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Is it Spring Yet? 5 Ideas to Help you Bring Some Sunshine Into Your Art Business

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Is it Spring Yet? 5 Ideas to Help you Bring Some Sunshine Into Your Art Business

This blog was also published on The Huffington Post

Spring officially arrived last a few days ago, but where I live, we still have to put on winter boots, scarves and hats before going out, and by the looks of it, we’re going to have them on for a couple more weeks...

But I’m not going to let the weather come between me, my business and... my spring cleaning, and neither should you!

I don’t know what it is about us humans, but every year, as soon as we hit mid-march, we collectively seem to get an urge to clean. Maybe it’s our body telling us to soak in as much sunlight as it’s humanly possible, by cleaning as many windows as we can! Whatever the reason, it feels so good!

But all this activity is not just for the home, it should also be a practice for our businesses as well! And while I was doing my own cleaning, I thought of you and how I could help and motivate you to start YOUR “Business Spring Cleaning”.

So here it goes: 5 suggestions to start the new season on a high note!

1) Clean up your studio and set up a comfortable spot to work on your business

Working on a kitchen counter is neither ideal nor productive because it distracts you from your main focus by reminding you of everything that needs to get to get done around the house. Find a corner in your home or studio that you enjoy and make it your own by surrounding it with pictures, books and objects that mean something to you. Show your workspace some loving so sitting down to work on the business side of things doesn’t make you want to run the other way! Every time you’lI step into your office, you’ll feel like you’re exactly where you should be. If you want to spend more time and be more efficient building your art business, make sure you are setting yourself up for success and it all starts with creating a space you’ll truly enjoy working in.

2) Get organized
Confession time: I’m really bad at everything related to administrative work, accounting, taxes... If you can name it, I probably hate it! But this year, things are taking a different tangent. Instead of waiting for the last minute to get my paperwork together, I’ve decided to set up systems once and for all to make it more fun (or at least less painful) to get it all done. You know the saying “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body”, well that also applies to your business. Get your paperwork in order and set up systems that will make it easier to perform your administrative and financial tasks in the future. The return on your (time) investment will no doubt be well worth the effort.

3) Set your Q2 Goals
The first quarter of the year is almost behind us. So, how are the goals you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year coming along? Now’s not the time to find excuses for why you didn’t reach your goals or procrastinated. You should rather take this time to look back on the first 3 months of 2016, assess what worked and what didn’t and set three realistic and measurable goals for the next 90 days. Once you’ve done that, break down each goal in bitesize action items that you’ll plug into your calendar. No more excuses necessary.

4) Commit to networking at least once a month
Selling is all about building and nurturing relationships, you know that already. But what are you really doing to create new relationships? Sure, social media is great, but nothing beats an actual face to face “meet and greet” where people get to know you and discover what you and your art are all about. This probably means you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone, but you know I’m right... Right? Think about who you want to reach with your art, figure out where they hang out and show up!

5) Find an accountability partner
Being an Artrepreneur has its perks but it can also be very lonely. Your “buddies” Overwhelmed and Isolated have no business in your art business! Find someone you can trust and who will tell it to you like it is when you need it. Then commit to being accountable to each other. Even if you only meet once a month for 30 minutes over the phone, you’ll soon see the many benefits of having someone keeping you on the level when things aren’t rolling as well as you’d like. Connecting with another entrepreneur will no doubt give you a new sense of purpose and you will also help you gain a different perspective, one that might help you down the road as you grow your art business.

Here’s your opportunity to start fresh! Take it, embrace it and commit to it!

What are you going to do during this second quarter to turn your art business around?


Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" here, or click on the image above, and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work.

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What You Can Learn From My Entrepreneurial Journey…

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What You Can Learn From My Entrepreneurial Journey…

Have I ever told you about how I became an entrepreneur? It might seem like I have all my sh** together these days, but believe me, it wasn’t always so.

It all started when I was in College and one of my favorite teachers told me I should forget about majoring in Art History. I remember his words as if it were yesterday. He said:

“I’ll speak to you as if you were my daughter Catherine because I truly believe you have what it takes to have a brilliant career. Don’t go into the arts, you’ll struggle all your life.”

