Jun 24, 2008

When goulash is better than meat and potatoes

The last 2 weeks I have worked with a few clients trying to simplify their work or develop a disciplined focus for what they do. Someone, somewhere along the line has told them that they need to find one focus and go with that; that their business can't be so scattered. And at times I would agree with this statement. At times, however, I think it's exactly the wrong thing to do.

Take for instance what my life as an artist is going to be in a few weeks:
  • running a kids camp
  • teaching at the college
  • grant writing for artists / organizations
  • selling my own art
  • facilitating workshops and presentations
  • writing blogs
  • online marketing consulting

A quick look at this list and some may say it is unfocused. But when you look at it closely, they are all inter-related and all within themselves focused on the work I want to do and can do. They all generate revenue and none of them conflict with the image I want to create for myself. To me if I were just the meat and potatoes with the same outcome every time, that was predictable and somewhat bland, I would lose focus and ambition. By taking that same meat and potatoes and making goulash, I get a different flavour every time - that's what will keep me focused on results and my passions.

Jun 10, 2008

It takes a family to raise an entrepreneur

Yesterday I took the plunge - I submitted my letter of resignation from the corporate world. It's funny to watch everyone's face when I tell them I'm not leaving for another job, I'm leaving to be an artist. It was almost surreal, I had planned the day for a while but it felt so neat to actually be at this point in the journey.

As I embark down this new path, I realize that as much as I'm an independent artist and an independent business consultant, I'm not in this alone. My friends and family have played a very important role: my cheerleader. My husband, who is not a risk taker, is really going out of his comfort zone to support me and that gives me confidence and a level head to bounce my ideas off of. My friends have offered me solid advice on everything from timing, to process to financial ideas.

So, I've learned that even if you're in business by yourself, you're never in it alone. It really does take a family to raise an entrepreneur!

Jun 4, 2008

The second Rule of 7!.

Sorry, I got trigger happy and posted before I was finished.

So, the first rule of 7 is about time management. The 2nd rule of 7 came across my plate (well, actually my Facebook) today. A 'friend' asked if a ring that I had posted in my photo album a while a go was still for sale. I posted that picture over a month a go. So what does 7 have to do with it? Well, it takes a customer 7 times to see your product, name or alike before they buy from you. Which means that it also takes time. It's important to remember this when you're remembering your promotional activities, you may not see direct sales right away, but down the road when you least expect it the connection will be made.
Now here's to hoping there's a 3rd rule of 7 - all sales happen in groups of 7 :-).

The Rule of 7

Last night at the TIA workshop on Social Networking for business there was a general concern that between Facebook, youTube, mySpace, Blogging and your own website that you wouldn't have anytime to spend in your studio. That's when I mentioned my first rule of 7. I allow myself 7 minutes per day on Facebook because I know it could suck me in and never spit me out. The artists wondered why 7 minutes? Well, 5 is too little and therefore not effective, and 10 is too much and can easily be rounded up to 15 and then 20 and so on. I think I stole this concept from either Eat that Frog or The 4-hr Work Week. One of them states that by setting random times for tasks it forces you to pay attention to the clock and not allow 'creep' to happen. It's a really good concept in planning meetings, set them for 10 minutes after the hour instead of on the hour and you'll be amazed at how much you can get down in that first ten minutes.