Season 5 – epiBLOG 10:
Integrity. Some people immediately see that word and think of “right” and “wrong.” Or maybe they even think of “good” or “bad.” I used to see that word from those perspectives myself. Maybe you have some similar thoughts as well.
You may be wondering what “integrity” has to do with art. Or with being an entrepreneurial artist in general. Well, the answer to those thoughts is that it has everything to do with being an entrepreneurial artist… or at least thriving as one.
I understand what might be going through your mind right now. You don’t want to get lectured on integrity. You probably feel like you work hard enough already, have paid your dues, and you’re still not materializing the results that you want. I get it.
Today’s topic is on how to make integrity work within your career in order to get the results you’re looking for.
One of the definitions of integrity states that it is “the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished,” according to Dictionary.com.
Now if we used that definition as our foundation for integrity and apply that within our artistic careers, we would experience different outcomes. This particular definition doesn’t come attached with judgement, attacks on your character, or reflect on your past mistakes.
The focus is on being “whole,” or complete.
What does this look like in the real world as you’re establishing yourself as an entrepreneurial artist?
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you have desires to become an executive chef at a five-star restaurant, but you haven’t research culinary schools, let alone even picked up a spatula. You go to your “day job” that you can’t stand, but continue to tell family and friends how you will one day become a chef.
The obstacle with this is that your actions are out of integrity with your desires, as well as your word that you’re giving to everyone. Yes, that is correct; when you tell someone that you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, you’re out of integrity. If you have no intentions of doing a task, why bother telling someone that you will?
You want to be an executive chef, but you are choosing not to do the work that it takes to achieve that result. This doesn’t make you bad, good, right, or wrong. Your actions are simply not conducive to the outcome that you’re seeking. In other words, there is a disconnect, and your method of getting what you want is not working.
Don’t beat yourself up about this. You’re human. Being in integrity 100% of the time is impossible. It’s a great goal to strive for, but don’t beat yourself up when you fall short of perfection. This is easier said than done, especially for someone like me who is a perfectionist. However, getting back to the executive chef example, you have an opportunity to choose a different set of options in order to yield the results that you’re looking for.
This applies to all entrepreneurial artists. If you’re an actor who desires to be a working actor, are you doing what it takes to achieve that goal? Are you going on auditions? Networking at film screenings, festivals, and events? When you are on a film set, do you behave professionally and do your best so that others would want to work with you again?
If you’re a writer, are you actually writing on a regular basis or simply telling family and friends that you’re a writer without doing any writing at all? Speaking from experience, a serious writer of the 21st century digital age should have a blog that they consistently post material on. They should be networking in person and on social media to connect with those who could help propel their career forward. There are several other actions that writers need to take in order to move forward; I’ve just named a couple. It’s up to you to discover what you need to do in order to make your career work the way you would like it to.
Simply telling friends what you want to accomplish and not backing up your words with actions will not yield the outcome, or result, that you’re seeking.
TIPS TO MAKE INTEGRITY WORK IN YOUR CAREER:
- Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. When you’re not able to follow through for reasons beyond your control, acknowledge that with the person, or people, that you’ve made a verbal commitment with and recreate a new set of plans with them. This builds trust. Not following through on a task because you don’t feel like it or are being dishonest about the reasons why you’re not following through will diminish the trust in any relationship, including business relationships. If people trust you, they will want to work with you.
- Be consistent with the actions that you need to perform in order to get the results that you’re looking for. For example, if you know you need to reach out to 50 contacts in a week in order to close five clients in a month to equal the income that you’re seeking, then you clearly understand the actions that you need to take in order to be in integrity with your goals. Reaching out to 10 clients one week, 100 clients the next week, and no clients in another week is out of integrity. It’s not consistent, and chances are you’re not going to see the results you’re seeking.
- Be sincere in all of your interactions with clients, colleagues, and associates. Again, this builds trust. Having access to an amazing network of people is invaluable to you as an entrepreneurial artist. If people know that you’re great to work with, that you want to serve and support their needs with utilizing your talent, they will automatically gravitate towards you. Sincerity goes a long way.
Today’s LESSON is be in integrity within your artistic career.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Create a goal, a plan to achieve that goal, and hold yourself accountable to take the consistent actions in order to reach that goal.