Since the beginning of my very first business at the age of 17, (I just turned 47 last week), I have to say I have unfortunately experienced this phenomenon over and over and over again. It’s maddening to keep repeating an action that produces all too often the same reaction really. It makes you feel a bit crazy.
And yet, eventually, to continue to make progress as an entrepreneur you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and ask others for help.
At first, when I was just starting out, I thought the reason folks didn’t answer me was because I was “knocking” at the wrong time of day. But, I quickly learned the “time of day”, month or season didn’t change anything.
Eventually, in my mid 20’s I decided the reason my knocking went mostly unnoticed was because I wasn’t knocking convincingly enough- I wasn’t strong enough or credible enough or loud enough– or good enough yet(?) for them to want to open their door to greet me.
In my 30’s, I found it so frustrating that the vast majority of doors I knocked on fell on deaf ears that I decided the only logical reason for it was because the people behind those doors were too overwhelmed with their own lives to stop what they were doing and find out why I was knocking.
And as logical as this was to me, it didn’t stop my foolish knocking.
And now in my 40’s, I finally know why most ignore a knock at their door. It’s not personal. It’s about survival. Opening the door is simply too great of a risk. After all if it’s likely there is ferocious dog on the other side of it waiting to chew your hand off disguised in the shape of a loving kind soul, who would want to risk loosing a hand for a deceptive illusion?
For as long as I have been alive, there have always been deceptive people who cheat on those they love, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Congressman Weiner. And there have been plenty of destructive people too who destroy others lives, figuratively and literally, for their own convenience like Casey Anthony- the mother of poor little Caylee Anthony. (And yes, we all know and are fascinated by how guilty as pure sin she is. The allure of evil.) And we also all know plenty of selfish greedy people who will promise you the moon- anything- to get what they want and then not deliver. ( I will leave that illusion up to you- I am sure it won’t take you long at all to think of who this someone might be in your life.)
Ah, the many faces of deception.
So why in the world would anyone really want to open their door and let in Darth Vadar disguised as Mother Theresa?
Folks if we can’t even manage to love, nurture and honestly care for those who we choose to spend time with behind our own closed doors, then how could we possibly ever expect to be a loving kind person to a perfect stranger knocking at our front door? Whoever coined the expression charity begins at home knew what they were talking about. And it’s no wonder so many NFP’s are in crisis and loosing their financial base of support really either- if you think about it.
While it’s only human nature to knock on someone’s door because you’re in need of something, which I readily admit to having done for years in search of help and support to further my own initiatives, lately it has become painfully clear to me that the people behind so many of the doors I knock on need the artist in me a whole lot more then whatever the reason was I thought I needed them.
It is critical to our economy- and the stability of our own personal eco structures- that we relearn how to love, trust, and honestly care for each other. It is crucial we become open again with our hearts and minds. Herein lies new-vital-roles for the arts, and artist alike, to play. Our future depends on dramatically improving our communication, our partnerships and working relationships. True collaboration and mutual trust and respect are essential to our survival and hold the keys to our future and its revival.
People wake up and give the arts a chance. It might just be me- the artist- who’s knocking at your door. Come on—open up. It’s time to let me in- give the arts a chance to help us all in ways we desperately need.