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“I was going to write this post today, but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is only a day away. I can wait.”
“I think I’ll be mad for a few weeks. When I cool off, then I’ll be able to forgive that person.”
NOW seems so urgent. So intrusive. So in my face. Why don’t you leave me alone, so I can go back to bed NOW.
I am writing this post today to inspire you today. To take the power of NOW and make it your home. Take each moment as it arrives and value it.
Currently, our company is in the VatorSplash Competition which brings angel investors and venture capitalists together to look at start-up companies to fund. They invest, your business grows, and everybody makes money.
The first round of this competition is for the popular vote. It is 4 weeks away before the finish line. We were in first for a while, but then this company came along and dropped down 3 times our vote in 1 day. Something we had taken a week to generate. That’s frustrating.
Here’s what we could do: We could get the promises of everyone who will do something at the finish line. Then all gain up and drop a few hundred votes down at the last minute. We may win a short-term victory. Artists do it all the time–stock piling a huge portfolio and then hoping to get a gallery launch and boom all the sudden they are famous. Out of nowhere.
The problem is that kind of reward is short-lived. If lived at all. Not everyone will follow through. Victory is uncertain, and there is not much hype around the promotion. If you want to be successful, you have to take the actions that get people talking NOW. Building Buyer’s Buzz NOW. Showcasing what you got NOW. Voting NOW. Being a good mom NOW. Working on selling your art NOW. Losing those 10 pounds NOW. Reading that book NOW. Resting NOW.
NOW. NOW. NOW. NOW. NOW. Today. This minute.
When this competition started, I didn’t think about it too much. I knew I needed to be in it, so I started NOW. Within a week we took 1st place. That momentum will carry us through to victory. A little gain each day–until eventually a tidal wave comes through and they won’t be able to stop it.
When I was in the Biggest Loser competition and hurt my knee from running too much. I went out THAT DAY and bought a bike, so I could keep exercising and losing weight. Don’t stop the momentum. I won that competition.
Obviously, we can’t do everything NOW, we’ll get overwhelmed. Just do a little bit BUT, when something that is within our control to do NOW. Do it.
The quicker we get good at responding quickly to the little things, the more productive we will be when it comes to the big things. Our minds and muscles will be flexed to do some amazing work. You will be amazed at the amount of growth spiritually, emotionally, financially, and mentally you will grow when you develop this NOW attitude.
A single step to the future begins RIGHT NOW. 6 months from NOW, where will you be? Where will you be tonight?
Where were you at 6 months ago? A year ago? 2 years ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Are you where you thought you’d be. If not, start NOW. Live NOW.
When the NOW you want is the NOW you become. You’ll be glad you started NOW.
Creating narrative art is a very difficult, time-consuming process, that if someone were to do it on their own, seems almost impossible to complete.
If I were to talk about the many difficulties of narrative art creation, I could talk about the years of study that one has to go to in which to learn to write for the medium and/or draw for the medium, and/or creating the ability to adapt all of the writing and/drawing to one’s client and artistic/writing preferences.
I could also talk about the difficulty of communicating with a team of writers, artists, colorists, and editor’s who typically live their life in a creative workspace, who pay little attention to deadlines, form, or function. Many of whom create their art so succinctly to their own individual taste they are not too fond of multiple corrections if they miss the mark. Some are very professional, and if you know where to find them, they will be very good for you. However, most are very defensive from working for just anyone because the industry to which they are accustomed has taken advantage of some of the finest artists I know. Companies come and go, some pay very little for artists, some promise big money, but never pay. Getting the most “extremely talented” personalities to perform their very best for you is extremely difficult. But, it is not the most difficult.
I could also talk about the amount of time it takes to find the right combination of artists, writers, and editors to fulfill a specific request from a client, to get them on the same page, and to create a symbiotic relationship for the exact piece of the narrative art that will be tailored to the specific needs of your client, but I won’t.
The most difficult part of creating narrative art is getting consensus for the story that needs to be told.
This is like laying the foundation for a house. If it is built correctly, the whole house will stand. With a weak foundation, just a little rift, can destroy the house.
