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Escape to creativity!

What are you doing on your summer vacation?

Yes, I know that as creative entrepreneurs you don’t really take a summer vacation. You are probably working in/on your business 24/7/365. You can’t possibly take time off.

Or maybe you do fit in some time because your spouse has a two-week vacation. Or maybe you still have a day job with vacation time and you don’t want to lose it all. According to Market Watch, the average American worker takes just over half his/her vacation time.

This summer try something different. Take time off and use it as an opportunity to open your mind, spice up your creativity, and see the world in a new way. Here are some ideas to get you started.



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Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset

Over the weekend, I stopped in a local gallery and was talking with some of the artists. Several were quite successful.

One described herself as struggling. Then she said with a laugh, no she was really the typical “starving artist.”

What ensued was a rather lively discussion about our value, what we believe we are capable of, what words to do us, and the notion that we do not have to buy into that “starving” mentality.

The starving artist mentality is totally in your head.



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Are You Waiting for “Enoughness?”

Do you have some business or personal dreams that you 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. Or, your design skills need to be better to enter that show. Or, you do not know as much as, or are as skilled as, someone else. Or, …

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Are You Whelmed?

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Avoid the Comparison Trap

Comparison Trap

Do you ever get that sinking feeling when you look around and start to compare yourself to others — their art or their business success?

You start to think that no one will every want what you have.

And, then you start to believe the one or two people who have ever commented negatively on your work.

And, then the spiral starts. Really, who are you to do this anyway?

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Are You the Bison or the Cow?

Last week while I was caught in yet another rainstorm on the East Coast, I remembered something I had read about the difference between the bison and the cow.

Not having experienced it, I am not sure if it is anecdotal or always holds true. Even if it is only anecdotal, it holds some good lessons for all of us.

When storms come, the bison and the cow approach the storm differently.

Most storms come from the west and move east.

When cows sense that a storm is coming, they will start to run to the east, to try to outrun it. Ever watch cows run? I have, since my uncle and cousins raise grass-fed cattle. They do not really move all that fast. So the storm will catch up to the cows and they will be caught up in it and actually run with it. They won’t get out of the storm until the storm passes them by.

Bison, on the other hand, will run right into the storm. They will get through the storm more quickly and with less pain and frustration.

Both animals face exactly same storm yet their approach is the opposite.

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Two Margaritas and Some Silence

Guest post by Gwen Fox, www. gwenfox.com.

There were lots of giggles and hugs as the women said their good-byes. They had come from all over the U.S. and Canada to take this workshop in Taos, New Mexico.

Now it was time to clean the facility and Helen graciously said she would help. We swept, mopped and laughed as we relived all the class personalities.

When we finished I asked Helen if she would like to go for a margarita at Doc Martins, located in the historic Taos Inn. Doc Martins is famous for the number of celebrities that come to have a quiet drink without all the fan fare of being a star.

We chose our seats in an area so we could talk. Helen had come a long distance and was new to the art world. I liked Helen as she was curious, eager to learn, intelligent and she had inner strength.

As we sipped our margaritas we started talking about art, painting and the struggles it brought. Helen’s eyes lowered and she looked into her margarita for several minutes. I had seen this scene many times. I knew what was coming as I had lived what she was about to say.

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What’s in Your Rewards Jar?

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. For years, I had been taking time to look at what I accomplished and plan ahead on a weekly basis. 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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What’s Your Self-Worth Quotient?

self-worth

Periodically I offer a complementary webinar titled “5 Smart Ways to Make Money Now in Your Creative Arts Business.”

Before I delve into the five strategies, I spend some time talking about your mindset and knowing your value. From my experience working with creative entrepreneurs, I often find they struggle with determining a value for their work and then charging for it.

Here are some tips for dealing with your worth:

Know exactly what you are charging and why.

Are you challenged by what to charge for your services?

Many creatives are in this same place. You tend to undercharge because you don’t know what to charge. You look at what others are charging and figure it must be right.

Do you ever wonder how that person came up with her price? She probably did what you did: looked around at what others were charging and figured it was right.

Take the time to go back and determine how long it takes you to accomplish your work. Consider what your expenses are – overhead, taxes, materials, etc. Then determine what you need to make on an hourly basis to meet your expenses and make a profit.

Only then will you know if your price is right.

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8 creative biz lessons I learned from basketball

As I watched the Final Four Tournament on Saturday, I was thinking about what basketball and the professional creative arts have something in common. Is it any surprise my mind would go to art when I’m watching sports?

Passion

This is the obvious. These kids love basketball, and for them it is their art. What you pay attention to grows.

Just as the college athletes pay attention to basketball and their skills and love of the game increase, your skill level in your art increases with increased attention. Your knowledge and love of the art grows as you look at more art, go to more galleries, take more classes. And, your skill level at marketing, and your passion at marketing, also increases proportionately to the effort you put into it.

How much effort are you putting into growing your business?

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