Tuesday, 22 June 2010

No Sales

It happens from time to time, I sell no paintings for what seems like a long time. Often it is not as long as it seems. I begin to ask why and what can I do? I thought for a while I had got over it, but there I was last night sitting relaxed in the sun having had a nice meal outdoors, when it happened again. I started thinking what was the last painting I sold? What can I do to get my work out there more and noticed more?

I stopped at that point, gave myself a shake. I went into the house and poured a nice cold ale and relaxed. I am heading off on holiday at the weekend why am I getting myself uptight just now. More important I have tried some new things with my art and given the time I might move even further. But I have to keep life in perspective.

I sat with my cold ale and thought of the story of the fisherman and the management consultant.

A management consultant, on holiday in an African fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock at the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.

"Not very long." answered the fisherman.

"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the consultant.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The consultant asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and have an afternoon's rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs..... I have a full and happy life." replied the fisherman.

The consultant ventured, "I have an MBA and I can help you...... You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe even in the United Kingdom, from where you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the fisherman?

"Oh, ten, maybe twenty years." replied the consultant.

"And after that?" asked the fisherman.

"After that? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the consultant, laughing, "When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!"

"Millions really? And after that?" pressed the fisherman.

"After that you'll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends."

Now that sounds like a familar tale. I gave up teaching to do just that.

This blog is linked to my other  Arran Summer


  1. This post so made me smile, Ralph. I guess I kind of feel like that little fisherman.

  2. What a brilliant story! My better half works at a business school and teaches MBA students as well as working as a freelance consultant, so this really struck a chord. I, on the other hand, am the fisherman. In the end, we balance each other out beautifully. He keeps me focused, driven and able to paint and I keep him relaxed, well-fed and grounded :)

    This blog is great - I'll certainly be popping back frequently to read your posts.

  3. Amen! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.