How To Start A Big Project: Climb A Mountain & F*ck

Climb-A-Mountain-&-Fuck

 

 

 

 

 

Wondering how to start that big project?

You aren’t alone… Big projects are always easy to start tomorrow.

 

Here’s a quick story that might get you going…

When you are finished reading, please take a minute and share how you start big projects in the comments below.

We’d love to hear your perspective.

 

Once upon a time… I was living in a rickety trailer in Mexico with my girlfriend.

We’d been traveling for 5 months and the Baja looked like the perfect place for a break.

It would give me plenty of time to create articles and videos for Adventure Sauce…

And my girlfriend could work on her Spanish.

 


My-Rickety-Mexican-Trailer

 

Plus, we were resting up for an across the USA hitchhiking trip…

And preparing to shoot a documentary of our experience.

We were excited… and would spend hours slugging cold Pacificos, eating tacos, and brainstorming how we would shoot it.

Of course, neither of us had any idea how to shoot a documentary.

 

And the word “documentary” had me sweating.

I’ve never attended a prestigious film school or spent years as a production assistant, like most Normal documentary filmmakers.

And even though I’d been pretty successful on Youtube

A documentary project seemed different.

Bigger… foreign… real… and fuckin’ scary.

 

Despite my stomach gurgling with fear (although I’d faced this battle before and I knew what I needed to do.

I had to study… and I had to start taking action.

So I did what any Artistic Adventurer would do…

  • I started Googling like a mad man…  “How To Shoot A Documentary.”
  • I wrote and wrote about what I wanted to ‘say’
  • And I downed beers and smoked joints with the our neighborly (and leatherly) Gringos around the fire… shaping the ideas in conversation

I became consumed by hunting down ideas.

Sort of like the Gringos here,  who were consumed with hunting down the biggest whitefish in the Sea of Cortez.

 

But it got too much… and my brain became an Idea Junkie.

It was addicted to hunting down, slaughtering, and consuming the best ideas about how to shoot a documentary… ever.

I didn’t want to fail.

And I wanted you to be able to see what hitchhiking really was like.

 

If your brain has ever become an Idea Junkie…

You know it can only last so long… before you OD.

Of course, I had to take a hit of the antidote to this addiction…

I had to take action.

 

If you are feeling this way as you start at a big project ahead of you, my recommendation is to…

 

Climb the nearest mountain and fuck.

 

Climb-A-Mountain-&-Fuck

 

That is the bold and raunchy way to describe it anyways… but let me explain.

There were some small mountains near our trailer.

And my girlfriend and I had been talking about climbing them together for weeks.

But we always seemed too busy

So on that day, when my brain could take no more… we decided to grab our camera and start hiking.

 

Now… this isn’t the kind of mountain that is 15,000 feet high.

There is no snow on top and there aren’t any trees.

It is more like a big hill in the desert.

Scattered on the sides are thorny bushes and plenty of the cacti you would see in old Western movies.

 

There isn’t exactly a trail either.

But there are plenty of rocks.

The big boulders make a huge staircase to clamber up…

As if you were shrunk to 3 inches high and were forced to climb out of the steps at your parent’s house.

 

But as we sweat and climb…

I can feel myself gaining Strength.

My Fears are getting tired

And my Brain’s need for an Idea Fix had been burned up.

 

The sun quietly creeps towards the Western horizon.

The air is thickening with pastel colored light as if Monet had chosen the colors.

And as we crawled over the final boulder…

The Sea of Cortes stretches out in front of us like an endless purple pancake.

 

I-will-never-forget-this-moment

 

This is one of those moments… that I will remember forever.

The fading sunlight bathed my skin…

I had endorphins chugging thru my brain making me feel like a Hollywood star.

And it’s just me and my gorgeous co-star.

 

Watching 3 fishing boats go out to sea in zig-zags…

Looking like drunk teenagers stumbling and flirting with each other…

It was a moment where you know why you travel…

And you feel something bigger than yourself in that Monet air.

 

I gazed at the radiant little co-star that had accompanied me up this mountain…

And I could enjoy the bond we had built as we had adventured around the USA…

 

Looking at her, it was pretty clear what the most beautiful sight was.

And it was clear what we must do.

 

We were going to shoot the first scene of our documentary.

Here.

Now.

No script, no treatment, or storyboard.

We were just going to take action.

 

I set up the camera and we did what came natural.

You can guess where we naturally went from there…

And I’ll spare you the Sauce-y details. ;)

 

But after that day, we had broken the addiction of my Idea Junkie Brain.

We had started our big project and it was time to get to work.

 

Are you staring nervously at a big project for 2013…

But not sure where to start?

 

Is there a mountain nearby you could climb?

Is there a radiant little co-star you could ‘collaborate’ with?
Is there something you could do today to take one step forward?

 

And how have you started big projects in the past?

We’d love to hear from you.

 

Your process doesn’t need to be anything like mine…

But I’d love to compile different ways Artistic Adventurers start big projects.

