I’m going to spend the next 6 months procrastinating.

Date: June 24, 2015 Posted by: Benjie In: Procrastination

sunThe best stuff you can only cook on a back burner.

I started Backthird Audio in 2003 and Backthird Entertainment not long after. My dream was to figure out how to make money making music, and for 12 years that’s the problem I’ve been working on. I found my answer (there are dozens, though the one YOU want might not be on the list). I spent a decade booking and tracking and gigging and talking all over Chicago. I started out as a musician and wound up an entrepreneur.

Basically, I’m living the dream of the guy I was when I was 25. And it’s a pretty good dream.

I’m just not that guy who dreamed it anymore.

I’m 37 now, and I’m about to leave Chicago for Boston. I have different skills and different aspirations, and I’d like to point them in a new direction. I’d like to pursue a new dream.

And I’d like to find out what that new dream is.

Because although I’ve got some guesses, I don’t actually know yet. No one dreams while they’re high on adrenaline. You have to come down; you have to ease up. You have to visit a new place, or learn something you didn’t know without somebody paying you to do it. You have to find yourself standing in front of the fridge with the door open, with no idea what you went in there for. That’s when your dreams sneak up off of the back burner.

You have to procrastinate.

So I’m taking a vow of non-commitment. Call it a Sabbath, like the Hebrews did, or use the Latin “sabbatical” like my wife and her peers in academia. I’m calling it what artists call it: I’m procrastinating. And I’m daring myself to .stay at it for 6 months.

Of course I live in the real world, where folks like me have student-loan payments – so what I’m actually planning is more of a semi-sabbatical. Here’s my non-Sabbath work:

  • I already spend a chunk of every week consulting, developing communications strategy and writing copy in my role with Bureau Gravity. I’ll continue most of that remotely from my new home in Boston.
  • I’ll also continue in my role as CEO of Backthird Entertainment, supporting the team there when I’m needed – and hopefully staying out of their way the many times I’m not. The aim of the true entrepreneur is always to build a business that works without him, so I can’t wait to see mine flourish without me.

By my estimation, I can squeeze all that into three workdays a week. That leaves two more for… anything that isn’t work.

Mainly, I plan to write and read. I’m going to process and reflect on what I’ve learned and experienced for the last 12 years as a creative entrepreneur. Some of those thoughts will wind up on this blog – that’s what it’s for.

And if you want to hear those thoughts, I’d love to have you. You WON’T get messages from me via the Backthird Audio or Backthird Entertainment e-mail lists any more – so if you’d like to keep in touch with me, just leave your email in the box below. I’ll let you know what I’ve been thinking on and what I’m dreaming about next.

I’m certainly looking forward to finding out what that might be. Just not TOO quickly.



6 thoughts on “I’m going to spend the next 6 months procrastinating.

  • Dr. Janet Stutz says:

    I want to wish you a wonderful journey! Thank you for affording me the opportunity to craft my creative side. The studio will be most memorable.

    Wishing all the best- I know I will hear great things!

    Dr. Janet M. Stutz

  • Hi Benjie,

    WHat is happening to the building? Were you leasing it? Is there someone already moving in? If it was a lease may I ask what the lease payments were? I might be interested.

    Thanks,

    Curtis

  • Steve Warrenfeltz says:

    Good luck with procrastinating … was great to work on some projects with you and I hope to do some more down the road if the opportunity presents itself … you and I are examples of how difficult it is to make money in this business of music especially at the grass roots level … however, we “made it” for a lot longer than most, and it ain’t over yet! Keep forging ahead and pursuing dreams … without those dreams, we’re average at best and things just don’t seem to get done. It’s great that you are supportive of your partner and that you are willing to make a fantastically huge move … your love and support will surely be rewarded in many ways of which the most important is not monetary … that will come as you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. Best of luck and I hope that are paths cross again soon … is great to know you … Steve.

  • Matt Modrich says:

    Benjie, I’m sorry to hear you’re moving away, but I imagine you’ll enjoy living in a new place. I remember the first time I was over at your studio. I think Evan Konc was working for you and you were living in the studio. I admit I was somewhat skeptical on how long you would be able to keep the studio going, especially considering the changing landscape of media and the recording industry. The member model is a new concept that might work for a certain type of studio, perhaps by a studio owned by a non-profit or a school. I do admire your ambition to keep it going. There are seasons to everything in life and you had a great season with your studio. If I remember correctly you were a pretty serious journalist with the Beacon News and I think you said you went to a respected journalism school (Missouri???). I think the challenge that everyone in the workforce including college grads is that the way that getting a job has changed. The lack of security and lack of opportunities for highly educated people is a challenge that everyone faces. Like the music industry the print industry has dealt with the issue of people not wanting to pay for their product because they can get it online for free. The good news for you is that you strike me as a person with original business ideas and that you will find a position, freelance or otherwise. Best wishes, Matt

  • Glenn Donaldson says:

    Benjie,

    Thanks for being so open and willing with pursuing your ideas. It is therapeutic for me, so I can only guess that it is for you, too. I have many ideas, some of which have intersected with what you’ve tried to do. I tend to put up my own blockades and imagine unleapable hurdles before I start, which I know I shouldn’t. Keep up the efforts.

    Glenn

  • Benji,

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs over the years. My daughter and i recorded a healing chant CD , Spirit Song, at BackThird Audio, several years ago. You made us novices feel so welcome and we had such a good time. Thanks again. Many blessings to you in your new life. I love that you are allowing yourself some time to just percolate, process, be mindful and see what evolves next. Here’s to love and light.

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