“Lately, I’ve been looking at seminars (From Christine Kane’s to the SMartist Conference ). As a sole supporter of many and major financial responsibilities, I’m wondering:
1.) Do they really work or is this another way for other artists to make money?
2) I have very, very, very limited funds, how do I choose a good one versus the fric-frac?”
I’m glad she asked! There really are unlimited avenues to grow in your craft, business or career. And it can become overwhelming when trying to make the right choice.
If you want to skyrocket your personal and career growth, there are many tools you can use:
SEMINARS (WORKSHOPS), COACHING and CONSULTING; all three are designed to lead you to greater knowledge in your intended subject.
BUT, are they worth the money? Yes they are. But just like any product on the market, there are good ones and there are not-so-good ones. Assuming you found good tools, and you are committed to learning and growing, YES, they can be worth every penny.
Often artists will ask me how they can get started into Art Licensing. First they ask if I will represent them (and I can’t), next if there’s an “Easy” way, (there’s not), and lastly, is there a free option to getting the information needed?
Yes and no. There’s a plethora of blogs out there that cover every topic you can imagine. Most bloggers, like myself, give away a lot of valuable, free information that will help you a long your way.
But, if you REALLY WANT TO STEP IT UP, if you want to grow in your life, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you must learn more than what’s offered in free blogs.
And that means you’ll have to pay for it.
I see a great reluctance in the art world when it comes to spending money on additional training and mentoring. So I have to ask this; Why would someone be okay with spending $50,000 – $100,000 on an art degree, yet not be willing to spend $100 on one hour of consulting where an expert could solve a problem for them? It’s mind-boggling to me.
There’s something to be said about the fact that anything that you are willing to pay for, you are much more committed to.
Education is a testament to that – if you are excited to plunk down $5,000 to learn sculpting from the infamous Laguna Beach sculptor Richard McDonald, you know two things:
1.) You’re fully committed to doing the work required to become good at it, and;
2.) You’ll complete your training and emerge at a much higher level than you started with.
Most seminars, books and workshops are an inexpensive way to keep yourself educated, up on the latest new thing, and to sharpen your skills. I read dozens of books a year and take many seminars, always learning new tricks. That’s how I keep up with technology, which changes almost weekly. (This Saturday I’ve signed up for a WordPress Seminar so that I can get better at handling my blog.)
If you are having trouble with one specific area of your career, a consultant can help you make the best decision at the time. In many cases, a consultant can save you years of work, just by honing in on what you need and teaching you what you need to know at the moment.
If you are serious about taking your career to an extremely high level, working with a good personal coach will get you there.
Most of the successful people I know didn’t find success on their own – they had help from others who were steps ahead of them. A great example is one of my favorite authors, Jack Canfield. He is co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other books. He has worked with many coaches. And he IS a coach. As a matter of fact, most professional coaches have their own personal coaches, because they are on a continual path to excellence. And they know that a coach will help lead them down that path…
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHES AND CONSULTANTS
COACH: Coaches have long been employed by professional athletes, actors and musicians. Just in the past five decades or so, coaches have emerged for business growth, marketing growth and now personal growth. Coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now.
Working with a coach is usually long term; 3 months, 6 months or a year. This is required because they assist you along your path of growth, which must be consistent over a period of time in order to see results.
A few years ago I hired a business coach for 12 months because I had a weakness when it came to keeping track of our business financials. “Ralph” cost me $600.00/month, but was worth every penny. He helped me to become something that I wasn’t: I am now proud to say that I am a “numbers person.”!
Last year I worked with a writing coach to help me write a book proposal. She gave me insights into the world of book publishing that I never could have learned by reading about it.
Hire A Coach If: You are truly serious, committed and willing to do what they lead you to do. The results can be phenomenal. You can go from good to exceptional with the help of a personal coach.
Don’t Hire A Coach If: You aren’t willing to do the work. Often people will go into coaching, thinking that they will be given a magic pill that makes all their dreams come true, only to find that in the end, they still have to do the work required to up-level their career. Then they blame the coach.
Warning: There are some bogus coaches out there. Do your homework – call their clients and get references. Or find a referral from someone who has had a great experience with a coach. There’s usually a contract involved, at least with the busier coaches, so be sure you’ve got the right one before signing on with them.
CONSULTANTS can help you with a specific need, sometimes in just one session. Their fee is usually hourly and can range from $75 – $500 / hour, depending on their level of expertise and how available they are.
I’ve hired many consultants to help me at different times. I am not worried about the cost because I know that their time is going to save me more money in the long run.
I hired author and fine art guru Alyson Stanfield to help me work out a situation with a museum that wanted to exhibit Drew’s work. I wasn’t sure how to handle some of the details. Rather than make a costly mistake, I tapped into her expertise. She had years of experience with museums and understood details such as who should pay for transport of the artwork and other things that only someone who worked in that field would know. One consulting hour with her saved me a lot of money and trouble.
A consultant can give you access to experience and knowledge that you do not have. They know how things work in their niche. In that sense, they will save you big dollars in the long run. THEY HELP YOU SOLVE A SPECIFIC PROBLEM that may be over your head.
Remember this: A good consultant will let you know if they can help you or not. They will turn you away and refer you out if they aren’t the best person for the job.
I offer consulting services for creative people who need help with negotiating deals or with problem clients, because this is what I’m exceptionally good at. However, if you ask for consulting on an area that I’m not qualified for, I will refer you out. I don’t want to take your money unless I know for a fact that I’ll provide value.
HOW TO CHOOSE SEMINARS, COACHES, CONSULTANTS? WHAT SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY ON?
Think about your weakest area, or the area most important to your growth. For some it may be unrelated to your actual craft – like time management. For others, like my artist friend Katie Staib, it’s becoming a highly skilled sculptor like Richard McDonald.
Choose one area to work on this year, and then start looking for seminars, workshops or a coach to help you. Do your homework and ask others who have done the program if it was helpful.
If you need help in just one particular area, with one situation, hiring a consultant can help.
Seminars, workshops and retreats could be just the thing to send you into expertise level yourself.
Whatever you do, don’t NOT DO SOMETHING, unless your dream life involves sitting on the couch eating potato chips.
Spend your precious time learning new ideas, crafts and skills. Life is more exciting that way!
Once you find the thing you want to do, Sign up and put your money where your growth is. Because that’s how you know you’re committed – when you’ve paid for it!
Then, once you commit to your new learning tool, give it everything you’ve got.
And remember, in the end, it’s up to YOU to make it work for you.
Here’s to our growth this year! Maria xxll