TRANSCRIPT: Ep. 233 Leading with Your Inner Weirdo: A Conversation with Theresa Pridemore

THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST

Miriam Schulman:
When clients come to work with me, a lot of times they complain, I want to create this art, but it’s weird. And what I say to them is, what you need to do is go to that place that’s weird, embrace all that’s weird about you, because that’s what people actually want. And we can go through all the nine things that people need to do to develop a signature style. I call it Embracing Your Inner Weirdo, but it’s really about developing your signature style or your signature brand. And the two things go hand in hand, whether you’re an artist or a business person, your messaging, everything that you do, it’s more than just your colors, it’s more than just your logo.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yep.

Miriam Schulman:
It’s everything you do and say, that makes up what is going to make things special. And there’s so many times that people tamper that down and they stay quiet. And what they end up doing is they’re striving for mediocrity by not going to that place that is special, and weird, and different about themselves.

Speaker 2:
It’s the Inspiration Place Podcast with Artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world inside a podcast for artists by an artist, where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now, your host, Miriam Schulman.

Miriam Schulman:
Well, hello, my passion maker. This is episode number 233 of the Inspiration Place Podcast. I’m your host, Miriam Schulman. And I am so happy that you’re here. I almost said hello, my weirdos. I wonder if I should start saying that. So that’s what we’re talking about today actually. We’re talking about Embracing Your Inner Weirdo, which was the topic of my talk or my interview for a summit that I participated in recently, hosted by Theresa Pridemore, her Creatrix Conscious Leadership Summit. And it’s also the chapter of my forthcoming book Artpreneur. It happens to be chapter number six. So Theresa kindly shared with me the video and the audio of this interview that we did together. You will find the interview version over on YouTube if you want to watch that. And I actually edited the interview so that you have visuals. So if that’s something you want to see, you can head on over to my YouTube channel.

I am SchulmanArt over there. I’m SchulmanArt everywhere by the way. I’m SchulmanArt on Instagram. I’m SchulmanArt on TikTok, God forbid. And I’m SchulmanArt over on YouTube. And if you want to get your hands on the book, we are just two months away from the book hitting the shelves, Artpreneur. And I have some really good bonuses for you. One of them being the Artpreneur Affirmation Video Series, which is 12 videos, I take you inside my art journal. I make an art journal spread for every single chapter title, which is a mantra, Embrace Your Inner Weirdo is just one of them. And for that one, I actually had contributed a video to a different summit, Sketchbook Skool. So you actually, for that particular art general spread, I did that in watercolor. And you’ll get instructions from start to finish of exactly how I did it, and what Embracing Your Inner Weirdo means to me. Okay, so here’s the conversation that I have with Theresa Pridemore. There is no intro on Theresa because she’s interviewing me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Theresa Pridemore:
Why do you think business owners need to be weird? And what does that mean to you?

Miriam Schulman:
First of all, let’s start off with defining the word weird, which I think your audience actually is going to really love this definition. The word weird, actually, it’s a Scottish word. So you may have remembered… If you studied Macbeth in middle school, the weird sisters were the three witches. So the word weird actually means destiny, and it’s related to the supernatural. So what happened over time is that as the supernatural became vilified, the word weird took on a negative connotation, but it didn’t always have a negative connotation. But I like to think of it in a more positive light that when you’re embracing the weird, you are embracing your destiny.

Theresa Pridemore:
Oh my God, I freaking love that. And when I think about weird, there’s the other spelling of weird, W-Y-R-D, which is I guess more associated with the supernatural. But I never thought of putting those two together. I never put them together. But I think people who are weird do have a sense of a personal destiny too. I sense that for most of the people I know who identify themselves as being weird people.

Miriam Schulman:
When clients come to work with me, a lot of times, they complain, I want to create this art, but it’s kind of weird. And what I say to them is, what you need to do is go to that place that’s weird, embrace all that’s weird about you. Because that’s what people actually want. And we can go through all the nine things that people need to do to develop a signature style. I call it Embracing Your Inner Weirdo, but it’s really about developing your signature style or your signature brand. And the two things go hand in hand. Whether you’re an artist or a business person, your messaging, everything that you do. It’s more than just your colors, it’s more than just your logo. It’s everything you do and say, that makes up what is going to make things special. And there’s so many times that people kind of tamper that down and they stay quiet. And what they end up doing is they’re striving for mediocrity by not going to that place that is special, and weird, and different about themselves.