Likewise, as long as the message you want communicated is clear, the message can be communicated clearly. In this way people can understand what it is you want to communicate. Without everyone in your organization on board with the message to be told, your audience can get mixed messages. Knowing the message is very important.
Chances are, if you are in business, you are in business for a reason. Someone has a problem and you can solve it. Take their money. Solve their problem. Everyone is happy. If you can solve their problem better than anyone else can, doesn’t it make sense to make the best effort you can to get the right message out to your audience?
How to Get Consensus:
1. Get everyone who has an input in your company to input. Email to a central organizer.
2. After all the thoughts are written and organized, email the ideas to everyone to review for a meeting. (face-to-face or phone or Skype–whatever works best for you). Write all the thoughts down. Reject none of the ideas.
3. Plan the meeting. Show up 15 minutes early.
4. Meet together to discuss — with the whole team–including creatives like a project manager from your narrative art marketing company and their writer would be helpful.
5. Talk early and talk often. So you can see crystal clear what your messaging should convey. The point is to get everyone at your company on board with the direction the project is heading.
6. Once consensus has been agreed upon, don’t be afraid to accept new ideas along the lines of the consensus, and to destroy ideas that do not go along the lines of the consensus.
If you get the message right, your starving crowd who wants your product or service will be flocking to your door to buy. Get it wrong, and they won’t care one bit for you or your company.
Let’s get the message right.
Once we are confident in that direction, you can keep creating difficulties for yourself…or you can take a break and go to an experienced team of professionals, like us, who will get your audience talking about your business and selling your products for you with word-of-mouth advertising using the narrative art media.
Wouldn’t it be great to have people…
*flock to your stores in record numbers?
*continue to by your products?
*share your mission with their family and friends so they’ll by your products too?
Unfortunately someone read a blog post from someone who doesn’t like your company. Now he is spreading rumors to his friends about what he saw on the internet. Of course, the rumor was started by someone who doesn’t even work at your company, and they got their facts wrong.
You could wait for the news media to search out a story to find the truth. But do you really want to leave your messaging in the hands of someone who doesn’t know your company or your mission as well as you do?
Why not be proactive?
Why not use the most effective method for telling a story, educating an audience, or launching ideas that you can get at a fraction of the cost of a commercial or a big movie deal. Get a jam-packed entertainment value for your customers and create a positive word-of-mouth explosion at the same time through social media by investing in narrative art novel marketing.
Disciple Deep, LLC is entered in the VatorSplash industry competition to help educate the customers promoting your mission.
It’s time the right message gets spread.
Vote for disciple deep here:
“… the world needs more entrepreneurs.
We particularly need more wildly successful Midas Touch entrepreneurs.”
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Donald J. Trump
Reading Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW QUADRANT by Robert Kiyosaki. One thing that stood out to me was that most people buy emotionally instead of rationally.
This is something every marketing professional will tell you. And being in sales the last 4 years I would say he is absolutely right.
I want to show you how to connect with your customers and sell them your creativity. Creating some emotional ties in to your brand or product will help people buy your comic books, T-shirts, buttons, narrative artwork, design, logos, or paintings.
I know of very little people who don’t buy with their emotions. They will later rationalize it to justify the expense. This is why most grocery stores have the milk at the back of the stores, and candy bars in the checkout aisle.
Most people think they are rational. Go to the store, get the milk. But then buy emotionally. “This candy looks tasty. And I forgot I need 2 other things that I passed on the way to the back of the store.”
There are a few classes of people though, who can see through most marketing hype and buy rationally instead. It is a little surprising that artists would be this type of people, yet we I’ve noticed we are. We don’t like gimmicks. We want people to “shoot straight” with us. That’s why I’m sharing this with you and being very open about it. We want to see a way our artwork can be sold and make people happy.
From a very early age, I’ve always been tight with money, because my family never had any. My parents worked hard. We had food. We had clothes. We had necessary items, but not too much frivolities. I am pretty adept at tuning out commercials, only buying what I need. Only buying what I can afford–living in my means. If I go to get milk. I only get milk. This is a beneficial lifestyle to some degree.
