Here are four semi-unrelated business lessons I either learned or shared last week. I hope they help you with your art business.
1. Capture it. Write it down.
My housekeeper was overwhelmed with all she had to do following her father’s passing. The coach in me kicked in: “If you don’t mind my asking, do you write things down?”
“I never write anything down,” she admitted.
That’s why she was so overwhelmed! All of her To-Dos were floating around in her head. She had no peace because they were constantly nagging at her.
Writing things down gets them out of your head. It helps you stop worrying about what you need to do because you see it all on paper. The list rarely appears as overwhelming as it seemed in your head. It’s manageable.
2. Figure out how you work best.
When a client and I are figuring out the best way to accomplish something, I’ll ask: Is this a task you’d do in one sitting or would you prefer to chunk it down into smaller segments?
You have to know how you work best and work with that tendency, not against it.
For brainless activities like updating a mailing list, I like small chunks of time. I can’t imagine spending 2 hours doing data entries.
But when I need to focus and think clearly, I work well with big chunks of time. I close down email and social media, develop a rhythm, and avoid distractions. Most of my writing projects require this type of scheduling and planning.
I write my newsletter best in several sittings. I need about an hour and a half to write a draft, but I won’t be satisfied with it in a single sitting. It will need two more pass-throughs before going to my proofreader.
I’ve learned that I need to approach my time working on big projects with a sense of purpose. I work best when I say to myself, “I am now going to write the first draft of my newsletter. I will do other things on my list later.”
Last week I held my first webinar (see below). I was a little nervous because I had attended some pretty lame webinars.
There always seems to be a tech issue at the beginning of a webinar and the slides are often horrible. I wanted mine to be visually interesting and engaging.
I’m very happy with my first webinar, but only because I practiced. I conducted about five run-throughs of my slides – carefully honing my words each time.
Whether it’s language for talking with people about your art or a cold-call pitch, practicing gives you the confidence to complete the task to your standards.
4. Line up your team.
I couldn’t have pulled off a successful webinar about entrepreneurial artists without the help of two of my team members.
One person was assigned to answer any email questions before, during and after the webinar. Her attention needed to stay focused on her inbox.
Another person uploaded a new website page while the webinar was in session, which I directed people to at the end of the webinar.
Their help allowed me to stay focused on my guests’ experience.
You need people on your team – paid or volunteer – to help you succeed. That’s one of the hallmarks of an entrepreneur that I talk about in the webinar replay you see above.
What business lessons have you been learning lately?