I was catching up on Sean Low's blog "The Business of Being Creative" and as usual one blog stood out and spoke to me more than the others, so I've reposted it for your enjoyment.
The idea of using "competitors" as collaborators is what I love best about selling on Etsy. I love checking my emails everyday to see what new shops have added me to their circles...or better yet: favorited my shop and/or my items. Simply put, I love the community of it all. "We are simply better off when we root for each others success than not."
And as a recent Divorcee' ( 2 years separated this past April and 1 year divorced this past January), I've come to embrace my new found freedom and work everyday to become (as Sean so perfectly put it) a better, truer version of myself. - For too many years I kept myself hidden away...not anymore. The journey has been a difficult one at times, and it is FAR from over. But, I'm getting there..one step at a time."Joy is the gift we are each meant to share unattached to what might or might not come."
From Danielle’s post: “Resistance heightens your senses. Success throws normalcy off kilter – which gives you a primo opportunity to create a ‘new normal’ for yourself….You’ll likely resist. You’ll fear losing it. You’ll numb out in disbelief. You’ll feel unworthy and you’ll delay claiming your prize. But if you can embrace the resistance and use it to stay sharp, then you can bypass the swamp of self sabotage. Resistance=good. Self-sabotage=bad, very bad.” Having been guilty of some major self-sabotage lately after really feeling good and successful in all that I am doing, I can only say that I hear you Danielle. Loud and clear. Working through my resistance, embracing it, knowing the new normal is meant for what I am to learn, well, that is my challenge.
We are all ashamed of ourselves when we shoot ourselves in the foot. Self-sabotage validates all of those voices in our heads that say we are not worthy and what we have to offer is not very good. Denying our resistance to success is a sure fire way to arrive at self-sabotage. But there is something more. If we shoot ourselves in the foot, we deny ourselves the joy we are meant to have, joy we do not believe we are entitled to.
I love what I do. I feel alive when I can help a creative business owner move from one place to another, to see the world a different way, to actually become a better, truer version of themselves. Most of you must feel similarly when you deliver your art to clients who value and respect the work you do for them. In some way, clients must feel transported by the gift (your gift) you have given them. Who cares whether they paid for it or not. What we do is bigger than us. Joy is the gift we are each meant to share unattached to what might or might not come. A beautiful floral arrangement that is sent to a hospice after an event may be the last glimpse of this world for someone about to pass on. What a wonderful thought – a small piece of the earth’s bounty being the last thing someone will ever see. Certainly, the florist did not create the arrangement with this thought in mind, yet there it is. Joy is bigger than the money we might receive and more than any praise (or criticism) that comes our way. Yes, woowoo, as Jonathan would say, but joy is embodying the notion that our gift matters, we all matter. Self-sabotage kills that idea. Moving toward the resistance is the fuel towards self-awareness and acceptance. This is the house that joy lives in. Thank you Danielle.
Throw in Jonathan’s idea of Buddhism’s Four Immeasurables and you have a serious “aha” moment. Creative business should not be about competition, but about self-awareness and intrinsic value of the art you and your creative business generate. We all belong to a collective and the deeper we all connect to it, the stronger we all are. And if you think I am out there on the new age limb, ask yourself why 500 million people would want to be part of the same community (Facebook). The practice of Buddhist’s Four Immeasurables brings us to the world outside ourselves from which we can draw strength. No man is an island and no business exists in a vacuum. Fundamentally, we should all be trying to turn our competition into collaborators. Growing up, I was ridiculed for thinking this way. Business was about competition, winning and losing. Pay the least and get the most no matter what. If an employee never asked for a raise, you were not going to offer. Taking advantage was expected and respected. Kill or be killed. Countless times I was told that my ideas of community, collaboration and self-expression were naïve, pie-in-the-sky, and never ever going to happen in the real world.
I am not saying we have moved all that much closer to Buddhism’s Four Immeasurables, only about as much as a glacier travels in a hundred years. However, more than any time in history, the premium is on collaboration, creation and community not the opposite. We are simply better off when we root for each other’s success than not. Even more, we do so much better now when we stand on the willing shoulders of giants, embrace their guidance and, yes, their love for the journey we are all taking. Yertle The Turtle can only go so high on the backs of the turtles beneath him. Think of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and Stone Soup (children’s stories rock). People (and trees) find happiness in other’s joy. Giving selflessly IS self-fulfilling and sustaining even if you think you have nothing (left) to give. The power of the Four Immeasurables is movement towards selfless self-realization. I cannot imagine a better business strategy. Thank you Jonathan.