I worked since I was 14. Rarely spent money. By the time I was out of high school, I was able to save $12,000 working as a busboy on weekends and a little paper route. This let me buy a year for the Joe Kubert School. I was also able to work and pay for 4 years of college with no student loans. There was a splurge to buy a Nintendo, which I can still see how no person would be able to survive in the ’80s without one so I justified this as a rational purchase. (So, I’m not entirely rational)
From my intimate workings with artists over the last 14 years, I think most us are more rationally minded than emotionally minded. We put up blockers to the ads, and we invest in things that will help us promote our artwork. I think this comes from our hard work ethic. We worked hard for our money, we don’t want to waste it. Plus, we may not have much discretionary funds. I think it’s a little ironic, that people who are so emotionally creative to put their passion into their work are so rational when it comes to money, but we are who we are.
We are hard-working people who will invest in bettering ourselves and our artwork. We’ll invest our time and money into things that really matter–our families, our artwork, our education, our tools, our messaging, our marketing, our convention booths, and our friends.
With over 10 million artists on the planet, I’m sure there’s some of us that fit into the loose and free category, maybe some of the younger ones, but overall, I’m glad to see we are so rational when it comes to money and our investments. It means we value important things.
One thing to take away from this, is that most people are not like us. Just about any group we’ll go to out of the artist circles, we’ll find people calling us a little…different. They call us a little “out there”.
So when you go to sell your artistic services to others, don’t forget to add the “flair”. Add the “bling”. Add the “awesomeness”. Pitch the “flavor”. They want us to. MOST PEOPLE BUY ON EMOTION, so ARTISTS MUST SELL EMOTION. A painting, a comic book, a design–selling emotion is our whole business. We can touch people with a single image so deeply they’ll cry. One image can make them laugh. A story can be told in a way in which the viewer will remember it forever.
What important emotional elements would you talk about your own creations? Does the creation speak loudly enough on its own?
I’ll encourage you when you’re doing your own marketing and your own branding and your own creations, search for ways in which you can add emotional messaging around your product. How will the end-user react when they have bought your product? What feelings will come up after they have your artwork in their living room, or when they read your comic book or narrative art novel?
They’ll never be able to experience the love, joy, peace, fulfillment, encouragement, entertainment, happiness OVER and OVER and OVER again unless they buy your product—they may never even be able to experience it once.
Encourage your customer, love your customer, make them smile, energize them, excite them, embrace them, give them EVERY OPPORTUNITY to say “YES” to buying your product and saying “YES” to you. You’ll have the strongest connection that’s worth more than money. You’ll be bonded for life–and isn’t that what we’re creating artwork for in the first place–to touch people’s hearts and minds?
Have you ever wanted to make more money with your artwork than you currently do?
I sure do.
That’s why I’m reading Robert Kiyosaki’s (RichDad’s) CashFlow Quadrant. The book goes into how to change from being an Employee or Small Business into a Big Business and Investor.
This is where every creative person should go, if they want to make money off their creations. It is a long, treacherous journey, and not everyone can make the transition. I know because after 3 years of actively searching for the transition I find it more difficult now than when I started.
There is bad news for me. And I may never achieve my goals. Not because of the steps involved…they are actually pretty easy.
It is difficult because of the past 30 years that I’ve trained my brain to set me up for being an employee and struggling to be a small business owner.
It seems because I almost got straight A’s in school, graduated top 10 in my class, and achieved everything I could want in life by the time I was 28, there was little left to get along the employee lifestyle.
Another ten years on this path, pushed me further than I thought possible…but then the path ended…it got full of weeds…I’m still trying to make this new path out in the middle of the woods away from civilization and the wombats are restless. I’m enjoying the journey…even though I fight against myself most days.
Here are four of the most difficult lessons I’m dealing with to move quadrants. You will really have to change your entire person and everything you know if you want to create a life you want — If you don’t want to deal with these lessons, it may be best to stay where you are in your small business, because this journey is not for the faint of heart.
It is sad knowing the direction you need to go to get where you want to go and then sabotaging yourself in the process to get there. The headlines in BOLD below is what must be done. Below that is why I’m having difficulty getting there.
