The big news in the art world this week was the stunt that Banksy pulled at a Sotheby’s auction.

At the moment ‘Girl with Balloon’ sold for £1.4m, it immediately started to self-destruct via a shredder concealed in the frame.

Speculate as much as you want as to who was in on it, and what impact it had on the value of the piece… but there is no denying Banksy continues to push boundaries, make headlines and reinvent what art is. 

Here are three key lessons we can take away from the Banksy stunt:

1) Don’t stand still

What would have happened if Banksy didn’t destroy that piece of art? It would have sold for £1.4m, some collector would have it on their wall, and likely it would have barely made the news.

A perfectly normal and expected result… but is that what you want from your business? Normal? Predictable?

Regardless of how successful your business is, if you continue doing the same thing day in and day out, you are going to plateau. Leveling out when your competition is continuing the trek means you’ll be left behind… and catching up won’t be easy.

Just remember, the eight most expensive words in business:

“That’s the way we have always done it”

2) You can’t fake authenticity

How ‘Banksy’ was it to pull off a stunt like that? It totally aligns with his ethos, the subject matter of his art and the overall mystique of the person behind the mask.

It’s not always easy to live your brand, to stick your neck out and risk the unknown. Would you be willing to risk £1.4m on a stunt hoping it would pay off and increase in value? Are you committed enough to your brand that it means doing what is ‘right’ whatever the cost?

Since the stunt, a collector who owned a copy of Girl with Balloon valued at £40,000 cut it up to mimic the one that was auctioned off… it’s now worth £1. Don’t think that just because someone else has done something that you can as well. If it isn’t true to you, your brand and your direction as a business, you can’t fake it and hope for the best.

3) Do one thing every day that scares you

What’s the worst that could happen? We need to ensure we are making well-informed decisions… but we shouldn’t be burdened by constant ‘what if’ thinking.

In order to keep moving forward, you can’t always play it safe. Take risks, put your neck out there. Hide a shredder in your next painting. Do SOMETHING! 

By actively testing the boundaries, ignoring the ‘what ifs’ and being a little bit risky, you’ll push yourself further towards success.