Hey Superman. You Can’t Do It All—and Do It All Well At Once!

Why 80% of Something Always Beats 100% of Nothing.

When you attempt to do it all, it is human nature is to let things slide, and leads to poor results. It is much better to find someone who can do the same work as you at 80% of your ability. The difference is they will get it done rather than have it languish along with your career. And, if they are any good, in what will seem like no time, they’ll likely be as good or better than you if for no other reason than repetition.

You can’t just do one thing well and succeed. And, conversely, you can’t do it all at once. The better you manage each facet of your art business, the more you will thrive. Many artists I know have a spouse, friend, or employee who handles helping do some of the business and marketing aspects for them. That’s a blessed situation to have and not one easy to fill if it doesn’t happen organically.

Grow into Getting Help Fast.

A worthy goal for artists who want to make their art business a full-time occupation is to work up to hiring help quickly. If you think that only you can do some of what you do, it limits your ability to maximize your results.

Of course, you are better at some things. But it doesn’t matter what the other things are, well accept maybe making the art, (Damien Hirst and other contemporary artists don’t even do that.) The truth is you need to let go of everything you can delegate to someone else. Whether marketing, selling, exhibiting, shipping, or customer service, getting help is the boost you need for growing your art business.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

Don’t Overload the Plate.

The way to succeed is don’t put too much on your plate at one time. Instead, keep steadily testing and improving. You must spend money to make money. Maybe Facebook or other social media marketing is a reason to hire a part-time marketing person. Someone who can now help you get started using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, postcards, or whatever your preference for selling art.

The brightest, most successful marketers at the entrepreneur and the corporate level study their business to know what works and why. They keep trying new things, blowing up the stuff that’s not working, and tweaking what is working to make it more efficient and affordable. Bringing on help to manage your art business will put you on the path to profitability and sustained long success.

The Flipside of Hiring Help.

There are valid arguments for keeping it small and keeping it all. For example:

  • You don’t play well with others.
  • Your commitment to your art business is not all-in, which is a perfectly acceptable personal choice.
  • Your goal is not growth but enjoyment and taking on employees takes the fun out of business.  

It’s your decision. When your expectations are realistic and align with your goals, you’re most likely to find yourself enjoying the process. Whenever you aren’t, it’s time to re-evaluate what is going on with your art business.

What Is a Bad Choice?

The only poor choice I find is when they lead to situations where things are out of balance in the art-life and dream-work aspects of an art career. Balance along that continuum means different things to every artist. I believe every artist intuitively knows when they are out of balance. It might take digging to get at the reason why, but the answer is within them.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

Living Your Best Artist’s Life.

A well-lived, joyful artist’s life is a state of mind. Business, sales, and acclaim only matter if they are genuinely in your desires for making art. Here are some thoughts from the homepage of the Art Marketing Toolkit Project:

Life is harsh sometimes. Making art should be a joy and a refuge even when it’s a business. How you perceive your art in business and how you go about getting your art to market should give you contentment as an artist and a business owner.

We believe your art business should be about you, your creativity, and your fulfillment—no matter how unconventional. It’s not too much to ask to make, market, and sell your art your way. We’re here to help you manage your art business and make it fulfilling on your terms.

Give Us a Try. You Will Be Glad You Did.

The project is a platform for learning all about marketing art. But it’s also a forum for an exchange of ideas, a place to find like-minded artists where one gets support. It is a judgment-free zone where you are encouraged not just to figure out what living the artist’s life means to you but, more importantly, to find ways to make a living your best artist’s life into reality.

It’s only $4.99 per month for life with no contract. The price is a limited offer to the next 50 members. Learn more.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.


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