I’m stubborn. Awkward (occered is how we’d pronounce that where I come from).

This is not a solutions post. This is about .. I think you and I are the same. Occered.

I’ve bounced off a few coaches in the last year or so. We talk, and they conclude that I’m unteachable.

They are right, and absolutely wrong.

The reality is I spend all day learning. My night-time routine involves .. OK it literally is:

Bedtime reading pile A

That’s just my night-time routine. On the back of the loo are books on the history of the Russian revolution, copywriting in politics, understanding water, political activism, storytelling, running, leadership psychology, new games, the seashore, art, developing open source software, and more psychology.

That’s before we get to what happens in a working day.

I am nothing if not a learner.

I’m also occered.

Bedtime reading pile B

Maybe you watch Top Gear. Back in the day, they had Ellen MacArthur as the star in the reasonably priced car. Here, they put celebrities in a regular car. An anonymous character they call The Stig, purportedly a professional racing driver, tutors them around a track, and they try to get around as fast as possible. Their time goes up on a leaderboard.

MacArthur wasn’t happy with her performance and wanted to go around again. She thought she could do better. They wouldn’t let her.


Because she had the fastest time of anyone.

5’2″ Ellen MacArthur, in the world of petrolheads, won.


Here’s my theory.

She’s a woman.

As a man in that situation, here’s what I would do.

I would listen to The Stig.

I would do my best.

But I would have to add my own secret sauce. Do my own thing.

I would do what The Stig said, to a point. And then I’d add me into it.

Why? Well what’s the point, if I just do what The Stig tells me, it would be that The Stig won. I would literally feel resentment at winning. But if there’s some of me in it, then I could own the victory.

Like I say. Occered.

I don’t think Ellen MacArthur thought like that. I think she did exactly everything The Stig told her.

I think about that a lot. I wish I was different. And I may be. I’m coming round.

Coaches say “I can give you success, but you have to do everything I say” and that sounds like getting a proper job.

The point of saying all that is .. I wonder if you are the same.

The reason I work for myself is that same reason. If I win, I want it to be down to me.

So, I don’t want to work myself up through corporate ranks. That’s not success, for me.

I want to follow my nose, keep learning, and build something. So when I retire or die, it’s obvious what I did.

Small-room reading

When I’ve gone to art galleries with other artists, one of the things they do is get really up close with the art. They want to see the technique, to see how it was done. Learning, techniques, practising, it’s embedded in us.

And yes, having a mentor is certainly something that’s probably standard in the arts world.

I’m just wondering if the same thing drives you. Because you’ve obviously jumped ship. You don’t work for an insurance company or a retailer. Why’s that? Do you want to follow your nose too?

Do you want to spend your days not being told what to do?

One of the things arch marketer Frank Kern says is: no is not no. It’s just, you haven’t found the key.

You, dear reader, are here because you want to build your practice, sell more of your art, get a bit more financial stability, be paid what you’re worth, feel better about yourself, be able to support your family and so on.

So whether you buy my training course or coaching or PDFs or not is more about the method, the medium than it is that you don’t want what I can do for you. You may want the outcome I offer, but the way I’m suggesting to get you there may not be the right shape for you today. It might be tomorrow. Or I could try a different key (price/method).

I need to be able to help you in a way that you are open to being helped. Maybe you’re open to a course of videos. Or you just want the essence on a PDF. Or maybe you would really respond if I were to mentor you personally.

That’s why we say you should provide postcards of your work through to full-on large scale works up to spending a week’s retreat with you. People have different needs.

What’s brought this on? Well, I’m reading Real Artists Don’t Starve .. I recommend it, by the way, and I’m looking at the bit about being an apprentice. He says “you cannot become great on your own”.

I may need to swallow that down, because I really wish it were not so. I really don’t like gatekeeping and hierarchy.

The rules for becoming an apprentice, according to Goins, are to be patient, to persevere, and to be humble (in order to be worthy).

To be honest, I’m going to find all of those hard.

I don’t know, maybe I’m pretty good at persevering.

Anyway I have signed up to a mastermind class and it starts on Monday.

So that’s another thing to add to my bedtime, or morning, routine.

The other reason to mention all this is because I’m creating a course, for you. And I want you to embrace it and not to trigger your occeredness.

Because from this side .. it’s like the band I’m in. I just want the audience to have a great time. That’s it. That’s my only pleasure. I feel no ego in being in the band, I’m not looking for limelight. I want no credit for anything. I want no-one to look up to me (although I’m 6’6″ tall so it does happen). I just want to see people in the room having a great time.

And the same with the course. I just want you to have more art opportunities, to sell your art, to find more people who love what you do, to have galleries call and want to stock your work, for more people to be changed by your message. My pleasure lies in your success. I’m happy if you’re happy. That’s it. I’ve nearly 40 years of marketing experience & I’m here to help.

So maybe, if you are a fellow occered bugger, I’m putting my occeredness aside and going on this masterclass. Maybe you could take the plunge too when I launch this search marketing course of mine.*

I’m really curious if I’m right. Maybe it’s just me being occered. Maybe it just runs in my family (it does, but maybe it’s in yours too).

Did this strike a chord with you, or do you not recognise it at all? I’d love to hear from you either way .. leave a comment or drop me an email at hello@sellyourart.blog

* 1 Nov 2019

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