Success takes many different forms and paths. Some people are lucky, some are tireless laborers and others are masterful self-promoters. Some are created by a higher power like Thierry Guetta by Banksy. Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist famous for his work that is a scathing criticism of the U.K. government and global policies, the art establishment and (in his opinion) dated standards for judging art. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a film created by the artist that documents the rise of an eccentric French business owner with a love of street art. The subliminal and subversive concept of the film, though, is how Bansky took an unknown Frenchman and created a successful sought after artist via marketing, promotion and ‘hype’. These are a few ways you too can take a non-traditional path to success.
Your constitution must allow it
There are many examples of uber successful eccentrics. From Mark Zuckerberg’s (founder of Facebook) uniform of t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops, to Donald Trump’s flamboyant comb-over, to elusive and adventurous Howard Hughes. Sure you could walk around your office with a crown made of bratwurst, but, unfortunately it takes a certain type of person to own up to such socially reprimandable behavior. Banksy found this in his eccentric Frenchman.
There is research that backs the claim that creative, visionary people are often eccentric due to the way they receive information from their environment. On a more observable level, creative minds and visionaries are rarely restricted due to social norms or even physical restraints. Individuals such as Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) and Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon) have pet projects that would make space-travel as common as air travel and a clock that will run for 10.000 years, respectively. The next big thing hasn’t been thought of and trying to create it out of thin air is one of the most mentally and creatively demanding things someone can do.
Image source: stprints
Endorsement from above
After Banksy’s encouragement, Thierry Guetta prepares an art show. Guetta is unofficially endorsed by both Banksy and another famous street-artist, Shepard Farley (creator of the HOPE Obama poster). When the scale of Guetta’s show comes off the rails, Banksy sends a professional team to assist him.
It always helps to have a veteran of the industry on your side. Many very successful people received an endorsement, recommendation or even a collaboration that assisted them early on in their career. How you go about receiving these is extremely delicate and challenging, but, persistence is key.
Shameless incessant self-promotion
The primary reason Guetta’s show was in dire straits was because he was endlessly promoting and hyping up his work, to the point where he had taken quotes from a verbal exchange between himself, Banksy and Shepard Farley and put them on a billboard. That billboard was later featured on the cover of L.A. Weekly. His marketing and promotion had inflated the prices of his work to tens of thousands of dollars even before the show had opened.
Sometimes the skills you advertise may not even match your abilities. If they do, though, word of mouth can help you achieve the goals that you are trying to complete. Be wary of self-promoting people, though, as many don’t like pompous people that toot their own horn, do it just enough to convey confidence and let others do the rest for you.
Have you ever achieved success traveling on the path less taken? What are your recommendations, suggestions or warnings for anyone else that might try achieving success this way? Let us know in the comment section below.