But this post isn’t about that. It’s about something just as valuable that gets far less attention:
It’s about The Lift.
Back when I did modern dance, there was a concept I loved called the five layers of space. The lowest layer is the ground, which is occupied when a dancer is lying on the floor. Then there is low space, where a dancer is kneeling, leaning over, or curving their body downward. Mid space is any sort of standing pose.
And then there are the two upper layers: the lift and the leap. The lift is when a dancer is no longer in contact with the ground, but is supported by something or someone else. The leap is exactly what it sounds like.
See, we often think there are two options when it comes to employment: we can work for someone else, or we can work for ourselves. And while both are viable options, going from one to the other is scary. The chasm between them is wide. The language we use to describe the transition is steeped in adrenaline:
Quit your day job! Jump off a cliff! Leap and the net will appear!
No wonder we’re terrified. And when we get entangled in the emotions of deciding between one or the other, it’s easy to forget we don’t have to choose in the first place.
In reality, we have a whole range of options:
We can remain fully grounded in a traditional job.
We can have a traditional job plus a hobby.
We can have a day job and a side gig.
We can be self employed but remain supported by something or someone else.
Or, we can make the leap to self employment.
There are many layers of creative work, just as there are many layers of space.