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Is Your Best Creative Work Being Ignored?

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Doesn’t matter what you make, write, knit, code, film, paint, perform, produce, sculpt, simmer, invent, teach, chisel, craft, bake or build…

There’s a high possibility that at some point in your creative career, you’ve had this experience.

You make something truly awesome.

We’re talking spectacular. Soul-shaking. Next-level, cosmically significant sorta stuff.

It goes out for public consumption and you think, “This is my best work yet. People are going to go nuts for this!!”

As you anxiously await the praise / applause / orders / reviews / congrats / comments / shares ____ (fill in the blank with the validation of your choice), a sinking reality sets in.

Rather than the critical acclaim or endless cha-ching…

All you hear — crickets.

Sadly, what you believe is your best creative work has gone largely ignored.

Of course, a deeper part of you knows that the real win is in the very act of creation. It’s in the journey, the expression, the doing of the darn thing.

But as delicate human beings who also crave a bit of acknowledgement (and if you’re paid for your work, a steady living), it’s also very natural to feel disappointment and self-doubt too.

If you’ve ever felt the sting of silence around what you felt was your best creative work, you’ll appreciate today’s MarieTV.

“Ignoring what sells doesn’t make you a better artist, it makes you a starving artist.” @MarieForleo

Program note: if you haven’t seen our episode made especially for artists about the importance of valuing what you do, be sure to watch that here.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Do you ever feel like your best creative work is being ignored? How do you balance staying true to your creative vision while also being mindful of giving your audience what they want?

Tell us your experience in the comments below and please share as much detail as possible.

Thanks in advance for being kind and generous in your replies. Your shares, stories and insights are what makes this one of the best, most unique and truly soul-affirming spaces across the digital Universe.

With all my love and appreciation,

xo

Marie Forleo

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Read the comments or Add yours

Emelia

Struggled with this, too. Trying to break the code and realized the futility of it all. Besides, I didn’t want to taint my truth trying to make it appeal to the masses. It IS a balancing act. I understand that I have to stay true to my essence and find a way to relate it to others so it resonates…but at its core, it’s still me and my best efforts.

And Marie is so right about consistency. Creative gold has hit me a few times, but it never would have happened had I given up earlier on.

And yes, “D*ck in a Box” was absolute genius. Still one of my favorite SNL skits. That and “More cowbell..” :)

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Galen

Emelia – I agree about appealing to the masses. Focus on your specific audience and let your creativity guide you in how you reach them and solve their problems.

I love Marie’s reference to SNL because I totally agree… I think people will remember your best stuff so by putting a lot out there… some will shine and some won’t and that’s okay.

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Zuzana

That’s such a great idea about putting a lot out there and some will shine and some won’t. It’s just a matter of not getting discouraged in the meantime.

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dija

I agree! There are some people who “get lucky” early but there are more people who worked hard, produced a lot and never gave up that are now shining in their fields. I am trying to remember to have joy in the journey on the days that I get discouraged. I imagine the day when I reach my personal goals and I don’t want to look back on the journey and say that I complained the whole way, you know what I mean? Sometimes it’s about having faith and believing in what you are trying to accomplish. Even if it touches one person it’s worthwhile. But I understand that there is a balance because creating a business that helps you eat, have shelter, and clothes is worthwhile too! lol!

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Kristen the Freedom Expert

Dija — I’m going through the same thing right now, so I fully understand what you mean about navigating the balance between enjoying the process (ups AND downs) and having faith … but also feeling the pressure to hustle and create financial stability. I’m just reminding myself that it’s ALL part of the journey of entrepreneurship, and I’ll have that much more insight to share with my clients.

Alina

I agree Dija, it is about luck too, but as you said, a lot of people out there work hard and their hard work pays off.

Consistency and hard work are the keys. I started my own website that focuses on nutrition for families, with an emphasis on children with various health issues (ADHD, constipation, anemia, overweight, allergies, etc.). I LOVE what I am doing! Even if I just opened up my business a few months ago, I already started getting clients who want to help their kids become healthier and I know that if I keep working at this I will see wonderful results. I just need to remind myself to not give up and follow my passion.

Andrea @GoDiaperFree

dija and Alina – yes! When I feel like there are too many crickets and not enough readers, the Universe promptly sends me a tiny little “thank you” from someone whose life my work has touched and it gives me the inspiration to keep going. That tiny nudge of making a difference for a mom and a baby. Priceless!

Marie…it turns out that my personal stories (which normalize the experience of infant/newborn pottying, which I teach, which can be very tricky) are the ones that my audience (new moms) eat up like chocolate cake. I put out how-to’s, and fantastic blog posts, and blah blah blah. And they just want to hear about how I royally failed and came back, or how birthing my daughter wasn’t ideal, but was real. Etc. Just stories. They are begging for more stories.

My plan is to integrate stories into everything I create, and I’m actually moving from blogging (closed it down) to video-ing, and already have a successful podcast. I realize my readers love seeing and hearing me, and it works better for busy parents to use these media…so I’m adapting. And loving it. Loving serving. Even just that one person and her baby!

Thanks dija and Alina for saying what you said. xx Andrea

Laura G. Jones

I completely agree! What I see as most important is to stay true to yourself while putting all of your focus on what will be helpful or appreciated by your audience.

At the same time, I also think it’s super important to not expect the best work out of yourself every time. That can lead to perfectionist paralysis.

For example, my last post on being your own hero (http://lauragjones.com/be-your-hero/) got an amazing response! I was even honored to have Jonathan Fields comment on it.

Now I’m working on the next post, and it’s hard work to put in all of my creative energy but realize it probably will not get the same response – and be OK with it. It’s all about managing your expectations and learning from every piece of content you put out there… And continuing to take chances over and over again.

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Lisa Robbin Young

There are two numerical theories to “help” on this. The law of large numbers (LLN) suggests that the more content we crank out, the more “evened out” our content will become. That means, while some of our stuff will be seen as “meh”, some of it will be stand out work – even early on. So don’t expect every piece to be EPIC – regardless of what the blogging gurus tell you. Just keep it relevant and be consistent.

Which brings us to a concept outlined by the US Army called the Band of Excellence – which is a fancy way of looking at how things improve over time. Basically, the more content you crank out – with an aim for excellence, the better it will get over time. You can see it when you play games like Lumosity.com – which is basically interval training for your brain – and watch the sores gradually increase over time. Not every day is an up day, but the more you keep at it, the higher your scores over time.

Since producing content isn’t a short-term affair, it pays to be consistent over the long haul, and not worry too much about the occasional “meh” response.

Cuyler

I always love Q&A Tuesdays! It’s true, the most difficult part is being consistent and not getting discouraged. I used to struggle with this until I joined Jeannine Yoder’s Mentor Masterclass. I am training to be a life coach and because of the sisterhood and support I get in the course I am creating weekly content and growing my audience.

Some of my posts get a lot of attention and some don’t. It’s great to be able to see what sells and shift my writing to optimize my reach. Also, I always bounce ideas off my sisters in Mentor Masterclass so that I know I am staying in line with my target audience.

This video has inspired me to create even more content and has given me the confidence to keep going, even if I don’t see results right away. In Mentor Masterclass, it’s all about making small shifts daily to reach your career and life goals! I can’t wait to share this video with my sisters! As always, I love the conversations here.

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Julie

Thanks Marie.

You are always spot on and give me a smile.

I wonder if Carrr-los delivers?

There was this little girl I knew who used to draw little pictures and if she didn’t like them she would get frustrated and throw them away.

Lucky for her, a nice woman intervened and showed the little girl how to turn that frown upside down with just a little bit of tweaking.

Now that girl is selling paintings online and showing others how to do the same.

Maybe a good solution is not in creating great content but tweaking decent content to be better.

By the way, I loved your dress today and your hair looks pretty.

Julie

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Grant Polachek

I posted more below, but I wanted to re-post this in response to Emelia’s idea of breaking the code. I haven’t broken the code, but I can say that most of my creative work gets accepted by clients with very little revision.

As a fellow creative, here are some things that might help you sell the ideas that you love (yes, I said it, you have to sell the ideas you love).

1. And that’s a good place to start, if you love an idea, sell it like hell. You might have to take “no” for an answer, but you owe it to yourself to try :) (In chapter 5 of my book Pre-Marketing, I help people become more comfortable with the idea of selling: “With inspiration for my vision, I may work each day until exhausted, but still, without salesmanship, I am doomed.”)

2. Position yourself as an expert. Use results, case studies, testimonials, authority collateral (books, PR …), etc. I never sell ‘art,’ I always sell the results that art can bring to a company. Of course I listen to my client, but because I’m an expert at using images and words to elicit results, they also listen to me! Check out the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.

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Delight

I agree about consistency Emelia. This was really helpful for me today. I just designed a new crochet pattern and I have no idea if anyone is going to like it. But today is my day to take pictures and post that stuff online. And we’ll see! The good news is that I’ve got plenty more designs on my mind so if this one doesn’t work, it’s on to the next!

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Iliana

More Cowbell was GENIUS!

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Chas

“Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece”~ Bob Dylan

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Robert

Emelia – I love how you said “Creative Gold”, the creative Goldmind has hit me last month, with creating by showing how most people don’t know they are facing huge danger with their website. I even featured my favorite http://www.marieforleo.com and show how her website is in danger…

and found out no one wants to see what I created. so I decide to step back and just watch more Marie TV until …

Thank Marie for the insight keep calm and carry on with seeing what sells

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AJ McKeever

I absolutely feel like my best work gets ignored! To this day, even though I can spend hours on creating fantastical, colorful, and even emotional (for me) landscapes, some of my most popular posts are comics I wrote about my cat.

I don’t get it! But I do get one thing: My audience clearly loves cats. So I try to incorporate them when I can. Maybe a fantasy landscape full of cats?

You could have just given me my “next big idea” Marie ;)

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Elloa Atkinson

Hey AJ, when I read your comment I just thought, “Perhaps there is a different audience out there who would appreciate your fantastical, colourful and emotional landscapes, as well as your cat loving audience?”
Just my two penneths’ worth :)
Love, Ell x

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dija

AJ I agree with Elloa! It’s really about finding that audience that you connect with on the landscape projects. You wouldn’t sell a vacuum cleaner to a person with hardwood floors, right (people have actually tried to do that to me) so your cat comic audience may not like landscapes (without cats)! Honestly you’ve peaked my interest on this new project! I love cats (even though I’m allergic) and I love nature so I’m totally intrigued with what you come up with! Don’t give up! You have a gift, it’s part of you so keep going! All the best!

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Jo

You know, AJ, I totally considered putting an ‘I’m just here for internet catz’ opt in on my site so that those folks could just get their freebies in, erm, cat language.

When I was selling physical art, I would sell loads more small (yes, some cat-themed) works than big, expensive ones. I had paintings on the wall in a vineyard cafe, so people wanted easy purchases they didn’t have to wrestle with their conscience over. Because they were a little tipsy and quite often on holiday. I sold loads more series than one-offs, because people like cohesion. I did sell the odd ‘passion-piece’ and interestingly, I did so when I put a whopper of a price tag on thinking ‘actually, I don’t really want that to go because I like it myself.’ The less attached to the outcome I got, the easier I guess it became.

What I love about your cat comics is that they are small, digestible, consistent and they tell a story about you. They also invite others to share, to empathise, to feel seen. They are vulnerable and sweet.

I’m so sure that the consistency and generosity combined with a lack of attachment to outcome is the answer. One of my favourite quotes:

‘We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.’ – Anaïs Nin. As in, what invitation are you/we extending to our audience when we share what we share.

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Delight

Jo-
Great point about being less attached to the outcome. I need to remember that as I’m about to launch a couple of new crochet beanie designs. I’m not exactly sure how to detach because of course I want people to like them and buy them…:)

But, at least I know that I’m going to keep going and creating more no matter what. So, it doesn’t matter if these flop because I’ll have some more in a couple of weeks anyway.

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Lisa | The High Priestess of the Woo

YESYESYES!

Consistency is the only way to do it. “Just keep creating.” You’ll find what resonates with YOU and your audience over time.

“Open mind and open heart” as you keep creating. :)

Great question for all of us to think about!

Thanks Marie (and everyone) – so glad to hear this being discussed.

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Sandy Galiano

Lisa, I second that YESYESYES and applaud marie for today’s post creating such an orgasmic response…. Oh she’s goooood! Haha :)

Just keep creating is the way. I have tons of notes, books, and reminders of my brilliant thoughts. Sometimes I use them and other times they get unused. I always attract more attention when my focus is on being me and I write with passion.

I’ve seen people give up on the way so please don’t stop doing what you love everyone. There are SO many people on Earth. Doesn’t matter if some don’t like it because there will be tons who will LOVE it!!!

Playfully yours
SandyG

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dija

Sandy this is such a great point! There are lot’s of people on earth (and the internet) there is an audience for everyone’s work. Staying true to yourself keeps the joy and fun going, doesn’t it? Even when it gets hard and tiring. Trying to please people as a priority totally kills my joy when I’m being creative. But connecting with people gives me passion and drive. Whenever I can find that perfect convergence it’s an awesome feeling! And Lisa, I’m totally in the process of preparing myself to be more consistent in creating videos for youtube because I’m totally passionate about it! Can I chime in a YES as well!

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Shola | The Positivity Solution

I’ll third the YESYESYES!

It’s all about staying true to ourselves and to our work, and to…Just. Keep. Creating! This episode really hit home for me, because sometimes it can be very frustrating when our best work gets ignored. I know personally, I’ve spent a lot of private moments thinking, “Damn! If more people could see/read my stuff, we could actually have a more kinder, happier, and more positive world!”

No worries though, like Marie said, I’ll just keep creating. That is something that will always be within my control, no matter what. Thanks for the brilliant episode!

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Caroline Frenette Intuitive Leadership Coach

There is definitely a LOT of noise out there and breaking out of the noise takes a little mastery and a lot of patience (assuming that you are gifted and that you do bring something UNIQUE to the world.)

I do believe that if you create from the heart, are truly passionate and keep a momentum going long enough, you might get some recognition (financial or otherwise).

For me, it’s about staying true to myself, being authentic, always innovating, allowing myself to change + grow and challenging myself to bring something new & unique out into the world. And having FUN!

I don’t think I hold the magical keys of success, but I’m willing to play and keep an open mind + open heart as I’m discovering them.

XO

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Cheryl Pastor

Very true….only the very very few get recognized for the one-hit-wonders. But I wouldn’t want to be a one-hit-wonder because where are most of them now. The songs, TV shows, etc., that you remember are from the artists who have had many many flops to get that hit!
The more you put out of your creative work, the better the chance you will get that hit. Keep creating!

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Sandy Galiano

Caroline

I love “I’m willing to play” also “allowing myself to change and grow”

This is key because with myself I found my work stagnant and stumped when I stopped playing in my adventurous life. I’m playful, silly, and smart so if my content stinks I take a look at what I’ve been doing. Locked up in my room?
Stopped working out?
No social life?
When’s the last time I played loud music and let my erotic creature S Factor walk??????

And so I allow myself to keep growing, as you said, and my growth shows in my work.

Thanks for your awesome comment!!!

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dija

Great point Caroline. That Unique Taste sometimes is what makes people stand out from the crowd and go on to have long careers.

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Prerna Malik, Gourmet Content and Community Management "Chef"

Caroline, totally agree with you!! It’s all about owning your own “secret sauce” and having fun and letting ALL of it shine through.. There is great strength in sustaining our success rather than flashing and then, fizzling out!!