Theresa Pridemore:
Now, people worry about being weird, but standing out is such a key to getting noticed and letting yourself stand out. I mean, some of the people we admire the most could be considered very odd people. They had to kind of go off in their own direction to get where they are.

Miriam Schulman:
And the people we hate the most too.

Theresa Pridemore:
That’s true. You’re right.

Miriam Schulman:
That’s what we’re afraid of. But what you have to understand is the people that we dislike, they have such a… You can imagine what I’m thinking of. And they have such passionate, loyal followers. Because they are not afraid of being polarizing. They are not afraid of standing up and saying, this is who I am, but this is what we all have to do.

Theresa Pridemore:
So key. Again, like you said, all the elements, all the ways you communicate, all your messaging, all of that goes into defining your brand.

Miriam Schulman:
It’s really what people say about you when you’re not there, what they remember about you. And they may not remember, oh, she has a pink and coral color scheme.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, right, exactly. That’s so true. You mentioned the nine steps for creating a signature style and brand. What are those?

Miriam Schulman:
So the first one is to go beyond your influences. It’s totally okay to start off being derivative. All of us do. We have our mentors and we learn from, it’s just when you don’t go past that. And it’s okay to be a little bit derivative for a while, but you’re not going to get very far if you’re too close to your mentor. So whether that’s you’re still painting like your teacher, or you’re talking like your business coach, that’s something you got to move past.

Theresa Pridemore:
Do you have any tips for how people can break out of that? Because it can be frustrating when you know that you need to do that, but you reach a kind of a ceiling for your ability to move beyond it in the beginning.

Miriam Schulman:
It’ll start to be clear as we move on. So number two is amplify your quirks. So this is going into everything that’s just a little bit odd or different. And it may not be something that has to do with business, it’s just the things you talk about. Maybe you are someone who is obsessed with Nutella, or I’m obsessed with Harry Potter, so I talk about that a lot. So there’s certain things that make you… these little quirky things that are part of your personality, like these fun facts. So when you start leaning into those little quirky differences, those are going to start to distinguish you. None of us are going to like all the same things. So you have those certain things that you like.

Theresa Pridemore:
And I imagine too when cultivating a style in your work as an artist, you want to amplify the things, so the idiosyncrasies that are unique to you as well.

Miriam Schulman:
So if you think of Yayoi Kusama, so she is the artist who does… You’ll see she does a lot of dots. So she was obsessed with dots. And for those who don’t know who I’m talking about, she did an installation at the Botanical Garden, and now she’s in her 90s. But she’s actually wrapped trees in red fabric of polka dots on it. Or you’ll see she’ll do a collaboration with Louis Vuitton, where they covered a bag and all in polka dots. So it’s something that she just got obsessed with and just did everything with it.

Theresa Pridemore:
I mean, [inaudible] might not be a perfect example because he’s obsessed with glass, and that’s just one area of work. It’s not necessarily a style. He makes glass words and dumps them in the river sometimes, pushes that. And he’s an odd character too. And that goes into it. He kind of gives himself free reign to be strange, which I associate with him in his work. So there’s a sense of obsession. Letting yourself be a little obsessed with something is kind of a part of developing those quirks.

Miriam Schulman:
But then there’s number three. So what happens is a lot of us have these quirks, and that we’re worried about what other people might think, it’s people-pleasing. So that’s why number three is to stop people pleasing. So a lot of us, this is what I said in the beginning, we tamper down what really makes us special and different because we’re afraid of the people who may not like Nutella or may not like Harry Potter. And what we need to do is just the opposite, because it’s okay that people don’t like Harry Potter and maybe they don’t like me, but if we don’t talk about that, then I’m missing out on everybody else who’s obsessed with Harry Potter. So that’s why number three is to stop people pleasing. So those things that are quirky about you, and you worry about what other people are going to think.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, that’s the hard one, you know?

