Maria Brophy


  • and make good money doing it!

    ‘Strategies for a Successful Art Business!’
business of art

When You’re on the Treadmill – How to get Unstuck

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Last fall I got ill and it lead to feeling depressed.  I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression off and on in my life, and I’ve managed it very well holistically.  But my husband was concerned and he said “you need to have something really fun to look forward to.

And he was right.  So I decided to do something I’ve always dreamed of.  I booked a flight to Spain and I’ll be hiking  for three weeks on the Camino de Santiago.   I’ve always wanted to do this hike; it’s a pilgrimage that people have been making for literally thousands of years through Spain and France.

The interesting thing is this:  as soon as I made the decision and booked that flight, my energy shifted.  I got excited. I had something I had to get in shape for (some days you’re hiking 14 miles!).  And I’m going with a very good friend who lives in Spain.

The excitement of doing something different changed my energy and helped me to get forward momentum.

I’ll be hiking the Camino May 23 through June 12.   I’ll be on a spiritual journey, mostly without internet.  But, occasionally I’ll post photos on Instagram, and I invite you to follow me there:


There are periods in our lives that we feel stuck in one place, working too hard, unable to make powerful decisions or make a move forward.  Sometimes these periods last for weeks, months or even years.

Drew and I have gone through times where we felt stuck in place with our art business.  During the years of 2013 through 2015 many days felt like “groundhog day” to me.  We had experienced a death in the family and a few other difficult situations that zapped us.  We were selling art and getting by, but we felt totally STUCK IN PLACE.  We were not experiencing the growth we wanted.   Our energy felt drained.

Then, something shifted.  In early 2016, we made the decision to change the way we do things.  And by summer of 2016, we were humming and buzzing, making strong sales and big things happen.

The results were this:  We landed a new deal which to date has earned us over $100,000 in additional revenues.  We nailed down a large licensing deal that we’ve been wanting for years, and we sold more art prints in 2016 then we did in the five years prior, combined.

All this, despite the warning that the economy is taking another dive, that art is selling less and that times are tough.

I’m going to share with you the main things we did that helped us shift the stuck energy and experience a massive growth in our business:

1 – Decided what we want to happen and then made a plan

Deciding what you want versus what you think you can get are two different things.  With the help of a our business coach, Tish Ambrose, we took the time to lay out what it is that we really want.

And then, we analyzed what we were doing that held us back, and then made a plan to move towards the things we want.

2 – Committed to change the way we do everything

Over the years, you develop many habits, and some not so great.  For us, we have hidden ourselves away in Drew’s studio too much.  We had the habit of not reaching out to other people.  That hurts your growth, as you cannot grow without others’ help.

We started making the effort to be more social, to make new friends who are interested in the art business and other things we love.

We decided to dress nicer – we’ve always had the “just off the beach” look, but maybe it’s time to grow up just a little!

We became better communicators with our clients and worked on our confidence to be able to nail down large deals that are financially beneficial to us.

And so much more, which I will write about later.

3 – Said NO to things that take us off our path

In the art business, you get pulled in so many directions by others that it is easy to get distracted.

But once you know what you want, and it’s concretely written down, you can say NO to those things that will take your time away from the most important things.

4 – Did something very different

We started trying new sales avenues and analyzing what works and what doesn’t.   We went places we normally wouldn’t go.  We took some classes and opened our minds to new ideas and concepts.  We made friends with new people who introduced us to new ideas.


One of the easiest ways to get unstuck is to do something that gets your physical and mental energy moving in a way it never has before.  A few examples:

Move your body – take daily walks or learn a new sport
Travel – take a trip somewhere different, experience something new
Learn something new – Take a class, learn how to do something you’ve never done before
Hire a Coach – Working with a coach is incredibly powerful, as they will help you get there quicker
Volunteer or Join a Club – Offer your time at networking or charity events, meet new people.

SO HOW ABOUT YOU?  Have you been stuck in an area in your life, and if so, how did you get out of it?  Share your questions, thoughts and ideas in the comments please!


Maria xxoo

PS: I’m so excited to announce that my new book will be released in less than a month!  To get on my pre-launch list, sign up here.


I was interviewed for The Thriving Woman Entrepreneur Summit .  The Summit’s leader, Dawn Grossart, asked me to share the most common things that hold women back from starting their business.

It’s a short interview but packed full of deep insights.

My interview goes live on May 3rd, so sign up now –

After you sign up, you’ll get a free e-copy of my book titled HOW TO START YOUR SPIRITUAL BUSINESS TODAY: 5 Blocks that have been holding you back and how to release them.

