Yes, the very first episode is up! And you can take it anywhere with you, on your smart phone, iPad, laptop, or desktop.
It’s just one as of now. But SO MUCH has gone into making this premier possible:
The purchase of audio equipment. The attendance of podcast workshops and independent research for recording. The good fortune to receive a one-to-one tutorial for getting published on iTunes (This required semi-advanced code knowledge). The production and gift of original music by composer, Kenturion. And lastly, finding an economical transcription service (which I did via Twitter of all places!).
It wasn’t easy. But now that we are here, it will certainly be easier for future installments. This first episode represents the beginning of what will be a series of super informative talks with leaders from our art and business communities. In it, we answer all your burning questions about Art Of Hustle:
Thank you for sharing in this fun. You may preview the audio content below. Or even better… Please download this episode from iTunes, rate it and leave comments! I’d really, really appreciate it.
|Art Of Hustle 001: Make It Happen||Click here to READ>|
Greetings everybody and thank you so much for tuning into the “Art of Hustle” podcast series. My name is Anthem Salgado and I’ll be your host. I want to let you know that this is the first ever episode and I’m very thankful that you’ll be tuning in here wherever in the world you are and whenever for that matter since this episode will be prerecorded by the time you hit play. And given that it is the kickoff episode it’s probably important for us to go over a lot of things just to answer your basic questions if you’re new to Art Of Hustle and what it’s all about. So here are the questions that I’m going to be posing and also answering in the next 20 or 30 minutes that we have together.
What is Art of Hustle?
So those are some of the questions that will provide the content for this number one episode. So we’ll begin with how did Art Of Hustle begin? That’s got an interesting story and I think I should probably begin with letting you know about my career background and then we’ll time travel a little bit backwards to my post college years which will really give you a clearer idea of what this is all about, how I got started, and why I am so passionate about the work that I do for Art of Hustle.
What is Art Of Hustle? How did Art Of Hustle begin?
So I am a multidisciplinary artist. I’m an interdisciplinary artist. I started out as a visual artist and as a visual artist I did a little bit of everything. I started out as an illustrator, so a lot of drawing and painting. I then picked up some interest in photography. So I had done some of that. Eventually working my way into the installation art realm and finished off my college career, really invested in some conceptual art kind of creations. After college, I had pursued my creative work as a literary artist and poet. I was a performance poet so it was around that time performing a lot of poetry that I arrived at the very obvious conclusion that a lot of the poetry I was performing was very similar to monologues and that was a sort of segue into my study of theatre and acting. I ended up pursuing that for a good long while and still do today. As an actor I realized that I was really invested more in the culture work aspect of performance than I was in acting for acting’s sake. So I ended up writing a lot of material to be performed in a solo theatre kind of way and I actually performed my first full length solo show in 2009. I’m also an educator. I teach in so many different kinds of capacities as an arts educator and also now through Art Of Hustle as a professional development trainer and coach. Employment-wise I worked, I have worked in events coordination and management and I’ve also worked in a program management kind of capacity for an arts nonprofit here in San Francisco. Now the reason why I mention all of this is I want to be clear or I just want to make sure that you know where this information is coming from. I’m really, I really like to make a point that the information I give is all from experience. I am a person of ideas and theories and I love contemplating the possibilities. But at the end of the day when I do offer advice it’s because of something I’ve witnessed either personally or something that I learned from a colleague who themselves have witnessed something personally in their career or their own experience. So that’s part of the point of me mentioning that whole big thing.
And now to talk to you about how Art of Hustle came into existence at all, I would first have to bring us back to right after college, I had belonged to an art collective and as a group, we had shown in many galleries and art spaces throughout the Bay Area right after graduation and it felt pretty good to graduate and to sort of hit the ground running and just get a bunch of art shows. But I do have to say that when the group disbanded, the individual artists themselves, some of them, you know there were nine of us originally. Some of the artists had really excelled and some of us had sort of stagnated. And I have to admit I was in the part of the group that when the collective sort of went, you know, separated, I was in that part of the group that sort of stagnated. And you know you have to ask those questions which is basically what happened. “I thought I had a lot of momentum and now I don’t. Like what went wrong?” I’m sort of analytical in nature so those are the kinds of questions that I would ask normally.
