Your Actions Have A Ripple Effect – Both Good and Bad!Feb 23, 2022
One of the things I have learned through running the same business over 22 years is how to ‘think ahead’ and put myself in a good position for the future. Mind you, this was not always the case. Shifting into this mindset and way of operating came to fruition for me through many failures, and also utilizing my intuition and inner guidance or voice that would tell me things I needed to know or do.
Here are some things that I failed at early on, that once I corrected them, I set myself up for future success:
Realizing that my time was more valuable than I was allowing it to be, and that there were things in my business that were necessary, but would not create more financial success. My “Do It All Myself” attitude was having me work harder and longer, when ultimately there were people better equipped to do the things I was doing.
That was when I hired my first full-time gallery assistant, and I also hired my first bookkeeper and my first accountant.
I would ‘go with the flow’ around planning finances and budgets, and would end up coming up short or just breaking even with my finances each month. When I got clear around debt, sales, savings, tax savings and income:
Within a year, I got rid of all my consumer debt, including student loans and credit cards, and vowed to not have any more debt like that again!
I then set up a Savings Account, Tax Savings Account, and various micro accounts to get serious about MONEY Allocation and not leave it until the year’s end to catch up.
Note: One thing I ignored around this time was ‘Retirement Savings’ as in my mind I was young and could wait on it. It took me almost 8 years to set up my first retirement savings accounts. When I look back, that was a mistake, as even just saving 1K a year at that time would have led me to have 10K or more in an account. I have now learned that money is a magnet that draws upon itself when you take the right actions, and even setting up those accounts would have spurred me on to take more action in this area!
As Keith Cunningham recently discussed in one of his online posts:
“Strong positions are not an accident. Weak positions aren’t bad luck.
Telling someone they need to put themselves in a strong position is useless. Everyone knows they need a strong foundation to build a house that can weather a storm (or a wolf, thank you Three Little Pigs), but not everyone knows how to create that foundation.
The answer is as simple as it is frustrating. The position you find yourself in today is the accumulation of the small choices that you’ve been making for years.”
No one except yourself will acknowledge when you make a good, right or smart choice.
I have come to realize this by taking care of things that are important in my life (but sometimes these things are outside of myself).
One area in my life that is a complete reminder of this idea is being a Mom/Parent.
Here are some choices I have made that have helped me be a better mom:
- Cooking, eating and serving healthy foods for my family and son
- Being on a consistent schedule to create consistency, comfort and familiarity (and instill good habits at an early age).
- Making the commitment to my work and parenting schedule, and creating a clear separation between the two, so I can be fully present for my son and husband, and not be distracted or off course with work.
- Being committed everyday to the attention, growth and development of my son to ensure that I am getting him set up with the best foundation over the first 7 years of his life to ensure future success.
The things I am mentioning above were not always easy to set up, but now have become some of the best parts of my day and life that are creating amazing results in my family.
The consistency has created a level of excellence that continues to give me compound interest as the years have gone on.
This has happened in other areas that were often tough or challenging to set up initially.
How does this all apply to being a successful artist?
I have spent many years observing artists and how they operate in the world, as they surround me with my work.
When you are in the same business as I have been (owning a gallery over 22 years), you start to see and recognize patterns within groups of people that either serve them well or hinder their futures.
I have worked with some of the same artists now for 22 years (imagine that!) and some of these artists have done incredibly well, and some are in the same or similar place they were 22 years ago when I started working with them.
Success is not an accident.
Success comes from smart and clear actions that lead to creating a better foundation for yourself year over year. These can be small ‘baby’ steps or larger steps that create leaps.
Take for example the artist focused on paying off her student loan debt, that allocated money from each sale to eliminate that $500.00 monthly payment. She did it in a short amount of time, and now puts that money (and more!) into a retirement account.
(On the other side of the fence is the artist, who had a similar amount of debt and did not take any direct steps to pay down the debt or pay off the debt, who still has the same amount of debt 17 years later!)
I see these case studies all the time in every area of an artist’s career.
They can often come up years later to plague artists, and sometimes when they are in a ‘season’ of their life, when things should be getting easier for them.
THE THINGS YOU DO TODAY OR DO NOT DO TODAY WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE SOMETIMES IMMEDIATELY AND SOMETIMES YEARS LATER!!!
Where is it that you are falling behind and can start getting clear on what you are looking to achieve this year in your art career?
What action steps could you start taking?
Does this make you feel overwhelmed even thinking about it all??
I have created an incredible business program for artists that tackles all these challenges and issues artists need to deal with, called Art MBA.
The program covers building the right foundation to start with assessments of where you are at and where you’d like to go.
- Creating a vision for your career
- Thinking like a “CEO” and not an underpaid employee
- Creating business partners in your life and how to identify the right gallery partners to work with
- How to approach galleries for representation
- How to market yourself and your art
- How to sell your art
- How to network (whether remote or in person)
- How to handle your money as a creative
And many more topics!