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Pidgeon Social / Creativity

Sometimes the Cost of Great Things is Good Things

Did you know that it's often not the bad things that keep you from doing what you really want to be doing? It can be the good things. Let me tell you about something I miss greatly in my life: Playing Call of Duty on my PS3 with my brother, Ben, and good friend, Mark. Honestly, aside from being so much fun to destroy teenagers with fellow dad's, it was a really good way to just chat and stay in touch with what was going on in their lives. And I miss that. We don't talk as much as we used to. But there was a cost to this good thing in my life. I spent 1400 hours playing it over the course of 9 months. And there were a lot of great things I could've done with those 1400 hours. So I finally got up the courage to disappoint two of my favourite people in the world and tell them I was selling my PS3. It sucked. But I certainly don't regret it. Because in the last year, I've learned photography, videography, stepped up my social media game, started a YouTube channel, and gained more hours for my family. Giving up a good thing has helped me find new passion, energy, and I'm now getting paid to do a lot more stuff than I used to because of it. Oh, and I'm super-thankful that my brother started a bi-weekly wings night that Mark comes to, too, so we have a chance to stay in touch. Here's the thing, though - you can't just give up something good and expect something great to come along. You'll just fall back into something good - or worse - something bad. There's a few keys I've found that have helped me fill good things with great things: 1. Invest in something new For me, I like toys. And I've talked about how I spend money on things that I don't always use. But for every one thing that I don't end up using, there's another one that I do and I love it. Sometimes you don't know until you try. Putting some money where you mouth is helps you be accountable for doing something new. A new PS4 game is like $70 when it comes out. Your PS4 or Xbox One is probably worth $300-$400. There's A LOT of cool stuff you can buy with that. 2. Make sure you have an outlet for it It's way to easy to buy something and let is sit...


Snapchat is Where It’s At

Ok, so this last 12 months I spent a lot of money on camera gear - like way more than I should. And I've put in the time to get better at taking pictures. Heck, people are even paying me to take their photos. That's awesome. Thank you, people! And if you check out my Instagram (plug: @justinreves), you'll see the quality of my pictures is pretty solid. In fact, there's been a big shift these last 12 months with people are stepping up their social media picture game. It's crazy to see tons of "social media celebrities" that just post fantastic-looking pictures of themselves and have tens of thousands of followers . Now there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but you know that lots of followers are envying these people's lives and then trying to emulate the same thing on their feeds. And there's this bit of underlying pressure for everyone's lives to look really glamorous when most of ours aren't. It's ok to post a picture of yourself in bad lighting without your makeup done after having been up with 3 kids all night to simply say "being a mom is hard". That's a real-life story! This is why I love Snapchat. Snapchat has no crazy filters or the ability to upload your own fancy photos taken with an expensive camera like I do on Instagram. Snapchat is only about 1-thing - telling raw stories. You can't cover a mediocre story with some top-shelf photos or videos on Snapchat. Rather, when it's done well, Snapchat is full of these real-life, 24-hour stories told in 10-second, low-resolution bytes. For me, I'm still working on my story-telling. Ultimately, the best content coming from people or brands is rich in story and everything else is just icing on the cake. So that's why I've been forcing myself to get into Snapchat. At first it was hard because I didn't understand it and it felt limiting creatively. But now I love it. On Saturday, I had fun telling my story on Snapchat of going to Wal-Mart in sweats covered in spit-up because that was real life for me dealing with 3 kids 3 and under. We shopped together, talked about if "colour-safe bleach" was a real thing, ate some Cobb's bread, and hit up Brewed Awakening for a coffee. None of it was glamorous. But it was a nice change. And it's got me thinking about this: If you can tell good stories without all the fancy equipment and filters, think how much better you'll be if you do add that layer. Are you telling stories...