Meet Eli Trier
Helping quiet revolutionaries rally the troops. Introvert, cat-lover, bookworm.
Ian Dury’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
How Gratitude & Creativity Helped Me Get My Groove Back
As my eyes flickered over the email, I could feel my heart sink. The full implications of what it said broke over me like a wave, and I felt myself go numb. I stood up from my desk, walked from my home office into my bedroom, crawled into bed, and pulled the duvet up over my head. I stayed there for over a month…
At the end of 2012 I had a business deal go south. It was a merger, of sorts, with a few other companies, and I had made huge life-changing decisions based on the outcome. Everything was looking rosy, until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. I won’t go into to all the details of what happened, but it turned out that one of the four companies involved in the merger (in fact, the mastermind behind the whole thing) turned out to be a front for a con-artist. He had deceived all of us.
It was a total sucker punch. I felt like such a fool – my business felt tainted and my confidence was in tatters. How could I have been sucked in by such a monster? I was burned out, exhausted, humiliated, and just, well… spent. I had definitely lost my mojo.
After a month of mostly sleeping, and crying, and watching crappy TV, I made a decision.
If I was going to be miserable, I may as well be miserable doing something I loved. So I dusted off my art materials and started drawing.
I set up a personal blog, and decided to concentrate on the good things in my life. The people who had made a difference to me, or brightened my day, or shown me a fresh perspective. Once a week, I drew a picture and wrote a thank you letter to one of these people – some living, some dead, some famous, some family, musicians, artists, scientists, business leaders, all sorts.
Every week, I set myself the challenge of making a brand new painting for the project, and gradually, I began to paint more and more pictures (unrelated to gratitude) just for the joy of it.
I kept producing work, and I kept publishing it. Some of it was awesome, some of it sucked.
And then, a funny thing happened – people started getting interested. The blog was picked up by a couple of news outlets, and I had a surge in traffic. I even ended up publishing it as a book!
All of a sudden, people were telling me that they loved my work and asking where they could buy it. I started being asked if I did commissions, what my illustration rates were, etc etc.
Lo and behold, a completely new career was born, and I loved it. For five glorious years I drew pictures for money (alongside teaching and creativity coaching, because illustration doesn’t actually pay very much!).
All of this was born from a desperate attempt to claw myself back from a pit of despair. All of this came from the tiny seed of a thought – that the only way out was to say thank you.
I have a very different job now, the seeds of which were sown during those years. And these days I keep my art as a special sacred thing just for myself. To nourish and inspire me in both dark times and light.
My creativity is my greatest source of joy and connection.
Being grateful forced me to be authentic, and when I approached my life from a place of authenticity and gratitude, everything changed for me. I saved myself, and I got my groove back in a big way.
These days I create when I feel like it – painting is the best antidote to anxiety I know, and it never fails to reconnect me with the true essence of who I am. Making art is my expression of my truest self, and it’s a precious jewel just for me.
MORE ABOUT ELI
Eli Trier lives in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark and is a community builder for Quiet Revolutionaries. She helps introverts with big dreams to get connected and build thriving, engaged communities around their businesses, so that they can make a massive impact, find their dream clients, and make their corner of the world a better place. A long-time business owner, Eli knows first-hand the power of human connection to build a business, and her unique approach got her featured in The FT Guide to Business Networking. She specialises in creating powerful, strategic online community projects and loves every minute of her work (even the boring bits). When she’s not working you can find her curled up with a book, painting, or hanging out with her husband Lars.