message.

The charm that failed me in College Station rewarded me on Facebook that night, and Andrea agreed to help.

While she didn’t end up working on web design, she became the co-founder and videographer, recording and editing our Little Orange Couch Sessions, and is the only reason we surpassed 20 likes on Facebook.

Actually, Andrea is the only reason Bonfire Music started.

Bonfire Music grew rapidly: suddenly our YouTube channel surpassed 5,000 views. Andrea and I decided we needed to capitalize on the growth and find a second videographer. A second videographer meant we could record musicians’ hands while recording their face!

(I obviously still don’t know anything about cameras.)

So if your idea gets kinda big, here’s the next thing you need to do…


At the time, I was taking a Plant Botany class at a community college, where I’d become friends with a classmate named Travis. Travis was cool, had moved from Houston, and was really into hydroponics.

That’s all I knew.

However, a class field trip (again, community college) spurred deeper conversation. Turns out, Travis had a similar passion for the Denton music scene and was getting his Associates in video production.

Travis immediately became our second videographer.

And not only was he really good at filming musicians’ hands, but he also brought a new dimension to our editing. You can see my most favorite editing of his here.

Travis practicing musicians-hand-recording in right-corner

Bonfire Music continued to grow: we booked more sessions, surpassed 12,000 channel views, and even hosted a fundraiser show at an actual venue (not in my tiny apartment).

Cool shit happened not because I had an idea. Not because 7 girls declined to dance with me in College Station. But because I asked friends to use their skills where I was skill-less.

If you have an idea beyond inspirational quotes on a Tumblr blog, that’s the only way to succeed.

In mid-2015, we said goodbye to Bonfire Music.

Myself and Andrea graduated, Travis started an egg business, and a hacker changed our tagline to “Get a free subscription of Viagra” in Italian.

Nonetheless, I hope you’ll use our journey as inspiration to act on your own ideas; to acknowledge you suck at a lot of stuff; and to tell your friends that you’d love their help.

Because who knows: your next great idea may be one shower away.

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