Stupid is the ‘new smart’ in artisan economy

What’s keeping you from becoming an artisan? Is it the fear of being criticized or called stupid? Is it that you don’t have enough time, experience or money?

Artisans are quietly reshaping our economy by creating unique products or services with their hands, mind and heart. Their work benefits people for whom they care deeply. Look around Durango, artisans are making their mark.

Artisans create and build opportunities. In the beginning, someone may call them, or their ideas, stupid! But stupid is the “new smart.”

I’m not talking about the dictionary definition of stupid: slow of mind; given to unintelligent decisions or acts; lacking intelligence or reason.

The new smart is seeing, feeling and considering how the world is changing and taking action, even at the risk of being called stupid by the those who are not yet able to see those changes, or who refuse to acknowledge change because that would require them to change, too.

People quick to criticize and call an idea stupid are usually operating on the Deferred Life Plan, a metaphor outlined by Randy Komisar in his book Monk and the Riddle. The Deferred Life Plan has two steps: do what you must do; eventually, do what you want to do.

The trouble with the Deferred Life Plan is that waiting to start someday isn’t really living. Hiding your brilliance, not living your dreams and playing small are all unintelligent decisions or acts with far greater consequences than the risk of starting.

Becoming an artisan requires that you START: Stop hiding, Test assumptions, Acknowledge fears, Resolve problems and Take action.

Stop hiding by building a financial foundation. Doing so will take away your big excuses: “I have to keep doing what I’m doing because I need the paycheck.” Begin by living on a budget, paying off consumer debt and building an emergency fund. Failure to do so would be careless and expose you to unnecessary risks.

Test your assumptions by beginning to develop your product or service for yourself, friends and family. This will give you time to perfect your unique formula for success.

Acknowledge your fears. We all have fears, and when we try to ignore them, they often grow stronger. When we give voice to our fears, they lose their power over us.

Resolve problems as they arise. Yes, you’ll face problems and challenges. The road to success is never completely smooth, straight or downhill.

Take action by getting started today. Believe in your vision.

As the wall at Apple reads: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance.

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