Waiting for a challenge-free life before we expand our work’s visibility and sharing our ideas is a fool’s errand.
Thought leadership demands that you own your authority in order to create impact.
Karen had a big art exhibit approaching in two weeks.
Large finished canvases lay stretched in two rooms of her studio in upstate New York, where she and her husband had moved seven years earlier.
While she prepared one of her final canvases, their three-year-old boy wandered off into another room. By the time she had come out of her artistic flow to search for him, she found the gleeful boy in the next room covered in paint and sprawled across one of her canvases. Two others were ruined.
How she responded and the perspective she has gained in the past several years reflects the wisdom I am seeing and hearing among numerous business artists.
New York’s gallery system and the New York drive for prestige and the next best big thing in culture has worn thin on Karen and her artist husband. She had worried that if she moved to the Hudson Valley ninety minutes north of the art mecca she might lose the connections, the stature to continue getting her work visible.
But that wasn’t the case. Instead, she stayed devoted to her work. The new natural soundscape that required no earplugs inspired her and reminded her of the farm where she grew up. She recovered her core drive to make art. Her core drive, she remembered, had less to do with pleasing prestigious gallery owners and buyers. It had everything to do with what she feels is her purpose to contribute her creative verse in a way that may change the way people live, work, love.
She coupled that devotion with a willingness to own her voice, share her ideas and the emotional support of her partner. As a result, she produced such stellar work that the right gallery owners and buyers could not help but pay attention. And while she’s gotten smart about the business side of things, she keeps her priorities in place.
Release prestige and embrace the purpose, and visibility expands.
But Karen also discovered something about preciousness.
Once she and her partner had built their spacious simple home among the woods, she found space and time to create rituals for her art flow. She says she became a little precious about it all.
So how did she respond when she found her three-year-old boy doused in paint atop her canvas?
She: “What are you doing?!”
The boy: “I paint, Mommy.”
Anger, she told me, wasn’t an option. What was there to get mad about? Instead, she trashed two of the canvases, kept one of the canvases the boy had “modified,” and got back to work.
“I have had to let go of preciousness. I am seeking ways so that all of it – including taking care of him, including the bad surprises – are part of my flow.”
Release the preciousness and embrace the presence, and visibility expands.
You will make a mess but not an irreparable one.
The “ideal circumstances” will never come if by “ideal” you mean challenge-free. The universe does not exist to make us happy.
Take a Stand – Embrace Your Message
I’ve watched what happens when someone pays attention to her ideas and invests in unfolding them.
And I’ve watched what happens when someone keeps his best ideas to himself.
If you have a vision – a big idea – something that matters and can make a difference in the world – here’s the question:
How will you share your wisdom and ideas to create impact in the world in a way that benefits others?
And what happens when we let people with destructive ideas dominate the airwaves while we keep our best, boldest ideas to ourselves?
For years I resisted my desire to make an impact online. Even though I had a website, growing email list, and a book under my belt, it seemed the online world was already too full of voices to think that I could make mine heard in a meaningful way.
But when I stopped hiding and I started standing up for the ideas burning inside me, I began to write to lead in my areas of expertise. The funny thing is I began to stand out for my point of view and for my generosity with useful ideas. People noticed.
Here’s the thing. If you have ideas, knowledge, and tools that could help people, it’s time to stop hiding them. Take a stand and own your authority. And if you’re a writer, Write to Lead.
Stop stalling. Kickstart your influence now.