With Comic-Con just 5 months away, the time to plan is now. Certainly with the news that Spider-Man is returning home to the Marvel Cinematic universe will add an unparalleled anticipation as we approach the show. The biggest issue on the minds of many hopeful attendees is when will the general badge sale be? While getting a badge and hotel is a must, I also believe there are other essentials to consider. San Diego Comic-Con is like no other show. The intersection of the industry, fandom, and imagination, creates a unique opportunity that can not be ignored. It is not an overstatement to say that over the years, the annual pilgrimage to San Diego has changed my life. Starting in 2006, this marks my 10th Comic-Con, and I can confidently say that I would not be the same person if not for the SDCC experience. To me, buying an Exclusive or seeing a celebrity is just the tip of the iceberg with so much more laying beneath the surface. So on the eve of a stressful badge sale and a hotel scramble, here are a three life changing ideas to consider that might change your life too.
Being at the epicenter of geekdom means we are at the heart of what drives multiple billion dollar industries; passion. Passion is what pulls us out of the quicksand of life and propels us in new directions. Be honest with me, when you look into the rearview mirror of 2014, is all you see is a few hazy events or uninspired moments? It is so easy to fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent- paying bills, pushing out another widget, chasing kids, making other people happy (or rich), etc. In the quiet of your heart, you dream of doing daring things and pursuing a dream that seems impossible. Comic-Con is the perfect catalyst for you. Whatever you are passionate about, there are others already doing something similar- and waiting for you to join them. I have found that SDCC is a fertile ground for opportunity. Meeting the right people, engaging in key activity, pursuing the right risk, can send you into a life altering trajectory. However, it all starts with knowing what you want to do. Your dream doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to be yours. It doesn’t even need to be fully formed- but taking a step and committing to action is the most important part. From creating a new comic, a new product line, a meet up, or a new cosplay, I’ve seen it all happen because of Comic-Con. But it only happens to those that pursue it. So don’t settle for a life someone else has determined for you. Take a step of faith and pursue a passion worth committing your life to. Regardless of pain, sacrifice, and disappointment, you won’t regret it. As an example, I’ve been particularly inspired by the stories of CON*Quest Journals and Nerds In Recovery.
One of the biggest aspects of the show that has really emerged as it’s strength, is the power of the tribe. What has traditionally been done privately in the past, fans now attend with open pride- like badge of honor. There are the kind of people that go to SDCC and the type of people who don’t- and that distinction is important. Going to this show is more than just finding some nerd swag or seeing a preview but it’s a chance to declare to the world that: People like me, do things like this. The power of this Comic-Con tribe is very powerful. Over the next 5 months, be intentional with connecting with this community. Whether it’s adding SDCC to your Twitter bio or the same hashtag to your tweets, help the tribe find you. Start intentional dialogue through Twitter, Skype, forums, etc to build relationships leading into Comic-Con. Plan a ‘meet up’ before or at SDCC. Fellow fans are more than willing to connect but they need you to reach out. I’ve been truly blessed with awesomeness of our tribe and the willingness to connect in multiple ways. Trust and relationship is the foundation of any change, personally and professionally. Investing in the connected economy is the most important thing you can do. The Friends of CCI Forum is a great example of the connection that occurs year round.
Take a Risk
I get asked all the time, ‘how do I know what to do?’. A good indicator is this- if it scares you, do it! Author Seth Godin says, ‘You will never do great work, unless you try something that creates fear in you’. It’s in the fear that you make your best art. Whether it’s cosplaying for the first time, starting a new blog (and writing everyday), creating a meet up at SDCC, or making a new never before seen thing, you can not escape the risk. Good or bad, allowing people to react to your art, inspires you to create more. Sometimes that reaction is painful. However, once you embrace the pain, you realize it can’t hurt you anymore. For me, embarrassment, looking foolish, being a failure, is all intimately part of my story. I have failed more time than I have been a success- and there is no way around that fact. This very post will seems foolish to some…I’m ok with that. When I look back at the rearview mirror of 2014, I clearly see decisions I made that led to failure. However, those things were directly tied to something game-changing and pushed me beyond my own perceived limitations. Put yourself in a position that if something doesn’t happen or someone doesn’t show up, you will look foolish. I promise you, the results might not be what you expected but your life will be better as a result. Life is too short to play it safe- and fortune seems to favors the foolish. I can think of a million example of this but one would be what The Geeky Hooker has done at SDCC each year.
We live in a connected economy now. This means that knowing what you want to say and who you want to say it to, is almost more important than discovering a ‘big idea’. Through the community of Comic-Con, I have heard countless number of stories of fans discovering their dreams and as a result, changed the course of their future. If this describes you and something you are doing (or have done), I want to hear it. Leave a comment below and help the tribe connect with each other.
…And more posts with tips and advice about this year’s show!