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.

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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.

Scary, huh?

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.

 

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