The harder I work, the luckier I get

The first May bank holiday is one of the best in Hastings. This town has more events, parades, gatherings and general fun than any other town I have ever come across – and I have lived in many and the season really opens with this weekend.

On the first May bank holiday we celebrate Jack in the Green which basically says goodbye to winter and welcomes the spring. To grace the occasion we even had a small break in the ‘drought’ and no rain actually fell for most of the day. We even had a visit from the sun for a while.

Jack brings out hundreds of Morris Dancers, drummers and various artists. Jack also brings around 20,000 motorcyclists which is truly amazing. If you have never been, book it now for next year. It is a very special event and you will be stunned by the variety of motorcycles all parked in orderly rows basically everywhere along the seafront. Try to avoid the bikers as they drive along, as many like to show off their skills, or lack thereof.

This year we also had the first bank holiday weekend for the newly opened Jerwood Gallery, on the same seafront as the bikes. Judging by the people in the upstairs cafe, they must have done very well. Across something called the Stade Open Space is a community hall appropriately called the Stade Hall and in there we had a local artist called Roland Jarvis exhibiting his paintings. They were stunning.

The paintings were quite big but as you stood in front of them you would keep on finding new and interesting items hidden away. The next day, looking at in again would reveal other things. Fascinating that someone can produce something like this.

I am not going to go through the reasons for it, but I was in the Stade Hall as ‘receptionist’ or something like that for a couple of hours on each of the three days. We had hundreds of visitors, which brings me to the crux of the matter.

Roland produces a wide range of spectacular artwork, yet he told me he had never been able to exhibit his work in the way it was shown this weekend. So why do people with a much lesser product than his succeed spectacularly whilst other artists, who may be much better, struggle?

Of course the same happens in business. We all know of successes and failures in the current high tech world where the lesser product won over the better product. Facebook did not start as the better product, in fact it started quite a bit behind others. Now we cannot imagine a world without it, though there is a question about its longevity.

The answer is of course relatively simple. In the first place one needs to sell. How this selling takes place depends a bit on the market you are in, but certainly ‘networks’ spring to mind. In the case of an artist the selling is probably more to galleries to get exhibition space than to the end customer, but this is also selling. Its simply a question of knowing your market and then spending many hours, days, weeks and months on it.

In the second place you need some luck. The right person, or media, or viral ad has to discover you. As Samuel Goldwyn said “the harder I work, the luckier I get” but some people are more successful at creating ‘luck’ than others. You just have to make sure you are one of the successful ones.

Not only was it very nice to spend some time looking at art over a longer period of time and talking with Roland and with various visitors, it was a good time for drawing lessons for my day to day world of business.

And of course I highly recommend a visit to Hastings at any time, but especially during one its many ‘events’ to inspire you for your next business development.

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