You Don’t Need a Backup Plan: Grab Another Basket
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” Not an earth shattering idea and one that may have baggage for some artists. Perhaps your parents incanted this to you religiously to get you to pursue a “real” career, to make sure you had a “backup plan”.
We do not believe in a “backup plan” at Artist’s Strategy. We believe in taking as many concerted and targeted efforts as possible in order to reach our artistic goals all the while turning them into an actual business model that fulfills and sustains you.
Working with clients, we’ve seen time and time again how when one piece of their plan doesn’t fall into place they have a tendency to become dejected and stumped as to how to move forward. In fact, I’m sure we’ve all experienced this before. You have a big, fantastic idea on how to move the needle forward on your artistic career. You become obsessed, “this may be the thing that helps me “break” through”. In a whirlwind of activity you start taking insane efforts to manifest this idea…for the first time in a while you feel positive and hopeful. “This could really work!”
Then, inevitably, a huge wrench is thrown into the works. That bit of money falls through, the collaborator you were hoping to work with stops responding, a pandemic changes the fabric of society as we know it. And what happens then? You, once so inspired and determined to create an opportunity for yourself, now find yourself dejected and hopeless.
Or, even worse, you succeed and accomplish the huge effort you have undertaken but it doesn’t amount to anything substantial in your career. You are devastated! “This was supposed to be the thing! This must be a sign it is never going to happen.”
Pursuing as many avenues as possible to get where you want to go without getting emotionally attached to any of those avenues is a key to success in our finicky fields. Here are two words that creative entrepreneurs should strive to embody: resilience and resourcefulness. Understand the 80 / 20 rule: 80% of your efforts will be fruitless and 20% will actually have an effect. Help your odds by diversifying and expanding your portfolio of strategies to reach your goals.
Doing this hopefully will eradicate the phrase “if only” from your vocabulary.
“If only I could get my screenplay in front of this person.”
“If only I could get this residency.”
“If only I could get an agent.”
“If only I could have 10K insta followers.”
“If only I could have such and such amount of money.”
This is dangerous thinking. If you really believe any moment that only one thing stands between you and your goal you are sorely mistaken. That comes from a lack of a sense of scope of what you are really capable of and the amount of action it will take from you to build the career of your dreams.
This is the basis of the different tenets that we believe make up a creative’s business structure:
- Professional Growth (Identifying Primary Goals)
- Community Cultivation
- Self Producing
- Product Improvement
- Financial Management
- Infrastructure (How you’re going to get it done)
- Coming at your business from a strategic, sensical, varied standpoint will force you to utilize your greatest asset: your creativity!
This varied approach underlines one of those important tenets above of Artist’s Strategy; your infrastructure or the “how”. You must be able to stay on top of and organize the ridiculous amount of stuff you are going to do to create your lasting career.
So remember: be resourceful and resilient. Look at your goals and get creative about all the different paths to get there. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! Pull out another and start to fill it as well.