Season 5 – epiBLOG 12:
Disappointments can sometimes blur the vision that you originally created for yourself as an entrepreneurial artist. They can make your goals and dreams seem further away because you can no longer see them directly in front of you. Sort of like the moments you’re in your car in a parking lot and it begins to rain with a fierce intensity just before you’re able to turn your windshield wipers on. Yeah, just like that.
Like rain on an unwiped windshield, disappointments blur what’s directly in front of us.
What I’m sharing with you today is that you need to turn on your “windshield wipers” on your artistic career. “Wipe away” the disappointment and realize what’s in front of you. Become present to the wonderful people in your life, your talents, your goals, your dreams, and the life and career that you desire having.
Today’s topic is on decreasing the time and energy spent on disappointments so that you can quickly refocus on your career goals.
I’m speaking to myself as much as I’m writing this for you. I had a lot of disappointments over the past couple of months. The past year, actually. Clients that I believed would close or people simply not following through on what they said they would do. It happens. You love them anyway. Continue to be genuine, continue to build a relationship with them, and move on to creating new relationships that motivate and inspire you.
Creating art is exhilarating… fulfilling, rewarding to a genuine artist. Although there is intense effort and time in the creation process, this is not what hinders the majority of artists from moving forward, despite some writers crying “writer’s block.”
Creation tends to not be the biggest hurdle for an entrepreneurial artist who wants to make a living doing what they love.
It tends to be the business side.
I know the word “business” conjures up some image of a suit, business cards, a brief case, and networking.
The reality is, you’re in business for yourself if you are creating your art and have chosen to make a living on your own doing that.
The business side is what many artists struggle with.
An introvert will struggle with reaching out and connecting with others. However, you need people to love what you do enough so that they will want to buy your art and/or service.
Maybe you lack confidence, so when opportunities present themselves to you, you don’t move forward on them.
Maybe you hate asking someone for money, and this is hindering your ability to close business.
Whatever your issue is with business, figure out a way to remove it as an obstacle by either seeking counsel from a mentor, a business book, or a colleague who is exceptional in the area of business that you’re not so exceptional in.
If you find a lot of disappointment in your endeavors, examine what you consistently struggle with, what you’re good at, and what you can do or who you can reach out to for help. You want to be careful that you’re not confusing your results as the problem, but rather focus on what you’re doing or not doing that is causing the result that you’re getting.
For example, you could be an introverted graphic designer who is solely taking on freelance work by hoping that people will reach out to you — even though no one except family members know you’re a graphic designer. You may be the type that is avoiding the opportunity to network and be on social media because people may intimidate you. You find yourself not getting clients as a result of not networking or reaching out to people. In this scenario, the inaction that needs to be focused on is the choice the graphic designer is making to not network or be on social media. If she chose to network and establish a solid social media presence, she would more than likely increase opportunities for creating new clients.
Let’s face it. There are highs and lows in business, art, on a job, in relationships… in life. What I’ve discovered is that the only reason you actually experience the feeling of “disappointment” is because you had an expectation that results were going to be one way and they turned out to be another. Imagine if you didn’t have any expectation at all, events would occur, people would say what they say and do what they do, and you would allow people and events to be exactly the way they are. Would you ever be disappointed?
Obviously, to not have any expectations at all would make life easier to live. Imagine all of the energy and time you would save on NOT obsessing over why a business contact said yes to your services and failed to follow through when it came time to signing the contract and paying you.
The faster you refocus on your career goals and take your mind off of your disappointments, the faster you can keep moving forward.
Today’s LESSON is to refocus on what matters.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Make a list of all your strengths and another list of all your weaknesses. Finally, make a third list of all of the people and/or resources that can help you in areas where you are weak.