Sunday, March 29, 2009

Week 12 HITS

I'm Motivated but not Focused

Being in San Francisco two weeks ago threw me off schedule. I didnt take my ginkgo. Now I'm paying for it. Last Tuesday night mom reminded me that all day Wednesday we were going to the Get Motivated Business Seminar. How could I forget that? When we first got tickets back in February (12 tickets for $19), it was all I could think about.

The excitement returned! We got to Arco Arena in Sacramento at 7am, since it was general admission. Our seats were really close to the stage, only 23 rows away! I wasnt sure if the seminar was going to have famous speakers in person or if it was via satellite. Good thing I didn't know, otherwise I wouldn't of been able to sleep the night before. Other than the first speaker, they were all on stage: Gen. Colin Powell, Mayor Giuliani, Michael Phelps, Phil Town, Zig Ziglar and several more.

There were so many excellent points that I'm still processing how to use them. Right now, the thought that keeps reverberating in my head is, "what do I want to do?" My knee jerk reply is "Everything!" But by focusing I can accomplish several things very well, instead of half assing a bunch of accomplishments. I even dared to ask myself if I want to make a living as an artist or if I'd rather use my creativity in another way.

A shared characteristic of the speakers, besides being confident, was optimism. These leaders are knowledgeable about how to take care of themselves during these hard times, so they are not overpowered by fear. They are informed, brave, and have a plan.

Many times at the Get Motivated seminar it was emphasized that it's important to have seven streams of income. This hasn't been a priority for me. How much longer am I going to put it off, because there is so much to learn when starting something new? I first heard about having multiple steams of income when I was a Quixtar business owner, at age 18. I told myself I'd figure that out when I was an adult. Now I'm a few months shy of being 25. I'm an adult now, so that excuse is dead.

At the Get Motivated seminar they offered several opportunities to take workshops with a couple of the speakers on investing and real estate. I was sitting there thinking, "Wow. That could be one of my streams of income. I've been interested to learn, but intimidated. They keep saying that now is a great time to invest." Mom signed us up and the first workshop is tomorrow! It's another all day event going for two days in a row. Tomorrow, a buffettologist, Phil Town, from the Wealth Magazine, will be explaining how Warren Buffett buys stocks. I'm super eager to get there and learn how Buffett thinks. Step one for me is to gather lots of info before jumping into the unknown, like the stock market. A lot of times I gather too much data and burn myself out, so with that in mind, I am going to make this work.

Weekly Goals

1. Be More Social

On last week's HITS post, I made myself share this week's goal of being more social. I didnt want to back down after saying it so I reconnected with some friends and made plans for next week. I'm really looking forward to it!

2. Work more intensely on increasing traffic to all of my sites

Without traffic advertisers won't be interested in this site. I want to get their business since their ads will help support me as an artist.

Finding advertisers is still a big mystery, but at least I am now attacking it after 3 months of occasionally trying to figure it out. My first stop was to ProBlogger. I took one of his articles about 10 ways to improve traffic and did all 10 steps. Then I posted about the specific steps, in case you want to do them too.

Blog Makeover
I signed up on ProBlogger for "31 days to build a better blog." Each day for April I'll have an assignment via email and Darren's blog.

By time I had drove home from the Get Motivated Seminar, Zig Zigglar was following me on Twitter. WOW! I am so impressed! He moves fast! Taking his lead and pointers from Darren on ProBlogger, I started following other like minded folks: entrepreneurs, artist, gluten free cooks, bloggers, and motivational speakers. In seven days my following more than doubled. I'm almost to triple digits. The reason for spending time on Twitter is to share with artist's what I'm learning to give them ideas, network, encouragement and to intrigue art collectors and advertisers.

3. Make my sites (blog/FB/Twitter/portfolio site/Etsy) more interactive

Created a Documentary

The first episode for the documentary, Virtual Studio Visit, is called "Why are the Sheep Blue?" I show the steps that it took to make 200 miniature blue sheep.

