Keys to Success for Creatives | Blogging for Artists | Art Marketing Workshops

Make your own talent, make your own luck, and activate your stubborn streak, and there’s nothing that can stop you.

Visual Artists: Follow the Advice Below and Prosper

This repost is loaded with great advice.

[Two quick notes of interest:]

  1. The Blogging Tips for Artists Podcast is available for download at
  2. My next Art Marketing Success Roadshow dates are June 7 in Albuquerque and June 9 in Santa Fe.  Hope to see you there. Register here:
I became a fan of Sonia Simone’s work the first time I read a blog post from her. To say she has a way with words would be an understatement. Lots of people have that talent. What she adds is a keen mind and a deep understanding of effective copywriting and Internet marketing. Two skills nearly all of us could be better at using.

I’m sure her talents are why she is the Senior Editor for Copyblogger, one of the most heavily trafficked and highly admired business blogs on the planet. When I read her post below, it resonated with me to such a degree I asked her for permission to reprint it here. If you have already read it, I would not be surprised. It was tweeted 523 times, more than any other recent post on Copyblogger. Regardless, its pithy advice remains worthy of re-reading.

Back when I was writing novels and working on getting them published, someone gave me a piece of advice.

“You need talent, luck, and persistence. Pick any two.”

It’s probably been twenty years since I heard those words, but I still think of them all the time. They don’t just apply to getting book deals, of course.

Whether you want to paint, write, play music, raise a happy kid, design beautiful houses, or run an online business that makes you happy and rich, you can reach your goals with just two of those three.

At first glance it might seem like two of them are out of your control. But let’s look at that more carefully.


What most people call talent is usually nothing more than passion.

If you love it, you’ll do it all the damned time. And the more you play, the more you write, the more houses you design or symphonies you compose, the better you get.

Yes, there are a few “effortless talents.” There are people to whom the words come so easily you just want to smack them in the head. There are people who play music as easily and naturally as I eat ice cream.

But more often, that sense of ease comes from passion and nonstop, almost obsessive practice.

If you have absolutely zero talent for your chosen field, you’re going to have a tricky time. But usually, it’s a matter of fanning a spark of innate talent until you start to become quite impressive.

The more you work, the more talented you get.


I’m quite a lucky person. I was born in an extraordinarily wealthy country, at a time when women could do pretty much what we like, and in an era of vaccination and modern medicine that kept me from being carried off by some infectious disease at the age of 3 or 4.

Those are all massive strokes of luck. They had nothing to do with anything I did — I just lucked into them.

But what most people call luck is very different. It’s “being in the right place at the right time.” Having things just fall into place. Coming up with opportunities just when you need them. Knowing the right people.

This kind of luck comes from a few different places.

You can improve your focus. Just like you suddenly see red convertibles everywhere once you buy a red convertible, once you start focusing on luck and opportunity, they pop up like dandelions after a spring rain.

Nothing magic makes that happen. Those opportunities were there all along – you were just looking at something else.

You can improve your frequency. If you want to roll a pair of sixes, you’ll have much more luck doing that with 10 dice than you will with 2.

Pitch a guest post to 10 A-list blogs and you’re a lot more likely to get a spot than if you pitch 2.

Talk to 1000 prospects, rather than 200.

Audition for 10 gigs, rather than 2.

You can improve your likeability. Who “wins” the customer, the juicy contract, the retweet, the great job?

Sometimes it’s the one who’s the most “talented” — the one who’s producing the best output.

More often, it’s the one who’s better liked.

Be nice to people. Make yourself helpful. Don’t throw tantrums (public ones, anyway). Don’t build yourself up at another person’s expense. Make generosity a habit.

That successful raging jackass we all know? He may build some temporary success for himself, but everyone’s rooting for him to lose. His karma is gaining on him, in the form of a whole lot of people who would rather distance themselves.

The more you work, the luckier you get.


This is the simple one.

Just don’t give up.

Keep writing. Keep making music. Keep blogging.

When something works well, do more of that. Learning from failure can work, but learning from success is even better. Big successes come from nurturing your little successes.

If there’s someone in your life making you feel dumb for your “pipe dream,” stop talking to that person about your goals. Possibly stop talking to that person at all.

Watch out for what’s sometimes called “inventor’s syndrome.” That’s what happens when you’ve invented some product or system or service that you think ought to change the world, but which, sadly, nobody wants.

Stay light on your feet. Find the story that you want to tell and that your audience wants to read. Find the intersection between passion and service.

Be too damned stubborn to quit, but not so stubborn that you won’t try new approaches.

And will you succeed?
Yes you will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
~Dr. Seuss

Make your own talent, make your own luck, and activate your stubborn streak, and there’s nothing that can stop you.

Know what goes great with talent, luck, and persistence? Some first-rate marketing information. You’ll find it in the Copyblogger newsletter, Internet Marketing for Smart People. Lots of practical advice you can put into place right away, to make yourself so talented and lucky that you can’t help but succeed.

About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of the Remarkable Marketing Blueprint.


Some links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

About Barney Davey

I am an art marketing author, consultant, blogger and podcaster. I enjoy helping others understand and reach their potential. Follow me on and check out my art marketing e-store at


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