This is it! The final day of the 100 day stretch to test out a dream. Today I received a little surprise in my inbox: 2 opt-ins for a email list I’m trying to create to provide consulting advice for those seeking dreams of their own. It’s a project I’ve been working very hard to create. I’ve spent many weeks learning about the software needed to provide the marketing and auto-responses that are required in order run an effective career consulting business, and I’ve have many hiccups along the way (a lot of them technical glitches).
But today some positive results came in the form of those opt-ins. It doesn’t mean instant success, of course. I have many more weeks of testing ahead to see if I can get the system up and running to the point where I can have a paying customer base that will provide enough sales to justify the new business. But it’s a much needed positive start. I will work as hard as I can in the remaining time I’ve allotted to carry forward my own dreams.
It’s important to note that the work done on career consulting will pay dividends for the writing and photography dream because the software system can be easily converted to book or print sales. In other words, the opt-in emails of tomorrow will serve as a form of cross marketing, providing separate streams of income from customers that are treated well. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to make this possible, but I know it can be accomplished if I remain open to new ideas and I continue to learn new techniques.
One thing is for certain: The decision to spend time and money on dream is the best decision one can make. Too often people only think of their dreams and never take the steps required to making them a reality. The dream remains just that–a dream. If I could give one piece of career advice to anyone it would be to stop making excuses for not going after their true goals. You can find the money. You can find the time. You can learn anything you need to learn to make that dream a success. It won’t be easy, perhaps, but it can be done if you commit yourself to it 100%.
And that, above all, is what these 100 days taught me.
Best to you and your dreams,
Nature is truly beautiful. It’s a joy using my camera to capture so many wonderful sites that are just a short drive away. Sometimes is the wide-angle landscape that catches my eye, with colors so rich I can almost feel the view as I stare at the sky and the endless horizon. Other times, it’s the single flower that speaks to me. The picture above sums up that shot perfectly well. I love the detail of the small things that often go unnoticed. It’s like an entire universe to itself–one of beauty of wonder.
Tomorrow will be the last day of my 100 day stretch to pursue my dream of become self sufficient financially through my writing and photography. While I’m going to extend this time frame–3 to 4 weeks were taken up with consulting–I’m a long way off I’m afraid from doing this fulltime. I still have hope, but something must happen soon to convince me that art is going to pay the bills. If it doesn’t, it’s back to finance and accounting.
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)
I had to spend a good part of today rebuilding some landing pages I had set up for business purposes, completely redoing work that had taken me a few days. I wasn’t pleased about doing the work over again, but I was fortunate that it took less time because I’ve become more familiar with the software I’m using.
Today’s picture was taken at Joshua Tree in March 2017.
If you find peace in the work, that’s all you really need. Dedication can flow through that love, easing many of frustrations you are bound to experience with dealing with difficulties. A friend of mine brought over The Shawshank Redemption not long ago. We watched it, and I commented to him how Andy was really Stephen King when you consider what Stephen went through to become a published author. The part of Andy mailing the letters to the state to receive more funds for the library project was, in a symbolic form, the same thing as Stephen sending in all his short stories to the magazine editors in the hope he’d receive a publication credit. Rejection was the norm. Week after week, month after month, both Andy and Stephen mailed without pause or hesitation. “They can’t ignore me forever,” said Andy in the film. And he was right. But it took 6 years for Andy to prove it, about the same amount to time it took Stephen King to make traction on his end for the stories.
It’s a perfect example of dedication. Had it taken 8 years, Andy and Stephen would have done it. 10, 20 years? Yup, likely so. Why? Because they were committed to their goal. For Andy, it was the love of creating a new library for the prison. For Stephen it was the love of writing and telling stories.
Yesterday I read an article that the Oak used in Shawshank Redemption had to be cut down because it had significant weather damage. That almighty Oak was truly beautiful. It’s the same tree where Red discovered Andy’s letter (and money), and Andy proved to Red that hope was a good thing…sometimes the best of things, and no good thing ever days.
You remember the name of the town, don’t you?
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)
I’ve never enjoyed the business end of selling art. The pricing of it. The search for new customers. The pitching and convincing that always leaves me feeling like a used car salesman who is pulling a fast one to make a quick buck. I know I’m one of millions who feels this way. The term “starving artist” exists for a very good reason–we are passionate about creating art, yet often terrible at profiting from it. It’s well known that some of the most famous paintings today come from artists who had to pass on first before those same paintings became desirable.
It’s a part of the game, I know. Any writer, photographer, filmmaker, painter, or musician knows that the creative track is probably one of the most difficult careers one can choose. And we also know we are lucky that our lives aren’t in danger like those in law enforcement and defense. That knowledge helps put things in perspective during the difficult times, but it still doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day. Only sales will do the job.
I have no idea if I’ll ever master business part it, or if I will continually find myself frustrated with my results. I’ll continue to try new strategies and tips and see what works best just like any businessman would do with the product/service he’s offering. I love the art too much to do otherwise.
Sometimes you have to throw a wrench in things and mix it up a bit. I decided to get back into painting again during some free hours, only this time I’m attempting landscapes. Consistency is key, so I hope to be persistent. I also don’t want to spread myself too thin in the areas that need focus, so I do need to be careful of that.
This is landscape lesson #2, Mountain in Fall by the Ocean.
The California desert had such beautiful surprises this spring because of all the rainfall. It was a real treat seeing so many flowers with my girlfriend when we went in March! It was a trip to remember. 🙂