Has your art, music, book, dance, design, painting, voice or song ever been rejected? Once, twice, or a multitude of times? Then you're in good company!
Success is for those who persevere. Kathryn Stockett's The Help was turned down 60 times before becoming a best seller and now a hit movie!
Every creative must be prepared to hang in there for the long haul, expecting rejection and being strong enough to take it. And take it a multitude of times, without being devastated.
For some, even a hint of criticism is all it takes to throw them off course for months and even years.
For others, the ones who prepare for rejection may sulk for a bit, but before long they are up and off again, ready to prove to the ones who rejected them that they've missed out on a great opportunity. Like Kathryn Stockett. What if she had given up after 20 . . . 30 . . . 40 . . . or 50 rejections?
If success were easy, everyone would be successful. It's not easy but, success is possible for those who expect rejection and are prepared to take it, learn from it and course correct.
Success finds those who choose to stay the course for the long haul, the ups and downs and the "NOs."
"Rejected" doesn't stop me . . . it just makes me push harder.
How about you? Are you prepared for "rejection?" Do you have a plan to push ahead even when the answer is no? If not . . . write yourself a "pep talk" letter - the one you will read after each rejection.
BOOKS REJECTED Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis - 15 rejections Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen - 140 rejections Diary of Anne Frank - 16 rejections Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell - 38 rejections Harry Potter, Book One, J. K. Rowling - 9 rejections Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach - 18 rejections The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot - 17 rejections Watership Down, Richard Adams - 26 rejections A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle - 26 rejections
The beautiful LadyAntebellum lead singer auditioned not once, but twice for "American Idol," and never even made it past the preliminary rounds, never even sang for Simon Cowell, Randy or Paula. She won five Grammys this year, including Record an Song Of The Year. No Idol has ever done that!
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last long and ended in bankruptcy. He didn't give up though. He eventually found his path to success and all who enjoy Disney World today are thankful, because he kept moving forward in the face of rejection.
Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime and, if I recall, there was someone somewhere who told him to "just quit".
So what about you? Have you been discouraged by rejection? How about turning that discouragement into determination? Give yourself that pep talk, dust yourself off and try again.
Share your rejection story below and I'll encourage you. Together we can push though the disappointments until we find our breakthrough.
Do you feel that you have a destiny, that you were created for a purpose? Can you see it, feel it, taste it, but still struggle to bring it to reality?
Do you sense opposition? Does it seem that for every two steps forward, you end up taking three steps back? Are you tired and weary?
Do you find yourself tempted to give up and give in?
For every creative force, I believe that opposition follows. Creatives give birth and giving birth is painful. It requires all of your energy reserves, all the strength you possess, all the determination you can muster, and it really helps if you have someone alongside to coach your breathing and to encourage you to push.
So I'm filling that role today and I'm encouraging you to breathe and then PUSH!!
If you are constantly pushing, you'll eventually wear out. So it's important to take time off to breathe. Breathe in life, stillness, beauty, nature. Surround yourself with inspiring music, books and films, or spend some time in nature. Watch a sunrise or sunset, get your feet wet and your hands dirty. Breathe deeply, live fully and stay in the moment.
After a bit of refreshing . . . it's time again to PUSH!
Create something and push it out of your hands into the marketplace! Every creative I know struggles with thoughts like:
Is it good enough?
Does it measure up?
Will anyone like it?
Will it sell?
Am I nuts for trying to 'make it' with my art?
You won't know the answer to those questions until you put it out there.
Are you tempted to wait until it's perfect? And even 'perfect' seems not good enough? Are you stuck in paralysis analysis? Stop it!! You don't bless anyone when your product stays in your studio, you don't make money, you don't learn, and you certainly don't move forward. Forward motion is powerful.
Are you holding projects that should have been released long ago?
Perhaps you don't yet have a platform. What then? Share with your friends, get feedback, start building your list, and plan for an upcoming BIG push!!
If you have questions or if I can help in anyway, please let me know.
And if you want to make a commitment to push something forward and out of your hands, comment below!!
Don't forget to click the +1 button next to the twitter icon.
"Building a tribe is not a matter of a miracle. Instead, it’s about converting tiny groups of people at a time, leading them, connecting them, building an audience. When a self-published author does this, she has a new job. Not the author part, the publisher part. She’s not putting a book into the universe and hoping it will be found. She’s not even putting a book in a journalist’s hands and hoping it will be hyped. No, she is engaging in a years-long journey to build a platform. It might take a decade to become an overnight success, but if you keep it up, if you keep building, the odds keep getting better and better." from the blog by Seth Godin
This paragraph from Seth Godin's blog today really hits home with me and I hope it does with you. If you have a product to sell, or information to sell, you should be spending time daily building your tribe and your platform. If you understand this, your odds of becoming successful or being able to make a living with your creativity increase exponentially. However, I must add the taking action part. Once you understand it, you have to take the steps of getting out of your comfort zone and reaching out on a regular basis, to build that tribe.
This is a tribe of people that you communicate with and encourage regularly. You may never meet them face to face, but you care about them and they feel like they know you. This can happen through a weekly or monthly newsletter, a blog, speaking engagements, concerts, gallery showings, a forum or even twitter. Somehow, someway, you need to build a tribe of followers who relate to and draw strength from your message.