Riding back on the train from San Francisco two weeks ago, I wrote an outline and shot list for a documentary I've been thinking about on and off. It's called the Virtual Studio Visit! Some of the most rich learning experiences in my art career, has happened in artists' studios. It's the real life application that helped me to move to the next level in my art and thought process. I want to hopefully help other artists by sharing how I make my art, give them pointers on what to avoid and share what's working for me.

In the future, there will be a post on how to create your own documentary. Thankfully one year in college I was a film student before switching to sculpture. I wish I'd taken more technology classes in school, like web design, photoshop and social media marketing. No time like the present to learn that stuff.

Miniature Sheep Contest

I really want this site to be interactive, interesting, informative and fun, so a contest is in order. You can win an adorable tac sheep! Check out this post for the details.
Deadline is Wed. April 15th.

I made you a Documentary!
So that means there are only a couple of photos for this week

  • Documentary film by me about how I made 200 miniature blue sheep. This is the first episode of the Virtual Studio Visit.
  • I took photos for mom, but I can't share them yet because it is a gift for someone, who happens to read my blog. Hang in there! Next week I'll post them.

Biggest Weekly Challenge

"Do two things everyday that you don't enjoy."

It's really easy for me to continue to put things off, if I feel guilty about it instead. I hadn't realized that's what I do, until a few weeks ago. Thinking about the tasks I don't enjoy, like backing up my computer every month, I instead don't do it. I transfer them from one weekly list to the next, occasionally doing the dreaded tasks. They become irritants and I loath doing them even more. Creatives are notorious for leaving visual reminders for an inordinate amount of time, like the shoe with dog poop that's been sitting by my front gate for over a month. It's time to take conscious action to removing irritants and getting over the guilt of putting things off.

This week I attacked a huge task that has been on the list for over a year. That was to read some articles by Darren over on ProBlogger and apply it to my blog. Mom introduced me to his well organized, professional site that has a ridiculous amount of helpful information. It's too helpful! Too informative! In the past I'd read a post and that had several excellent links to visit (which led to more links), on top of implementing what Darren wrote. It was like a snowball. I couldn't set a limit to gathering the information, then move onto the implementing stage.

I braved the site again and told myself that I was to only look at articles about attracting advertisers or web traffic. And I gave myself permission to not be uber-thorough by not looking at Darren's recommended links.

The article I landed on is called, "10 ways to find readers for your blog by leveraging other online presence." Turning it into a game, I read the article and gave myself points for every tip that he shared (I had more then I expected). Then in tandem I did the rest of the pointers while writing a post about what I did in hope to encourage you.

While perusing ProBlogger I discovered that Darren makes a six figure income from his various streams of income. Now he has my attention. He's not just another writer, but a successful person that I can learn lots from. Even though I am still overwhelmed by his site, I am going to widdle away at his post archive.

It's only a couple of days away from April fools day! Add some silliness to your life and plan to a trick. I'd love to hear about what you did. Next Monday, I'll be sharing my April Fools prank with photos of my art installation.

Related Links:

Week 13 HITS
Week 11 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)


  1. Focus - that's what I need and is my word for the year. Unfortunately I have not been doing well at that. Thanks for the reminder.

    I also needed the reminder to do 2 "dreaded" things a day. Does getting up and going to the bathroom count? Okay, I'm being silly.

    Today I'll pay bills and write sveral pages for a paper. Once I get started it won't be bad. It's the getting started!

    Great article.

  2. Focus - that's what I need and is my word for the year. Unfortunately I have not been doing well at that. Thanks for the reminder.

    I also needed the reminder to do 2 "dreaded" things a day. Does getting up and going to the bathroom count? Okay, I'm being silly.

    Today I'll pay bills and write sveral pages for a paper. Once I get started it won't be bad. It's the getting started!

    Great article.

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