The problem wasn’t NSA; it
was me. I had a whole other part
of me that had been neglected.
I liked being onstage, but I
lived for the studio. When I’m
painting, time flies and stands
still all at once.
As I looked around NSA,
I couldn’t find anyone doing
what I wanted to do. And that
felt lonely. So I threw myself
into the art world, learning as
much as I could from successful artists. But most of them
don’t have much business sense
and aren’t so keen on the whole
“speaking in front of crowds”
thing. Turns out they weren’t
“my people” either.
I struggled to find someone
with a business model I could
follow, step-by-step. A paint-by-numbers approach.
I finally realized that they don’t hang paint-by-numbers in
After lots of soul-searching and feeling left out, I stopped
looking for a blueprint and began charting my own way.
I borrow the best of what I’ve gleaned from great speakers
and extraordinary artists, writers, and entrepreneurs, while
mixing in my own expertise.
The fact that I don’t “fit in” anywhere doesn’t feel like a
flaw anymore, but rather a sign that I’m on the right track. It’s
lonely sometimes, but by embracing the magic in the mashup,
my business went from black and white to full color, like in the
1939 version of “The Wizard of Oz.”
This road I’m on now feels a lot more like home. And there’s
no place like it. ■
When I firstcame to NSA, I thought I’dfoundmy home, my people. I’d been speaking for a few years, and these new colleagues got it: the highs and lows of
life on stage and on the road. I could tell this was a great place
to grow, because so many people knew so much more than me.
As the years progressed, I gained amazing friends and my
business flourished. But somewhere along the line, I felt less at
home, and more like an outsider. I couldn’t relate to people who
said they lived for the stage. Suddenly, NSA didn’t feel like “my
people” much at all.
JASON KOTECKI, CSP, is an artist,
author, and speaker who works with his
wife, Kim, to help people break free from
Adultitis to build better lives, businesses,
and teams. EscapeAdulthood.com.
BY JASON KOTECKI, CSP
Creating your own way to fit in