Who You Are and What You Do

what-you-do-550

Alert subscriber Clay Cantrell sent me the quote in this image some months ago, saying that it reminded him of me.

The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. [Tweet this.]

I tracked down the quote to, as best I can tell, fitness guru Bill Phillips.

I wanted to share this with you because I can’t think of a quote that is more inspirational for me right now, and I hope it serves you.

Who I Am

You know me as someone who is a no-excuse-action-taking-don’t-stop-working kinda gal. I have never had a problem taking action.

But that’s only a tiny part of WHO I want to be.

Who I Want To Be

Over the past few years, I have loosely been seeking some form of spirituality. “Seeking” isn’t really the right word.

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Taking Imperfect Action

Alyson Stanfield with students

You know that I’m all about action.

But I’m also about reading, researching, and learning, which is a good thing because my primary work is teaching. You have to learn before you can teach, although you’ll learn even more by teaching.

And there comes a time when you must stop the learning phase and start taking action – however imperfect it might be or however reticent you might feel.

Students at my workshop in Burlington, VT commit to taking action.

I think we stay in information-gathering mode rather than taking action for one of two reasons:

1. We’re afraid to make a mistake (failing). 2. We don’t have enough fire in the belly to get moving. We aren’t hungry enough.

Let’s look at these.

Go Ahead and Make Mistakes

You don’t learn simply by reading

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Read Listen Watch Do Write Teach: How to Really Learn Something

©2008 Libby Hintz, Serenely Happy Energy Cells As Seen Under A Microscope. Stained glass, millefiori, glass, beads, chalcedony cabochons, and pearls, 16 x 16 inches. Used with permission.

Think you can take a few classes or attend a workshop and you’re suddenly a genius at business? Of course you don’t. Being an Art Biz Blog reader, you know better.There’s so much to learn, know, and do. Every step forward reveals even more options, and we only begin to understand the implications of an action after we have been implementing it consistently. Here’s how to immerse yourself and really learn how to promote your art effectively.

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Implementing Is Worlds Beyond Knowing

Artists' Books

I start my live workshops and online classes by asking participants to monitor their thoughts. Alarms should go off whenever they find themselves thinking “Yeah, I already know that.” These are dangerous words – primarily because they are often used in place of action.

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Are You Walking the Talk?

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. I have a few thoughts on how you might ensure that what you do is more important than who you say you are.

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Do Something — Anything

Gini Lawson, The Babysitters

The alternative to doing something is inaction. The alternative to marketing your art is waiting for something to happen and watching opportunities to pass by. I’m pretty sure you don’t want this.

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Assess the Risk

If you think about it, you take a risk getting out of bed every morning. You don’t know what the day holds for you. You take a risk signing up for a new class by an unknown teacher. You take a risk every time you pull out a fresh slab of clay or point your lens and snap a shot.

Life is full of risks since nothing is certain. But some things seem to be riskier than others–like leaving a day job to devote time to your art. When looking at opportunities, try a semi-scientific approach and assess the risk.

Charlotte Kruk, Creamy. Acrylic on canvas. ©The Artist

Get out your pen and paper and write whatever you’re mulling over at the top of the page. Below it, make two columns. (You’ve probably done this before.) At the top of the left column put “Advantages.” The right column will be . . .

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