I bought a book last week called The Noticer ; Sometimes all a person needs is a little perspective by Andy Andrews. It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down after reading the first few sentences. It took me all of about five hours to finish it, but the words and stories in this little book set my mind to thinking about it all week.
The central character is a beloved old vagabond named Jones who seems to magically appear to assist people when they are at a crossroads in their lives. His gift is the ability help people shift their perspectives on their situations in order to see possibilities that didn’t appear to exist prior to these heartfelt talks.
While the book is filled with wonderful parables about life, love, marriage, career and even death, the idea that has been sticking in my head for this month’s Create Mixed Media column was the sage advice Jones gave to a homeless young man about success.
Have you ever wondered why it is that some people seem to have one bad thing happen after another, while others have the midis touch? What is it that makes some people struggle while others appear to receive opportunity after opportunity? The perspective offered in The Noticer boils down to attitude and personality.
Having a positive attitude can go a long way when it comes to business success. The people in the office who are generally well-liked, who appear to let things roll off their backs and manage to steer away from negative chatter are often the people most liked by their peers and superiors. Opportunities often come their way because their good reputations encourage friends to keep them in mind as they hear about so-and-so needing help with something or a task that might just be up their alley.
Contrast this person with the other guy you know in your office—the one that people call the “walking raincloud” under their breaths because if there is something wrong or blame to placed you can bet this is the man to do it. When a great new opportunity comes up, you know Mr. Raincloud is not forefront in anyone’s mind.
Yeah . . . so what does this have to do with marketing and public relations, you ask? Not much, other than I consider myself to me a noticer of sorts too. I’ve noticed that when I get into situations where I talk to other artists in groups of half-dozen or more, there always seems to be a couple of people whose careers appear to be on fire.
As others ask them how they got that fabulous new teaching gig in Bora Bora, or what is the topic of their fourth book, or how they snagged a solo show at a great gallery, I’ve noticed that it’s often the people with the positive attitudes and the true likeability factor who are doing most of the talking. Yes, they are talented, but I have yet to be in a roomful of artists who aren’t talented. The truth of the matter is, these people just seem to have a kind of inner light that shines through. They are being their true selves, living their passion and creating opportunity after opportunity based on their hard work and positive nature.
These people don’t have to know one iota about marketing and PR strategies because they’re already doing the things that get them noticed by others.
Jen Cushman is a natural storyteller who found mixed media art a decade ago and never looked back. She is drawn to the imperfect, the funky, the quirky, the artsy and the authentic: be it people or objects or art. She writes a business advice column for artists at CreateMixedMedia.com and also for Belle Armoire Jewelry. She’s also the Director of Education and Marketing for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin®. To learn more, visit her website www.jencushman.com.
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