And I didn’t realize exactly what had had gone wrong. I didn’t arrive at any big conclusions until I myself started working as I mentioned as a Program Manager for an arts nonprofit. And it was around that time that I realized when I was curating shows, and booking artists, and programming events that the artists that I was working with had things missing from their professional development. So just to give you a quick example. When you’re a Program Manager and you’re putting together a program, there’s certain things that you need to have in order the publicize, and promote, and market the show. Those basic things would be photos of your artists, the artist biographies of your artists, maybe even an artist statement, and something resembling, you know, if it’s a performance, maybe like a summary, some kind of — yeah, a summary of the work, something describing the work. And these are the materials that would go into a press release eventually. And what I found is emailing these artists and calling them, and getting them to submit these materials on time was like pulling teeth. I mean, they were always late. And when they submitted materials, it was always all wrong; like they couldn’t follow directions or the writing was just really bad. And what was interesting, right, so after having experienced this, I realized that these artists were ill-prepared. There were things they didn’t know. And one of the things they didn’t know was how hard people were working on their behalf to make them look good. So when they didn’t submit their materials, they were literally, not literally, sorry, not literally. But they were shooting themselves in the foot. They were hindering their progress. And what’s funny is not only were they hindering their progress as it related to that particular arts event, they were hindering their progress in that all those same materials that I just mentioned to you; the biography, the artist statement, the photos, those are all the same things that you would need anyway in any circumstance anyway when you go to market yourself to another organization or for an application to, you know, for a grant or for a residency or to go back to school for instance for a graduate program. You need these materials.
But what happens often times in arts education and I’m going to go ahead — I want to explain right now that when I say arts, I really mean across the board. I don’t just mean visual arts. I’m talking about performing arts, dance, theatre, and also literary arts. A lot of times the universities and colleges are not really invested in your professional development so far as career and income generation goes. And that — until I’m corrected, that’s mostly true, there are a few exceptions and I have to give those few exceptions all the props and respect that they deserve. But across the board, most of the time, most arts educational institutions do not provide this critical, professional development training. Okay. And well it’s, well it gives all these artists incomplete educations. And they end up graduating and their craft is tight and superb because they had studied and they were really into school, and when they graduate, they don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to do at all. They don’t know even the least bit to get started. And it’s the strangest paradox because once you work within nonprofit administration; one of the first things you learn is how dependent the entire arts ecology is on the grant system for instance. Every non profit is highly dependent upon the grant system. So now these artists go to school, they’re expecting to have careers as artists but nowhere within their schooling are they ever taught about this financial ecology that is highly dependent on this one way of working which is the grant system. Most nonprofits don’t even think about how they might make money in a for-profit type of way. Some of them are against it as a matter of fact. That’s a whole other conversation. So now my point is, these nonprofits are having to apply for grants to be able to pay for their programs and to be able to whenever they can pay the artists their artist fees. But if the artists are not aware of where their money is coming from, that puts them at a severe disadvantage and it always puts them in a position of asking rather than in a position of empowerment. And that’s basically what I’m trying to correct. That’s the little bit in Art Of Hustle that I’m trying to make a contribution to because I realize there’s this information gap, I realize there’s a professional development chasm.
And any little bit that Art Of Hustle can do to create a bridge for artists to get from wherever they are to the next level, whatever that next level is for them, then that’s what I and Art Of Hustle aspires to do. So, and a lot of that like I said was born out of my own experience as an artist and out of the some of the things that I learned about the financial ecology around arts and the fact that starving artistry doesn’t have to be but because it’s taught as an identity, and because of the financial aspects of the arts industry – and it is an industry no matter how real you keep it, the arts is an industry. And if artists are not keen to how that industry works, then they’ll be in a position of failure. And very few people will succeed not because they’re not talented, not because they’re not hardworking, but simply because they do not know. And I think that’s unfair. I think that’s unfair. And I feel like if artists are going to quit arts then that’s fine, but they should be able to do it, you know, because they had all the tools and they tried everything, and for whatever reason or another they decided to leave. But if artists are pushed out or are led to fail then I don’t think that’s cool, and like I said, Art Of Hustle is here to help you out. So any little bit that we can do to shed some light or offer you information, that’s what the Art Of Hustle brand and philosophy will aim to do.
