Throughout my life I have had some interesting twists and turns while pursuing various careers and businesses that I have been involved in. Inevitably when things were going very good and I was reaping the rewards of my hard work someone would say to me, “You are so Lucky!”. I remember the first time I heard this I was taken back for a moment and then realized “Luck” had nothing to do with it. What did have everything to do with it was a lot of hard work, perseverance and sacrifice. Once we accept this fact we can all create our own “Luck” and not feel we are at the mercy of the gods fickle whims.
The first step in making your own luck is to have a goal. This goal is the key to getting all the rewards that we all so richly deserve and those rewards may or may not be monetary, money is often not the true reward of an artist, it may be that your idea of a reward is to have people love and appreciate what you do. That is often more important to an artist than anything else but we all gotta’ eat so don’t set a goal without a little of the green stuff flowing your way too.
The goal you chose is as unique as what you do, it doesn’t have to be a world famous in your lifetime Artist goal but without it you are just floating around like a canoe without a paddle. Oh, you will get somewhere but whether that’s where you wanted to go becomes the problem. So, when setting goals make sure they are very clear. Take time to write them down and tweek or change them after you read them over a couple of times. Think of a goal as a destination and the getting from here to there as the Mystery. I love referring to this part as the mystery because often we are not the least bit sure how we can get there but with a positive attitude and willingness to work hard the way will be revealed. This really irks my Left Brain husband when he asks me how I plan to make something I set a goal on happen and I cheerily say “I don’t know? It’s all a mystery right now.”
The next step to making your own luck is asking yourself if there is anything in the here and now that you are able to do to move you closer to that goal. Do you need to take some classes or workshops? Do you need to save or borrow a certain amount of money? Do you know anyone else who has already (or is on their way) obtained a similar goal that could mentor you. The more ideas that you can come up with that are taking you in the direction of your goal the more ideas and opportunities will be presented to you along the way.
The third and most important thing you need to do is once you have a rough plan, work the plan but at the same time keep it open to changes. The fact that how we get there is a mystery means we should avoid trying to control the outcome of everything we plan and be willing to go with the flow. The one sure fire way to stop yourself from getting where you want to go is to be inflexible. I do mean you should be flexible but not wishy washy. Try to weigh out the advice being dished out to you before you change direction.
Well-meaning people will tell you to stop working so hard or you should get a real job and just be a weekend Artist, ignore these people. They will be the same ones that will tell you that you are lucky later.
We will talk more about this “Luck” thing next time but in the mean-time if you haven’t set a goal for your career in Art start working on it.