Only the Best
I am sure you are all deep into and/or finished making all of your 2015 resolutions, plans, and decisions for you, your art and your creative business. So how about one more? What would it mean if you refused to do anything other than your best work? No compromise, no fear, no thoughts of other. Just your best.
Outrageous? Sure. There are expenses, employees, demands, budgets, deadlines, and clients and their egos to think about. But what if? How would you change everything to put yourself in the position to do only your best?
And there is the rub: too often we have all set things up in a way where our best is never possible, only the best under the circumstances. The reasons are insidious and legion. Anything from working with the wrong client, having uncertain boundaries, a poor process to establish and maintain those boundaries, charging too little (or too much), compromising in the name of customer service, and anything else that undoes your ability to do your best. Whether it is an actual voice or the one in your head, the “right” way is mostly not if it does not resonate with your belly, your intuition of what you need. The slope to justification is slippery indeed.
The beauty of creative business is that your ultimate success is directly correlated to your willingness to be iconic. Such a scary word “iconic” – being radically you in all that you believe in — your art and your creative business at the forefront. So much easier to hide behind the “right” way. Go ahead and take a 50% deposit even though you have not earned a dime of it. Fear tells you your client will run away if you do not and, after all, it is the “right” way. Hmmm. Maybe not. Trust is earned, never bestowed. Your best is belied by good intentions of those who may have gone before you or presume to have the secret sauce. Competition is an opportunity to distinguish yourself as other, not to draw comparison. When you leave your belly for whatever reason, your best leaves too.
I am not naïve though. Employees rely on you, bills are to be paid, business at your door is business. Saying no when it will alienate a client is incredibly difficult.
Practicalities, realities, demands — they scream for you to do what you have to to make it to tomorrow. Ignoring all of it in the name of your art, your willingness to do things as only you can, is a lonely endeavor. The reward is your best or, at least, the possibility of it. Nothing is meant to test your faith in yourself, your art and your creative business more.
Plans, resolutions, goals, decisions are meant to move you forward, to the next level if you will. We all need them to believe in better future. A fresh start. My fear is that finding the “right” way will take you away from yourself. My hope is finding your own center – the desire to do your best without compromise – will bring you closer to the better future you seek.
eNews January 2015
Sean Low is the founder and president of The Business of Being Creative, LLC in New York City, NY, which provides practical business advice to those in the business of being creative. As the former president of Preston Bailey Design, Inc. and through working with many other creative clients, Sean has discovered his passion for helping artists build their businesses in a way that honors the art that is behind them.
Sean Low will be hosting an exclusive business-minded session at the 2015 Catersource and Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow on Sunday, March 9 from 2:00pm-3:15pm. Sign up here to join Sean for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.