And in this podcast series while we’re talking about it, I will also be inviting leaders in various communities from arts and also in business to sit with us and share some of their own experiences and thoughts so that we can begin to develop a more and more full picture of the type of work that will be required of us if we are to succeed, no matter what field you’re in. Okay. So some of those things will be concrete tips and some of those things will be more mental, mental skill-building ways of seeing, okay. So we’re going to cover the entire range. That is in a nutshell the story of origin for the Art Of Hustle approach to life in arts.
What is Hustle?
Now the other thing I want to talk about is what is Hustle? What is Hustle? A lot of times when I lead a workshop, sometimes for fun I do this little ice breaker where we just talk about what does Art of Hustle mean to you? And the answers are always really interesting and always a fun little surprise. Everyone always has something different to add to the conversation. And I hear all kinds of things and it’s wonderful, the range of things that come back as far as what people consider the Hustle for them and in general what they understand of the Hustle.
And having had conversations on what it means to hustle for so long, I for myself anyway have come up with four, what I believe are the four pillars of the Hustle. Okay. And we’re going to talk about those now. What are the four pillars of the Hustle? And these aren’t in any order of importance. The first one would be action. Action. Definitely, everything hustle-wise is action oriented. I feel like there are a lot of people who are have ideas, a lot of people who have ideas but don’t pursue them. So Art Of Hustle is all about action and it’s not about being an action hero necessarily, but at least trying things out. I’m a big fan of baby steps so I don’t think anyone needs to do anything too wild and crazy. But I am a believer in action even if they are baby steps. Just get started because the truth of the matter is, those moments in action are where all the lessons are.
I like the saying, “Fail forward. Fail forward.” Meaning — and another similar phrase I’ve heard is, “Ready, fire, aim.” You know it’s better to shoot and miss your target and then learn how you’re going to recalibrate, you know, and then shoot again. I hate to use the gun metaphor but those are the two that I’ve heard and they totally resonate with me. As pictures they make sense. Fail forward, you know you’re going to try something, you’re going to learn something about yourself, you’re going to learn something about the process, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to make adjustments, and you’re going to go again. No matter what, just always fail forward, make moves, take action. Art Of Hustle will always encourage you to take action.
The next one, that would be empathy. Empathy is highly important. I think again, coming back to the many definitions of hustle, some people might identify hustle as sort of a cutthroat competitive type of thing. That’s not how I define it and that’s not anything that I would encourage as far as behavior or philosophy or outlook. I think empathy is actually hyper important to the hustle. I think when you think about entrepreneurship; one of the best definitions I like of entrepreneur is this, “A person who helps people, a problem solver.” The more people you help, the more successful you will be in business and in other arenas of your life. So empathy is certainly central to the hustle. The more people you help, the more successful you will be. And another thing that’s important to recognize about this empathy quality is it’ll generate, it’ll generate generosity which I think is important. I think a lot of people can by in a competitive way, in a sort of “I win, you lose” type of mentality. People have gotten by that way, people have succeeded in that method. But I don’t think it’s necessary. I think it’s sort of antiquated, I don’t think everyone needs to do it that way. It only probably works if you’re playing in a game like Football or Ultimate Fighting or something.
But when you’re thinking about business and arts, the more generous you are, the better because then you’ll be able to create an ecology that is, that also helps you out eventually. I mean, I like to think of things as sort of like a neighborhood, right. If I help my neighbor out, if my neighbor is doing well then in a sense that helps the entire neighborhood out. So I’m never really competing with another artist, I’m never really competing with another educator or trainer or coach or other business person, and I don’t encourage any of you guys to think that you need to beat anybody in your business whatever field that is. Okay. Because the better anyone is doing, the better you’re doing and I would encourage everybody to share their resources. If you have knowledge, you could share those, you could even profit from them which is what I would encourage you to do. So no one has to lose for you to win. Empathy is huge in everything that I talk about in Art Of Hustle.
