Tip of the Day #17: The Mission


*This post is dedicated to my brilliant and creative friend Michael Lew*
While all the current tips and videos I provide are important to me (and hopefully you), today’s post is something that is very near and dear to my heart. Now that we are just 40 days away from Comic-Con, I believe it’s essential to ask yourself; What is your Comic-Con mission? I’m not talking about what panel you want to see, or celeb you hope to meet, or exclusive you are trying to buy- I’m referring to something much more significant than all that. What is the impossible mission you are trying to accomplish while you are at SDCC? Whether you are a orphaned moisture farmer in a far off desert planet or nerd staring into a blank blog page, in about 6 weeks you’ll have a chance to do something daring. Will you take the shot?

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.21.23 AMAs a 10 year vet to Comic-Con, I spent the first 4 years viewing myself as a spectator, consumer, and someone that deserved to be entertained. I gauged the success of a show but how ‘wowed’ I was and what cool swag I could get. While there was nothing wrong with spending my time that way, I knew there had to be more. Then I had a defining moment at the 2010 show that changed my perspective on everything in my life (I won’t go into details here, but will at my Wrath of Con Bloggers panel). That show 5 years ago, made me embrace the idea of redeeming every moment while at Comic-Con. My focus shifted from what I got out of Comic-Con to how could I contribute to it. Since that time, I have succeeded at a few things, failed at a LOT more things, and discovered a life that was unimaginable. Largely because I connected my passion with opportunities at Comic-Con. Simply put, I had a mission.

Q55EESome of you reading this are already doing what you love and love what you do- regardless of who is paying your paycheck. But others of you struggle every day and imagine a life different than the one that you have. You wonder why that girl online has a charmed nerdy life while you are stuck cranking out more widgets day after day. While Comic-Con will be the best vacation you have all year, it may also bring the biggest opportunity to change everything.

Your mission doesn’t have to be big or spectacular- but it does need to have two parts: First, it has to be something that you are passionate about. Mountains are moved, leaders are forged, and the impossible becomes possible because of passion. Nothing that matters in life can be accomplished without it. Second, it needs to involve risk. It has to scare you, keep you up at night, and raise your blood pressure. Law of nature; Doing scary things changes you- doing happy things, does not. Here are a few friends that I highly respect for merging their passion with doing something risky:

The Jerd: Geekiness + Health/Fitness
The Nerdy Girlie Geekiness + Fashion
Con*Quest Journals Convention journals and related items
Nerds in Recovery Bringing together nerds that are in recovery
TOTL Podcast Geekiness + faith
Nerd for a Living Helping nerds find careers
Geek Fest Film Fest Connecting a tribe of independent filmmakers

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.16.57 AMAnd there are many, many more. What is your mission this year at Comic-Con? Who do you need to meet? What do you need to create? How will you spend your time? The most critical part in having a mission is just taking the first step. By just doing SOMETHING, you already ahead of 94% of everyone else out there. Starting a blog. YouTube your journey. Create a comic. Write a short story. Do something and see how you can leverage it into something else at Comic-Con. Most likely what you start with won’t last but it will be enough to get you moving. Blowing up the Death Star is a one in a million shot but someone has to do it right? It might as well be you.

Decide what you mission is today and write it down and share it with others that are attending Comic-Con with you. Be specific, list goals, be accountable, and build a team around it. If you have a mission, share it below (that’s the scary part)! When I meet readers at Comic-Con, it’s always nice to hear that fans enjoy the site but it will mean the world if you say four words to me “I HAVE A MISSION”. Happy hunting.

**Update 6-19-15**
Check out this great article on Superheroes.XYZ in response to this post!

20 thoughts on “Tip of the Day #17: The Mission

  1. You have brought tears to my eyes. I need a mission.
    I definitely need to meet “Nerd for a Living – Helping nerds find careers” so that will be a start.

    Tony, you are amazing. Your zest for life is unending and I am so grateful that I have you for a friend.
    You inspire and motivate like few others I know. Thank you for this amazing post.
    I can’t wait to see you at the Blogger party.

    • Thank you for your kind words! Nerd for a Living will be at the Bloggers Party so I will help you connect! Looking forward to the reunion!

  2. Fantastic post. I am working on a screenplay that is set at San Diego Comic Con, and this will be my first time attending. While developing this project, I have put a lot of thought into the Mission of Comic Con, the motive behind attending, and the stories that need to be told— can only be told — at SDCC. Thanks for this post!

    • That’s awesome! You never know what having a screenplay in hand will at Comic-Con will lead to. Definitely let me know how it goes. You might try going to the CCI sponsored Creator’s Connect. It’s like speed dating between artists and writers. Check their website for more info.

    • Oh interesting! If you give them away, they will make great Comic-Con exclusives! I hope to see one of them!

