Monday, February 4, 2013

Lovin' the Hustle

A friend of mine was speaking to me on the phone last week. "I thought I could just create art and be happy. But that's not all there is to it. It's so much 'hustle'!" "Yeah," I said. "Making your own way in the art world is a lot of hustle."

Oh, my dears, I encourage you each and every day to chase your creative dreams. Why would you spend one more second of this beautiful, precious life doing something you hate? Why would you wake up on a day you've been blessed to receive and not be 100% tickled and thrilled that you're alive? Why, in this vast, wide and wonderful world, would you continue down a path that's making your life harder and less fulfilling?

Honeys, I've never said that chasing your dream was easy. Sometimes, it takes true grit to stick to your guns and be who you are, not be who everyone else thinks you should be. Sometimes, it's weathering a million 'no's in the world, just to get one 'yes' and then making that one 'yes' count.

This past week, I appeared on television for the first time in my adult life promoting this Visionary Bri project. How did I get on television? I'm glad you asked. I hustled.

See? There's a university in my town and I know that they have 1) a radio station and 2) a television station. And it occurred to me, "They need stories to run on these things. Why can't one of their stories be about me?" So, at 2:00 am on a Monday, I looked up the website for the college television station and I sent them an email.

That's right, honeys. Nobody called me. Nobody said, "Hey. You're so awesome, we'd like to put you on TV." I didn't have to wait for that validation. If you wait for someone else to deem you worthy of publicity and take time out of their day to call you? You're going to be waiting a long time, dear.

Now, I don't say this to sound mean. I just want to give you a dose of reality. Two weeks later, the programming manager emailed me back and said, "Can you tape with us tomorrow?" Out of the blue! It was a great surprise to wake up to. "I'm gonna be on TV, tonight!"

When I went in for my interview taping, do you know what the programming manager said to me? He said, "Thank you, so much, for emailing us. I wish more people would. Most of the time, we're scraping for content. People just don't tell us what they're doing."

Hear that? He was happy that I emailed him. Truthfully, the website had the wrong person's name on it and I emailed the former programming manager. No worries, though. My letter got through to the person who needed to see it to make things happen.

That's the press' job, babies, to write about and report on things. Their job is to tell the world what's going on that they may not know about. If you're happening in your area and no one knows, why should the media not cover you? Aren't you awesome and deserving of a little press? I'd say that you are.

Basically, when you contact the media yourself and say "Look what I'm doing," you're making their job easier. And who doesn't love it when their job is made easier? You just have to give them a reason to cover you. Do you have a good following, already? Are you a local person? Are you doing something new and different?

And now, some tips. For my television appearance, I showed up when it was convenient for them to tape. I figured that they were giving me a big blessing, letting me come on their show, so I was going to make it as easy for them as possible. Also, I was honest and I told the programming manager, "This is my first time doing anything like this. Could you walk me through it?" He was more than happy to explain things to me along the way. His job was to get a good, engaging interview for his station. Mine was to be overflowing with enthusiasm and promote what I do. It was a win-win.

Honeys, my friend was complaining about the 'hustle' of being in a creative line of work. Me? I love it. I love sending out 60 inquiry emails, only getting 5 responses back and (even then) only 2 are a yes. I love the hours spent researching potential markets, potential contributors, potential sponsors. It lets me see a lot of what other people out there are doing and it gives me more ideas.

Flat out, I love the hustle. I think it's great! I love to building of contacts and trying to figure out a way where everyone can get what they need. I love the emailing, the letter writing, the phone calls. Each 'yes' that I get brings me closer to my goal. Each new contact builds this wonderful creative empire and allows me to bring each and every one of you my message of hope, of self love, of joy and wonder, of glitter and tiaras, of ice cream and fun ideas.

This is my advice to you, this week, my darlings. Learn to love the hustle. If you love it and look at it as a blessing, it will take you far. After all, you are essentially promoting the best and most beautiful gift you can offer this world - yourself!

If you look the hustle as a chore, you will become bogged down by it and your true work will suffer. Do whatever you need to do to make it fun for yourself. Send emails while eating your favorite ice cream. Try to find something about the person you're talking to that you like or you respect and TELL THEM about it! Just make it fun.

 Everything about your dream should be fun. It should be an adventure to try new things, see what works and see if you can find a better way to do them. Will a different pen give you better grip to write with? How about writing on unlined paper? What about creating an entire dance built around the concept of octagons? Push yourselves to innovate, my loves, but gently. 

Who says you can't call a television station and say, "Hey! You should interview me!" Who says you can't call up a newspaper and say, "I've got an awesome story for you!" Who says you can't rent out a space and fill it with your watercolors of your feet, then offer to paint visitor's foot portraits?

This world is vast, my beauties. It has room enough for all of us. What will you do with your little slice?

Until next time, please remember that we are all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel!

All my Love,


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