Digital Art Photography

Facing the Reality that You’re Human and Can’t Do Everything You Want to Do

Alyson Stanfield holding up Oliver Burkeman


Every month I select a new theme for members of the Art Biz Connection community, which gives us a common point of discussion.

This month’s theme is “Getting Real,” which can mean something different to each member-artist. Perhaps …

  • Getting real about who you really are.
  • Getting real about your finances.
  • Getting real about what you want.
  • Getting real about all the demands on your time.

It’s that last bullet point that is my current obsession: Getting real about your energy level and the time you really have available to you.

Nobody Has Time

Alyson Stanfield holding up Oliver Burkeman's bookI blame the brilliant Oliver Burkeman for my obsession. He’s the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, the title of which is deeply misleading.

Not only is it impossible to manage time (the world keeps spinning and going around the sun, regardless of our desire for it to slow down), but, as Burkeman reminds us, nobody really has time.

To get real and raw, there’s no guarantee that we have another hour or day.

Why pretend like we have endless amounts of time? Why do we believe are draped in a super hero’s cape and are capable of more than other humans?

Why do we keep adding more to our already endless to-do lists at the peril of what we say and know are our values and priorities?

FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. 

We’ve all felt it, and marketers appeal to that fear in their advertising.

I’d better buy this product right now before the price goes up.

I need to sign up for this course because I might need it someday. (counter-argument)

If I buy this book during the 48-hour launch, I’ll get all of these free gifts.

Don’t Let Fear Rule

The Ethical Move logo | on Art Biz SuccessI took The Ethical Move pledge last year, which promotes more ethical marketing. I vowed, among other things, not to use fear-based marketing. Yes, there will still be enrollment deadlines, but I will never suggest that your success depends on buying my product. (I’ve talked many a prospective student out of buying.)

I know that you have priorities other than what I may be teaching at the time, and usually add “if it’s right for you” to my messages.

I would be a terrible business coach if I encouraged you to buy something you don’t need or can’t use. I don’t want you to feel FOMO because of me. 

Instead, bask in JOMO, the alternative to FOMO. 

Choose JOMO Instead

JOMO is the joy of missing out, as Burkeman calls it, and it asks the following of you.

Ignore all of those unimportant things so that you can come play with me. You GET to be present with me—joyfully—because you made a meaningful choice.

The screams for your attention don’t hold a candle to what your heart, body, and head know about what’s best for you in this moment.

My invitation to you is to adopt a new attitude toward time. One that doesn’t require you to do more, but actually asks you to do less so you can pay attention to what is especially important to you.

To get real by embracing JOMO rather than wading in the deep doo-doo that is FOMO. 



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