And so to England, where I’m rifling through a pile of notes and a pile of mail. I had an intense and fabulous trip to California.
Three educational events in two months have helped me build something that matters more than ever. (Investing in your continued education: never a bad idea.) All of them blew my mind, catapulted me out of my comfort zone and demonstrated just how possible my plans are – IF I dare to keep moving forward, no matter what anyone else might think. The first two were joyous, but the last was challenging. It was a training for… public speakers.
So no matter how small you believe you are, no matter how broken the world has left you… if you feel deeply and feel drawn to create, create something. Create something small. Create something beautiful. Create something that matters. I promise to help you all I can.
Finding customers and selling to them is not just about tracking them down and talking at them until they buy. (If you’ve ever been cornered by a pushy stranger at a party, you’ll know exactly why that’s not going to work.) You may have some idea who to talk to now, but if you want to build a relationship with them, a relationship based on trust that leads to a “yes”, that conversation needs to be a two-way street.
You know you’re doing great work. In fact, you’re working your behind off to get your creative gifts out into the world, but the world just isn’t buying. That’s frustrating, because it’s not as if you’re not giving it your all. You’re giving it your absolute best. How do you find actual customers? Is your work not good enough? Why will no-one open their check book? What is the magic formula for going from “One day I’ll buy something from you” to “When can you fit me in”?
As creative people, we all feel the insatiable urge to make. We all know those moments when the muse strikes and we plunge into that exquisite, manic place of frenzied production.
Less pleasant is the place of fear we also all know. The place where the time has come in which we *must* create, perhaps the place in which we decide to take our creativity forward into the world and ask for money in return, and fear grips us: the fear of failure. The fear of exposure as some kind of fraud. The fear that paralyses. The fear of being seen. When fear grips you, how do you move forward?
Once upon a time I promised to make an extraordinary dress in return for raising a lot of money for charity. The dress isn’t completed, and now it’s five years later. There have been two failed attempts, and it’s time to try a third time.
I’m not done yet. But what do you do when you have a vast, ambitious dream that intimidates you – so much so that you hardly have the courage to even begin it?
The answer is to come back to the beginning and rediscover the inspiration that started you off on this path in the first place. As a great man once said, throw your heart over the fence, and the rest will follow…
When Cynthia Settje walked down the Red Carpet on Saturday night at Costume College, the Los Angeles costume makers’ conference, I was standing next to the person who made this video, so I’m the one you can hear cheering louder than anyone, right into the mic. (Sorry, Ali.)
Luckily the video stops after ten seconds, so you can’t hear me literally losing it in public, bursting into overwhelmed, happy tears as I thanked Cynthia for giving us all this wonderful gift.
If you made it this far, if you’re still reading after my last monster post, that tells me a couple of things. First of all, you’re someone who really, really wants to make a living from your own creativity. Maybe you want to have a solid, dependable income that’s independent of your partner’s income, so that you can start giving something back (and so that you’re all set if the worst happens.) Maybe your life would be immeasureably improved by being quiet and creative every day, and not by spending 9-5 working toward someone else’s dreams. Second, I’d say you’re at least somewhat interested in my Successful Creative’s Business Blueprint course.
In my previous two posts we’ve covered whether creatives can really achieve a comfortable, independent lifestyle from creativity alone (they can), and we’ve covered three of the Five Elements of Creative Business that you need to have in place in order to make it work. You’ve crystallised what you’re doing all this for, what your grand mission is, and who your customers are.
Now, it’s time to get down to the stuff that keeps you up at night, but that no-one wants to talk about… money.