Earlier this month I started working with Alyson Stanfield in her Blast Off class. This class is designed to help artists develop a stronger foundation for their business through daily exercises (i.e. homework) and thought-provoking questions. I worked with Alyson a few years ago when I led a group of local artists in an Art Salon. In the Art Salon we used outlines provided by Alyson which helped us develop marketing plans for our businesses.
Thus far in the class we’ve discussed gratitude, visualizations, affirmations, blocks to progress, finances, and developing routines. And that has just been the first 9 days! (We take the weekends off to catch up on our homework.)
Since the beginning of the month and during the Blast Off class I’ve had three a-ha moments:
- My packing and shipping process is time consuming and needs to be more efficient. I wrote out each step in this process, discussed it with Eric, and brainstormed ideas for condensing or eliminating steps.
- I hit upon an idea for renaming and repackaging a particular product. I brainstormed with a fellow guild member and asked followers on my Twitter page for ideas which subsequently caused the “light bulb” to go off. This really convinced me of the benefit of social networking.
- After visiting with a vendor, another light-bulb went off in my head about a potential joint marketing idea; something that would benefit both of us.
Would any of this happened without the class? I don’t know. What I do know is that because I’m writing down monthly goals, writing down ideas that pop into my head, and being asked questions in the workshop, I’m taking the time to think, and to be more aware of my routines, and my surroundings.
One point that Alyson has made in the class is for us to consider our motives or reasons for why we do what we do in order to tackle tasks and goals.
How often do you do that? Isn’t it more likely that we do what we do because that is what we’re supposed to do? Perhaps we do what we do to meet someone’s expectation of us? Or we stay busy all the time which must mean we’re motivated but what happens when we stop being busy?
As Alyson put it “Knowing why you want to accomplish certain things helps you prioritize and move forward” and “the things we usually put off are those that will have the biggest impact on our success.”
I faced that issue this weekend. I’ve been putting off teaching myself to use Rapidweaver (web design tool) partly because the documentation isn’t very good and partly because I was used to using Frontpage on my former PC and the thought of learning something completely new was daunting.
Using Alyson’s suggestion, I had to ask myself: What is my motive for learning Rapidweaver? To create a brand new web site to promote my two lines of art. What happens if I continue to put it off? I’m stuck maintaining an old web site that doesn’t represent the vision I have for my art and business. So, again, what is my motive for learning Rapidweaver? To make a better web site that provides a better visual representation of my art.
I put my butt in the chair and started by reading the documentation out loud. Bingo; the light bulb went off. I gained a better understanding of how the documentation is laid out (general overview, then specific information…it still leaves a bit to be desired but now I can tolerate it.) I learned Rapidweaver is relatively easy to use once I played around with it. I learned the tool is easier to use than Frontpage (sorry PC folks.) And, I have to admit, I started having fun with it and look forward to creating my new business web sites.
After taking an online workshop with Christine Kane, listening to various tele-seminars, and reading select coaching newsletters and books I’m noticing a core theme: dream, dream big, write it down, verbalize it, visualize it, get clear, set goals, take baby-steps as needed, and surround yourself with supportive people. Alyson’s class continues to promote these themes and more. Perhaps this message is being repeated enough for me to have faith that it really works. Now to have faith in myself in seeing it through.