Day 77: Another day another dollar.
I watched this video on YouTube the early hours of this morning (as I do). It was about entrepreneurship. A young millionaire from South Africa was talking about being able to sell is the key to entrepreneurship.
It really made me think. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit (I believe) I remember as a child I used to make things and sell to my classmates at school since primary school days. However, as an adult I have for many years spoke of myself as being someone who is not a good salesperson.
Its no wonder with this belief or recurring thoughts that I have not been doing as good as I would have liked. I’m trying to think about where the lack of belief in my sales abilities started as at every stage in my education I have had some kind of hustle to make cash on the side.
I remember when I got divorced and moved house, I had intended to go to university to do my masters but due to financial issues as well as childcare I differed it and in the end, ended up having to cancel my application. That was a big disappointment for me. Up until then I had been presented with some good opportunities- gallery exhibitions and requests for custom artworks made from glass.
I remember just after my son was born I was approached by a very large and famous company to make some custom glass work for their new building at Canary Wharf in London. I was so nervous and I didn’t have a clue about how to present in front of such a large company. It was so fancy and professional. I was fresh out of university and had zero experience in how to pitch my ideas to a company and had no idea about what I was doing.
Those days YouTube wasn’t like how it is now. Yes, there where videos about many subjects but it definitely wasn’t the abundance of knowledge that we have today. Now we are spoilt for choice on who to learn and take ideas from for almost any subject.
Anyhow I prepared myself and went to London to do my presentation. I did the best I could. I wasn’t confident at all but I did it.
I didn’t get the gig, I don’t know which artist got it in the end but I know I didn’t get it. A few years after that when I had moved into my new home I was approached again by the same lady who had asked me to pitch for that company. I was happy because it gave me a little bit of confidence that I couldn’t have been that bad the last time if she was coming back to me.
However, the timing was terrible. I was newly divorced and couldn’t even manage to get childcare for my son who was just 2 years old so that I could do my masters. I didn’t have any idea as to how I would have the capacity to take on a new project which would have been huge all by myself.
I did meet the lady and we exchanged a few emails after the meeting but in the end it didn’t bear any fruit.
I started to carry on my art practice at home so as to not remain idle. I did quite a lot of printmaking and would make prints on glass jars and iPhone covers some of which I sold. But it was never anything big, always small-small. I wanted to make a living from my art but somehow I was holding myself back with the belief that I couldn’t make money as an artist.
I know that I am responsible for my own thoughts but looking back now I definitely believe that the company I was keeping and the environment I was in did not help me to keep a positive mindset about my career as an artist. I ventured out into other ways to make money- working as a tailor which in the beginning was very busy but the pay was always low. A few years after that I picked up work as a self employed painter and decorator, I preferred this because I didn’t bring any mess home. The mess was wherever I was working and then I could go home and only need to clean myself, unlike with tailoring- threads everywhere.
When I made art I would share it on Facebook. I think it was in 2012 or so that I made a Facebook page to share my art. Those days Facebook was free and fair for all. When you posted things people who followed or liked your page would actually see them. I sued to tag people in my posts and I would get a lot of good feedback and encouragement. That seems like a complete age away. Facebook has changed so much now, you have to pay for your own followers to see your posts and to be honest the analytics make zero sense to me, its all jargon. I know how to read graphs since school days, it was one of my strong points, but I see the graphs on the Facebook or Instagram analytics and I feel like it doesn’t add up to what they are telling me.
I suppose I better find some YouTube videos to explain them for me.