Augh, I can’t Sleep!


Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about your business or if you are going to make enough money this month?  It’s a common experience when you’re self employed and happens especially when you’re trying out a new way of working.

 

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This has been happening to me over the past several weeks. I spent the past 8 months reevaluating my life and business. This process was brought on by my divorce, trying to sell my house and wanting to move away from this beautiful but isolated place where I live back to Chicago. 

I have been reassessing the programs I offer and how I work with my clients. Since starting my business Artful Work, I’ve had many starts and stops. I started out teaching artists mostly how to grow their businesses, marketing, organizational development and sales. Once I started working with all of these wonderful creative people I realized that many of them had difficulties charging what their work was really worth and that most of them didn’t really understand their finances, the importance of tracking their income and expenses and planning for their financial success. This discovery initiated my going back to school to become a financial counselor because I realized if I couldn’t help my clients with their money issues nothing I taught them about marketing was going to lead to their success. 

Around the same time I was given this great opportunity to expand my client base. I had been asked to design and teach entrepreneurship classes to nurses, data scientists and speech pathologists at Saint Mary’s College for some new graduate programs they are offering. All of these changes and new paths although wonderful left me a little lost. I didn’t feel like me anymore or at least not the me I was used to seeing in the mirror. I also now had lot’s of new choices to make, who were my clients now? What kinds of programs would I offer? Was I a financial coach, business coach, both? The only thing that was still clear was that I am a teacher and always have been. Was I going to teach people how to get out of debt or how to write their marketing? If it was both, how was I going to have a clear marketing message? 

So I went back to basics. Who am I and what do I believe in? Back to what Simon Sinek would call my “why”. Why do I want to have this business and what do I want to contribute to the world? So here is what I came up with:

My mission is to educate, inform and inspire creative entrepreneurs to reach their greatest potential and achieve financial freedom.  I will do this with integrity, honesty and compassion. 

 

Suddenly things got so much more clear. What I am about is business success so that includes education on finances, marketing, organizational development, strategic planning and so much more.  As for my clients, most entrepreneurs are very creative people so I didn’t have to choose them, they would decide themselves if they were creative and if I was a good fit they would choose me. They don’t have to actually be artists but they do have to want to create a unique business based on their “why”. 

The other piece had to do with accountability. I needed to be more accountable to my clients and they needed to be more accountable to themselves and me. This piece is important so I can make sure my business succeeds. If my clients aren’t able to accomplish their goals after working with me then they aren’t going to be very good referrals. So I have to make sure that they can say that their businesses have doubled or tripled or that they got the commission they really wanted so they can go out and tell all their friends about the great results they got working with me. 

That left how I was going to make this happen. In the past I would have thought that meant that I sometimes had to do some of my client’s work for them. This year I realized that I wasn’t asking enough of them and sometimes was working with people when they weren’t able to really commit to their business success. So now I have an application for coaching so that the client can determine if their current life circumstances will allow them to really make their business a priority. In every class the goals are clearly stated and I now have a guarantee that if the client does the work and doesn’t receive all the benefits I promise I will return their money. This is important to me, I want to be a person who keeps my word. That is part of who I believe I am. 

This mission statement also affected the choices I am making about my marketing. I had intended on having marketing partners promote my classes in exchange for a commission. I now see I can’t do that. The referrals have to be sincere from people who have worked with me and can honestly say they know working with me is valuable. Not referrals because I am compensating them. That is the only way prospective clients are going to trust me. We are in a relationship and trust is always the most important bond. Every piece of my business from the programs I offer to the marketing I do has to be in alignment for you to see I am authentic. 

So here is where the sleepless nights come in. Will structuring my business around my “why” really work? Will you see these changes to my business and decide that you too believe that it’s important to educate, inform and inspire creative entrepreneurs to reach their greatest potential and achieve financial freedom with integrity, honesty and compassion? Will this shift help you see that you can trust me and make it easier for you to decide that you want me to be the one who helps you reach your largest business dreams, decide to take my classes or hire me as your coach? I hope so but, I also now see this is the only way I can have the business of my dreams and be the person that I want to be. Restructuring my business based on my “why” is helping me address the issues that are important to me and letting me be who I am and what I think I was put on this planet to do. As scared as I am right now, as my new class offerings are just coming out, I know I can’t do this any other way and still be true to myself. 

I encourage you to take the time to reconnect with your “why” and see if there are areas in your business that are out of sync with your “why” and need to be reworked. I think it will give you more energy and excitement about going to work every day and make your business decisions a lot easier to make. 

Here are the two classes I will be offering at the end of September 2015.

 

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  Get More Clients

 

 At the end of this 5 week online class you will have your growth plan in place, your marketing materials written and a list of marketing partners to help you reach so many more clients.

 


 

lu270-142ebd48-f342-4e99-965b-3b5422318a60-v2  Build Your Creative Business

 

Do you dream of transforming your creative work into a rock solid business that can fully support you, your family and your goals for the future?

Are you ready to move your creative business to a new level of profitablility and experience more financial freedom and stability…on a consistent basis?

By the end of this 12-week class, you will have business, marketing and money-management strategies you need to build a profitable, full-time business doing the work you love.

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