Have you ever asked a painter how they do it?
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Gentle strokes by the tip of their brush eventually brings the blank canvas to life. They get lost in the moment in a flow state where nothing else around them exists.
Other painters might not be that impressed because they understand. Maybe they are critical, but they respect the work.
If you are not a painter, you watch in awe.
Paintings were never really my thing until I commissioned my soon to be famous buddy Ruben Rojas to make a custom piece for me.
A lot of time and love going into this custom art piece from my boy @rubenrojas. So excited for this to be finished and to hang it on my wall. Glad to get one before people around the world start saying “Is that a Ruben Rojas?” 😜 #customart #inspiration #inspired #inspirationalart #painting #paintingoftheday #painter #inspiredart
He started explaining to me about the process and the kinds of paints used. Which is exactly when it clicked for me, realizing how little I know about the art of painting.
The gap between Ruben and myself is massive.
Think about him trying to explain to me step-by-step what he does. In his mind painting is easy. It’s second nature to him. It doesn’t require much thought.
That gap also provides us with opportunity. It allows me to appreciate his work and be thrilled to buy an art piece because it’s not something I could do myself.
Also, if I wanted to learn how to paint, there is no way in hell that I would try to spend the time on my own trying to learn. I’d shortcut and find one of the best painters I know like Ruben or my friend Dina and have them put me on the fast track.
To teach me the most important things about painting, but also everything I don’t need to waste my time learning.
We all have different arts, and I believe all of us are creative in our own way.
Right before my friend JR and I went rock climbing recently, we sat down and started discussing how to make money online.
Since 2007, I’ve been running my businesses full-time.
Becoming so immersed in this world of online marketing, sometimes I lose sight of how much I actually know. Blindly, I assume everyone knows about digital products, conversions, sales funnels, squeeze pages, copywriting, email marketing, affiliates, etc.
Online marketing has become like breathing for me.
Day in and day out, I do it without fail. Not because I have to, but because I enjoy this.
But, I’ve never really had to explain my full business to someone. Usually, some who asks gets the watered down version because it can sound complicated when I try to explain. And most people need a visual of something before they can conceptualize what is explained.
This time was different.
We were sitting in the lounge at the rock climbing gym. Whipping out my laptop, I logged into my online “back office” and showed him how I manage my online business. First, I opened up an email sequence for a specific campaign that we had built.
“The visitor opts in on this page and enters the sequence of emails. If the user clicks, they receive this set of emails. If they don’t open, they will get this email. Here is how we track everything.”
It was the first time I pulled back the curtain to the inner workings of my online business.
We went on to discuss how to make products, what it takes to build a platform, and how to convert sales. We’ve talked about this many times before, but this time something clicked for him.
“Ohhh I get it now. So if I run a fashion blog, all the products listed on the blog that link to clothes and stuff are affiliate links, and they get paid if the visitor clicks and buys. So really your job becomes getting traffic?” he asked.
“Exactly” I confirmed.
It wasn’t just JR who has a breakthrough. I had realized like the gap between Ruben and me in painting; there is a gap between JR and me in online business.
It would be the same gap if he tried teaching me math (he’s a math teacher).
Sometimes we underestimate how much we know. With time being a unrenewable resource, there are people out there that would gladly pay for what we know versus having to put eight years in (in my case) to learn the skill on their own.
Building businesses that do well by doing good is my art.
Most of what I do revolves around education.
There was never really a doubt if I would be successful or not in business. There was only one road, and I burned the bridge as I crossed. Maybe I was naive, but I didn’t care if I were to become homeless. I was never going back to working for someone again. Period.
There was no plan B. I was going to make this business or the next work.
My friend asked me how long it took me to make my first money in my first business.
“Four months,” I told him.
“What was the turning point?” he asked.
“There was really no turning point. In my mind, it was never a matter of if I would make money. I was all in. It was only a matter of how long I would have to pound the pavement and do exactly as my mentor said before things worked.” I had replied.
After these conversations, I began to do some journaling.
Let’s assume tomorrow were my last day. Knowing this, I would have one opportunity to write a reference guide for someone to do what I do.
Running my business. Making decisions on a daily basis.
This exercise was one of the most powerful I’d ever done.
I won’t reveal the whole list, here are a few of the things I wrote…
- Delegate everything you are not good at.
- Stay true to your art and make this your masterpiece.
- Have a very clear vision and make sure everyone knows it.
- Make it about ‘we’ or ‘us’, instead of ‘you’ or ‘I’.
- Invest in your education, it will give you the greatest returns.
- Pay your bills on time and do it with integrity like the world is watching.
- Attach yourself to mentors and serve them without expectation.
What began to happen, is I started to appreciate and value how much I know. At the same time, I saw all the gaps of advice I was giving that I could improve on.
“Wow, I could do a way better job on this,” I thought to myself.
It’s something I recommend everyone do.
Not only will prove to you your worth, but shine the light on the things you should be doing, but are not.
And you can pass this wisdom on to the people that are important to you.
If you knew you were going to die and you wanted to leave someone with the best advice to carry forth, what would you say?
Open up a notepad, and write down the reference guide of your art, business, or life.
The rules you live by. Your core values.
You will be amazed at how much you know.
Who knows, maybe it will inspire you to let people pay you to save time. Many people have trouble charging for their experience. For what they know. For their art.
But, think about it like this. What if someone only had three months to live and they came to you. They said they wanted you to teach them everything you know about your art. And they wanted to pay you because they have money, but they don’t have time to waste.
Would you accept it then? 🙂
We can always make more money. But, time is quickly fleeting. Once it’s gone, we can never get it back.