My teacher had hit a nerve. My family had been struggling financially for as long as I could remember, so there was no way I was going to let that happen to me.

No way José!

So I listened like the nice young woman that I was and majored in PR and Marketing instead.

As soon as I got my diploma (in fact a couple of days before graduation) I was hired by a major brand to do PR and within a few months, I was promoted to a high profile PR position. That’s when the phone started to ring and head hunter were offering me jobs all over town. I finally accepted one which had everything I was hoping for: new exciting projects, travelling opportunities and of course, a crazy high salary.

At 25 years old, I was head of the PR department of a major multinational corporation.

But I was more miserable than ever.

Of course, nobody knew about this. I was doing my work, performing and showing results but a few times a week, I would close my office door so I could cry for a few minutes. I could not keep it all inside, I had to let it out.

It quickly became unbearable. I knew I could not continue living like this for the next 30-40 years. I was only 25, how could I have become so sad and cynical?

Everyone thought I had it all, how could I disappoint them?

I knew I wanted something else for my life. I also knew I could not make the leap all by myself.

The first thing I needed to do was to gain clarity about what I really wanted and how I could get it.

That’s when I decided to seek help.

And it all started to get clear to me, I wanted to work in the arts. That’s what I had always wanted to do and that’s what I was going to do.

What happened next? Within a year I quit my job and moved to Paris where I studied the business of art at Christies’ Education. While I was there, I networked my a** off and got a part-time job working in a gallery in The Marais neighbourhood and a short internship at Christies.

In the meantime, I had met the man who would eventually become my husband and the father of my children, so once the program was completed, we moved back to Canada where I started working for one of the top modern & contemporary art galleries in Montreal, promoting the work of artists at international art fairs and working one-on-one with artists to help them grow their business.

Since then, there have been many ups and downs. At some point I even had to go back on the job market to get a “real job” because I needed to pay rent.

But I always kept my eyes on the prize.

Today, I own a profitable business and spend my days doing what I love, helping artist grow their art business + career and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

Why am I telling you this? Because if it was possible for me, it can be possible for you.

  1. I did not have family or friends or any contacts whatsoever working in the art market

  2. No one paid for my tuition or studies, I had to work my way through it all and all the investments I made, I would make them again.

As someone who has been through it all, here’s what I’d like you to take away from my story as you make your way as an entrepreneur:

  1. Seek help. At first I was overwhelmed and thought I could simply not quit my job. I reached out to a professional and she helped me get back on track personally and professionally. Today, I still continue to seek help through coaches and mentors as my business grows because there is no way I can do it all myself AND have perspective.

  2. Have a plan. I had a vision for myself and a plan to make it happen, including a budget. I knew I had to spend money to go to study in Paris, network and start this new chapter of my life. So I created a spreadsheet and started tracking every dime I was spending so I could afford what was really important to me.

  3. Network. The first thing I did when I arrived in Paris and later when I was planning on coming back to Montreal was to connect with as many people as possible to grow my network. I was surprised at how much people were happy to help me and connect me with people they knew. Many opportunities started knocking at my door but none of those would have happened if I had not put myself out there.

  4. Push through resistance. Was it difficult? Yes. Did I want to quit? Of course. As I mentioned earlier, I even went out and got a “real job” at one point, but as soon as I did that, I started feeling miserable again. Although I was as scared as ever (and sometimes still am), I decided that being an entrepreneur was non negotiable for me and I stopped making excuses for myself. That’s when things really started shifting for me.

  5. Stop listening to everyone’s advice. Trust me, everyone has an opinion: raise your prices, lower your prices, be on Instagram, don’t be on Twitter. I’ve heard them all. You can’t listen to everyone’s idea of what you should be doing to sell more, especially those sitting on the sidelines waiting for the perfect storm to start their business. Unless we are talking about people who’ve actually been there, forget it and focus on your goals.

My teacher was right, I was going to have a great career (he was just wrong to think it wasn’t going to be in the arts).

I’m not smarter or more connected than you, I just got up and did the work every single day.

What has your entrepreneurial journey been like? Any tips or lessons you’d like to share? I’d love to know about your story. Hit me in the comments and let’s chat! You know I love to hear from you…


Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" here, or click on the image above, and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work.

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