Yes, I understand the title seems deliberately provocative; why would I claim to return to the underworld when I’ve never been there? But the writing for pleasure part is honest.
This title should not imply that I have not enjoyed the work of the last year. No, Invert City is one of my most gratifying projects yet. What I intend to say with this title is that I miss writing about other aspects of my life.
I miss writing about the more abstract parts of life and my experience.
Composing articles about coaching makes me happy, but the creative and poetic requirements for that task are limited to the sport and the Invert City audience. I don’t think people searching for coaching, gymnastics, and tumbling tips want to know about my international criminal friends. Or they might, but assuming they do could be problematic.
The Choice to Return to The Underworld
On Monday, November 7th, I attended a social influencers event put on by a fascinating entrepreneur. The event took place in the Mister C bar inside the Bisha Hotel in Toronto, and it’s the antecedent to my choice to return to this kind of work.
Surely, the fact that I was invited to this party by the most socially intelligent person I know, Xander Ellis, contributed to the context for this choice.
Shauna, our host, is an interesting human. She is the founder and CEO of the Outlet Network, an app for entertainment and creative entrepreneurs to book jobs, network, host and attend events. Their proclamation and motto is that you determine your growth.
You can follow Shauna on Instagram here.
During our introduction, she described the Outlet app as the “Tinder for creatives,” which reminded me of why I was there — to meet people and make new friends.
During the following hours, I smiled, approached people, and gathered intelligence from all those who intrigued me. And if you know me, you know I’m intrigued by almost everyone. Like that song by Saint Motel says, “You’re just my type, you got a pulse, and you are breathing.” And while I’m a man who’s got very specific tastes, I also know that love, friendship, and good opportunities come wearing disguises.
You never know unless you try it.
My desire to meet and connect with the people in the bar led me to conversations with successful actors, models, promoters and entrepreneurs. Many of the people I spoke to were willing to continue the conversation after the event, and we have continued talking. It’s been delightful.
Writing for Pleasure
And when I say for pleasure, I mean the enjoyment of doing something. We excitedly anticipate pleasurable possibilities because they arouse our senses, and this is true for me when I share the weirder anecdotes of my connections to special friends. I am also excited by the notions of human behaviour and communication — what makes people move.
Working for government agencies procuring sources and intelligence from foreign entities was fun; it had an air of espionage (but it wasn’t that because espionage is wrong and punishable with life imprisonment) that introduced me to many of the principles I use today to influence people into success.
Knowing the people responsible for what Loretta Lynch called “The Biggest crime of its kind in history” has similar perks. I learned invaluable skills from these individuals I now consider my trusted friends. Imagine the conversations one can have about improving social insight with those who manipulated the global financial markets.
Writing their books has exposed me to knowledge inaccessible to most people.
Running a management consulting company and solving complex perception issues for fortune 500 companies was a blast. Working in public relations, or, as we call it in the industry – perception management – allowed me to use the skills I learned as a government operative to benefit the private sector.
This is who and what I am, and Shauna’s event reminded me of this truth. It had been almost a year without using my social skills this way before the gathering at the Bisha Hotel. The mixture of provincial restrictions and my focus on building Invert City into what it is now precluded the need to use my powers.
That day I felt that sweet surge of excitement every time I made eye contact with someone. People were attractive again, and my smile was genuine when I saw theirs.
On that day, I remembered that these are the stories I want to share and the ideas I want to teach because just thinking about them makes me happy.
Thanks for stopping by.
— Peyton Dracco