Boy, oh boy, have I had to face the music on romanticizing the idea of business and writing. Creativity needs to be practical if you are going to build a business and inspire others to do the same.
“I am a writer [painter, graphic designer, creative, etc.]”
I wrote passionately about faith and culture on my previous blog for four years - nothing, crickets, no financial freedom, no push back, no conversations, nothing.
Then, I met my husband, and then Gary Vaynerchuck. I will explain later.
I believed I would be selling out or betraying the craft if I pandered to the business of writing. I thought I was giving the world what it needed. The world just didn't know it yet. Simply put, pride, ego, and self-awareness were my problem.
What I now believe is that you have to give people what they want before you can give them what they need. You have to care about them first before you start pushing your agenda on them. Everything else, is just your over inflated ego showing up to a party that only you are attending. Hence, the four-year conversation I was having with myself - tragic.
My husband is quite the opposite. A tall guy, great smile, glasses, focused mind, with a well thought-out demeanor. He does not overthink or second guess the value you bring to people when you build a strong business, sell great products and charge a reasonable price for them.
He has made me practical, data-driven, rational. He has taught me that I cannot afford to romanticize my dreams if I want to impact people's lives and build a legacy. We, as humans have come to this point in our evolution through a particular way of communicating. It is up to me, the creative, to get to the heart of the matter, reach people in their language and not expect or force them to come over to my way of thinking.
And this is where Gary Vaynerchuck or Gary Vee comes into the picture.
The Market and Getting Punched In The Mouth
Vaynerchuck, who I consider a business mentor from afar, talks about allowing the market to decide if your brand, product or service is good enough. Instead of romanticizing your ideas with the notion that you and only you know what is best for the world you review real-time data on how you are doing. Sometimes you get a warm welcome, and sometimes you get punched in the mouth.
We all learn differently. I once heard it said that we often change when the pain of staying the same is too much. I don't like getting punched in the mouth, but for four years I did the same thing over again expecting a different result - insanity.
The punch in the mouth is the silence your passionate business project or idea makes when you have not added anything to the conversation nor achieved your business goals.
Last month, I received a rejection letter from a major publisher, I wrote about it here. I was punched in the mouth. I had two choices repeat strategy, repeat behavior, or analyze and alter course.
I chose to alter course. What will you decide?