Christy & Susanne connecting this week over $$ mindset and the effects it has on artists. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.
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Money & Art | 3 different ways to find success
Three Ingredients for Success
Today, we are going to look at three things that are not really put onto a pedestal when it comes to be successful, particularly in the world of dance and ballet. If you don’t have these three things, you’re not gonna make it, not from a place of lack, but you’re not setting yourself up for success. These definitely are key ingredients to have a fulfilled professional career or even life. When we hear about success or making it, what the belief actually is and how much we forgive “successful people” for their wrongdoings where all of this could optionally be changed in a matter of minutes.
The first ingredient to success is consistency. When we’re talking about consistency, I’m not only talking about consistency in showing up in a studio or showing up when you have to go to a rehearsal or doing your class every day or keeping your body in shape. I’m talking about consistency in nurturing yourself, who you want to become, who you’re hanging out with, where are your boundaries, and really stay within those boundaries. That actually has more weight than showing up in the studio. Showing up in a studio will become so much easier once all of the other stuff is actually in place because then you wake up in the morning and you’re happy. You can’t wait. It won’t feel heavy. You won’t be afraid. You won’t be doubting yourself. If you are consistent with pouring into yourself first, then all the other stuff will become so much easier.
Our habits are everything. Our habits shape who we are and the type of energy that we show up in every single day. It comes down to who you’re aligning yourself with, what are your thought patterns, all of those things come into play with what your life looks like. You’ve got to come out a place of heart and integrity so that everything else gets better in your life.
If you do like 100 sit-ups every day, eventually, you will have your six pack, even though it doesn’t feel much or a lot or even impactful every day. It’s the compounding effect of the actions you take every day. Let’s translate that into when we’re training or how dancers are being raised right now. It’s the mentality that you have to be consistent, but you have to be consistent in hurting yourself. You have to be consistent to being in that lack energy. You have to be skinny, you can’t eat, you can’t do anything else. You have to basically take what is given to you without having your own ingredients. That on a consistent basis, where does that get us at the end, and we’re having so many evidence and so many examples that it actually creates this whole industry in a lack mentality. This is why we’re seeing so much pain and abuse on the other end with how we look at it. What if we would actually change that to a more loving mentality? Let’s pour into ourselves. How can we nourish ourselves from every aspect?
What would the compound effect of that consistency actually be a year or two or three? What would that look like? We never ask ourselves that question because we are so afraid of letting go of the idea that success only comes with pain that nobody really wants to try it. However, there is enough evidence already out there that it actually is possible that you actually won’t be highly successful unless you’re taking care of yourself, unless you’re really aligning your habits with your goal.
The you-have-to-experience-pain-to-succeed mentality creates more pain down the road. It creates this sustainable chain of hurting people and disrespect and lack and abuse. That’s not what being a dancer means. However, the outside world also thinks of it that way, but more to that later.
Let’s be honest and transparent. Let’s look at the industry. Every company fights for their own. There are a few companies where dancers are not even allowed to go guest in other companies. They get demoted, or fired or whatever because of that deeply rooted fear of sharing their knowledge and not understanding actually that that’s really our superpower. We don’t need to know everything. We don’t need to be standing on our own feet at all times. We are allowed to go and collaborate and ask questions with everybody. That’s actually a power. That means you being authentic.
You create something so much more interesting when you collaborate with people. That’s definitely something that we see in the entrepreneurial world. Let’s look at Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. They collaborate with so many people all the time. Tony Robbins, he leads about companies? He’s not going to be able to do that by himself. You need to collaborate with people. We’re taking these people as unreachable or they did it this way because they had this money. They started somewhere, too, and the only way they got there was because of their mindset and their ability to actually step outside of those old beliefs and see what other ways are there. How can I tap into this person? How can I learn from this person? And how can I help them grow? That is really where we’re so stuck in the arts. We’re so afraid because everybody is fighting for the same donors. Everybody’s fighting for the same choreographers. If everybody would just open up their arms and ask the question, “What would love do?”, things would look totally different.
It’s so competitive and everybody is used to competing against one another. Collaboration isn’t even in the vocabulary because competition is the main thing. I believe there can be an energy shift. We can all be full of love. We can all be joyful. In the performing arts industry, if some people start this collaboration mindset and come in with this energy, there can be a ripple effect. There can be an energy shift. YOU are one of those people. YOU can start that light and that ripple effect and know that collaborating can bring more love to everyone and more joy. It doesn’t have to always be about competition. It does not have to be about getting ahead.
There can be good competition. It can be seen as encouragement when it’s done right. But from experience, the competition that is in the world has been destructive and comes from a place of lack. Like there isn’t enough for everybody. Not everybody wants the same. Not even in the companies, not even with where everybody is at. That’s why knowing what you want is really, really important. You don’t just take on what Barbara next to you wants, but you have your own want and you go get that. That will happen by actually really starting to work on yourself. Yet again, everything starts with YOU.
All of these lack mentality habits making their path in art is why there isn’t an abundance of money either.
