I was on a virtual meeting with some fellow business owners and the question of leadership came up (y’all know I’m passionate about that topic).
Specifically, what is the appropriate tone to take right now with the thousands or tens of thousands of people who comprise our audience? SHOULD we still market our offerings? SHOULD we email our tips for navigating confusing times? SHOULD we talk about our own fears and worries?
I spoke up — as I often do — and said, “Well… I’m reminding the showbiz creatives I’m here to serve that we are BUILT for this stuff.”
*blink* *blink* *blink*
Think about it. We’re artists. We’re storytellers. Our work is to heal the world through the context we provide.
We take feelings audiences don’t always have words for and make art with them. That’s our job. Always has been, always will be.
As artists, we are used to strong emotions. We USE them in our art.
As storytellers, we love wild rides. We CREATE those in our stories.
As creatives, we don’t fear uncertainty. We LIVE in the grey area.
We have a unique advantage right now, we creatives: In addition to knowing what to DO with our emotions (create things; you *are* creating things with all these feelings, right?!?) we feel less thrashed about by all the changes and the general wobbliness of the foundation right now.
Not know what’s gonna happen next? WE LIVE THAT REALITY EVERY DAMN DAY OF OUR LIVES!
Why would we ever fear that? It’s our chosen lifestyle, y’all!
So today I ask you to step up as the leader you are and role model for others what it looks like to be okay with not knowing what’s going to happen next. To have no idea what “normal” feels like for a nice long stretch and still be able to express in healthy ways all the emotions that live in and around us. To be the lighthouse for those who are really freaking out right now without virtue-signaling about who’s “doing the crisis” best.
Make it feel safe for those around us who’ve never HAD TO BE as nimble as we *always* have to be. They’re really scared because certainty has been a big part of their lives in ways we’ve grown comfortable NOT having it.
From an article I wrote nearly 11 years ago to the day called “The Economy Has Done Artists a Favor”:
Think of what you might be able to share with these people in your life — people who think their lives are falling apart right now — about how to cope with that “not knowing,” out-of-control feeling you’ve learned to embrace.
Be the lighthouse. Shine on like you always do. If you missed my 5 steps to thriving livestream the other day, I’m keeping the replay here so you can watch again and again, take notes, and #JFDIwithBon your next inspired action.
And it’s so totally okay if you’re not feeling inspired at all.
One thing I know FOR SURE about creatives — all of us — is that the muse can’t stay away. We may feel like she takes long breaks now and then and we have to do a little inner work to make a safe place for her to come back to. But we more than anyone else on this amazing, resilient, has-outlasted-far-scarier-times-than-these planet know, the show must go on.
All my love,