When you have a tribe and you release a new CD, painting, book or e-book, you have an audience who is ready to push the 'buy now' button!
I'm wondering . . . what are you doing, or planning to do, to build your tribe?
“For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28
Really? Do all things work together for good? I choose to believe that they do, but admit that it’s difficult to cling to this when tragedy strikes, or when things don’t go my way.
In my last blog, I expressed the frustrations I’ve had with vocal problems. As a singer, I’m choosing to believe that things will work together for my good. And I must admit that this has led me on an interesting adventure!
At the beginning of summer, I decided that I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and do some things that I normally don’t do. This was to be an attempt to live life to the fullest and to live fully in the moment. I had no idea of where this would lead me.
It started with a conversation with a friend. She knows an opera singer who prepares for performances by swimming. He said that it was the absolute, best way for a singer to get in shape. Well, being desperate, I decided to try it. Our neighborhood has a fabulous resort-style, salt water pool. I hate to admit it, but I had never swam in the pool. Why? I hate even the thought of wearing a bathing suit in public; however, I had already made the decision to push myself out of my comfort zone. So I knew that there was no stopping me now.
I went on a desperate search through the inner sanctum of my cluttered closet and found this little, dusty, spandex thing called a "swim suit." I pulled it out, dusted it off and stretched it over winter's extra 'poundage.'
Here's an excerpt from my journal: "July 13th: Swam 6 laps this morning. I’m doing new things to be fully alive. What is not normal is what I am doing . . . pushing myself out of my comfort zone into a new way. I like it! It jolts you out of the ordinary and brings forth new ideas and new breakthroughs. So, here’s to new beginnings!”
Now that I’m fully into this swimming thing, I’m convinced that it is indeed the best thing for my voice. I still don’t like stretching the spandex over the expanse of my privates every morning, or dealing with "wet pool hair" every day, but the benefits definitely outweigh my complaints. My voice is stronger, I’ve lost weight, I have a golden tan, sun streaked hair; I breathe deeper and have more energy than I’ve had in a very long time. I'm loving it!
Now, I can’t help but wonder: what else have I missed out on because I’ve refused to get out of my comfort zone? Are the very things I desire out there for the taking if I simply step out and do what’s difficult for me? And I wonder the same for you. Are you missing out of being "fully alive" this summer because you’re hiding behind an excuse?
Please, let me encourage you to step out and do that thing that you’d like to do, but you’ve held back on doing because it would make you feel uncomfortable. Your breakthrough is there for the taking!
Will you take it? Odds are, it could be the very thing that works together for your good, coming to you to enrich your life. Choose, along with me, to believe that even the obstacle you are facing could be just the catalyst to move you beyond the norm of your life, into a life that is more "fully alive."
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Yesterday I was at the grocery store, when the guy bagging my groceries started singing a popular Sarah McLachlan song. He looked at me and asked me to join in with him (I do live in Nashville ... a.k.a. Music City, USA! ). With everything in me, I wanted to belt it out, but couldn’t.
You see, I am a singer with vocal problems. The last few years have been rough vocally and, a few months ago, I was even struggling to talk. I have worked with vocal coaches and breathing experts. I do a myriad of strange exercises for the voice, I’ve started swimming, and I vocalize regularly. My speaking voice is stronger, but my singing problem is still a mystery. In August I will visit the Vanderbilt Voice Clinic and, hopefully, finally get an official diagnosis.
I have good and bad days, but it’s all very frustrating, because everything I do depends on my voice. I believe I’m dealing with something much like Shania Twain. If you haven’t heard her story, she also lost her voice. Hopefully, it looks as though she is getting it back.
Everything I thought I would be doing during this season of my life is on hold. My plans did not pan out. I cannot sing the song that is in my heart. So I’ve been singing a different tune lately: I’m painting! I'm also building a business to encourage creatives in their marketing pursuits. My song is now being sung in new and different ways. Most of the time, I’m fine with it. Today, I’m not. I miss singing.
What song do you long to sing? Have circumstances, difficulties or a lack of funds stolen your song? Is there an ache inside you to do something that you simply cannot do?
What do you do with that disappointment? Do you ignore it or deal with it? I’m doing all I can to get my voice back. What are you doing to get your song back?
"Most people die with the music still in them." Oliver Wendell Holmes
Don’t let life go by with your deep desires buried inside. You were created with a song to sing and to be fully alive you MUST sing it. Life has a way of silencing our song, but we must be intentional and fight to get it back. Some of us don’t even know the song anymore? We can’t even hear it.
Here is the rest of the quote: "Most people die with the music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out." Oliver Wendell Holmes
Determine to set aside some time to listen to your heart. What is the song? It may be faint, but odds are, if you listen long enough . . . you will hear it again.
For every breakthrough, there are pesky 'critters' that want to rob you, just before the first bloom!
My beautiful garden is being attacked by bunnies. At least I thought bunnies were eating my flowers. But yesterday, I came face to face with "Jack" Rabbit;" he was bigger than the neighbor's fat cat! Jack startled me and he has already been back this morning for breakfast!
