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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

7 Ways to Get More Work Done This Summer

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

We are about halfway through the summer. Are you doing anything special during your summer vacation?

I’m spending lots of extra time at our home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also reading much more than usual and trying to find more time to art.

Even with those fun elements, it’s important not to adopt a vacation mindset when it comes to your business. A lot of people do that. You can take advantage of the slow time and make a difference in your business.

One of the things I’ve tried to work on for the last few years is working smarter and using my time more efficiently. The key to that is knowing how I am working currently. Here are some tips I have been using to put the sizzle back in my creative arts business.

Track how you spend your time.

At the end of each day and at the end of each week compare the percentage of your time used toward fulfilling your mission and achieving your goals with time spent elsewhere. It is easy to get sidetracked and not pay attention to the task at hand. It is also easy to do the effortless work and not really tackle what you should be getting done.

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Can You Find Your Art Supplies?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
declutter

I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately.

We have talked about downsizing in the next year or so. I always joke that I am on a five-year plan for decluttering, and the time just keeps getting shorter.

Looking around at my studio, I realized that it could use a healthy cleaning. So I started sorting through books, fabrics, and art supplies.

Gosh, we quilters, sewists and artists certainly do accumulate a lot. I know I will appreciate the open space in which to create.

Here are some tips if you are facing that increasing pile, or piles, of stuff:

Start With a Plan

Start with a plan. As I started thinking about the decluttering process, I realized I was really curating my space — selecting, organizing, and presenting.

The first questions you could ask is what do you want your space to say and how do you want it to function for you.

If you are a fan of Marie Kondo and her Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you can use that as a guide.



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Do You Have Gotta-Do-It-First-itis?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
do-it-first-itis

Does this sound familiar?

You are headed to the office or studio, only you pass through the kitchen and see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. You do it first and just get it done.

Now you are back on track headed to the office or studio only you are now  distracted by the stack of laundry as you pass by the washer. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. You decide it will only take a minute or two.

You pause to looking at the messages that came in the night before. One was from a friend down the street. Well, what could she want? It’s just a quick phone call, and it will be out of the way.

Finally you’ve made it to your studio and are ready to get to work. Wait, you decide to quickly check your email. Oh, some of these look really quick to answer. So you decide to do them first and get them out of the way.

Did you just lose half your day because you had what I’ve termed “gotta-do-it-first-itis”?
Any chance this problem crops up more than one day a week?



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Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

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?”

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

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?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

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Avoid the Comparison Trap

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

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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What’s in Your Rewards Jar?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

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?

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

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

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

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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