education, Empire Building Kit Review, Influences
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Empire Building Kit – Weeks 36 and 37 Review (Or, the Importance of “Tooting your own Horn” and Embracing the Philosophy of Abundance)

Black and White Photo of Belvedere Castle in Central Park Taken by Joana Miranda

I confess I got a little behind last week in my posts, so I’m doubling up now with a 2-week review of my progress in Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit.

Week 37, which wrapped up today, had an important milestone…the 265th day of the program.  Significant, because this means that there are only 100 more days in the program.  For me, that means only 100 more days in which to try to make my dream of creating and sustaining a life-style business a lot less hazy and a lot more a reality.  Since work ethic doesn’t seem to be my problem, I’m bumping up once more against my own fears and shortcomings.  “Tooting your own horn,” is a skill I’m just not good at.  Actually, to be honest, I mostly suck at it.   The concept tends to fill me with dread, not to mention that it conjures  such negative connotations as “unladylike,” “arrogant” and “boastful.”  However, I’ve also learned along the way that having a website or products that no one visits or knows about, is akin to not having a business at all.  So, with sincere apologies to those of you who already know this, I’ve just finished revamping my website and I’d love for you to visit and look around!  From my website, you can link directly to my new A Talent for Design shop (whimsical prints and illustrations all hand- drawn and created lovingly by ME), as well as check out my remaining in-stock jewelry inventory at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy.

Week 36 of the Empire Building Kit had some revelatory moments for me as well.  Sometimes I think Chris must be spying on my thoughts and anxieties, because the aptness of his posts seems just too “woo woo” sometimes.  In Week 36, among other things, he touched on the subject of protecting one’s ideas…actually, more succinctly, how to let go of the fear that your work might be stolen, and embrace the concept of abundance -vs – scarcity.  Along with Chris’ email, I got another email in my inbox on the exact same subject from Robert Genn, an artist and wise man whose blog, The Painter’s Key’s, I follow regularly.  Robert said:

Most artists want to be original. They grasp the principle of rugged individualism. They don’t want to make someone else’s work under their own name. But they do have a right to get info from someone who has some sort of a track record. In my experience, no instructor claims the Holy Grail. As Stephen Quiller says, “The one common element that I’ve discovered when studying master painters is that they were all students.”

I’m very happy that I’ve always shared the philosophy of abundance with Chris and Robert.  Of course, I’d be very sorry and upset to know that my work had been copied or stolen.  However, if I learn that I’ve inspired someone to create art or leave the world a slightly better place, then I know that I will be enriched tenfold.

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