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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

7 steps to build your creative arts business

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018


Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of creatives. Some were private coaching clients, some came to my Creative Arts Business Summit, some belong to our ICAP Members’ Studio, some attended my classes and lectures, some learned from the magazines I published, and some learned from what I shared in this blog and online.

Regardless of how someone has learned from me, they were introduced to one or more elements of my CREATE! system. This system is how I grew my creative arts business. I go back to it again and again as my business changes.

C = Clarity

What’s clarity got to do with it? Clarity sets the foundation for your business. If you are not clear about where you want to go, what you want to make, who you are trying to serve, etc., you will just not be as successful as you could be. You don’t have to wait until you’re clear on everything to get started, just that as you become clearer and clearer your path becomes easier.

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It starts with clarity

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018


We recently welcomed a new group into our Members’ Studio. We have lots of resources all geared to help you build the creative business of your dreams.

I know that too many options can be overwhelming. What’s needed is clarity. It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the options. What if I do this? Or that?

Ever been there?

What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that’s our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life. And, once you get clear, it doesn’t mean you always stay clear, unfortunately. I think it’s a continual path as you and your business grow.

You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

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Discover your why

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Over in our Creative Passion to Profit Facebook Group we are hosting a challenge to help creatives increase their visibility and grow their businesses. On the first day I asked the members two questions. Why Do You Create? Why Did You Start Your Creative Business?

You’ll find a great deal of variety of answers. Some people were raised with creative parents; some were not. Some expressed their creativity from childhood; some put it on hold and it re-emerged as adults. Some started their businesses with purpose; some started accidentally. You will probably resonate with something someone wrote. You can read the responses or join in here.

Have you ever thought about what your why is? You know, why you do what you do? Why you are in the business you are? Why art or creativity chose you? And why you chose to make it important enough that it is your business?

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Are you still excuse-ing?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018


Last weekend I met a good friend Mariellen for tea. She was still telling me that she was just about to get her new business launched, something I had heard for several years. I waited to hear her latest excuse.

Over the years I’d heard lots of reasons or excuses from Mariellen. She didn’t have the money. The time wasn’t right; she was too busy. She was afraid she’d fail at it. Her kids needed her. Her parents needed her. She needed new headshots, but she had to lose weight first. She couldn’t launch without the website being ready. The photos of her work weren’t good enough and she needed a new camera. She had just volunteered for a major project at the local art guild. She was clearly waiting for the stars to be aligned. Does that ever really happen?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a master at excuses myself. At some point, thought, I decided the excuses were, well, just excuses. And, frankly, I got tired of them. And, I’m pretty sure people who heard them were bored with them. If I wanted to get anything accomplished, I needed to do something about it.

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Are you waiting to be qualified?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


Do you have some business or personal dreams that are putting off because you think you need to know more before you move forward? Maybe you think you need another art course, or maybe you need that extra marketing course. Or, your website could be better, and you need to know how to do it. Or, your portfolio need to be better to enter that show. Or, you need to up your photography skills so you can take better shots of your work. Or, you don’t know as much as or are as skilled as someone else. Or…

Does that sound like you? I’ve been there. I’m someone who thrives on knowledge, and I’m always searching to learn more. And, it’s a good thing, except that it can put an obstacle in your path. It’s easy to look for the next course to build your knowledge or skill level instead of taking action, albeit imperfect action.

If you are waiting to feel qualified, stop. You are already qualified, and you just need to take the leap. Here are some tips to move you forward.

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Let’s celebrate + stretch

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

July. We are midway through the year. Have you taken time to review where you are with accomplishing your goals at this half-way point?

This week is the perfect time to look back at what you have accomplished so far this year and adjust your goals for the year. Why now? Other than it is half-way through the year, this is the week of July 4, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a day meant for celebration — picnics, fireworks and gratitude. I like celebrating where I started and where I am. I like celebrating that I am able to work both independently as an entrepreneur and interdependently with so many wonderful people. I’m sure you have some of those same celebrations.

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What are your “pinch-me” moments?

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Last week I was honored to be a special presenter at the Handi Quilter Retailer Academy. The first day I gave a talk on Capturing the Creative Customer and on Social Media. The second day I offered individual coaching sessions on a first come, first served basis to those who were interested. I met some fabulous retailers from around the world and reconnected with a few I already knew. I also had a lot of fun.

During the final banquet, Handi Quilter presented four of us with a special gift — the biggest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen. In fact they were so big, and of course sharp, that they wouldn’t meet the carry-on requirements of the airline. Mine should be arriving in the mail, and I’ve picked out a wonderful spot to hang them.

One of the recipients said earlier that speaking at the Academy was a “pinch-me” moment for her. I agree. It also reminded me of an article I read sometime back by Connie Schultz, a columnist with the Cleveland Plains Dealer, about how her mom lived a “pinch me” life.

I love this attitude. It’s about being in the moment and grateful for everything. It doesn’t matter if you are experiencing something for the first time or the tenth time.

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Thank You for Your Business!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

When was the last time you sent a letter via the US Postal Service to thank someone? When was the last time you received one?

I know that today we are all about digital. However, I think you are missing the boat if you don’t add some higher touch activities to your marketing and/or customer service efforts. By marketing, I don’t mean selling. I mean inviting people get to know, like and trust you.

Personal hand-written notes are the perfect way for you to build that connection. A simple note only requires a few of minutes of your time and a first-class postage stamp.

The rewards for both parties are way beyond that. You will feel good doing this. The recipient will feel appreciated. I’ve seen examples of people sharing their thank you notes on social media or in their blogs, making even more people feel good. What a great example of word-of-mouth marketing. Remember, the more people learn about you, the better.

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What’s in Your Rewards Jar?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

How often do you reward yourself for your work? If you are like many creative entrepreneurs I know, it’s not very often. Sure you accomplish the items on your to-do list, you make progress towards your goals, and you may feel proud about what you are doing. Then, it’s on to the next thing on the list, the next goal.

Many of my clients take part in what I call a Success and Strategies Summit on a weekly basis. I had been taking time to look at what I accomplished and plan ahead on a weekly basis for years. It made a difference in how much I was accomplishing and the confidence level I had. When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them. They began to see how important this review was in their own lives and businesses.

A big part of this Summit is celebrating your successes. Did I mention how often we are on to the next thing and don’t do this?

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Lose the New Year’s Resolutions!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

What’s In a Word?

Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words. I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.

I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.

What it did was allow me to focus on being a person who was more open to opportunities, more open to challenges, and more open to other people. It required me to “be” or work on “becoming” a certain person.

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