Im sitting here on Sunday afternoon doing my absolutely most favorite thing. OK, my 2nd most favorite thing, I’m watching football. I always hesitate to use sports metaphors in my blogs for the simple reason that so many people either don’t know sports, don’t care, or simply can’t relate their own careers to those of coddled, privileged millionaires running around in tight pants chasing a ball. Indeed, for that kind of cash, I think I could find a way to fit my fat butt into tight pants, but I digress.
Being an Entrepreneur, being an Artist, running a business is not like being an athlete. Well, other than the commitment to hard work and discipline that is needed. No, being the boss of you requires that you be like the WHOLE team.
Here’s what I mean: Champion football teams have three main things they have to be good at. Those would be offense, defense and special teams. They practice add nauseam to conquer these areas and become balanced and strong in each. If any of them are grossly lacking, it is unlikely that the team will become of champion caliber.
As entrepreneurs and artists we need to be able to name our multiple areas to conquer. As an agent and company owner I have five main areas: client acquisition, client service, buyer development, company marketing and company administration. On top of that, each of these categories has multiple pieces to manage.
Having been an artist myself and representing artists for many years, here’s how I see the career pieces an artist must manage. They are: craft development, client acquisition, craft performance, client management, personal marketing, company administration.
It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. The categories are the pieces. The job of the artist/entrepreneur is to take all these disparate pieces and fit them together. Then make sure they stay together. So, here is my challenge to you: make a list of the categories, then write down what you are doing to service each of those categories and you will quickly see where you have to improve to build a balanced business attack. Then work on the areas that need to be developed further.
To take things one more step, work on doing something every day in each of the categories you come up with, even if it is just one thing. Make it a habit. Old habits can be hard to get rid of, but new habits are easier to establish. Studies have determined that habits can be developed by repeating behavior daily for as little as 21 days.
It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. First you have to take the pieces out of the box. Then you have to turn them all right side up so you can identify what area of the puzzle they fit in. Only then, can you begin to construct the puzzle. If you aren’t willing to do that, you might as well just leave the pieces in the box and shake it really hard, hoping the pieces inside will magically fall into place. Then you can open the box and be amazed how the puzzle fairy has shined on you. If for some reason, you don’t believe in the puzzle fairy or more appropriately, the business fairy, my suggestion is to identify the pieces of your business and start trying to fit them together.
How did we get from football to puzzles? It’s all the same. Pieces of team strategy, pieces of colorful cardboard, pieces of business strategy. In each endeavor, there’s no point in continuing until you’ve specifically identified what the pieces are and what needs to be worked on.
One more thing. The teams that win are the ones that are willing to put in more work than the other teams, therefore it can be concluded that they are the ones who want it the most. What about you? How bad do you want it? Are you going to shake the box or or do the work?