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Aycee Brown

I agree keep creating and sooner or later what speaks to your heart will appear loud and clear. And your audience will follow suit.

Aycee Brown
Modern Day Muse

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Ms. Pillowz

What a pretty website! Reading a few of your posts now!

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Ms. Pillowz

Oh absolutely!! I post stuff on my blog all the time that appears to go ignored. People don’t comment or share the posts and at times it’s a little saddening, since I write from my heart and go through so much to even put things out there. One such post is the most recent one about asking yourself who you want to be and going deeper to find out if you are exhibiting those characteristics in your every day life. http://www.bigdivahq.com/2014/04/the-person-you-want-to-be.html

I learned early on that, (and wrote about it too), that the numbers don’t matter. Your work should be shared and even if it reaches just one person, then that should be enough. You never know who your work has touched and the success of your work should not be defined as how many people commented, liked, shared, tweeted, or bought it. It should be defined as the journey of the creation to when you move past your fears and reservations and put it out to the public. Thanks Marie!

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Elloa Atkinson

Hello there Ms. Pillowz,

I love what you said about our work needing to be out there even if it only reaches one person. Alexandra Franzen wrote about that a while ago. She said, imagine being at a dinner party and telling a story to four, five or six people who were raptly engaged with what you were saying. You’d leave there feeling filled up with joy and overwhelm and gratitude at having connected with four (or 5, or 6) incredible humans. But… as soon as it’s online, there’s this sense of it not mattering unless it’s getting dozens of shares, likes and comments.

I had an incredible response to my third blog post last week, about reaching 12 years clean (from drugs) and sober, and what I’d learned. http://elloaatkinson.com/12-years-clean-12-big-lessons-learned/

I think 13 or 14 people commented, and I was blown away. And now? I can hear a little gremlin in my head putting the pressure on me to create something “even better”. BAH! It’s utter rubbish. The point is for me to create something heartfelt, consistent and as excellent as I can – and then to release it and not judge my worth by the outcome.

So I’m declaring that that’s what I’m committed to this week, and I thank you and Marie Gorgeous Forleo for prompting this declaration from me. Hurrah!

Love,
Ell x

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Ms. Pillowz

You’re welcome, Elloa, and thank you so much for sharing that absolutely brilliant post with the world!! It was truly amazing and real and it resonated with me. It was a pleasure to read what you wrote. :-)

Congratulations for every second of the 12 years and counting that you’ve made the choice to be sober. What an inspiration you are!

Peace and continued blessings,
MP

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Elloa Atkinson

Thank you lovely lady,

We were likely reading each others’ work at the same time! I loved your post – the one that got crickets – and am so glad you shared it. Keep on sharing your beautiful work with the world.

Love,
E xx

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Ms. Pillowz

I noticed that! lol Thank you for visiting, commenting, and encouraging!

:-)

dija

Elloa,
Congratulations for 12 years of being sober. That is so amazing and awesome! That is such a great picture about sharing with 5-6 engaged people and feeling so full and happy that you got to connect with them. when we are online we tend to play a popularity game and define our value through that. I am going to remember this picture. It has immediately changed my outlook and encouraged me so much. Just so you know this has been a big struggle for me lately and the fact that you shared really really helped me today. If I was guest at that dinner party I would be part of those 5-6 people you connected with. xoxo!

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Sandy Galiano

Ms. Pillowz

Once I was going to give up BUT then someone wrote me an email about how she had suffered a terrible accident and was so frustrated. She followed me on social media and my website, which she said uplifted her with truth and humor. After that I decided never to give up!

You are right. There may be one person out there who is watching and you’ve impacted them for the better. It’s inspirational ❤️

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Lisa | The High Priestess of the Woo

Hi Ms. Pillowz!

I know that feeling of writing from your deepest soul and passion and it goes THUD! on landing. It’s such a bummer. BUT – as you point out above – if it touches one person, if it inspires them or moves them into action – that’s fine by me. And you may never know who is affected by what you wrote. You just have to trust that what comes from your soul will resonate somewhere, some time.

:) Going to read your post now! Keep writing, girly!

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Kim

“Do you ever feel like your best creative work is being ignored?” Ummm. Heck yeah, all the time. I am glad I’m not alone! That doesn’t stop me though.

I just keep writing and and try to take cues from the posts and articles that people respond too. I try all sorts of combinations of things like tweaking with headlines, image placements and even colors. I still don’t get it but that alone helps me keep my creative spark flowing.

Mostly, I just stop watching the numbers daily and try to review stats on a monthly basis instead. When I started doing this, I found I was less emotionally attached to certain pieces because I already moved on to my “next favorite”.

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Elloa Atkinson

I love this! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m going to take this today – only check on pre-arranged, scheduled times.

Just getting going with my website and I notice the urge to obsessively check stats is there… but like with my above comment, I know that it really just wants me to be distracted and not focused on creating. Steven Pressfield’s work resonates very much with this kind of thing.

Love Ell x

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Karo

Life is a balance. So is work. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Many things happen along the way, some good, some bad, and some so-so. Striving for 24/7 excellence is impossible. It makes you run out of steam too soon and then you’ll never get anywhere.

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mary

Great question. I agree…you let go of expectations and outcomes and do both..don’t give up on what inspires you and keeps you interested and at the same time remember your customers needs.

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Natalie MacNeil

I’m always casting lots of lines to see what catches, and see what my audience gets most excited about. Often times, the best response is for products I didn’t expect to do so well. It’s always fascinating see, and I still don’t understand it either. I see a lot of my own clients get super discouraged when they put out their first few products and hear crickets. It’s so easy to feel that nothing is going to stick but like you said, “the real win is actually creating, and doing it.” Sometimes it just takes awhile to strike gold and get the acknowledgement we deserve.

Speaking of striking gold, there’s a story I love about Mr. Darby from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. He finds a small vein of gold during the Gold Rush and buys all this equipment and he’s sure there is millions and millions worth of gold below. He spends years digging and finds nothing beyond the small vein of gold. Feeling totally defeated, he sells all his equipment to this other guy who gets help and advice from professionals and makes one of the biggest discoveries of gold in the Gold Rush – just three feet away from where Mr. Darby stopped digging.

So 1) Keep creating and don’t give up and 2) Ask for help to hit gold. At She Takes on the World Inc. we have deep discussions with our audience about the direction of the company and what we’re creating, and they help us figure it all out. I find a lot of joy in creating a solution for their wants and needs, even if it’s not what I originally had in my mind to create.

Have a great week everyone!

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Johanna

Oh how I hate the crickets…but there is greatness that comes from the silence.

I recently launched this program–> http://johannavoss.com/halfmarathon/
and at first I thought it was all crickets. But I just realized that people were reading it and figuring it out.

Now, they are asking me about it, emailing etc and it isn’t so quiet anymore!

I definitely have crickets in my closet :)

xx Johanna

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Brenda

Putting our info out there is like planting seeds. Eventually, when the time is right, the right person will take action.

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Mimika Cooney

The sound of crickets is a very disappointing thing, especially for us creatives, but I suppose your right it is a necessary step toward tweaking our message/art so that what we eventually create totally kicks butt!!!

Thanks for the pep talk needed that:)

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Lisa

Marie, I couldn’t help wondering how many takes it took to get you to suck up that spaghetti so perfectly! hilarious!!!
I love this episode, consistency is so hugely underrated…as is resilience…I love the advice that sometimes the less proud moments simply fund the moments of pure inspiration….I feel like this with some of the peace work I do in story – never pays financially but other more commercial projects pay for it. Thanks Marie, as inspiring as always!

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nakeia

Whew!!!!

I really needed this one Marie.

My husband/business partner and I have been having this sort of debate (art vs. what sells) for about a year now. As music creators, it has been very challenge to navigate our way through the “state of music” this days. Unfortunately, music is no longer about the art. It is driven by the latest gimmick or trend— that is making it harder for us to make a living.

I can easily drum up a catchy hook or include the latest urban slang and sell a song. Yes, I’ll get a check. But, i’m not inspired by that kind of work. My husband, on the other hand, lives by the principle of “doing what you have to do so that you can do what you want to do.” It is a balancing act. We can’t afford to be starving artists. So, I roll with it. But it is not easy. I find myself not wanting to write.

As of late, I have adopted the mindset of doing what sells as long as I don’t feel like a “sell-out.” I may use a gimmick in the hook. But, I anchor it with a really creative melody or chords that are inspired by my favorite era of music. I also feed my passion by writing for my blog and working with other creatives.

My takeaway is today’s tweetable: “Ignoring what sells doesn’t make you a better artist, it makes you a starving artist.”

Good stuff!

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dija

Wow Nakeia that is a really good point! Finding the balance in creating is so important. I think Marie made a good point when she said that doesn’t make you a sell out it makes you smart. We all know what sell outs look like and we all know what inspiring and smart people look like in the entertainment world. I went to school for acting and I always say they worked hard to teach me the craft but not the business. The business is how to take your craft and make a living. I’d love to listen to your music some time. Is there a link I can go to?

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Nathalie Lussier

This is such a big piece of the puzzle for so many of my clients and myself in my early days.

I think there’s definitely a co-creation process when it comes to business. It’s not just about creating what comes to you in a vacuum. But at the same time, it’s not about completely sacrificing your desires to be in servitude to others.

The fine balance comes when you take into account your ideal customers, clients, readers… and their own aspirations, dreams, and goals. Then you mix in your special “you-ness” and somehow what comes to the surface tends to land really well for both sides.

I think sometimes we put our work on pedestal or we belittle it, because of how we FEEL about it… but it’s not really about the work itself. It’s more about how it makes your market feel, and that’s the bottom line at the end of the day.

Great conversation starter Marie! :)

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Toni Ann Barandon

This is why I watch every single one of your videos and listen in on your webcasts with such eagerness. You express ideas in such a poetic yet practical way, that is so easy to understand and implement. LOVE you! xoxo

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Jennifer Valley

This video (as do all of them) struck a heart chord. I hear crickets when I try to engage my blog readers. My comments sections are empty, my tweets are left unanswered and I haven’t got any emails in from businesses or other bloggers. All this despite the fact that i’m averaging over 350 views per month. I’ve tried asking questions, setting challenges, directing people to my social media and still nothing. Any suggestions would definitely be appreciated.

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Marcelle

Your blog is about everything. If you focus on writing about one thing, and get really good at it, maybe people will start paying attention.

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dija

This was SUCH A GOOD QUESTION! Thank you for answering this Marie! This was so timely for me! I have the same experiences as an artist (actor and writer). One thing I love about you Marie is that you have found a way to incorporate your art into your business and make it relevant to other people. I have been focusing on trying to grow my channel on youtube for 2 years now and it’s hard because my interests don’t fully fall into what’s popular. I say “not fully” because there is some cross-over but I’m by no means trendy. This has been frustrating because I think I have “unique taste” as well! lol! I am planning on just going on a creative hailstorm and seeing what that does for my business. I will still stay true to myself while listening to my audience of course! Don’t give up!

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Ashley

Creatives are often times too close to their own work and take for granted what they have to share. I plan a lot of experiences for my clients that seem to be “old hat” to me because I have been to Italy hundreds of times. My clients however, appreciate my expertise and the experience for them is fresh, new and fabulous! Stay true to yourself and it will fall into place.

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Lily

Marie-
You give great advice, and you’re so funny and cute! Today’s dance was a hoot.
Love it,
Lily :)

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Rebekah Witzke

I am learning (SLOWLY) that it takes time for people to TRUST you- not just in personal relationships, but in business and artistic endeavors as well. I agree with Marie that you have to put a lot of content ( art) out there and see what catches- this will help refine your voice and know your audience. I have found that the people who respond very enthusiastically to the work I am “meh” or so so about, will eventually come around to appreciate more of my heart/passion work- it just takes longer! Give people time to absorb and process. Just keep doing what you do in the mean time!

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Iliana

I have a sweet friend Rebekah that I taught school with in Texas. She wrote beautifully, and I always encouraged her to follow that dream.
Rebekah, is that you Amiga?

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Jai Louys

Marie, POWERFUL message…as a artist, I could easily resonate with your message. I have struggled in my passions to deliver. I believe, and I have yet to hear a negative review about the title poem of my book
(The Bridal Chamber: Where Dreams Become Reality
by Jai Louys
ISBN: 9781456619879):

“WHERE DREAMS BECOME REALITY”

BABY, I HAD THE MOST AMAZING DREAM THE OTHER NIGHT…I WAS DRESSED TO THE NINES IN A CLASSIC TUXEDO LOOKING AT YOUR BEAUTIFUL EYES THROUGH A LACE-TRIMMED VEIL…AS FAR AS I COULD TELL, IT​ WAS “ONE SPECIAL DAY”…WE WERE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION, AS WE STOOD UNDER A GAZEBO ADORNED WITH A GARLAND OF RED AND PALE PINK ROSES AND GERBERA DAISIES…WHAT CAN I SAY?? YOU HAD THAT “WOW FACTOR”!!…YOUR HAIR AND MAKE-UP WAS “UNFORGETTABLE”…YOUR MANICURE AND PEDICURE LOOKED “DELICIOUS”…AND YOU SKIN, BABY, I COULD’NT WAIT TO SAVOR EVERY BITE THAT NIGHT ON THE START OF “OUR HONEYMOON”…AS MY HEART RACED, I PROCLAIMED “I DO”…MOMENTS LATER, SO DID “YOU”, OVERLOOKING THE MOST ROMANTIC OCEAN VIEW…AS I SLOWLY RAISED YOUR VEIL FOR OUR FIRST “KISS”, AS “HUSBAND AND WIFE”, I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE THIS “KISS” AS MEMORABLE AS POSSIBLE…AND, MY LOVE, THAT’S JUST WHAT I DID!…WITH ONE HAND GENTLY CUPPING THE BACK OF YOUR LOVELY HEAD, MY LIPS SLOWLY PRESSED UP AGAINST THE SOFTNESS OF YOUR OWN…I COULD FEEL THE LOW VIBRATIONS OF YOUR, EVER SO, SEXY MOANS…YOU WERE NOW “FOREVER MINE”, AS YOUR WEDDING GOWN COMPLIMENTED EVERY LINE OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL FRAME…YOU LEGALLY CARRIED “MY LAST NAME, AS GRACEFULLY AS YOU CARRIED THAT EYE-CATCHING “BOUQUET”!…I THEN REALIZED, THAT DAY, THE INGREDIENTS FOR “HAPPINESS” WAS SO TRUE…A PINCH OF PATIENCE, A DASH OF KINDNESS, A SPOONFUL OF LAUGHTER, A HEAP OF LOVE, AND A LIFE-TIME SUPPLY OF “YOU”…

“WHERE DREAMS BECOME REALITY”

Though, I’m sure we can all agree that this poem is a beautiful creation, I think the STEAMIER moments in my book makes the sexual prude in some blush. I struggled, considering my choice to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, because though I am not the perfect Christian, my talents were called upon to do some work for HIM. (http//:www.authorunknown.info). I was actually afraid to publish that work, considering the highly mature nature of my first publication and passion to write steamy romance stuff. But, I just knew HE would be HIGHLY unset if I didn’t reinvest my talent and not bury it in the sand. So, thank you for doing this episode, I got ALOT…

XOOX,

Jai

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Caroline

Just what I needed to hear… thanks!

