Last week, I read a long blog by Amanda Palmer over on Patreon, about how she met Neil Gaiman and how that changed her life.
It left me thinking about how often many of us dream of such meetings but never seem to land in their path.
What’s the key difference between someone like Amanda Palmer and the rest of us? I’ll give you a hint: it’s NOT that she’s a genius, super talented, extremely lucky or very good looking. She may BE all of these things, but that’s not what created the opportunity.
Amanda Palmer was already DOING things. She wasn’t sitting at home dreaming about how wonderful her life could be. She was making music, publishing a book, putting videos online, collaborating with people.
The meeting with Neil came about because Jason Webley, whose hand-made animated video for “eleven saints” had caught Neil Gaiman’s attention, was chatting to him via email… there was professional interest and admiration first.
It’s easy to miss this idea when you’re feeling down, unlucky or untalented.
One of the things I realised when I was a band manager and promoter was that generally speaking, it’s not the lack of opportunities that curses people. It is the inability to firstly recognise something that happened as an opportunity and secondly, it is the inability to act.
When Amanda heard Neil was in conversation with her collaborator, she immediately reached out and made contact. She may not have recognised opportunity right away. In fact, that’s probably the last thing she was thinking. I imagine the idea of love, romance or anything like that never crossed her thoughts. BUT she took action, and that lead to opportunities… way, way more than either of them probably ever realised!
When you have a ‘thing’ in your hands, you get taken more seriously by the world than when you have an ‘idea’ in your head. Everyone has ideas, very few people have taken the effort and time to make a ‘thing’.
Other people who have also made ‘things’ know this and therefore are far more open to meeting, sharing, discussing and becoming friends with other people who have made ‘things’, no matter the difference in success, scale or theme.
Don’t be like EVERYBODY, don’t be content to just have ideas in your head (even if they are fantastic). Be like AMANDA and NEIL, take action, do stuff, create things… and your world will change!
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