Growing up was all about playing music and creating zany “zines”. I played drums, guitar, bass, and recorded a ton of songs on a kurzweil keyboard. Forming various bands with friends, the mix tapes flowed like milk and honey. I eventually put together a “grab bag” collection of some of those songs here. The various “zines” I chicken scratched together were as zany as it gets. I xeroxed and stapled together stacks of them and sold them at school for 50 cents. The titles pretty much say it all, Dick Spazway’s Road to Success, The Jim Jamkins Series, National Debt and Zap Nugget.
During my High School years, I made a goofball short film called Cai Chi, a fight film short called Annihilation Celebration and a crazy play called Captain Robert and the Search for Magni-tron Transmitters I also decided to do the typical thing any kid would want to do in high school, and put together choreographed dances for the football assemblies. Here’s one called The Red Bandit River Dancers and another one The Metal Heads.
After High School I saw an infomercial on TV selling a course on how to be a big dog real estate investor. I thought that sounded pretty good. Listening to the whole course about fried my brain, but I managed to do what it taught and bought a house. Flying by the seat of my pants I managed to remodel the home, got my real estate license and sold it as the listing Realtor. (More on that experience here.) Turns out it wasn’t as simple as I thought. I had spent too much fixing up the house and lost money. I kept going with the Realtor gig off and on for a while and eventually discovered I just wasn’t in to it.
As I continued down the road of life, I worked a variety of jobs that covered anything from construction to customer phone support to installing satellite dishes to newspaper delivery. (To this day, I can be driving around with my wife in almost any part of Tulsa and point out a place I once worked.) I also moved into “The Cheyenne Apartment” – sure it leaked and I had to build my own shower, but at a cost of $150 per month and by working a day and night job, it afforded me the ability to fund and create two more films; The Businessmen of Bemington daycare and another called The Turtleneck Club. A few Cheyenne Apartment fun facts: 1. One time it got so cold the toilet water froze 2. I had dedicated buckets that I set out to catch the leaks inside when it rained 3. When one of my friends would visit me, he legitimately acted like he was Indiana Jones crossing the wooden bridge from the Temple of Doom every time he had to go up or down the stairs. (In his defense, they were pretty rotted.)
After completing those 5 shorts & having experienced all the sacrifices that went along with making them happen, my goal shifted. I still had (& still have) a passion for making movies, but was ready to take a break from it in general. At that point I wanted to figure out a way to LIVE my own movie. I wanted to wake up every day to the movie set of MY LIFE. Getting back into remodeling was an option and although I had enjoyed it, I was looking for something else. That’s when I started coming up with business ideas. Some didn’t work because they simply didn’t work, others were winners, but just weren’t the right fit for me. I found that when road blocks and problems came up, I really had to have that bond with the business in order to want to hang in there and fight for it. Without that bond, the work felt no different than any other job. The hard part was finding a connection with a business that I could be excited to wake up for every day. Continuing to feel the “mis-matched” effect as I tried out different business ideas, I realized I was going about it the wrong way. I had been trying to come up with an idea that seemed “profitable”, but what I should have been doing was thinking about a solution to an every day problem that I would enjoy solving for poeple. For me, things finally clicked when I came up with a consignment resale business idea that was also a good match for me and my personality. Up to that point, coming up with a good business idea had seemed so complicated when all along the answer was to simply choose a problem I wanted to solve. I talk more about that here.