Friday Tips: Taking Risks




These shots show the new gallery at 90% of completion. Grand Opening tonight. Expect at least 300 people. It’ll be a riot.

Does moving to this enormous space involve a risk? Oh yeah. Couldn’t I have just stayed in our smaller gallery? Not if I wanted to grow. What will happen if my plan doesn’t succeed? I’ll fail. Do I consider that an option? No.

I can’t move this whole dream forward without a larger space. Yes, we burned a lot of capital renovating, and I spent much more time overseeing the work than I wanted, working 80-hour weeks to balance this transition with new business, old business, and everyday operations. So it’s a toss of the dice, again–and I find I’m compelled to toss those dice about once every couple of years. But I don’t really consider myself a risk-taker; rather I consider myself a risk manager. Either way you’re welcome to track us for the next year or two, see if we pull off the whole thing, or go down in flames.

As I believe you all know, you can’t realize great dreams without taking certain risks. It would have been far more comfortable, and less costly, to stay where we were. But I was being hampered by the limits of the space, location, etc. My new location offers only opportunity: a classroom for a whole range of instruction, endless floor and wall space, several offices for staff, a reading area for clients to sip coffee, and quiet little sleeping loft for afternoon naps.

Setting up this gig has damned near worn me out. But the whole time I was working so hard, pushing my body and mind to their absolute limits of endurance, I just kept thinking of how grateful I was. I mean rice farmers in Vietnam work this hard their whole lives, with almost no chance of breaking out. I have nothing but opportunity before me.

Yes, this move is a considerable risk, just like choosing to live the artist’s life itself is a risk (as if we have a moral choice). But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

10 thoughts on “Friday Tips: Taking Risks

  1. Kind words from you both. Thanks. It’s now 10:00, and we’re closing for the night. Went through just under 500 bodies. Drank a lot of wine, sold a lot of work, told many stories, had many laughs. Damn good night.

    Ms. Reuther, I have good news for you come Mon.

  2. Congrats on a hugely successful evening and venture. Get some sleep and then ENJOY!!!

  3. You ability to share and encourage others when you are the busiest is uncanny. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort and walking the talk. Congratulations on your latest success and new digs.

  4. Many Congratulations on your great opening, and thank you for taking time on the busiest of days to send out your Friday email!

    Get some rest. And I echo the other sentiments above – ENJOY, and Keep Going!

    (and please don’t forget Oklahoma when you someday expand beyond your region!)

  5. I like your comment about “choosing to live the artist’s life…as if we have a moral choice”. Amen. And you’re right, profit is not enough motivation for life’s choices. You are an encouraging voice of reason. Keep up the good work, and making a difference in people’s lives. Blessings, Diana

  6. What an exciting event! The pursuit of dreams is truly a grueling, yet exhilarating experience. Hope and vision keeps us in the uphill climb toward our dreams. As you elluded, if we are to really live, we have no choice but to this, the artist’s life.

    Congratulations! I hope you are encouraged by the outcome and business of the evening.

    Watching with interest.

  7. I am new to your blog, but I wanted to say congrat’s on this opening, sounds like it went great, it looks wonderful. I bet the art was wonderful in that space!

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