As I continue to paint a new painting every day for the plastic drinking water bottle cleanup project I’m doing (http://bit.ly/100-100-100), spending more and more time at it, I’m really enjoying the focus and concentration it demands on so many levels, all converging in these blobs of color on canvas.
(Image: Moonlight, Acrylics on Canvas, 9″ x 12″ © Lyon 2010)
And I’m seeing, once again, how easy it is to choose a gift, skill or talent and use it as a launching point to create a platform to speak out about things I really care about.
Being as freaked out about
marketing as I was as an artist before, I never thought of doing art as part of a public project. I had thought of marketing as ‘bad’ – evil, even – and even when I desperately needed to get the word out about my work so I wouldn’t starve, I had no clue how to go about doing it.
We have such an amazing world – right now we can let people know about what we adore and what we care about so easily that we literally have no excuses anymore. Just an email campaign to a few people can raise awareness and so much mo.ney it’s absurd – add social media, websites, blogs, teleclasses and webinars, and you have an empire.
So what’s stopping you? “Oh I’m not a leader,” you might say. “OH, I couldn’t do THAT!” You couldn’t do what…let people know you care about (for instance) the crud floating in the Pacific Ocean that is 90′ deep and the equivalent of a three day drive across?
We all have been so conditioned to think of ourselves as “the Little Guy,” “The Common Man,” “The (I detest this one) Unwashed Masses,” “The Average Guy.” Gross. We are none of those things! Every single one of us has a unique outlook, a unique set of experiences and way of thinking that makes us singular beings.
3 BIG Qs: What is it that you adore doing more than anything else? That you would do even for free – and most likely ARE doing it for free right now?
What do people compliment you on and ask you for more of it?
What is something so natural to you that you think, “oh anyone could do that!”
Well, they can’t…and actually, won’t. I used to think anyone could paint. To me it’s a no-brainer. You just do this, this and this…and voila – a painting. But if it isn’t in you to paint, you won’t even choose to try it, right?
So no, not anyone could do what you do.
I think it’s about time to be done with constantly being sucked into thinking about and trying to get rich, get healthy, get smart, get mo.ney, get successful – get get get! If you weren’t trying so hard, what natural thing would you be doing? Your divinely given gifts and talents.
There are three important parts to using your unique set of skills and talents to contribute to life.
Part 1. Know what your unique skills & gifts are
Part 2. Know which of them you adore so much you could think, eat, sleep and do it all day every day
Part 3. Know what thing or situation ticks you off so much you start growling
I’m an artist good at painting and carving, and I’m a writer, book creator and publisher, radio show host and success coach specializing in helping women in business be outrageously successful. I’m really good at all those things, and I love doing them. But….
I think, eat, breathe and do art. It never leaves my mind. Ever. Everything I do hinges on Making, the creative process. Everything.
I’m really ticked off about how our incredibly selfish mass consumerism is destroying our waters. Plastic drinking water bottles on beaches, in rivers, on the ocean, in piles in India – watch this video and be amazed (and start growling).
So I asked myself how can I help? What can one little artist do? Think of John Denver’s song, What One Man Can Do – know who it was about? Thought pioneer Buckminster Fuller. What can one man do, indeed!
I saw a website by an artist who was doing 100 paintings in 100 days for practice. I thought heck, why not do that, and sell the paintings for 100 bucks apiece, and give part of the mo.ney raised to an organization who is focused on the research and/or cleanup?
I can hear you saying, “oh but I can’t paint! I don’t have time for anything like that! My kids (husband, job, etc.) take up all my time!”
Are you good at delegating? Create a phone tree alert about things you care about.
Are you good at speaking? Do some freebie talks to Rotary, Lion and Kiwanis Clubs.
The cool thing is that word about you will grow, and you’ll get more business doing what you love to do.
Love grows out of love. Simple.
I could go on, but the essence is this: take something you are really, really good at and love to do and ask yourself ‘how can I help?’ Start with one simple thing and do it.
Watch as it snowballs into something larger, all the time being very aware of how much time it is beginning to take up in your life. Control that by saying yes or no to requests from others – this isn’t about killing yourself to help others. It’s about celebrating life through adoring what you do and making a huge creative wave that we can all join you on.
Ask yourself how you could create an income from what you’re about to do. At first I thought I was crazy to sell each painting for only 100 bucks – I normally get way more than that, even for these itty-bitties.
But what if my doing this brought me more clients and collectors, and more of a name?
What if I set it up so people who missed getting the originals could get prints and mousey-pads?
Then I can donate even more for the cause, as I make it financially.
It might take some doing to figure out how to leverage what you love to do like that, but once you see it, don’t hesitate! Tell everyone what you’re doing and ask for their suppoprt!
It’s scary at first! So – take care of those fears – tap on them! (http://EFTinEveryHome.com – FREEbie info, and the Basics book shows you more in depth).
If you don’t take leadership of your own life, loves, passions and concerns, who will?
I invite you to take one more step into living a passionate, creative, exiliarating life and consider making your passion the pivot for your life.
Seth Godin, outrageous marketing expert, says: “The world has changed and the stakes are higher than ever. Now we’re facing a full-fledged revolution – a hypercompetitive world involving art and gifts and fear and the ability for you or anyone to make an indispensable contribution to something you care about. If you’re not indispensable yet, it’s because you haven’t made that choice.”
Make that choice! Whether you’re broke, in pain, in a wheelchair, or a CEO billionaire, a mom, a flautist or pilot – do it and see what happens!
I love you!
Image: Moonlight, Acrylics on Canvas, 9″ x 12″ copyright: © Angela Treat Lyon 2010