How a Belief outperforms a Plan every-time

This post was originally published in July 2013 in theCR8infinitum blog. I think it still holds true power. Believe!

pink eggs

The word Belief remained on my tongue as I read an article about marketing. The idea being, that in selling anything from ideas to products, you start not from “what you do” but “why you do it”.

These are your belief statements. The why of what you do is your belief, and people buy into that belief. A great example is Apple computers. They make computers, yet people don’t buy an Apple computer, they buy into the belief that having their products makes them creative, and the products themselves are easy to use, beautifully designed and fun.

Start with the word Believe as your personal way of looking at the world. If you engage people with what you believe in, you tap into something very powerful.

sabbatical to do listHere’s how to begin.

  1. Write, “I believe in” at the top of a page, then,
  2. Make a list of everything and anything that completes the sentence,
  3. Keep going until you run out of ideas or the page is full.

Why for me:

Once done, your “I believe in” statements become a very powerful statement of who you are. Pick a few that moved you and say them out loud to yourself to create and gain personal empowerment.

Business Students washing up Siskontyttö-statueWhy for my company:

Go one step further. Use these powerful statements in your business for creating your unique vision and marketing statement. This is what people are buying from you; what your product stands for and why it exists. Or on the flip side, maybe you work in a company and have to deal with other employees. How does the team work together? Does motivation and cohesiveness wane at times? By looking at the question of what people believe in we may get to the root of a problem. Understanding the values in the team we may uncover answers to questions  such as: Why are we here and why are we putting in all these hours in? To gain more motivation, create ‘The belief statements’.

Why for the world:

Now for those of you that love to stretch an idea to the nth degree, let’s go even further. From a societal point of view, there almost seems like a crisis of consciousness, which essentially is a crisis of belief. What do we believe in our society?  Right now we believe the world is in rapid change, constant flux, imminent threat of terrorism and danger. This is how we believe our world is today. If we turn that around and say, we believe we are all connected, we believe we have the power of common consciousness, we believe that one person can make a difference, through social networking and exposure they can have now. If that is your belief system then you can change the world simply by saying what you believe in and gathering support from others that believe in you as well.

Martin Luther King did not say “I have a plan” He had a belief, a dream. A plan is a step-by-step action that almost no-one cares about. I have a plan does not create an emotional engagement. “I believe in” has an emotional engagement. And at a fundamental level people are emotional creatures. We are motivated by our emotional needs. We need to believe.

ah-has-in-brain-1a--richardstep-unleash-your-s...Why do it:

The word Believe is a very powerful word and how we use it and manifest in our lives can give us personal growth, personal empowerment, provide connections with people, create business success, both with the clients externally and internally with the people working for you.

Think about what you believe in. Write it out. Say it out loud. While planning is important, even more important is connecting to that inner voice that always asks “why”. I believe this simple “I believe in” exercise will move you to places that no rational plan ever could.

And if you just need a little nudge here and there, be sure to send me a message by email, twitter or comment on the blog. I will respond to you because that is one of the things I believe in.

So come on, get going. It’s 2015 now. What do you believe in and what will you do this year?

Introducing Yourself as an Artist

By Alyson Stanfield on January 15, 2014

I’ve been surprised at how difficult it can be for artists to introduce themselves as artists.

“I’m an artist” doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue easily for some people. And yet it’s critical to be able to say it with confidence.

Stephanie Hartshorn and Holly Wilson get to know each other at Art Biz Makeover this past fall. Photo by Regina-Marie Photography.

Stephanie Hartshorn and Holly Wilson get to know each other at Art Biz Makeover this past fall. Photo by Regina-Marie Photography.

Why It’s a Struggle

It seems to be easier for people with art degrees to pronounce their profession to the world. This might be because there is a piece of paper that says you completed a curriculum to the satisfaction of an institution.

There isn’t a governing body that confers the title of artist. You don’t have to pass any state licensing boards or get certified.

For most people, there is no turnkey moment when they say, “NOW I know I’m an artist.” It’s more of a slow, steady slog on the way to the title.

This is why it can be difficult to introduce yourself when you are in the process of becoming.

Why You Should Care

But this shouldn’t stop you from trying.

Introducing yourself as an artist is the beginning of your professional relationships. Not introducing yourself as an artist results in missed opportunities.

When you stop apologizing for your art . . . when you stop waffling on your purpose . . . others begin to view you as an artist. And even though you may not be perfectly comfortable with the title, this buy-in from others will help build your confidence.

So stop introducing yourself with a label from your day job. Lead with, “I’m an artist.”

What You Should Say

It’s all about how you respond when someone asks, “So, what do you do?”

This isn’t an opportunity for a commercial about your work. It’s a chance for real connection.

When someone asks what you do, let’s face it, they are mostly being polite. They are exploring how far they want to carry the conversation. They’re looking for something to relate to.

You just have to say, “I’m an artist.”

You’re looking to engage the other person, not to control the conversation. If there is interest, the other person will ask questions.

You should be prepared to follow up with a brief (!) sentence or two about your work. Again, you’re looking for conversation, so make sure your language is inviting and intriguing.

Don’t inflate your position. Don’t be that person.

Make it natural, but own it. Say it with confidence.

Those with whom you were meant to connect will respond positively. Don’t worry about the rest. You have higher things to concern yourself with. You’re an artist.

“Your Compelling Introduction” is part of module 4 in Art Biz Bootcamp, which starts today (January 15, 2014). Join us if this is something you’d like to practice with us. Click here to read about it.

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