By valuing our art, we connect with our market and find true resonance with our ideal clients (and the success we are craving).
“When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.” ~Mark Victor Hansen
Dolly Parton decided in 1973 that she was ready to leave The Porter Wagoner Show and go out on her own to build her career. Wagoner, her mentor and on-screen duet partner, did not want her to go and fought her decision.
Dolly chose to write a song to convey to Wagoner how she felt, how much she appreciated him, and that she even though she was leaving, she would always love him. She sang the song for Wagoner. Moved to tears, he agreed to let her move on if he could produce the record. Dolly agreed.
That song was “I Will Always Love You.”
Dolly’s version of the song hit No. 1 on the charts twice (when she first released it and again in 1982 when she recorded it for the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).
Soon after Dolly released her record the first time, and it rose up the charts in the early 70s, Elvis Presley reached out to her and asked if he might record his own version. Dolly was ecstatic, but soon learned that Elvis had a condition: if he were to record a version of the song, he would require half of its publishing rights.
Choose Yourself & Your Art
Broken hearted and beside herself, she stood her ground and told Elvis she would not agree. And so, Elvis never recorded his own version. Many thought she was making a terrible decision, but her mind was made up.
Dolly knew the power of her publishing rights and their future value.
Not only did her decision pay off in 1982 when she recorded the song a second time, but one decade later, lightning would strike in ways Dolly could not have ever predicted.
In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded a version of the song for the movie The Bodyguard, and to date, that album has sold more than 45 million copies globally.
As an entrepreneurs and creators, we can find ourselves in the Vanity Trap more often than we’d like to admit. We can get caught up in chasing social media metrics, followers, subscribers, and collaborations we are sure will bring us fame and fortune.
Know Your Art Is Worthy
Each time we look over our shoulders toward what someone else is doing and wondering if we should jump on the bandwagon to “keep up,” we lose another piece of whom we truly are (and what makes us unique and intoxicatingly attractive to the marketplace).
We can forget our own value if we are under siege from a frontal lobe that is obsessed with vanity and market fit through association.
But what if we were to stand our ground like Dolly and hold fast to the knowing that our Art is valuable and worthy and deserving of our protection? What if we were to take it one step further and set the table for our Art each day, carving out time and energy to give it our best, courageous effort?
What if we were do all of this while we turned away from hollow promises, as well as away from shiny and inconsequential acknowledgements of our worth?
We would then stand on the precipice of creating something truly remarkable. Something our ideal clients would become fixated upon…unable to look away.
We would leap right over the chasm of noise—straight to signal—having created resonant, profound Art that connects, heals, and pays dividends over and over and over.