30 days. 30 days until I need to get my shit together for Anime Expo. 30 days to structure my perfect battle plan. 30 days to mentally prep for the largest convention I have attended yet. 30 days of disciplining myself when it comes to money management. 30 days to get things right or lose everything I desired for my brand and personal growth – for at least a year. 30 days isn’t enough time when you’re planning out big moves. But you best use those days wisely.
I’m on death grounds.
What is death grounds? Death Grounds is a warfare strategy use as a reaction to desperation tactics in the face of not defeat – but death. It’s based on Sun Tzu (author of The Art of War) desperate ground, which he defines as follows:
‘When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rare, and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.’
In short, when pushed against a corner, an army must go all out to survive. If they don’t, they’ll be slaughtered by the opposition. Failure isn’t an option.
It’s kill or be killed.
I know I’m coming off as dramatic over plans for a nerd convention, but put yourself in my shoes. Since Fall of 2017, I’ve been planning and going around telling my peers that I’m going to Anime Expo. I’ve invested $350 on a plane ticket. I saved up $440 for my share of the hotel cost. I invested $475 on an AX Premier Fan pass (a fancy way of saying VIP pass to avoid the long lines). I’m ordering pieces for my Monika cosplay this week (only because I made a drunken post on social media stating that I’m doing a genderswap cosplay of her) which will run me around $150. Too much money has gone towards this trip for me not to go.
When you invested money into something, you better fucking make sure it happens.
I must gather my resources, wits, tools, and wisdom together to make it out to AX. I either get to kill it at Anime Expo and achieve a milestone for my brand or die. Of course, there’s next year, but let’s say if I miss out on this year’s AX. I run the risk of losing opportunities this year I will never get next year. There’s an influential guest or person at this year’s AX I could have met who could help me get to the next level. He or she won’t be at any conventions again in their career. I missed out on that network. Death. Worse, I miss out on AX this year and a few weeks after the event, I die. Death.
Here’s something scarier: Allowing myself to be on Death Grounds is fun. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s fun. I guess it’s my borderline masochist nature, but I find it motivating. Why? Because I want to see the end results of this 10 months of planning. . All my shit talking, planning, and performing massive action must pay off. I can’t fuck up now. In fact, there are no fuck ups allowed on death grounds.
Either you win or die.