# 3. Ability to Ask Questions
The ability of you to ask questions, regardless if you think you’re stupid or not, or the other person is going to see you as stupid, determines your path to success. Even though the industry is not made or open to other people asking questions, because yet again, there are certain stipulations, certain beliefs that hinder that quality, it is imperative that we ask questions all the time. You have to ask when something doesn’t feel right, when something doesn’t jive, when you want to learn something else that’s your path to get to know more.
If questions come up, literally whatever they are, those are valid. Those are things that you actually want to know that you don’t know. A question means you’re open to growing. Somebody that doesn’t care about something won’t ask a question to it because they don’t care enough to ask a question. So whatever it is that you feel the question is that’s coming up, that’s your intuitive self asking because it wants to grow. Part of you wants to grow.
There are a lot of times when we’ve been in situations where it’s been open and we’ve been invited to ask questions. If you have a question and you don’t ask, reflect on what stopped you from asking that question? That is not the only time that that restriction comes up for you. That might be a reason that you stop yourself from doing a lot of other things. This is why personal development is so fun because it gets so deep, but that might be something that shows up in a lot of different areas. That’s the first step—discovering why you do what you do. If you have a story about asking questions and why you don’t want to, it’s easier when it happens in the moment. The next time you’re in the moment and that happens, just have that awareness button flipped on and see what comes up.
What do these have to do with money?
You may ask yourself, what does that have to do with money? It has everything to do with money. When we’re looking at the conventional way of the assumption that we have in our head on how to make money—I got to work hard. I need to trade time for money. Somebody else is setting my salary. That’s what it is. If we are not consistent with our self-development, with us taking care of ourselves regardless in what kind of environment we are, if we’re not collaborating with others who are capable and have mastered somewhere the art of asking questions like, I’m still making $35,000 a year after 20 years in the industry. If you are not having the awareness, the consistency, and the guts to ask the question, why is that and how can I change that, then nothing is going to change.
These three points are essential for you to step up and make more money. You are so worthy of making a whole bunch of money as an artist because you’re setting the example and you’re giving somebody else permission to do exactly the same. There is nothing wrong about making money. You can, even if you don’t want it for yourself, help somebody else to create a better life. Being consistent, collaborating, and asking questions has everything to do with increasing your ability to make more money. That’s exactly what we’re missing in the industry. There is not much openness for asking questions nor for learning, nor encouragement, nor collaboration. You have to 100x it before you will see the fruits.
When we’re talking about consistency, we’re consistent in the industry around all the habits that have been in place for the past 30 years. We’re seeing those compound effects. The consistency needs to look differently. We’re consistent in a way that is actually hurting the industry, it is hurting the people that are in it. This is why we’re speaking about this all the time.
It all starts with the awareness. It’s the littlest things that don’t even feel like it’s relevant at all to anything or money. It doesn’t have to make sense right now. Just the awareness of what your behaviors have been up until this point. Everything in your physical life is the result of your habits. And that starts with your mindset. And then that starts with the awareness of what you do and is it serving you? Is it serving a higher good? Or is it just a familiar behavior?
Is it a familiar behavior that we’ve become so accustomed to that it is actually really hard to let go. It almost felt feels like a death in itself to let go of some habits or thoughts or beliefs. Having these conversations is so important because if we don’t talk about it, if we’re not basically shining a light on all of these issues or beliefs or trends that we’re seeing, they just stay in the dark again and stay safe under the carpet and just grow, just like mold does all the time. That’s why it is so important to unearth all of this.
In the industry, we are excusing bad behavior and abuse because we think that just goes hand in hand with being a great artist. I am just not standing for that. Somebody can be talented, some teachers can have great results. But the outcome and the people that have been impacted, they’re suffering, and that is not okay. Pain is not okay and should not be tolerated by people that are talented or that have produced great results or once were great dancers. Do not excuse this kind of behavior because you believe or somebody told you that having a key thrown at you or going in the bathroom every time you eat something to throw it back up is your path to being a successful dancer. That’s not the truth. There are much better ways out there now. We have learned so much. It’s time that you allow yourself to really, really, really shine a light on all of these things and asking yourself the question, is this true or not?
It’s horrible that the outside world thinks that it’s okay to treat students like crap, to demand of them to diminish and not shine as bright as they could because that’s what it takes. Outsiders believe that abuse is just what the elite art form needs. Like you’re not going to rise to success in an elite art form by being headed up the pedestal.
This ties in with the point that we have the structures and beliefs that the way to success that has to be painful and needs to be in a certain way. There is black or white. That if you don’t encounter pain, you will not be successful. And this is all sorts of pain, not just physical pain. This is about all the emotional abuse that has been out there for decades that we have just become accustomed to, that we have excused because somebody is talented or because we believe that that is the only way you can rise to success. That is not the truth. Loving yourself, finding that half back to yourself is the most important work you will ever do in your entire life.
So much ❤ Susanne
About Christy Little
Former professional dancer turned entrepreneur who is passionate about living in purpose and assisting people to see the greatness inside of them to live their ideal life.