In last week’s newsletter, I addressed an issue that I’ve been meaning to take on for a long time and it stirred such a response that I wanted to share it here as well, just in case you’re needing to hear this right now. The issue?
The surprising negative impact of the popular online message that the key to tons of followers, massive sales and an expert profile is creating and sharing work of value.
This message makes sense, doesn’t it? Of course, we want to share something of value, whether we’re blogging, vlogging, offering coaching, teaching classes or selling things we make on Etsy or at art fairs.
But how many people do you know (yourself included) or have you witnessed who put their heart and soul into something, who create something beautiful, unique and precious out of the very fabric of their heart, skill and imagination only to find it unseen or underappreciated?
It happens all the time.
How many phenomenal and gifted performers play to near empty houses?
How many exquisite paintings, poems, novels, garments, classes, films, jewellery, songs have been loved and appreciated only by the creator and/or a precious few admirers?
The value of the work is not in its reception.
The value of the work is in the work.
This may or may not translate into business value but do not let commercial viability be the sum-total measure of your creative value. That is like having the market determine the value of your heart. It’s not healthy and it’s not effective. It won’t help you with either your artistic or your entrepreneurial endeavours.
Yes, hone your skills so that you can become better and better at expressing the vision that is in your heart.
Yes, learn how to share the work in a way that feels right to you and connects to others.
Give yourself and the work time and opportunity to be seen and heard by people who will get it.
And whether there are none, one, one hundred or one hundred thousand people watching/listening/buying, show up for and honour the work. Let that be the root that never wavers, no matter which way the wind blows.