“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” – Galileo Galilei
Investing your time in helping people is a lot like investing in the stock market. Everything can look great when you’re looking at the prospects. They can have everything going for them but then something happens. Either it’s a dud or it starts plummeting.
At what point does it become more painful to stay in the game than just cut your losses and invest your time in something else?
It might seem cold to look at people in this way but it can also help us sort things out logically. Logic isn’t always the way to go though. We’re of two minds (schizy, right?). Logical and emotional.
I was at a meeting where they were talking about an artists behavior. A lot of time, energy and money had been invested with little progress being shown.
Now, us creatives need to realize that when people invest their time and money, whether it’s a private investor or there’s a company behind, it they want some return on investment.
People were mouthing off about this and that aspect of the artist not respecting their involvement and investment. When they asked me for advice the only thing I could say was: “If it was a stock that acted like that, would you keep investing?”.
The answer was nothing short of “Hell no!”. Then came the emotional rationale for still staying on. They tried to convince themselves that since they’d invested so much time and effort, and they knew that this COULD pay off and it’d be great for the artist too. Well, judging by outcome it hadn’t and probably wouldn’t.
It’s still up in the air. If the right thing makes the artist realize that they really have a great opportunity then it might still work out. Unfortunately, just looking at the actions thus far it doesn’t look bright.
So, i’d like you to take some time today and look back at previous projects that you may have invested more time and emotion into than it proved worth. Here are some questions that might help you along!
- When did you realize enough was enough?
- What were the first signs that something was amiss?
- Were you more governed by emotion or logic?
- Have you made the same mistake before?
- Did you set clear goals and deadlines? If not, why?
- Have you learned your lesson? Are you really, really sure?
Now get out there and start work on projects you believe in. Be willing to walk away, even if you’ve invested a lot of time and money. If the project takes off after you’ve walked away? Don’t worry, you’re off doing bigger and better things!
I ain’t afraid of no quotes!
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama
“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato