Each rung of the ladder solves different types of problems.
The problems at the top are more important — and more difficult. As you climb, you’ll find fewer people capable of solving them. They require increasing amounts of autonomy, conceptual thinking, and creativity.
They tend to pay more, too.
(When thinking of examples, I noticed Restaurants and Touring Bands are remarkably similar. Hmm.)
Level 1: Physical Laborers (Dishwashers, Roadies)
This role takes no mental effort. It’s all muscle.
Level 2: Mechanics / Technicians (Kitchen Cooks, Session Musicians)
Warning: mental activity required. Whether it’s fixing cars or fixing computers, it takes specialized knowledge and experience. Still, you’re following instructions to achieve results for people higher up. The important thing to notice here is that, sadly, it’s one step above Physical Laborer.
Level 3: People Wranglers (Managers, Band Leaders)
It takes an entirely different set of talents and skills to run a machine made out of humans. Still, it’s a machine. If you’re one of the few who can conquer this one and move to the higher levels, you can go from being an Animator to an Animation Studio Owner.
Level 4: Salesmen (Hosts, Entertainers)
I think highly of Salesmen. It’s said in business that “nothing happens until a sale is made.” Do not overlook the importance of this level. If you pay attention, you’ll realize that these are some of the most creative improv actors you will ever meet. Still, they are second to…
Level 5: Creators (Owners, Artists)
This is the person who had a vision. “We are the dreamers of dreams.” They take all of the risk and all of the responsibility. The highest level of self-discipline and self-actualization is required. It’s not for wimps.
Points of Interest
Personally, I spend way too much of my time on Level 2. It takes away from what I can be spending on 4 and (most importantly) 5. That’s because I’ve avoided Level 3.
It’s time to change that.
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