It’s not easy to anger me.
Years of meditation help a lot.
But the day I walked into my bedroom and saw a big fat cat turd right in the middle of my pillow, I snapped.
That damn cat, where was he!
I stomped off to the living room, determined to give him a very firm talking to indeed.
Third time he’d done this – twice in the guest room, and now on my own bed?
The little bleeder… stomp stomp.
“Smokiebowie!” I thundered.
Smokiebowie (what? I like giving my cats weird names) knew what was up, and pelted off, hiding under the bed.
The same bed where he had done his business, no less!
Honestly, the gall…
I stomped after him into the bedroom, slammed the door shut, and fell on my hands and knees.
He cowered in the corner, hissing at me.
I dove under the bed, grabbed him by the nape of his neck, and dragged him out.
And proceeded to tell him off.
(I don’t hit creatures, so I didn’t hurt him or anything – but I sure did tell him everything my angry little mind could think of, about how a cat ought to behave and how angry I was).
I was irate and irrational. Angry.
He looked me in the eye – afraid and (I thought) guiltily.
We didn’t talk much the rest of the day.
And the next day…
Oh man, I still feel horrible and ashamed about it.
The next day, just as I was walking in the door, I saw an ugly old tomcat race through the living room, into the guest room, and I heard the window rattle as he forced himself out through the crack.
And my heart broke.
My tiny little furry friend – I had gotten so angry with him, when in reality he had nothing to do with it.
It had been that nasty stray that had come in, probably to bully my buddy, and to invade his territory.
This, an embarrassing example of how terribly wrong we can be when we assume things.
So how does that relate to selling art?
Well, there’s a reason that we have science and reason.
There’s a ton of sense in knowing, rather than assuming.
Because the things we assume, I’m pretty sure we’re most all the time wrong about them.
When sales aren’t happening, don’t assume you know why – get investigative about it instead.
When someone looks at your painting and walks on – don’t assume it’s too expensive: ask the guy or gal.
When your site isn’t converting, don’t assume you need more traffic: ask yourself if it’s set up for conversions.
When a gallery or expo turns you down, don’t assume your work isn’t good enough – try to figure out if you’re the right match, and if there are other venues that would pick you up.
One that tons of artists fall prey to?
Assuming that if your work doesn’t sell, you need to lower your prices.
But thinking, analysing, and above all: listening – that rocks.
That tells you something that you can work with.
Maybe not with certainty, but enough to test and see what works.
That’s why the next LEAP newsletter is about exactly how to not assume, but listen, ask, test, and iterate.
And, yes: sell.
And it’s going to include business lessons and sales tips from one of the worlds best self-help/business teachers ever.
Deadline is tomorrow, so go here to sign up on time –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/