coming to terms with tangible

I recently came across this video on a great website called BitRebels.

It's amusing... Yet scarily appropriate to my daily life as a digital creative, otherwise known as a "digital ninja".

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/16400941 w=500&h=283]

Being creative means coming to terms with tangible.

It's something I have struggled with for much of my life. 
Just as in the video, people ask me "so what EXACTLY do you do?", to which I used to answer differently each time. It was usually a mix of the following:

Designer
Creative
'Ideas Man'
CEO of a clothing company
Small Business Owner
Ex-Cult Member
Recovering Alcoholic
Ladies Man
Great Listener

but rarely, if ever, did I use the word 'expert' or guru, or even a ninja.
Without a single tangible asset to my name (with the exception of my failed clothing empire) I never had the guts to call myself an expert at anything.

That was, until a year ago, when I realised the thing I've been training for my entire life is one of the most valuable tools on the planet. When I began to understand that my true value lay not in the physical production of tools or widgets, but in the production of ideas and the development of networks to create them from thin air.

My work takes guts.
It takes time & patience.
Most of all, it takes practise, and it takes passion.

Just like my Dad, and his Dad before him, I come home exhausted from my day at work because I love what I do and it takes everything out of me, every single day.
And even though I may never get the kind of recognition I'd love to get from my brother or my Grandmother, I get my satisfaction elsewhere.

When you find work you love, you'll never work another day in your life.

These days, I refer to myself as a 'creative problem solver'. And yes, there are definitely days when I know I'm viewed by some people as the 'ninja' character from the video. But I have spent enough time focused on my goals to see the end game. Because when you set out to become the most useful & adaptive problem solver on the planet, you need to know a little bit about a lot of things and know exactly who to ask when you don't know the answer yourself.

All that being said, if you watched that video and wondered if might be perceived as a 'digital ninja' in your own industry, use it as motivation to create something RIGHT NOW.
I don't care how bad your drawing is, pick up a pen and sketch out a new feature for your car. It doesn't matter how long it's been since you sang into a microphone, press record on your mac THIS INSTANT and see what comes out of your mouth.

It doesn't matter what you build, build it as often as you can.

Solving Problems = Reactive
Creating Problems = Proactive

Whoever creates the most problems, has the potential to learn the most lessons.
There may be nothing tangible about learning from a mistake, but I promise you it's a far sight more valuable than someone producing the same shoddy house or toy or chocolate bar a million times over.

Create as many problems as you can, fail a lot and learn faster than everyone else.
Oh, and make sure you send me a copy of whatever you create, I can't wait to see you get better at it next time!