Up on the Tightrope

Shawn Matthews

In your day to day duties, have you ever felt like you were walking a tight rope? You know, just a thin wire separating you from the impending doom below. The net is absent. The noise from the crowd is deafening. The anxious spectators, who are cheering or jeering, all have the same question…

“Will they make it?”

Have you ever felt like this?

Maybe you’re a small business and you have a competitor that is very well funded, if you do nothing they outspend you and slowly put you under. If you purchase new equipment or invest in a new ad campaign, you may not attract customers fast enough, and again, your business is in peril.

Maybe you are the CMO of a fledgeling startup. You have $10,000 left in your burn and Facebook has just launched a similar app, if you don’t get traction, you’ll be dead in the water.

You might be the VP of Marketing at a publicly traded company, needing reshape the story to stay relevant. If you can’t find a message that resonates, there is someone eagerly waiting in the wings to fill your shoes.

As a creative professional who has spent two decades existing in a constant state of fear, freedom, joy, self doubt, and triumph, my “tightrope” has been learning how to build a sustainable business while simultaneously trying not to lose everything I have built.

The constant pressure of waking up each day, climbing up on that wire, putting myself out there and putting one foot in front of the other can be terrifying, exhilurating, humilating, and rewarding all at the same time. One thing never changes, a misstep can still mean game over.

Realistically and thankfully it’s never life or death. I mean, I am not a police officer, firemen or soldier, who puts their life on the line everyday. Let’s be honest here, I tell stories for a living. Rarely, has their been a situation where my physical existence was threatened while I was sketching an idea down on a cocktail napkin.

Still, sometimes it can feel like I am all alone up there, a guy, a pair of glasses, and a hat, walking that thin lonely wire.

Have you ever felt like this?

Am I alone here? I would love to hear your story of your “tightrope.” You can find me on Twitter @shawncmatthews or email me at shawn (at) swagbot (dot) com. I can’t wait to hear your story.

Shawn Matthews

Written by

I move the needle for startups to billion-dollar brands. Brand strategist. Connector. Problem Solver. Thinker. Mover. Doer.

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