Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What you give away, will come back to you tenfold

And in the end, the love you take is equal to.. The love.. You make. 
                                                    - The Beatles, "The End"

There is a growing struggle for us who are of the generation born prior to the millennium babies...Some of us endure in silence, some of us endure in anger and frustration, and some of us attempt to endure in the giving of our knowledge and awareness...

This age of quick fix, insta-satisfaction, I want what I want and I want it now...There are those who do not understand or engage in the concept that what you receive, is equal to or greater than that which you give. Business has always had its moments of " What can you do for me"... But the foundation of proven success has always had a context of "how can I serve you?" Now more than ever have I experienced the heartbreaking fact that we are in a take what you can now because you never know what will be available later mentality. It's destructive, shallow, temporary, and a disconnected way to exist let alone do business.

Honestly you want to ask yourself why you are so exhausted, why are you so drained and why at the end of the day we feel like we've put out all we've got, yet we feel empty? What we do not realize is we are either holding ourselves back from what we can give or have been on the other end being withheld from what we can receive. Some call it hustling in jest but truth be told if your idea of networking and marketing is all about telling the world what you do, and that's it...There is a reason why no one is biting your line. It has nothing to do with the competition, it has little to do with how educated you are, and little to do with how "business savvy" you are. It has to do with your way of being and generosity about what you want to give to the world. This directly correlates back to "why" you do what you do.

Think about it this way: Say you are in conversation at a party. You meet a "celebrity makeup artist". You start a conversation and in that conversation you talk about the struggles you are having with your business. The celebrity artist's response to most of your story is accolades on what they've done with so 'n so celebrity, and by the way they are teaching a workshop/seminar/webinar that you should sign up for because they will cover all the answers as to what to do in that situation. You were not opposed to getting more education about it, but in that moment you were looking to share info and not drop $500 to learn from someone that you have no idea what their teaching style is or if what they teach will be worth that kind of money. An alternative scenario is this: you engage in conversation with this person, and they listen and ask you questions to find out more. They tell you they understand your scenario because they've been there. They give you a little nugget of information that gives you some perspective and then offer you to attend a webinar or seminar that might help them in that scenario. You feel kinda connected to that person now so you are inspired. When you ask how much it costs, they say free. You feel elated and relieved someone with so much experience is offering this and you say yes immediately. Now out of the two scenarios, which of the two would you be more willing to buy more education from?

Another scenario... Let's put you on the other end. You meet a woman at a party. She is an up and coming actress. She shares with you she has the worst luck with makeup artists. They all either don't know what they are doing, or they don't get who she is and what she wants to look like. Version one of you sees this as an opportunity for a job and whips out your card. You tell her how long you've been doing makeup, what type of makeup you specialize in, and who you've done makeup for. She takes your card, and thanks you. Version two: you sympathize with her saying you hate when people don't listen to you or get who you are. You ask her what is the kind of makeup does she like, or what's the image or brand she is going for. You listen to her and make an effort to understand what her story is. After she is done you try to internalize what she is going for, show her some images on your phone of ideas you have. You share with her WHY you got into makeup in the first place, because people like her should be expressed as the best version of themselves inside and out, and you love being a part of that. You start to create a connection. Then you offer her to meet up for a trial, as you want to show her some ideas you have. You tell her you will give her a discounted price because you understand that finding a good makeup artists is not easy, and if she likes you then great, perhaps you can work together further. If not, then as least she doesn't pay through the nose to find out, but you are almost positive she will be happy. Now again, which scenario is more likely to a) get a phone call and create a new client , and b) have that person feel more confident in doing business with you?

The issue people have with both these scenarios on the "giving" side is they are often worried about being taken advantage of or wasting time. What if the seminar sucks? What if the actress never hires you? Well I get it, but the truth is you are more likely to gain trust from your potential client and/or give trust to your potential educator because you get both of you love what they do and neither are just doing it because they want money. When people take the time to connect with you, that is a form of giving, and finding out the best way to possibly serve you. It doesn't mean you dumb down your rates or your self worth. It means you produce such quality services you are willing to give some of it away to show you are confident they will agree with you. They not only will then believe in your business and buy more from you at the value its worth, but become a loyal reoccurring client. In reality, if someone feels like they are doing business with a human being and not a money hungry ego drone, they feel more comfortable spending money with you. Its considered and investment. People want to give their business to a company, brand, or proprietor who comes from the context of a giving heart. As my friend Simon Sinek says:

 and further more...

