I can mark the day on a calendar. It was, in fact, last Christmas Eve.
I was at a Barnes and Noble checking out, paying for a stack of books (Dungeons and Dragons --- don't judge me) and I had just gotten a fresh tattoo. The cashier commented on how she liked the design. I'll never forget what she said.
"How did you know what to get?"
It took me a couple of seconds. I awkwardly shifted my stance trying to understand what she meant. I have a few tattoos, and they are all my designs. I drew them, the tattoo artist traced them.
I guess she was thinking along the lines of how did I know which tattoo to pick from the sample books they have at the tattoo studio. That was the vibe I got from her.
I don't mean to sound judgmental, but I do find this mindset of hers depressing. All too common.
Like: how do you know what to eat?
As in: what advertisement did you learn that from?
I also don't mean to bitch, but our society is really devolving in a big way. I mean mainstream society. Conventional society. Big box store society. I guess I'm saying that the devolution of society is something worth bitching about.
How do I know what to eat? I like to experiment with ingredients and come up with tasty dishes as I cook. I figure it out as I go. Yum! Fun in the kitchen.
We all need to be thinking for ourselves more. We need to be free-minded and free-hearted. We have so many great tools to use, and lots of people do use these tools for their own personal empowerment. I mean, we have people making a living with youtube videos about board games, for crying out Jarvis. There are so many really exciting possibilities. We need to use these tools rather than being used by them.
That's when I decided I wanted nothing to do with the conventional route. Conventions are dead (to me). The conventional approach just isn't free enough. Sure, that means I have to think more about marketing than I initially wanted to. But you know what I have learned? I actually enjoy thinking about marketing because I am the sole business owner and because I freaking love my audience. My audience is real people, and when I market as an indie, I get to connect with them more or less directly. Love it, Love it, Love it.