Engage with imperfection to start soaring.
Originally published at www.jangill.com on December 1, 2017.
You have an idea, maybe several. You’ve honed them to perfection but are your goals still eluding you?
You have created a thing of joy that makes your heart sing but is it still not flying?
You have no idea where to turn next for advice or support.
You only have a finite amount of time and resources and you need some magic soon.
Stop right there. Spend a little of that precious time looking back at your progress to date and see what witchcraft we can perform.
Shine a light on Imperfections.
None of us are perfect. We make the wrong decisions, the wrong choices, even take completely the wrong path. It is all part of our story and part of our learning curve. It is what makes us individual and gives us a unique perspective.
But we are all too happy to sweep aside anything that doesn’t meet up to our highest of standards. If we don’t love it, we rewrite, redraw, rework until we can find no fault. We sterilise until no bugs remain.
There is a problem here however. We are judging our results only from our own perspective. What we may see as a fault another may see completely differently.
As an example, I once prepared for a craft show in London. I had a substantial amount of work and was choosing what to take with me as space in the vehicle was short. I put aside a couple of glass bowls because I didn’t like them. They had not turned out exactly as I intended so they were in the discard pile. They may even be headed for a complete rework at some point.
My 19 year old daughter picked them up and put them to take with us.
“This is one of my favourites” she said.
I wouldn’t have included it, except that she had been helping me so much and I didn’t want to discourage her. It came with us.
I was flabbergasted when it was the first thing to sell.
I learned 2 important lessons right there.
Not all mistakes are failures and my personal taste is not a useful yardstick.
The expert opinion is to show only your very best work otherwise you lower the tone of everything else.
My advice is to show everything that you can live with.
If Einstein had not been able to live with a “fudge factor”, the Cosmological Constant, relativity may never have seen the light of day.
Take a look at some of your shelved ideas, there may be a diamond in the rough you have overlooked.
Show your human side.
Showing a range of work can actually help people make a choice about what to spend their hard earned cash on. This is true of objects such as paintings or less tangible things such as courses.
Again, using my own experience on an art stand, I put on show some less finished paintings of penguins alongside a couple of more detailed studies. All of them attracted attention and I sold one finished work and one less finished study.
Showing that things don’t always go your way can help sell you as a person when marketing courses. It shows you have met the struggle head on and found ways to overcome obstacles, something that will help you empathise with your students and provide guidance and determination, and people know that. It shows you are just like they are. You have succeeded and so can they. How often do we side with the underdog and will them to succeed because we have shared in their torments, their agonies?
Tell your Story
You may not think your story is important or that it will hold any sway. But you are a product of all your experiences, all your interactions and reactions. Where you are now is the sum of all that experience.
And while you are you unique in the world others will have walked some of that path.
My own story includes battles with abuse, tragedy and life events that have closed doors, forced new paths and required patience, grit and determination to get to where I am. Now, at the age of 55, I am finally investing time and money in myself to live the life I really want. With life expectancy moving ever higher that could be a lot of living!
To some, that may be seen as a failure. Why should you listen to someone who hasn’t got themselves sorted till the age of 55? But there are a lot of people who have had to sacrifice their dreams on the alter of life. It doesn’t mean they don’t have the time or opportunity once the path is clearer to grasp those dreams again and they will find encouragement seeing the success of someone for whom everything didn’t fall into place at the age of 25.
So tell your story, share the hardships, not to gain pity but to give others strength.
No artist or creative or businessperson has perfect vision. Some things work and some things don’t.
So just get out there, get creative and lets see everything, warts and all. You’ll reach your goals more quickly and find out what really resonates with your audience.
Your best ideas and creations will start to fly lifted by the wind from the release of more of your creativity.
Let me know I’m on the right track here by clapping loudly so more people get to see this article.
Thank you :-)