We work for the world

My friend Tom and I came up with this tagline when were brainstorming magnets to make our travel van look like it might be a work truck. They turned out nice and cryptic.

We got one call in Baton Rouge, LA – but I guess they forgot to join us for our outdoor spaghetti cookout that night ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

7 years later I have the “We work for the world” part posted outside my studio as a reminder every time I step in.

It reminds me that whatever I’m doing in there, whether it’s making music or writing, or the paid work I do producing and distributing documentary films, I’m working for the world.

Sometimes the work we do is to get us paid.

Plain and simple right? But looking at this and all work as working for the world is recognizing that getting us paid means we have the ability to eat, sleep, create, interact – to be US in this world.

In Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon, who I’m mega-nerding out on right now (friends: stand by for all caps hype texts), says, “A job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. Freedom from financial stress also means freedom in your art.” We can also interchange “art” with life.

Jobs get us to a next step we don’t always see coming.

I’m just wrapping up an epic position with some amazing friends and mentors launching a virtual screening platform for independent filmmakers. I work for the world – so this work meant I learned a ton of things I can apply to my personal and pro life moving forward, one being getting real techy with workflow. We use automations to streamline our work and I’m excited to try organizing my creative goals in a similar way with something like Notion.

This arts-focussed but still unavoidably startup-y gig was also stressful at times. But I work for the world, so part of it was diving into challenging work and getting paid, not knowing that the extra income would help my wife and I put a down payment on our first house.

We weren’t planning on buying a house but as life goes, we’re a couple of DINKS ( thx T) who found just the right spot around the corner from our rental and had unknowingly been saving the extra cash to make it happen, thanks in part to this job being there at the right moment. Trippy.

More on this soon, but the hustle of this job on top of my other work also lead me to a pretty major life breakthrough.

Any job counts.

I even worked for the world at Pizza Schmitza in downtown Portland. Definitely wish they had a different name when I was putting that on resumes (especially next to ‘Assistant Manager, iSOLD It on eBay’), but that and the owner being a total sleaze aside, I worked for the world.

My crew and I had a BLAST. We pushed the fun out to everyone who came in to eat some mediocre pizza with embarrassing-to-say-out-loud names like schpaghetti & meatball.

I met some rad friends from around the world, worked hard as f, made some cash, and worked on a ton of music on the side.

Last quick story: My friend Bangs worked (works?) at a hardware store in NE Portland. If you knew him you may or may not think this would be a good idea. Not the gig – he’s super handy – more the working inside a place part. He’d probably crack up and say the same thing alongside a few badass recent travel stories. But this dude works for the World (capital W). He literally changed everyone who landed at his cash register.

Pure proof we have an impact in all of the work we do, even on the old guy who can’t handle Bangs not charging him 2 cents for a screw, and that our impact isn’t always directly connected to the work itself.

Our jobs could be for the greater good, to put some money in our pockets for today or an unknown next step, or something we absolutely love doing and don’t need to read blog posts about. Either way, we work for the world y’all.