“… the world needs more entrepreneurs.
We particularly need more wildly successful Midas Touch entrepreneurs.”
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Donald J. Trump
“… 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
Failure Club: FACE YOUR FEAR
Episode 36: Jess
A narrative artist looks at Failure Club for a sense of inspiration to help you with a career as a narrative art comic book artist. As indicitive of Failure Club, yahoo failed to match the right episode with the right link. I’ll choose to forgive them for this.
We can learn a lot about our narrative art career failure from the catering extraordinaire, Jess.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Jess went to her client and she asked for referrals and wanted to see what she would say about her performance. She was told to work on timing and presentation. If she didn’t ask, she wouldn’t have gotten there at all. Who do you need to ask for feedback?
Jess immediately tried again to impress and work on what would be to rectify the situation. Which, unfortunately proves that she needs to work on timing and presentation. If she focuses on steps to increase her timing, for each job she can increase this measurement.
How are you going to implement the advice you are given?
One solution is to delegate tasks in which are not your strong suit. To have others help you is a big burden from you doing everything on your own. It frees you to do exactly what you should be focuses on. But don’t neglect learning the basic steps you need to know so you know what it looks like when everything is working properly. Who do you need to delegate items to?
You are not perfect and it will take time to get better, but it won’t take that long. Make a plan to start implementing specific steps to get to your next level. It takes 30 days to make a habit stick in your brain, but once its there, it’s there for good. Make a habit of continually getting better and better at what you want to achieve. What specific steps can you make to get better right now?
To get free insights on developing ways to delegate, download DREAM STREAMING TEAMS.
Failure Club: FACE YOUR FEAR
Episode 35: Meg
We can learn some good lessons from Meg on how to be a good narrative art comic book artist as she goes to school on what it takes to become an entertainer.
TAKE A CLASS
Sometimes we need a kickstart to refresh ourselves. Sometimes this can come from peers, sometimes this can happen intuitively, sometimes we need a refresher on the most important issues to us a small, amount of dedicated time can help revitalize those passions and talk with others trying to accomplish the same goal. What do you need a refresher on?
Meg’s comic instructor gives us all some worthwhile advice.
“Comics have a balance of humility and confidence. So, you have to fake confidence because most of us don’t have that. If they sense you are insecure, or want to be liked, or care what they think, they will not respect you. This business is all about fighting your fears. I put myself out there everyday. I get rejected constantly. And I have a very good career. You have to fight your fears.”
BE FREE TO BE YOU
Ultimately, the class is only a tool, which will allow you to serve your purpose to get to your end goal. So grab the goods. Apply it to your current situation and get back out there.
You are the only one who knows what you you will need to be where you want to be.
REBUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE
No matter how you decide to rebuild you confidence, rebuild it. Whatever it takes to get there. Some helpful tips are what we just learned from Meg. Get peer review. Practice. Focus on your craft. Surround yourself with positive people. Have positive feedback. Know you aren’t alone. Know it is hard. Know you can do. You have everything you need to succeed, or at least you can get it.
To get help you need to make the most of your Narrative Art Comic Book Dreams Comes true, download DREAM STREAMING TEAMS.
Failure Club — FACE YOUR FEAR
GOAL: I’d like to write a world famous Christmas song
“Why do you think an open MIC is important?”
“I live in a bubble.”"I want to make sure I am as confident as I can be. There is no better way to do that than at an open mic.”
Artists want to perform that’s it. Can’t take that away from them. It’s in their heart. It’s in their mind. It’s in their soul. It’s to their detriment financially most times. But it is to their benefit emotionally and spiritually most times as well.
How do you get off target of your narrative art goals? Let your creative side influence you more than your business side.
“Why not just write in a studio, and get somebody else to perform it for you.”
I was wondering this myself. She seems to be getting off track. Performers just like to perform. I try to get artists to own the creative process and hire talent to produce their work for them, but for some reasons, artists want to have their hand in the work. And they should to a certain extent, but to make the most of any endeavor. Get help whenever and wherever you can. People will do amazing work for money. Buy yourself a song–pay someone to write it for you. Pay someone to play it for you. BAM! World famous Christma song. It’s yours. You bought it.
This may be laughable that you could pay someone to create your narrative art idea, but it’s reality. You had the vision. You had the passion. You helped the entire project get started. Without you, it wouldn’t exist. Use whatever efforts you can to create something. Even if it means you never get to touch it. Sometimes, that the only way some things get accomplished.
To help you stay on target to your narrative art goals, download Dream Streaming Teams. This will help you get others to do your work for you.
This post is dedicated to all those who have wanted someone to go a life journey with you, but no matter how hard you try, it just never works out. This can be anything from a marriage relationship or a business partnership, or as simple as wanting to have someone come over for breakfast. Continue reading