As soon as you decide to step outside of your comfort zone and launch into the deep, it's as though critters appear to gnaw on the blooms of your creativity, before your glory is even revealed. These critters may be bigger than you expect and closer than you had imagined. They may even be members of your own family, who are threatened with your new activities.
I'm reminded of a passage from the book, The War of Art. The author talks about learning to function fully, in spite of fear and opposition. That we are not to let those 'rabbits' destroy our creative flow, but we are to learn how to move forward, in spite of them. So . . . this morning I did a little on-line research and ordered some "Shake Away" for my garden. It's a deterrent for rabbits.
Do you need a little 'Shake Away' for your garden of creativity? Are you struggling with fear and insecurity, disorganization, or lack of discipline? Do you stumble with marketing and feel like a failure, before your 'glory' is even revealed?
Don't despair . . . I'm gonna shake away some of your critters! First, you need to name the 'critter'. What is it that is keeping you from making headway? What is your excuse?
Have you swallowed the lie, that you'll always be a struggling, starving artist? That it really is too hard? Let me encourage you, with the Internet, we now have the opportunity to have a world-wide store, open 24/7. With YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, we can advertise while curled up on the couch in our PJs. There has never been a more opportune time for creatives. We simply need to let our creativity flow over into our marketing. We must 'do something' to get rid of those pesky rabbits.
So I'm going to encourage you today by offering a free gift. Just fill out the form to the right of this forum and get my 'FREE GIFT'. It's a special report ~ Artists Arise! 12 Steps To Turn Your Vision Into Provision. Allow me to help you 'shake away' those - as Elmer Fudd would say -"dirty rabbits" today!
1 ~ Leave a comment below.
2 ~ Fill out the form on the upper right to get your free report.
3 ~ Please click the +1 button below if you like this post .
I have recently received a beautiful gift. As a matter of fact, it may be the most beautiful gift I've ever received. It is the gift of a flower garden.
Some of you may remember that my friends, Bob and Jayne Farrell, lost everything they owned in the Nashville flood last year. The sad part of the story is that they still have no home. They've been staying with their kids in Phoenix for the last year.
This past month they were here in Nashville, looking for land to build on. While here, they faced many ups and downs and are still wrestling with the reality that those who promised to help them rebuild have since changed their minds.
In the midst of the confusion, Jayne came to my house, shovel in hand. She spent endless hours in the hot sun ... digging, preparing the soil, and planting. It was very humbling for me to watch her give so much of herself to make my home beautiful, when she has no home of her own. Such a beautiful picture of selfless love and unselfish giving.
I've always wanted a garden, but I simply didn't know where to start. I needed someone who knew about gardening. My desire was there, but I didn't know the steps. Jayne showed me the basics, how to prepare the soil, what types of plants and flowers to buy, what kind of plant food and fertilizer to use. It's really overwhelming when you don't have the basic knowledge. My dear friend Jayne became my gardening coach and I am forever grateful to her.
Perhaps that's where you are with marketing your creativity. You create, but you have no clue how to market your creation.
Imagine if you had a coach, someone like Jayne, who could show you the basic steps. Perhaps your creativity could blossom into a thriving revenue stream.
If this sounds good to you, I'm thrilled to share with you my Summer Success Coaching Packages.
Creatives, you are blessed with innovative ways of thinking, but if you're not careful, this creativity can lead to a lack of focus.
I keep running into creatives that are tackling new projects every time I see them. They are bouncing from one idea to the next on a regular basis, never making any headway. Now, I'm all for multiple streams of income, but if you bounce before you get traction with one, you're on a path destined for failure.
It seems that many are looking for that 'magic bullet': the one thing that will make money and take them from starving to thriving. I hate to burst your bubble, but if that's the way you're thinking, I'll save you some time and lot's of energy by telling you that the 'magic bullet' doesn't exist!
Instead of chasing after the new thing that promises to be a magic bullet, I encourage you to find your focus, your highest passion, and determine to make it fly. Decide to stay with it for the long haul. Focus all of your energy on this one project and determine to get it off the ground. Discipline your time and reject all 'shiny obects' that come along to zap your energies. Believe me . . . they will come like clockwork to distract you.
Whatever you decide to focus on, know that it will take hard work, discipline and long hours. It will progress little by little. You'll have to fight against discouragement and impatience and constantly remind yourself that success does not happen overnight!
You will need encouragers to help you focus and stay on task. It's impossible ... difficult, at best ... to do alone.
So ... what are you working on? What is your dream? Are you getting discouraged before it's even off the ground?
Give yourself a time limit. If you're not making any headway in 4 to 6 months, I would suggest your seeking some wise counsel. Hire a coach if you can ... someone to hold you accountable and make sure you're on the right track. After that, if you're still not making headway in a few months time, you might want to reconsider. But always get advice and seek wisdom before you move on to the next thing. Often, discouragement and giving up comes just before the breakthrough.
Stop bouncing and start focusing! If you take consistent steps daily in one direction, before long you will see the vision start to become reality.
If you need some support, let me know. I've been known to cheer many over the finish line! And please, feel free to share your struggles. Are you tempted to change paths, because the one you're on is taking too long? Are you discouraged or are you stuck?