Perhaps this will give you and me some insight into our creative minds and how to work alongside them to produce better results for ourselves.
1. Have an INTENSE FOCUS on CREATING and SHIPPING SPECIFIC PRODUCTS
There’s about 5 lessons in this one point. INTENSE FOCUS, CREATING, SHIPPING, SPECIFIC, PRODUCTS. I can come up with 100 products in a given day once I set my mind to it. None will come of it, if I don’t act on one of them immediately. I have about 15 products sitting in the back office, but haven’t shipped any of them. I create, get distracted, don’t have an audience to ship to , get distracted, want to create more, ideas flooding my head, get bored, move on. Forget multi-tasking. That’s only good for production. If you’re an entrepreneur, FOCUS.
2. DO NONE OF THE WORK YOURSELF
I learned from managing production at some independent firms that were always changing everything, that if I ever wanted to get anything done, I couldn’t do any of the work myself. As a creative, this is the bane of my existence.
As a manager for a comic book company you do creative work, but you don’t touch files, you touch people. This plagues me to this day, because some days, I just have to create.
Getting people on board with your idea will help them do the work for you and you can spend your time on getting your product to market.
(Intelligent Idea Inception) (links coming…rembember I’m having difficulty shipping)
3. FINDING COUCH CHANGE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF
I’m getting better at this. For the longest time my wife and I have pooled our resources. It makes for a more unified marital bond. We had 1 bank account and use it. Recently, I set up a separate account to put my freelance work into with the intent of investing this money into assets as I get extra jobs and sales come in. The most difficult part in this is knowing the difference between an asset and a liability, and where I should invest that money.
To get my wife on board with this idea I told her that we would have money for our family from our budgeted normal work, and anything above that I would put in this separate account with one caveat. If the work takes away from our designated family time or something like that then we split the money. Half goes into the family purse. and I get half to invest in.
I am also not discussing the investments with her. She is living in a different world from where I am going. We’ve discussed this and as long she and the kids are taken care of, she believes in me and wants me to do what it will take to make our dreams come true.
Of course, the easier way is to find fanatical investors to invest in your intellectual property for you. But then you give up ownership and control. Investing in assets you create, or in assets you can sell should bring in enough sustainable income to get me started.
(Finding Fanatical Investors) (links coming…rembember I’m having difficulty shipping)
4. WORK on MARKETING YOUR OWN STUFF MORE than you work on SOMEONE ELSE’S STUFF
Two lessons for me here. a. I’ve got a product I want to create for me. If no one buys it, fine. I’ll have the only one in the world. That is rare. If I want money from it, I’ll have to sell it. The only way to sell it, is to do great marketing. Do marketing first.
b. In order to put money in the investment bank, I’ll typically work for other people above and beyond the day job. This leaves little time to create my own stuff. (Which is why lesson 2 is so important.) I plan on only working enough to get a certain amount of money a month to put toward investing.
The rest of the time should be spent marketing my own stuff.
(5 Pains of Marketing)(links coming)
5. Get a COACH / Get a TEAM
I pushed this off for a long time for 2 reasons. a. I didn’t have the money. 2. I thought I could do it without one.
Coaches can’t do the work for you. I know I’ll have to do that. But, it sure is easier being on a team, having people root for you and having a proven gameplan than going it alone. Besides the fact that being alone is lonely, working with a team creates competition, which makes everyone on your team better including me.
Because I didn’t want to cough up $100 bucks for a weekly coaching session this spring, I ended up spending months sitting out of a lot of races this fall. And I’ll probably be out a few grand in medical expenses. If you’re going to do anything, it’ll cost you money or time. It will be best to go “all in” and be prepared to spend the money as you go. You do this when you buy a car…gas, new tires, new brakes, oil changes, monthly insurance (a cash drain.) Aren’t you more important than your car? As long as your heart is in it, you’ll definitely get more out of it than the price of admission. Guaranteed.
