That was reason to celebrate in my house. My husband is a football fan. He’s a fan of most sports. And our local team, The Washington Football Team, won.
It’s been interesting to watch is happening to sports in our time of COVID-19. We’ve seen stadiums and racing parks filled with cardboard cutouts of people. Fake crowd noise.
I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me.
Sometime back I heard a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.
Watch the comparisons
As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs.
When someone asks you how confident you are about something, do you cringe and second-guess or question your abilities? Maybe self-doubt starts to set in. You feel stuck or paralyzed about taking action. You may be even one of those people who end up in a downward spiral to the point of giving up.
I feel confident about a lot of my creative skills. A few Thanksgivings ago, I decided I would make and decorate a cheesecake for dessert with our meal. The impetus came from a friend who made his living in the wedding industry. He had recently retired and shared a recipe.
This recipe was good. So good, in fact, it paid his mortgage payment each and every month. And this cheesecake had a buttercream icing that was piped beautifully. Do I have those skills? Absolutely not. Did I feel a bit intimidated by the task? Definitely. Did self-doubt set in? Of course.
This is a just small situation, but it can play out every day in larger ways. Giving a speech to a large group for the first time or the 10th time. Entering your art in a show. Sharing a portion of your book in public. How did you get from feeling doubt to taking action to building confidence? Here are some ideas.
Have you ever been on a stretcher? I was a few years back when I was rehabbing a neck problem.
What happened? Well, I actually grew a bit, something pretty cool at my age.
What does my growth have to do with your business? Well, it’s about being on the stretcher. When was the last time you put your goals on the stretcher?
What is a stretch goal?
During a conversation with one of my clients, we talked about stretch goals, when to use them, when to adapt them.
What exactly is a stretch goal?
I believe it is one that takes you out of your comfort zone. I think it still needs to have a component of achievability. When you do achieve it, it will take you to a whole new level. You could also think of it as a breakthrough goal.
Do you have some business or personal dreams that you are putting off because you think you need to know more before you move forward?
Maybe you think you need another art course, or maybe you need that extra marketing course. Or, your website could be better. Or, your design skills need to be better to enter that show. Or, you do not know as much as, or are as skilled as, someone else. Or, …
A U.S. Naval Academy grad, Charlie was a jet pilot in Vietnam and completed 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam. On his next mission, just days before the end of his tour, his plane was shot down over Hanoi. He parachuted into enemy hands and spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner of War.
Some years later by chance, Charlie met the man who had packed his parachute. At first speechless at the meeting, Charlie became full of gratitude and explained that he had said many prayers of thanks and didn’t expect to ever be able to express his gratitude in person. Charlie asked the parachute packer if he kept track of all the parachutes he packed. The man responded, “No, it’s enough gratification for me to just know I served.”
Today Charlie travels around the country lecturing and asking, “Who packs your parachute?”
Some time ago I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It’s a good read about why right-brainers will rule the future.
The future, really today, is the “conceptual age.” Pink discusses the “six senses” that one uses to build a whole new mind to thrive in this conceptual age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. While I do not necessarily subscribe to his premise in total – I believe we need to engage both parts of our brain – he offers lots of great exercises to get your right brain working. And even though many artists are right-brained, you will find the exercises fun and expanding.
Onto ifs, ands, & buts. In his discussion on meaning, one of Pink’s suggestions for creating more meaning in your life is to replace the word “but” with “and.”
He says that “buts” can create roadblocks for creating more meaning in your life and suggests creating a list of what you are trying to accomplish and what is in your way.
You’ve probably heard people talk about leverage. And not the TV show of recent years. Leverage is about using a resource to its maximum advantage.
When I think of leverage in your business, I think of it as a triangle with Time, Money, and Knowledge + Talents + Passion as the three sides. When you start your business, you have all these elements in varying degrees. And likely some are limited.
As you grow your business, you begin to have more of each and can use each to its maximum advantage. And, you can leverage other people’s time, money and knowledge, too.
You invest in each of them because you want something back in your business. You have an expectation of a return on this investment.
Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?
I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you didn’t follow-up on.
Ideas that you didn’t act on
First are those items you didn’t take action on. One of my good friends has something she calls “the $5,000 notebook.” I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.
Do you often make notes of the great ideas you had? You know, the new pattern you wanted to create, the class you think you should develop, the cards to print based on your paintings, the new line of jewelry you want to work on.