Miriam Schulman:
Oh yeah.

Theresa Pridemore:
Because you have many, many masters when you try to do that. And you end up being really bland when you do that, you end up having much of a perspective at all. And so it’s hard for people to really gravitate toward you. You have to give yourself permission to turn some people off.

Miriam Schulman:
Because otherwise your vanilla… And vanilla, it’s not as marketable as chunky monkey.

Theresa Pridemore:
So yeah, people pleasing. And that is something that can show up in our lives, it trickles into everything. It doesn’t just trickle into your messaging or your brand. It trickles into how you deal with clients, and how you deal with collaborators. And any new artists, I’m sure there are a lot of different kinds of people that they might deal with where… Or your work. I mean if you’re an artist, you might people please with your partner and not spend enough time on your art, because you’re too busy trying to meet their needs all the time. Or there’s so many ways that, that can show up and be a hindrance.

Miriam Schulman:
Or our mothers.

Theresa Pridemore:
Oh yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
Number four is very difficult. So as we’re kind of getting… This one’s very difficult. This is about sharing your values, and by that I’m talking, I mean all your values. But the ones that are the most difficult for people are their political and religious values. And the truth is, people really do want to know what we think. And when we don’t share those values, they’re going to make assumptions. And when they make assumptions, you want to make sure that they like you or dislike you for the right reasons. But where I see this really hurt people, and this conversation actually just came up last night. I was in an artist group where the artist was telling me, well, her art is inspired by Kabbalah. So she’s Jewish. And she’s like, she doesn’t want to talk about it because she’s afraid of all the antisemitism.

I was like, “Yeah, but the very people who would most want that art, the Jewish people, aren’t going to get your message because you’re not talking about it.” And then I’ve had clients who do Islamic art, who it’s the same thing. They’re afraid of talking about it, but they’re missing out. So not being afraid to share your values, and to take a stand publicly because people are going to want to know. And they will make assumptions if you say nothing.

Theresa Pridemore:
That’s a good key actually. I never really thought about that part. People will make assumptions if you say nothing. We’re usually worried about the assumptions people will make if we do say something, or we don’t actually calculate that someone will make an assumption about us if we don’t actually say something. And everyone’s coming from their own unique perspective. So they are going to make that judgment based on whatever life experiences they have. And it may be something you wouldn’t expect.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, well, I can even share something from my own personal life. I’m in my 50s, and to the last 25 years, I’ve been very blessed. I’ve been in a marriage for 30 years. I lived in the same house, and I have all kinds of abundance, but my life wasn’t always that way. So I’m always having to share. Well, my father died when I was five. We’re living off of Social Security, we moved every two years. So all these things that you wouldn’t know about me unless I shared vulnerably, people don’t know. Because they just assume maybe that I’m just this rich spoiled housewife when they don’t know… Well, this might be sort of my story now, but that’s not the beginning of my story. So my story looks very different. And I think for all of us, it’s important to share some of our past.

And then this is something that I talk about also, not necessarily part of Embracing Your Inner Weirdo, but in terms of which stories to share, there are our scabs and our scars. So the scabs are something that maybe you’re going through right now that’s very painful. Those things, I do think you should keep private, things that we’re… our personal pain that we’re going through right now. But our scars are things that we’ve already overcome, and those are the stories that are ready to be told.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yep, being vulnerable, that’s the hard part, is actually getting vulnerable. And also valuing your story. Actually, I think that we sometimes don’t put as much value on our story because we’re so close to it. And we don’t necessarily think about what we think or feel the values we have are actually different or unique, or how important it might be to share them, just identifying that. Sometimes, I think the best things come up in conversations with colleagues and friends, when you tell them something and they’re wowed by it, and you go, wow, I just never would’ve dawned on me that, that was a big deal. It’s like file that away, it might be something worth messaging on. It might be something worth integrating into your brand.

Miriam Schulman:
Your stories matter. Okay, so we’re ready for number five. You were asking me in the beginning, how do you go beyond your influences? And this is a big one, it’s embracing imperfection. So many times, and this comes up a lot in art where they’ll say, well, I can’t do it this way, this is the way it’s coming out. It’s like, yeah, because that’s your style, that’s your thing. So a great example of this is actually from the music world.