The third pillar would be education. One of the worst things you could be is a sort of know-it-all. You don’t want to be the person that thinks he or she knows it all. Because as the saying goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” And I have witnessed this myself in more than a handful people who I have seen succeed, build momentum, rise up to leadership positions. It’s sad, but as much success as you’ve had, if you get to a point where you feel like you know it all, you’ll stop learning. And when you stop learning, you stop staying relevant, you stop staying current and that is dangerous. And I’ve seen for myself the people who started taking on this attitude of “I know it all.” Their businesses deteriorated and I witnessed that. And it’s just crazy what a shift in attitude can do for your work, right. So you really don’t want to think you know it all. You know, it’s nice to be confident of your skills. I think it’s important to be confident of your talents. It’s definitely important to be able to name your capabilities and what you have to offer, certainly. But it’s also equally important to know that no matter how much you have, there’s always more to learn. Art Of Hustle in a huge way advocates for more, and more, and always more education no matter how old you get, how experienced you get, no matter how much you’ve lived, there’s always going to be more to learn, there’s always going to be another book to pickup, there’s always going to be someone to ask for advice or for a type of mentorship or partnership. Education is huge, and I’m not just talking about just school education. Yes, that’s important. If you could sign up for a class that could help you build on a particular skill definitely. But really what I’m talking about is the type of education that is led by curiosity. Curiosity will be a better teacher than any, any institutional education you can ever get. Because if you go get yourself a BA or an MA and you spend all you spend all your years in University not curious, you’ll have walked out with nothing. You have to be curious. Curiosity is the foundation to your education, okay. So it’s really important that you ask yourself simple, sometimes silly little questions. How does that work? I wonder who did that? And I wonder how I can do that? You know things that lead you to Google things, to research a new book, to look up a new author or speaker or teacher. Those tings are really important. So definitely keep up with that value of education.
The fourth pillar is imagination. And not just any imagination. I’d like to say imagination in the service of optimism. Imagination in the service of optimism. I feel like too often people use their imaginations to conjure negative realities, negative situations, fearful scenarios. And if we just use our imaginations in the service of optimism, we’d be a whole lot better, okay. And I’m not talking about castle building. Okay, as I said earlier, I’m all about the action. So this isn’t about like just sitting around with your buddies drinking beers and asking, “Wouldn’t it be great if we all did this great thing” and then never doing it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about action but I’m also talking imagining the best possible scenario. And the reason why this is important is because all too often people never even get started, they never set out of the gate, they never catch momentum because they are so negative, and pessimistic, and scared. And they call this being realistic. The realists always hate on the optimists. And what’s funny is optimism is not weak willed. I want to be clear about that. To be an optimist takes a lot of will. It takes a lot of will. Optimistic people are not weak willed. We look at all the same realities that realists “look” at, and we are stronger willed because we recognize those things and we choose on purpose to build something better.
One of my favorite quotes is by Antonio Gramsci, intellect, writer, political prisoner who said, I don’t have the quote in front of me exactly. But something along the lines of, “I am a pessimist because of my intellect but an optimist because of my will.” And that’s just one of my favorite quotes. I think it kind of sets it straight. Like sure, be a pessimist because there are these supposed realities, because there are these truths that every one of us has to contend with. But to be an optimist means seeing those truths and working beyond the truth of the obstacle and seeing another truth to aspire to. So that’s why that makes the fourth pillar, imagination in the service of optimism.
So sure, there are obstacles, there are things that might hold you back, there are things to consider, there are things to work through. You want to be realistic but at the same time, you have to imagine what it would look like when you do work through it and that’s what’s going to drive you to try something different, to try to educate yourself, to try to connect with other people, to try to seek out mentorship, to try to read a book and apply its knowledge. So imagination in the service of optimism. Okay.
Who is Art Of Hustle for?
