Authors Richard Florida and Daniel Pink agree with me. If you want to read more about this dramatic shift occurring in society, definitely check them out.
My dramatic shift—my story—is both in support of my passion and in support of the overall rise of the creative class. I mean you.
Growing up, my family included my father, my mother, my two older brothers and me. We lived in a perfectly middle-income household in central New Jersey with one working parent: my father. My dad worked in the most corporate of corporate jobs. He spent his entire career devoted to the same company selling chemicals to gigantic corporations. He traveled and was around just as much as he was gone. It was normal to have stretches of days when we never saw him. When we did see him, he was stressed out from the hard days of travel and nights spent in a lonely hotel bed without sweet kisses from his wife or his kids.
Despite his absence, my father taught me a few lessons that have carried me through my life: the importance of sound money management, that fathers are wiser and more brilliant than you realize, and that with love you can achieve anything. Anything.
By watching my father and reflecting on time passed, I realize I witnessed first-hand what money cannot buy you. My father practically killed himself to provide for his family, and the sacrifice was his absence, even when he was present. Now, that man to whom I am grateful for a life without want is retired and is a completely different human being. He is loving, warm, and very present.
When I decided to go to school for photography in 1994, my father greatly supported it. While some parents might have encouraged their children to adhere to a more typical field of study, my father applauded my decision. When I decided to enter a business field and worked my way up to being Chief Operating Officer of a leading marketing agency, my father was proud… sure. But I could tell my father also gave pause to my very apparent dismissal of passion for money. In his prime, you couldn’t have either. But for his children, he wanted both.
My father. Teaching me again. I love you, Dad.
So I am leaving the world of one or the other. My true passion is in helping other creative individuals be better business people, so that they can thrive. So that they can have both. With that hope, with that goal and with that purpose, I write this book. May you learn something that will help make both a reality for you, too.