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Seth Godin’s Chipmunk and My Hamster

Seth Godin’s Chipmunk and My Hamster

Tammy April 19, 2010 15 comments

This is what mybeadroom looks like when I'm getting ready for a show.


 If you want to sell your art, in addition to reading my blog, you should read Seth Godin – not an artist but a marketeer whose wisdom surely raises marketing to an art.

The other day he wrote about finding a jealous chipmunk.  No, I’m not going to tell you his whole post – you’ll have to go read it here.

In it he talks about lizard brain.

Among other things, he says:

Chipmunks, wolves and other wild animals rarely get jealous. The number one emotion among wild animals isn’t vanity or happiness: it’s fear….An entire portion of our brain (the same brain the lizard has) is dedicated to fear. And it can’t wait to spring into action.

It’s a jungle out there folks!

But if you know your way around the jungle, instead of being dark and scary it can be a place of wylde adventure and the self-confidence that comes from knowing how to read the signs and follow the path that reveals itself.

I have struggled for a long time with my own wild hamster.  Last July I began to understand how to use her fear:  set her free!

A freed hamster.  Ok, this goes with my visual of a hamster in a wheel.  Hamster was front and center most of last year after Phil Buyer’s Market failed to be as big a deal (buyers were in short supply) as anticipated and as I realized we were indeed in a recession.  I put the hamster, duck taped, into a corner and set my crone over her.  She escaped and hit the wheel again.  Yesterday’s conversation was:  get rid of the wheel.  Afterwhich, in quick succession:  get rid of the cage, build her a home.  This is a collage project.  Then last night I dreamed of moving into a new home.  And my interior visual has indeed changed from hamster on wheel to hamster out and about and exploring.  This is a shift that will bring its own changes. [this was written July 09)

This past February I was able to write about being freed of possession by hamsters and other wild animals.

Seth says: If your fear keeps you alive, embrace it. The rest of the time, the best strategy for success is figuring out how to ignore it, befriend it or use it as a compass to find what matters.

Back to why I say that as an artist you should read Seth.  And me, too, of course.  We all have our monsters (chipmunks, wolves, hamsters, artist agents).  We artists need all the help we can get understanding how to make them our friends.

Want to know what other artists are doing with their art business?  Sign up here to get the report from my Artists Survey:  The Business of Art  (the survey is now closed) due out in early May.

Wylde Women’s Wisdom

The real secret is that everything is an inside job [even the jungle is all in your head – map it!].  Change happens from the inside out, not from the outside in.  People fail because they try to move things around outside and get frustrated when nothing changes.  Nothing will change until the inside changes.  Once you get this down, magic start to happen!  It isn’t what you do, it’s who you are that leads to success.  Tammy Vitale


  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    April 21, 2010

    Tammy…I really enjoy your articles. I’m learning by your example and the other UMBers that came before me. I’m going slow but steady. So true about letting the fear go.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    April 28, 2010

    Great article, Tammy! Hiring someone to do the tasks that you don’t like to do, whether it’s marketing, book-keeping (my pet dislike) or what have you ~ It frees your schedule to do your work, it frees your mind from the preoccupation of that thing you really don’t like doing, and in the end you potentially earn more. The cost of having someone else doing that task is usually less than what you could have been earning in the studio, worry-free, doing your thing. You no longer have that time taken from your schedule, and the mental preoccupation can slow down the creative flow too.

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