This morning I was in Jan Juc, a quiet beach town that is bookended by Torquay--where most of the big Australian surf brands have their head offices--and the legendary surf spot Bell's Beach which is known to most non-surfers as the location of the last scene in the film Point Break. This area called the Surf Coast is about an hour drive south-west of Melbourne which makes doing a day-trip a reasonable adventure--if you take the V-line train from Southern Cross station to Geelong and then hop on the Number 74 bus to Jan Juc it won't take you much longer but you'll skip the 8 fixed speed cameras and thus avoid being sent an unwelcome postcard a few weeks later.
I was down in "Juc" as my mate Tim whom I was staying with calls it so I could have a "catch up" with the Southern Ocean. We've only met once before and that was 3 years ago so I was hoping this time we'd get some quality time in together but I think I was the only one who got a good nights sleep the evening before and I wasn't going to waste my clear head on the blue and white tantrum so instead I organised to meet up with an "internet friend" instead.
Lincoln is the editor of Empire Ave (named after a street in Jan Juc), and the brand manager for Bellroy Wallets. We "met" back when I was living in New York City and working as the Marketing Manager for Network A. Part of my job was to spam website's like Lincoln's in the hope that they would embed our newest videos, and not only did Lincoln embed a few of our videos he even emailed me back and from there we kept in contact, I even contributed an article, and he was so kind as to give my Kickstarter project some attention in this post. We organised to meetup at Swell Cafe which is one of about 5 businesses in all of Jan Juc, they all sit next to one another so it wasn't hard to find (a country cafe with city prices--$16.50 for Avocado, Feta, and Tomato on toast--was a bit shocking but the food is great and the service warm and prompt).
Lincoln spotted me sitting outside the cafe and almost immediately we were chatting away at a faster rate than the cluster of lycra-clad local mums who were also at the cafe. Eventually Lincoln asked about Konichiwang and I told him the synopsis of my last blog post: Yes it's still happening but it's not being printed, and I want to shift the focus onto talking with my interviewees about failure. It's at this point I start explaining to people why I think talking about failure is important but Lincoln beat me to it, and better than that he said something sublime "It's like the total opposite to social media!"
I was stunned for a moment because I thought he'd missed my point and had just heard what he wanted to hear but no, he understood what I wanted to do better than I did, so he went on "Social media gives you anxiety that your life is not good enough compared to someone else's so by focussing on the failures made by successful people you're bringing your readers up, you're inspiring them and showing what's possible." I was very impressed with the economical phrasing of his insight.
Social media has created FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and it sucks: I'm both a victim and a perpetrator, so with Lincoln's crisp explanation of an idea that was muddied inside my head I now feel more confident about the direction I'm taking Konichiwang and I will ensure that my expressions and outbursts onto social media are there to bring people up instead of just to bring me up.
PS- Thanks to Lincoln for hooking me up with two great wallets. I didn't know too much about Bellroy before yesterday but after playing around with them I'm really impressed by their clever features.