Before Fan Fair, I was in corporate sales, dealing in technology and business solutions. If you have been in sales before you know that there are so many different activities you must complete during the day that it can be a little overwhelming. I used to start my day by going into my office and pulling up YouTube. I spent the first 15-20 minutes watching motivational videos, and then I would try to prepare my mind for reaching out to prospective clients. I didn’t need the motivational videos because I was tired, disgruntled, or hated my job. Prospecting was simply my least favorite task, but it was also the most important. I disliked it so much, I spent precious time on unnecessary things, just trying to psych myself up for it.
While many career paths in the creative industry differ greatly from more traditional jobs, the fundamental principles for success are the same. Being organized, focused, and most of all hard working, is paramount in the creative industry the same way it is in every other industry. As a musician or a photographer decides that they want to turn their passion from a hobby to a career, they will be met with either tasks or obligations that are less fun than others. There are many creatives that fall into the “starving artist” category for 1 of 3 reasons.
They don’t have enough resources to break out into crucial markets,
They are having to be poor while trying to hustle their way into crucial markets.
They are not dedicated enough to do the things that need to be done.
In the sales world, we frequently used the phrase “paralysis by analysis.” This is what happens when someone stands there looking at the work and trying to find the best way around it for so long that they never actually end up doing the work. I found out that if I just started prospecting without delay, by the time I realized that it wasn’t my favorite, I was almost done. When I saw the benefits that prospecting had on my bottom line, my relationship with it changed. Not only did I enjoy it more, I got better at it. I no longer need motivational videos to start my day. The successful people in any category may look different on the surface and have many character traits, but they all have figured out one poorly-kept secret. Are you ready for it? Here it is…. There is no secret. There is no magic button. There is no substitute for just doing the work. If you’re going to eat an elephant, you have to start by taking one bite at a time.