Following Henry Ford's Advice
What does the motor industrialist with bitesize, tweetable quotes about leadership and customer experience have to do with our creative liefstyles? Here are a few words from the man himself and then some words from myself on how Henry Ford's life lessons can help us to think about our own work ethic and lifestyle as artists.
Let me know if you find any of them helpful.
‘Quality means doing it right when no one is looking’.
Being an artist with integrity means calling yourself an artist and then creating work which reflects who you are and what you are about. It can be so hard not to compare ourselves, then letting that lead to creating work because we know 'This' is more likely to be shared online or even, to create work that you know is not your best, because you feel pressured to get new content out there (and we all feel that pressure occasionally).
However, are you so dedicated to doing what you do and doing it well that it doesn’t matter if anyone sees it or not?
If you’re not going to at least make it good, then why are you doing it? This isn't about perfection, but making sure that it is your best work. We all have down days creatively, but check back over your recent project(s) occasionally, asking yourself 'Was this a true reflection of my vision as an artist?'. Don't worry yourself too much if it isn't. One of the beauties of creativity is that it is a constant flow and you have future opportunities to make more work, that reflects your artistic vision, again and again.
Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another thing. This is a truth that has become all too real to me at the moment. What usually occurs is that I commit in advance to one thing and then it seems a hundred and one other – just as great – opportunities pop up closer to the time and I result in saying no to all of them because I have already committed myself to something else. I’m almost resentful of the first thing. But then the dates arrive and I am glad in my decision and resolve to not be flaky and unreliable.
Does this sound familiar? It’s not always the result of bad planning and bad time management. Sometimes everything you want and could do is literally all in the same week or weekend or year. And you have to make a choice and say no to somethings that will pinch a bit to say no to.
We just have to trust that there are other opportunities; other times will arise when we can go and do that other thing which we wanted to do.
Or just stop saying yes to anything unless it’s completely last minute and so you can’t possibly have anything else come up within that time which would clash so… Risky move though isn’t it? And yes, something else will come up to show you that you can’t be that stupid and that clever at the same time. It just will.
And so I repeat: We have to trust that there will be more opportunities; different times again will come, and then we will go and we will do the next thing we which were meant to do.
Where there’s a plan, there’s a way. Sometimes you have to say no to one good thing in order to do the thing you were meant to do. And then see where that leads.
“Those who are lost in their passion are less lost than those who have lost their passion.”
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Clare Louise Roberts
Singer Songwriter, Actress, Poet and all round Creative, passionate about sharing, ideas, collaboration and seeing other people develop their skills and passions.
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