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Imperial Dreaming

So it’s a new week here at Words Don’t Do It justice and there is a MAJOR Debut coming tomorrow. But before we get to the arrival of The Ronin, I wanted to get in on a subject, and maybe two, if we have time. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately getting bar stuff done. But when I need a moment to laugh or just get away from the serious stuff I watch the breakfast club interviews. Well that’s not entirely correct. I consume anything where Charlamagne tha god is making jokes. And the other day that lead me to watching the BEEF series. Specifically Damon Dash’s contribution. Which of course leads to this topic today.

You are probably already wondering how rapper beefs and radio DJs tie in with imperial dreams. The title is a bit of trap. No one truly dreams of an empire these days. Not the way people used to. There isn’t an upstart American building a private army to go conquer all the other states and countries to rule north and South America. I gave that dream up in junior high. No instead we consider our public personas and successes apart of our personal empire. We toss that word around a lot more liberally these days. What is it to have an empire of your dreams? Does it mean being entirely successful at everything you endeavor in? I don’t think so. Many times people try to expand the brand that is themselves and fail at it. So success and an empire can’t be mutually inclusive.

So what about diversification? Surely being into multiple opportunities and streams of revenue can mean an empire? Well it is certainly part of one. When your money comes to you in different ways like employees that could be seen as an empire of sorts. But no, all of these pale in comparison to what I mean by imperial dreaming. I don’t think imperial dreams are out of reach for most of us. The idea isn’t everyone is amazing at something so they should make an empire of them. Dreamers, dreaming a grander dream, if you will. No the idea is that you have a grand vision for what you want your existence to be. How to spend your blip on the stage of our Universe. Which comes to the ultimate question.

Is it better to build something truly yours or is it better to take your place among something that exists before you? A problematic question to be sure. But what if your vision, your path, is to be the best area manager for Gamestop? What if your goal is to be the top ad exec in the southwest? Are these bad goals? How about smaller? What if you want to be the best cover band in Las Cruces, New Mexico? Are these visions lesser than the guy who wants to open a music label, a clothing line, or a production company? I submit that they aren’t. People often use stay in your lane or play your position as a means of dealing with their objects of amorous pursuits getting “out of pocket” and doing things beyond their status. But the same goes for the idea of your personal empire. If we are going to fully devalue the term empire. If we are going to say every man’s/women’s home is their castle. If we are going to let anyone with multiple revenue streams call themselves a mogul. Then your personal world is your empire.

Now as we should know from history, empires crumble all the time. Mostly due to someone trying to take Russia(figuratively or literally). What is your personal Russia? I’m beginning to think mine is Zoe Saldana. Wait no that’s a pipe dream of mine. Let me explain the difference. A Russia is something you actively attempt to do in spite of evidence that you will fail, and a long track record of people failing, after which your empire is horridly shaken because you did in fact fail.  Russia in my case would be a radio show. I’ve had one. It was decent. But there is no way I’d really do well with a consistent one. A pipe dream is something you really want but know is impossible not just improbably and don’t really actively seek it out. I’m sure via some convoluted combination of lawyer friends, musician friends, Those Acoustic Kats, and sheer reality bending favor by the universe and dare I say God himself I could end up in the same place as Zoe. But if you imagined THE Ruthless Wonder deftly getting around her security and whomever else she’s with to say something smooth and yet deep and impactful enough to get her to spend some time with yours truly I’m gonna say you need more help than me. It isn’t happening and I pretty much know it.

But does my empire crumble because of it? Of course not. My empire is not focused on the possibility of ending my days sipping tropical drinks and eating fresh caught seafood on my island in the South Pacific with an actress I’ve never been within 300 miles of. But the rest of that sentence? Oh that is the moment when I have truly conquered. Every move an imperial march towards it. Because when an empire loses goals they become bloated, extravagant, and lose their influence. Just like a musical artist that gets the record deal, the sub label deal so they can sign artists, buys the cars, clothes, and houses and then has no idea what to do next. Their music suffers. Their life suffers. Because they no longer have a next level goal. That is what you have to avoid. Imperial dreaming is fine. Heck it gets the Ruthless stamp of approval. But you can’t stop. You have to think of a new move to make. A new goal to have. I’m about to hit my tier 3 goals in less than 6 month’s time. Took me longer than expected, and I had my Hannibal trying to bring elephants through the alps moment. But what happens after esquire I already have thought out.

The same should go for you. I realize this sounds very advice like. Very, you need your own empire and here’s how. That wasn’t the intention, but it is worth posing the question to you all. Which is better? The independent empire or the, for lack of a better term, reliant empire? And is it necessary to keep looking for more? Should we be looking for exactly our lane and position and stay there and play there? I leave the decisions for your lives, and the discussions to you in the comments section.

–          RW