In yesterday’s post I said that not all of us entrepreneurs are good artists.
What did I mean by that?
Just like not all paintings are masterpieces, not all songs are top-40, not all novels are best-sellers, not all inventions find usefulness, not all businesses are, shall we say, works of art either. This a painful problem. I guarantee each artist (which is how I classify all of the categories I list above) wants to put out something good, even great. The creators see something awesome in their minds, but something vastly different shows up in real life. While it may be tiresome to those on the outside to experience these attempts, to the person who has conceived these works, it can be miserable.
Let’s be honest. Most of us are not happy with everything we produce creatively. This can have a myriad of effects on the artist. Self-doubt can eat you alive. It does me sometimes. I look at the condition of some of my creations and can be eaten up with shame. Occasionally, I just want to pull the covers over my head and hope the day passes without me. You can’t get very far down your road that way though.
Other times, to battle the constant awareness of falling short, the entrepreneur will justify his failure by making excuses. “The economy has been bad for years…” While some of these justifications may be accurate, they do not get the creator any closer to achieving the desired creation. They just make him feel not-so-bad for failing.
I am going to offer a 3-part alternative to the being overwhelmed or making excuses for sub-par performance.
- Think realistically. Artistic Nirvana is unobtainable. Obstacles are everywhere. Your business will NEVER BE perfectly like you see it in your head. But I guarantee you that it could be better (even much better) than it is.
- Do your best. That seems trite, but how many days do we give less than our best because our head is not in the game or our pride is wounded or we are eaten up by stress and fear. Face these things head on and do the best you can, using your intellect and creativity to solve problems instead of just reacting to them.
- Improve what your best is and then repeat step 2 with a new-and-improved best. Learn new things about your craft. Learn marketing and management techniques. Learn how to apply technology. Learn how to manage yourself better. Discipline yourself.
Let’s face it: There are much, much more works of art–of whatever expression–that are not top-tier but that DO make our lives more beautiful and enjoyable everyday. They are art none-the-less. What if the creators of these never composed because they weren’t a Beethoven, never painted because they weren’t a Rembrandt, never wrote because they weren’t a Dickens, never invented because they weren’t an Edison, and never started and innovated a business because they weren’t a Henry Ford? The world would be an empty place. There is a vast difference between the very top and nothing. Don’t think your creations are nothing just because your achievements are not top .01%…yet.
Strive to be the best there is–to be the poster child for greatness. Work on your masterpiece every day. But, understand that life and creation is a journey, not a destination to arrive at. Make your creations of today better than they were yesterday. Take satisfaction in what you have done, but don’t rest on your laurels. And if you sucked yesterday or today or even for the last few years, then shake it off and make tomorrow better.
Put out pieces of art to make the world a better place for those who come in contact with them. And enjoy your accomplishments along the way.