Here’s why I started this site.
In November of 2019 I made over $10,000 between my companies MK Productions and Make You Famous.
At the time, it felt like a big, “holy shit, I’ve finally MADE IT!!!” moment.
Here’s how I felt at the time:
… and then the next month, we made $0, lost a few clients, most of the clients who had signed up to use the service that they’d just spent a lot of money on weren’t actually using it, and I started to question everything.
This is a typical swing — some months, I feel like I’ve made it out of the clear and am well on my way to building a successful business, and then other months I have to ask myself, “what am I doing, really?”
(And more recently — as the world continues to descend into madness, it becomes an everyday feeling.)
People tell me I’m a good salesperson, and sometimes that’s true, but often I’ll spend most of my days procrastinating on big client projects, ignoring emails, going for long walks listening to podcasts trying to gain business inspiration, and trying to delay ‘actually working’.
I created this website mostly for me — as a public means of documenting my creations, sharing those with the world, and determining whether or not they make an impact.
When I left New York, I was a salesperson.
If you’d asked me what I did for work, I would tell you, “I sell SaaS products to restaurants. No, they don’t need it. Yes, I do cold-call. No, I don’t have any trouble sleeping at night.”
Over the past few years, that identity has shifted more towards entrepreneurship, but you’ll never find me label myself an entrepreneur.
Great entrepreneurs are visionaries — people who want to change the world for other people in an incredibly impactful way that really moves the needle of humanity forward.
I find that people who often call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ are rarely ever building a business from that.
They dial away in complete obscurity, trying to create things that never actually see the light of day.
‘Entrepreneur’ is the new ‘Struggling Artist’.
This is why I prefer to label myself a creative — creatives are people who make stuff.
Sure, most of that stuff might never see the light of day, but a lot of it does.
Creatives ship things.
A lot of the things they ship aren’t particularly good but a real creative is somebody who consistently sticks to the process of creating and putting creative content out there, even if it isn’t perfect.
Perhaps my greatest weakness these days is pure procrastination — I have a number of client projects, personal projects, and passion projects that I’m thinking about launching, but that simply haven’t found their way out the door.
Whether that be through overthinking, feeling like it’s, “Not time,” or simply not wanting to do it because it’s painful, I’ll often put projects off for weeks and months at a time.
Like, for example — just a few weeks ago, I shot three short day-in-the-life videos with friends and mentors from all around the country.
… and up until last week, I hadn’t even looked at them.
Recently I decided to give myself one afternoon — for something that typically might take a week or longer — to create a rough cut.
And I finally f**king did it.
It still has a long way to go, and I can only show you the first minute of it — but woo, boy! Does it feel good to actually have something out there.
But I inherently understand that in order to create leverage — which is what any sort of business is — you must first fight through a TON of failure.
Hardships. Uncertainty. Crap. Lots and lots of crap.
And some of that crap is simply the demons of procrastination who tell you, Mike, you’re doing some really cool shit here but trust me when I say that Tommy boy over there who bought his camcorder last week is more talented.
Oh, and it’s probably going to fail.
And it’s not all about money.
At the end of the day, money keeps the ship afloat, but it doesn’t bring us happiness.
(In fact, many could argue that once you’ve reached a certain threshold beyond covering basic expenses, food, and lodging, that after a while money has an inverse effect on our happiness. As we have more money, our responsibilities go up, and yet the general happiness that we get from having that money doesn’t change.)
I know this because as the market continues to take a shit, the pain that I often feel on a day-to-day basis about an imaginary loss that really won’t affect my everyday existence feels so real and utterly devastating that I wonder if I’ll ever be happy again.
And then I realize that when I had no money — when I was working gleefully in an unpaid internship, floating around New York City and wondering just what the hell even brings me joy and happiness in life, I was generally pretty happy.
Probably stressed, but happy.
Now that I have some money, I search for purpose. And chase mastery in everything I do.
This site — beyond money, growing wealth, and entrepreneurship, which are all topics I’ll be exploring — is about finding purpose.
Experimenting with new ideas, exploring things that interest me, and most importantly, getting shit made.
Oh, and, uh, what’s with the logo?
A few years ago, following the success of just one event, I decided to get a logo made for this stupid events business that I wanted to get up and running.
I mean, I figured, our first event was a success — why the hell wouldn’t we repeat that every. Single. Time!
… and then several small, less-than-stellar events later, I realized that I hated everything about the process of coordinating large events with 100s of people and I became fearful of success.
It was exhausting, there were far too many logistics, and nothing has brought me less joy since.
But — I got this cool logo made on the Internet, and I’ve honestly had very little use for it since then.
So I decided — why not actually use this thing that I spent, like, way too much money for?!
(I think it was $250 at the time, plus all of the business cards I got. So maybe $350.)
Oh, and as I write this post, on my lower left forearm I have a tattoo that almost matches the logo that I’d created. Yay, symmetry! (And, in fact, I’m kinda disappointed I didn’t just get that logo now that I think about.)
The semi-circle around it is an Enso which, depending on who you ask, symbolizes, “the beauty in imperfection.”
And it’s a perfect match: for a long, long time, I’d avoided standing out in fear that my work wasn’t good enough.
It wasn’t until I regularly started to publish my writing — on a weekly schedule, free of self-judgment but often still wondering just what the hell I was doing — that I started to get out of that mindset.
Perfectionism is simply an unwillingness to fail and to create.
Imperfection is in everything that exists.
Everything that you see, touch, and feel was probably created, produced, and marketed imperfectly.
But it’s there because somebody deep in their bones had the courage to say, fuck it, let’s launch it!
And that’s what this site is about, more than anything — it’s about embracing imperfection, experimenting, doing the best I can with the resources I have, and getting shit made.
Welcome to Creating Stuff, with Mike Kilcoyne.