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Trish Duggan is an artist, philanthropist, entrepreneur and a billionaire. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Duggan and she shared with me her knowledge of art and business and made me aware of how similar they are. Ms. Duggan has an unbelievably captivating and gripping magnetism about her that became more and more apparent as we talked about philanthropy, the artist, business, the economy, Trump, entrepreneurs and her new Museum opening over dinner.
Ms. Duggan has spent most of her life mixing it up and networking with some of the most exciting entrepreneurs and artists on this planet. So, when it comes to art and business, she has quite a lot to share with those willing to really listen. As you would imagine, when you are one of the fifteen hundred people on planet Earth with a net worth of a billion dollars, you get access to almost everyone!
I asked Ms. Duggan, “What do you think is the similarity between great entrepreneurs and great artists?” I sat back and she started listing off how many things the two had in common. Here are ten of them:
The ability to follow your gut instincts as an artist or business person is vital to the creation process and carving out your own niche. Steve Jobs followed his instincts to create the iPhone and Michelangelo, forced to paint the Sistine Chapel, created what has amazed the world for five hundred years.
Defined as, “The use of imagination or original ideas, especially of an artistic work.” But in truth, the business person must tap into creativity (use of imagination) to create solutions to solve problems and overcome challenges. Both spaces are very competitive with no shortage of art or products, so creativity is one of the sustaining traits of both.
3. Thinking outside the box.
The artist can easily be pulled into copying what is trendy or hot but the best artist and entrepreneurs don’t copy, they produce outside of what is considered the norm, trendy, or hot. The most successful aren’t trying to think outside the proverbial box they no longer see ‘the box’ as they aren’t trying to copy they are interested in creating something new and improving upon what has already been done. Look at Uber as a ‘think outside the box’ solution to the cab. Outside the box thinking requires, in most cases, a simplification, not a complication.
The great artists and entrepreneurs are both obsessed to the point of being called crazy about what they are doing. They are well known for getting lost in their art or business and getting totally consumed by it. They love their work to degrees others can’t even understand. It’s not uncommon to hear about the artist working in the studio until the wee hours of the morning. The same is true of the entrepreneur who works thru the weekend missing out on what others call ’normal’ life. The obsessed artist and entrepreneur works and operates the best when they are surrounded by others who understand and support their obsession.
5. Get your art or product out.
Both the artist and entrepreneur must get their ideas and products into the marketplace and into the hands of others. We don’t know the artist who kept their art at home hidden away. We only know the artist who got their art out! (Or after someone else got it out for them.) The same is true of the great business people. They get their ideas into the marketplace in a massive way.
6. Abolish perfectionism.
You can’t be successful in art or in business if you are a slave to perfectionism. While both the crazy entrepreneur and artist seek perfectionism in their work they are not stymied by it knowing they must produce with speed in order to one day get it right.
7. Get attention.
If no one ever knows about you, no one will ever know your art or your product. You must make getting known a priority. The most well-known artists are not necessarily the best artists but they are best known. Even if you are an entrepreneur you must make yourself known or have someone do this for you.
8. Produce in quantity to discover quality.
You will never discover your masterpiece creating one piece or one product or delivering one presentation. No one is so good or so lucky that their first piece is so amazing that the world is going to stop and recognize them. You most likely will be forced to produce in great quantities to discover your best qualities.
The purpose of the artist is to create an effect in the viewer or the customer and the same is true in business. The goal of the artist and the entrepreneur is to create something so compelling as to cause the customer or prospect to take action and want to own your product or service.
10. Delegate so you can create.
You can’t create when you are doing tasks you are either no good at or don’t like to do. It is important to delegate tasks and eliminate wasteful time and resources on drama and activities that rob you of your creativity and ability to produce.