So I heard Britney Spears’ vocal coach being interviewed, and the way Britney Spears sang when she first started singing that way, she was the only one singing with that kind of valley talk and these tics. Now, the vocal coach could have trained that out of her, but they didn’t. They went the opposite direction, and the vocal coach was saying, this is what makes the difference between, we have so many talented singers, the ones who rise to the top, it’s because they have something a little bit imperfect about them. And instead of training it out of them, they amplify it.

Theresa Pridemore:
We are constantly comparing ourselves to our teachers, the influences we have, and we don’t see the potential in those imperfections because we’re in comparisonitis. It’s good for us, I think to really take a look at the people that we do like, and try to get into their head and think about what they must have gone through when developing that style, and try to dissect it for our own inspiration.

Miriam Schulman:
I had a great painting mentor who used to say to me that, “Amateur artists are afraid of being too bold, and advanced artists are afraid of not being bold enough.”

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, now if you don’t feel like vomiting a little bit, you might not be going far enough.

Miriam Schulman:
I love that, that’s a great way of putting it. Okay, so we’re up to number six. And this kind of is a sister to the one before. It’s, honor what comes easy for you? So many times, there’s things that actually come easy to us that we are dismissive of.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, we think it should be hard. If it’s worth doing, it should be hard for us to do. And sometimes we expect things to be easy in the wrong places. Sometimes things need to be a little hard somewhere. But when it comes to our voice, leaning into the things that are easy for us and our voice and our expression, and like you said, our style, leaning into what is easy can be the best thing. For me, I think about messaging. Some people have an easier time sending a message every couple of weeks onto their list, for instance. And for me, I have to send a couple because I want to narrow in on a part of a subject, otherwise I’m going to scram too much into one long email.

So for me, my style, it’s easier for me to write more than it is for me to write less. So I split it up over several messages. It took me a while to figure out that’s what easy for me, and that’s what I should do. There are going to be people, go, I don’t want to read that many messages a week. People who get overwhelmed with their inbox, they want to unsubscribe, and then there are people that’ll find that valuable. And that just takes putting a stake in the ground around what is easy and going with that, and letting that be okay.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah. So actually that’s what I coach most people to do. One of my clients yesterday, was telling me that, “Miriam, ever since I started doing that, it’s been gold.” I was like, “Good.” And I think Theresa, a lot of us have been marketing a long time. We grew up with the whole idea of you have to write a newsletter of news. And nobody wants a newsletter anymore. They just want one topic, one topic, one call-to-action. That’s it. That’s all I want to read.

Theresa Pridemore:
That’s awesome.

Miriam Schulman:
All right. So are we ready for number seven?

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, let’s do it.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay. This one is open yourself up for feedback.

Theresa Pridemore:
It’s hard. That could be easier said than done.

Miriam Schulman:
What I get asked a lot is, how do I know if my style is marketable? Do you know what the answer is?

Theresa Pridemore:
What is it?

Miriam Schulman:
You have to market it.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, yeah. Right?

Miriam Schulman:
That’s the only way you know, you have to be willing to get feedback and get rejection.

Theresa Pridemore:
And it’s funny how things are almost always way worse than we expect it to be. We think that there’s just going to be this massive flood of rejection that could potentially come in. And usually it’s not like that. You just never know who’s going to be a raving fan too. You just got to give people a chance to show you.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, and what I mean by feedback also is more than just posting something on Instagram. Because Instagram, you’re either going to get a heart or silence, and that’s not going to tell you anything. So it depends what kind of industry you’re in, of course. But if you’re a visual artist, putting your stuff for sale in-person, is usually the best way to get feedback. Because people will say to you, hey, I really like that, but do you have it in blue?

Theresa Pridemore:
Right.

Miriam Schulman:
And you will not get that feedback on Instagram. They will just keep on going. But when you’re there in front of real people, you’ll find out what’s resonating, what you need to lean into. So it’s not always about being so vulnerable to negativity, but really about being just open up to seeing how people are going to be responding to what it is that you’re doing.

