Baseline

This will be the first time I've posted since May. I wanted to do a really cool photo set with this post and have everything planned out nicely, but as always, that's not how this will go. Recently I've been so scared. Scared of where my life is at, where it's going, and the person I'll end up being. The word Legacy comes to mind. What will my Legacy be? If you read my blog you know I travel a lot. For those of you that just landed here, I'm no stranger to traveling and submerging myself into other cities and cultures. I was born and raised in Fort Smith, Ark. It's my hometown and currently where I reside. My community was once known for being a dead, boring place. This is simply not the case anymore.

I've got a long line of failed ventures and harebrained ideas that just didn't work. Maybe it's because I didn't have enough money, seek enough counsel or they just weren't timed right. Starting and creating is in my DNA. Even if it doesn't end well, creating is a passion of mine.

With all of that said, it's time for a new chapter, a new beginning, a new baseline if you will. In typography, a baseline is where most of your letters sit. It's the starting point or a point where something begins. I'm at a baseline moment in my life.


Baseline Collective is the biggest risk I've taken in my adult life, all 24 years of it. Up until now, I've played it safe. I mean, I've taken risks but only those I'm 90% sure of the outcome. This risk, however, I'm not sure. Time will tell.

In October of 2015, I set out to create an entity with enough room to grow and scale as my brain could dream. That statement sounds much more magnificent than the current state of the company. Nonetheless, I took the risk.

Zero to one is the hardest step you will ever take. Click To Tweet

With all that said – almost a year later, countless clients who have stuck with us while I worked a full-time job and put in full-time hours (sometimes at their expense), and endless support from those in my life – it's here. Baseline Collective is finally a thing. Alongside my fearless co-pilot, Megan Young, my zero to one now turns into one to two. The next hardest step I've ever taken.

Why Fort Smith?

The past few months I've finally been able to tell those around me about this career transition. The most common question I get is, why Fort Smith? This answer is simple, and if you'd like, I recommend taking notes on this part.

  • Fort Smith is a safe place to fail. We have a strong community that will pick you up, lend support, and be there at a moments notice when trouble hits.
  • Fort Smith will be the center for Art, Culture, and History in Arkansas.
  • Did I mention we have a strong community of supportive people already? Because we do.

What is Baseline?

The second question I get asked a lot is what is baseline?

Baseline is a collective of individuals working to tell brand stories through creative direction, live experiences, concept development, and content creation. We create for a purpose.

Simply put, that is what baseline is. The heart of this organization is building a better community, creative and economical alike while raising the standard of excellence in this region. We haven't gotten far yet, but we've only just begun.

The opportunities are endless when pairing creation with execution. Join me. Let's create a better world.

Mason


Live Unbalanced

We have this idea that we should live balanced lives. Half work, half play. Yesterday I made a rant (or two) about how we as a society champion the weekend. This ties perfectly into a work/life balance. I'm a firm believer that living a balanced life is one of the biggest lies society has told us.

If your goal is balance, how do you really give something 100%? Have you ever thought about that? In order to make great ideas and dreams happen you have to be all in, right? I can't be all in if I turn off that idea after 5P? Let me put a disclaimer on this for those out there that would fuss at me – you need downtown, this isn't what I'm addressing. Anyways, back to the post.

I believe you should be 100% present where ever you're at. If that's at work, be there. If that's at home, be there. Be 100%. 50% at work and 50% at home doesn't cut it when you're trying to get an idea off the ground. Be present.

Be present. Click To Tweet

So how is this possible? It's time for a list and a few practical tips to living an unbalanced life!

Tip #1 - Have The Guts to Say No.

We as humans are bad at this. Myself in particular because I'm a people pleaser. When I know I'm about to pursue something big, I tend to say no to more things. This allows me to be more aware and present on the important tasks I'm pursuing.

Tip #2 - Step Away From Social Media

Nothing eats away at time like social media. I find that this is the number one cause of interruption when trying to be focused and aware. To combat this, I have every notification turned off on my phone. The only notifications I receive are text messages and phone calls. Everything else can wait.

Tip #3 - Slow Down, Focus, and Think

You'll be amazed at what happens when we slow down, breath, and think about what we're trying to focus on. Clearing your head to be able to handle the current task is important. Understanding full circle where you're headed on the project at hand is key as well. This cannot happen with a cluttered mind. Slow down, focus, and think.

Tip #4 - Change Perspective

Step away from your desk, go to a coffee shop, an airport, somewhere you can feel challenged to create via the environment you're in. Changing perspective doesn't always just mean location either. When I can't fully grasp a concept or I'm working on something I'm new to, I always ask for help. I ask those around me and those who know more to help open my perspective to things.

Tip #5 - Be Present

The key to being present is not being somewhere else. It is so easy to be somewhere else. Whether that is digitally or mentally. It will shock you how much you remember and absorb when you're simply present. This is something I've always struggled with. As I tried to be in so many places at once, I got nothing accomplished.


Be all in, no matter where you are. Living like this is easier said than done. Once you start it, you'll realize living unbalanced is the only way to get the most out of life.

Happy Tuesday! Today is the cheapest day to find airline tickets, go fly somewhere!

Mason


Working For The Weekend?

We're all familiar with Loverboy's Working for the Weekend.  We're also so familiar with T.G.I.F. My question is why? One of my favorite parts about being a Millennial is realizing that my education, career, and life is in my own hands.

If your Monday through Friday consists of looking forward to the weekend, you aren't living life to the fullest. I feel like this post will turn into more of a rant than it will a narrative with cohesive information. Regardless, this post isn't for those who are happy with the mundane. I'm writing this for those who have always wanted to take a chance on your dreams, but have never had the courage to do it.

