In his keynote at the World Domination Summit, Chris Brogan said almost in passing:
It’s not who you say you are, it’s what you do.
This is easy enough to digest because know this to be true. We know actions matter more than words.
Still, are we walking the talk?
The Titles We Give Ourselves
Students in my Cultivate Collectors class are, today, answering the question, “What do you do?” It’s a lesson for developing their 10-second introductions.
You can try it, too.
Answering this question helps you go beyond the title “Artist” (or whatever you call yourself) and get to the heart of what makes you you.
But how you answer this question (What do you do?) is less important than doing what you say you’re doing.
If you say you’re an artist, but you can’t seem to make the commitment to studio work, are you really an artist?
If you say you are grateful, but you don’t thank people properly, are you really grateful?
If you say you live up to your commitments, but you’re missing deadlines and making others wait on you, are you really reliable?
If you say you have an art business, but you aren’t trying to make money, are you really in business? Or is your art a hobby? (By the way, neither is better than the other, but you must understand the difference.)
Act On Your Words
Something that people say to me repeatedly is that I model the behavior I teach others. Nothing pleases me more than hearing this.
I do my best to see that my actions are in line with what I teach. I wish I could say that this happens all of the time, but I know it doesn’t. I know I come up short here and there, so I will continue to improve.
I have a few thoughts on how you might ensure that what you do is more important than who you say you are.
- If you say you’re an artist, commit to your studio time.
- If you say you are trying to make money, share your art with the world consistently and enthusiastically.
- If you say you are trying to make money, see that your business systems are in good order and that they support you rather than cause you headaches.
- If you say you support other artists, attend their openings, send them congratulatory messages, and promote their art on Facebook and Twitter.
How do you walk the talk?
Remember, it’s not who you say you are, it’s what you do.