Theresa Pridemore:
I like that you mentioned in-person things. I agree. When I would table at events for my business, I would be able to hear what people were really thinking about around what I did, what they were really asking, what they were curious about, or if they were confused. And then I could go back and revise my message some to accommodate that. So yeah, in-person things are really powerful.

Miriam Schulman:
It’s just you get the feedback loop, it’s so much faster.

Theresa Pridemore:
Mm-hmm, absolutely. Yeah. And there’s the other side too. I’m thinking about a website launch, where someone might send their website to five different people and get five different opinions. You have to also be careful about what feedback you take in. You can’t, again, satisfy so many different people. You can’t people please, you have to also take some time away and think about the feedback you get, and not jump to conclusions about what you should change and not change as well.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, that’s a great point. Also, it’s the way you present things depends what kind of feedback you’re going to get. So I’ve noticed with my clients, they talk about it, they’re like, “Oh, I have this row boat over here, and don’t look at the leaks.” I was like, “No, you got to talk about your work like here’s my yacht. Do you want to take a ride? It’s awesome.”

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, absolutely. Talk about-

Miriam Schulman:
So you still have to present it with confidence and you can get feedback, but the way you approach things might affect the type of feedback you get.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, that’s true. It’s true, if you come in focusing on the flaws, people will zero in on that, and then that’ll be-

Miriam Schulman:
And they’ll think that’s what you want.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
Can you find every hole here?

Theresa Pridemore:
Well, now that you mention it.

Miriam Schulman:
Right.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, so we’re rounding the corner, we’re up to number eight. So this one is a hard one for the perfectionist, and that is stop procraster-learning.

Theresa Pridemore:
I love that. That’s a good phrase.

Miriam Schulman:
What it is, is that people, they want to get everything perfect first. They want to learn everything there is to know about building a website before they build a website. They want to learn everything there is to know about art licensing before they put out their portfolio. They want to know everything there is to know about the publishing industry before they write a book. When really you just got to do it. Because none of us really know what the hell you’re supposed to do anything, we’re all making it up. So yeah, stop procraster-learning.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, I can think of all the times in my life I did that, and eventually I got over it. I said, “I’m just going to make this and figure it out along the way. I had a teacher who’d say, “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” You can learn as you go too. It’s like, you don’t have to know everything upfront. And I think too, that it shows up in some of the people I work with because… I’d say, if you’re going to get a new certification in something, get it because you’re genuinely curious, you’re excited to learn it. Versus, I’m getting the certification to prove myself, to prove my skills, or to procrastinate on actually launching my new business presence or whatever, you can always put another certification in the way of the next goal that you have. And you have to be careful that you’re not using those as an excuse to procrastinate on something that you’re actually really terrified to do.

Miriam Schulman:
Number nine is love your baby now. This is when artists, business owners, they want… I remember this came up when a friend of mine was putting out her podcast. And she’s like, well, I haven’t refined my message. I haven’t done it, I want to put it out. And I was like, “No, exactly.” And so this was in a group, we were talking about this and my girlfriend said, “You want your podcast to be an adult and it’s a baby. You got to let the baby go out in the world and grow up.” This is true of your art, your business, whatever it is, you have to love your baby now.

Theresa Pridemore:
Getting to see how things play out in the world and letting it bump up against new influences and inspiration. You can’t do that if you let it simmer for too long, or let it sit there. And then you kind of miss the boat sometimes too.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah. It’s kind of like a cousin to the perfectionism. You want to get it all perfect before you put it out in the world. And it’s okay for it to be a baby, and the babies can’t walk perfectly and they fall down a few times.

Theresa Pridemore:
I love it. Loving it in its early stages, in its infancy. And giving yourself permission to get really excited about it, and love it as it is, versus tearing it down with criticism. Because you can always find something new to do, something to improve upon. But I find that artists especially are so critical of their work, and before they’ve finished this piece, they’re already not in love with it and ready to figure out what the next thing is. As opposed to, what if you take that piece and you put it out there, you do something with it rather than having to sit on it forever before you can see the value in it. Or by the time you’ve actually, your skill has moved way beyond that, and then you don’t want to show it at all, you know?

Miriam Schulman:
Right.

