That Tattoo Show - Show Notes

Very good is the enemy of Great

By 28 June 2022 No Comments
Very good is the enemy of great. If you think about it, it’s one of the main reasons why we have so few things that become truly great. We by and large do not have great schools. Why? Because we have good schools. By and large we do not have great government because we have good government. Most companies will never become great because most are really quite good. Therein lies much of their main problem.  In this great society of abundance that is the modern world,  most people will wake up at the end of their lives and need to look back and accept the horrifying truth that they did not have a great life because it is oh so easy to settle for a good life.  – Jim Collins

Very Good is the Enemy of Great. 

Like most people living in the 21st century I suffer from a level of anxiety. It builds up sometimes during the year and I’m left feeling like I’m spinning my wheels or treading water. Either not moving or moving without purpose and I hate that. Over the years I’ve developed a way to reset my head and figure out where I’m trying to go artisically. It’s become a really simple and effective way to have a great start to each year.

Make Time to Reset

The last couple of years have been a pretty rough times for all of us. Over the years I have developed unique coping mechanism for when things get tough. It helps me evaluate the recent past and set a course for the near future. I do the same process every year at about the same time of the year and I find that it really helps me stay on track.
That Tattoo Show

Very Good is the enemy of great

When September Ends.

At the end of September every year I start my process. Why September?  Simply because I plan the following years travel and conventions at that point. I start by making backups. I learnt this habit working in publishing. As well as being really important it’s also like a digital detox or fengshui for your computer!
Starting the year with everything off my machines – a clean slate if you like – allows me to focus on moving forward rather than dwelling on the past.
Having a complete backup ‘in the cloud’ also takes a massive stress away and allows me to start the year with a clear head and hard-drive.
During the backup process (which is mostly watching progress bars) I start to try and figure out the right direction for the coming year. Usually in the early stages this is nothing more than a feeling that needs to be given words.

Constant Re-Invention

For instance; this year we’ll have been making THAT TATTOO SHOW for 3 years. During that time a lot has changed. We didn’t start with any kind of plan at all and we’ve figured it out as we’ve got along. But now, after 3 years, we have a pretty good handle on what we do. We understand better who’s listening and where we want to take the channel. We’ve navigated most of the rocky waters of a new channel/team and things are settling into a nice rhythm. Most people agree that That Tattoo Show is very good. But we’re aiming for great. Great will help us stand out but it will take a bit more work and some reinvention. Like almost every year I don’t know what that means practically. But I can feel it.
So I need to give this feeling life. Usually I will have a fragment of something running around my mind. A half remembered song, a misheard lyric, an unknown quote or even a colour. It can really be anything that sparks the second part of the process. It might be that I remember reading a quote by a musician that sums up what I’m feeling. So, I’ll try and dig up the publication or the footage so I can rewatch it. It doesn’t really matter what your trigger is, just learn to listen to your uncomfortable subconscious and try to make it happy.
That Tattoo Show

Very Good is the enemy of great

Chop it down if you have to.

This year the idea of reinvention got me thinking about some of my musical heroes. Reinvention is common for musicians. With each album they have a new sound, a new look and a new message. Take U2 for example. At the end of the 80’s U2 were white hot. The Joshua Tree had been a huge global hit. One of the biggest selling albums of the decade. They followed this with a gigantic tour and a movie/album. ‘Rattle & Hum’ wasn’t well received and was seen by many as arrogant and self indulgent. As the year and decade came to a close, U2 performed a number of gigs in their hometown of Dublin, at the end of their Lovetown tour.As the concert drew to a close, Bono said this was the “end of something for U2” and “we have to go away and dream it all up again”, hinting of a new musical direction to come. The result was Achtung Baby – my first real immersion into U2. I’d been aware of the Unforgettable Fire and the Joshua Tree, but I’d never considered myself a fan until then. When asked about the sound of the – then new – album Bono said  “The sound of Achtung Baby truly is “the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree.”

Very Good is the enemy of great

I find that rewatching or re-reading these ideas whilst drawing or doing something else puts my mind in ‘receive mode’.
My mind pays attention only to the things that stand out, and I often think that the things that stand out  are your subconscious shouting at you saying ‘that’s whats really on your mind’. Often, if I join these quotes and ideas together they end being the thing that sets me up for the coming year. It allows me to look at That Tattoo Show ‘with different eyes’. To see it from a viewers perspective. I ask myself, “would I watch this?” and if the answer isn’t yes then – in this second part of my reset – I figure out what needs to change in order to make the channel great. In the coming year you may not notice all the tiny changes that we’ll make but, with a little luck, the cumulative effect t of those small changes will add up to to something great rather than just very good. Because Very good is the enemy of great.
And thats my reset/move forward/improve process. Hopefully this’ll give you some ideas to use in your process and help you move forward rather than just spinning your wheels. Don’t Forget! Don’t settle for very good. Because very good is the enemy of great.