What does ‘be all in’ mean to you?
In the dictionary “all in” refers to being drained, exhausted or done in for the day.
Not quite right!
In poker, it has a slightly different meaning…done for the night, or all your chips in on the last hand?
I didn’t find a meaning that fit my idea until I came across a financial investor site.
Definition from Investorwords.com:
“The process of putting everything or all of a specific item into something. Items that can literally or figuratively be put all in to something include time, money, energy, or other resources.”
This is what I’m talking about!
This is what I’m learning to do with my creativity, too.
My life as a creative person involved seeing my talents as hobbies for fun or gifting, or a skill to be used for other business needs. Writing, designing, researching can be incorporated into many aspects of business and that’s what I did for decades, while I wrote poetry that no one ever saw. Crafts… well, they made great decor and gift items.
About 15 years ago I began sharing my writing with a writing group I joined, then with my partner and finally in the last few years with family and friends.
Still…it was something I was good at, but couldn’t conceive I was good enough that people would actually BUY it.
It was only recently that I began to develop the confidence that I could create a business that would market these talents, instead of some other product.
When we perceive a talent or skill as a hobby (i.e. not valued by society as a source of income) we tend to relegate it to spare time rather than prime time.
We tend to put it at the bottom of the priority list. Not dedicate time to producing or developing our craft. Or we avoid it altogether by watching other people live their dreams on TV.
What stops us from committing our time, energy and money to focus on what we love? Perhaps even creating a lucrative career from them?
I don’t believe it’s really all the excuses we’ve come up with over the years. I believe it’s based on our FEARS.
Not being good enough to…
Being ridiculed or ostracized by …
Failing at …
Wasting our time on…
Living on the streets like the poor artists/writers we’ve heard about!
The list goes on and yours is unique to you, but we all have one.
In order to ‘be all in’, we need to start by liberating ourselves from these limiting fears, then delving into what really gives us pleasure. We’ll explore the rest of the process soon, but first let’s deal with those hidden fears.
- 1. Write down 5 or more consequences you are afraid of if you focus on your creative talents.
- 2. Examine each of them. Are they based on your experience, others’ experience or things you’ve learned from family, friends or society? Or perhaps they’re simply based on your own lack of confidence.
- 3. Write down at least one strategy to help you overcome each fear. e.g. read a book or watch a movie that inspires you; research people who write, create music or art; take a class to help you develop your talents and asses your potential, etc.
- 4. Set aside a segment of time each day/week to enjoy your talents without guilt and begin to create a plan for building on your talents and monetizing them. Turn off the TV, get up early or reserve part of your weekend for your own personal ‘artist’s day’.
- 5. Find a mentor. It could be a fellow artist/writer/musician, a friend you trust, a teacher or family member. Confide your dream and ask for support and honest feedback. If you like social media, look for groups with similar interests. Google+ is a good place to start. If you like meeting in person, look for meetup.com groups in your area.
For some of us, this last step may be the hardest and you might not find the right person on the first try.
It’s an ongoing process, but the first step is to begin.
If you already have a mentor or artist tribe, it may seem like a no-brainer. Perhaps you are the ones who can reach out and support the budding artists in your community.
I didn’t find my writer tribe until I was in my 50’s…but that was mostly because I never had the courage to ask. Don’t be that person. There are so many people, both young and old, with dreams of a life focused on what they love to do. People like you, perhaps, who also need a mentor.
For fun, watch Eat that Frog to inspire you to get started.
Then, take a big gulp and join us, subscribe or comment to let us know your thoughts.
Next Post: Finding your passion, pleasure & peace