Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. Stephen Covey
We all face changes, nearly daily. Some are big; many are little and insignificant. How you adjust to changes regardless of size often is the pivot point that separates happiness and gloom, and success versus stagnation.
I’ve written before about being happy. I think artists in pain sometimes make beautiful art from the experience. Could Hank Williams have written the quintessential country and classic American song, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” he had never plumbed the depths of lost love? Elvis Presley introduced it by saying, “I’d like to sing a song that’s… probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”
Still, I’d like to think that alongside the loneliness of Williams’ experience that he also experienced highs of happiness, too. Maybe, the only way to know real happiness is to have also known sadness and sorrow. We don’t always get to choose our circumstances—life’s not fair that way—but we always get to choose our reaction.
Today, I’m thinking about you and all my artist friends, and I’m thinking about me, too. We are each on a unique path to somewhere. Conditions may have dictated our direction to a degree, but mostly we’re there because that’s where we wanted to be.
So, what I want to ask you is something I’ve been asking myself lately. “Are you satisfied with how things are going?” Of course, answers will be all across the board from, “Absolutely,” to “Not even close.” A lot of us, including me, are somewhere in the middle of that range. And, that brings me back to your choices and mine.
If you are not happy with your given status, do you have a plan to make changes? Do you realize you are mostly stuck with choices you made? Are you ready to embrace something new? You can change your thinking, change your paradigm and change your life. You must decide you want to change and then commit to making it happen.
I’m not here to sell you anything. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I have books and online training and other products and services. If you look around, you’ll find them available. If you are noticing this blog looks different then you are experiencing changes I’m making. Gone are the sidebar and banner ads to products and services. That’s due to a conscious decision on my part to give you a different, more pleasant, and more gratifying experience when you come here to read my posts.
I’ve decided I don’t want to distract you with ads, links to click that take you to sales pages for my products and services. Instead, I want you to encounter the ideas and information and be able to absorb and react to them without interruption. Making changes takes time. There may be times when it is appropriate for links, but they will be well placed and sparse.
Some of my friends and colleagues in the digital marketing realm would advise against such an approach, but I don’t care. I’m thinking about how I want to receive useful information and trying to replicate that for you. Most of us have developed banner blindness. It’s the same cognitive thing we do with the fast-forward button on the DVR. We’re not interested and want to get back to the program.
I’ve got other changes in mind and will announce them in due time. I’m feeling a need to simplify, to streamline, to write better, more impactful posts. I am working on giving you more by doing less. If I spend less time on carefully embedding marketing links and images into every post, I have more time to research and refine the information I’m presenting to you. That’s a good thing for you. I believe in the long run it will be a good thing for me, too.
I’m not going to stop marketing. You’ll still see my messages from time to time. They just won’t be couched in the help I’m publishing for you. How that happens is a work in progress. I will keep you informed of how things are going with it.
As an artist, you might be asking, “How does this less is more philosophy apply to me?” It can manifest in many ways. Perhaps it’s time to concentrate on top prospects who can afford higher priced pieces. It might take you longer to create such artworks, and you would also be minimizing the number of ways you are trying to get the work to market.
You might realize your product mix is too varied, and you are targeting too many different types of customers. When you are spread out, you make it near impossible to own the top position in a prospect’s mind for words like, “art,” “artist,” “photographer” or “sculpture.” By narrowing your focus, it becomes easier and more possible to gain that top spot advantage.
When you narrow your focus, you can put more effort into the work you are making, thus making it more valuable with higher prices. With a more narrowed focus, your marketing becomes pinpointed, less expensive and more efficient.
On his Art of Value blog, Phillip Morgan wrote about How to Create Value Through Positioning. Positioning is as mentioned above owning the top position in the minds of your customers. Here are some of the salient points he makes:
What is the most important thing you can share about pricing?
What Morgan is talking about is classic positioning theory, at which he has become an expert. It is also about changes and how to make more from less. There are lessons to be learned for artists in thinking about things differently.
It takes courage to make changes. I’m making them myself as we speak. I’ll be here urging you on and rooting for you to start making changes in your life and your career that will move you far away from the mournful sadness of Hank Williams and into the light of being and happiness espoused by people such as the late, great Wayne Dyer. His Wishes Fulfilled PBS program was both powerful and poignant. Here’s a sample.
If want to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself. — Wayne Dyer
Are you ready to make changes? Let us hear about them. Post your thoughts, your fears, your desires, your vision in the comments.