You Can’t Control Outcomes; But You Can Control Your Work Ethic
Have you ever felt like you were getting nowhere with a project?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way!
I suppose it’s only fair that I lay out an example…
Back in the early days of my band, I organized a postal mail campaign.
I spent hours digging up addresses of potential venues, writing a form letter and printing it up, stuffing and stamping envelopes, etc. I even enrolled my sister in stuffing and addressing hundreds or envelopes.
When we finally sent out the first batch of letters to Canadian venues, we got three responses, only one of which even had the potential of becoming a real opportunity (unfortunately, we lost touch with our one enthusiastic contact in Hope, BC).
Clearly, the postal mail campaign wasn’t working out. I still wanted to send out the 1,500 envelopes we’d prepared for U.S. venues, until I realized just how much that was going to cost.
Nowadays, for Canadians, postage rates for mail addressed to the U.S. starts at $1.30.
1,500 letters x $1.30 per letter = $1,950!
It might have been a little cheaper back when we were thinking about sending out those letters, but not by much. This is what happens when you don’t think everything through…
So, not only was I experiencing the frustration of not getting anywhere with booking a tour (let alone a few shows), I even had hard evidence to suggest our campaign was going to be a dismal failure.
Who knows what would have happened if we had sent out those U.S. letters. Maybe we would have booked a few shows. But $2,000 would have been a big risk to take on when the initial response to our campaign was so underwhelming.
Knowing what I know today about postal mail, direct mail, and direct response marketing, this campaign would have gone very differently. But sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.
Finding your path as an artist may feel like navigating a minefield, but it’s critical to realize that outcomes are out of your control.
What is in your control is being in action. Doing something.
Copywriting legend Gary Halbert’s favorite saying was:
Motion beats meditation.
Marketing expert Dan S. Kennedy says:
… a bad decision or wrong decision is better than no decision, because if the decision leads to action, it is easier to correct the course of someone or something already in motion than it is to get someone or something into motion from inertia.
We obsess over right actions and right strategy, when really, the trick to getting going is – surprise! – getting going. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and that’s the point we want to get to as artists.
If you really want 2023 to be a breakthrough year in your artistic career, this is what you must focus on – getting into action. Producing as you have never produced before.
If you can’t control the outcome anyway, focusing on work ethic is word to the wise. And now is the time to find your stride.
If you want to produce as you never have before, both in terms of quality and quantity, then you need a copy of my Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook, which features an articles anthology along with everything I’ve ever published in a book on the topic of productivity.
Normally, the book costs $57 USD, but you can pre-order it until February 28, 2023 for just $10 USD.