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14 Comments When You’re on the Treadmill – How to get Unstuck

  1. Maja Lena

    Such a great post. Thank you, Maria.
    Really resonated with me on multiple levels, not just business wise.
    I agree, when you are stuck you have to do something new and different, both mentally and physically. Otherwise you are trying (and expecting) different results for same old actions that did not bring you results in the past. And that is useless.
    Have a great time on your trip 🙂


    1. Maria Brophy

      Thank you, Maja! I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts.

      I agree, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same thing!

  2. Nancy

    Hello Maria, I also fight depression and anxiety, so it is nice to know I am not the only one . I do not have much time for my art or doing anything new in life. I have found over the past year my I have found when I paint my feelings are coming out and being translated threw my paintings. A kind of pop art . It is like I am telling my story threw my paintings. I do wish I could go out into the world but not at this time in my life , taking care of my elderly mother 24/7.

    1. Maria Brophy

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m amazed at how many people have messaged me over this post. Apparently, many of us have suffered from these things but most people don’t talk about it. I was hesitant to share my own struggle, but now I’m glad I did. It seems to help others to know that they aren’t alone.

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your own story.

      Keep telling your story, with your art. And when the time is right, you will share it with the world. Take your time, take care of your mother, and take great care of yourself.

  3. Michael Davis

    I agree with all you said and I also feel if we stop and just close our eyes and let our mind wander on whatever it wants, many times it will solve or come up with solutions to things that you wern’t even thinking of on a concious level. Things just pop into our head on there own, if that makes sense.

  4. artCREATIVE_3

    Hi Maria. Though well off-topic, this bears mentioning:

    You should update your blog website’s copyright year to 2017: “© 2016 Maria Brophy. All Rights Reserved.”

    Your Grand Canyon(???) backpack photograph should be branded with your business/marketing logo watermark. I also didn’t see any metadata attached when I opened it in Photoshop.

    If your community of friends begin sharing this photograph, at least it can be traced back to you. It’ll also discourage infringers from posting it to their travel web, blogging, and social media sites. Without proper ID markings, many may think this photograph is “orphaned” and free to exploit.

    I’m assuming you’re not planning to register this image with the US Copyright Office. If that’s correct, at the very least affix your watermark logo and embed metadata, i.e., “Copyright Management Information” (CMI). Infringers who remove or change any (DMCA) CMI to hide an infringement can be liable from $2,500 to $25,000 (17 USC §§ 1202-1203) AND potentially attorney fees and legal costs. CMI legal actions do NOT require the work to be timely registered! Source:

    I’m seeing more and more copyright art litigators use CMI legal actions to go after infringers.

    1. Maria Brophy

      Thanks for all of the tips, I appreciate it!

      I haven’t been using metadata on my photos, I’ll look into how to do that.

      And I don’t add my branding, because with my personal photos, I hadn’t thought of people reposting and using for their own use. I just didn’t think anyone would be interested in doing that. But, you have made me think about this and perhaps changing the way I handle photos.


  5. William

    You post reminded me of a really good book whose title is UNSTUCK…written by
    a psychiatrist from Washington DC. You touch on many of his points. That and
    any number of books about Life Mapping that are available theses days.

    Without a plan you will get somewhere but it might not be where you want to go.
    Paraphrasing a Buddhist proverb …if you don;t change the road you are on you
    will end up just where you deserve to be.

  6. Mary

    Love this. I had years with my business that felt like groundhog day. To move on
    was uncomfortable, but made a huge shift for me.

    Wishing you a great trip and I’m looking forward to your book coming out.

  7. Paul

    Great content, Maria! I appreciate your vulnerability. Your piece about making plans reminds me of this quote which I think is one of the most vital yet misunderstood facts about our human nature:

    “We act as though comfort & luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” ~ Charles Kingsley

  8. Lara

    Hi Maria, Best wishes in your Camino. I walked it a few years ago. It was one of the highlights of my life. I hope the same for you. Buen Camino!

  9. Cecelia Otto

    This is my life right now – in SO many ways. Thank you for writing this, I will share it with my husband so we can make a game plan going forward. Safe travels!

  10. Carol Cole

    Hiking the Camino! That is something I would like to do one day! Journey well. I believe you are carrying us artists in your heart as you travel. Thank you.
    My current STUCK is distraction, lost focus, lost positive energy related to close family members who struggle. Emotional turmoil is trying to stop me in my tracks. I find peace and refocus in God. I had a game plan, then something happens and everything changes. New game plan. God gives us beauty from ashes.

  11. Kelly Callaghan

    Wow Maria! Spot On! Exactly!
    Your knowledge, experience and words have awakened my power and now it is time for me to make a zillion changes. Thank you with all my !*art


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