Not every marketing expert appears overnight.
I once believed as a kid that what you decide to do when you ‘grow up’ is what you do for the rest of your life. This thing you choose is meant to become what defines you. It brings you money. It results in a nice shiny car and a ten-bedroom house. And maybe a peacock … I enjoyed peacocks.
When the imagination is unbridled, the possibilities are endless. Yet around the corner, good ol’ reality sets in. I remember about age 11 or so, I stopped being able to hear the voice in my head. When you read a book and you can hear yourself reciting the words internally. Or when you’re thinking through a decision and the voice nears volume levels of the internal dialogues we laugh about in 90’s era sitcoms.
When I stopped hearing my internal voice, I began to feel bombarded by the noise of the world around me. I picked up on the body language of silent arguments. I understood the correct placement of curse words. I knew what words my parents were spelling when they wanted a conversation to go over my head. Worst of all, I began to place more stock in the reactions and opinions of others.
I went through junior high as an orchestra-loving violist. And in high school, I continued the performing arts route. Each day felt like visions of Fame and I met dozens of incredibly talented people who sadly, I would never speak to again. I would only stay for two years, and my only proof would be a video from a modern dance performance and a yearbook that was somehow cluttered with variations of I love you / you’re cool / you’re going to be a star. So cliché.
My last two years of high school I would concurrently complete my Associates Degree. In that time, I found myself incredibly self-absorbed. I had all these standards set for everyone and everything. If I would make it as a DJ, I had to be seen with my Technics MK2’s. If I would give a guy the time of day to date, he was required to hold car keys and a job. And the worst: if I went to school anywhere it needed to be a name that people knew.
Completing my Bachelors was tough because it was crafted from countless moments where I decided to no longer give a care. I crammed 19 credits worth of classes in my final semester just to be done with a Bachelors Degree. I settled with a humble state-school seeing as all the east coast programs I was accepted into were expensive as fuck. I just stopped obsessively planning every detail and every moment of my life.
Being awarded a Bachelors Degree in a subject I never intended to (starting with journalism, ending with general liberal arts) tore my spirit in some sense. I felt like all the build-up from my peers and lame part-time jobs was for nothing.
But then I snapped into another level of reality.
I didn’t need the perfect degree with the perfect lineup of internships. Honestly, I would work many jobs after graduation that resulted in law-breaking bosses and shitty workday hours. Corporate hoops seemed to never stop appearing.
The skin-thickening part was managers who were never afraid to say you’re not good enough / who do you think you are / why should I pay you what you’re asking for. All this pushback despite positive quarterly reviews, up-to-date requests for salary numbers, and a constant desire to pick up the tasks other coworkers were too lazy to do.
So I said, screw it.
Within this last year, I finally worked up the nerve to start my own business. It took the support of my very loyal partner, and the generous payout of a back-destroying car accident — but I did it.
Studio Geza is now the product of a person who grew tired of trudging through the corporate world. No more caring about the expectations of my peers. No more need for the flashy car and ten-bedroom house. If you noticed, marriage is not at the forefront of my mind.
My next moves from here on out will be cautiously planned. There’s no desire to brag, and there’s no need to prove anything to anyone but myself. I hope this stream of thought helps another special someone out there in the world finalize their feelings on a decision to make a bold move.
I encourage you to find your own path in a world that’s far too fond of telling us what we should be doing. What we can’t do. Or what we’re capable of doing.
Silly world, only I know that.