As I wrap up the 4th(!) launch of my group program–Profit Pivot– this week, I’m having some great conversations with the most amazing group of artists and musicians and welcoming them into this world of artistic entrepreneurship. As I talk with them and hear their excitement, their fears, and their “what if I can’t do it” thoughts, I’ve been thinking a lot about my clients–and the past cohorts of Profit Pivot in particular.
What I find interesting is that, although they all set about to do completely different projects-from private studio re-structuring to summer festivals, to long-term courses to performance series to movement and fitness work, I can point to 5 clear behaviors that the most successful of my clients all shared in common.
They showed up live when they could, and if they couldn’t, they would take the time to watch the replay video. They still left comments and found a way to engage with the group and with the topic. They formed friendships with other people in the group and would hold each other accountable. They found ways to connect with each member of the group.
From an “I could use a virtual hug today” to a “Does anyone know how to do xyz in Canva?” They didn’t let themselves get unnecessarily stuck or slowed down. This one was the hardest lesson for me to learn as a new entrepreneur. I grew up thinking that to ask for help meant I was bothering someone, and that I should just figure it out on my own. That thinking certainly allowed me to become the independent and resourceful person I am, but it also wasted a TON of my time. Now that I’ve learned how to ask for help, I not only get things done faster, but I get to experience the beauty of human inter-dependency. Something that I realized I had missed out on for way too long.
Different from the “Fake it till you make it” mentality, allowing yourself to take on behaviors, styles, and attitudes that you had assigned “Future You” gets you there sooner. Like my client who told me that her future (successful) self would take a coffee to the beach in the morning and watch the sunrise. Was there something stopping her from doing that tomorrow morning? Nope. She lived near the beach, she had coffee, and she had the time. It just wasn’t something that she ever did.
Once she started doing it, however, she started to FEEL like the more successful version of herself, which made her feel more confident, which helped her to keep taking those bold, courageous actions.
There are going to be days when you are so excited to have accomplished something new, and there are going to be days when you are wondering why that post you put out didn’t get any engagement. Or just as you find 2 new students to fill your new studio, someone else backs out. What mattered?–they kept going even when things felt hard.
They were able to get themselves to take the scary, courageous action–even when they were absolutely terrified of failing. And then they KEPT doing it over and over until that muscle became stronger.
I liken it to performance anxiety. Remember the first recital you played and how you felt so nervous and your stomach was queasy and you told your mom you couldn’t play because you didn’t feel well?
And then the next time, you still felt sick to your stomach and still didn’t want to walk out on stage, but you knew you probably wouldn’t, actually, get sick in the middle of your piece.
And now you’ve done it so many times that the nervous twitter in your stomach is something called “excitement” or “pre-performance energy” and it’s not the most comfortable feeling in the world, but it’s somehow familiar and comforting nonetheless.
The truth is that we are all in the same boat. As creatives, our work comes from a place deep within us. That makes sharing it, talking about it, thinking about it (and god forbid, changing it!) an extremely vulnerable experience.
For all of us who yearn to do something different, the first courageous step is simply to admit that. To say to yourself “I would like to do X” Maybe it would bring you joy, fulfillment, maybe it’s always been a dream of yours, or maybe it was an idea that came to you last month and won’t leave you alone until you do it. Maybe you just need more money coming in each month.
The next courageous step is to set about doing it. On your own, if that’s how you work best, or with a coach to help guide you, or with a coach and a group.
And then, as you can see above, it takes leaning into that vulnerability and finding that courage, asking for support, help, guidance, and trusting the ups and downs.
The feeling one gets from having accomplished something that was at one point just an idea, just a dream, is simply incredible. Anyone who has experienced it will tell you there are few things better.
You just have to take that very first step.
P.S. If you’d like to take the 2nd step and talk to me about how I might support you with your creative project, you should simply book a free 30-minute consult call with me this week by clicking HERE. You can tell me what you’re thinking about, we can brainstorm a bit together, and talk about what your next steps might look like.
And if you have no idea WHAT you want to do (you just know you’d like to shift out of your current situation) then check out my free resource on finding your special “thing”: Build Your Best Life Blueprint