Theresa Pridemore:
How can you build a career if you keep letting your work sit in the attic because it’s never good enough.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, it’s like Sleeping Beauty, they just want to keep it safe until it’s a full adult.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah. And you’re like, you’ll never feel like you’re a full adult. You are where your work is if you already-

Miriam Schulman:
And in keeping it under wraps, we said step seven is open yourself up for feedback. If you’re always keeping it under wraps like Sleeping Beauty, it can’t grow up.

Theresa Pridemore:
Those are awesome tips. I love it, the nine steps. I think so wise, and it just hit the nail on the head. They just cover everything, that’s really fabulous. It’s interesting, there’s like a tie between creating a brand, cultivating your message, and all these things that you need to do to create your signature style, and stepping out as a leader. So which steps are most important for becoming a conscious leader?

Miriam Schulman:
Oh, I would say all of them. But I’m going to go down them, I’m going to see if there’s any of them that don’t fit under leadership. So number one, go beyond your influences. Yeah, for sure. Number two, amplify your quirks of being vulnerable. Number three, stop people pleasing.

Theresa Pridemore:
Absolutely have to, if you’re going to step out as a leader.

Miriam Schulman:
Number four, share your values.

Theresa Pridemore:
To be a conscious leader, you absolutely need to do that.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, number five, embrace imperfection.

Theresa Pridemore:
You do, because you’re always going to find something wrong with what you’re doing, and you will shy away from sharing your message and being a leader in a certain area if you constantly worry about making mistakes.

Miriam Schulman:
Number six, honor what comes easy for you.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah. Lean into that. Yep, absolutely.

Miriam Schulman:
Number seven, open yourself up for feedback.

Theresa Pridemore:
That’s a challenge right there. Yep.

Miriam Schulman:
Number eight, stop procraster-learning, start leading.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
And number nine, love your baby now.

Theresa Pridemore:
You have to love your message now as it stands, and understand that your perspective will change in time, and that’s okay. What you think and feel now is super valuable. Yeah, I can’t think of any… And definitely every single one of them applies. So how do you think most beginning or struggling business owners get this wrong?

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, well, most of them I think it’s they get stuck with number one. So they’re looking around at what’s most popular, and they try to do that. So that’s going beyond the influences. And that kind of goes against all the other steps, because when you’re going with what’s popular, and you’re going outside instead of when you should be going inside to be a little more introspective to figure out how to lead. You’re going outside of yourself to see what’s working for other people. But that may not work for you.

Theresa Pridemore:
So you really have to value your own perspective enough to actually put yourself out through this thing. See it as worthy of sharing. If you feel like, again, you feel like you’re going to vomit when you hit send on the thing that’s not a newsletter. Your email messaging, your marketing.

Miriam Schulman:
We’re not allowed to call it newsletters anymore.

Theresa Pridemore:
I know, I do the same thing. Don’t call it a newsletter, that’s totally the wrong connotation. But if you feel like you’re going to puke every time you hit send, center yourself in the idea that what you’re sharing is valuable, and there are going to be people out there that are really ready to receive it. You’re actually robbing them of this opportunity to be exposed to your message and your work. And I think sometimes business owners, conscious people tend to feel like there’s a lot of noise in the world, and they don’t want to contribute to the noise.

Miriam Schulman:
I think also what’s hard is people who are empaths, who have a lot of empathy and can imagine what people are going to think with their values, with their imperfections. So that can be hard to overcome. It sounds so lovely to say that you’re being empathetic to what other people might think, but it really is a form of people pleasing when it comes at your expense and the expense of your message, and the expense of building a business for yourself that could serve other people.

Theresa Pridemore:
You kind of have to be okay with the fact that people are going to make judgements about you for sure. I think people who are empathetic, try to put themselves in other people’s heads a lot of the time, to their own detriment.

Miriam Schulman:
Right. They do mind reading or fortune telling.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah, right. As a leader, I think really embracing your weird helps you stand out in a way that you would just wouldn’t.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah. And really at the core of all this is being vulnerable. Because you are going to get some negative feedback. Not everyone is going to love us. That’s the way it is. And sometimes people are going to be wrong about us too.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah. Do you have any suggestions for people that do have a hard time being vulnerable? Some mindset shifts that they can focus on or mental exercises, or routines that they can employ?

