Today, I’d like to share with you, one of the most valuable lessons in business. It comes from an unusual source: Andy Warhol. And it starts with a quick look at the story behind his masterpiece, Campbell’s Soup Cans!
Here’s the story!
When Warhol’s collection was first exhibited in 1962, very few people attended. The exhibit was arranged by West Coast art dealer, Irving Blum. It was Warhol’s first solo exhibition.
Those who attended the exhibition at the Ferus Gallery either made fun of the art, dismissed it or ignored it. Very little art was sold. It was a huge failure.
Blum decided to buy the Campbell’s Soup Cans canvasses. He paid Warhol $100 a month for 10 months. Just $1000. Though many believed it was $1000 more than they were worth.
Of course, despite his disastrous, first solo exhibition, Warhol refused to quit. He kept on creating his art. He also kept on hustling (getting his art in front of people), believing that if the right people saw it, they’d see it for what it was. Art that would change the landscape for ever.
Here’s what happened.
He worked hard. Damn hard.
Instead of working from a studio like every other artist, he worked from what he called The Factory. This was a very deliberate strategy. He created as much art as he could and took every opportunity to showcase his work.
As you know, his belief and hustling finally paid off. Warhol became one of the most important names in art of the 20th century and his work is even more valued today.
Irving Blum’s $1000 investment in the Campbell’s Soup Cans, which people laughed at, was sold to New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1996 for $15MILLION.
This was seen partly as a gift from Irving Blum, as the art is valued at well over $100MILLION.
Warhol without the hustle?
Without hustling, there would have been no Andy Warhol. Certainly not the internationally respected artistic genius we know today.
- Had Warhol decided to quit after his initial, disastrous exhibitions, a genius would never have flourished. At that time, he was being rejected by his peers and his work was being insulted.
- Had Warhol created the same great art, but refused to work hard promoting it, both he and his art would have remained undiscovered.
Instead, Warhol hustled. Creating and promoting great art.
Business without the hustle
How many great business owners have worked hard without recognition, because they failed to promote their work correctly? How many business owners reading this post, are struggling because too few people know how amazing their products or services are? How many business owners are not putting their ideas into action, because they allow fear of failure or ridicule to stop them?
I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is that some amazing people, providing great products and services, fail to get the rewards they deserve. Why? Because unlike Warhol (Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and every successful business owner in your area), they resist the hustle.
Instead of doing 100% of what’s required, they do 100% of the things they’re comfortable with.
They fear the idea of marketing their work correctly. So, in one of the fastest-changing economies in living memory, they dabble. They refuse to do what’s required, opting instead to stay in their comfort zone and do what’s familiar – even though it’s failing them. I find that fascinating.
There’s a proven, better way.
Embrace the work. ALL the work!
The alternative is simple. By simple, I mean everyone reading this can do it. Anyone reading this can turn an average business into a successful business or turn a successful business into an even more successful one.
So long as… you embrace all the work required in order to succeed.
This means changing things. You can’t improve without change. It means giving your business 100%. It means working hard and working smart. It also means doing work worthy of you and hustling the value you bring, so people get to know how amazing you and your business are.
You can do it. How do I know? Because I see my clients doing it every day. And it’s easier and massively more rewarding, than suffering with the stress and frustration of an under-performing business.
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