What does Vincent Van Gogh and starting a business have in common? On the surface, nothing. But then you learn about his story and read his words. Fascinating stuff. Over the weekend I had the incredible opportunity to see the Van Gogh Live Exhibit here in town. Incredible because it sold out…twice! Before I get into the business side of things, listen up. If you have the opportunity to see this exhibit and his works are your cup of tea, get tickets. Get tickets now, because that show sells out faster than I jump and run when I see a snake.
A friend of mine managed to score tickets a few weeks ago. How? We decided it was fate. I love the Impressionists and could sit amongst their paintings all day long. Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse, Manet, I love all of them. When my friend asked if I wanted to go, I happily Venmoed her some cash and quietly jumped for joy. The anticipation was almost too much!
We decided to meet for lunch before our assigned time. Since it was Sunday, and the place we chose was serving breakfast all day, there were tasty adult beverages. Lunch was yummers, and the place was about a block from the museum, overlooking a small regional airport and the waterfront beyond.
The Salvador Dali Museum, St Petersburg Florida
I am fortunate to live in an area that appreciates the arts. St Petersburg is home to some wonderful museums, including The Salvador Dali Museum in downtown. The building itself is an internationally recognized work of art on its own, complete with a surreal glass dome that juts out of the side of the building sort that is nothing short of stunning. Inside and out, it’s a sparkly jewel along the waterfront.
The Dali is home to over 2,400 pieces spanning Dali’s career in every medium that he worked in. That equals a lot of mediums.
With the exception of the Dalí Theater-Museum created by Dalí himself in his hometown of Figueres in Spain, the St. Petersburg Dalí Museum has the world’s largest collections of Dalí’s works.wikipedia
It brings in special exhibits from time to time and we’ve hosted many over the years. I’ve seen the Frida Khalo exhibit there (amazing,) and now Van Gogh Live. I’ve also missed some incredible exhibits that I hope come back one day. Bottom line, it’s very cool to live in a place that can bring such things to the community.
The Van Gogh Live Experience
We entered the gallery and found ourselves in a room full of large screens. They wrapped around the gallery forming rounded walls, and there was a large section in the center that was also built with screens. As images and animations of his work ran across the screens accompanied by powerful music, we found ourselves surrounded in the best of Van Gogh. Two of the screens showed famous quotes by the painter.
The images were amazing. The experience was amazing. The quotes…I kept going back to the quotes. I’m a sucker for quotes.
And here’s the thing. Like many entrepreneurs these days, Van Gogh was not a successful artist. It’s not that he didn’t work his business, the man painted like a fiend. But he wasn’t able to sell his work. Van Gogh took his own life when he was in his 50’s (so young!) It was only after his death that his art took off. It saddens me to know he was so troubled and never saw the awesomeness that became his legacy.
4 Things Vincent Van Gogh Reminded Me About Starting a Business
So many people, women especially, have had their work lives turned upside down thanks to what I refer to as “the pandemic-era” when businesses were shut down, parents were thrust into managing their children’s online learning, layoffs…oh so many things have happened in the last year! Many have gotten creative to create income, and many decided that starting a business was the ticket.
So many of the quotes at the Van Gogh Live exhibit resonated with me. Not only because they were profound and he was so ahead of his time, not because they were the words of a man who came into his own after his death. They resonated because of the timing of what’s happening in the strange entrepreneurial world today.
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.Vincent Van Gogh
Starting a business takes a tremendous amount of courage. Courage to follow your passion. Courage to try something new. Courage to take a chance. Courage to be seen. Success in business requires courage. Without courage, success can be lacking. For some, courage does not come easy.
It is good to love many things, for therein lies true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.Vincent Van Gogh
Shouldn’t we all love what we do each day? Some of us have one awesome passion while others have multiple awesome passions. Some are afraid to pursue them, never knowing what can be accomplished because they never get past dreaming about it. When we love what we do, we do what we love. Corny, yes, but starting a business should be a labor of love for the passions you have.
I would rather die of passion than of boredom.Vincent Van Gogh
Holy cannoli. What a profound statement. A lifetime is a long time to not love your job, to do tedious and boring tasks, and not to have passion for what you do. For many, the time spent working exceeds the time spent living. Now, what if one were to work at their passion, their dream? That dynamic changes significantly. If those aren’t reasons to do your own thing, start your own business, I don’t know what is.
Only when I fall do I get up again.Vincent Van Gogh
Starting and running a business is full of ups and downs. We experience many learning moments, and many pivots (insert Ross yelling PIVOT) before we get things just right. Sometimes we fall down. What’s a BizyGal to do when she falls down? Get right back up and try again. This is the same I n business and it is in life.
How does Tiramisu have to do with Van Gogh or starting a business? Not a thing. But, who doesn’t love a good tiramisu? After the exhibit we went through the gift shop, finding all kinds of fascinating things that we didn’t need. Then we took a walk around the building because I thought I knew how to get to the cafe. I didn’t, and we added a lot of steps to our day.
Fun Fact: if I say I know how to get somewhere, it’s ok to question that knowledge. Honestly, there’s a 50/50 chance that I’m right.
Once we circled the building and re-entered the museum, we had worked up a thirst. My friend grabbed a soda and I opted for a San Pelligrino Orange (my answer to having a soda.). Then my friend saw it on the menu, Tiramisu. We decided to share a piece and headed outside to enjoy the view.
That piece of Tiramisu was huge and quite delicious. Truly, it was one of the best tiramisus I’ve ever had. My friend said the same. We didn’t leave anything on the plate. Nothing. In fact, had we not been in public, I might have licked the plate.
It was a gorgeous day with gorgeous art and a wonderful friend. Van Gogh’s words inspired both of us with regard to our businesses. It goes to show that you never know where you’ll find inspiration.
Have you been inspired to start your own business? Do these quotes resonate with you too? I foresee these quotes showing up on my bulletin board sometime soon so I can see them every day and ponder their deep meanings.
Don’t forget, if you have the chance to see the exhibit, do it! Order those tickets!
If you enjoy this kind of thing, you’ll want to join my Insiders Group (see below) to get my (mostly) weekly updates. When you join, I’ll send you a link to download a March weekly planner! Are you following me on Facebook and Instagram? If not, head on over and check it out. I’d love to have you follow along. Until next time,