Tips on How to Rise Above the Frustrations of Art Business Building

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Tips on How to Rise Above the Frustrations of Art Business Building

Perspective changes one’s reality with such force.

Sitting with my arts non-profit client today, as a focused, strong guide I listened proudly to her advancements, reviewed her well crafted documents and assisted in additional planning. We’ve been working together since she graduated from my business course so the picture of her long and short term goals is becoming clearer to me so when we sit together it’s not difficult for me to see forward.

Leaving her session and re-entering my zone, my own small business building box where it’s MUCH more confining, dark and confusing, I became a bit flustered and overwhelmed. Detroit Art & Business Institute is growing and as such I’ve got more responsibilities to more people and projects.  I’ve begun saying “no” (which is really healthy and necessary) but even so, I’m still stressed at times especially if I begin to view ALL of the items on my to-do list.

Add to DABI that I’m creating a 2nd, web-based business (yeah, I’ve got two “babies”) and sometimes it feels REALLY hard to breathe inside the business box that’s grown around me.

I can’t see much farther than the farthest wall.  I can’t move quickly or smoothly. I try explaining to people outside this stifling box what’s going on inside but they don’t quite understand me. I must be muffled in here.

However, when I work with others on my businesses, the walls of my box are forced out so it FEELS larger, more room to move and breathe.  Although it’s still around me, reducing my mobility and view, the larger size affords me enough room that the projects I’m working on run smoother. I’ve realized sitting outside of my client’s business, that having people on the outside of MY business, looking in, supporting me is the best way to break free of the immense work it takes to build, run and grow as an entrepreneur.

Are you in your own business box sometimes?  Does it feel overwhelming and hard to move forward?  Hard to breathe easily sometimes?  Here’s what you can do:

1. Admit that you can’t do it all.  Honor yourself and prioritize.

2. Try not to multi-task. Focus on one task until completion (whatever that means at that time).

3. Simplify and automate where you can.  Set up email folders so you’re not reading everything all at once. The email for the important project is in the Important Project folder (and this way you can find the info easier).

Artspace Dearborn Interview: Helping Rebuild by Investing in Our Creative Economy.

4. Know when you’re “best”.  Are you a morning person? A Monday person? Set aside business tasks for when you’re most productive.  Yeah, I know you want to create as well so switch off.

5. Say “no”. You don’t have to explain why or say “sorry”. Just “no” or “no thank you” is fine.

6. “See” what projects will move your business forward and which ones take you from your mission. Say “no” to the later.

7. Get help. Barter with an Accountant or Social Media Marketer.  Find an intern.  Find people from different areas that can see inside your business and support you.

8. Celebrate your accomplishments. Acknowledging your “wins” helps you maintain focus and not feel as bogged down.

9. Stop seeing squirrels. Close down distractions during work times.  No email.  Turn off notifications.

10. You’re not perfect so stop trying. Determine which tasks are most important and do those better but know that they won’t be “perfect” and that’s okay.

A DABI Member’s Experience: Art Critic Review

What do YOU do to keep from feeling overwhelmed and stuffed inside, unable to view all around you?

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