So you think you can ____?
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So you think you can ____?

A while ago, I was talking to my brother about a manuscript he’s been working on for years. As I tried to determine whether he was planning on snail-mailing an actual handwritten manuscript to a publishing house for consideration (people still do that?!), the same thought that pops up whenever I work on the magazine hit me:

Don’t wait for people to give you permission to do what you want to do.

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a magazine editor, create a magazine. If you want to start a conference for people who like to dress up as furry animals, start a conference for people who like to dress up as furry animals. In other words, as a wise man named Michael Jordan once said, just do it.

The ‘net and all of the brilliant (and not-so-brillant) people who congregate online have opened up a world of possibilities for a number of traditional (and not-so-traditional) careers. I explained to my brother that he could start a blog, create an e-book, self-publish with Lulu or Cafepress or Blurb or any of the other online platforms, promote on Facebook or YouTube or Twitter, and sell on Amazon.

It takes a lot of time, a lot of work, and a fair amount of luck, but it can be done. And–pay attention, because sometimes this is the most difficult part to grasp–YOU can do it.

While the web isn’t exactly the great equalizer everyone seems to think*, if you have the heart and can handle the hustle, you can carve out a space for yourself and do what you love.

Are you doing something you enjoy? Or is this all just a pipe dream?

*You still need to be able to afford a computer and internet access, or have the free time to use the services provided at, say, the library. There are still a lot of people who aren’t able to do either, so no, not everyone is included in this “great revolution.” Sorry.

  • Michelle

    April 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Word. The internet has lowered the barrier to entry to starting a business (or launching a product) is SO low now, there’s not really any excuse not to!

  • Alicia

    April 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    You know…I’m doing something I enjoy, but I could be working a lot harder at it…

  • Tina Lane - FL Girl Meets the Midwest

    April 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Hey Mama. I haven’t been by in awhile and thought I would check in on you. Lookin’ good!

    I am still working at what I love. “The heart and the hustle…” Very well said, indeed.

    • tamia

      April 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      Tina! Was just thinking of you minutes before I read your comment, I swear.

      I have to believe that if we keep working, we’ll get there.

  • trashtastika

    May 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    That is an amazing message, and one I need to hear. I’m one who always ‘waits for permission’ in life (courtesy of a very timid mum) – some are born with a sense of entitlement, and others have the opposite.

    Once more “Don’t wait for people to give you permission to do what you want to do.” I think I need to make this into a mantra (and maybe a poster!)

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