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Sylvia Bouvier-Szczepanik

Perhaps the problem is the person to create the art? If you have an agenda when you in a creative flow you will never make it… Your creations must be selfless, your little “agenda” must be gone.. If you think of your creative talent as gift you can share with others you will flow.. if you think “how can I make money”? Is that what Renoir was thinking when he painted, what about 6 years old Chopin was he thinking about “making it big” … if you have talent just do it and share it with others. One day you will find that someone who will buy your book, and it will help his life, are you gonna feel like nothing because you sold only one book, but that book saved someones life.. Do you know what I notice, specially in the spiritual community, these inspired young women, women write something amazing… their book sales, they help so many poeple and greed sits in.. now they have a contract but their books get worse and worse.. I couldn’t even read the last book by one of my fav authors… she seems done.. but all that she writes in her books.. is fake .. she can just not be known .. not be famous for the books she writes, they are impossible to read.. her sales are way down and soon she will be dropped from … publisher.. but she writes.. Her first few books I read in a day.. her last I opened it and closed.. she forgot about her mission, about her goal… she is just a money maker … her first stuff was real natural .. helpful.. now she spins in circles ..

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Kristen the Freedom Expert

Wow, Marie, you hit on the EXACT fear I’m facing right now. Thanks to B-School, my business partner and I have a new brainchild program that we’re planning to launch soon — I truly believe it’s the best idea we’ve had in our business so far and that we’re hitting on all the pain points of our ideal client, but I’m still nervous that we’re going to launch it and hear crickets.

Great advice to talk to our prospects and current/past clients for feedback. I’ll definitely be asking for input from our “tribe” before launching this program. Your insight is always SO timely, Marie!

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Teresah

Hi Kristen – good luck on your new program – I am a Soul and Life Coach, and have a new program in the womb too! I plan on hiring a promotional manager or publicist to launch it cause promotion bores me. off topic – how do you upload your photo on this site? blessings for a fabulous life!!!

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Karen Fitzgerald

This is a worthy question for me, because I am in the middle of it. I created/directed/wrote a show called “The Goddess Revue: The Journey of Turned on Women” last summer, casting 6 fabulous, fun, talented women, also from Mama Gena’s. It is a juicy, sexy show about a woman’s journey back to herself. And we sold it out both times we did it! So we’re going for a third. But it’s scary because each time, we have to stretch out further to get audience. Will they like it? Will they get it? Will they not? People love it when they come, totally juiced up…but how do we get them in the seats and does it work for a larger audience? Keeping motivated is key, and that is a hard one sometimes. Thanks for addressing this, Marie.

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Laura

HA! Yes I totally get this :) I’m a life and biz coach, but years ago I created a video on How to Walk in High Heel Shoes because people would always ask me “how do you walk in those all the time?” and that video probably gets more traffic than my website where my work changes the direction of lives!! Can you believe it? lol

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dija

Laura,
What a perfect example of what I think a lot of our struggles are as artists, creatives, or unique thinkers. I am an actor and a writer, and hope to one day become a life coach. I also walk in high heels and struggle with not looking like an idiot when I do! I like that you have a sense of humor about it as well. High Heels are part of life for women in business or women who just like to dress up. I hope that I will be watching your video one day in preparations for my walk down the red carpet! lol! I make videos on a lot of things on my youtube channel http://youtube.com/dijahenry. Although I hope to make more thought focused videos my diy and hair videos get the most views. Funny enough those videos have opened up doors to deeper conversations and even friendships. I look at those “on the surface” videos like a doorway or a first hello to a stranger. You know when you meet another woman sometimes the first thing you do is compliment her shoes or outfit or a piece of jewelry she is wearing. It’s a way to say hello! Great comment! And btw, I like your hair in your profile pic! :)

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Laura

Aww thanks girl :)

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Patricia

Thanks Marie! I only discovered you a few months ago and love love love your insights and videos. It has really made me step up my game with how I package and deliver my brand to the market place. I’ve learnt so much! Thank you!! Today’s episode rings very true – I’ve experienced this with some of my designs that I am most proud of and it can be really frustrating, even more so when people comment and say how much they love something but they don’t actually buy it. That said though I’ve got a pretty good plan in place, replicating and evolving the stuff that sells well and adding new, signature pieces each season. Taking it one baby step at a time! ;-)

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Melody

After working 16 years in theatre and the performing arts, I can tell you from experience that we can never predict what the public is going to like. This is why I have so much respect for actors who are willing to go into personally uncomfortable areas on projects without knowing if it will disappear into obscurity or win an Oscar. That takes major guts! That is an inspiration for me.

In addition to what Marie says in her video, I also know that most of the general public will not have the same appreciation for any creative medium as much as the artist(s) creating it. The general public does not have the same talent, artistic sensitivity, education and skills and therefore may not recognize the “best” creative work. We often forget this and expect our audiences to understand why a particular creative work is so wonderful. They are ignorant in the true sense of the word. They just know what they like, they don’t necessarily know why.

Love the tweetable!

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Ann

Enough with the disrespectful and injurious reference to “starving artists.” It is such a pervasive and accepted negative slur that it sets us up for failure.

There is waaaaay too much emphasis on increasing the output of one’s art or craft and near nothing about HOW artists can build profitable creative enterprises.

“How” one builds a profitable creative enterprise is very different than “how” one builds a conventional business. Why? Because art serves the luxury market, and an an over saturated one at that.

And it is absolutely NOT about choosing between the work you love and the work you sell. You can SELL YOUR ART (without) Selling Out.

Every famous artists in history had a personal mission and a unique value proposition that served a target market.

In other words, every successful artist knows who they are and what the stand for, how they will be of service, and who they will serve. Focus on THAT and you will sell more art.

“Having conversations with collectors” is very instructive BUT that alone is not going to help you build a a creative enterprise or define your USP.

And last but not least, successful artists do not sell art. They create and sell value above and beyond their art.

Grrrrrrr.

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Tiffany

Very good points, Ann!

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Rose

Hi Ann Rae! Loved your Artists Who Thrive/Making Art Making Money on Creative Live course – even bought it! As an artist/painter I wholeheartedly agree with you. You shed much light on the murky area of HOW to authentically support oneself as an artist. I also think the term “artist” is used rather loosely for numerous gigs that are not structured the way an artist works or engages enterprise, and perhaps that alone makes for confusion. So although Marie makes a point, Ann – you have personally walked this path and offer truly specific and valuable lessons. Keep sharing, and for goodness sake, tell people how to contact you! http://www.artistswhothrive.com Be Well!

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Karyn

I look forward to your segments every week…..your awesome!

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Jen Stone

The essence of creativity is that its ahead of the curve. By definition, it will take public opinion time to catch up. Doesn’t mean that you have to starve, but don’t give up on what you love doing. Henry Ford said that if he’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said “faster horses”.

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Tiffany

Great point, Jen. In some classes I’ve taken, experts on the art business have said we artists can be 10 or 15 years ahead of what’s popular.

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Camila

Marie, I love what you say about consistency. There have been times I’ve spent hours blogging and creating and other times I just write something within a matter of minutes. It’s always interesting to see what people are attracted to and end up reading the most. I completely agree that the aim is to keep on creating and putting myself out into the world while being conscious of what “sells”.

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Mark Council

This is a good topic, because self-promotion of my nature and landscape photography has always been my achilles heel. Several times in my life I’ve pressed on with my art and a ‘regular’ job took a back seat until the wolves were at my door and then I needed the predictability of a steady paycheck again. With the economy hitting the skids a few years back it caught up to my ‘regular’ work and stressed me out to the point of having a heart attack, and that pushed me into a period of self reflection and doing what feeds my soul. It was a no-brainer to do more of my art. This winter -brutal as it was where I live- I ended up doing an extensive series of photos of the frost that appeared on a couple of the windows in my house. A couple of friends encouraged me to do a book as a portfolio of what I found, which I’m hoping to self publish. I’m doing an Indiegogo campaign to fundraise for it, and that’s been only marginally successful (the whole networking/crowdfunding thing is a challenge for this right-brained guy…). It doesn’t look like I will make my goal this time around, but I intend to keep at it, because photographing the beauty of nature wherever it shows up and sharing it with others is what fills me with joy, and that’s the most important thing in life… I’d rather go to my grave knowing that I did what I loved rather than filling my days enduring a job until I could retire all used up and miserable-

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Grant Polachek

What a great discussion… “Is your best work being ignored.”

If you read anything about the history of advertising, you will know that this has always, I mean always, been a struggle. Artists like to create, they like to press boundaries … but executives can see this as risky.

As a fellow creative, here are some things that might help you sell the ideas that you love (yes, I said it, you have to sell the ideas you love).

1. And that’s a good place to start, if you love an idea, sell it like hell. You might have to take “no” for an answer, but you owe it to yourself to try :) (In chapter 5 of my book Pre-Marketing, I help people become more comfortable with the idea of selling: “With inspiration for my vision, I may work each day until exhausted, but still, without salesmanship, I am doomed.”)

2. Position yourself as an expert. Use results, case studies, testimonials, authority collateral (books, PR …), etc. I never sell ‘art,’ I always sell the results that art can bring to a company. Of course I listen to my client, but because I’m an expert at using images and words to elicit results, they also listen to me! Check out the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.

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richard

I agree that as a fiction writer my job is enetrtainment and you have to know your audience. Women by 80%+ of all books and the leading genre is romance novels. I try to keep this in mind when I write a scene. Yes, it’s pandering, but isn’t that what entertainers do?

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Aida

I have this same problem. I created a product that shows great results. I have before and after pictures, cause that’s always a seller and on top of that I made the price affordable. People will like the product, but not purchase. Don’t know what is missing??!! I offer discounts and still no purchases.. Which really sux, cause this a great product…
So, needless to say this a problem that I am still trying to figure out and I will not let it weigh me in.

Still figuring it out!

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Libby Chenault

I make stuffed animals. I love to make unusual creatures like Musk oxen and geoducks. And for the customer who really connects with those animals, it is such a pleasure to sell them something they cannot find anywhere else.
But I sell a lot more monkeys and bunnies. As long as I keep putting love and attention into those popular items I can afford to make the experimental work. It’s not selling out if you make popular work with your own style and care.

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Beverly Ash Gilbert

I can feel your pain Jennifer! I think it is actually the bane of artists to have their best work overlooked… That said, don’t give up on your true self, the work that comes from your soul! Pour it out and submit it – again and again, to different audiences. If you know in your heart that it is good, then don’t give up.

Sometimes your audience isn’t ready for your best work at the time of creation, but they will be someday. Other times it is just that the ‘judge’ (the publisher, the gallery owner, the art critic) has different tastes to yours, or is looking for something else to round out their show. (I’ve had pieces rejected from a show only to show up on the cover of a magazine)

Yes, you need to do the drudge work (high selling items, commissions, etc) to pay the bills, but sooner or later your real work will shine!

Remember some of the great artists and authors in history weren’t appreciated until long after they created their masterpieces. It is perseverance and believing in yourself that will ultimately shine!

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Robin Hallett

I feel a ton of gratitude for what my audience wants, it’s my area expertise and comes naturally to me, but it is also good to keep in mind that our audience grows with us and so we can help them continue to evolve by not just staying in the comfort zone but leading them forward.

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Fayola

This is an interesting topic. As a copywriter, when I write for business I feel absolutely nothing if it is critiqued or if my clients want things changed. Somehow I feel like it’s their product and not mine. I’m like a surrogate helping them tell their message and my only goal is to do that successfully. Do I sometimes not like the final product that they are thrilled with? Yes. But I see it as a good day’s work if the message is still strong. If the writing is personal however, that’s another story! It’s my baby and I want everyone to love it. I admire artists who can put themselves out there for scrutiny all the time.

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Debra

Hi Marie – I appreciate your realness and your enthusiasm. Thank you for sharing your genius. Love love this dress that you are wearing!! You have great style – favorite places to shop?

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Farideh

Great episode this week Marie!

As a musician I ran into this all the time. I think I even got resentful that people didn’t seem to “get it”. They didn’t value what I did.

When I made changes and really dove DEEP on a specific ideal client and then created work that would really light them up. it all changed – suddenly people got it and paid HANDSOMELY for it.

Consistency is the word I hear over and over and over again from all the successful people online. We have to create a body of work as bloggers, artists, marketing strategists. And that takes time.

i really appreciate you sharing Marie that even now the stuff you think is amazing doesn’t go all that well – last week that happened to me too. Glad to see it keeps happening at every stage in the game. The trick is…just keep swimming!

Thank you!!!

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Roberta

Very well done, Marie. You advice is spot on. I always enjoy your videos and your energy is contagious. Love to meet you in person one day!! And I also identify with the theme of this show. Sometimes creativity is not appreciated because it’s not understood… For all the artists and entrepreneurs in the world, just keep going but be alert to what works and what doesn’t so you go in the right direction with your art.

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claudia

Great points!

As an artist-painter married to an artist-painter, we have had this discussion many times, especially post 2007.

Our work was doing VERY well before then, selling easily and for a nice amount of money.

Once the economy collapsed, we saw a very sudden change in sales.

My partner took a job teaching in our local public school system and we had to increase our studio classes- which, yes-we love, BUT we much rather have it be all art sales and a few classes, rather than the other way around.

I began making more affordable art: watercolors and small acrylics.
I spent 3 years doing that… and now, looking back- nope, some of it was not my best work… BUT it *is* what people connected with.

I had the awful “feeling like a sell out” thing… but my partner, Sergio reminded me that I *did* enjoy making it all (I did!) and that -making art that sells- does not make me a sell-out, it makes me an artist who is willing to stay true to herself, understanding that making what sells makes me a flexible artist who can work in a variety of ways to keep our collectors interested, engaged, and continue building our lives as artists -reaching people from all walks of life/interests etc.

YES:
“Ignoring what sells does not make you a better artist, it makes you a starving artist.” …. and lawrd knows… money ROCKS because it enables us to do what we want to do when we want to do it!

Thanks for all you do Marie… !
Claudia
http://www.claudiaolivos.com

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Lauren @ SPARKITE

Marie – what a great video. I left my job on wall street which many people would have given their leg for to pursue my passion and venture into the world of entrepreneurship.

I started SPARKITE where users SPARK what they want to be held accountable to and I help to hold them accountable. I SPARK for my recovery and to meditate each day. In my head I often wonder why more people are not SPARKING and signing up for this FREE and incredible service and I have to accept that people are at where they are at. Maybe some people aren’t ready for it. Either way, as long as I am consistent and continue doing what makes me happy, I know that everything will fall into place.

You can start your SPARKITE journey here: http://www.sparkite.com

People are SPARKING in 20 countries and 6 continents!

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Robin

This post really resonates with me, and I think it applies to anyone who produces anything that they hope others will like and buy. I’ve been an award-winning kitchen designer for 21 years. In 2011 I published my book “Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen — design and remodel your kitchn without losing your wallet, your mind or your spouse”, into which I poured ALL my professional experience to give people the essential knowledge and tools to prepare for a renovation so they won’t lose their wallet, their mind or their spouse. Although it became an Amazon best-seller, it has not garnered the attention — or sales — I know it deserves. EVERYONE who reads it, gushes about how helpful it was and how it opened their eyes to the process, but even with a virtual book tour, social media up the wazoo and traditional media exposure, it hasn’t done anywhere near what I hoped. But I keep on keeping on, and am planning my second book: “Renovation Bootcamp: Bathroom — Design and remodel your bathroom without getting hosed”. It’s what people have been asking for, I just hope I’m not the one that gets hosed!

