I have been reading two books by Anita Moorjani, Dying to Be Me and What If This Is Heaven? Most of her advice is for individuals, yet it had me thinking how we could apply the meaning to arts business.
One of the concepts is to value yourself. I have put the thought out that we do need to value ourselves before other people will see our value. The world reflects self perceptions. If people continue to see us devaluing ourselves, such as through our pricing and discounting, that is exactly what we will get, people devaluing us. When we value ourselves, it will be easier to build audiences and support from this solid foundation.
Another thought Moorjani communicates is to make decisions from love rather than fear. Are we discounting due to panic? Maybe it would be better to get clear on solutions to filling the seats when we are at a calmer place in the promotion process. I will be discussing more about the barriers of attendance (price included) tomorrow with Ron Evans from Group of Minds on the ADS Podcast. The better solutions are good audience development planning and follow through in advance (in my humble opinion) so there will be nothing to fear in the first place.
A third concept from Moorjani that we could apply to our arts businesses is to fully be ourselves. This means being who we really are and not simply trying to fit into the status quo. When you function without being truly who you are, other people will not see who you are either, and you know that attracting the right audiences means branding properly and being yourself. When the right people do not see you for who you are, it can be detrimental to the health of your arts business. Being yourself is a gift to others, and they will gift back accordingly.
Also, life is meant to be joyful. Again, if it isn’t fun to do, why are you doing it? Because it was always done that way? Because everyone else is doing it?
A final thought I would like to share is the thought that we are all one. This means that competition is a made up human concept that goes directly against the universal truth. It would be better if we could all work together in collaborative ways so everyone in the arts that chooses to be successful is a part of the overall success for the arts. It would also be understood that if one arts business is hurting, we all are hurting. I would much prefer that we band together for the arts in general instead of clamoring to survive as separate entities, especially since the arts collectively continue to be put on the chopping block for funding.
There were many other concepts that we could learn from Moorjani, and I do recommend her books highly. The sooner we evolve to higher ideals of conducting arts business, the sooner the arts will be treasured by the majority. This mentality only serves to build audiences and support for all.
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Chief Audience Builder, Audience Development Specialists
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