There comes a point in every artist’s (every entrepreneur’s) business where you can’t grow without hiring someone.
It might be a paid intern, your kid, a website helper, or a bookkeeper, but you need the extra hands if you want to expand.
Who do you hire?
What will they do?
Your primary focus as an artist is on making art. That’s when you are in what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Genius.” In his book, The Big Leap, Hendricks writes:
In your Zone of Genius, though the time you spend there produces great financial abundance, you do not feel that you are expending effort to produce it. In your Zone of Genius, work doesn’t feel like work.
I’m certain you know what that feels like. Bliss.
Your goal is to take those tasks off your plate that aren’t in your Zone of Genius – the tasks that keep you from making your best work. It’s the art you produce in the studio that nobody else could do.
For example, you might be competent at updating your WordPress template, but it’s not your best work. It takes you away from your best work.
Consider how lovely life would be if you could dwell in your Zone of Genius most of the time. How would that feel?
You might be making mistakes in your art business that are holding you back from big growth.
Mistakes aren’t bad, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to be perfect in everything you do because seeking perfection is a sure way to be paralyzed by fear. We have to make mistakes in order to learn and to grow.
Mistakes are only detrimental if you keep repeating them without learning and correcting your ways.
Are you making any of these mistakes?
1. Not knowing where you want to go with your career.
I’m not talking about the need to have a specific plan, but I’ve noticed how few artists, especially when they’re just starting out, don’t “get” that running a business is serious stuff. You’re no longer making art for pure pleasure.
Everything changes when you start asking for money in return for your talents. For some artists, it changes for the better and you’re fired up to get your art out there. Other artists can’t stomach the pressure and lose all interest in making art. They can’t seem to get into the studio.
I am not immune to unproductive days, and I’ve had more than my fair share of them recently.
In order to get back on track, I’ve regrouped and, with the help of a coach, reminded myself of these principles. They really work – when you do them.
Start The Day With 3 Intentional Steps
I swear by the importance of these first three steps. When I don’t do them, I am significantly more overwhelmed and stressed out. Doing them brings peace of mind and helps me start my day on my terms rather than diving in and responding to everything being pushed at me.
It’s time to tie a bow around 2014 and prepare for 2015 by organizing your systems.
The ideas here should take you less than 1 hour, and they will bring peace of mind to your New Year.
1. Update the copyright notices on your website, blog, and newsletter.
Too many sites have old copyright dates on them. I’ve seen some as old as 2007! Blogging platforms will automatically update your copyright, but static sites need your attention now.
I’m not talking about the copyright notice on individual images. I’m referring to the copyright statement on the site, which is typically located in the footer of your pages.
If your website says ©2014, it doesn’t look fresh. Change that to 2015 before you forget.
I took this screen capture of my site earlier in the week. If you scroll down to
Would you like to get more done in less time? Then quit multitasking!
Multitasking is working on diverse tasks simultaneously and, usually, doing them all half-heartedly: driving and talking on the phone; attending a webinar and responding to email; or writing a blog post and texting.
Research shows that only about 2.5% of college students can multitask effectively. Two point five percent!
©2011 Corrina Sephora, Hull Trilogy (dtl). Mixed media. Used with permission.
Studies now show that multitasking is a myth. You simply can’t give your attention to more than one thing at a time.
Health magazine gives 12 reasons to kick the habit, including the insight that multitasking dampens your creativity: “… multitaskers often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous ‘a ha moments’.”
Kick the Habit
To embrace single-tasking, take the first step and turn off
©Tara Pappas, The Release. Mixed media, 12 x 6 inches. Used with permission.
The biggest lesson from last week’s Art Biz Makeover: Let go of control.
After several discussions with my guests, it was clear that few people were willing to bring others into their art businesses.
When someone asked me if I ever slept, I happily responded that I got 8 hours sleep the night before. Really. And I did it because I hired people that I trust to stuff the goodie bags, get the name badges together, staff the registration table, select the music, order the food, and put out fires.
I learned a long time ago that if I was going to build my business to be more profitable, I was going to have to trust others.
I have read plenty of books over
Tomorrow is the final day of this year’s Art Biz Makeover event, and I have scheduled a special session on pitching your art that includes a panel of art world folks who are pitched to by artists all of the time.
©Lisa Cirenza, Tubers. Acrylic and oil on board, 70 x 100 centimeters. Used with permission.
As I was preparing for this event, I approached someone that I wanted to sit on this panel of art experts. I broke all of my rules for pitching ideas to people and couldn’t have screwed up the situation worse than I did.
Here’s how it went down in an only slightly edited, simplified version.
Me: We’ve never met, but I teach artists how to build their businesses. I’d like to stop by and introduce myself.
Other person: I
The reason you’re out of ideas is that you’re out of practice.
I was so proud of saying this to a client the other day that I asked her to hold while I wrote down the quote.
I knew to write it down because I’m in the practice of gathering ideas for my writing. I have a regular writing schedule. I can’t say the same for a studio schedule.
No Studio Practice
When Barbara Gilhooly and Ayn Hanna called for “heart art” for their commitment ceremony, I wanted to make a heart for them so badly. I stewed over it for three months before giving up. I had a twinkle of an idea, but no vision for making it happen.
Barbara and Ayn in front of the wall of hearts, a beautiful ceremony that I had wanted to contribute