When I first started selling my book on Writing the Artist Statement the shopping cart installed on my website malfunctioned.
Now, mind you, I didn’t know this at the time. I just thought no one was buying my book. Since I’m always into the next project on my inner to-do list, I pretty much let it go at that.
Far be it from me to force anyone to buy my book! [Which, in those early days, meant I equated selling used cars to book selling, and wasn’t about to get my hands “dirty.”]
Then something unremarkable happened…an artist emailed to tell me that he was having trouble buying my book off my website.
When small things snowball
Not only was I squeamish about selling something I’d created (sound familiar?), I was equally squeamish about going into the administrative area of the shopping cart and poking around. The back-end of anything online simply confused me, and I’d spend hours trying to navigate the most streamlined pages.
But it was a good thing I did. There were 20 artists who had tried to buy my book and were rejected by the shopping cart. Obviously things were not copasetic in Denmark! And, to my dismay, the cart never let me know. This had been going on for over 3 weeks.
Seriously embarrassed, I immediately sent out an apology email to all 20 customers (one at a time, since I had no idea about autoresponders, or lists, or really much of anything!) All I knew is that a miscarriage of online justice needed to be set right.
Then something remarkable happened
Almost everyone had found another way to get my book, but the husband of one artist immediately emailed me and asked: what else can you do to help my artist wife sell her art?
I laid out a basic coaching package (heck, I didn’t even know what a coach was back then!), and the next thing I knew, they put me on a year-long retainer and the rest is art-career coaching history.
This was my conversion to the Silver Lining theory: behind every cloud, there is a Silver Lining. The key to this theory is every.
Am I really so naive?
It’s true that you can’t keep me down long, no matter what the circumstances (and I’ve been thru some doozies!), and that you can deadpan me into believing almost anything for at least 30 seconds.
But at my core, I believe in the reality of my own experience.
So the researcher in me decided to test out the Silver Lining theory. (Getting a doctorate really cements this natural tendency!)
Pretending is prelude
Immediately, I realized that I had to send my skeptical self out of the room, or she’d cloud the results. In order to find out, I had to pretend that I believed all bad things were really good things in disguise.
I also understood that I had to give any event in my life time to reveal the Silver Lining. To do this, I had to pretend that time did not exist relative to good events showing up at the party of my life.
Fast forward ten years later
I don’t have time or space to list the hundreds of Silver Linings that I discovered with this simple approach. The smARTist Telesummit alone holds at least 100 incidents where I thought everything was going to hell in a hand basket, and instead gave me roses.
The key turned out to be pretending that I believed. That set me up to actually notice the Silver Linings. And slowly I understood that many, many Silver Linings slip behind our screen of disbelief unnoticed.
Tinkerbell does not have to die
Now here we all are, with everyone and everything around us screaming that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and we can’t save Tinkerbell just by believing.
Are you going to buy what they are selling?
Or is it just possible there is a Silver Lining here, waiting for you to notice?
And, oh, yes, and here is that book on Writing Your Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work that started this snowball…
Check it out, and then tell me – what’s your favorite silver lining?