So ask yourself, what of my gifts can I give? What are some unique ways I can connect with people in regards to WHY I do what I do? Here at BoA, we believe in telling your story in an inspiring, colorful, unique way.  We believe in supporting our community in telling their stories so others are inspired by their gifts. That why we write this blog. That's why we do some free seminars, and we are always an open door to create space for empowering and inspirational opportunities that assist you in growing YOUR purpose. So think about it... how can you gift someone a piece of yourself?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

80% of this simple thing is the first key to success...

I have been teaching Body Painting at the Make Up For Ever Academy this week, and as per who I am, my teaching is never just involves talking about technique. The students and I got into a discussion about ways to be successful as an artist whether you are a makeup artist, hair stylist, fashion designer, painter, writer, musician, or any creative trade…

I began to talk about the concept of not being afraid to fail…To keep doing the work knowing you will fail a few times, in fact if failure doesn't match in percentage to success, you probably could work a lot harder. A student raised her hand and asked “While developing yourself in this industry, we hear so often ‘be a harsh critique of yourself, and only show the very best work you can do. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Because of that I feel I always need to second guess my work, and it paralyzes me. How do you get through that and know what's good and what's not?”

I brought up my favorite quote by Andy Warhol on the screen:

Then I proceeded to tell her and the class what I know to be true as an artist… The key to success is obsession, not perfection. And 80% of success is just showing up (Woody Allen said that.) Most give up or stop their own process because they tried once and failed, and they allowed the pain and embarrassment of rejection, or the fear of not being good enough, to stop them. But if you are OBSESSED, and you keep showing up, keep writing everyday, keeping painting everyday, keep playing everyday, out of 50 tries you not only could get 20 successes, but 40 awesome lessons in what does NOT work (what you might call a FAIL). This is how you become an expert. I asked the class… DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST TO GAIN OTHER PEOPLE’S APPROVAL? UM...NO. (Well maybe you did, some of us have some issues to work out). Hopefully we became artists because we were so powerfully pulled from our gut that this was something we wanted to do, this was the medium in which we could express our gifts, and seeing the difference it made in people gave us just a good a high if not better than any drug we could get our hands on. But just like any relationship, when you first start on the road to making your obsession into a profession… you realize the sparkles and lose a little bit of its luster when you realize it IS work to maintain. And just like a committed relationship it is not the world’s responsibility to make it better for you, its up to you to TRANSFORM yourself to make it work.

In meditation (which so many find so difficult), a successful practice does not start with being in perfect zen, 15 minutes of pure quiet focus, and inner peace...a master will tell you it starts with showing up to the pillow everyday.  We are in an age of such immediate satisfaction, that if we do not see the result here and now, we give up, move on, find the next cheaper and faster thing that serves temporary fast results that will not stand the test of time.

People… you cannot become a master at ANYTHING with quick and fast. Everything has its season it must progress through to create a true foundation: a birth/new beginning, a childhood/an exploring phase, a vocational practice/the process on doing it religiously and making it you, and a master/elder level, taking your knowledge and giving it back. You cannot skip from birth to master…you cannot become an expert without ever making a mistake...without making a shit ton of mistakes. We live in an age of thousands mediocre artists, but a choice few masters, and there is a reason. Because the masters looked beyond having perfect work, and just wanted to do it everyday, not giving a sideways glance at the mistakes they made. All the while the mediocre artists sit and complain there isn't enough work, or they are not making enough money. They end up quitting and do a job they don’t love because they do not have the obsession to make their passion a living. 

Do you know how many people I have met who swore up and down they would be in my next workshop, or leadership program and never show up? Know how many people I’ve mentored who say they want to be a leader in this industry, and be a success, but cannot take an ounce of constructive feedback without getting offended or defensive? (they say they want to change, but don’t have the cojones to show up). Promises to build their portfolio, promises to assist people, promises to learn Photoshop, learn a new language, learn to play the piano… but they never show up?! Even when you don’t feel like it, even when the passion falters, even when you doubt yourself (especially when you doubt yourself)...just show up to the pillow, and be there to receive and do the work. The day you miss class, might be the day that vital information was available that could change your life.

So just show up. Follow your commitment, not your feelings. Showing up no matter what builds strength, character, accountability, confidence, and mastery. Mastery also comes from making lots of mistakes, so take risks knowing you will make them, and they will serve you in becoming the expert in the thing you love.