At A Certain Point In My Life I Blew it up!

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At a certain point in my life I blew it up!

I'm talking about my career. But it's more than that.  See, running a business is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. 

If you do it right and you are "all-in" the business becomes all consuming.  There are products, associates, banks, margins, vendors, competitors, marketing plans, transportation, customs, laws, taxes, inventory, and audits.  Oh, and please don't forget our friend the customer.

I hired great people.  But I thought about it all day.  And night.

See, things change.  And they change fast.   So I would make decisions.  Some days, hundreds of decisions.  Little ones.  Big ones.  I had to be a great decision maker. 

On top of that, to lead you need to have a vision, and a passion, be a team builder, and have compassion for everyone. 

We were very successful. 

So "to diversify and grow", we sold the company.  And you know what?  Investment bankers do not have empathy.  They may be great people.  But they only care about one thing!  Making money.  And more money.   They hire lots of analysts to ease their conscience.  See, if the numbers say it so.  Then it is so.  Everything else be damned.

I was totally stressed out.  Losing my mind.

So I would get up at 3 AM and paint for a few hours.  It put me in another world.   I could escape into my imagination. It was better than drugs.  It was better than drinking.  After being lost in creation,  I look back at my art and say "how in the world did I create that?"

Then the investors and a few other companies asked me to take on more.  I was asked to run multiple companies.  I was offered jobs in Seattle. In San Diego. In Florida. I was offered more money.  More stock. Do more.  Be more.  Make more.

Renee would talk to me sometimes and wonder where my head was at!    Renee would say, "I want Stick back!"

I wanted to be with Renee.  I wanted to spend time with my kids.  I wanted Stick back!

So, I walked into work one morning and sent an email to our board. Then,  I talked with my management team. I quit.  I walked out the door. I never went back. I gave up stock. Prestige.  A career.  But, what sort of career kills you?  Too many I suppose. 

I blew it up!

I chose my passion.  I chose my family.  I chose my art.  

I was and am still lucky Renee loves me.  I love her.    

I love to escape. I love my art and to blow things up.  I work at it every single day.  It's frustrating.  I'm trying to "diversify and grow" as an artist. 

I'm alive.


Stick Vega is the American Gunpowder Artist.  He creates and blogs from The Blast Factory in Madison, WI and Bucktown, Chicago, IL.  Follow Stick at Facebook and/or Twitter.