Boo! Spook Yourself Into Action

I don’t like being scared. I never enjoyed haunted houses and never dressed up in a scary outfit for Halloween (I was always something like Raggedy Ann, a princess, or a gypsy).

To this day, I hide my eyes and plug my ears during scary parts of movies. And I wouldn’t dare seek out an entire scary movie for the thrills. I think most Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are scary. To me, violence=scary. The only Schwarzenegger movie I’ve ever seen is Kindergarten Cop!

Beth Robinson, Ghoul 2

I couldn't resist sharing another one of Beth Robinson's Strange Dolls for Halloween. This is Ghoul 2. Paperclay and mohair, 22" high. ©The Artist

Okay, you get the picture.

In some aspects of my life, I’m fearless. Building my own business might have been scary–IF I had stopped to think about it. For me, it was something I had to do. Yet there is an element of fear in each new class, program, article, or workshop I produce. I don’t dwell in the fear. I use it to persevere.

While I usually try to be reassuring and supportive, I’m here to scare you today with a post that has become an annual Halloween tradition. I hope it spooks you into action.

What if . . .

What if a collector calls for a commission? Are you ready with your pricing and conditions? Can you say No, Thank You if it’s not something you’re interested in? Can you under-promise and over-deliver?

What if a venue has an opening for your work next month? Is it photographed? Is it framed? Is your mailing list in shape? You sure want to spend your time on last-minute promotions rather than inputting names into a database!

What if you sold something? Do you have your sales tax license? Are your Thank You notes ready to go? Do you have a computerized inventory list where you can input the collector’s information?

What if someone unexpectedly asked you about your art? Are you ready to talk about it? (See The Relatively Pain-Free Artist Statement.) Do you carry a portable portfolio (or pictures on your iPod or cell phone)? Can you hand them a business card? Will you go home and send a It’s Nice to Meet You note? Will you ask if they would like to be on your mailing list?

What if you experienced loss due to smoke, fire, theft, or water damage? Are you well covered by your insurance? You probably need home and business insurance in order to be completely covered–even if your business is in your home.

Boo!

Don’t be haunted by fears of having to be both artist and businessperson. As the title of the book says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

The real fear shouldn’t be in the doing; it should be in the NOT doing.

What’s the worst that could happen if you took action in one of these areas? What’s the worst that could happen if you decide not to take action? Which will be easier for you to live with?

Happy Halloween!

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11 comments to Boo! Spook Yourself Into Action

  • I wish I could say I had it all covered but I don’t. I wish I could say I’m close. But I’m not. All I can say is that I’m working on some of these and not others (for a small number of reasons that will remain unstated for now).

    It’s not fear (at least not wholly) that keeps me from being able to declare myself all set, at least. Merely circumstances some of which I can influence and some of which I can’t.

  • What I fear is never living my dream of being an artist. I wake up daily and think what I can do artfully today? What can I do to push my dreams forward?

    My biggest fear, right now, is that the gallery that wants to show my work next year will close well before that. Oh, well. Next!

  • Thanks Alyson for such a timely topic. You asked, “Is your mailing list in shape?” Not yet, but it’s getting there. My art buddy Pamela and I just talked about that on our weekly call to each other. We promised to prayerfully spend 2.5 hours inputting into our database and hold each other to the fire if we don’t. I hope that by the next time this question comes up–we’ll have helped each other get it done.

    • It’s so cool that you and Pamela are art buddies. And from such a distance! And I’m thrilled that I’ve met you both in person at two different workshops.

      Everyone should have an art-biz buddy!

  • This is a wonderful Boo! :-) and a great reminder to be ready. To say “no” is, probably, the hardest part for me…. and this is the area I need to work on and, probably, another topic too :-) Great post! Thank you, Alyson! :-)))

  • For the entirety of my professional life that I have just been able to wing it as opportunities arise. I haven’t been doing things in a very professional way and I’m going through a rather confusing time in my life as it is in dealing with some pretty serious health issues that affect my ability it appears to organize and focus on tasks that are outside of my direct interest. My experience at tracking has been hit and miss at best and I may need a professional assistant of some sort.