Michael Picture
J Michael Dolan

What You Wouldn't Do (0:43)

I was sitting at Coffee Bean with a client who is a very successful P.R. person, and we were discussing her “willingness” to do what ever it takes to grow her company and expand her client roster. Finally I suggested that a conversation about what she was “unwilling” to do could be more interesting and valuable. At that point there was a pause the size of the Grand Canyon, and the dialog immediately shifted to the land of resistance and denial—which led to this question:

What are you “unwilling” to do to forward your art or enterprise?

 — Are you unwilling to be the one to “step up” and resolve any communication breakdowns or personal/business conflicts with your partners, team, clients, band mates or board members that may be stalling or stopping the progress of your project?

— Are you unwilling to relax your tight grip on the way things were, and begin to embrace the way things are—especially with regard to technology, and the many changes currently disrupting our industry?

— Are you unwilling to give up being so desperately right about so many things (which only cause your artistic projects and entrepreneurial ventures to lose traction, fall behind and stress you out)?

— Are you unwilling to give up “guessing” and “self-diagnosing” on matters that only an (outside) expert should address? Especially during these challenging economic times when accuracy, productivity and efficiency are so vital.

— Are you unwilling to put at risk who you are for who you could become, even if it meant starting over?

Important because it’s so easy to proclaim what we’re willing to do, and so revealing to expose what we’re not.

Reworked from a story I wrote in 2012.