Monday, August 8, 2011

Staying Positive in this Economy

Recently I gave a Marketing presentation to a class of art students and mentioned that a major part of success is Positivity – the art of staying positive. The Professor, who is an accomplished artist, asserted, “With this terrible economy over the last few years, it’s so difficult to stay positive.” I replied that now is the most important time to keep your head up, keep working and pump more energy into marketing yourself... rather than distressing about the so-called recession!
In reality, anyone can make it during a “down economy” because it’s just a state of mind. In my case, I worked in a “downward” industry over the last few years yet continued to grow my income every year because I was unique and specialized in my field (this brings up the subject of personal Branding, which I discuss in length in my workshops).
With that in mind, here are some tips I recommend when you’re feeling down about the economy or any other negative factor:
1. Stay Purposeful and Focused. Remember your purpose and mission as an artist: to share your inner passion through your work. Now more than ever you should focus on creating magnificent works. Don’t waste your energy worrying about things outside of your control. In fact, if you do start to feel the fear creep in, set your intention to allow your worries to inspire an amazing new body of work. Think clearly and positively about what you’re here to do, stay true to yourself and stick to your mission.
2. Stop hiding behind excuses. Many of us blame external factors such as the economy, politics, world conflicts, or even our families for our own problems. We often convince ourselves that something won’t work out, before even trying it (a self-fulfilling prophesy). These are just ways to mask our own insecurities. Only YOU are to blame if you are not successful. What if you show your portfolio to a Gallerist, and she doesn’t like it? Well if you don't make an attempt, you’ll never know. Plus you can use it as a learning experience to ask for feedback, potential leads or other resources.
3. Don’t Listen to “Debbie Downer.” We often get caught up in what other people complain about themselves and about our limitations. Remember those who constantly tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, really don’t know what is best for you. Oftentimes they try to talk you out of pursuing your art career in favor of getting a “real job.” Chances are these same know-it-all’s have never made it big because they hide behind their own fears. Very successful people naturally are optimistic and encourage you to pursue your dreams. Try to gravitate toward these and other positive influencers in your life.  
4. Hope for the best and just jump! No matter how hard it may seem right now, it can only get better. If your usual sales methods aren’t working due to this “recession,” maybe it’s time to up your game and think outside the box. Continue to get out there. You may have to muster up the courage and literally knock on a few doors. Put your fear and pride aside and take the leap!

Keep in mind that if you’re doing what you love, this is in itself a reason to rejoice! Continue to stay focused and purposeful, and overcome internal fears that can drive you away from what you should be doing. While everyone else is wasting energy worrying about the economy, this is the perfect opportunity to stand out and shine!

*Much of this passage can be found in Ch. 8 Staying Positive in my new book Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece(TM). This book is sure to get you thinking positively to steer you on the right path toward success!

I'd love to hear what has worked for you, feel free to leave comments whether you agree or disagree. And share with anyone who may be interested! Cheers!

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