I'm constantly running into creatives who are STUCK. They can't seem to push their projects over the edge to completion. Upon hearing their stories, I'm struck with statements that seem common to the "starving artist" community:
"I just can't make up my mind about what to call my website."
"I must redo 'such and such' and don't have the funds or time."
"When I get past this obstacle, I'll start on marketing my art."
"I just can't figure out how to do . . . . "
These aren't reasons, they're excuses born out of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Maybe even fear of success.
As a creative, are you an excuse maker or an action taker? Do you wallow in your reasons for 'why not' rather than fight through the fog to the finish line? If you find yourself hitting a wall with your creative projects, listen closely.
We get stuck in our creativity for lots of reasons. But often it boils down to the fact that we don't think our product is good enough.
Well, I say, 'Action is better than perfection!'
If you don't get your art out there, you'll stay STUCK .... and STUCK is not a productive place.
Have you noticed that Apple puts their products on the shelves and sells multiplied millions of dollars of product, before all of the kinks are worked out? How many hours have you spent on-line with 'trouble shooters,' just to find that it's a flaw with the computer or software program?
Now, I'm not advocating that you produce flawed products on purpose, but surely you get the point. If you wait until it's perfect . . . . you are losing money, fans and endless possibilities. Truth is . . . it'll never be perfect! So what are you waiting for?
Take action today and everyday. Get your art, your music, your writing, your designs out there for the world to see. In fact, take the first step out of 'Stuckville' and share them below (post a link to your work) in the comment section. I'd love to see you unstuck and on your way to becoming a thriving artist!
By Jeff Slaughter, guest blogger
Living in Europe for the past 13 years has sheltered me from some of the delights of living stateside. So on a recent trip home to Louisiana I was stunned to find an upscale boutique dedicated solely to selling cupcakes.
Not just any cupcakes, but mouth-watering, blood sugar shocking oversized concoctions in familiar flavors like vanilla, chocolate,and red velvet all the way to the unusual such as peanut butter, key lime pie and banana pudding. The eye-popping display features 21 flavors a day and can hold more than 1,000 cupcakes. And it's not uncommon for them to sell out before closing time.
Now, I like a good cupcake, but I like a good business idea even better. So I was intrigued that a business could focus on such a narrow target - and be successful.
I soon learned that the cupcake craze was a national trend, having already spawned a Starbucks-like multi-store company called 'Sprinkles'. In the Memphis airport this week, I found an article in Inc. Magazine declaring that, 'The Great Cupcake Wars' is full on in our nation's capital, with multiple stores and chains competing for the capital's taste buds (you can find the article on Inc's website). There's even a TV show about the cupcake wars on Food Network!
Really? All that over cupcakes?
But I shouldn't be surprised. Cupcake companies have developed business models that are focused, marketed well and poised for profit. Which is what we should be doing with our art. As artists who are learning to focus, market and yes, make a profit, we should take some tips from the Cupcake Craze:
Here are a few things I learned:
Be creative, but be smart: Create art that people want to buy. I bet the flavors that don't sell well in cupcake shops get dropped like hot potatoes. They want to make money, not just prop their shops with cute cakes.
Market shamelessly: That's right, the Cupcakers have learned to sell using facebook pages, twitter accounts, you tube videos, articles in magazines, even trucks driving around Washington D. C. giving away samples. What are we doing to market our art? Are we so ashamed of it we hope no one notices it? Or are we as proud of our art as the Cupcakers are of their Red Velvet masterpieces? Do we really think our art isn't worth as much or more in marketing efforts as a wad of flour, sugar, butter and eggs?
Don't be afraid to charge....a lot: $3.00-$4.00 for ONE cupcake? Do people really pay that much for one cupcake? Yes, they do, just like they pay $3.50 for a tall latte, $4.00 for a gallon of gas, and $10 for a movie ticket. Starbucks, Shell and Tinseltown know how to make money. So do the Cupcakers. And so should we.
I'm going to give you a fun assignment: If there's a cupcake shop near you, get there, buy yourself a nice calorie-laden cupcake, take a big bite and think about how the Cupcake Craze has taken America by storm.
And come up with some ideas about how you might go just as crazy marketing your art.
Jeff Slaughter lives in Brussels, Belgium where he serves in international church ministry, oversees a worship training organization, writes and develops content, and enjoys an occasional cupcake. You can write to Jeff at: JeffKathyS@hotmail.com.
In our ever-changing world, as artists we have an challenge to reach the masses. Art has an extraordinary way of drawing beauty on the soul of mankind. Your skills and gifts as artists are needed to bring about this beauty.
If you are an artist: painter, musician, dancer, designer, poet, dreamer, or simply a lover of the arts, these events are for you. Come join us for an inspirational and insightful experience, as we tackle the tough issues that stand between you, your vision, and provision.
éclat de vie ~ a burst of life
9:00 am - Once Upon A Time
10:00 - The Island of Misfit Toys
11:00 - Refresh
11: 15 - What Will be Written of Us
12:00 - Write theVision and Make it Plain
12:30 - Lunch Provided
1:15 - The Starving Artist
2:15 - The Strategic Artist
2:45 - Discovery Walk
3:00 - The Savvy Artist
4:00 - The Supported Artist
6:30 - Wine and Cheese Concert with Lite Dinner
Sunday, May 15th
9:30 - Come to the Quiet - Blessing Your Creativity
"Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you. So carve your name on hearts and not of marble."C. H. Spurgeon
I have a forum called Artists Arise where artists from across the US and Europe join in conversation. A few days ago one of my artist friends admitted that he was struggling and in a low place. This opened a flood gate of responses on the forum. Many admitted that they were also struggling, discouraged, stressed and under pressure.
