Do You Paint by Numbers or are You an Artist?

 

Yesterday’s post got me thinking. Why does it seem we’re all playing from the same play book? Why does it appear most sales organizations do the same things as every other sales organization?

I think it starts with perspective. We don’t see ourselves as artists.

We are taught from an early age to conform and do things a certain way. Especially in the business world. Creativity is an extracurricular activity — it’s called art. Unless we’ve chose to be an artist, we don’t consider ourselves artists and there in lies the problem.

Artists recognize their job, their goal, is to create art. It is to be creative. Artists see their job is to create something no one else has ever created, a masterpiece, while sales people and business people don’t.

What if we did look at ourselves as artists and recognized our job was to create; ┬áto create a better process, a better prospecting approach, a better script, a better product, a better trial period, a better hiring process, a better coaching system, better customer engagement, better pipeline meetings, better team assessment, better . . . ? What if you became really frickin’ good at creating better stuff? What then? How much better would you be than the competition? How many more widgets would you sell? How much happier would your customers be?

The difference between an artist and a worker is an artist creates, a worker does. Artists create something from nothing, workers paint-by-number. Most of us have been trained to do, not create. We paint by number. Some do become artists. Like the art world we celebrate the best. ┬áSteve Jobs was an artist. Henry Ford was an artist. Jeff Bezos is an artist. We place artists who succeed in high regard. Unfortunately, it’s the creativity before the greatness we squelch. We don’t create, we paint-by-numbers. The art world is stuffed with starving artists. Those artists creating everyday, hidden in plain sight, not yet recognized for their creations. The business world and the sales world on the other hand don’t have time for starving artists. There’s little patience for creativity if it doesn’t produce now. There is no room for creative growth that isn’t immediate. The world of sales or business has little patience for the artist, particularly the starving artist. Artist’s scare the establishment. Artists rock the boat and threaten the status quo.

That’s why we don’t see ourselves as artists. In the world of sales and business we’re not taught to be artists, we’re taught to be doers. We’re not taught to create something on a plain canvas, we’re taught to paint-by-numbers and that’s unfortunate. Because, as I said in yesterday’s post, winning comes from creativity.

It’s time to start thinking about yourself as an artist in your job. What can your create? How can you make your canvas look different from everyone else’s? Because it should look different.

Be creative, be an artist. Don’t paint by numbers, create your own master piece.

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Keenan