035: Secret Codes (3/3)
Not actually advice
Today’s newsletter unpacks the the third of 3 short pieces of advice I got from the industry I was trying to get in. I’ll tell you what the advice meant to me, and how I used it to find my treasure.
3.I’m just not feeling it.
Okay, so this is not actually advice is it?
This was a response from an agent that I sent 5 pieces of work to.
I don’t remember the exact words, it was short. And it was something like.
“I’ll pass, I’m just not feeling it”
I worked on my portfolio for more than a year, for at least 5 hours a day often staring at 4am, so I could get to work on my ‘day job’ without a hiccup, so that I could finally be in a position to send 5 pieces of work to an agent, and they reply with:
“I’m just not feeling it!”
How are you supposed to respond to that?
My first response was, why even respond at all?!
Which was a good question. Because it prompted me to read the line again.
Yup. It still said, “I’m just not feeling it”
Emotion will have me reading that as a slight. A dismissive statement.
But what If I looked at it of statement of intention and content.
I was being told by a pro, of the one ingredient that was missing from the work I was sending. A year prior another agent wrote back with a long list of things I was missing, now I got just one sentence.
Let’s try to rephrase it…
“It’s just missing, feeling”
Boom! Thank you!
Thank you for pointing out the one thing that was missing from the work, and thank you for calling it out! I knew there was something, I just didn’t know what it was! And you dear pithy agent did!
I don’t even remember your name! How ungrateful I am when you’ve given me the key to elevating my art to a whole new level!
Never mind, I got what I came for, TREASURE!
I set about adding this missing ingredient of ‘feeling’ into my work.
The response to my work quadrupled instantly.
A peer wrote to me and said, “I saw this work and it reminded me of you and thought it would inspire you, but when I looked to see who made it, IT WAS YOU!”
And on and on.
Narrowing the Gap
When talking to smart competent people, if you assume they are well intentioned and generous, you can gain treasure, from the smallest interaction.