Wrestling Through Transformation

I work with many creative clients. Lately there seems to be an overwhelming theme amongst our conversations It’s all about “When’s it gonna HAPPEN already?!”
Money’s getting tight. You are having to decide between food or electricity. You figure ramen noodles are cheap and you need electricity for your laptop so you can get gigs and get paid and pay your bills.
You’ve sent out what feels like a million marketing emails with only a sprinkling of responses back.
You’ve spent on equipment, on workshops, on business cards, on headshots, on comp cards, on ads…your account is shrinking with no end in sight.
Image result for empty wallet cartoon
You are starting to doubt your work, your life, your existence and all you want right now is some RELIEF!
I get it. I really do. The truth is, this part SUUUUUUUUCKS.
This is also the part where you are developing the key factor that will determine your ultimate success. Grit.
The thing about grit is that you can’t just develop it in a comfortable, temperature controlled room, wrapped in a fluffy blanket. Things have to be hard so you have the opportunity to choose to persevere through it.
What good would a superhero story be without a huge battle that needed to be won?
Have you ever seen a butterfly emerge from a cocoon? That little thing has to WORK! Or a chick peck it’s way out of an egg? It’s not like it was say “Ugh, this is too freaking hard and all I have is this weird tooth beak thing to bust out with? Forget this noise…” That bird is like “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” pecking at the shell bit by bit.
Lately I’ve been think of the story from the Old Testament of the Bible of Jacob wrestling with the Angel. To sum it up, Jacob did some jerk moves including stealing his brother Esau’s blessing from their father. When Jacob was returning home and about to face his brother again, he comes face to face with a messenger of God (it may have been actual God but, either way, it was someone pretty high up the ladder.) The two start wrestling, and the Messenger tries to tap out because it is almost morning but Jacob refuses to quit until he receives God’s blessing. Which he does receive in the end.
There are plenty of days where I am frustrated and I just want to catch a break and maybe I just need to go back to hiding out in a safe cubicle and…and…and…That’s when I have to dig deep, quiet my mind, and affirm to myself “I’m NOT going to stop until I get my blessing. Even if I have to wrestle all night long.”
There will come a point in your creative business where you start to doubt yourself. Your choices are getting slim and you are getting frustrated. Those are the moments to hunker down and KNOW only those with true grit will succeed.
You were given the spirit of a creator…and it was not given to you in vain. Push, pull, jump, claw, do what you need to do to move yourself forward.