Two weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Creative Capital Professional Development Weekend, sponsored by The Field. The weekend is designed to give artists the tools they need to turn their art into a viable business and to dispel our beliefs that artists cannot live a financially rewarding life. As an artist who has long worshipped at the alter of scarcity and lack of entitlement it was almost counter-intuitive to hear words like Rewards, More, Strategic Planning, and Success. I experienced a huge waterfall of relief every time the weekend leader, the marvelous, kind, inspiring, enlightened Colleen Keegan insisted “If it is punitive it is not working” – her most oft repeated refrain. As both a woman and an artist I have long had a profound lack of self-entitlement, a deep seated belief that if I was going to live an unconventional life I must then struggle and not expect happiness. No success could ever feel like a success, but instead more proof that no matter how hard I worked I would always be poor, creatively unfulfilled, unrecognized and struggling.
The takeaways from the weekend were innumerable, from info on writing business plans and mission statements, to learning to how to budget a project and figure out my personal hourly rate, to learning how to talk about and promote my work……. and on and on and on…
One thing is glaringly clear- and I can’t turn away from it any longer. If you do not know the facts, you can not change the facts. There are three things in my life I want to change…
- I want to be a CEO/Actor, making a living heading a company that live streams the arts.
- I want to feel financially comfortable
- I want to continue the weight loss I began so successfully last summer
So… with my husband out of town for two months and my three goals clear, today I begin the journey of tracking my life – making sure the facts are crystal clear, so that they can then be effectively changed.
- Firstly, Time. For the next 2 -4 weeks I am going to track my time so I know how much time I spend working towards my goals, how much time I spend at my paying jobs, how much time i spend rewarding myself for my hard work, and where I waste time so that I can better strategize how to reach my goals
- Secondly, Finances. I am going to track every penny I spend, again to figure out when I am spending money that is not in my best future interest. My personal favorite financial tool for expense tracking is Mint.
- Thirdly, Weight. I am going to go back to counting every calorie I put in my body. I lost ten pounds over 5 months last year and managed to expel the feeling of having a hopeless, middle aged body. I am going back to the fabulous LoseIt app to finish the work I began last summer.
Newly and deeply invigorated by the Creative Capital weekend, allowing myself to feel like a success for the first time in my life, certain of what I want my next life steps to be and alone for the next seven weeks, today is the perfect time to begin this experiment- and the nerd in me can’t wait to crunch all the numbers!