In my last post I mentioned that effort NOT passion determines whether or not you accomplish your dreams. It's great to be passionate about something, but if you aren't good at it and there isn't effort behind it, you probably will never accomplish it. That brings me to the weekend. Personally, I get about 90% of my dreams accomplished on the weekend and during the week from 6P-10P. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in playing hard, but working hard is a prerequisite. In our ever changing 24/7 access world, time is money. As a 24 year old, I have a lot I want to accomplish in life. With two full-time jobs my personal life and personal dreams suffer sometimes. Monday's are days when I come into the office, get focused for the week (Mon-Sun), and get a game plan together. I'm fortunate enough to be in an industry that allows me to fall in love with what I do. Yes, there are times when breaks are needed. Times to refresh and rejuvenate. Those times unfortunately are not real life.

So what am I trying to say? If you live your life for the weekend, you haven't really found your true calling yet. Keep pursing, keep learning, keep inquiring. I live for Mondays. It means I get to step into the realm of work that I love. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Quit what you suck at, pursue what you're good at. Thanks for listening, I think my rant is over now.

Happy Monday!

Mason

P.S. Don't be this guy:


It Might Not Work

Have the guts to say, “it might not work,” but also the courage to bring it forward and try. Click To Tweet

For most in the U.S. it's finals week. I've been getting texts and seeing tweets about how stressed my friends are. From lost notes to people just admitting they're going to bomb the test, the pressure of finals week takes a toll. What about next week? All of the information that was crammed in at the last moment, where does that go?

I was never exposed to this monster called "finals," I mean, I was in high school but not in college. After I completed a bible program in 2011 I decided to enroll myself in college. I love learning. Actually, I'm passionate about learning. I'll make a bold statement and say most my age are. We like finding out new ways of doing things and learning how to make ourselves and our work better. However, I believe that most of us hate our education system. Needless to say I got through one semester of college. It was not only boring and uninformative, but I wasn't learning. Now before anyone gets upset, there are balances to all of this. I had already been through a few years of alternative education developing skills that most learn during their college days. My point to this is that in my world, the creative industry, there are few things that colleges know that you can't find on the internet. My money, time, investment, was better spent on experiencing and learning vs. paying for mediocre education taught by professors who wouldn't take their own class.

Our society, our education system, our culture, gives us a handbook of what success looks like. If you want to have X amount of instagram followers, here's the photos you have to post. If you want to run a successful agency you have to this type of creative space. If you want to be a successful creative, you must have  this or that type of bag/journal/pen. Our world has changed. The education system doesn't work, even our system of following your dreams doesn't work.

Do what you’re passionate about…as long as you’re good at it. Click To Tweet

My generation, the millennials and Gen Z have always been told we can do and be whatever we want to be. If we just follow our passion, our hearts, we can be whatever we set our mind to. But what if we aren't good at what we're passionate about? 

Here is the tie-in to all everything I've mentioned above. I started pursuing the interest of photography when I was 16. I learned that I was passionate about it, but I also realized I was good at it. That passion developed into a business which has now scaled to a career. Because of the internet and the ability to get out and practice the skills I was learning, I've had some great successes. I've also had some failures. I've failed more than I've succeeded. I have learned to be ok with saying, "it might not work, but let's go for it." 

What should you stop doing this morning in order to start your dreams tonight? Don't let society dictate what you do with your life. Your story is unique only to you. You are doing the world a disservice if you try and be someone else. (I have to remind myself everyday of this.) I'm a college dropout. By no means am I advocating dropping out or not going to college. It worked for me, but it might not work for you. I am advocating quitting things you aren't good at for something that only you are capable of.

Have the guts to say, “it might not work,” but also the courage to bring it forward and try."

Good luck on finals everyone.

- Mason

 


What I Want

Too many smart people are pursuing boring stuff. Click To Tweet

Have you ever thought about what you really want out of life? This isn't your typical "life goals" conversation. It's a conversation about what you personally want out of life. In the words of Elon Musk, "The greatest minds of my generation are figuring out how to make people click ads...that sucks." We are a brilliant group of people yet everyday we fall short of what we could be. Why is that? Are we just not focused? Are we forced into circumstances beyond our control?

I believe that we do not address what we want out of life enough. I'm not talking about, "I see pizza, I want pizza" type of want. I'm talking about the deep rooted things that if we don't do them we will feel as though we have failed. Have you ever thought about achieving the things you want out of life? Sometimes that can be a bit scary to look at. What if we looked not at things as this massive list that is impossible; but as trying to expand the reality box and the list of things that are possible.

I've heard it said that, "If your dreams seem obtainable, you're probably not dreaming big enough.

If your dream seems obtainable, you're probably not dreaming big enough. Click To Tweet

I subscribe to this type of thinking. If the path ahead isn't rocky, unstable, and unknowing, it's probably not worth pursing. Most of the time we are just too scared to jump out of the box and create our own path. So how do we do this? How do we take a leap and pursue those things?

I keep a list. This list has just a few statements on it about what I want out of life. It sits by my desk, in my house, and on my phone. Looking at these statements daily helps me focus on pursing my purpose in this world. Here is my list, I want to do something that:

  • changes lives on a mass scale.
  • serves a purpose to change the world and touches hearts.
  • leads others to find their purpose.
  • helps others get from point A to point B.

These four simple statements can be applied to almost every area of my life and anyone I come in contact with. Whether this is at work, home, or just simply passing someone on the street. These are my filters. The purpose of everything I do gets siphoned through these statements. I challenge you to create a few filter statements to help you get what you want out of life. This radically changed the way I look at opportunity and circumstances in my life.

Do something that matters today,

Cheers!