We do live in a pressure cooker and the water is boiling! When pressure cookers experience too much pressure . . . they explode. However, they are equipped with a release valve that reduces the pressure and helps avoid a crises.
"When written in Chinese, the word 'crises' is composed of two characters - one represents danger, the other represents opportunity." John F. Kennedy
Do you have a release valve? What helps you avoid crises or melt down? Recently I've been reading Vital Friends, an interesting book about the power of relationships. The research for the book was done by interviewing homeless people and finding out why they were homeless. The majority stated that their path to homelessness started with a break in relationships.
It seems that friends, especially a best friend, can be the release valve we need. But even if you don't have a best friend, as long as you have someone to talk to, you are in position to overcome your bad days and find hope for the future.
My hubby and I with life long best friends Jim & Anne Mills and Elijah.
Honestly, I don't know where we'd be with this couple.
They have helped us through our times of crises.
I realize that many artistic types are loners. We are alone when we create and can often hide behind our creativity. Are you more comfortable in the studio than out in public? Are you shy or maybe a bit self conscious in crowds? Don't let that keep you from reaching out and becoming a friend not just for the taking, but also for giving to someone else the release they need. If you can become a friend who listens, you can become a powerful healing force.
The bottom line is that we need each other.
"A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails." Donna Roberts
"I don’t get really worked up about competition in the marketplace and I’m in some very crowded niches! Why? Because others can copy my content, my teaching points and even my methods, but I don’t stress out about it because they can’t BE me!" Carrie Wilkerson: The Barefoot Executive
I love this quote! Carrie is my coach this year and she has such a good perspective on being authentic.
Where are you on the journey to authenticity? Do you struggle with feelings of inadequacy? Do you wonder why you do your art, when so many are doing something similar and some are even better than you? Do you wonder what will make your product, your painting, your song, your book unique?
The answer is ... YOU!
You are the sum of your life experiences. Your story is what makes you stand out among the
crowd. One of the blessings of social media and the Internet is that people can communicate quickly and easily. There's no excuse. So tell your story or the story behind your song, your painting, your dance or your latest design.
Fans are no longer satisfied with the isolated superstar. They want to reach out and
connect with you. They want to feel like they know the artists behind the painting, the song, the book.
Are you hiding in your studio? I urge you to reach out and communicate with your fans. Take the attitude of giving, helping, serving, encouraging and offering your services to shape the next generation of creatives.
If we can get our eyes off of ourselves long enough, we can change the world. Start by finding someone who needs your words of encouragement. Who knows. . . you may change a life!
I've just launched my business ARTrageous Success! Woo-hoo!
And . . . I've been bombarded by creatives who have no idea how to market their creativity. It's really sad to me, but I TOTALLY understand. A few years ago, I was just like everybody else watching the music industry turn upside down. At the same time, I was having vocal issues and not sure I'd ever sing again. With our future uncertain and our bank account dwindling, I jumped head first into the world of online marketing. Since then I've read, studied, attended seminars, tele-seminars, webinars, been coached, mentored, challenged, stretched, and I'm still learning.
To break through the "I'm an artist not a business person" mindset. And . . . so I can help you! I don't want any of my friends or fellow creatives to fall into the "starving artist" trap of just surviving. I believe that we were created to thrive! Yes, we may face dark trials and desperate situations, but with God's help and wise counsel, we will walk out of the wilderness into a season of fruitfulness once again. But we need tools, strategies and wise plans. If we want to be world changers we must have resources.
I long to share tools and wise counsel. I hope to teach many of you some strategies that will give your creativity a giant push into the market place.
I'm open to seminars, webinars, tele-seminars, one-on-one coaching, or all of the above. Please tell me what you need. What are your biggest challenges? Where are you stuck? How can I help?
Would you attend an online webinar? Would you join a member site for creatives? Are you willing to pay for instruction? Let me know your thoughts.
Wanting to bring out the best in you,
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ~Anne Bradstreet
Hopefully, after last week's post you're at least thinking about starting a list.
I had an "ah ha" moment a few years ago. When I saw the bottom fall out of the music industry, I realized that I needed some skills that I did not possess, business skills. My search led me to Carrie Wilkerson: the Barefoot Executive. When I started working with Carrie she made a statement, "Money is easy to make, you just have to know the steps."
Recently she asked, what would you rather have: ten thousand dollars, or a list of ten thousand names? Ten thousand dollars? Wrong answer! Carrie says she could easily make many times over the ten thousand dollars, and she could make it again and again with a list.
Multitudes of artists have been taught every skill imaginable to make their art, but few have been taught how to make money with their art.
Building a list is step number one! This concept of 'a list' is valuable information and a necessity for every artist, no matter what your art is, but I find it's value is not understood with artists. Many have lists, but are not utilizing them to their advantage. And . . .we've been concentrating on creating instead of selling. The statistic I've heard over and over is that, in business, 20% of your time should be spent on creating and 80% should be spent on marketing your creation. Yikes!! That leaves most artists in the dust.
