Season 4 – epiBLOG 15:

If you’re an artist, you are a dreamer. Dreams are a great thing. Without them, we would never set goals, create objectives, and take action to materialize our dreams. So keep your heads in the metaphorical clouds and keep taking actions that move you forward.

However, I want to take this one step further.

Take risks.

Scary, right? When you think of risks, you think of losing something, failing, or getting hurt.

Chances are, if you’re finding that you’re not having any success in moving forward with your career, consider that you may have been playing it safe to avoid losing… to avoid failure… or to avoid pain. In your desire to avoid, you hinder your own progress.

Chances are if you’re finding that your artistic career has plateaued, consider the possibility that you are only doing what is expected of you instead of trying new and innovative approaches. If you’re not passionate in what you’re doing any longer, why continue to do what you’re doing?

If you’re not growing and evolving as an artist, consider the possibility that you are doing what comes easy instead of what can make a difference. Remaining in the clichéd “comfort zone” won’t allow you to experience the greatness within yourself that can only be discovered in places where you never looked before.

Today’s topic is on taking risks in order to have a fulfilling career as an entrepreneurial artist.

The world needs to experience what you have to share. Wouldn’t it be selfish to hold onto a gift that is meant for others to experience? Holding on because you’re afraid of rejection, disappointment, embarrassment, work, a journey riddled with uncertainty and obstacles…

Taking risks is what all successful artists do in order to fulfill on the dreams that they are inspired to pursue.

Be open to taking on a different point-of-view in order to get to that next level as a working artist.

The following are suggestions that many artists tend to avoid:

Cold Calling. If you want to create art for the sake of creating art, then cold calling isn’t necessary for you. However, if you’re looking to make a living as an artist, not only do you need to create your art, but you have to connect with others outside of yourself, and the majority of the time, outside of your immediate social circles. This concept isn’t about necessarily picking up a phone and calling a stranger in the traditional sense of the phrase, although it can be. “Cold calling” can mean reaching out to a person on LinkedIn or Twitter because they are the perfect contact for you. You reaching out to a stranger to connect with them to move your career forward is important. There is a certain way to do this, but that information is for another post altogether. The idea of reaching out to a total stranger is scary for many artists. Nevertheless, if you’re a singer, wouldn’t you want to reach out to a music producer? If you’re a fine artist, maybe you want to cold call gallery owners. The worst they can tell you is “no.” If that is their response, your life will be exactly the same after your call as it was before the call was even made, or whatever tool you use to connect with them. The important message here is to not allow the actions of others to dictate your actions. You be the person that you need to be, regardless of outcomes. Don’t let the fear of hearing “no” stop you from moving forward.

Creating an Online Presence. In today’s digital age, you have an opportunity to use social media to share your art and develop a following of people who genuinely care about what you have to offer. If you’re a writer, you absolutely should have a blog about a topic that you care to write about consistently. If you’re a singer, you should have a YouTube channel and/or have music on iTunes in order to allow people to hear your beautiful voice. If you’re a culinary expert and love demonstrating how to create recipes, again, YouTube is an excellent place to start. If you like “talk radio,” create your own podcast and create material consistently. If you’re a fine artist, you have the opportunity to use Instagram as a way to showcase your talent with others. Don’t let the “voices” in your head tell you to wait for someone to knock on your door to give you an opportunity. Create your own opportunities. Build your own audiences. Don’t let the fear of what other people will say about your work (or you) deter you from moving forward.

Networking. I’ve brought this suggestion up on another post, but it feels very relevant for this one as well. I can promise you that if you’re not connecting with people online and you’re not reaching out to people in person through networking, chances are your artistic career isn’t going anywhere. As much as some artists like to see themselves as an island, you can’t be if you’re wanting to make a living while pursuing a certain art. You need people who care about what you have to offer. The only way for them to know about you and your work so that they can care, is for you to reach out your hand at social events, networking groups, conferences, seminars, etc., and say, “Hello, my name is…” That’s where it starts. Do not let fear of rejection stop you. Don’t allow the made-up stories in your mind about others create your reality in front of you. Deal with what is and create new possibilities for yourself that don’t include restraints.

Today’s LESSON is to believe in your art more than you believe in the illusions that you’re afraid of.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Try something new to move your career forward this week. Try something that you’ve been wanting to do, but have been allowing fear to hold you back from actually starting or following through on finishing the task.

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