What I tell my daughter about her art

A short lesson in leadership

My daughter wants to be an artist when she grows up.

I tell her she’s an artist now because she makes art.

She tells me that she can’t paint or draw the way her grandmother can, so that means she isn’t an artist. And then she puts down the paintbrush and says she’ll wait until she’s older and can draw better.

My heart breaks.

“This isn’t how it works honey,” I say. “You become an artist by doing your art.”

I tell her that this isn’t how we do anything that matters.

That we become who we desire to be by walking the path every day.

That sometimes we fall off it, blooding our knees and wanting to turn around.

And that other times we get lost and spend too much time spinning in circles trying to find our bearings.

That many times we get a taste of what’s possible for ourselves only to move the destination point further out of reach.

But if we care enough about where we’re headed, we stay on the path because it’s the only way it works.

We might consult the map, we might ask someone to help guide us, but ultimately we have to put one foot in front of the other, gaining confidence and experience as we go.

That’s what I tell my precious, perfectionistic 7-year old daughter. And what I’ll tell you as well.

Everything you want with your business will come from movement. Sometimes baby steps and other times with big leaps.

We can’t will or learn success into being. We have to practice our way into it.


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