Beautifully compelling hand-drawn price-tags were a creative move no other employee would’ve dreamed of.
What can I say…
…I couldn`t help applying some J-Ryze creative wisdom and artistry to the Grocery Stores signage, and I smiled, basking in the recognition of my natural talents, but the tension running up my spine told a different story.
I’d had repeated thoughts of quitting.
Although I loved Darryl, I felt that I wasn’t being appreciated by the franchise owner.
Plus I dreamed of a better world: a new city where empire-builders unite to blaze a trail to a new standard of living.
…Despite living on my own, and needing the Fortino’s income, I dumped my girlfriend and quit the next day, with no real backup plan, besides "umm… sell my art?"
But I felt free and in control.
In charge of all my decisions, in control of my time and resources.
Surely, I was on my path, and it felt like life was giving me an energizing reward for taking a scary step.
Huge chunks of time opened up in my life: instead of commuting and grinding out a 9-to-5 in a job that barely allowed my love of form & function, I was studying the world’s legends, exhibiting my art and building websites for people.
It didn’t last long.
Shortly after I quit, my awesome landlord Biagio, who I deeply respected, and who invited me to his place for espresso every morning, apologetically chose to increase my rent.
This set off a chain reaction of bouncing from place to place, business to business, girlfriend to girlfriend, all while barely surviving.
During this time I created — and shutdown — 8 different businesses, and went through almost as many girlfriends, I slept on friends floors, as well as $2k per month Bay St. Condos.
And through the ups-and-downs of it all, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t pour my fucking heart into doing everything I could to share my wisdom, share my artistry, and help people #ryze.
I shared my soul every day.
I helped restauranteurs, gamers, artists, yogis, investors, and designers.
I helped models, dancers, writers, bloggers, and charities.
Much of my help given for empty promises. Much of it given for free.
I gave my girlfriend at the time wisdom, skills, support, encouragement, funds, everything she could want or need…
…and then she made up some stories and had me thrown in jail.
The arresting officers were super apologetic.
They said "If this were twenty years ago, we’d laugh it off, tell you two kids to kiss and make up, and move on to catch real bad guys. Sorry we have to do this, sir."
They even tried to skip the strip-search I was to receive saying "Uh, I really don’t think it’s necessary to strip-search you, clearly there’s been some mistake", but their boss insisted, then deposited me in a cold, dirty cell with a bunch of super-rough types.
I didn’t belong.
I slumped down against a dingy wall as my head drooped awkwardly against my shoulder.
Eventually I was moved to an isolated interrogation room — targeted by the piercing, judgment-filled glares, stares, and pointed questions of other precinct staff — which spoke volumes about how they saw me.
It wasn`t a huge surprise they didn`t believe anything I said, and I spent the night in an impersonal, cold-steel palette while inmates next door cussed, yelled, groaned, moaned, wailed, masturbated and made it impossible to rest.
When my lawyer got me out the next day, I couldn`t afford his fees, but always aiming to share whatever gifts and value I have…
My lawyer never ended up using any of it.
And I was financially & socially crippled after all this, again with nowhere to stay.
So I huddled against a tree in a park, chin to my knees, unmoving and wondering if all my choices were wrong.
But I owned my decisions, knew I was giving my heart to the world, knew I was offering insane value to everyone I met, whether they could appreciate it properly or not.
Although I’d always had dreams of a rich life, with a ryzing empire, in a better world…
…I’d happily die proud, knowing that I kept at it and failed over and over, but always with my dream as my focus, my feelings as a guide, & zero compromise.
So, I ran my business while homeless for 3 years.*
But I kept on sharing.
I wrote half a million words in that time– deep, ryzing wisdom with artful copy and hand-crafted imagery.
I shared my "fresh views on taboos" in blog post after blog post after blog post.
I woke up every day and wrote a blog that I felt would touch people’s hearts, minds, and lives.
I would’ve contributed nothing but ‘clean shelves & sexy signs‘ if I’d remained at Fortinos, but instead I’ve created and shared so much in my life.
And massive amounts of my sharing has been lost, thrown away, or underappreciated.
- Millions of conversations, chats and #ryzesessions
- Millions of written words (emails, books, pdfs, blogs, articles, newsletters, ryzeskypes, etc.)
- Hundreds of thousands of digital images
- Hundreds of thousands of pop-culture influences
- Thousands of drawings
- Hundreds of website launches
- Hundreds of books
- Hundreds of ‘wrong-fit’ clients,
- Hundreds of youtube videos
- Tens of project pitches
- Tens of t-shirt designs
- Tens of businesses…
…all lost to the sands of time.
The response of the world outside, of my family, friends, clients, etc. was pretty dismal. A few likes, a few shares, a few comments, a few dollars.
But it’s not about what happens outside.
It’s what sharing does to you as a person inside.To share regularly means you have to make peace with your death.
It means you have to keep sharing even if your worst fears look like they’ll come true.
It means you have to share through a roller-coaster of emotional pain & pleasure.
And that`s the real reason most people don`t do it.
But the rewards are huge.
Sharing yourself through all the ups-and-downs of life makes you a better person.
It makes you believe, understand, love and appreciate your own value.
People who create and share nothing with the world, feel like they’re nothing.
People who take their natural passions, talents, & quirks and hide them, bury them, and shove them into a corner of their lives when they come home tired from work…
…feel mostly worthless.
‘Cause hiding your natural talents hurts the world.
Relying on them, and abundantly sharing them like the gift they are… that’s true value.Sharing regularly, through all life’s ups and downs = true value.
Truly valuable people = well-rewarded people.
So I don’t care what your passions or talents are, dive into ’em, explore ’em, share ’em over and over and over.
I’m inclined towards wisdom, pop, & sex.
I embrace it and share it and I know I’m insanely valuable. Ryze is one of a kind, elite and nothing else like it.
I’m naturally talented at creative leaps, and love refined form & function.
I use these things to help people ryze every day.
I did it for years while desperate, broken, and homeless. I did it while living divinely in Yorkville, Toronto’s rich neighborhood in the downtown core.
I did it at Fortino’s grocery on a small-scale, now I do it for current #ryze clients on a larger-scale.
And now it’s time to show how my story is other people’s story.
This can be your story too.
Here’s a few examples of people who share themselves with the world regularly.
Some are far along in their journey, and quite successful through it like:
Toronto #Believepreneur Evan Carmichael and pro-gamer William “Scarra” Li, who both share their passions & talents regularly.
Side note: Even when I was playing League Of Legends, I shared my wisdom and art in beautifully crafted forum-posts called "Solo Q Secrets: Parts 1-8".
Evan Carmichael – 1500+ entrepreneur advice videos.
"Scarra" – 400+ raw, unscripted gaming videos
…and some are starting out, and every like & share means the world to ’em, like Blind, Record-Setting Artist Pete Elvidge and Daily Book Video Fantasy-Copywriter Jen Price.
Pete Elvidge – 150+ pixel art videos.
Jen Price – 40+ fantasy-copy / author vids
Beautiful examples of people sharing themselves.
And it doesn’t have to just be youtube — it can be blog posts, volunteering at an office, trust your gut — but video is an easy way to share yourself regularly.
They do it. I do it. And you can too.
Share your self.
And so I offer you, the "J-Ryze Sharing Challenge", check it out and step up 🙂
P.S. If you have something you share regularly, post it in the comments, and if you don’t, consider sharing someone else’s, ’cause sharing matters.
*It wasn`t exactly 3 years, more like 2 years 5 months, but I round up for drama.