 
Thanks for taking a minute to share… it means a lot.

Your friend,

-Benjamin

13 Responses to How To Start A Big Project: Climb A Mountain & F*ck
  1. ruud
    January 17, 2013 |

    Working at an office for a shitload of time made me realize that I wanted to do what I love and that is drawing, painting and tattooing, oh yeah and starting a blog with friends http://www.breadbox.it..
    So I saved money and said adios to my boss in feb last year. First I went to Latin America to improve my drawing skills and I could see them go upwards quite fast, really motivating. In the meanwhile I bought a tattoo-kit and now I’m in South East Asia to find a good artist who can learn me to tattoo and find out more about the whole culture behind tattooing.. Besides that I’m trying to find hostels where I can do murals or help around to get a free place to stay and some food. Flippin’ good life, never felt better than now and I’m sure that in ‘the end’ I can make a living out of it!! Adventuresauce keeps me motivated and still guides me through to keep on going for it!

    Sorry for the long story ;)

    Ruud

    • Benjamin Oliver Jenks
      January 17, 2013 |

      Happy to hear the story, Ruud. I remember you from a bit ago.

      Happy to hear your adventure of a lifetime is progressing.

      Let us know how we could help,
      Benjamin

  2. Matt
    January 17, 2013 |

    I’ve been jonesing to do a blog with video lessons on simple ways for two beginners to collaborate and rock out instead of saying “oh I’m not very good” and practicing smoke on the water alone in their room.. and your post today inspired me to get started! First post is not super sexy, but crucial and I’m going to make a fun collab. video today. THANKS!

    • Benjamin Oliver Jenks
      January 17, 2013 |

      Oh cool, let us know how it goes.

      Sometimes when I need to start too… I go look at big bloggers first post.

      No one ever starts sexy.

  3. Alexoaia Codrut
    January 17, 2013 |

    As usual, an epic title followed by a great story. You rock man!

    So, let me tell you about my plan. Because this year I have planned to live on the road, volunteering and travel all over Europe in my campervan, I have started the http://www.digitalnomad.ro project. And I want to make this happen with only 3500 euro if alone, or 5000 euro if my girlfriend is coming along. Living with less is part of my documentary also, learning new trades (for example I may go to Greece in May to build 3 treehouses) and helping people by volunteering on their projects. That’s my main project.

    The side one, because I am the kind of guy who likes to have a back-up plan to the back-up plan, is http://www.zeroweb.ro, my webdesign/folio/money maker.
    Because even living with less needs a bit of “less”.

    So, that’s my plan. I’m working like hell since the beginning of this year, I have launched the Digital Nomad project on the 11th and the zeroweb.playground just now (I actually read your post when it arrived in my inbox today and I rushed to finish since I wanted to reply to this).

    • Benjamin Oliver Jenks
      January 17, 2013 |

      Oh cool man. Sounds like a serious plan.

      Everyone he’s got a cool campervan too, so if that is your think you should def check out his links.

      Good luck man and keep us posted

  4. Kaylee
    January 17, 2013 |

    I *was* staring nervously at my big projects…but then I chopped ‘em down. More specifically, I wrote them down, created baby steps, and wrote them into my 2013 planner.

    I’m such a planner – I love making lists, writing things down in swirly letters with colorful pens. It may sound odd, but that totally thrills me. To each their own, right?

    • Benjamin Oliver Jenks
      January 17, 2013 |

      Hah… I hear you.

      I’m trying to learn to plan better. :) Planning is great too… it really helps to have a plan that you can plug the action into.

  5. David
    January 18, 2013 |

    Ben,
    I LOVE this!
    This post really moved me as I struggle with this all the time. I call it paralysis by analysis.

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    I’m going to go find a mountain now…

    P.S. I’ve been a long time reader, but I don’t think my comments ever show up. I think it’s because I use Safari. But I’m using Chrome right now so we’ll see.

    • Benjamin Oliver Jenks
      January 18, 2013 |

      Hey David,

      Great to hear you finally got through… I’ll check on that compatibility.

      If you were a rapper, David, Paralysis by Analysis would make a great title for a song. :)

  6. Rusted
    January 19, 2013 |

    Already halfway through with a chrome extension game idea which I thought is going to be a long project..

    Preview here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdpkPwlBxkY

  7. Matthew Bailey
    April 24, 2013 |

    haha, we did this on a volcano in Indonesia, and the airplane to China.

    Your right! It’s one hell of a rush!

  8. Christian
    July 13, 2013 |

    Hey all, my BIG project is to open a small restaurant. I cook for a living and we’ve reached a moment of clarity where we need to to make moves into the future.

    While it’s scary, we’re confident that this will bring balance to our lives and fill the void of trying to feed all the ones we love.

    Problem is, we don’t even have the slightest idea on how to get started. We have a business plan started, this adventure sauce seems like just the place to meet some peeps with knowhow and the want to help. So if it’s you, holler! Thanks, Ben, for doing what you do!

    Kepp rockin!

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