Changing Ladders When You’re Halfway Up

For the past few years I’ve been noodling on a notion for a book called, Changing Ladders When You’re Halfway Up. It’s about what it takes to move from making a living to making a living doing something you feel passionate about. I think there may have been an undercurrent of this idea in my previous post about jobs that don’t yet exist. While the VR industry evolves many of us have one or more side gigs to pay bills, either in full-time jobs, freelancing or consulting, etc.

To tangent for a moment, there have been a number of articles and conversations in the past few weeks related to a change in mindset about how much to spend to create VR content and games. The catch is that the audiences are growing, but need a few years to percolate as VR headsets improve, become more affordable, and ship. In terms of marketing and promotion, brands who are playing in this space seem to have already moved past the media value scored from the novelty alone of VR content, and back to asking questions about maximizing ROI across channels. Beyond brands and movie studio marketing, Cortney Harding brilliantly nailed it in her post about serialized content. Exactly! I seriously loved her thoughts. What’s the everyday stuff that people will watch and commit to once they are attracted to the platform? Thundership is working on it and hopefully a number of other companies are too. If not, we’re all going to face a reality of just making a living. I don’t know about you, but now that I’ve had a taste of the good stuff I can’t go back.

Returning to the Changing Ladders idea…

A few years ago I heard about an esteemed surgeon who loved donuts so much that he bought a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. His customers affectionately called him “Dr. Donut,” and brought repeat business because he spent time with them in the stores and offered medical advice. The business grew successfully into multiple stores and he eventually quit his “day job.” From what I understand he made more money selling donuts than practicing medicine.

These are the types of stories that fascinate me, people who move into completely different fields and the windy roads they take to arrive. Granted Dr. Donut had the financial means to make a change, but what about other people? How long have they thought about it? Did they do it? What sacrifices, financial, relationships, or otherwise, were made or are they willing to make? Successes, failures, regrets?

So I guess I’ve thrown the gauntlet and committed to writing a book. This post serves as a formal call-out for inspiring stories about Changing Ladders. If you would like to tell your own story and/or make a referral, feel free to reach out. It would be great to hear from you!