I like to think of myself as a fixer of things, a repair man of sorts.
I’m good at looking at a situation, identifying bottlenecks and weak links, and inventing solutions for them.
This is what much of my coaching work is about: finding out where the biggest problem exists and then looking for ways to get around them.
In many cases, the problem is of a practical nature: not enough traffic, a lack of communication, things like that.
Very often though, the problem is on the inside: the way people think – about themselves, the market, or their work.
That’s why I like to say ‘we work on the in-here in order to get your work out there’.
Lots of psychology goes into the mix.
Especially when you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture of ‘this individual with those talents, and ALL THESE MISSED OR UNEXPLORED OPPORTUNITIES!’.
Because believe you me: there are many kinds of opportunity that you could work on and get results from.
But most of the time, we can’t see the forest for the trees, and don’t realise those opportunities are there.
That’s what coaching is for – to help you get more results by making use of your talents, assets, and opportunities.
But coaching is a process that requires serious commitment, and there’s a cost as well.
In other words, it’s not for everyone.
Some people just aren’t ready to dive in fully, and that’s ok.
The stars do need to align, before you can immerse yourself in building your success.
This is one reason why I write these dailies:
To give you a form of mini-coaching, to help you look at yourself in hopefully different ways.
To give you an incentive to consider things from a different angle.
And, hopefully, to give you the almighty shove that propels you into taking action.
Because without action, nothing will ever change.
Nobody is going to seek you out, discover you, and throw money at you.
In that sense, we’re no different from prehistoric man:
We still need to get out of our cave (studio), hunt animals (develop marketing methods), pick berries or dig up tubers.
Now, where it comes to fixing things, there’s this email exchange I had the other day:
I am very new to this and have only started getting serious about making money from art.
So I would say the thing I struggle with the most is trying to figure out where to focus most of my attention.
I have completed several commissions and have a few more coming but I’m not sure what to do next.
Ah yes, what to do next.
Always a tricky question to answer, what with all the experts and so-called experts saying that trick A or platform B or strategy C is the one thing you should focus on.
So this is what I replied:
1: Growing your email list
2: That requires more traffic to your site
3: Which in turn requires more visibility online (for which social media can be very helpful, but also consider forums or Facebook groups)
4: Having conversations with buyers, to see if a) they want more of your work, b) are willing to give you a testimonial (video is very effective but not a required format) c) are willing
to help you out by forwarding a message from you to their contacts
Which of these would be most helpful at the moment, or put differently: which of these is most in need of improvement?
See, iteration and improvement don’t have to be that difficult.
And if working with a coach isn’t yet in the cards for you, you can do a lot for yourself, on your own:
Look at the bigger picture.
Which things are working?
Which things impede progress and growth?
Single out the one which either has the most potential, or is easiest to fix, or has the biggest chance of enabling growth in other areas.
Then focus on that one thing, ignore all the rest, and get to fixing it.
Once done, repeat the exercise, and then again.
Traffic, visibility, conversations, building a list, optimising your site, creating brochures, installing ecommerce… where is the biggest bottleneck?
Of course if you do want to work with a coach, to help you make the best decisions and decide what to do and how, just holler.