When I was in elementary school, there was one cartoon that was a cut above the rest. My best friend and I would doodle on our assignments during Ms. Thompson's 4th grade lectures about the states and their capitals and the pros of learning our multiplication times tables. That cartoon of course was none other than the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was genius. They were well versed in the traditional martial arts of the far east and their weapons were unlike any that I was familiar with at the time. So we drew them because they were so cool. Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and of course Donatello. We'd compare to see drawing was the best, or just to see how far our skills had progressed. This continued into my teens - drawing everything from mugs to models in my mom's Victoria's Secret catalog that I would "borrow" for inspiration.
Then I grew up and went to college. I learned how to be a good employee for someone. How to think critically and communicate effectively. How to come up with new ideas and solutions and lead projects. How to spend whole nights obsessing over an issue that really had nothing to do with me personally. I can say I did fairly well for myself in the corporate world all things considered, but something was missing. I knew that I wanted to steer my own ship and as the years continued to roll by it became clear to me that if I didn't strike out on my own soon I never would. And so - I jumped, and that's how Tomo was born. That's an abbreviated version, but you get the point. Now what?
I'm trying to solve the problem of people not saving money where they could be and even mean to be, but just lack the resolve. Tomo is designed to provide a platform where the user can talk about savings with other savers and their supporters. A platform which allows their peers to hold them accountable to their savings goals thereby putting those goals within reach. But how do I do that? How do I make all this work together? These are the questions that I continue to try and answer everyday.
What's become apparent is the more you think about a problem, the more problems seem to arise. It becomes this cycle of ideating and solving, questions and answers. This begins to task the mind in ways that it hadn't been tasked for a while. In my day jobs, I had been solving for one particular question. How can I do my job more efficiently so no one will be mad at me and they will continue to pay me? Now I am coming up with both the questions and the answers and it's exhilarating and frustrating. It's a blast and a pain. Those are familiar feelings. They are the feelings I got when trying to get a drawing just right. What was I going to draw that day? What could I draw that was more impressive than the last piece? How do I handle hair, texture, light? The connection between my Founding role at Tomo and my artist's hat is creativity and lots of it. I didn't notice until recently that I started having the same feelings, apprehensions, triumphs etc... as I had had when I was in front of the notepad. The blank stare - not knowing what to tweet about, or what to research today was the same blank stare that I had when deciding what to draw. Connecting with someone that could really help my business had the same feeling of triumph when I got the shadow effect to look the right way or fingers to look like those of an actual human.
And so, I've begun drawing again. Drawing puts me in a creative frame of mind. It forces me to start thinking with a side of my brain that had been dormant while I was being told what to do and how to think. This creative muscle has been atrophied no doubt, but I'm happy with my new frame of mind. Honestly, I have no idea if this will help my business at all, but what's clear is I'm in control of my own destiny so I'll do what I want. That said, I have a feeling that it will help me to recognize opportunities I wouldn't have noticed before and even see things from a perspective I may have been reluctant to embrace previously. Also, it's fun.