Your Choice of Medium

Does the medium really matter that much?

Not as much as you might imagine. In fact, less. Well, I lied, a little. Let’s just cut to the chase: Your choice of medium is not as important as you may have originally thought. It’s greatest strength may also be it’s greatest weakness.

For example, if you’re working on building an online empire then you’ve chosen the internet as your medium of choice. That’s it’s strength but also it’s weakness as you won’t be in print or be found on billboards (unless you spend significant capital outside of your chosen medium).

Now, you might not care all that much and your business may not necessarily require billboards and other physical properties) so that’s understandable. But continuing on…

Are you a musician? Then your medium is your instrument and sound. Great stuff except you need your instrument every single time you want to create sound and you can’t bust out that drumset just anywhere. Oh, and you can’t technically “see” the music either. Too bad for those that are deaf or have other disabilities.

Are you a writer? Your medium is a book (traditional) which doesn’t always translate to the digital space (this has been proven countless times, and vice versa). And you can’t have your entire book on a billboard either – writing would be too small and you can’t read it from a distance.

Are you an artist? A painting on the wall is great but it just sits there. Does nothing outside of it’s very own presence there in that context. It cannot move nor will it operate functionally in the digital medium like it does in the gallery.

See what I’m driving at?

The point of all this is to remind you kindly not to become married to the medium – or you’ll most likely close yourself off to unexpected (and perhaps pleasant) opportunities and surprises. Your own dedication to a medium may actually be the thing that is limiting not only your expression of your work but also it’s profit. You’ll have to, instead, be more dynamic, more flexible with your craft than you might otherwise want to be or have considered.

It may seem like a revolutionary thought but one that must be seriously entertained, especially if you want to run a business, build a boutique [fill in the blank], or have any commercially-specific enterprise. Leverage your unique strengths and creative talents but don’t be so bought in your choice of medium that you cannot pivot, cannot change. 

Be flexible when it comes to the medium and you might find yourself a bit more free, more successful, and a lot more satisfied with your work.

A Few Things to Think About:

  1. What are some of the mediums that you use today?
  2. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  3. How much are you dependent on them and why?
  4. Is there a way to reduce your dependency?
  5. Are there opportunities that you’re missing by choosing X, Y, Z medium?
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