Now, who is it for? Those are the four pillars, action, empathy, education and imagination. And who is it for? Who is it for? I would say if you value those things that I just mentioned, probably Art Of Hustle is for you. If you value those things but you haven’t learned how to fully apply them, still Art Of Hustle is for you. We all have to start somewhere and I’m going to encourage you even if you haven’t fully grasped in your own experience how these elements can work to your benefit. If you feel like you at least you value these things, these elements: action, empathy, education, imagination, if you recognize what I’m talking about, if these concepts resonate with you, then Art of Hustle is for you. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re expert, welcome to the party basically. So I hope that answers a little bit of your question.
Do you have to be born with “hustle” or can it be learned?
Here’s another question that comes up from time to time is hustle, is hustle inherent? Is hustle inherent? Like do you have to be a born hustler? Do you have to be a born go-getter? And I would have to say no. Definitely not. You can learn to become these things. Okay. But at the same time, while I wouldn’t call it inherit, right, I wouldn’t call it inherent, I would have to call it internally motivated. Hustle is internally motivated. So I can teach you things, we could put you, you know, put a book in front of you, but at the end of the day you still have to be the one that’s internally motivated to listen, to read, to study, to apply, to grow. So no, hustle is not genetic, definitely not. You can learn to be a hustler. But you cannot be a hustler if you’re not internally motivated, if you don’t have the littlest bit of fire in your heart to do something, to make something happen for yourself.
What does entrepreneurship have to do with art?
What does entrepreneurship have to do with art? I have to say that I feel like if you were to listen as I have been, listening to more and more business lectures, you’ll realize that there’s a huge, I don’t even know if I want to call it a trend or a movement because both of those things sort of imply and endpoint or the end of a cycle. And I don’t think we’re — those things hap — what I’m about to mention to you doesn’t have an end of a cycle. I feel like we’re just in the beginning of that cycle, the beginning of an era, the beginning of a newer way of doing something. A lot of business people right now are encouraging and recognizing the benefit of their teams thinking with their right brain, thinking outside of the box. In a sense, thinking the way artists have been thinking for a long while. So if I were to be so bold, I would say businesses, the ones that are on the cutting edge right now are thinking in a sense more creatively, more artistically. On the flip side, I feel like the one arena, the area that artists are missing from their skill set is that of business acumen. Those muscles are severely atrophied. But hope is not lost. And that is because if artists were to simply take all the guts and imagination that they apply already, that they already have when they’re making their art. If they were just to take those same valuable attributes and apply that to business, there is no doubt that they would succeed. There is no doubt because those are the very elements that left-brainers are trying to now develop to be more holistic. We have, we as artists and creative people have to go the other direction. We have to take our creativity and what we know and begin to now learn more about business and apply that creativity to our ability to manage business for ourselves so that we could be more in control of our lives. Which is why I encourage artists to start thinking more like entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs think of themselves as bosses and I want more artists to start thinking like bosses rather than sort of subservient to luck or destiny or someone else’s decision about how their work should go. So that is how I believe art and entrepreneurship relate to one another.
And you know something I just wanted to mention no matter where you are in your career, something that I appreciate someone having told me a while ago and it stuck with me and it has resonated with me ever since, and ever so brightly is that the word success shares etymology with the word succession. So success isn’t really about arriving at an endpoint. Art Of Hustle is not about arriving at some end point. It’s about the growth. Succession isn’t about the end or the beginning of something, it’s about the continuation of something. In that respect, success is also about the continuation of something. And that’s how I want to define it, that’s how I want to define it for myself and for Art Of Hustle as a program. That we are aiming towards this type of success, not to finally arrive but to continually grow and evolve and develop. And that’s what I wish for, for you, and for myself and for all of us that we recognize that if we are to succeed it’s about catching a little bit of momentum, keeping that velocity going, and going faster when we’re ready. So again, whether you’re a beginner or you’re an expert, there’s always a next level to get to. And if we can each participate in each others success, I think we’d have a very beautiful, sustainable, strong, healthy arts and business ecology. That’s what I, that’s what I envision when I use my imagination in the service of optimism.
And if you share that vision too then welcome aboard and please keep up at the website, at ArtOfHustle.com and there’s going to be a lot more coming. This is just the beginning. This is about to wrap up episode one of the Art Of Hustle podcast. Thank you for being there. Catch up again soon.
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