TALENT gets you noticed, MAYBE and looks, sure, for a moment.
But the only thing that gets you a seat at the table in this town, is FORCE OF PERSONALITY
I’m talking about complete and utter confidence in WHO YOU ARE.
When you have that, people are drawn to you–they don’t know why–but suddenly they NEED you.
And they will turn their lives inside out, to BE with you.
But you have to work your ASS off.
And you have to be the one, willing to do the things that SCARE everybody else to death.
That’s the difference between TALENT and SUCCESS.
This conversation happened between a budding new actress and her agent in a new show called The Arrangement.
The new mid-century inspired fence at our friends cabin in Sooke (Vancouver Island) this past weekend.
I loved this so much because it explains so many things.
Why there are so many gifted and talented artists in the world who are BROKE. When I meet these talented people, I always think “That’s just not fair”.
Even I have said this at some point: “Look at that person, how good they are at marketing, they’re not even talented”.
Internet marketers that I follow, will say things like, “Hey, you only need to tape 15 minutes of content a week and then–look-it’s-so-easy-anyone-can-do-it–you just break it all up into smaller sound bytes and spread it around on all of your other social media marketing channels.”
Even if this were true, there’s a lot of preparation and time that taping a GOOD 15 minute video takes.
“You only need to work really hard for the first few years, after that you can coast.”
WRONG. There’s no such thing as coasting. That is a big LIE.
Internet marketers selling ‘The Dream’ of ‘Making money working from home’ will say that to get you to buy their products. Then, once you’re in, they tell you how hard you have to work.
If any of you follow Gary Veynerchuk, all he does, is talk about how hard he works and how hard you have to work if you want to have the life you’re dreaming about. His rantings about this on his video blogs, Instagram, Insta stories and Snapchat are famous.
But Gary has a social media agency where he works with Fortune 500 companies. He’s not selling anything to you or me, except maybe a book. And then when ever he launches one, he’ll say, “Hey everyone, you know how much awesome free content you get from me, and how I never ask for anything? Well, I’m asking now, please buy my book”.
Force of personality.
I love this one because I have that around my system. Anyone who has attended my workshop will agree with that.
Do I have complete and utter confidence in who I am in every other area of my life?
HECK NO. I secretly and not so secretly (because many of you know this about me) worry that I turn people off by my oversharing and direct personality. And I have the evidence to prove it, trust me.
But I certainly have complete and utter confidence around what I do in the world of colour.
I have put in my–at this point–20,000 hours. And colour is no longer a mystery for me. And my mission in life is to make it less of a mystery for everyone else too.
And do I work my ass off?
Our friends cabin decor. A vintage mid century bird.
Does it look like that when I’m talking about leaving town Friday morning to go to the Island for the weekend (where I was this weekend)?
No, but what you don’t know is that I usually take Friday afternoons off because by then, around noon, I’m just burnt out from writing and working all week.
Then Saturday is my full day off.
Sunday, I’m back to writing again because I’ll have a post that I need to get published for Monday or at the very latest, Tuesday.
If I’m particularly excited about a topic I’m writing about, I’ll write anytime. Right now it’s 9:52 on Saturday morning and I’ve been writing this post since 6:45 AM, right after I posted two images on my Instagram feed, after I got up at approximately 6:15 AM.
Does that just sound like too much work?
It might, but when you do what you love, it mostly doesn’t feel like you’re working.
And I also want to let you in on something else you might not know about me.
I didn’t know I had this driven, type A personality until I discovered my passion.
Up until then, I worked in different sales jobs, because often if you’re not formally educated (which I wasn’t) you’re either in food service or sales.
Even when I did my first colour course and decided I wanted to be an internationally known colour consultant, I still can’t say I ‘worked my ass off’ at that point. I struggled like everyone else, being self employed where business is up and down, working out of a paint store to build my experience. For some of you, that looks like a retail job in design somewhere or maybe you have a line of products you sell to the design industry.
Two shades of grey here, what are the undertones? (taken in Sooke while touring around)
One thing I did do though, was book colour consultations if someone wanted one almost at ANY TIME and often at the VERY LAST MINUTE. I wanted to be able to walk into any house and know instantly what the right colour was and that did happen, but only after I’d been in literally hundreds of homes over a period of four years.
Am I willing to do the things that SCARE EVERYBODY ELSE TO DEATH?
One thing I kept doing as I grew in my career, even though it scared me, was ASK FOR THE MONEY. Designers have a really hard time doing this, they become friends with their clients and then it’s over, now they’re working for almost free.
But every time I didn’t open my mouth and ask, I would give myself a lecture later in my car and I would promise myself that next time, no matter how uncomfortable I was, I would ask.
When I first started working in the paint store selling colour consultations, our rate, back in the day, was $50 an hour. Well right away I thought “Who can survive on that?” We have to drive to their house and drive back? That’s NOT enough money. So right away when asked what we charged to make a personal visit, I would say, “We charge $50 an hour and it’s a minimum of 90 minutes”. So, then, even if I had picked all their colours in one hour, I would make $75.
I think that contributed to why I got fired after only two months of being in that first store. Not because there’s anything wrong with that, but probably more because I was making up the rules on my own. When I talk about the business of colour on day 3 of my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops, I advise everyone to bill a minimum of two hours when they go out to a clients home.
We give our best, money saving advice in that first visit and it’s a disservice to the client and to you if you go ANYWHERE for just one hour.
But after being fired, I did not give up and that’s why I’m here today.
Anyway, it wasn’t until I started getting some traction with my blog, that I started working harder and harder. And I was happy. I wasn’t working for anyone else anymore, and that was a huge relief for me, being in charge of my own universe helped drive me forward.
When Terreeia (my VP of Business Development/Slave Driver) makes loving suggestions like “Maria, everyone’s doing Facebook live, you should do it too”. That’s when I cringe, freak out at her and start stressing about video.
That wasn’t the platform I started on, eight years ago, so it doesn’t come easily for me. Plus I’m not 30 and cute anymore. I have wrinkles. . . and bags under my eyes. . . and it’a harder to look good in the spur of the moment.
I need makeup. . . and the light has to be just right. . . it would be nice if it was proper to always take a selfie with anyone who wants a picture with you, at least there would be some hope of getting a natural smile when you can see yourself, haha. See example below:
Maria Killam (my new glasses)
When you really and truly find out what your gift in life is, and you do it long enough where you get some experience under your belt you start getting more BRAVE. The confidence will begin to shine from within you and then you’ll become a force of personality.