So many artists do their thing in silent hope that they'll be noticed and given a job of their dreams. They post to social media, they give everything great titles, and then they wait. Waiting for who exactly, they're not sure. Someone to see what they have and who can turn it into a magical life. Perhaps they visualise this future, imagine what it's like, and even though they're not there yet, they do as much of what the now will permit.
The fairy-tale is over. It's this for the rest of your life. You could try submitting your work to an agency, perhaps find someone who sees profit in you and allow them to make it. Or you could see the profit in you for yourself and become your own manager, your own agent, your own super-fan. If you can learn to represent yourself not only in your own little space but in the global metaphorical high-street then why pay someone to do it for you?
So what do you need to do in order to be a 'good manager'? You already have discipline, that's established. You have a hunger to learn, or you'd not be here reading this post. So what's missing? Let's look at some points.
Stop being competitive and selfish
Everyone on Earth just wants to have a nice day. Granted, for some that means the opposite of what is deemed suitable but let's go with the good today. We all just want to get along, do our work, and have a nice day. We don't want confrontation or threats, we don't want anything bad to happen to us. We see huge companies and political parties publishing damning headlines about each other, however this doesn't correlate to small business and creative entrepreneurs. People are behind the independent media and arts and they have feelings too.
If you can pay for a service that you need, then do that. You've not 'lost' because you paid them and no-one paid you, it's not a game of tennis. No-one is keeping count, think about why you sell less products or services, why are you not making the sale? Maybe you've not paid for the right service, the right training, the right advertising space.
Say What You Mean And Do What You Say
People will take you seriously. They will listen to your words and sense your emotions then make a judgement. So always remain calm and speak after thinking things through. If you find that you say the wrong thing or you have sound-bytes of intolerance running through your head then you need to be able to iron these out. If not, you risk upsetting, offending, and making people angry. Your sense of humour too is something that people can either love or hate. If you upset people or offend people or make people think you're never serious, they won't see you as an authority they can trust.
Keep your word, if you say you're a nice person then act like one. If you say you're liberal then act like one. If you are conservative, then don't pretend to be liberal! It's really important for people to be able to make accurate guesses and judgements about us based on our image, If their heuristic thinking methods don't work with you then they will not want to work with you at all.
Individual People Still Matter
So you represent something bigger than you, perhaps you created it. Maybe you are solely responsible for the bettering of humanity. You're still just a person with flesh and strains. Each person you encounter, no matter how meek or massive, they are the same size as you. Once this can be ingrained in your ability to appropriately respond, you will get much further with your agenda when dealing with these people. They are all potential customers, potential friends, and potential colleagues.
Create The Best Experience Of You And Your Work
You're a great artist, whether it's music, painting, drawing, writing, performance, or anything else, your skills need the best presentation. When people interact with your work, they need to feel overpowered by quality. Find out how to do every job for yourself or pay people what you can afford to have them do it for you. We're not all polymaths but we're generally all really good at one or two things. Once your product or service experience is amazing, people will want to pay for it all the more.
Be Brave Not Insane
If you're like me then it takes real courage to talk to people. Put a friendly request in the agenda and it's almost impossible. You don't want to disturb people, you don't want to be in the way. You don't want to be the reason someone has a bad day. Perhaps you don't want to have a bad day and you're worried they'll make you have one. I've been in all these shoes and I know how important it is to be able to respond to people as often as you can. When it comes to delivering your message, perhaps advertising is more relevant for you. Pay for the service. Other than that, be brave. Do your thing and put the blinkers on while you do it. Just don't forget to take them off again after.
When it comes to how you respond, remember you're an authority of your work. You're in charge and you're not responsible for other people's personal opinions and feelings. What you are responsible for is how you portray your service and your personality in public. The revenue report will determine if people like you and what you have to offer. If you can respond to people in a calm and considered way, take people seriously when they have an issue and take the rules seriously when people break them, then everyone knows where they stand.
If you have a skill that you're using to make a living then people are going to resent the fact that they do not. This can't be helped, and some employers make work life almost unbearable. It's not your fault they're miserable at work or they have more to do than you, you made your choices and they made theirs with what was available. This doesn't mean you can be nasty or rude. People will say things that undermine you sometimes, they'll say things that make you feel undervalued and unrecognised. It's this subconscious resentment and envy that manifests. Often people don't mean to be upsetting, and if they are it's because they're hurting. Remember to be kind and not cruel.
This Is Forever
It's never been a rat-race and there was no starting gun. It's just this, forever. Do your best and make as much positive impact as you can. Always stay hungry for improvement, and never think you're high and dry. Rules change, technology changes, trends change. People change too, and that means you. Nothing lasts for a moment longer than it is permitted to.
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