Today is the day after my first Farmers Market. I’m tired and refection on the day. Distracted, I read through my RSS reader and two posts really spoke to me as I considered my day. First was a post by Seth Godin about the rewards of ‘playing the short game’ (immediate) and 'playing the long game” (delayed). He talks about a third way the “infinite game”. A way of operating in the world where the rewards (sales) are not important at all and it is in the playing that satisfaction is achieved.
How can I make my woodworking an “infinite game”. It is not how I win or make money but how I play. Playing for playing sake and not for the money. Improving my game and having fun playing is where it is at and not in keeping score by making money. I realize that I use money as a scoring mechanism. If I can sell my wood products for a given price then I feel certified and appreciated. But I have a 'sunk cost’ of time. materials and feelings in a piece that I have already spent. I have already received a rich reward of participation in learning and skill building. Getting any further return is positive. Even getting no return is fine because I have already learned and built as a maker the object. Selling it and moving it just gives me room to make more and develop my maker skills. Speed. Delivering and shipping it! The first iteration doesn’t have to be prefect. I just want to play in this space.
The second item in my RSS reader that cause pause was a item by JoJo Wood, an up and coming spoon carver. She related a experience she had with Jarrod Stonedahl, another accomplished spoon carver, in which he said something like 'when I make something I really like, sometimes I like to give it away. Because then I can chase the idea.’ Prefect. Sometimes giving away a design lets you chase it, develop it and think differently about it. It lets you play the infinite game.