What do we do about it? We take small steps. If you have an audience, you need to be collecting email addresses. Then you need to communicate regularly with those fans. How? Any way you can! Plan to give away something people want in return for their email address; something digital that you sets up once and don't have to touch again.
Once you have this list, plan to communicate regularly. However, don't make the communication all about you. Give encouragement! Build a theme around your art and make that the conversation. Then make special offers, share your calendar, your latest project, glimpses into what you are working on now. In other words, build a relationship with your fans and encourage them to follow their dreams.
When your career is flourishing and you are booked regularly, make sure you are collecting email addresses. You never know when that slump may come. If you have a list you'll be ready and not skip a beat. If you don't have a list . . . you'll be starting from scratch.
This is truly the number one place to start if you want to make a living with your art. Is that your goal? Then share your art and your dream and tell me how you collect email addresses or how you plan to start collecting them.
"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." ~ Nadine Stair
Spring is in the air! Have you noticed? Around Nashville the pear trees are in full bloom, along with the red buds .... and they are beautiful.! Which brings me to my question: What is budding in you?
Is your creativity in its budding stage? If not, why not? This is the season where new ideas, like tiny seeds, take root and blossom. Have you been hiding or keeping your creativity from the people who need it so desperately? If so, it's time for your marketing skills to bloom as well. Many artists spend the bulk of their time creating, but not marketing their creativity, thus - the 'starving artists' syndrome!
How about you? Do you have a marketing plan that is in position to blossom? Are you waiting for the beautiful glory of spring, or are you frantically trying to figure out how to get your creativity to the market place? Let me help you.
The number one most important thing you should possess, as a creative who wants to sell their art, is a list. What is a list, you may ask? A list is just that: a list of contacts, people who like your art, such as family, friends, or anyone who ever talked to you about your art. How do you get that list? Ask! Start asking for email addresses. Have a sign up page on the Internet.
Offer a free gift ... something digital that is easily downloaded in return for their email address. Protect this list; don't share it with anyone and nurture the people who sign up. Send encouragement and glimpses of your work. Develop relationships and watch your sales increase, your invitations grow and your creativity blossom! It's spring after all - let's enjoy this season of blooming!
How about you? Do you already have a list or are you going to start one now?
"In shaping a masterpiece, the artist not only summons his work into being, but also in some way reveals his own personality by means of it.Through his works, the artist speaks to others and communicates with them."Letter to Artists - Pope John Paul
Art tells stories. Whether it's music, dance or paintings, we as artists are telling stories. We are giving glimpses into our way of thinking, seeing and being and then putting it out there for others to partake. Therefore I believe that it's important to be healthy, moral, centered and focused, so the art we bring to the table is edible and nourishing.
To do this our lives must become a healthy source. Envision yourself as a fountain and your creativity as clear, life-giving fountain of water that flows into dry places bringing refreshing. Is that your desire?
As I watch the images of the total devastation in Japan, I remember the beautiful images created on the walls of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. In the midst of dire circumstances . . . beauty emerged from the spirit of the people.
It is difficult to imagine the suffering of the Japanese people, but I do suppose that beauty will emerge from their devastation. Beauty inspires hope and hope is the beginning of recovery.
"Through his works, the artist speaks to others and communicates with them."John Paul
Anyone can be creative, but is all creativity considered true art? To me, art is something higher. It's an expression of the divine nature within, reaching out to improve the world in some way. "Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world."John Paul
When“beautiful” is united with “true”through art, souls are lifted up from the world of the senses to the eternal.
With all the horror of the Japanese devastation, an eternal perspective may be the healing essence of hope that they need.
Can you create something of eternal value? Is there a clear fountain within you that wants to pour out and refresh the hurting? Ask the Creator to flow through you to bring a gift of hope to the world through your creativity.
"The world in which we live runs the risk of being altered beyond recognition because of unwise human actions which, instead of cultivating its beauty, unscrupulously exploit its resources for the advantage of a few and not infrequently disfigure the marvels of nature. What is capable of restoring enthusiasm and confidence, what can encourage the human spirit to rediscover its path, to raise its eyes to the horizon, to dream of a life worthy of its vocation – if not beauty?"Benedict XVI
"Man can live without science, he can live without bread, but without beauty he could no longer live, because there would no longer be anything to do to the world."Dostoevsky
"Artists, you are the custodians of beauty in this world." Pope Benedict XVI
If the world ever needed a big dose of 'beautiful' - it is now! Seems every time I turn on the news, read the paper, or even catch a glimpse of Oprah!, I'm being bombarded by information I don't want to hear, images I don't want to see, or topics that are completely disturbing. Even the non-news is disturbing.
The world seems to have gone crazy! Where are the sensible, decent people who have a strong inner sense of right and wrong, who know what to speak about in public and what to keep behind closed doors?
I'm growing so weary of all the noise! I have this deep inner longing for peace, calm, rest and beauty, but I have to fight for it. So I'm calling for a revolution! Will you join me?
The theme of this revolution is "Color Our World Beautiful!"
