Last year, I had this absolutely fabulous show planned. I'd never done a show all on my own before. Normally, I did group shows or affiliated with organizations or museums. This was my first time on my own. I was excited, nervous, and a whole bunch of other feelings all mashed up together. Up to the day of the show, everything went o.k. I'd been able to deal with everything that had come my way.
The day of the show, my mom and brother were helping me pack my SUV and their cars. Then I felt it. One drop, then two. At that moment I knew that eventually the heavens would open up and that would be 'all she wrote'. The show would be over. But I kept moving. This is Florida. People aren't afraid of a little rain (especially with the way we drive in the rain here!).
Things kept rolling along. Family had come to help me set up. Check. Models in makeup. Check. Food out. Check. Photographer. Check. Friends that said they'd be there, were there. It was a small group of us and the weather was bad. People would show up when the weather cleared though. Showtime came. No more people. We did our thing. Everything went better than I expected. Really smoothly. It was really a great show. But. I was a little upset that there weren't more people there to see how great it went; how great the models were and how awesome the work was. There were only about 3 or 4 people there I didn't know. What had I done wrong? I should have spent more time advertising and talking about the show. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It was too late then.
Ohhhhhhh, I beat myself up about it for a long while. It was bad. Think about that scene from The Da Vinci Code with the guy hitting his back with the tiny whip. So when did I finally stop flogging myself?
I stopped beating myself up when I came to the realization--all over again--that things don't always work out the way you want them to. No matter how much you plan; this includes plans a,b, and c. As I'd already told you, I'd felt like everything else went pretty well. I'd had a grip on everything else. I still had to realize that: 1. I couldn't control people and 2. I simply needed to learn from this experience and move forward to the next show. That's it?? The next show? That really sucked.
I want a Delorean.
Please forgive the shameless 80's reference , but I did want a time machine. I wanted to go back and do it all again. I wanted something else to make me feel better. Closure. Yeah, closure. Especially now that I saw the error of my ways. But nope, that was it. Just a crappy lesson. Alright. I admit it. The lesson wasn't so crappy. I found a true understanding of the importance of p.r. and marketing. Telling people about what you are doing is important if you want them to see and be a part of what you are doing. It is just as important as the work.
So the moral(s) of this story isn't that you should not bother to make a plan because it isn't going to work out anyway, but...
- just because things didn't work out the way you wanted them to doesn't mean they didn't work out.
- always look for the lesson because I guran-you-tee that there is always a lesson.
- look for the gold lining. Though I didn't have a whole bunch of people at the show I made a nice chunk of change and found great homes for awesome jewelry.
See? It's o.k. if you don't always get your way.