PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
Have you ever said, “I really want ________ but I don’t have the resources to make that happen right now?” And then, repeatedly postponed working on the goal you wanted to achieve until you had all the resources you need.
I participated in this vicious cycle for years, until I made the deliberate decision to closely examine every limitation and transform it into an advantage. My process included listing all the ways each limitation benefits me. Then, I identify all of the resources I can employ to navigate my way around the limitation. Allow me to illustrate with two limitations that I know we all face, money and time.
After extensive customer research, I know my clients base some of their purchasing decisions on what they read in various fashion, art, and design magazines such as Vogue and American Craft and the Anthropologie catalogue. Placing magazine ads is not within my current budget, but I can network with the writers, photographers, and stylists of these publications to learn more about how they select work and topics for their magazine. It’s amazing how far you can get with a $2 investment in a handwritten note and postage. Email can work too, but a hand written note will bypass a spam filter and land on their desk.
I only send notes to those whose work really impresses me and I commend them on a job well done. I always include my business card with an image of my work, along with an invite to meet for coffee or cocktails, my treat, to learn more about their needs. It’s human nature to support those that you like and know well. These notes and coffee/cocktail meetings have enabled me to connect with dozens of publishers and plant some very hearty seeds towards increasing my reputation as a resource for great work (I know a ton of artists and designers that would be great for publication) and opportunities for increasing media exposure for my own work. These connections would not have happened if I just wrote a check for an ad.
With all of our various obligations time is often a greater challenge to overcome then the dollar amount in our bank accounts. Sometimes we may only have 15 minutes to an hour here or there in our day to devote to a given task. Rather than be frustrated by having only 15 minutes do devote to something, I make every second of those 15 minutes count towards chipping away at my goal. This means that I allow absolutely nothing to interrupt or distract me. I close all my email programs, shut off the cell phone, sign off on my social media accounts and devote my undivided attention to task at hand. The project I’m working may require clearly explaining to those in my household that I am not to be interrupted unless there is an emergency, i.e. the house is on fire or you’re bleeding bad enough to need stitches, wanting to know what is for dinner or where your missing sock is does not count as an emergency.
This approach has helped me cross a ton of things off my infinite to do list. I’ve also learned that I can get just as much if not more things accomplished in less time.
I hope you found these tips helpful on your journey towards achieving your goals. Feel free to email me if you like to brainstorm ideas for how to turn your unique limitations into advantages.
Thanks for reading,
That's very interesting and also useful. Thank you for sharing this.
Best wishes, Sandra
thanks for the post michelle. i particularly like the hand-written note post. i must find the time to incorporate that into my approach, knowing for some time its remarkable value. anne