Let's bombard our communities with beautiful music, paintings, poetry, design, books, articles, clothing, choreography and art! We really can make a difference - one piece of beautiful creativity at a time!
I'm not suggesting that you bury your head in the clouds when it comes to what's happening in the world, but I am suggesting that we balance the bad news with beautiful creativity. It's a known fact that, over time, we become what we digest and we need beautiful images, heart-stirring music and dances that bring us to tears. We need the sacred, the hallowed, innocence and reverence.
What can you create that will "Color our World Beautiful?" I encourage you to post it below or post a link to it, so that we can enjoy the beauty of your creativity.
I'm thrilled to announce two events that are designed especially for creatives! Two opportunities to network with fellow artists, be encouraged and learn cutting edge strategies for marketing your creativity! You'll enjoy great food, great teaching, special guests, a concert and much more!
It's all about being bigger than your art - one of the strategies we'll cover at the conference!
Many creatives have been blessed with a sensitive nature. It's the part of them that responds to beauty and truth . . . the part where creativity is born. It's the amazing intuitive gift that hears the music, envisions the painting, feels the dance, and writes the stories that tug at heart strings. This gift of sensitivity is an incredible blessing, but it can sometimes puts artists in position to be precariously vulnerable.
The beauty of the intuitive nature opens your senses to perceive and create, but also opens your senses to feel passionately the pain of the world around you and all the stresses that it brings. With our current economy and international tensions, the artistic souls can easily become overly anxious.
Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a friend, who is also well-known author of over 58 books.
We discussed this problem of 'overwhelm' that many are finding themselves caught in. It can be an obsession with the world situation or the nightly news or ones financial woes, but it causes the sensitive souls to grow increasingly negative and non-productive, even to the point of being immobilized by fear and anxiety.
If that is you or anyone you know, it's important to act immediately and change this cycle. It's vital to turn OFF the news and fill your mind with positive material.
My friend, the author, told me of his friend who has had success with a new and simple technique. This person suggests that you proclaim 'out loud' your intentions to stop dwelling on the negative, choose the good and to change course - and do it regularly. He says that we can actually change the neural pathways, or 'grooves' in our brain, by speaking loudly and stating our new path.
It's working for some - I don't know the scientific evidence to back all of this up, but I'd say it's worth a try. I do know that each of us must fight for what is good, for our families, our futures. Why then does it not make sense that we also fight for hope?
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
Those of us with sensitive natures often struggle to keep our heads above water during stressful times.
At my house we are proclaiming whatever is true, lovely and good . . . makes sense to me!
Let this correction in thinking move into your creativity. Paint, sing, dance, write, sculpt, create and draw your proclamation!
I also encourage you to write out your proclamation below that says you will no longer bow to the negative forces that are trying to pull you down - then shout it to the housetops!
I've been looking back over my life, considering the breakthroughs I've had with my creativity. I've often quoted the old saying: "I'm a jack of all trades, but master of none." On one level that is very true, but I've come to realize that the one thing I might say I actually "master" is encouragement. It's probably my most consistent and natural gifting. That's why I started this blog. I hope to encourage you, while using my gift.
That being said, I also dabble in songwriting, singing, songwriter coaching and photography. I've also worked as a fashion print model, have appeared in a few commercials, and spent years as a dancer/choreographer. Most recently, I'm writing and painting.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I realized that each breakthrough or open door in every one of these areas came through relationships ... or a term I like to use: community!
Yes, the natural gifting had to be there, but the development of the gifting, the open doors and the real breakthroughs came through knowing someone who opened the door.
It's easy to isolate ourselves, to constantly create and then 'protect' our creation by keeping it hidden, waiting for that open door. But the real opportunities come when you share your gift, play your song, share your latest idea with a friend, show your painting, post your photos on Facebook, or just ask for an opinion about your art.
Lately, I've been asking some of my Nashville friends how their 'breakthrough' came about. Without exception, they each have told me that they came about very naturally, through sharing with friends and friends of friends, when eventually, a door opened.
So I present you with the following questions:
- Do you share your vision often?
- Do you share your gift?
- If not, why not?
- What's holding you back?
You may be just one small step away from your breakthrough. Let me encourage you ... don't hold back! Don't try to force your way . . . but naturally share your heart, your gift and your vision. Ask if you can serve with your gift, if you can help, or fill a need. Eventually, you may share your way to success.
There is a theory known as The Six Degrees of Separation. The theory is that anyone can form a chain of personal contacts leading to any other person in the world, with no more than six people in the chain.
Another old saying is, "It's all in who you know." This really is true ...
and especially as creatives living in Nashville.
Reach out to your friends and make this a big part of your strategy. The more you connect - the more chances you have to succeed!
"Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open!" Elmer Letterman
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." Dale Carnegie
Are you in an impossible situation? Does there seem to be no hope at all for you or for your situation?
None of us would choose to be in one of these situations. But, as I write I am in one. If I believe that all things work together for good, then I too must choose to believe that this situation will work for good in my situation. Another truth - 'good' doesn't mean 'easy.' So . . . am I willing to face being uneasy for the sake of good? YES!
It's taken me years to get to the place where I give a resounding 'YES' to that question.But my walk with God and knowing of His faithfulness brings a resounding 'YES!'
