Is There a Hole in YOUR Bucket?

bucketThere’s an old folk song that tells the story of a man who complains to his wife about having found a hole in their bucket. The song begins simply with, “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, a hole.” Google it and download the wonderful Carnegie Hall version with Harry Belafonte and Odetta on Utube. Then come back and finish reading my post.

Welcome back! Spoiler alert: here comes the gist of this great song.

She says “fix it” and he replies “with what?” She says with straw and he says the straw is too long. She says to cut it and he asks, with what? She says (and if you took a few minutes to watch the performance you are lol like crazy when she says this) “WITH AN AX Dear Henry!”

But the ax is too dull, dear Liza. So sharpen it. With what? With a stone. But the stone is too dry dear Liza. Well…WET IT, dear Henry. With what? TRY WATER. With what shall I fetch it, dear Liza. With a bucket dear Henry…..

But there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza….

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we cannot let a hole in our buckets become an impossible and never-ending loser loop. We are tasked to find solutions that are out of the box…er…bucket. We are the masterminds of creative thoughts and we have the power to control a great deal of our circumstances. We must not allow the holes around us influence our forward momentum.

Instead of letting that hole in our bucket stop an entire project – we creative types think of all the materials that can hold water, like a pair of blue jean legs, or a pair of boots. What about stuffing a sock in it? In the bucket that is.

What about walking the stone to the water and wetting it and honing the ax and doing the entire repair near the water? Yes, I know that ruins the song’s delightful conclusion. But Henry is clearly very lazy or dull-minded or both. Are those characteristics you want to be identified with?

If you are reading this and not automatically starting to meander in your mind for other ways to fetch water or more easily repair your “buckets”, then you may just want to join in song and remain hampered, a victim of circumstances, a helpless bystander.

Just know this: You have solutions. Don’t make up reasons to hold yourself back. And when you start blaming or complaining about circumstances beyond your control, take a step back and take back the control.

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up up and AWAY!

BEHIVE-WEB-SIZE

Bees do it – and we can too!

I pass this spot next to a fast-moving highway quite often and always wonder: How did this happen? How did the bee keeper come to discover there were bees here? Who considers using a ladder to secure a bee colony? What was the bee keeper doing on that fateful day? I see him once in a while at his main hive “camp” several hundred yards away. He has 3 or 4 dozen hives there – plenty to keep him busy, I’m sure.

Was he just strolling along the highway one day and voilà!? Seriously, it is a busy 4 lane highway just 30 feet away from where I shot this picture. I was nervous just getting out of my car. Who takes a stroll along a highway on a search for wild swarms of bees?

Why would he pursue such a complex arrangement when he has dozens of neatly stacked hives requiring very little effort to care for?  Why risk falling off a ladder just for a few more jars of honey?

And then, I realized that this is what I have been doing for years. I find myself looking for people I can help and ways to help small business owners in every conversation and engagement. I learned decades ago that growing a business sometimes requires reaching out in unique ways. I have ladders placed all around my life, my business, and my client’s businesses, too.

I can’t begin to express to each of you reading this just how important it is to reach higher than you ever think is possible (or necessary). If we think outside the box and really focus on the goals and think BIG – the sky’s the limit. We cannot reach our goals without occasionally taking a walk where it seems most unlikely – even dangerous – when we are building our businesses.

We must always be observing the entire landscape for opportunities. Check those crevices, too. And, yes…. we sometimes need to raise a ladder to reach the full potential of those opportunities.

Occasionally, we all need to look away from the ubiquitous screens we all have in our lives. Look “up, up, and AWAY!” from time to time. In fact, maybe you should consider using a ladder for a truly different perspective? And if you can find someone who can help you steady the ladder, creating a secure path to new opportunities – all the better.

I have lots of ladders to share and a strong foundation to lean against. So if you think you have an opportunity, but are not sure how to “capture” the best results, feel free to contact me anytime.

But whatever you do, take a walk on the wild side once in a while. And bring a ladder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avoid These Top 3 Artist Statement Mistakes.

I “repair” artist statements as part of my consulting practice. Often, this is what serves as the “about” page for an artist’s website or as the small bio used for the back of a limited-edition work or otherwise included as a hand-out with 2 and 3 dimensional works when sold in a gallery or fine craft venue.

What I see often is an over-riding need to seem deep or reflective or unique. People often string together thoughts that will make them seem “artist-like”. They get out a thesaurus and a blender and just hope for the best.

Top Three Mistakes
1. too long
2. too much history
3. too technical

So when I first read an artist’s statement, and I see 4 or five paragraphs – I know I will have to do some negotiating. Then when the first sentence mentions childhood passions – I know I will have to do some negotiating. And then when they describe the various mediums and the techniques and the various schools of art that have influenced them…. well, it often is simply an attempt to pump oneself up by “dazzling” potential clients.

There is rarely any need for more than 50 words, rarely any need to refer to the past, and rarely any reason to discuss technique. By avoiding those top three mistakes, a clear and compelling statement usually rises from the ashes.

Always assume that the person who clicks on that link simply wants to know what you are thinking. They are curious about what informs you about your art and its creation. They want to connect to you as a person. They just “want to get to know you”.

So keep it simple, keep it informative, and keep it on a 6th grade level of understanding.

And above all – keep it short!

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I know you have been wondering and waiting.

Aloha from Maui,

I finally heard the question too many times: Do you have a Blog? The answer from now on is YES!

As this is my début, this shall also serve as my one and only FORMAL INVITATION. Please join up and together we will all become better business owners. Let me know who you are and what I can do to be of service.

I have no plans to do anything fancy with this information. As it stands, I am still quite (quite!!) busy with my jewelry line and will be very careful to take on more than I can handle outside of that “day job”. But, I really expect to be helpful to your business someday. I am known for my selfless desire to bring good results and often turn away business when I know I might not be the right partner. I will always be serving you to provide the BEST outcome.

It may not be obvious, but I can only help those who trust me. I have plenty of people raving about my value to their businesses and I only want to add to that list of happy clients. This is another reason why I don’t take on any and every project that finds it’s way in my inbox.

So, If you think that you might need my help at ANY time – that you might need a few of “My Golden Words™” (or even a lot of my words!), then I insist that you fill out this contact information. I Insist! (Can you see my finger pointing at you!?)

Again…no worries – it’s just between you and me. If you want immediate help, call me if you are in my time zone – Maui time! Otherwise, check out this clock.

Fill this out in either case – (I am persistent in my insistence!) Scroll past the form for extra reasons to sign up!

What to expect?

My goal is to put up some juicy tidbits of advice from time to time.

Maybe every two weeks or so, I will let loose with some ideas. I might add links to stuff I have found helpful, too. And every once in a while, I hope to be uniquely helpful to my fellow artists and makers with spot on advice. As many already have experienced, I have some short-cuts to getting better at marketing, sales, and building ones business into a stable and rewarding income generator. Of course, my claim to fame is “My Golden Words™”. I can really have a big impact on your marketing materials.

Please spend a few moments to check me out.

I look forward to establishing a long and mutually enriching relationship in the near future.

Gentle Breezes from Maui…

Mckenna

PS: here’s a few of my future blog subjects in no particular order. I  just have to tempt you to stay around:

  • pricing for success.
  • pics that peak interest.
  • craft a successful craft event.
  • begging gets you table scraps.
  • are you still blaming the economy?
  • how much is that doggie in the window?
  • you will want to print this and post it where you will see it everyday.
  • why would you pay extra?

Now do you see why I am insisting that you sign-up? I am gonna wow you!

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