Thanks for a very thought-provoking post!

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spike

Wow. So timely. I have had several art-making businesses, and most often, I have burnt out because I keep getting orders for the same thing…over and over and over again. It kills it for me, because art for me is about exploration and discovery. Ain’t none of that happenin’ if I keep making the same thing over and over and over again. The Art People tell you that you need to stick with the same style if you want to build sales. I am sure that is true, so I have decided to stick with making art that I love and make a living doing other stuff. Which seems to be working out pretty well, for the most part……

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The Get In Shape Girl

I actually go by what gets the most attention and do more of that. It’s great because it allows me to really serve my audience, but if there’s a new direction I really want to go in, I go there and eventually people will come around or I’ll get a new audience who likes my new stuff.

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Thuy

I love your random blurts Marie. As for the topic, they may just not get it now, it takes 6-8 times for something to stick. Just stay consistent with your message and it will compound eventually. Pay attention to the things that do sell at the moment and ride that wave til the next one starts.

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Lori

I have to disagree with this advice. If you want an answer in terms of business–which admittedly is the purview of Marie TV–I think its satisfactory to say it’s okay to create in the name of making money. But what if your greatest work gets ignored and dismissed routinely? Now what? Stay true to yourself? And starve? Keep creating? And feel isolated? And feel depressed? I think artists lose faith and track when their greatest work is ignored. It’s a much more profound challenge then answered here. People don’t accept (at first) what makes them uncomfortable, or surprised. It truly can be devastating, because then your create for your audience instead of your true voice, just to stay connected. I think creating artists communities around yourself is some help. Like-minded, more avant guard folk (patrons, fellow artists, art’s early adopters) who can remind you to stay true and who will embrace your work. It’s still hard not to feel like a fraud and sell-out if you end up creating something more palatable. Making a living of your art is an excruciatingly big challenge, not to be dismissed lightly. So, if it is simply not happening, get a side job and use some of those transferable skills, while sending your art out there. Keep your life in some kind of balance and you won’t go mad.

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lyn

Yes! !!!!! ♡ ugh. This is so deep right now! I just have to trust I have it my all, that it is out of my hands, and what one might intend to distract me with silent hurt, it’s or of my jags once I click publish. That I just need to keep going. That it isn’t my timing. It might be meant for a certain person, at a certain time. And if I really mean what I say, when I say, I would write off it only helped one person, I can’t complain. So I stated saying this is going to help tons of people, to start. Ha! Then I just let it go. I do the work to get it out there, and if no one bites I just adjust, or keep going. If God’s got this, then I need to stop wasting energy, and do what I can where I can.

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Laurel Anderson

Wonderful segment, and I loved the other video as well. Much of my work is custom so the client gets what they want and I get to create something new and unique every time I make a sale. The sale is the idea of what I do, the art is the exclusive creation often a collaboration with the client. so that part is rewarding.
I like what you said about keep creating. Sometimes I make something just to create the art, not knowing if and when I will ever sell it, but it often becomes a very popular design. When I feel afraid and have no work, I do the “work” , the art, anyway, and then a job manifests.
I always thought my contribution was the actual product that I was painting whether it was a cotton knit dress, a canvas bag or a canvas rug. But it’s the art that people are drawn to, otherwise why would they be asking me to paint wall murals and furniture? it took me a long time to believe I was an artist and not just someone who painted on useful things.
so thank you Marie, now I’ll get back to my dusting!

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Nicky

I really needed to read this right now. I can relate to most of the comments above and most definitely get very disheartened with my career process. Like someone else above I’m in recovery from addiction for the past 4 and a half years. In the last year I’ve embarked on a writing career and write a blog for the recovery social networking site intherooms.com. I also write articles for Anna Davids recovery website afterpartychat.com. However, I’m not managing to make a living from it yet. My work is well received and when I think I’m about to finally have decent income….the crickets start calling. I totally agree that it’s about staying true to yourself and not compromising on your vision….I shall continue to write anyway.

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Catherine Ami

Since I’m at the beginning of my journey I experience crickets quite often.

Having long term goals in mind and knowing that what I am doing now is essential for the bigger vision and for my motivation. So every blog post, offering, or anything else I create, I try to be as genuine and true to myself creative self while taking note of what is being well-received. I like searching for the little things like… what truly engaged the reader or what they loved about what was created so I can continue using it with new material.

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alli

There is work I create for me; art that is purely for the purpose of my fulfilling my creative vision and then there is work I create for fun because I know customers will dig it and I get a kick out of making it.

My best selling piece isn’t my most beautiful fine art photograph. It doesn’t stir the soul or make the viewer think. My best selling piece isn’t even a photograph (my medium of choice and area of expertise). My best selling piece is a 100% fangirl print: a subway poster of favorite quotes from the short-lived but much beloved Joss Whedon series “Firefly” with clean, simple typography in classic black and white. And it’s my best selling piece because it makes other Brown Coats (fans of Firefly) smile. It makes my fellow Firefly fans (say that three times fast) happy. More often than not that is what the masses (not meant in a derogatory way) really want – something that makes them happy.

My fine art is for a niche market; for people that connect with my vision and have an appreciation for what I’m trying to say and how I’m trying to say it (or what I’m feeling and how I convey it, would be more accurate). I don’t ever expect throngs of people to like it. That’s art. It’s subjective. Extremely.

You’ll hear people talk about selling out, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating both…as long as you do it because you love it and it makes you happy (if I weren’t a Firefly fan I would have never made that print) and it speaks to a part of your soul then it’s never selling out…it’s art and it’s selling.

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Bernie

Hi Marie
Brilliant show I doubt this one will have the cricket effect although I find it hard to imagine any! Creating a lot of work you sent us that powerful message via bschool and here it is again today ! Receiving it loud and clear! Thankyou ! Bernie x

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Stephanie

It took me a while to finally get this. It is what the people want that pays off more than what I think they want.

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Donna

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It has been crickets around here and I often think I am a one hit wonder. Glad you talked about Etsy and artists. We are a different breed….

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Maritza Parra

I’m still laughing at the noodle bit! :D

And, this episode is so perfect right now, as I’m adding a lot more of my “multi-passionate” creativity to my business – with art and some other things, it feels a bit scary to do… and I’m ready – especially with your advice.

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Clare Galloway

:-D Heheheh -this is so funny and so true!

I did, however, spend my first 36 yrs not compromising AT ALL in my art and lifestyle, and it WAS hard: it was simply a huge sacrifice, and consistently stressful. And when other major challenges came along, which they did at regular intervals, it threw me into a crazy downward spiral…

I WAS aware of the sacrifices I was making, but a few years ago decided that it simply wasn’t for me any more: growing spiritually, I realised that it was possible to avoid a lot of the chaos going on around me, if I built a core work-from-home business. This would provide structure for my purer fine art creations.

As soon as my mind was set to it, things started to fall into place, and now I’m growing my dream business in various directions!

And this week I made and put up for sale my first ever ebook- and this afternoon I made my first ever sale of that first ever ebook! :-D

B-School has been an IMMENSE shifting experience for me, on multiple levels, and is allowing me to continue my life and work tragectory in an infinitely classier, sassier, more rewarding, comfortable, happy, relaxed, confident, sure, sustainable, etc, etc manner!

I’m so excited about continuing in this vein! And feel immensely grateful!

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Dawn

Ack! Great message and SO true! I have been blogging since 2009 and I can’t figure out how to engage my readers. I ask questions and always am sure to respond to people’s comments but the number of comments I get on my blog post is MEH for sure!

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Diane Wing

Thanks for this episode, Marie! As an author of fiction and non-fiction, tools of self-discovery, and courses that increase energetic consciousness, I’m in a constant state of creation. What I’ve discovered is that marketing is a critical component. Putting as much effort into marketing as I did in the work itself. Thinking about who I’m creating the work for, how they will benefit, and ways to reach the folks who will resonate with it is key. Sometimes, I discover a target audience who loves the work that didn’t even occur to me. I survey my community, as well as those outside of it, to expand my perspective. Being so close to the work, I value feedback from a wide variety of potential buyers to get out of my own head.

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Michelle Arsenault

So this Vlog definitely connected with me! I’m a writer, about to put out my third book and I completely relate to Jennifer’s question and concerns. It’s difficult when you put so much blood, sweat and tears into a project and not receive the reaction you had hoped for – completely understand. I also appreciated Marie’s reply because I often worry about becoming a sellout. Definitely some great thoughts to consider. As usual, always enjoy and share your video blogs. They have such a great energy:-)

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Gabriel

Hilarious!!! Please tell me you have a twin sister that’s single and just as silly (and neurotic) as you! Anyhoot, I love the skit where Chris Farley would fall on a coffee tables and break them. Cracks me up everytime!

I think that “meh” moments don’t get too many responses because people may not want the world to know they actually enjoyed the “D**k in a box skit.” They may actually find it incrediblty funny, but they don’t want aunt Mary knowing that. Know what I mean, jelly bean?

Just keep on keeping on and keep in mind that someone is always paying attention and LIKING your “meh” content. Have a great one, peeps!!

Gabe

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Mel @ Trailing After God

It can be so hard to have your best work ignored. It seems since FB changed again, stuff I share that isn’t MY content gets seen and anything of mine that I share is often completely hidden or ignored. And it didn’t used to be like that so I’m not sure what gives. The hardest part for me is when we’re doing something for charity, raising money for orphans in Haiti and FB shows it to almost no one. The last time I promoted a post, it got ZERO likes on FB but was seen by thousands according to FB (hmmm) but was repinned by hundreds on Pinterest… So starts to feel as though FB isn’t being honest with who actually “sees” your post you are paying them to show to others. I just have to realize that isn’t why I do what I do. Have to keep plugging along and not get discouraged.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I9ItevDDjA

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Tiffany

Mel,

I am so sorry that the new Facebook algorithm has affected you this way. It saddens me that so many worthy causes and small businesses are being silenced because they can’t afford to pay to promote every single post. But it’s good that you are keeping things in perspective. Stay encouraged!

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Elzemieke

Thanks for today’s Q&A Marie, I can so relate!

In my experience as an artist, the piece I’m working on right now is always my best work. The whole trail of sketches and paintings and scribbles that came before is done. Over with. Stale cake.

But, it just so happens that new customers still want to eat that stale cake. A not so sexy dilemma.

My bestselling pieces are actually a series of watercolors I made back in 2011. They’re nice pieces, but I’ve moved on since then. Nevertheless, I still use these pieces to promote myself, even though I don’t think they’re all that great.

When I get really sick of them (which does happen), I just try to hit an inner refresh button and look at the work as if for the first time. I’ve realized that there are always new things to discover about something, even if you’ve created it yourself.

Plus, I know that people really connect to these pieces. So I consider them portholes into my world of weird and wonderful creations. Or little hooks that can make people stick around and want for more.

It’s true that some of my work isn’t received as well as I’d like it to, but at the same time I also don’t want to produce work just in the hope of being celebrated. Plus, sometimes it’s just not the right time, or place, or people.

Finding balance between your own fulfillment and making a living from your creativity is a daily practice. My tip, find some people who really get what you’re trying to do and discuss your new projects and ideas with them. Strengthen your confidence whilst, at the same time, respect the work that allows you to attract attention.

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Paula Lukey

Sometimes it takes a while to build up a brand and to even get the feedback you are looking for to make the things that people want. I am a graphic and pattern/surface designer and started my etsy shop over a year ago. I am just now starting to get people clicking on my shop and marking things as “favorites” by an audience I’m continually trying to understand and cater to. I am constantly ‘testing’ out new product, combined with introducing it and creating a dialogue on my social media channels like my Facebook Fan Page and Instagram to test the waters. It’s a LOT of work and I find I am dedicating almost a full day per week (if not more) to social media, #hashtagging like crazy – just to see what interests people – and still all the while building that audience, that brand. And it doesn’t just stop there, it’s also combined with networking, going to trade shows and art markets, meeting people face to face, hgetting my stuff in retail shops, creating licensing deals – developing those relationships that leave an impression with people – signalling whether they want your product, your brand to be a part of their lives. As a designer I can make things ‘look good’ but if it’s not capturing an audience and motivating people to believe in and buy my products then I have to re-evaluate my business, my goals and try, try again.

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Nina Alexander

This is probably one of the most important epizodes for everyone! to watch! And I don’t just mean artists: staying true to yourself even if you get a “Meh” doesn’t mean you’re doing bad: it might simply mean the right people haven’t found you yet.
Or it’s just not the perfect time for what you’ve created.
But if you don’t put it out there- no one is ever going to find it!
Besides, trying to be someone you aren’t is frustrating and very discouraging. Not that one shouldn’t listen to their customers (that would be nearly idiotic) because exactly them the perfect symbiosis between customers’ needs and artists’ needs may emerge.

Thank you Marie!

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Ando Mierzwa

HA, Marie! I’m not sure you’ll EVER be able to top that noodle commercial. EPIC! :D

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Lori

This really hit home for me. Thanks Marie and Jen. My blog features stories about living in NYC and stories from my childhood, as well as photos of the city. I love photography, but get more satisfaction from writing. However, my blog gets more hits when I post photos. I always chalked it up to living in a visual society, and to the fact that it takes less time to “like” a picture than it does to read a few paragraphs and “like” it.

Today’s lession: lure folks in with photography and sneak in a story now and then.

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Wanda

Hi Marie!
Thanks so much for this video! I got the sewing bug when I was about 20 years old and decided to go to school for fashion but for the past 18 years I have struggled with trying to be an “artist” when it came to designing and also trying to make a living as a designer. I have been lucky to work for different design companies in the industry and that has helped me realize that you do need to give what the customer wants in order to make a living. So these past few months I have decided to switch my website to Wordpress as a form of a portfolio to show the creative work I have done in the past and now I am opening an e-commerce site thru Shopify that will sell simple designs but still have a bit of my flair. There will also be a section where you can “build your own dress”. I will also be selling jewelry and accessories from other designers that can compliment the designs I am selling.
I also have to say that I absolutely love what you do and I watch all your videos!! You have been a HUGE inspiration and a life saver throughout my multi-passionate journey. <3

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Nina Parr

This is a great post! And as always, you crack me up, Marie :) I have heard the crickets A LOT as I begin this journey as a writer/blogger/entrepreneur. I wrote this one post that I was so proud of – it was all about getting people to go out and find a job they absolutely love, because wouldn’t it be a cool world if everyone was happy at work? I didn’t get hardly any comments, shares, likes… nothing. But – my old boss ended up calling me out of the blue that day and told me how inspiring she thought it was, that she was going to subscribe for my newsletter, and she was now seriously thinking about starting her own business because of the words I WROTE! That was a really proud day for me – and even though not many other people reached out or commented, etc., I still felt on top of the world – because reaching one person that really gained value from my work, is far better than reaching 1000’s of people who don’t get anything from it. I think we all just need to keep on going. And you know what, who’s to stop me from posting that same article again in the future? It’s my business so I can do what I want :)

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Suzanne

Thanks Marie, this video was so timely. It was so good to hear that this happens to you too. Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we always feel like we’re the only one going through these things.

