Ryan Hanley

author, speaker, marketing geek

Finding Your Art with a Plan B

find your artSometimes I feel like I don’t deserve success.

I’ve never been laid off.

I’ve never been fired.

I’ve never been down and out.

I’ve never been evicted.

I’ve never had to live on a friend’s couch.

I’ve never been down to my last dollar.

Success has never been life or death for me.

Do I deserve success?

Do I deserve to find my art?

The back against the wall story is inspiring.

Pat Flynn was laid off from his architecture job that he loved.  It wasn’t his fault.  Companies downsize and Pat caught a pink slip… life.  But Pat stepped up to the plate and created a business to support his family.  He did what he had to do.  He found his art and created his own success.  Pat is an example of what we can do when our back is to the wall.

Pat Flynn deserves his success.

Marcus Sheridan owned a pool business that was smacked in the face by the 2008 recession.  Bank account overdrawn, running out of options for growing his business through traditional means Marcus reached into into the digital world and resuscitated a dying business.  He did what he had to do.  Marcus found his art and created his own success.

Marcus Sheridan deserves his success.

When your back is up against the wall and you rise up to take control of your life… It’s inspiring.  It’s a story that is easy to rally around.

It’s not easy to do what Pat and Marcus did.

They didn’t have a Plan B.

We all want to be that strong.

We all want to find our art like they did.

Pat and Marcus were forced to find their art.  The situation dictated they take action.


How Do We Find Our Art with a Plan B?

I have a Plan B…

If I never find my art, if my voice never touches a single soul, if I never become the artist that I know lives inside me…

…everything is going to be OK.

I have a great job.  A secure job, in a very secure industry, in a secure geographic region of the country.

I have a Plan B.

If my work Online doesn’t affect change, if it doesn’t help people, if it doesn’t inspire, my family won’t go hungry.

I don’t have that live or die scenario forcing my hand and my constant worry is that my Plan B takes the edge off my work.

I worry every day that my Plan B makes me soft.

This is what wakes me up at night.

I can’t tell you a rags to riches story.

What I can tell you is a story of subtle discontent.  Like the early stages of an office chair wedgie…

There are many people that can relate to the hardship faced by Pat and Marcus, but there are even more of us that live every single day with a subtle discontent hidden deep in the synapsis of our brain dripping thoughts of what we “could” be had we only allowed ourselves the opportunity to express our art.

But why mess with a Plan B?

Life is hard enough, why make it harder by following a path without a map?

The artist’s way is not easy.

People judge you.

Why go through the turmoil of having your work picked apart when you can just cruise along at your Plan B without ridicule or inquiry?

I’ll tell you why…

…the moment you find your art the man squeezing your heart releases and says goodbye.

…the moment you find your art your head explodes with ideas like homemade fourth of July fireworks.

…the moment you find your art that smile you forgot existed creeps back onto your face.  Not the ha ha Modern Family is funny smile but the smile that starts deep down in your belly and by the time it travels to your face it’s a “I’m going to piss myself I’m laughing so hard” smile.

…the moment you find your art you begin to wonder how the glow of a Fall sunset looks on the face of your beautiful wife from the top of Eiffel Tower.

…the moment you find your art the lense in which you view the world changes from dusty windshield to kaleidoscope.

We were put into this world to find our art.

My art is finding the story in my business, telling it in a way that adds value to lives of every that hears it and helping others who desire to tell their own story to do the same.

Your art will be different for it is unique to you.

My art is mine and your art if yours.  That is beauty of art.

Finding Your Art with a Plan B

With no disrespect to Pat or Marcus, but in some ways finding your art with a Plan B is more difficult then the “Back against the wall” scenario.

Their path was dictated to them.

With a Plan B you must choose your art.

I’m not advocating you quit your Plan B and throw the health and security of family to the whims of your artistic endeavor.

But you must choose to begin.

That’s where finding your art starts… at the beginning.

The first step is the toughest and every step is the first step on the path to finding your art.

You must choose your art, you must choose to begin and then in the words of Steven Pressfield, Do the work.”

I don’t envy what lies a head of you.

But the juice is very much worth the squeeze…

Do those of us with a Plan B deserve to find our art?

Hell yes we do.

Now let’s get to it.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley and if you enjoyed this article you’ll love the Content Warfare Newsletter, get it here.

SPEAK YOUR MIND: Do you struggle to break free from your Plan B?  What is the hardest part?

About Ryan Hanley

I help make sales easy through content marketing. My work as a marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and Amazon bestseller author will help your business establish authority, attract an audience and grow revenue. Hire me to speak at your next event or grab a copy of my new book, Content Warfare.

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  • http://www.matthewlbrennan.com Matt Brennan

    I really like this post Ryan. Not every artist is “tortured,” like you’d think of with rock musicians or authors. Some just fall into it.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

      Thanks Matt! I agree with you completely.

  • http://rusticrosecandleco.com Jake

    Well said!
    I have often had those same feelings…
    Thanks for a new perspective!

    Rock on “Plan B’rs”!

  • Brent Kelly

    Ryan, it’s amazing how sometimes a blog post seems to be written directly to me. I am so fortunate to have a solid foundation in my insurance business. I work for a great agency, have wonderful clients, and developed great relationships in the community. I am blessed financially.

    So the question is, why try to create something new? I have a solid plan B. I have worked hard and my life is really busy. Shouldn’t I just relax and be comfortable?

    There is something burning deep inside me that say’s “there is more to do.” I want to create, engage, and inspire. Life is too short. Opportunities too great. Challenges that need to addressed.

    Thanks for this post.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      “There is more to do…”

      That is a powerful calling. I know you’ll find what you’re looking for Brent.

      All the best my friend,


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