lessons i am still learning


Cutting back the scale of poeming into the now: the november edition on Tuesday really drove home a bunch of lessons I've been learning lately.

One: failure and success are really not the end all be all of my existence and they are both states that exist solely in my head. In fact, I don't feel like the idea of the class is a failure, just the implementation and the timing and that's totally ok by me. I will run it again. I don't need to feel daunted. I'm reframing this and learning from it.

(I think a lot of people aren't willing to dedicate an entire month to poeming. Maybe two or three weeks, with weekends off, would be better?)

Two: what matters to me most is not making money, it is creating (and teaching and encouraging other people to create their own art). I suck at business implementation and I am actually kind of proud of my ability to just do my own thing and not give a fuck about what I "should" be doing.

(Except I do give a fuck, or at least sometimes I second guess myself and spend a little bit of time berating myself for not doing more. And that's ok. I recognize that I am adding extra suffering to myself by doing that, and that's the first step.)


Three: I need to revisit my ban on "shoulding myself." I had already decided not to do the class and then changed my mind. Did I change my mind because I thought it was something I "should" do? MaybeProbably. Yes.

(I have been paying attention and limiting the "shoulds" in my life since at least my mid-twenties. It is amazing how many "shoulds" creep into our lives.)

Four: the line between doing too much and not doing enough is not at all fine. It is a huge, cavernous line that I can sense immediately. Sometimes I have to remind myself to trust my own instincts.


Five: It is totally and completely ok for me to balance the "wanting to be paid for my time/ work" with also "wanting your ability to pay to not get in the way of my being able to create and distribute new work to you."

My core people are people who (like me) are not in 9-5 jobs. They're creatives and they're on limited incomes and I love them. It's reasonable for me to barter and trade and have them pay-with-a-kindness. I fucking love that policy and I'm sticking with it.


But finding / building an actual audience that can pay, isn't that reasonable, too, since I'm doing all this extra work? And does saying "pay with a kindness" throw off people who aren't in my core group? Ah, that's the thousand dollar business question of the moment.

(I don't have any answers, I'm just winging it and there's so much beauty in making this all up as I go along.)

Six: push/pull, push/pull. Ebb and flow. I'm still human and still have way more going on in my life than just this sitting/standing at my desk and writing. Yesterday reframed that for me, and good, with a new lunch time issue cropping up that is - once again - not really in my hands, but is in my court to bring to the proper people and make sure it gets addressed.

Seven: I'm not actually bad at business, I'm just really good at not following my own advice and/or being repulsed by some of the business tactics floating around (the link is to a sarcastic take on the "make money now" internet marketing gurus du jour). I give other people good (concise? I hope) business advice.

I have built this blog, my "brand" (which is not my legal name, but is the name pretty much everyone - including people I am related to - know me by) by hand over a few years.

I taught myself photography. I taught myself how to create those gorgeous double exposures. I taught myself how to create eClasses that worked for me.

(I took classes along the way. A real life, local photography class that helped tremendously with learning photographic "rules" and then online classes. I'm always learning.)


Eight: since part of my personal activism is against the tyranny of corpocracy, which is destroying us, why the hell would I want to join the corpocracy myself?

I'm reminded again of Amanda Palmer's TED talk. Because yes, that's my role model for how I want to do this business/ art thing.

Nine: I am truly very lucky in that my financial success (or not) does not impact my family's finances. I am privileged. I am grateful.

Ten:
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 
Ferris Bueller 

(I didn't really learn that last one on Tuesday, but Ferris' wisdom is always appropriate, don't you think?)