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Andrea

Hi Marie:

On a regular basis I make posts that convey my thoughts about life and love and a great many things. These I do within the company of great friends. I don’t often use responses as a gauge for the significance of my posts as I know that the message is being conveyed and that’s what’s most important. Of course in business, it does become important to gauge customer response. Sml. I am simply enjoying the gift of sharing a bit of my creativity and soul with a much loved audience.

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Moira

Hey, Marie! I’d love to share today’s video on my Facebook page, but when I hit the “Like” button (which I did repetitively today, oops…..), the comment dialogue box doesn’t come up, know what I mean? When I hit the Twitter button, I get the comment box, but not for Facebook. Just thought I’d let you know, in case it’s something you/your staff need to address. Or, if you just need to “address” me, cuz I’m missing something….by all means! Keep on keepin’ on!

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Camille

This kind of hits home. I’m a musician (singer/songwriter/guitarist) and I recently released an EP I’ve been working on for a year. I kept true to my roots as an acoustic player but also spiced things up with some head-nodding, catchy tracks that I know routinely drum up mass appeal.

Yet for some reason, I feel the EP has fallen flat. It was met to great fanfare in the beginning, but now, yes, I feel it’s being ignored. It could be a lack of marketing on my behalf (still trying to figure it all out) because I REALLY DO KNOW if more people heard it it would blow up, but it’s hard to drip your soul so steadily into something and have it be glossed over or ignored for the same ol same ol pop humdrum stuff!

I know my audience, I know people like me and think I’m talented with something different to offer. I feel I have so many gems, but that people just cannot find them in the LOUD LOUD LOUD world of music business.

I am proud of myself, though, for even releasing something because that’s brave. I know it will be a footnote on the way to success, but I just wish it would have panned out the way I wanted. Alas, the Universe must have something better in mind. Besides, I’m only 23. I have A LOT more time to hone my craft and make it BIG in a REAL WAY! And so it is!!!

Thanks Marie

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Alexandra Hope Flood

Thanks so much, Marie! Great episode! I’ve been a writer for 20 years (and a blogger for 5) and I’m still never sure where the target is, but I do know that I have to follow my own voice, heart, and inspiration to make anything I even want to share with the world. As for seeing where it lands, it’s like wearing perpetually foggy goggles – a mystery! I appreciate what you said about “producing a lot of work” (great reminder!) and being OK with some of it just being “meh.” It’s an approach that creates healthy detachment while increasing output. Less is more, is more? :)
Love,
Alix

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Angela

This is so timely for ms as well! Back to being motivated, thanks!

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Jill Rowe

Amazing episode Marie!! Spot on advice! I was literally having a discussion minutes before with a musician friend who is trying to get to the next level and stay true to his unique voice, while still playing ‘covers’ that are popular with his ‘audience’. This was a great affirmation of how to be consistent, value your uniqueness AND listen to your audience.

Thank you ~ as always!!

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Deborah

Marie, I just love you = ) Thank you so much for sharing information that allows us to look objectively at what we do, giving constructive advice, and in such a creative way!

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Patricia

This video seriously couldn’t of have came at a better time! I am a painter and opened up by studio last year. I have created tons of pieces, some that I absolutely adore (and some haven’t sold), and some that I thought were ok (and sold quickly).

I sat down the other day and compared which types of paintings are the ones that sell the best and which ones don’t. By doing this I was able to see the pattern, and now I can plan accordingly for my new line up of paintings. Now this doesn’t mean that I’m going to start creating paintings that I am not passionate about. I am seeing this as a positive challenge. To create my best work in that certain style. And maybe even find a way to combine both.

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Bala

Wonderful article. I just finished painting my 6th turtle piece. Though there is a little worry I am repeating some of my paintings, I sold five of them last year and re-creating similar pieces helps bring in the money to invest in supplies for creating what I want to, whether they sell or not. I suppose there is no shame in self-plagiarism!

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Helle

That was just the funniest thing you ever did. I did get the message, but i was ROFL

Thanks for that.

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Carol Mortarotti

Marie that is so true some will shine and some won’t, not everyone is your audience. It’s important to be consistent and don’t get discouraged on your journey.

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david neal carroll
jacksparro

Well, for me i found myself committed to others taste, completely ignoring mine, but after a certain time, i got changed, my taste has been morphing to theirs. but of course this is the best for all of us.
Peace to all of you,
Jacksparro
Saudi Arabia.

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Brenda Tolentino

Another fantastic video Marie! Something you said during the episode made me think of Darren Aronofsky. I really like all his films (The Wrestler, Black Swan etc) except the latest one, Noah. It was definitely a “meh” film. Talking to some friends who usually like his films as well, they felt the same about Noah, “MEH”?! I am sure that is not the reaction that Mr. Aronofsky expected.
So, lesson is everyone, even big-time Hollywood people has work that people find “mediocre”, it is part of life. Thank you Marie for the reminder!

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Hadda

Always, so I always do my best and listen the feedback to see what make a tilt in the reader mind….and follow the flow

great tweetable today

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Shelly

Creative blocks are pretty rare for me.. they do happen, but there is so much out there to explore next.. I just let it go and follow the next inspiration.

Creativity for myself is the most abundant resource I have to tap into. If I could have the same relationship to the energy of money as I do the energy of creativity… I would be a wealthy, rich woman! Let the shift begin, oh, it already has… Thanks Marie!

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Emanuela

Great video Marie (as always!) It’s funny because I am currently struggling with this in my offerings right now. I develop performing arts workshops for seniors which I think is super important and a GREAT offering! But, I recently became a yoga instructor and I find people are buying more of THAT then my creative stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love teaching yoga, but in a world where there is already SO many yoga teachers, I feel I have other gifts that are more valuable. I’m still in the beginning stages of my business though so I’m learning to just ride the wave and maybe next year at this time I will be narrowing down my offerings to make only what sells and save my create energy for “me projects”

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Nika

Hey Marie,
your Noodle bowl dance had us laughing almost as much as “dick in a box.”
Yes yes yes!
On my second “record”/CD I spent 40,000 dollars over 4 years to put out something I really love, but obviously from a business standpoint this was just beyond a miserable failure, it was a financial sink hole.
thank god I have finally through B-school started studying business strategy because being a starving artist, sucks. being an artist is wonderful but the starving part is such a drag.
and I am finally in a place where giving people what they want is fun, and having a life besides being an artist is important.
love you Marie,
thank you team Forleo! xoxo

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Natasha Watts

Woman! I swear we are on the same wavelength when it comes to art and creativity. I wrote a blog post, like, last month about the same things you’re talking about in this video: http://marketecture.com/blog/post/a-creatives-guide-to-social-media-marketing. I’m really passionate about the fact that you can be an artist AND know how to appeal to your audience. Yay yay yay! I’m so glad you talked about this.

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Barbara

Natasha,

Great blog – thanks for sharing the link.

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Phil

It is a tough go. Took me a good solid few months to finish this little pilot I tried to make – “a travel show…just healthier.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxqBdvMUORQ&list=UUiRaIlIKUrAtIleU87LjvXA

The world needs more “artists” – so keep creating gang!

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Alison E. Kurek

Marie — I love your show and watch often, but I think this is the first time I’m leaving a comment. This episode feels like it was written for me. I create great original art work as well as some blatantly commercial, pay-the-bills, lower-end art and craft items based on that work. And of course, guess what’s been selling the best lately? Thank you so much for creating this episode. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this — that there are a lot of other creative types who are going through the same sort of thing. Thanks for the pep talk!

Alison

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Lisa Cross

Hey Marie! Loved this video – awesome topic. I have created work for shows that I’ve been so proud of and none of it sold – only to have the last minute pieces I threw together go like hotcakes! I love the comment about how not selling doesn’t make you a better artist only a starving one. I’ve been in art school for several years and there is a real atmosphere of disdain toward people who are actually marketing their work and making a living from their art. I like to believe you can be a true artist and also thrive financially.
Cheers!
Lisa ; )

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GL

Marie,
Great show once again. The creative is my line of work and most of the time my work goes without fan fare and recognition. That’s the fate of an innovator, inventor, creative person like me. Most of the many thousands of things I’ve created are just seeds for something greater later on. So I am used to not much appreciation. But for those monumental things I know are HUGE, I release them in test markets and gain a following. That is satisfying and keeps me going. The mystery of what I do will soon be out there. Then you can tell me what you think.
It is amazing the critics corner rises up when I work on and talk about what I do and my vision. Expected and I always know its coming… So no worries for me. I keep moving forward and am winning in spite of those who see things differently. The negatory few. No worries!
I have some interesting and creative launches in the works I will keep you informed. Lots of exciting things ahead and unexpected…A surprise.
Keep up your fine work Marie. I am proud of you every week. So classy and a Pro, as you keep shining brightly for us all, on MARIE TV.
GL

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Kelsey

This was GREAT! I am in B-School right now (my first round!) and I am very excited to turn some of my meh responses – to what I thought was and is incredible content – into something designed specifically for my audience with lots of love to boot!

So grateful for you.

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Renee Leverington

I totally relate to this! I’ve put things out there that I thought were awesome ideas and the sound of crickets was deafening. And I’ve put some things out there that I thought were “meh” and everyone on the planet seemed to love it.

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Emily

Totally only peripherally related to this video… but I didn’t know you were a JPop fan, Marie. It totally made my day to hear Morning Musume randomly!! (That super-cute song in the ramen commercial.)

I definitely relate to the starving artist thing, but as an actor it’s fairly hard to get good paying work, and what’s “marketable” tends to change every five minutes.

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GL

Marie,
One more comment. Your followers who comment here after each video you present are extraordinary people. It’s amazing those who you attract to your passion your TV Channel and site. Wow. No other channel, that I have seen, has such quality people. Exciting beautiful ladies and a few fine men with a great mindset.
Keep up the good work Marie. Just thought I would not forget those who you are helping so much. Those comment and put their thoughts out there. Those who are rising up in this world for better things and better ways.
GL

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Yvonne Potter

Marie – The analogy with SNL is sooooo perfect. I will remember this for the rest of my design career and life! Thank you, Yvonne

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Jen

Needed to hear this today!

I have big issues putting out the ‘meh’ stuff…I will avoid sending it out there entirely if I don’t feel I’ve gotten it quite ‘right’.

Going to give the Saturday Night Live thing a shot!

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Sam Hunter

My most popular post to date have been ones I wrote from the heart, and in which I was talking about creating community behind an idea. In each case they were probably less “crafted” for their targets, but there was something about it being close to my soul that made it really sing out. I definitely need to keep that in mind!

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Chetan

It happens with everybody in thier daily life and people usually get negged out very soon and that’s all due to the influence of someone else’s thoughts.I have learnt that a person can never do anything if we believe that the outcome is going to be negative.People especially in the business of films or photography have to deal with such a thing but they still come up with thier work and keep doing whatever they can.So thats all about it we have to express our selves and even our audience or the people whom we work with or work for have the right to express themselves.Marie you mentioned one thing “its a dialogue” and i completely agree with you.We need to understand what people think and take it positively improve or do whatever you can the next time and rest leave it to god.There are several examples of people being criticized or made fun of but the way they dealt with thier life made them legends.Example thomas edison.I like the way you are guiding people Marie.Keep it up!.

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MegansBeadedDesigns

Hello timeliness!!!

I was JUST expressing my frustration and fears over this very issue with a small group of B-Schoolers that met in-person last week.

I create handmade jewelry and I always get disheartened when the very “simple” charm-on-a-chin type stuff sells and the more elaborate and artful designs that I spend hours of work and creativity on sit on my virtual shelves for years without finding a buyer.

Now it would “easy” to just stop making those pieces but they do occasionally get purchased, by the audience I am targeting, so I keep on creating and putting these sorts of projects out there. On the other hand, it’s helpful to look at the “less creative” offerings as a means to supplement the work I really want to create and give to the world.

Great perspective. Thank you for this.

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Samantha

I like your beading patterns! I make paper beads and recently made paper bells for which I’m looking to make into bell earrings. Your site has been inspirational to me. Thanks!

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MegansBeadedDesigns

Thank you Samantha – I’m so glad!

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Lissa M. Cowan

Thanks Jen for bringing this up, and to Marie for exploring it on Marie TV. As a recently published author, I can tell you that I’ve had to really take a step back and ask myself why I create. Is it for fame? Fortune? While those things are damn nice, the main reason I write is because I love it and it makes me happy. Spending years on my novel to see it published by a small publisher with little fanfare was a huge hit to my ego, however through the process I’ve learned that this is just one of many books I’ll write. It is part of a long process of creating, birthing and putting myself out into the world. Another thing I’ve learned is to never take it personally. Go Jen!!

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Sinuhe

I guess it really boils down to: Stay true to your heart, just keep in mind your wallet.

Great video and just like others have mentioned, “Needed to hear this”.
It is a wonderful thing to be part of this community :)

Best of luck!

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Becky Wiggins

I agree, some of the things that I think are great, people seem to ignore. This was very helpful though, and I’m going to start concentrating on making bigger quantities of things that seem to sell faster. I am also on Etsy, and it seems like my ‘toddler’ aprons are a big hit on Etsy. Some of my really cool bags that I think are great are “meh” to other people it seems!

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Zhayra Escobar

This video is wonderful and encouraging. There are many of us that create one of a kind pieces of art, and it is a very nichy market. I do have one thing to add, sometimes it is just about TIMING. In the past I have created things, and didn’t become popular until a year or two later. When it finally became popular, I was like that “that was so last year” lol, but last year for me is this year in fashion. So I was basically ahead of my time, and I had to learn patience. So I agree with you Marie, just keep doing what you do!

Thanks Marie, I really enjoy your work!

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Nina

That is a really hot topic! :) loved this video. OMG yes, one of the answers why I found myself to be a starving artist in the past hehehe
Some of my work that I consider masterpieces is just hanging there being ignored, while sometimes people go MAD for… simple blue circle on canvas, which is not even a finished piece yet. Mind you that is NOT my ideal customer avatar, someone who is psyched over a blue circle. :) but I begin to see a point THANKS :)

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Deb

Perhaps it’s the color, tone, or shade combinations they are responding to rather than the subject matter. I know that is sometimes the case for me. I may be “bleah” about the subject matter, but the colors! in the tones and shades I like! THAT is what I respond to!

During the sale, start asking your customers, “So, what is it about this piece that you really like?” Then write that down somewhere so you collect those insights for when you’re ready to begin a new project.

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Nina

Thank you Deb! :) that’s right. They are attracted to shapes and colors! Which I understand…but as an artist I think to myself: ANYONE can put a blue circle on canvas. Then I feel like a fraud charging money for it. And I sabotage myself. sigh.

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Emily

I can sooo relate to this! I wasn’t super big into the mustache craze, but I made some mustache baby shower items for my shop. They started selling like hot cakes. Now, my husband and I joke that mustaches pay the bills!

I still create other items that I enjoy and to round out my shop. But, right now those mustache items still sell the most. :)

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Ron

Lots of time auditioning with scripts, and just moving forward each day….

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Trish Allan

I’m so grateful to Marie for addressing this issue and to all of you for your discussion here and valuable perspectives you’ve offered. I certainly struggle with this. I waiver back and forth between what I really want my message to be (I work in the nutrition and wellness industry) and what is the popular belief about an issue at a particular time. I deal with this by staying true to my core message with the belief that it will resonate with some people, but not with others. Thanks Marie for the perspective that we are not selling out if we give people what they want even though it may be contrary to some degree with our core beliefs. One way to address this and create more enthusiasm of your message is to really drill down to identify who your demographic really is- when you identify their true needs, wants and pains, you’ll be communicating in a way that resonates with them, provides them with valuable information and help them problem- solve their issue.