  3. I’ve watched your (and many others) career grow over the years. I’ve been I awe of how you made it happen. This year, I’m going to stop being a spectator and make things happen for myself. I was not expecting to be so moved by your words this morning but I was. Thank you and I am very excited for your party and panel.

  4. Hey great post! I do disagree on a small point and I understand what you mean, but doing “happy things” will change you if you are doing happy things for others! Working with students and athletes have made me happier and a better person than when I was working in biotech, I’m sure the make a wish people have many amazing stories…just a small caveat…I’m all about putting yourself out there to find your Nerdvana!

    • Yes very true. To clarify- I’m not talking about the emotion or smiling, I mean the difference between happy and being fulfilled. One is temporary and the other changes things. Connecting fulfillment with risk leads to a new path. Thanks for bringing clarity and sharing awesome examples- and thanks for commenting!

  5. Great post! I’m looking forward to reading more about the people you mentioned. This is a much smaller thing, but since I’m always there with the family I try to get the children exposed to some of the great educational content at SDCC. (During summer break, poor kids.) Meeting creators and through the always awesome panels. Once this year’s schedule is out I’ll do a post or two.

  6. This is the best piece of advice anyone can give… #SDCC is so inspiring if you let it be. It was my first Comic-Con experience that inspired me to start The Jerd!

  7. This is a great post! I have read a previous post I believe from SDCC 2014 about you wanting to help people find their voice and such. I think it is pretty amazing that someone well established in this awesome side of SDCC is willing to help others. I recently had a mindset of everyone has to help themselves and hard to find help, but between you and the Nerdy Girlie along with some others it is great to see that you sincerely and genuinely want to take an active role in helping those that you can. this will be my 8th year attending SDCC, and my first year with a blog to share with everyone what I have loved about SDCC and share it with people that get just as excited as I do. I hope to see you this year! My mission this year aside from not being shy, is to put me and my site out there and absorb all the helpful info I can get as well as make lasting connections with fellow con goers. Thank you for you Awesome-ness 🙂

    • What a generous comment! Seriously, it is really encouraging that my little blog has had a small impact on you. I think we are a part of an amazing community and we should all be positive and help each other. Over the 10 years I have attended Comic-Con, I have been so inspired and challenged by the many people I have met. While I have enjoyed meeting celebs, most often its the normal, everyday fan that has inspired me to be helpful and positive. I hope you accomplish your mission to put yourself out there. Hope to meet you this year and thanks again for taking the time to comment here 🙂

  8. Great article!!

    2015 will be my first, and quite possibly only trip to SDCC. I live all the way in the UK, with a family, and making the trip to San Diego and attending the con has been on the ‘wish-list’ for quite some time. With a special birthday fast-approaching, I’m finally in a position to go, and so your article resonated with me because I very much want to make sure that when I return home, tired and buzzing, that I’m able to say that not only was it amazing, but also resonated deeper than that. I don’t want to come home and have the memories of the on-site experience be the only thing that I accomplished, because then as each year rolls around, I’ll be wanting to go again and again to experience it… and that’s sadly something I won’t be able to do.

    Having a ‘mission’ means that I’ll be able to forever connect with it as something special, something that I accomplished, completed, and I can put a degree of closure on it. When each year rolls around, I’m sure I’ll be sad that I can’t attend, but I’ll be able to look back and know that I accomplished my mission, and that’s a good thing.

    Right now, the idea that’s winning is an uber-journal. I’m making a list of just about every single facet of ComicCon that I can find (not panels or events, but every single different type of experience: the booths, the lines, camping out, San Diego, the cosplay, the people, the food, the community people that inspire me, etc.). My mission would be to seek out and create a detailed journal of all those things – written memories, postcards, photos, tickets, sketches, and get it printed into a book that I can keep forever. Then each time SDCC rolls around, I can look back and marvel at all the things I saw, did and accomplished.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It’s awesome that you are coming all the way from the UK to experience Comic-Con! It’s great that you do not want to waste a moment but really make the most of every experience. The more intentional you are then the more you get out of it. I would highly suggest you connect with friends of mine that create CONquest Journals- their convention journals are designed for the exact thing you are talking about: http://conquestjournal.com

      Please let me know how the week goes for you and what doors open. Thanks for reaching out and commenting!

  9. Pingback: Sarah J Eagen | Comic-Con, Here I Come! (First Time!)

  10. Hi Tony, I came back to re-read this post and noticed the link to the article on Superheroes.XYZ and just wanted to say thank you!! That totally made my day of having it posted on your site and am very grateful. I am glad of the success and feedback I had from this post all thanks to you. Looking forward to seeing you in a few days. Live Long and Stay Crazy 😉

  11. Pingback: Comic-ConVersation: Nerd For A Living interview with me | Crazy 4 Comic Con

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