Business Development Step 1: Identify; Column Two of Three

A column article by: Ace Masters

Business Development Step 1: Identify
Column Two of Three

In my last column, I left you with the Burning Question: What are comics – to you?

That same question is the second one listed as things that need to be identified. I identified that question, what comics are to me, in that same column. I hope you've also figured out what comics are to you. Because only when you identify "what are comics" can you move on.

The answer to that question – how you identify it – is subjective and personal, as are the next two things to identify:

              1. What needs to be identified?
              2. What are comics?
              3. Why are you doing comics?
              4. What is your motivation?
              5. What is your goal?
              6. What type of comics?

This column will focus on items 3 and 4.

Despite how it may seem ‘Why’ and ‘Motivation’ are two different things, but they can overlap.

             Identify - 3. Why are you doing comics?

For the love of it.

Let’s take "For the love of it," and throw it out, shall we. This is a done to death reason that not only little no weight, but is generally stereotypical and can come off as arrogant. Almost everyone in comics does it because they love the medium - but admittedly not all. Truly, you need a much better reason than "For the love of it."

I love comics. I love reading comics, I love creating comics. I also love making my money back on the comics I have published, hopefully making a profit. It is here where "For the love of it" becomes an arrogant statement.

Nine out of ten small press publishers tell me I have "sold out," or "don’t love comics" because I want to make money – a living – doing comics if I can.

It is arrogant to assume you love comics – or anything – more than someone else, especially when that is used for the sole purpose to make one out to be ‘better’ then the next person.

Now, let me identify why I do comics: Because I love to tell stories; because I love the medium of comics (as well as film, TV, novels).

I want to create comics and get them out to the widest possible audience. I want to create a piece of art that people will see, read, and enjoy.

That is what are to me -- an art form. A creative endeavor.

This is what you need to do. Look beyond "For the love of it," and find something more.

Look back at what comics mean to you, and your answer may be there.

             Identify - 4. What is your motivation?

             Why are you doing comics? What is your motivation? The same thing you say? Not always.

Where "For the love of it" can be ‘Why;’ to ‘Revolutionize’ could your motivation. Though why one wants to revolutionize an industry they supposedly love is weird. Please have some motivation beyond wanting to revolutionize the industry.

The motivation to "revolutionize" is passé, inside-the-box thinking. If you're just out to revolutionize things, you're most certainly limiting the scope of your art. Go beyond that into original thinking.

For me, one of my motivations is that I want to make a living doing something I love (there’s that pesky reason again!); that way I don’t have to work a 9 to 5 job or worry about money.

Another motivation is to create good-to-great comics people will enjoy (this is where reasons and motivation can overlap.)

But my biggest motivation for getting into comics is my drive to succeed in life – doing something I want to do.

Motivation doesn’t always have to come from within; it can come from an outside source. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be a positive influence to motivate you.

The most successful people find a way to turn a negative into a positive.

Case in point: The greatest outside source of motivation I have is a negative influence. It is all the people who tell me, "Ace, you can't do it. You won't succeed." You know -- the kind of people who will always tell you the odds are against you.

This motivates me. It pushes me and drives me to be and do more. The more I am told I can’t do something, the more determined I am to do just that.

It’s up to you to identify your motivation. What drives you, what makes you want to do what you want to do? Make a list of everything you can think of and see what you come up with. You might surprise yourself.

"For the love of it," "Revolutionize," I am not saying that these cannot be valid reasons or motivations. Just that they can came off arrogant, shallow and in this day and age, passé. Almost everyone uses those. Try to challenge yourself, to do something different. Trust me, it will be worth it.

Until next time, I will leave you with this, something that is both a Burning Question and a Burning Thought: What is better, saying you will "Revolutionize" the industry, or concentrating on creating works of art that will inspire people to say you Revolutionize the industry?



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