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Marissa

As a graphic and web designer, I often feel like some of my best work is overlooked. For example, if I give a client 5 options for a logo and one of them is AWESOME, they will inevitably pick the “meh” one. The real point of this comment, though is to say your noodle commercial is brilliant! You are so fun, Marie!

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Jodi

Great points made in the video and by others. One thing I’ll add is that sometimes the appreciation comes later. For example, in my previous corporate role I got a bit frustrated when my “brilliant,” creative product was met with “meh,” by some in the company, even angry resistance by others. But today I received an email from one of my former team members saying that this product is now one of the most highly utilized development tools being requested by the business leaders – he called it my “legacy,” which felt really good (about a year later)!

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Karlie Moore

A disappointing lesson I recently learned is that just because your audience tells you that they really want a certain product doesn’t mean they’re actually willing to buy that product once you create it. I create health information products for firefighters and that recently happened with a weight loss program that I thought was great (and that they asked for). But it was the first product I’ve ever tried to sell.

I didn’t think this video topic was going to apply to me but two great points hit home:

“If you want to create great work that gets recognized, you’ve got to create a lot of work, consistently.”

“aint no shame in makin’ a buck.”

Thanks Marie!

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Beth Ritter-Perry

That is so true. In my art I take what people say seriously when they are willing to plunk down some bucks as a DEPOSIT. I do what I do.

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Beth Ritter-Perry

Thanks, Marie! I completely agree about artists having to create, and create A LOT. I tell my students all the time that you’re only as great as your last work of art. You can’t be all precious about every piece of paper or canvas that you make a mark on, either. Some will be absolutely glorious to you, but there will also be more than a few that you feel “bleah” about- and are guaranteed to be the FIRST ones to sell. People love ‘em and they can’t get enough. Go figure! But quit scratchin’ your head trying to figure it out and go make that money! Maybe that means making more of the stuff that you’re not so nuts about. That doesn’t make you a sell out. It means that you’re smart- by selling that homely work of art, you can NOW afford to do more of what you dearly love! Brad Pitt, there’s no shame in your game. I say just keep pressing on for the prize and doing what you were put here to do! BTW the piece that I luv luv luv is called “Red Sari” and you can find her here at http://www.caprichostudio1.com/SHOP.html. Peace!

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Mark Turnbull

I’ve only been doing weekly vlog posts on my website for the last three months. I love it, but at the same time I do not get a lot of views, likes or comments. But, I do always pick up at least a couple followers each week. Which, I value more.

Sometimes it’s hard finding a topic to vlog about and sometimes it comes at the last minute. But, I always make sure I have a video Monday morning ready to get posted.

Mark

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Patty Ann

Marie, this is a great episode! I agree > create what is in your heart first, even if its mediocre in your opinion, and let the public decide. My website has quite a genre of books written from my personal experiences. Some books I am more passionate about, yet there are many others that just offer quick, solid information…often these are the ones that sell best.

Because of the wide ranging variety in my store, it’s all a grand experiment to see what sells. It never ceases to amaze me.

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Carrie :: Happy Fish Tarot

This, as usual, was great timing for me. I just wrapped up the first month of my business, and I put out LOTS of content. Videos, blog posts…not to mention facebook and twitter posts! Some of the things I poured my heart and soul into got virtually no response. Others, that I put out on a whim, were more popular. You just never know.

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Deb

Forwarding this one to my daughter. She’s currently in college. When she graduates, I’m enrolling her in B-school to give her a leg up in pursuing her dreams!

Thanks for the great content!

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Zania

Love this video!
Like you said this is sometimes hard to accept with us artists but we need to open our minds and let go. I learned that along the way and now I’m open to the possibility of new opportunities no matter what they are. Thanks for sharing!

BTW, that black and white dress is gorgeous!! I want it! Where’s it from?

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Elsa Isaac

Hi Zania!

Marie’s dress in this video is by label called Bless’ed Are The Meek.
Glad you like it :)

xx,
Elsa

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Leo Tabibzadegan

Love your videos so much! ❤

Can’t stress the importance of building an audience around your message, product, or service.

Not enough of people do that, they shoot the stuff they create into blank space instead of towards people that actually are interested in that kind of stuff.

So that means building your twitter following to 10,000 like minded followers.. Growing your instagram to 2000 like minded followers… building a Facebook fan page around people ACTUALLY passionate and interested in the kind of stuff you create.

Spend a lot of time growing these accounts by interacting with other like minded users on each platform. Like on instagram use a hashtag #art if you are an artist, and like and comment and follow people you that you can relate an connect with, they’ll follow you back if your stuff is cool. Repeat until you are famous like Justin Bieber.

Then when you launch something new, these people will be the ones to spread your good work.

Just Sayin’ :)

If you want more advice or tips gimme a shout anytime!

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Haseena

Love you Marie<3 You consistently give awesome, intelligent down to earth advice.

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Teresa Mazzella

This question definitely resonated with me. Sometimes the things I am most excited about get a “not so great” response. I have realized it is finding a balance between what is deep within our hearts while and creating what people are asking for. I think this is an ongoing process that keeps us on our toes…lol. Great question!

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Martial besombes

Great point on the fact that you need to consistently put out something if you want to get noticed. That’s a reality …..

I think a big part of the issue is your ability to be in/have access to a market.
We all start local and therefore you’re being measured by the taste of that particular culture/taste/market.
So if you expect to be appreciated by the market, there may be a tension …!

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Laska

I am so grateful that this “meh” idea was touched upon today. I’ve been going through this for months. Putting out work and getting the ‘meh’ response. But I’ve started to realize a lot just through taking action! I see where it’s got me and though it hasn’t been the ‘hit’ I’ve grown a ton through the process and feel like I’m getting that much closer (based on the not so ‘meh’ responses I have been getting lately).

Thanks Marie and friends for writing in. I didn’t know I needed this until it popped up in my inbox today. Yup, totally needed it! Xo

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Morgan

I went through this struggle (really it’s constant!) recently with two lines of jewelry I was developing. One I was super passionate about with bright colors and awesomeness! The other was more neutral, and while I loved it too I was not as excited about it. The one I was less excited about sold like hotcakes! I found myself spending more time on it and hating it in the process. I began talking to my customers and realized that it was not the colors they loved about it but the subject of the pieces (jewelry made from vintage Hawaii photos). So I went back to the drawing board and created a new line using (my fave!) bright colors but keeping the same subject, photos of Hawaii. Now I am sooooooo passionate about this new line AND it is what my customers are asking for. Hope this story helps anyone who is on this same boat! Mahalo Marie for all you do!

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Mihaela Moldovan Perianu

Great story Morgan and thank you for sharing it with us!
It goes back to asking the collectors why they like our work so we can understand them better and adapt what we enjoy doing the most to what pleases them.

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Judi

Oh these vids make me so happy!

OBSESSED with the SNL theory … so true! We must keep creating in order to catch what resonates!

Loved this episode. XO
Judi

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Mihaela Moldovan Perianu

Hi Marie,

What a great episode today. I so needed this one plus it was fun too!
I’ve created my art blog one year ago and I feel like having a store in the desert but there’s no one around or only the crickets ;o), but I go on and hope to see some results.
It happened to me just recently to show my artwork to a potential buyer and put a piece on the side as I thought it did not even worth sharing and it was actualy the one she prefered, so go wonder..
The ideea is that it is not about us, but about them(the buyers). My role as an artits is to create and when I see paterns to go more on that path.

Thanks again for helping us creatives trust that it will work out one day!

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April

Marie,
1.Tell Carlos to make you this juice- green apple, lime and fennel, YES< fennel, You can add spinach if you wish. You will thank me:)
Jen,
2. Listen babe, we cannot control others reaction to our work. I love art because I feel unapologetically free to put out what inspires me. What also inspires me is seeing what others really react to. I hook them in and know that they will be my biggest cheer leaders for my "broad scope"- this means the less tasteful stuff they like to the amazing things I love-:)
Keep going sister,
April

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Desha Peacock

Great question. My philosophy that we are all born with a desire and we should listen to it, do work you love and eventually you will be a success. Keeping in mind, that you might have suck up some noodles out of a paper box in the meantime :)

Great show Marie.
xo Desha

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Mercedes

As a performer, I go through this all the time, along with my colleagues. I work a regular gig and the audiences can feel so unpredictable at times. We always put our best into the shows, but you know how it is. Sometimes you end the show thinking, “that was alright” and sometimes things feel awesome. The strange part though is that there are days where the audience is completely engaged and giving you the love back and there are days where it’s like crickets. The worst is when you’re getting no love back when everything is working like magic onstage. It takes every ounce of you not to get sucked down into the “meh” when that happens. I’m learning to take it in stride. I dance in a niche art form (Flamenco) and I’ve come to realize that audiences don’t always really know what to expect or what the etiquette of a Flamenco audience “should be”. I remind myself to always give my best no matter what and to cater to the mood. If they seem like they want to be quiet, we take a deep breath and make ourselves a little more “background”. If it seems like they just need nudging, we engage with them more. If it seems like they’re just going to be loud drunks no matter what we do, we zone into each other onstage and get through it and maybe we’ll play around with them if it seems there’s something to work with. There’s a real art to reading the audience. I’ll admit though, it hasn’t been easy to get to this point. Some colleagues and I in the past have been guilty of the very punk rock behavior of just mocking your audience or making it obvious that you’re going to ignore them. Our form requires us to have a bit of attitude onstage to begin with, so it’s hard not to take it too far. Those moments are never any fun and get you in trouble with the boss, making them think you’re being divas when all you really want is some respect for the amount of work it’s taken to get to where you are. Lowering yourself to rudeness also doesn’t help turn people into fans of your art form. It’s better to try and meet them where they’re at and hope you can bring them along, even if just for a bit.

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Danielle

This video was very insightful. I just wrapped an 8 week video politics and pop culture video series on thegrio.com. The series was an extension of a weekly podcast that my wife and do called Politini. We thought all we needed was a larger network and our brand would sky rocket… it turns out not so much. We thought audiences wanted thoughtful digestible discourse on issues that they cared about served up with a twist–but as it turns out all they wanted was entertainment–not eduTAINMENT. I poured my heart and soul into creating micro-content for this site and learning an entirely new way of writing, producing etc and it turns out the response wasn’t excitement but “meh”. Now, its back to the drawing board–granted we have way more tools in our belts now and a wealth of lessons learned, but getting the “meh” response was definitely hard to stomach. Thanks again for adding another insightful perspective Marie!

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William Beyer

I just watched your video, and couldn’t agree more. I do freelance illustration with an emphasis on cartooning. Recently I have taken a job creating a weekly cartoon for a local publication. The pay isn’t much, and I have to stay within the theme of the publication. I have no problem with this as I know it could lead to more work including, I hope, getting my cartoon strip into publication that I’ve been developing for a few years. The best thing is that I am getting very close to making my passion my profession!

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Janie

Hey Marie,

Isn’t this just the very thing to remind us all that this is the step that takes us to the YES!?!

#SteppingClosertotheMark

Cheers from Scotland

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Francesca

Love it!!
All of your videos are awesome Marie.
Thank you!! :)

Aloha,
Francesca

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giorge leedy

Great video with great points! Indeed, it can be tough knowing why people relate well to some of your weakest art and don’t to your masterpieces. This happened to Picasso with one of his masterpieces, as I recall– Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. When it got bad reviews, he turned this painting around and didn’t turn it back around for 10 years. When he turned it back around in his studio 10 years later- reintroducing it to the world- everyone loved it. This to me means that artists are often working ahead of their time. So the general population might not be ready for those creative masterpieces till sometime in the future.

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Lynn Cook

Totally agree giorge! A lot of what artists do is experimental. I paint and often I’m thinking through a painting as I make it and I’m surprised by the result. Often I don’t like what I’ve done and have to leave it for a while, put it up on the wall and spend some time with it. It’s not a bad thing to let a painting mature. It’s a bit like wine – you don’t drink wine as soon as it’s made, you wait for it to mature. (Unless it’s Beaujolais nouveau.)

So I’d be wary of making art for the market – for sure art is about dialogue and discussion but the best art is about opening something up, asking questions which might not have answers, but gets us all thinking and looking.

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suzanne mccarthy

great video marie and team. and your commercial was clever. funny. a visual treat! grateful for the high quality of what you deliver.

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Sean Rami Abass

Hi Marie,
Thanks for a Great video and quote” Ignoring what sells doesn’t make uou a better artist, it makes you a starving artist”. I’m a children’s book writer and some of my books that aren’t as well received by my kids. I now realize that I really do need to listen more, even if I think my work is so good. Very insightful.

Sincerely,
Sean

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Teresah

Ahh yes creative hits,..my latest is a new dance class – the people that go think it is frickin’ awesome but attendance isn’t growing – but this gets me thinkin’ -Hey Marie – how’s about starting or ending your videos with you dancing Yo! That would be fantastic! Love ya – and that dress you are wearing in the video!!!
and hopefully my Soul Journey Cards are my greatest hit!!!! http://www.thesoulsjourney.ca/?page_id=1679

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Teresah

btw – how do I upload my photo for this site?

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Rachael Renee'

That commercial was hilarious!

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Stacy Claflin

Thanks for such an inspiring message! As a novelist, I find this so true. It’s comforting to know that it’s universal for creatives.

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Laura-Maria

I love this topic – thanks, Marie!

Another way to look at the balance between staying true to yourself and your creative muse *and* being aware of what your audience wants is to make sure that, however we say/deliver our product, be sure to do it in a way that lands for our audience. This is particularly helpful if we want to deliver something that is controversial or an inconvenient truth to people.

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Barbara

I love it. Thanks a lot. I think it is – like so often – not about ourselves, what we think is good or is needed. It´s about listening what the world needs. It its all about LISTENING.
Thanks you
xoxo
Barbara

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Megan @meandwee

Gaaah! This topic has been the center of my world for the past 2 years. It is so hard to figure out a choice between art I want to make and the art people will buy. Why? Because I have no idea what will sell…it’s always different. I don’t have any ONE thing that stands out. I’ve realized I have to just create what I want and the market for it will find me (hopefully!) When you want to make money doing what you do, it is so hard to wait and be patient. It’s not like I have a specific product that I can market to a specific customer. I have a lot of different kinds of artwork to suit different tastes and budgets so it is very hard to be seen. I feel ignored 99% of the time. But, creating art and trying to bring a bit of peace, comfort and happiness to my collectors is my calling so I stick with it in hopes that I will find a groove. Chasing 2 young kids in the meantime takes my mind off the drama of it all! ha! I wish everyone else here continued success!!

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Nadine

Agree with this. However, I also think the “crickets” sound also comes from ineffective marketing. The internet appears so crowded with marketing that I feel like I am shouting at the top of my voice “LOOK AT ME!!!!!”. When I engage face to face it is AMAZING!!! But getting that attention online is challenging. I subscribe, read, attend marketing education topics but I am so swamped in Facebook. Pinterest, SEO, lead pages etc info that I fee like I am drowning. Everyone talks about why this is important and a high level view of how to do it, but no one has implemented a step by step program in designing and implementing this stuff. Small business people are so caught up in the day to day that it needs to be simple and spoon fed. It is not a matter of not being prepared to put in the work, but the lack of time to learn all the required elements.

