I’m sure we all know a lot of whiners. *slyly cutting my eyes*
I don’t mean the complain-sometimes-when-stuff-goes-wrong kind of people. Those people are OK.
I mean the woe-is-me-no-one-listens-everything-sucks-and-I-want-to-talk-about-it-all-the-damn-time-so-you-can-physically-feel-my-pain kind of people.
The people who make you want to punch holes in your eardrums, go play in traffic or take a shot of Chlorox. Yeah, those people.
Those people suck. Don’t be like them.
Creative brands should stay as far away from those people as possible. They will, literally, suck out your creativity and possibly your soul.
A wise woman, DJ Mitsch author of “Mystic Grits”, once told me, and I’m paraphrasing:
If you have a complaint, what request aren’t you making? What aren’t YOU doing?
Think about it.
For every complaint you have, there is something you can do to change that situation!
Don’t give me a “That’s out of my control. There’s nothing I can do about that.” response, because that’s a BS cop-out and you know it.
Creative brands need to be PROBLEM SOLVERS! Not whiners!
You have a problem. Fix it. Period.
Hell, that’s life.
Living, that is. Not just existing.
Stop cheating your brand and yourself by just going with the flow.
Sometimes the flow sucks and you need to go against it!
While you’re flapping your gums complaining about that thing that you can do nothing about, your brand is sitting stagnant and your problem is laughing, pointing and making obscene gestures at you, because you won’t make yourself slightly uncomfortable and take the action or make the request to solve the problem.
That’s all it is. The little feeling of unease that you get from going against what you’re used to or what seems easiest is keeping you from taking your brand to the next level.
Seems silly doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s dumb as hell.
Now, of course, you can’t wave a magic wand and fix the problem (perhaps I’ll share my magic problem-fixing wand with you during my upcoming Author Branding Bootcamp), but you can take small, consistent steps to fix whatever problem your brand is having.
Let me give you a slightly altered real-life example:
Wendy Wax has a passion for making custom candles and candle accessories and she would love to start a part-time business selling them. She’s married with 3 children and has a full-time job, so she says to me:
“Tivi, how do I build my creative business? I just don’t have the time.”
Yeah. I hear that more than I care to admit, so my response is:
“Well, Wendy, do you really want to build your creative business? Then do it. Make the time.”
But what I really want to say is something along the lines of “Poop or get off the pot,” but with more colorful language.
Because, really, if you’re not going to commit to the end goal, then just give it up.
Don’t try it. Do it!
Wendy could carve out 1 hour a day to work on her business, whether it be during her lunch break at work, while the kids are sleeping or early in the morning. That’s 7 hours a week, Wendy! That is a damn good start.
Wendy could also TELL her kids about Mommy’s goal of growing her own creative biz and get them to HELP her with the project (depending on how old the kids are). If they can’t physically help with the candle making they would at least know not to bother mommy during her working hours.
Wendy can’t be afraid to let people know she HAS to work.
Because really, if it’s not important enough for you to make time for it, how important is it?
Wendy could create an Etsy.com shop to sell her candles.
She could put a few of her best candles in her office at work and use any “Oh, Wendy, these candles are amazing.” comments as an opportunity to tell people about her business.
During her lunch break at work, Wendy could visit a local spa or two and talk to them about purchasing her candles or displaying them in the massage rooms. She may decide to leave them a few brochures, samples and business cards to display at their front desk.
She could hit one independent grocery store or local goods store a week to find out about selling her candles there.
Wendy could set up shop at the local farmer’s market once a quarter to sell her candles- and bring the family with her to help.
Wendy could connect with a local event planner who regularly purchases candles for wedding and parties.
Instead of buying her kid’s teachers gifts for the holidays, she can send her kids to school with a few of her best candles (and a business card and brochure) wrapped for their teachers.
Wendy could force her husband to put her candles in his office too.
Wendy could take the time EVERY DAY to do something to grow her business. Even if it’s something small.
After a few months of taking a bunch of little steps, her business is growing in a big way, despite her “lack of time.”
So don’t whine about something you can’t do, or don’t have. Get up and actively seek to change that situation.
I posted a link to a really cool video featuring inspirational quotes from Will Smith on our Facebook page yesterday. You should definitely check it out if you need another kick-in-the-pants.
I’ll break down a key point for you:
You’re whining about having to build a wall. How the hell are you supposed to build a wall? Seems impossible, right?
Don’t set out to build a wall. Set out to lay one brick, every day, as perfectly as possible- then check back with me in a few months.
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