Season 4 – epiBLOG 14:

Sometimes you just want to scream, withdraw from human contact, or flip over a chair because you’ve been giving it your all and nothing has materialized in a way that it “should have” at this point. It’s been years of struggling to make something happen, and you feel like you have nothing to show for your efforts.

You can even tell that some of your closest friends and family members that have believed in you since you announced that you were going to take over the world as an artist are now looking at you with dubious eyes.

Money is inconsistent. Rejections and disappointments are rampant. The pressure to BE successful is giving you crazy anxiety.

Yet…

Opportunities are all around. Why? Because you’ve created them. You feel like you’re at the tipping point… if you would hold on a little longer than the last person that you’ve just witnessed give up, maybe something magical can happen for you.

Today’s topic is on how to remain encouraged, motivated, and focused while applying actions that help you to move forward as an entrepreneurial artist even when it seems like absolutely nothing is “going your way.”

HOW TO REMAIN ENCOURAGED

This is tough because there are so many variables that can play into “being” encouraged. Before you can move forward effectively and with certainty, you have to know beyond a shadow of doubt that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing even when there is little to no money coming in from that endeavor. What do I mean by this? You need to know you’re meant to sing… to paint, to sculpt… to tell jokes… to write… to play an instrument. To cook. To draw. To sew. To design. To whatever it is that you do that makes you an artist. You need to know your purpose because that’s what going to keep you grounded in the face of every rejection and annoying moment of adversity.

Sometimes you mentally have to encourage yourself by reminding YOU that you are walking in your purpose. When you KNOW something, it removes the guesswork and a million other options that can distract you from that purpose. If you know it’s raining outside, you bring an umbrella. If you know there’s no cafeteria or food at your job, you pack a lunch. If you know you have to meet a deadline, you plan your time accordingly. Knowing removes guessing. When you know you’re a comedian, the fact that you got booed off of the stage last night isn’t going to change your mind about who you are. You just had a bad night. Maybe you simply need to refine your delivery. Maybe your jokes didn’t resonate with that particular audience. These possible variables don’t change the fact that you’re a comedian if that’s who you are. This applies to every other entrepreneurial artist. Knowing your purpose will keep you grounded.

Sometimes rejections are given because you need to refine and polish your skills a little more. Sometimes you are rejected because what you have is not what a particular person or business needs or wants at the time your art is presented to them. I know that’s easier to accept logically, but not so much emotionally. However, not everybody is going to need or like what you have to offer, but some people will. That’s what you have to remember.

ACTIONS TO TAKE THAT SIMULTANEIOUSLY MOVE YOU FORWARD:

Whenever you “get down” because you’re not experiencing any forward movement within your career, look back on your past accomplishments. I suggest you re-read your biography on your LinkedIn page and/or on your website; update and revise them to reflect anything new that has evolved within your career; or simply highlight those achievements even more so. I’m not encouraging you to lie, but to polish what you have. Not only will you attract more people into your sphere (on LinkedIn), but you will remind yourself that you have succeeded in the past, so you can succeed again. Some days are not so exciting, so I look for ways to encourage myself while moving forward at the same time.

HOW TO REMAIN MOTIVATED:

Remaining motivated is about considering what’s important to you as a reason behind doing what you do. Any authentic artist loves what they do. They create their art for the sake of creating it because it fulfills them. However, there are going to be days when you’re dealing with disappointment, rejections, and feeling like you’re invisible to those you’re trying to reach. These are the times when you have to remind yourself of why you became the artist that you are in the first place.

ACTIONS TO TAKE THAT SIMULTANEIOUSLY MOVE YOU FORWARD:

Make a list of all of your reasons if you enjoy writing lists. Create a vision board of possibilities if you like to draw or cut out pictures. Or simply go experience art in your industry to get your juices flowing. For example, if you’re a screenwriter, maybe go watch a film in the theater; if you’re a painter, maybe go visit an art gallery; if you’re a comedian, go to a comedy club; if you’re a singer, go listen to another singer sing live at a restaurant, club, or bar. Oftentimes when we are feeling like nothing’s going our way, it’s the art that we love that motivates us to create more of our own.

HOW TO REMAIN FOCUSED:

There are so many distractions out there. Bills. Money. Jobs. Full-time job offers. Take it if you feel you can do it and create your art at the same time. I know that paying bills is equally important as creating art in this real world that we live in. Simply having the peace of mind that your household is in order allows you to remain focused on creating your art late in the midnight hour and then getting up to go to the day-job that provides you that peace of mind. Some jobs are a distraction and take your energy, emotions, and everything away from your ability to create. I’m not encouraging you to quit your job, but perhaps look into getting another job that is more suitable and complimentary to you as an artist. The goal is to create your art for a living. You need to figure out the most effective way to remain focused that works for you.

ACTIONS TO TAKE THAT SIMULTANEIOUSLY MOVE YOU FORWARD:

Create a daily or weekly schedule of tasks that support your monthly goals, which should end up supporting your annual goals for the year. When you have an objective in place and specific and manageable tasks to complete, your mind actually remains focused, even when you don’t feel like doing the work. When I was looking for an agent to represent me, I set a goal to submit query letters/emails to 10 agents each week. This was broken down to researching, finding, and submitting to two agents a day, Monday through Friday. That was one of many tasks that I had on my plate. I experienced rejections. I got discouraged, but I knew my goal and I knew the objectives that I had to complete each week in order to reach that goal. That’s where my focus remained. Being focused kept me consistent, and helped me to connect with an agent who is a great fit for me.

Today’s LESSON is to be encouraged, motivated, and focused in the face of adversity.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Choose an activity that excites you, but simultaneously moves your career forward. This could be creating your website or revising an existing one. Promoting your art on social media. Connecting with new people on social media or face-to-face via a networking group. It’s easy to get discouraged, feel demotivated, and get distracted. Take action so that you won’t remain in that frame of mind.

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