How To Actually Get Paid Living As An Artist
How do you get paid to live an artist’s life?
Artists ask me this question all the time. The answer is there are endless ways to get paid for your art.
Most artists don’t see the answers or fail to ask the right questions because they are imprisoned by the limiting beliefs that we ALL struggle with.
I was GREATLY inspired by THIS PODCAST where Seth Godin was answering questions during a Tim Ferris interview.
Every person on this planet suffers from their own limiting beliefs in some way.
Artists are DEFINITELY included in this lot.
Most are not self-aware of their limiting beliefs and suffer greatly throughout their crappy life.
Some are marginally self-aware and work a little to overcome these limiting beliefs and suffer less.
The people we admire most in society, you know, the ones who don’t seem to be hindered by any mental blocks or speed bumps, yeah, they suffer too but they interpret it differently.
That’s the secret.
People like Seth Godin, your favorite artists, world leaders, astounding family members, etc. STILL HAVE LIMITING BELIEFS and they battle with them every day.
The difference is the successful run toward the fear and engage it.
Most people avoid the fear.
It’s easier isn’t it?
It’s easier to make the fear become an excuse or deterrent to taking a risk and putting yourself out there.
Here’s the deal, I promise, on some level, we all tend to focus on the winner’s amazing success and forget (or never think about) the fact that they struggle too.
Just like you, they struggle every day.
Here’s what happens.
We all LIKE being competent.
We all LIKE being successful.
We all LIKE feeling important and most of us want to feel like we can help others.
However, when something threatens to undo all of these things, it’s easier to avoid it.
When we run away from the fear, a sour mindset enters.
“We are not getting what we deserve.”
“The world is not fair”
“Why should I even bother? It’s probably not going to work”
“That artist had all this money and knew all those people and I don’t; so I can’t do that.”
When this sour mindset takes over our psyche, we find ourselves keeping track of the wrong things like:
- How many times we’ve been rejected
- How many times it didn’t work
- All the times someone has broken our heart
- All the times someone has double-crossed us or let us down
Why keep track of them?
Are they making us better?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep track of all the other stuff?
- All the times it WORKED
- All the times we TOOK A RISK
- All the times we were able write a song that moved somebody
- All the times our performance had an impact on an audience
- All the times we reached somebody through our marketing
We can actually redefine ourselves as someone who can make a difference, someone who can IMPACT other people’s lives.
THIS is what artists are supposed to be!
THIS is what artists are supposed to do!
This is truly an energy and skill that most artists possess in some way.
Here is the trick.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s easier said than done but so was the 4-minute mile for thousands of years before someone broke it and then it was absolutely doable for many within months of the record being broken.
You want to be an artist, right?
You want to be original, right?
You want to be a pioneer, right?
It’s all about the narrative.
The narrative is up to you.
If it’s not working (and you KNOW if it’s not working so cut the crap and face the facts!) then why use it?
The narrative isn’t done to you.
The narrative is something you CHOOSE.
I have a very dear, very close friend of mine who is now having to deal with the reality of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder brought on by a nasty 2-year relationship that was emotionally and physically abusive to her.
Nobody should have to go through with this.
It’s not fair.
It’s like some asshole met her, charmed her, and then backed up a massive dump truck full of demons and dropped them on her head without her knowing it ever happened.
Maybe it wasn’t a dump truck, that’s too obvious, it was more like an evil Trojan horse with a brain and spirit virus that totally short-circuited her personality, her life experience, the narrative of her life.
Her narrative changed dramatically.
When her narrative changed, so did her life. So did her whole “game”.
She used to roll through life, taking ‘em as they come, now all of a sudden, the subtlest of situations has a bone chilling impact on her.
She reacts in a super negative way.
It’s not fair, but now she has to do a boatload of work on herself to change her narrative.
If we dig deeper, into a different narrative, we change the game.
We can change our game.
We can for the first time, or once again (as in the case of my friend) create abundance, momentum, and happiness in our lives and careers.
It’s all about your perspective and how you interpret what happens.
Those real successful artists that you loved have applied different interpretations to their lives.
Some people are afraid.
Afraid to try, afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to fail, afraid of looking bad, afraid of getting hurt, afraid to really be an artist which is to say they’re afraid to live.
The successful people realize that you must engage fear. You must meet it head on despite the horrific events of your past.
In fact, the more horrific your past, THE MORE YOU MUST ENGAGE THE FEAR!
You know who acted this statement out in living color? Even if you hate sports, you have to admire Brett Favre, former Super Bowl winning QB of the Green Bay Packers.
He was just inducted into the Hall Of Fame this past Saturday.
Defenses in football LOVE to get to the quarterback and HIT HIM as hard as they can but they were largely scared to hit Brett Favre.
It was dangerous because he would always control the narrative.
If you hit him, if you planted him in the ground so hard that time stood still, you made the stadium gasp, the coaches cringe, and his teammates scared, it was all over.
He would change the narrative IMMEDIATELY, which changed the momentum, which changed the game. It’s almost like it wasn’t fair.
No matter how much he was really hurting, he would get back up, no, he would POP back up in the face of fear and grab the face-mask of the guy who hit him and start jack-jawing him.
“That’s all you got boy?” “That’s ALL you can do? That didn’t even hurt!”
I swear he still couldn’t even see straight half the time but he did it. Mostly for himself.
He would EXPLODE back up in the face of fear and confront it head on.
The result of this action was MOMENTUM.
His teammates, who were for a second scared, were now shaking with adrenalin, reignited, and ready to DOMINATE!
The opposing team, who for a second were triumphant, now had to deal with the reality of awakening a giant.
How do you interpret your failures?
If you’re interpreting them incorrectly, I promise you it’s the difference between a success and failure.
It’s the difference between a happy life and a dark life spent regretting.
Simply put, the master has FAILED more times than the beginner has even TRIED.
The only thing you should truly fear is living a crappy life.
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