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Linn Purdon

Thanks Marie. This has helped me so much with the fear of putting things out there. I really like the idea that it is okay for some of my work to not be popular. I now get it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad just not what people want right now. I am remembering how many times I have had an idea that just didn’t fly and 2 years later someone else ran with it and it boomed. It wasn’t a problem with the idea, it was the timing. Thanks again.

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Andrea

Wow! This struck a cord with me. In fact, I left an entire profession over this very thing. A bunch of years ago, I used to have a consulting practice and had two clients with very different and complicated problems. I dove in and created what I thought was my best work. I was so proud of it that I thought the customer would definitely hire me to do more work. Yep….crickets.

The silver lining was that it made me look deeper into what I really wanted to do. Ultimately, that decision was to stop trying to do what would make others happy and focus on what would make me happy. I made a 180 degree turn and started a jewelry business to see if I could get some interest in my jewelry designs. Now, 8 years later, the best news is that I LOVE making my customers happy and while the creative part is super cool and is very fulfilling, I love serving my customers.

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Graciela

Hello from Colombia Marie.
I think you are crazy and I love it!! one of your videos gave me and answer I was looking for so long and it was so simple!! that one you talk about finding our real passion, thank you, big hug

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Keshia

I’ve been going through the same thing with the blog I recently created. There have been some posts that I put so much of my soul into writing that barely received any page views, and there are others that I felt were good, but not my best that have been most popular. I’m just going to continue creating what feels good to me, as you said in the video, but I’m going to also try to create better content around the topics that have resonated most with readers.

Thanks for the tips as always, Marie!

-Keshia
http://www.queenlifeblog.com

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sonja

maybe this quote from Kurt Vonnegut will help:
Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
(replace “write” with anything, like create, paint)

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Barbara Sinclair

Well this one is definitely a share, Marie! Great advice – right on the mark. And you are so damn funny! :)

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Nina

Just such a great discussion thank you Marie and all!

Just a moment of epiphany… perhaps, we as artist ARE so much ahead of time and our greatest pieces… well… not always understood by the rest. Just give it some time! meanwhile, keep making awesome work, and yes, keep all your meh stuff safe as well as the stuff that you want to through out ( my goodness I can’t believe, but pieces I wanted to tear to pieces sold for $$$$ go figure, really). love to all.

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Amy Cornwell

This happens to me all of the time. I create an item of jewelry that I think is really cool and no one buys it. Then there’s an item that I just feel “meh” about and it’s a best-seller. But I’ve learned in my 10 years to focus on what people want (i.e. what sells). So it might not be my favorite, but if it’s a customer favorite it’s become my favorite too because it helps pay the bills!

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Debra Devincenzi

WOW! And as usual, so spot on!

I think of the many artists that have created (great) work that they love only to be told it is shit (ex. in his early years, Van Gogh couldn’t sell squat). They plug along trying to stay true to their art and occasionally try something that will wow the masses. But they do not give up.

Then one day, one person of influence deems the art fantastic and the whole world wants a piece. (At that point Van Gogh’s sketches on napkins could fetch bucks!) The art nobody saw before is now visible and desirable.

And, that’s when all those hugely creative yet unwanted endeavors become your next enterprise. All of the sudden there is a new mass of buyers.

Let’s make a pact: We will stay the course and be authentic and within that we will market the hell out of our uniqueness!

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Caitlin

Freaking brilliant, Marie!

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Sheridan

Marie,
I love the way you frame what happens in our world – you are realistic, while acknowledging the negative, and ending on the positive. You “real” perspective on life in always spot on, and motivating at the same time! Keep your creative self coming and helping us all be better people and add in our unique way to the world. You rock!

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Heather Croas

I always find a it bit frustrating when people like some of the photos that I really don’t think are that great, or even really all that good. But I’m come to the conclusion that it’s in part because I really am my own worst critic. The thing I struggle with the most is figuring out a way to generate business. I have people telling me on a fairly regular basis that they like my work and that I’m a damn good photographer but I don’t have people hiring me to do their portraits, headshots, etc. on a regular basis. It’s beyond frustrating but refuse to give up. I know that eventually things are going to pick up and I’ll start to get more business via word of mouth. But for now I just need to figure out a better marketing strategy. Don’t know if that really answers your question but yeah

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Alys

For my blog I have come to terms with the fact that the things I put my heart into are rarely what is shared/commented on the most. The things that get the best response tend to be the more mainstream interests (such as posts about the current Royal Tour of Australia that are getting me great reach). I decided that the best thing to do was to share an equal amount of post sorts of posts. That way even if I only get shares on the less personal ones perhaps the other content is being connected with even if they don’t say anything. The readers that I know rather just strangers often say the more personal posts mean more too them but its not something they want to comment on.

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Julie

Loved the episode Marie!! It’s so true, you just have to keep trying.. When I did BSchool last year one of the big revelations was that it took you something like 8 years to feel like you’d made it. Of course every little win along the way adds up to the big wins.. The success you dream of.

But still, sometimes you do have to look deep at the reasons why so e stuff flys and other stuff doesn’t without getting paralysed by the analysis..

As Ernest Hemmingway said when ask, what makes a great writer.. Write, write and then write some more..

You’ve just got to do it.. It’s all in the doing.

Thanks again Marie xx

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Bee j

Hi,
as usual your tactics sounds great but as I
jump into the post left by others I wonder yet again when one
should consider calling it quits.
Paying monthly & yearly fees to a site that is producing zero income is dishearting.
Basically feel as though funds, time & energy is being wasted monthly, opinions please is 4 years ample time to invest before calling it quits I produce nightwear for nightsweats.
Thanks,

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Scott Branden

Thanks Marie! But I don’t even know who my customers would be! So its difficult to know what to design and produce outside of my passion when I am not too sure who the market even is… any suggestions about how to find a particular art market for way-out stuff? :D Thanks, kind regards Scott.

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Navid

Thank you Marie. It is so refreshing and fun to watch MarieTV. It shows me that you can be totally yourself and still do what you love and be taken seriously and succeed. I imagine it is so much fun working with you and your team. :) Cheers

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david nash

Ive been struggling with this myself.. Ive been trying to make a full time career painting, which mostly I paint portraits and I get really good reviews from facebook, but its hard to sell them. My asking price is low compared to what Ive seen out there but making the sell is hard. It takes a lot of time and I only sell it once. And Ive tried doing the ‘printmaking’ route, but that seems to be a over saturated market.. ugh. Don’t know what to do :/

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Soorena

One of my favourite things about literally every episode is when you say “And keep going for your dreams, because the world needs that special gift that only you have”. Lights me up every time :)

Also, was that a real soup commercial?

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Tiffany

Very entertaining video, as always. I think the real issue is deciding what kind of artist you are, and, as a very wise instructor named Paul Klein taught me, distinguishing between your personal artistic vision and your strategy for selling your work. Vision is a non-negotiable core issue. Like a lot of the commenters stated, we are often ahead of the curve. Think of what Diana Vreeland said about style: ‘You’re not supposed to give people what they want, you’re supposed to give them what they don’t know that they want yet.’ That quote really resonates with me.

I’m a painter, and I do offer my customers the option of getting custom made (commissioned) pieces in the size and shape, size, color, and texture they want. But I cannot bring myself to create an entire series that looks just like something else I sold recently. I would die inside. Fortunately I have a day job and do not rely solely on my art to make a living. But for me, I am looking at the long term and the bodies of work I create as being part of a harmonious collection that would make sense in an exhibition together someday. I think it’s important to find a balance between painting what sells and painting to express yourself.

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Roxanne

I feel things come in waves… & it’s important to keep up the momentum. :D

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Nicole

I LOVE your dress in this video!!
Sometimes my favorite pieces do end up being favorites of my customers and friends, and other times it’s the weird little sketches that get added to Etsy treasuries over and over again. I’m just relieved that customer favorites include my drawings and my paintings, it would be disheartening if I loved one specific medium but everyone preferred something else.
My soul would shrivel if I had to work in pastels to make a sale!

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swati j*

I’m actually working through this right now with a new virtual workshop series I’ve launched since starting B School. I’ve had only two people sign up so far (albeit they went for all four workshops at once!) but it seems to be nibbles even as I’ve changed my copy, titles, posts etc to promote them. I’m IN LOVE with these offerings and can’t wait to offer more. But I realized today that I may need to offer them differently somehow or restructure them to meet my clients’ needs better. I may try to shorten them, have them be only podcasts and not live etc. and play around with the same concept but with different formats. After all it’s about meeting my clients’ needs, so I will gladly create what is most helpful to them. I do feel that the underlying offering is fabulous and is heading in the right direction. At the end of the day, life, art, business- it’s all a process. Maybe that’s what the “meh” is all about- a reminder to keep striving for more great work and also to remember that the most important piece of the puzzle is our own inner satisfaction.

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Pia

Seven YEARS of making, struggling and failing – and now B-School is helping me sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’ in regards to my creative business. And this definitely counts all my ‘fails’ along the way . . .

At different times I have focused on
– calligraphy
– card making
– scrapbooking
– wedding stationery
– children’s craft parties
– adult ‘crafternoons’
– DIY wedding decor
– DIY home decor
– journalling

and not ONE of them gave me any success (or money).

I look back at it all now and see that what I have in fact done, is created an INCREDIBLY artistic and accomplished person who has the skills to make an SUPER awesome business using B-School as the spring board.

I now see the experiences that I previously labelled as ‘failures’, as LEARNING experiences. I HAD to go through all of it, to become the incredibly passionate and multi-faceted artist that I am today.

Now I’m off to check out the other link you provided :) Thanks again for your insight and generosity in making and publishing this video.
<3
Pia

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Linda Mendible

I understand this all the way! haha I’m trying to discover what gets a retweet and what is favorited. One thing I truly have discovered especially in my recent re-branding experience is that you never know who you are influencing, changing and who’s actually reading. When you’re first starting out people are reluctant to call you “cool” and they want to see if others have the same thought as they do that you are “cool”. I’ve had many people contact me offline about my work and what I’m doing. You ultimately gotta give them an experience that makes them feel happy or good about themselves, their purchase etc. I also believe you gotta show your audience that you are passionate! That you take your work seriously and that you are always bringing in something good. You can’t over do it, and you can’t under do it. Following my gut has worked out so well for me. I’ve seen your story, on how you researched the market and interviewed many amazing people. You gotta do your RESEARCH because it makes you more CONFIDENT. I believe the biggest challenge that I’m facing is being completely confident. Once I have mastered that, the sky is the limit! Because Confidence is an energy that we all love and are attracted to. No matter what you are doing if you’re doing it meh most of the time and have one YES. Then you will receive those responses. It starts with YOU.

That’s just what I believe, I’m working on this I need to get my energy in line with my work. ♥

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Chantelle Heldt

This episode really applies to me Marie! I have a mindfulness-integrated media blog which is fairly new. It is for creative collaboration through mindfulness in the forms of short-film, online publications, articles, graphics, photography etc.
Through this platform I will emphasis the collective and intrinsic point of view of mindfulness with little to no descriptive words.
I havn’t been able to gain enough followers at all and I’ve been Twittering about it, Facebook sharing, joining likeminded-groups and still there is no new subscribers?! I have even created a team in a charity trying to sell items $3-10 where 100% of purchases go for Charity Water and still no one is buying? Whats going on? I am aware of the mindfulness trend gradually making pace in our modern world but no one is joining – via email or blogger?! I want this to eventually become an online business or something that I can grow from because its my passion. I think what I am presenting is modern, consistent and streamlined in appearance but I need results – HELP!

Chantelle

http://www.chantelleheldt.com

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Ellen

When I was growing up I used to do watercolour painting with my Great-Aunt during the holidays. She used to tell me that she had always been taught that “It takes 500 water colour paintings to make 1 good one”. She was an experienced painter and still followed this – she never got down when she did a painting that wasn’t perfect because they were part of the process and the journey towards the painting that would sell within minutes of being displayed.

It reminds me everyday to keep pushing past the ‘creative block’ or through the next round of ideas or designs because the “1 good one” will always eventually be made. The wonderful things I create along the way to the “1 good one” may get ignored, but that is okay because it’s part of the process :).

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Katharine

I have such a hard time getting over the fact that I know what I am doing and the fact that they do not know what they are doing. Ha.
I think including a few of the lessons I learned the hard way, the story about how hard it was until I learned, they could see themselves and realize what they need. Yes.

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Leann L.

Dear Marie,
As a writer, I often feel like my best work is what I connect with best personally. Like remembering some special moment, because I remember all the things I felt associated with that memory. But I realized that other people won’t feel as strongly because they don’t have the same exact memories & connotations as I had! It doesn’t feel the same & sometimes too many details makes for a fussy read. I taught myself how to write so that I could be open enough to consider my readers & guide them to their own memories rather than go on endlessly about my exact experience. I leave ‘wiggle room’ for connections to be made & felt.
My man has also reinforced this idea. That what he felt between family or old girlfriends was special & even if I listened & nodded my head polietly, I still wouldn’t feel how he felt about these stories because he has memories attached to them. There is always a funny story that comes up occasionally, & I’d say a sense of humour goes a long way to reaching people too! No matter what the art, if you can show that you are capable of making a connection with other humans, that they can sense you have a personality behind that work, you can start taking steps in the rigt direction.
( Your e-mails/ videos, etc all seem very easy going & easy to connect with. Plus you add some humour, so it’s not hard for me to see why you are such a success. You know how to connect with people!)

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Erika Chotai

Okey,

What I was thinking, is that
the safety of my children must be allowed along a way of generating money.

The interest for me has to somehow be outside of the formation of my family, so that the economic factor finds its way in a way that still keeps my kids safe.

Don’t know if anyone understands what I am trying to explain, but this is the one thing that stops my process. My children are there and so my career has to form out of that fact.

Maybe when the division between men and women were bigger… so the man went to work and the woman kept the children safe no matter what – then the man could do whatever and it could not fall upon his kids.

As a mother I have to consider the network that is there to protect my kids (one with special needs). So that leaves me with a different possibility. The father doesnt’t seem to have a vision where both me and the children are included, the way he wanted it while we were together was that I’d be stuck at home. Watching his butt.

I still have to take the responsability, and I too need an income. Very problematic, because my work then has to be so aligned with the world of my children. To support them.

In short: I have no one who can pick up the pieces in case I make mistakes, I have to “play it safe” – and to play it safe is as I understand, a pretty tricky factor when it comes to making money. But it has to be safe in one or the other way…makes me crazy if no one shows me an interest soon that is still keeping my children supported.

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Crista Cloutier

Great advice Marie!

I am a coach who works with artists to get their work out seen and sold. I agree with this advice and would add that if you are making work that feels important to you, do not stop because there isn’t a market. Build a market! Yes, you might have to keep painting kittens for a few years while you do it. But you can find and develop an audience for the work you want to do. It may take some veering off the tried and true gallery/museum path, but changes in the art market now give you this kind of power.

http://www.theworkingartist.com

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Shaine

As an artist I’ve noticed that a lot of the work that I created nonchalantly, just for the heck of it ,ends up being a hit, but yet when I actually “try”, not so much. Not sure what that’s all about lol

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James Adams

I just love this episode! Marie, you are so true. As an artist, I love drawing cartoon versions of women. It is something that makes me happy. I’ve chosen not to do what sells in the art world, like landscapes and still life or abstract, and stick with what makes me happy. Unfortunately, that which makes me happy doesn’t pay the bills. In fact, I work a full time warehouse job during the day, then I go home and work on my pinups for 2-4 hours every work day, and 8-10 hours each and every Saturday and Sunday. I used to get depressed and angry that my artwork wasn’t gaining the support I had hoped it would. But these days, I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to do something I really enjoy doing, without the pressure of sell, sell, sell. This, I’ve come to acknowledge, is the best chosen path that works for me. It won’t make me a recognized artist or make any money, but at least it’s something that makes me personally proud. To me, that is all the recognition I need.

