Last Sunday I was sipping a hot chocolate with my man on Chestnut Street in San Francisco’s Marina district. We were people watching, as we often do to entertain ourselves. We frequently play “The Same Game” where we watch people walk by and remark to each other how those clustered together are “the same.” They may have the same shoes, the same hat, the same purse, and or even the same butt. It may sound odd but its fun and the results can be fascinating. And it proves that like attracts like.
But that’s not why I’m posting this week. Out of the crowd on the sidewalk stood an artist who had a stack of postcards that he had hand drawn and then reproduced. He was a clean-shaven healthy looking young man in his mid twenties. He walked from prospect to prospect asking if they would like to buy his postcards for $2 each. Yes $2. If they showed any interest he offered them the “deluxe” black and white booklet version that contained each image for $10.
I had to watch. So we sat down and listened to his pitch as he engaged each target. Eventually he wandered over to us to give us his pitch. I listened and then admitted that I would not be buying. However, as a professional artist, marketing strategist, and business coach to artists across the globe I was very interested in his story.
His postcard drawings where quite amateur, his pitch was too close ended, and his price point was incredibly low but he shared with us that this was his full time gig. This was how he paid the rent and put food on his table. Do you think he was afraid of rejection? He wasn’t a “starving” artist, he was doing his thing. And despite his clear lack of training this guy was selling it. He wasn’t “the same” as so many artists, so many people, reluctant to face rejection or to persist. His persistence inspired me and I hope it inspires you.