Tag Archives: focused growth

Bird Thomas On The DIY Artist Route Podcast

Bird Thomas, Community-Building Maestro

Bird Thomas, Community-Building Maestro

The DIY Artist Route Podcast continues on in 2016 and I’m so excited to present this conversation with you. Bird Thomas is one of my dearest friends who also embodies strengths that I am inspired by regarding connecting with people. To put it simply, Bird is a very uncommon person.

You can generally tell when you encounter someone who changes the way you feel in a moment’s time. Most people want to be associated with folks who make them feel good about who they are, excited about what’s going on, and enthusiastic enough to go out and get others to join in with the movement. That’s one of the things I first noticed about Bird that showed how uncommon and powerful she is as a community builder.


A little insight into Bird and why she’s on the latest podcast episode

She is the Curator of Fun Learning Experiences at the Center For Contemporary Arts in downtown Abilene, Tx. That job title is one of the best there is, and it says a lot about her heart towards the arts. She strongly believes in the power of experiences to shape our motives and actions, as well as the power of intention in all we do. These are 2 things we talk about more specifically in this new podcast episode.

When community building first became a realization for me as a creative entrepreneur, and was further inspired from reading Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, I started going through my Roladex of people I know who do this well. Bird is one of the best people I know. Spend 5 minutes with her and you’ll walk away feeling like the coolest person on the block. Few people have the power to cultivate that kind of impression on a first meeting. It’s something that can be learned, and in this podcast you’ll learn how she empowers others to join in with what she’s doing. This is the essence of community building.

There are so many great nuggets from this conversation. A few of the standout quotes (to go back and listen to again) are:

“If you will learn to just be, moment by moment, you realize that in that particular moment you are ok. Nothing is really threatening you. If you be, as human beings you are meant to do, you realize that everything is fine.”

“The way you achieve things and the way you create things is to first see it in your mind. Everything. Everything begins as a thought. The stronger you build the thought, the faster it becomes a reality.”

“You have to believe that you will achieve whatever you give thought to. You have to believe in yourself.”

If you want to experience what it’s like for the arts community to come alive and involve other members of a community, city or region, venture out here to Art Walk in Abilene. It’s a great way to see a thriving and supportive community in action.

Thomas Edison, The DIY Artist Route, & You

TThomasEdisonhomas Edison was a genius. He was also one of the greatest inventors of the modern era. And he was a self-starter who didn’t let obstacles interfere with his vision or his mission.

That last part  sounds the most similar to you and your path as an artist and musician, doesn’t it? In case you were wondering how the inventor of the electric light bulb and the phonograph has anything to do with being an artist or musician, let’s dive into that.


Sticking with your vision is part of the finish and ALL of the journey.

Wait a minute, you’re saying Thomas Edison’s story and my story as an artist has something in common? There’s no way!

Yes way. Actually it’s only true if you are someone who doesn’t buckle to pressure and keeps your nose down in difficult times. How much perseverance do you have?

Whoa, that’s a tough one. Most people think they have a lot of perseverance until tested by the fires of life. I’m not here to scare you away but being an artist in the 21st century isn’t a walk in the park.

There are obstacles and difficulties in your path forward. Everyone has them. What you do in the face of these challenges is where your story and Edison’s come together in a similar way. Edison was ahead of his time in several areas. He achieved some incredible success before turning 30 years old (like your average tech startup CEO). Then he faced some serious trials in his inventions. He went through many years without a successful innovation, so much so that many of his once-supporters started to question whether or not he still had genius inside of him. How he stuck to his endeavors despite ongoing challenges is worth looking into. Get some great insights into the like of Thomas Edison here.

You probably know that Edison didn’t discover the way to foster light in what we call the Light Bulb until he’d failed a few times. I use “few” figuratively, because history tells us he failed many many times (something to the tune of 10,000) at trying to create the incandescent light before he finally figured it out. Had he stopped and given up, neither of us would know his name, or at least not in the same way that we know it now.

What all of this has to do with you is simple: Keep working, keep grinding, keep on keeping on. Along the path of the DIY artist are many lessons to be learned if you’re objective enough to see them.

Edison didn’t start over from scratch every time his attempt at the light bulb failed. Instead, he picked up where his last success ended and tried a different approach. He studied what other people were doing and researched what had been proven successful in his science. He surrounded himself with other people educated in the field and put them to work on one sole endeavor.

Whether or not you can employ people to help you achieve your end result is beside the point. A focused approach to success is what Edison took on, was adamant to stick to, and persevered through until the completion of his endeavor was reached.

Which brings us to this question: How focused are you on achieving success as a DIY Artist?

Let me ask a more focused question than that: What are you targeting right now to grow? How will achieving that target bring you bigger results down the road?

These are the questions to get up to in the morning and wrestle with before you go to bed.

These are the questions Edison and every innovator, entrepreneur, leader, and world changer wrestles with every day.

These are the questions anyone with a real objective and vision takes on.

Your objective may be simple, in certain terms. You want to make music and do so in a way which allows you to live off of the proceeds of your work.

Good. What are you focusing on right now to make that happen?

Need some help figuring out what to focus on, or even more, what steps to take to get you in the direction of success?

Good. Let’s talk.