Thank you Marie for everything you do. You are amazing and I have been blessed to stumble upon your blog. Your insight and entertaining videos makes a great start for my Tuesdays. It means the world to me. Thank you for everything you do. <3 James

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Rob

Crickets be damned!!! I deal with them by saving everything I write…proposals, group exercises, articles (rejected), poems. Eventually they get used one way or another by finding the right outlet or adapting them. One group exercise I created many years ago and ran successfully at my job in Brooklyn was using the idea of a circus coming to town to illustrate cooperation in an organization. Have not been able to use it since. In fact, people have laughed and scorned the idea. Being an optimist, I WILL find a venue. Hang in there and adapt!!!!

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Amanda @ A Hammer & Heels

My favorite video yet! This is such a good reminder that we’re creating stuff to make money! Sometimes we get sidetracked and focus on our projects because we like to create something we’re proud of, but if no one’s interested we can’t make a living! How do we submit questions like this to Marie?

hammerandheels.blogspot.com

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Rocco Distefano

Awesome!

This video Made me spit out my tea :-)…And Laugh out loud!

Thanks for this Marie. I needed this today.

Big Hugs and Love

Rocco

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Jeanette Hunter

Good Morning Marie, Love you videos!! You tell it like it is and that is a great way to be, but you add flare and comedy to ease the sting and I say High Five to you.
I do find it frustrating at times for sure, I am getting set to publish my 2nd book and um not one person asked me about it, but on the plus side of this disappointment I know in my heart that no matter what sells or what doesn’t or what people appeal to or not, that whatever I create comes from a place of inspiration and love and although the acknowledgement would be stellar……especially from family……I know the reality its not personal.
Thank you again for the fantastic videos!! Have a wonderful day and keep up the dedication to your bliss.
Come on over to my webiste and have a looksie!!
Jeanette Hunter

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Nicole

This was great!

I definitely have a hard time “letting go” of what I want to create and creating what my clients want sometimes. But I have learned to do that more, and to be more receptive. It really does make my relationships my students stronger, and then they are more willing to try the new/different things I ask of them. Plus, it makes me become a more creative teacher, as I find ways to give them what they want, while still achieving my objectives for the class.

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Sandy Lukavsky

Marie, I only discovered you a few months ago and today I thought, hmm, why haven’t I ever thought to compliment her so it’s not just the sound of crickets. Your videos are thought-provoking and enjoyable and this one made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the great work you’re doing! Good stuff.

Now my question, why don’t you have the option to share these on LinkedIn?

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Molly Baxter

Thank you for this, I am one of those designers who feels the same way! it’s always nice to hear someone say out loud that you must keep doing what you are doing to pay the bills…whatever I make is still from my own hands, and so it still has my design sense. Just not what I consider my best!

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laramealor.com

Love your video (as I always do) , they are always just what I need to hear. THANK YOU!
http://www.laramealor.com/woot-woot-wednesday-child-suffer-ndd-30-family-cure-alls/

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Elizabeth Pfeiffer

OMGosh I just went through this.

I developed a program worth over $3,000 of content and information and offered it at a low investment rate and it tanked.

So I went back to the drawing board – tapped in to my intuition – and was inspired to create a second program with less content and with only the basics.

Gave it a quick launch and Wallah! Sold like hot pancakes on NYC city sidewalk in summertime!

I think as hear-centered business people we have a tendency to want to give everyone EVERYTHING we’ve got – only to remember that not everyone wants everything all at the same time.

:)

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Rosemary

Good point! Less can be more

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Kathryn J. Bain

Great post. So true about not knowing what will hit and what will. Love the humor you use to get your point across, Marie.

Also, Jennifer, as a published author, I’m going to tell you to go full throttle on your novel. Even if you don’t sell a gazillion copies, just holding that first published book in your hands is something you can’t put a price on. It’s a great accomplishment that some people only dream of doing.

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Fran Machoski

People use to like the photos I do with love. I think they feel the power of truth :)

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Rosemary

This is interesting Marie . At my pony club I want people to bond with their ponies and connect with nature and most of the mums just ask for “lessons” ! Guess they don’t know they want to Bond with their ponies and I have to explain why. Thanks

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Fiona

Awesome. And not a cyclops in sight. Thank you Elsa!

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APlus Learning

On the creative work getting lost, I think copyleft (open rights) is also doing some good job!

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Rebecca

This spoke a mound to me. It’s hard and I find myself too discouraged than I’d like to admit. I find it hard to pick myself back up after a blow about something I thought would gain me customers. I feel I put my all into it and people do t see it.

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Roxy Davis

Hi there! OMG i loved your video, a great friend of mine who is a photographer saw this video and couldn’t of done a nicer thing than to post it! I was like yes, yes, yes OMG yes! lol I’ve always thought my creative side gets ignored, I’m a makeup artist and also make the most detailed cakes i can possibly come up with and I’ve made cakes that I haven’t been to proud of and for some CRAZY reason they get the most likes! LOL I just don’t get it! I feel so happy though, because I’m not a starving artist, I’ve accepted my mind is independent from all my clients and i do not take things personal any more. I want to fund what I love most and if that means sometimes i have to make a TMNT cake < meh…then so be it, but then I can make my beautiful shabby chic cakes and dessert tables. I want to create a life I love Marie thats all! If you get a chance, visit me on instagram at @roxyishappy it's my creative world and i love it! Stay awesome! XO Roxy from California, Bellflower at Something Sweet & Lovely ciao!

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Josh Pais

I always knew my girl could sell noodle!

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Lorraine

I felt so identified by this q&a, fear of rejection, fear of not selling, fear of failure, it just paralyzed me. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RESPONSE MARIE, I just have to get the shame of selling “other stuff” while the stuff I love creating starts to sell, right?! LOL
Thank you so much for being you and making this for us.

Love, Lorraine

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Janet

LOVE DA DRESS. ( Some work and some are meh but this one is classic)
And, TURNING JAPANESE, does sell product & employ artists/actors etc.
been there and would love a gig now! <3 U

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Angela Richardson

Right on episode and topic Marie. I own a small DIY Beauty Care line and my own organic bath and body care line and it is tough to decide what fragrances to use that are attractive to buyers. I want to go one way but I often find what sells are not fragrances I myself would have used. This is the toughest in a very competitive market that I am in.

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Zoe

Oh Marie! You in that noodle ad has literally just made my day! THANK YOU :)

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Persia Summerland

I’m really excited about this subject because I think I’ve got a really good answer. Probably no-one will read it lol.

This is something that I experienced MASSIVELY about three years ago. I’d been working really successfully for a couple of years doing my heart’s desire and as I grew in my abilities, I decided to take my work to the next level and go BIG with it. I poured everything I had into turning my heart, soul and entire being into an enterprise. Aaaaand not even the crickets showed up. I was lucky to get tumbleweeds.

So I did what every well-adjusted individual does – I sank into a depression and thought I was this epic failure. After some time of nothing, no-one, not a peep, I decided to get my shit together and work out what I was doing wrong. I realised that perhaps it was that I just wasn’t that good at business, but the work itself was fine. So I enrolled for Bschool and found out that I knew NOTHING about business. I also learned that what I wanted to express creatively as my Soul-Self is NOT a big seller. What to do?

How I’ve combated this is; I have two businesses. One is my out in the world business based on the Bschool information and is the money-maker and I have a separate second website that’s just for me. I’ve written exactly what I want on it, I’ve done it purely for my own joy. I don’t care if no-one other than me ever sees it because I’m getting recognition in other areas. Now, I’m slowly figuring out how to bring them together (but if I can’t, that’s ok). The money-maker will always be at the front, but I’m ok with that because I let go of wanting recognition for the more personal creative side of me from others. That’s more about me recognising me.

Huggles
P

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Siobhan

I read your comment Persia! I’m delighted to hear about your entrepreneurial journey and how you separated the money-maker biz from your personal creative side. It’s nice to know there are all sorts of options out there.

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Siobhan

Ooooof, this video. I do so love Q&A Tuesday.
I totally feel like my work is ignored, *sighs*.
It sometimes feels like I’m blogging and pitching to a blackhole. A black hole that has turned it’s back on me so it can watch 30 Rock on Netflix and eat Kitkats in its onesie (the rude b***tard).
But, I think you MUST plow on through this sense of invisibility, that eventually we’ll all turn the corner and success (in whichever form we envision it) will happen. It just takes time, and like Marie says paying attention to the patterns that emerge and learning from them.

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Jamie Csizmadia

Thank you for this’un… SO DANG GOOD. As a business owner and “multi-passionate”, I do my best to follow my gut in taking work/projects and putting work out there. I’m getting very used to not knowing what the actual experience or result will be. It’s starting to make sense that I simply have to DO the work. Your quote, “…you have to create a lot of work, you have to do it consistently…” nailed it for me. Thankyouthankyou for affirming what I’ve been experiencing. I NEEDED THAT!

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Deborah Huisken

Thank you for this video, Marie, and Jennifer, for your question. This has stopped me so cold I couldn’t even articulate the question, much less put it out there, and yet the responses you gave, Marie, of course make so much sense I’m thinking “I know that!”! It is so easy to think we are the only ones, and to “compare our insides to other people’s outsides” thinking that because other people look like they have it all sorted, they actually do… So I’m just going to continue to enjoy my “unique taste”, while also recognizing that it may not be that people don’t like my work, but sometimes that I’ve simply not spoken about it or led into it in a way they can easily understand, or that my idea may have been before its time. And keep looking at what’s working and what isn’t, and try to figure out why. Great work, you two!

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cherie

I can tell you this – I make wildly creative things no one buys and my friend makes wildly popular (and very *meh*) things she copies from Pinterest and design magazines. She’s not proud of it and laughs about the poor taste of her clientele BUT…. she can now afford a brick and mortar store which is her dream and I’m taking a real job again because I have to – NOT my dream.
You get the point.

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leela

This happens even in the Pilates studio- the exercises I love the most only a few clients like. Not stopping me from Teaching Pilates,and not stopping my clients from trying to understand why i love the exercise they hate. Im nice I only give them one or two of those, and then the rest is stuff they love, and we are all happy:-)

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David Schmeikal

Love the ad!
Great Q&A Topic

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Llyane: Parisian French Coach

Yes, it’s a struggle between what I want to do and what sells.

I am decided, though, to become a good business woman, because (talking about Brad) all artists who made an impact on millions of people are unbelievably remarkable business people.

If I do only what I want and that art stays in my drawer, without influencing many, many people, what good does that art at the end of the day?

I am an actor and I burn of desire to act again, but I took a hiatus to become a good (great) business person. To become this, I have to find a way to connect with people and give them what they want to buy. With that money, I’ll create entertainment for my existing audience and more.

I don’t think I’m a sellout – when people buy something, you have an audience. If only you like what you do, you have no audience, and art without an audience is not art (says me, after playing the ‘starving actor’ game for 10 years).

Oops, I’m too passionate about this topic – hope it helped someone out there :)

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Eileen

Very well said… I understand the message you are relaying. I need to find a way to do that with my writing and the images and products I share on my blog and further that towards each new step I take. We can all learn this lesson the hard way.

These comments are very encouraging though.

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Amanda

Yep, totally ignored. I make some really fun things, but in my 6 months being open for business I haven’t sold a single piece. Nope, not even one. I have been questioning my work a lot lately.

I love the encouragement Marie, thank you!

Just when I think I have addressed every possible problem there is you remind me to make more stock. I do forget that part sometimes when I get too caught up in trying to promote my business.

If I make it, they will come. The Law of Averages says so! ;)

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Wambui Njuguna

This is really useful to break the perfectionist paralysis: if you make a large volume of work consistently over a long period of time, chances are there will be some meh output. And to be ok with that!

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Arturo Maetahara Rubio

Thank you for this episode. Indeed, we have to admit that all our work won’t connect as we want, but now we have the power to listen (via Facebook, Twitter and other stuff) to see what our followers want. Greetings from Peru.

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Tracy Olan

As an artist, this resonated deeply!!! I have held more money at bay on principle, and in the name of staying true to my self, than I care to think too long about. I am just finally learning that putting breaks on in any area of our creative story, whether it’s in art or business, is a stoppage. Period. And stops momentum and flow of money, ideas, and energy.

These days, I am making what I love AND opening to what the public wants more of from me. Which might not be what I would choose as my contribution in the world, or my best work…but maybe it’s the beginning of offering what I love. Maybe this is the first step, and is more a case of becoming more palatable. WOW moment for me. Maybe what I LOVE and consider my best work, is too much of a jump for some. They can’t see the magic, yet. Or my vision isn’t quite ripe and ready. Maybe giving the public what they want more of (while making it financially), is like leaving a crumb trail….and giving them a taste of me. It feels like that’s a little bit of the magic that’s been happening, since letting go a bit of what I consider to be my best offerings, and embracing a little more of what the world seems to want more of from me. It feels like a beautiful organic unfolding, where one side fuels the other. A big fat awesome difference from where I once stood on this xo

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jean

This one is one of your “all time bests”, Marie!
And, I’m going to share it, too.
:)

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Allison

“Art is a dialogue not a monologue.” That is the tweetable for me Marie! You answered something very deep I’ve been feeling my way though. Thank you!

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Angie

What an awesome question from “Jennifer” she really put herself out there, I know we all get discouraged when we think we created something out of this world and we get a so-so response, then we create something that we think, “well that could of gone better”.. and it ends up being a hit… sometimes you just never know, but great tip from Maria of digging deeper and seeing what your customers are really digging. I love this video Maria, it was full of great examples, ideas, and things to think about, and try, I really love all your video’s! Thanks girls :)

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Diane Pauley

Wow. This thread is awesome. And Marie’s video is on point.

I believe in the power of artists. And I believe that an artist’s work can be sold online. There’s power in social media. Connecting directly with your potential buyers without a third party holding you back.

If you know the story behind your work, someone else can connect with that. One artist I recently worked with took her story and her art and made an Instagram account. A few weeks later she made $10K.

Believe in your unlimited potential. It’s all there for the taking. xo

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Naomi Ehrich

Thanks for this Marie. It gives me some food for thought, for sure! I’m an astrologer and spiritual counselor, usually found under the “psychics and astrologers” category on websites like Yelp and Yellow Pages… People often write or call who want predictions that don’t involve any kind of personal introspection, inquiry or growth. They usually lose interest when I say that I am not a predictive astrologer but a perspective one – that I am here to help them grow and not just provide easy answers that I can’t really foretell anyway. But then I lose business. This episode has me thinking about ways I can say YES to those clients and still maintain my ethics, integrity and commitment to personal growth…

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Jennifer

I have definitely struggled with this a lot. I make clothing and often the pieces I think are awesome are way undersold to the basic items. I have learned to give into this. Hey the people want plain, comfy, dreamy bamboo organic cotton leggings…who am I to deny them?! Making the basics allows me to still design some creative unique pieces too.

Great episode Marie!

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