Does it take being hungry to start a person dreamin' again? Maybe.
I assigned a client, an executive out of work for two years but with tons of severance (so, not hungry) to see "Hustle & Flow." This indie film captures the awesome, almost scary drive of a bottom-feeding middle-aged pimp to grab at another chance. The low-life's dream is to become a rap star. A bit of "Sea Biscuit" here, the dream inspires and lifts others, too.
All comfortable Client X wants is his old life back. He admits he had had no passion for his former profession but has no fire in the belly to get out there and humbly explore new stuff. From being down-and-out in the early 2000s, yeah, I know humility.
To find something, anything that might work for me/pay the rent, I tried out loss prevention (euphemism for being a contract security guard in Home Depot), customer service (that is, working the front desk at the Marriott), and being tormented by a small-time publisher and his wife who had more money than talent.
Did seeing "Hustle & Flow" light Client X's fire?
Yes and no.
Yes, he got it that his current financial safety net, along with his pedigree, was standing in the way of his ever clawing his way to something that made emotional sense to him, would pay bills when severance ran out. But, no, there was no push to approach starting over as a dream, the adventure of a lifetime, a scheme that could be fun, no matter the outcomes.
Since the economy is back, Client X's story could have a lucrative ending, any way. But I predict that won't last long. In this wild new economy, we've all morphed into bottom-feeders (at the top of the food chain are emerging economies like China and India).
To make it big (maybe the second and third time around) and stay there, we need ghetto desperation, hustle, and schemes. I learned (or since I'm from downtown Jersey City, NJ, pre-gentrification), re-learned all three during my search for a new "career path." Fortunately, I didn't have to stay with any of them too long.
How is it to be back in communications, chasing words instead of shoplifters? Much better than the first time 'round.