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, all nine steps of Embrace Your Inner Weirdo, is in my book that’s coming out. But the other thing, yeah, it’s the chapters Embrace Your Inner Weirdo, which I like to use as a mantra. But what I was going to say, what also that is so important about when you’re being a leader, when you’re being a business person, is to manage your mind. And the first thing to recognize is that not everything you think is a fact. And so many times, we think thoughts all day long, and we interpret them as fact. So to be questioning, is this really true? Like you said, am I mind reading? Am I fortune telling? Am I indulging in a thought distortion that’s all or nothing thinking? So to recognize some of those, this is a whole nother thing, but we could go there. Yeah, whole nother thing.

But it’s recognizing when you’re doing that. So any kind of thoughts like, oh, no one will pay high prices for my art. Nobody buys art in my town. And I hear things like this all the time. Oh, Australia only has 35 million people. There’s not enough people. It’s like, you do know that’s a lot of people, don’t you? That’s enough people to sell art to. And sometimes people will say things that even contradict themselves. I had a woman who was trying to sell art who lived in Florida, and she says, “Oh, I moved from New York and everyone in Florida…” This woman with this very strong New York accent, which I can do very well. “Everyone in Florida is from New York, and New Yorkers understand art, but Florida, they don’t.” But you just said, everybody moved from New York to Florida. So what are you talking about? We get so crazy in our heads, and we think these thoughts, and we see them as facts, and you have to question them all the time.

Theresa Pridemore:
If I think of Byron Katie’s piece, The Work, on something, and you go, is this true? Can I absolutely know that it is true. And you don’t want to operate from the idea that you know something when you really don’t. A lot of the time, we rationalize our fear in different ways, and you just kind of have to decide you’re just going to go for it and put it out there, and see what happens. And let life show you that things can be way more exciting than you may have assumed before.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah. And I mean, there always are the dangers of leaving the cave, but what a lot of us forget is, there’s snakes in the cave. So there’s the danger of staying the same. Of course, there’s risks of doing all these scary things that we’ve been talking about today, but there’s also risks of not doing it.

Theresa Pridemore:
And there’s so much joy to be had when you Embrace Your Inner Weirdo, you get to feel so free. I mean that’s-

Miriam Schulman:
And it’s fun.

Theresa Pridemore:
Yeah. And then you get the people who love Harry Potter making comments, and you’re having fun celebrating these quirks and idiosyncrasies. And then other people feel celebrated and seen too. That’s the other benefit of embracing your weirdo is that other people get to be weird too, and they feel safe around you.

Miriam Schulman:
Right. And it’s not just that I’m only going to attract people who like Harry Potter, but somebody who may be is an anime fan can be like, oh, Miriam is an artist who is able to talk about what she likes, and maybe I can talk about what I like. But we all get to be our own special kind of weirdos.

Theresa Pridemore:
This has been great. I just love your nine steps, they’re just super, drills right down to the point, and it covers everything, super awesome. Thank you so much for being with us and sharing your time and wisdom, so appreciate it.

Miriam Schulman:
All right, my friend. Well, thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I enjoyed doing it. It’s super fun when people ask me questions, because it actually really challenges me to think about, what do I mean when I say that? And also to get a response. So that was super fun for me and I hope it was for you. And of course, if you want to have all those steps and in details with lots of examples, Embrace Your Inner Weirdo is such a great chapter.

We do lots of examples, really break it down for you so that you understand what it is I’m talking about, and have the courage to go beyond your influences, amplify your quirk, stop people pleasing, share your values, embrace imperfection. Honor what comes easy for you. Open yourself up to feedback. Stop procraster-learning, and love your baby now. I hope you’ll join me in picking up a copy of the book. You can find that at artpreneurbook.com, and that’s where you can also get your book bonuses. All right, my friends. So that’s it for now. I’ll see you at the same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.

Speaker 2:
Thank you for listening to The Inspiration Place Podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/schulmanart. On Instagram, @schulmanart, and of course, on schulmanart.com.

 

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