In March I have the privilege of joining 100 people from all over the world and participating in a program called the Alt MBA
Over the next weeks I'll share some things I'm learning, starting with this insight from the soon to be released book The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier. In the book he talks about seven key questions and I love question six:
If you're saying Yes to this what are you saying No to?
I love this question because it reminds us that every decision we make, in both our personal and professional lives, has a set of consequences.
For example, when I first started my consulting career I often worked with arts organizations with relatively small budgets. Often we would talk about increasing their fundraising capacity. I would encounter a lot of resistance in this area. Organizations would talk about not wanting to "beg" for money or would be worried that high value donors could end up running the company by proxy.
So in essence they were saying "Yes" to their desire to be free of a lot of the messiness and complication that comes with fundraising for the arts.
But I would remind them that they were saying "No" to some things as well.
For example they might be saying "no" to paying their artists a living wage because its very difficult to do that based solely on ticket sales. The question then becomes whether or not they are comfortable with the possible consequence of that "no".
Of course different organizations would answer that question in different ways. There really isn't a right or wrong answer. What was important is that the organization fully consider the consequences of their choice.
This is so important to those of us who work in the arts because we are constantly confronted with opportunities to say "yes" to things. We can choose our projects and our partners. We can choose how much revenue to generate or not to generate revenue at all.
To make wise choices it's good to consider both what you are saying "yes" to and the inevitable "no" that comes with it.
Reminder: My call for new arts marketing consulting clients has generated some interest and spots are limited so if you want to talk send me an email and let's see if I can help you connect your art to audience.