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« Motivation: What Artists Can Learn About Perception from Winston Churchill - Lesson 2 | Main | Social Media: Streamline Your Social Media Activities »

Motivation: What Artists Can Learn About Persistence from Winston Churchill - Lesson 1

Lesson One - Commitment, Focus & Action

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School In 1941 to hear traditional songs he had sung there as a youth. This great orator is often misquoted as saying:
"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give in."
"Never give in. Never give in. Never give in."
"Never give up."

Then he reportedly sat down.

While not quitting was the gist of Churchill's message, there are three great lessons for artists in what he really said in his speech to the students.

"We must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. ...  But when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months - if it takes years - they do it."  -  Winston Churchill

Lesson One.
Make a commitment; focus; take action today and think about where that will take you next

Step One
Ask yourself what you want from your art career and what you are willing to do to get that result. Write your answer down.

I like to use Post-it Notes to create a simplified diagram to get all the clutter of ideas out of my head and on my office wall. (You might start with a visualization and create a Vision Board, as I do before I create the Post-it notes.)

Step Two
The scope and scale of what you want from your art career determines the actions you will take.

Break the desired outcome down into key roles, e.g. making art, marketing art, business administration. (You might break it down differently.)

Step Three

Pick a time frame (6 months or a year, for example) and add details about results you want, then tasks in each of those areas of responsibility, e.g. make 20 pieces of art, book 5 exhibits, update contact data base, etc. (Your tasks will be different, and of course there will be more of them listed as you break down each result area.)

Life happens and it's appropriate to change course when priorities shift. Remember that these are just words on paper or your computer screen. You picked them. You can change them.

We'll see what Churchill has to say about that next time.

P.S. If you need an accountability partner for your art business or someone to roll up sleeves to produce art marketing materials or work on your web site, just let us know. We have a whole team to help you. If you haven't already had one, start with a complimentary 15-minute conversation. Sign up here:

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