What I learned from a street artist

5 Things I Learned from A Street Artist

It’s been a quiet Sunday afternoon, cloudy and uninviting contrasting heavily with the sunny holiday afternoons we had just spent in Romania. It felt like I’ve plunged in a slow motion movie where there was nothing to be or to be done either. It took me some effort to extract myself from a gloomy mood. And when I finally jumped out of it I ‘hit the roads’ of Brussels.

I love this city. It’s always bubbling, buzzing and surprising. Years ago, when the children were small, we would take them to The Grand Place and allow them to chase the pigeons wobbling on their cute chubby legs. Yes, all three of them have learned the art of walking straight and with a smile on their faces in the historical paved centre of Brussels.

Today I was joined by my husband in what we call ‘kids free time together’. We wandered on the streets close to Grotemarkt for a while when I had this urge for eating a pancake. I actually was longing for a hot chocolate – interesting choice as I haven’t had one in ages, literally. I also knew exactly where I wanted to be.

A few steps further down and my heart started to giggle, my feet began to tap joyfully with the saxophone beats coming from the street artists performing just in front of the café. We sat down and then… I learned.

Money follows joy.

There was so much joy in the world of the two men that it literally took over the hearts of all the passers-by. They were having fun sharing their talent, their time, their stories and hopes with all those who were willing to listen. It was not about how many people will stop and listen, neither was it about how much money will they drop for them, or how many CD’s they would sell. It was their pleasure, their lightness, their joy. Pretty soon the square filled in with curious people taking pictures, singing along and gifting them money in the saxophone case where they were exhibiting their CD’s.

The more you gift, the more you receive, the more you receive, the more you gift.

It was fascinating to me to observe the enthusiasm with which all dansers, old or young, stiff or seasoned were welcomed with beats and tunes that resonated with the crowd. It was a momentum built together between those listening and those performing which made me aware of…

Just say YES.

Whether they had a fixed repertoire or they improvised, it’s not important. What mattered to me back then was that they kept performing and uplifting the crowd for a long time, longer than I had seen other street performers do. They seemed to be anticipating the public’s desire and were ready to deliver. It felt like they were reading peoples’ minds. There was laughter everywhere.

Lower your barriers.

When the performers acknowledged that they have succeeded in uplifting every person’s state of being in the square, they allowed themselves to lower their barriers even more and appear confident and vulnerable at the same time. The notes were not perfect, but the vibe was beyond anyone could have created with a faultless interpretation. People loved seeing them lose their breath and still performing. They encouraged, applauded, danced, got closer and closer to them. They became artists as well.

Know that you change the world by your presence.

I was already far from the crowd yet I was still smiling and shaking my head with the rhythm of the sax notes. The music was following me to the entrance of the parking, and even if I was no longer in their sight, they kept changing my life, making it lighter, more enjoyable, fuelling my good mood.

What if you allowed yourself to know that business is not what you have imagined it to be? That just by being alive, you are in business? You are in the business of changing, shifting, transforming peoples’ lives. And will you acknowledge this now? And be grateful for that unique energy that you are in the world? I am! Thank you, for being you, in business!