Could it possibly be that pressing through my 'impossible situation' will allow me to tell my story and encourage others who face similar situations? I believe it will.
Some of my favorite people are the ones who have faced insurmountable odds and overcome them. They are the friends that are the most gracious, most encouraging, warm and willing to listen. They have grown sweeter through their difficulties and are full of wisdom for others.
We each have a choice to make when we face insurmountable odds; whether to grow in graciousness or bitterness.
I choose graciousness! How about you . . . are you facing insurmountable odds? Join me in on the path of growth and of grace. :-) We can cheer each other on as we wait for the good that is promised to come forth.
I'm asking for a favor. Would you please take a few minutes and complete my survey.
I've been working with the folks at 48 Days for the last few years.
Dan Miller wrote the best selling books, 48 Days to the Work You Love; how to turn your passion into profit and No More Mondays. I'm now teaming with his wife Joanne, to lead a seminars for artists.
Who says learning stops when you get out of school? The fact is, we are never out of school! The thing I’ve realized about learning is that it's much more fun and productive when it’s a subject you are interested in. And it’s much more enjoyable when it’s my choice to study!
I can’t seem to get enough time lately to study all I want. I’m always on a learning spree of one sort or another. Last week was no exception. I pushed to get to Orlando for a one day seminar. Actually, it was called the "Momentum Mastermind" and it’s led by my coach, Carrie Wilkerson and fellow coach/writer/speaker Paul Evans.
We were challenged, motivated and instructed on how to make our online presence more productive. Also how to figure out what our fans want and how to fill that need.
Recently I was challenged by a scripture that talked about stewarding your talents. While reading I knew that I was being commissioned to learn how to steward my gifts. Now that I’m learning, I’m being challenged to learn how to pass these strategies on to my fellow creatives.
How many of you have noticed another creative in your field who was knocking it out of the ballpark? Their work was being featured, talked about and getting rave reviews. All the while you sit back and think that your talent is better but confused about how they are getting all the attention, while you are not.
I figured it out . . . either they are working much harder, or they know a thing or two about marketing and they are implementing those strategies.
How do you turns things around and catch up? Here's how: You determine to work harder than ever and learn everything you can about marketing, even if it’s not your area of expertise!
I’m not a marketing guru and I don’t like to sell, but I do like to meet needs and help people. I’m learning that this approach can be very productive.
The next 5 people who comment on this blog below are invited to join me in a teleseminar. Next Tuesday evening I’ll be sharing the tips I learned in Orlando to just a few.
If you have or want to have an online presence, and if you long to turn your vision into provision, please join me!
I’m headed to Orlando this week to spend a day with my coach Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive! I’ll be learning a lot and I know I’ll be stretched!
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and moving into THE zone!
How about you? What do you have on your schedule that will stretch you? Are you planning to attend any conferences related to your area of interest? I highly suggest that you get in the middle of what’s happening in your niche. Surround yourself with others that are moving forward and having successes. Put yourself in situations to be taught by leaders.
After working with Carrie I definitely see how my productivity has increased. She is pushing me out of my comfort zone and holding me accountable. I sense that we all need some sort of accountability, otherwise it’s too easy to procrastinate.
I’ll be sharing my notes from the conference with the next 5 people who leave a comment. So jump in and take action!
Are you off to a good start in this new year? Do you have solid goals in place and plans to reach them?
Well, I do - and they make me a bit nervous! I've found a coach who nudges me forward and holds me accountable. She will play a big part in making sure I meet my goals this year.
Why am I so determined? I don't have a choice!
The music industry has changed and the way we've worked in the past is no longer working. So we're in the middle of "reinventing" ourselves. And I must say . . . I'm having fun and getting excited about this new direction and certain that what I'm learning can be of great help to you too.
Want to join me?
I've been learning the 'new way!' We've got so many tools to work with and much to take advantage of. We just need to get over the obstacles and overwhelm.
If you are not using the internet, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., to market your creativity, you are missing out on great income-producing opportunity. Or you may be using them but don't have a plan in place to use them effectively. Either way . . . you're missing out.
I hope to lead you through some of the difficult steps and help you launch into making a living with your creative gifts.
Here is a good step to start with: My word for the new year is "CONNECT!"
Who have you been meaning to talk to? Who do you wish you could sit down with and ask a load of questions?
Well . . . step out and send an email or make a phone call and invite them to lunch!
Most of our dreams are met through relationships. People are the 'stepping stones' to our future. I'm not suggesting that you 'use' people but genuinely 'love' people and see what happens. This thinking leads me to the Zig Ziglar quote:
"If you help enough people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want!"
Ya know what? I wholeheartedly agree with Zig!
Who can you help? They might just be the person that can help you too.
So grab your calendar, make a few calls, set up those lunches, coffees, meetings. Be prepared and know what you want. Then ask yourself, "What do I have that might be of benefit to this person?" You never know, you may be holding a key for them as well.
This is a fun way to get off to a good start!
Let me know if you want to join me by chiming in on the comment section below. Posts when you make that call and set up your appointment. Post again if your meeting turns out to be a stepping stone to your future. If you've already tried this and have a success story please share that too.
Here's to a great new start of a great new year!