If all goes as planned, four weeks from now I'll be flying to Portugal to do two marketing workshops with artists in Lisbon and Porto. When I first got the invite, I did the natural thing:
I wondered if it was all a hoax.
Once it became clear that this legit I did the second natural thing:
I wondered what the hell I was going to say to them.
Obviously this isn't my first rodeo in terms of doing marketing workshops for artists. You may heard that I'm doing one next week but I was still concerned.
I got caught up the differences. Different language, different culture. Would we be able to relate to each other or would this be a week of words flying over heads?
So with the miracle of Skype I spoke with the event coordinators and asked the sort of questions I always ask before I get to work:
What's going on?
What problems do they have?
Then I listened.
You can guess what I heard. Their problems are exactly like your problems (and mine). They want to promote the value of art. They have limited time, money and other resources but they want to effectively connect their art to an audience. The world they (and me, and you) live in is competitive and cluttered and they want to find a way to stand out.
The good news for me is solving those problems is right up my alley. That makes me less nervous to take the trip.
The good news for you is that we all share the same problems.
Good news? Yeah. It is. It's good news because if we all face the same problems then the solutions can come from anywhere and anyone. We can study other artists, other organizations and other industries. We can learn from them and speed up our own learning curve. There is tremendous opportunity in that. We just have to take advantage of it.
Universal problems. Specific solutions. Available to anyone. That's a wonderful world.