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You have to choose


I have been painting for the past 15 years and running businesses for the same period.

A couple of years ago, I was without a project, and I spent most of my days painting. It felt great to create. It was fulfilling. But like many artists, I was finding it hard to sell my creations.

An old friend of the family is an accomplished artist. I contacted him, and we met. He showed me his work, we talked, and it was all enjoyable. He was generous with his time and answered my questions.

He explained his career as an artist and the challenges he encountered selling his art. He mainly worked with a network of customers, which he built patiently over many years.

He explained that he didn't operate with art galleries unless they called him. It took him patience and dedication to accomplish what he had.

When we met, I had started a new venture producing peanut butter, and I was already selling it successfully. But I wanted to sell my art too. What to do? Where to go?

He told me I had to choose.

Then it was time to go. I thanked him for the moment we spent together, we shook hands, and I departed.

On the way back home, I pondered about what he had said: "You have to choose!" I didn't want to pick; I wanted to paint and also sell my peanut butter. I aspired to do both.

But I couldn't do both. I had to focus on one venture.

I also knew that if one wants to create great art, one has to spend many hours practicing.

Similarly, it takes dedication and knowledge to make a product great. Was I ready to sacrifice all my time and all I had to my peanut butter or my art? Which endeavor was obsessing me the most?

I chose. I put my art aside for a while and went head first, producing tasty peanut butter. People were demanding it.

My friend was correct. One has to put in the hours, be patient and dedicate time and energy to make one project successful first.

At times, one has to choose.

© 2017 ERIC WARE