Today my blog post to you is a little bit more personal. As you read this, I am sitting in a writing workshop with my dear friend and mentor, New York Times best selling author, Raymond Aaron. He wrote many books including Chicken Soup for the Parents Soul and Double Your Income Doing What You Love. I am working on a new edition of my book, The Artistic Edge and a new workbook for teachers.

Updating and expanding my book has been something I have wanted to do for a couple of years now. I never seemed to find the right moment to start it – it was very easy for something else to get in the way. Generally when you don’t know where to start something, you tend to find “other” things to do. Have you noticed that? If you really look, you’ll see that procrastinating often happens because you don’t know what to do.

I am very aware of this mechanism, so in order to ensure that I didn’t procrastinate on my rewrite any longer, I asked Raymond if I could sit in on his writing class and he excitedly said, “yes!”

There is a lot of benefit of surrounding yourself with people who want to achieve a similar goal to you. It puts you in the right mindset, helps to create focus and can give you a much needed push.

As an artist there are so many things stacked against you:

  • You are in a non-traditional field
  • Income is generally not guaranteed
  • Some think it’s “flaky”
  • Someone in your family probably thinks you should get a real job
  • You don’t like marketing but you know you need to do it to earn income
  • It can be hard to know where to start

These among many other obstacles stand in your way between the career of your dreams and your current reality. The trick is not to let the procrastination creep in and to overcome the barriers that come your way. We all have 24 hours in a day and it is how you choose to use that time that will determine your success. Obviously there are many people who are “making it” so why not you?

I hope you consider this your pre-summer pep-talk. If you follow my blog you’ve probably heard me say some of these things before. But I urge you to read it from a new frame of mind. Often we need to hear things over and over again before we actually take action.

Here are 10 Tips To Keep In Mind that Have Helped Me Achieve Greater Levels of Success:

  1. Connect with mentors/coaches who can push you to get things done and bring results. Ensure they are much more successful than you are (not all coaches are created equal).
  2. Set targets for yourself to achieve daily, weekly and monthly. Write them down and look at them multiple times a day.
  3. Do actions that work towards your specific targets.
  4. Don’t listen to nay-sayers (even if it’s your family). My general rule is – don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours!
  5. Remember that you can do more than you think you can. Set higher expectations for yourself.
  6. Your viewpoint determines your results – think positively, as what you put your attention on grows.
  7. Don’t give up too early – often it can take 6-8 weeks of marketing before you see any results.
  8. Surround yourself with people who encourage you.
  9. Validate your successes no matter how small and don’t punish yourself for failures.
  10. Help others. The more you give the more you get.

There are many artists, actors, dancers and musicians who are in similar situations to you. They have some aspect to their career that isn’t ideal yet. I encourage you to keep at it, get help from authorities in your problem areas and celebrate any little success you have.

If I can help you in some way, please reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.