Business and Art

We see the tech titans and wonder if that could ever be us, but the truth is, we can’t.

Not because we lack the intelligence or the grit, but because we lack the will. There’s another phone call that’s ringing in our heads and we want to pick up but who’s on the other line isn’t a 1,000 person company or a social network built off of advertising.

Jeff Bezos has a calling, and it isn’t ours.

The edge of our art, is.

Which is OK. We need to know our personal limits and work to maximize our own horizons. Make our own dent instead of somebody else’s.

It makes me think of a quote by Jerry Seinfeld when asked by Alec Baldwin, “Who makes it in show business Jerry?

Seinfeld says, “The people that want to be there most.”

Why’s that so hard to accept?

We’ve already gone deep in our own different directions, found insights in a particular domain, seeing it in ways no one else but us could see. Giving up now would be like leaving the dig right before you came up worth the dinosaur bones.

So we’re compelled, or pulled. But it doesn’t mean we don’t worry.

The tightrope walk for artists and freelancers over the next 5 years is going to be about the thing we hate talking about: making money.

And the shame of not making it, not making more,  or losing it. Funny how each of these options can apply at any point in your journey. And at any scale of wealth.

And if you ask people about their lives, there’s always a particular area that comes easy to them, and an area that is cycling, never “there,” and always a great effort.

We’ve all got friends who just can’t figure out work but have a great family life, or they’re terrible with family and great with work.

So that’s what you can look out for. The irony. The area where you’re “trying” the most at, is the one you can’t figure out how to reach…

For me, I’m great with fitness and healthy eating. Health habits in general. I get sleep, don’t drink, working out for me is a breeze, as is eating clean.

But when it comes to making money…

Like I said, it’s all relative. And I know the code now. The more it’s my focus the harder it becomes to attain. Best to act like it’s fitness and not try too hard, but still put in reps.

Baked into some of the DNA of your decision making has to be a certain eye for growth. There has to have a certain savvy about your movements.

Great agents do this for you. Ditto for sales. They negotiate the deal when you didn’t have it in you to keep talking. It’s the extra percent of hunger.  Is this learned or is this born?

The truth is for me my eye follows the interesting and unique aspects of a deal or strategy. Doubling down on impact, interest and edge. I love the “why” of things, the visceral reaction, over the quantified output.

In the next year, watch for the mountain of books on how to make money as an artist. As the world goes freelance, we’re looking for lanterns. But be careful with your trust and look for those who are in the trenches.

Even more important, surround yourself with a community who gets and values your work, and who has found success with theirs.

If the people who you’re around don’t see your brilliance, you’re only making yourself small.

Better to find a group that notices the brilliance and helps it shine.

Its like you’re a duck and you’re with a flock of geese. They just don’t see what you’ve got as special, and the more you pretend to be a goose the worse off you are.

So know when you’re associates are shrinking your abilities or expanding them. And if it’s the former, leap into a new group.

So this is really about developing both sides. Business and art. I’ve utilized art to develop a healthy business and I’ve been full time on it for over 4 years.

But the next 4 require me to show up and develop more business savvy, my own way. Learned, not taught.

Because I can’t quit the call but I can develop my game.

And I’ll share all I can here, along the way.

xx David

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