(Dream Streaming Teams) (links coming)
6. Keep your CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION in front of you.
Knowing where we will be in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, can be hard to see, or it can be easy to see. Where I wanted to be after college was to make a living working as an artist professionally, I wanted to be an animator and ended up being a colorist for comics. Even better in my mind. Then to a production manager. Loved it. Now what? What does the next 10 years hold.
My goals are to be an industry leader in making artists wealthier with their own personal creations that they own. I want to be speaking on stage sharing my experiences with new artists and helping them fund their own studios. I want to qualify for the Boston marathon. I want to create a company that sells $1,000,000 in product. I want to create a product that changes 1,000,000 lives. I want to create a narrative art marketing company that helps spread visions.
I may be able to do all of this in 10 years.
(Revitalizing Vanishing Visions) (links coming)
When someone steals your creation and claims it is their own, it can be very upsetting. All your hard work is now in someone else’s hands.
I found some swipes of my articles on other people’s sites with no attribution. It makes me sad. A little angry and kind of disgusted as an initial reaction. … then after I’ve let off some steam. I follow the best course of action:
Let it go.
Probably not too many people would agree with this.
You should for a few very good reasons.
1. If it’s worth stealing that means, you have produced something of value. Until this point, you didn’t know if it was truly valuable. But if someone wants it enough to steal it, you can take confidence in the fact that you are producing good work.
2. Chances are, the best stuff you have to produce, you haven’t produced it yet. Thieves are so busy stealing, they can’t ever come up with good ideas on their own. This means while they are getting better at stealing, you are getting better at creating. The more you create, the more your work has its own signature on it. People will recognize truth from the work and the creator, especially when you have a lot of similar ideas.
3. If people want more of your work, they’ll have to come to you to get it. No one owns your idea as much as you do. You are going to take your creation in places no on ever thought possible. If someone steals your idea and takes off with it they will go in a different direction than you intended. Similar situation happened with Disney Pixar “A Bug’s Life” and Dreamworks “Antz” while they were in negotiations on Disney buying the company. The original idea holder, John Lassater came out on top and their movie far exceeded the Dreamworks version in sales. And in return put out hit after hit after hit.
4. The more anger, frustration, and bitterness you hold toward the thief will greatly impede your ability to create. Forgiveness is more for us than the person who wronged us.
There are some preventative measures you can take against stealing. Most are too costly and unimportant. They want to make you afraid that your idea will get stolen, so you’ll buy the “insurance” of copyright protection. Consider some of these ideas instead.
5. Let the thieves pay for your marketing. You probably weren’t going to do anything with that idea anyway. How long have you been sitting on that creation? If the thief can do something with your idea, let them have it and run with it. They will be eternally grateful. They are basically paying for your all the marketing of your idea and making it popular. You can build on that momentum when you put out your next product — in a slightly different and better way.
6. Work faster than the thieves. Take some fast action. Market it like wildfire, then succeed and make more. Or fail and go on to something else. In this case, be quicker than the thieves. If you are just starting out, the best thing you can do is take action and get buyers. If people don’t buy then there’s nothing to steal.
7. Market your idea before you build the product. If all you have is an idea, it’s basically worthless. If you can’t manufacture the product, there’s no product–nothing to steal.
8. Build your eyewitnesses testimonies. Market to the people on your list. Look at the kickstarter campaigns. Hundreds of people on your list that watch you create the product. They see how you’ve created the idea from scratch, pulled it all together and made it a reality. You’ve changed their life with your product. They know you are the creative spark. They’ll buy more from you.
This is some ideas on how to handle it when someone steals your creation.
If you’d like to know how to do something with your idea, work faster than thieves, market your idea, and build your eyewitness testimonies, watch this video — (testing to see if there’s any interest.)
Hope your journey has been a great one over the last year and half.
Time to get back to work!
Here’s what I’ve been up to.
• Running 41 miles in a single day….
• Learning marketing and sales skills like a mad man
• Inventing a new product
• Biggest lessons learned: It’s never too late to pick right back up and accomplish all of your dreams in life.
• 2nd biggest lesson: if you’ve been broken this past year. Keep that memory. It will serve us well. Hope to reconnect with you soon. Daniel