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What does a social media fanatic who spends his days managing social media networks for his clients do in his spare time? He manages social media networks. Recently, I took over the various media feeds for an organization called E3C, the East Coast Creative Collective. Get it? 3 C’s… I was attracted to joining E3C for a while now due to their mandate of creative a community amongst…well…creatives. When they put out a call asking for someone to manage their Twitter account, I jumped at the chance to practice my craft while advancing the cause of a really tremendous organization. Thus was born my involvement with E3C. 
This involvement led me to recently listen to the 5th episode of the Life + Limb podcast by Chuck Anderson of @nopattern. Chuck’s most recent guest was James White, otherwise known as the brains and brawn behind @signalnoise. Chuck and James are both extremely talented artists in their own rights and it was fantastic to listen to two heavyweights of the industry, neither of which are too caught up in their own mythos. I learned about an hour and seventeen minutes worth of things but here are a couple that I really enjoyed and that match up nicely with my own personal viewpoint.

DIY. Do it yourself. It may as well be the motto of the Maritimes. In my family, if you don’t know how to build a car from scratch and install a toilet, you’re useless. This makes me, in a number of ways, useless. But I do love the DIY mentality. The DIY mentality says that you don’t need anyone for anything. If you want to make something, go make it. We’re lucky, being in this generation, that the technology to create all of our wildest fantasies has finally caught up with our desire to do so. If you want to make something and spread it across the entire world, do it…yourself.

This first concept, the DIY concept, may seem to contradict the second: collaboration. James describes that in Halifax, unlike some larger cities like New York or San Francisco, it becomes necessary to work together far more closely with your colleagues and counterparts than you otherwise would. The lack of an “official” community leads to people just bonding together to create the culture and community that they desire. Organizations like E3C were born out of a desire to come together. It’s possible to be a community of DIY’ers. This is Halifax. Halifax is a city that thrives on people coming together to build communities so that they can complete their passion projects.

When you listen to people like James White and Chuck Anderson talk about creativity, work and life you start to realize a few things. One. There is no secret formula. The way that Chuck got to where he is is different that the way that James got to where he is. Two. There is a secret formula. Work incredibly hard with everything you have on something you love and when you think that you have nothing left to give, hold on for just a little bit longer and try just a little bit harder. Will you succeed and become incredibly rich and famous and powerful? Maybe. Will you be happy. Definitely. The definition of happiness is when you’re doing something you truly love. So whether you’re a master craft person, a graphic designer, a writer, an astrologer or a custodial engineer, just do it with all your heart. And if you do follow all these instructions and you do somehow become incredibly rich and powerful, remember us little people.