Adam Savage on Retirement and Sharing Project Ideas with Family and Friends

On this Q&A with Adam Savage, he answers a few questions with answers that really resonated with me. First, he was asked if he shares his project ideas with family and friends. His very sincere answer touches on the vulnerability of an idea and how you want to be careful with who you entrust that idea to.

His answer reminded me a little bit of Stephen King who writes about sharing a word-in-progress book with anyone. King says NO, never, because of the vulnerability of the idea. King doesn’t let anyone read a word until he’s done. And then his first reader is always his wife, because he knows that she knows about idea-vulnerability. King says to have one reader, someone who understands what you’re doing and knows how to navigate the precarious nature of the creative process. Similarly, Adam suggests figuring out who the people are who you can talk to “safely” and only sharing with them.

Answering the question on will he ever retire, Adam struggles to even wrap his mind around the concept. He says: “Retirement for me means spending a lot more time passing on my knowledge…I’m never going to stop making stuff. I’m never going to cease collecting objects, stories, and ideas…My hobby is my living, my living is my hobby. I’m always going to be doing that.”

He also is aware enough to recognize the great privilege he enjoys (as I do) of being able to do what you truly love for a living and getting paid for it. And because it’s him doing what he loves, he never plans to stop, he just might start getting paid less and less for it.


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