The Journey Continues – Putting Your Plan into Action

Alright, now I’ve talked a lot about how vitally important it is to have a business plan, or some version of a plan for the actualization of your business, before you can build a truly Productive, fulfilling, and successful business around your art. And that’s true. The first step is to build the Plan, and figure out your answers to those signature Seven Questions that make up the essential components of a complete and functional business model.

But once you do that – and have your very own creative and comprehensive business plan – what do you do with it?

Well now it’s time to put that Plan into Action! Because after you plan, you have to act, or else nothing is achieved.

I could spend all of this blog talking about your plan, and how to write it, and what should go in it, blah blah blah. But even the most brilliant ideas are nothing, and will never become anything, without action – no matter how well planned out they are. You can write and rewrite, and plan and re-plan, all you want. But you have to be careful not to let yourself fall into analysis paralysis – or its equally evil twin and my personal favorite enemy – perfection paralysis. At some point, you have to stop and decide when the plan is good enough to implement.

So once you’ve gone through all the steps, and answered each of my signature Seven Questions, and put your whole business plan pages together – it’s time to define your Action Plan for how you are going to accomplish that plan. In fact, that’s precisely why the last and final Quest #7 of my signature business planning method is entitled, “How Will You Achieve It?”

The first thing you’ll want to do is select which program(s) or tool(s) you will want to use to help you set your tasks and track your progress. For my own personal and professional purposes, I mostly use a combination of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive (Docs & Spreadsheets). I guess you could say I’m a bit of a Google baby. But then I’ve also seen other folks find great success with Asana, Evernote and Trello, among others. So I encourage you to find the tools that work the best for you and with you, especially any you’re already using or can easily integrate into your current work routine.

Make sure whatever system you do choose has the ability to describe the Action Item and assign the category, or department, or higher goals of your business that it pertains to. Use the SMART method to make sure every task you set is Specific, Measurable, Active, Realistic and Timed. Then be sure each Action Item has room to indicate its deadline, and any notes or status updates on your progress towards achieving it. You’ll want the tools you use to be really accessible and convenient to use, so you remember to check in with it regularly and keep your tasks top-of-mind. Try using something you can keep open on your desktop or browser throughout the workday, or lying on your physical desk in front of you – wherever will be the most obvious and eye-catching for all-day motivation. The key here is to lay out all of your business goals into an actionable and measurable roadmap of realistic milestones that will help you stay on track.

Then lastly, you’ll want to incorporate into your routine any other means of motivation and accountability you can, so you don’t let yourself falter in a moment of weakness or laziness and give up on your dream! This could be written reminders around your home or office, or alarms set on your phone, or a mantra you say to yourself before you go to bed each night (or wake up each morning). But don’t forget to reach beyond what you can create for yourself, and enlist the help of a strong support network. Join groups or communities in your field, attend local meet ups, and align with colleagues to help keep each other on track. Find your closest, most trusted friends and tell them your goals or share your To Do list. Make yourself socially accountable as well, and I promise it will only help you stay even more committed to your plan.

So how about it? Are you ready to put your Plan into Action?

If you’ve already been through my book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan, and have your complete business plan – then comment below and tell me how you are going to implement your plan and turn it into reality! Or if you’ve already made it happen, then tell me what you did to achieve that and how you kept yourself motivated to take Action.

And if you haven’t yet built your own Productive Artist plan – then get yourself over to Amazon now and get your copy of my new book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan, and I will help you get to building! And remember to subscribe to my email list and YouTube Channel to join me on the journey to a more productively artistic you.

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The Journey Begins with Quest #1: What Is It?

Enter you and your vision for a more Productive business around your art.

Your Productive Artist journey starts with the same first question that I always ask myself, “What Is It?” – which is why it became the first Quest in my signature business planning method, as detailed in my new book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan.

Your answer to this question will be your reason that you want to build your own business in the first place. So it makes sense that it should also be the foundation upon which to build your business plan. Before you can figure out the “how” to build your business, or the “who” to do that for, you need to be extremely clear on the “what” you even want to build and whether that is worth building.

In this Quest, you are asked to identify exactly what products and/or services (aka Offerings) your business will offer. You probably already know your answer to that, or at least what demand you want to fill in the marketplace and what customer needs you want to provide a solution for. For example, my new book The Productive Artist’s Business Plan is a product, a book, to help aspiring creative entrepreneurs of all artistic fields learn how to build the business they envision and sustain themselves as Artists. That’s my “What Is It?” What’s yours?

I designed this first step to help you identify and create the most valuable, competitive Offerings for the people you want to help, and the problems you want to provide a solution for. So you must take this step seriously and answer with conviction, because every Quest that follows in my business planning method will refer back to these Offerings and how you are going to realize your dream of getting them out into the world. This is really where the rubber meets the road – your first crucial step to paving the road ahead for your business and livelihood. How can you tell people about your Offerings, or decide how much you can charge for them, or make any kind of impact in your market and your business without first knowing what those Offerings are and whether those people will buy them?

As my favorite marketing expert and entrepreneur Marie Forleo says, “You’ve got to name it to claim it.” And that requires having clarity and confidence in what you want to put out there. If you want to build it, you’ve got to name it first. So consider this your wake up call, your jump start, your first stepping stone. Your moment of truth has arrived.

What do you want to build?

What product or service do you want to out out into the world to benefit and inspire others?

Please comment below and tell me – “What Is It?”

Then remember to subscribe to my email list and YouTube Channel to join me on the journey to a more productively artistic you. And don’t forget to get your copy of my new book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan, for a much more extensive, detailed guide through this and the rest of my signature Seven Questions for creative success!

The Productive Artist is on a Podcast!

Goodness groceries! What an incredible and rewarding journey this has been so far as The Productive Artist – not to mention the journey that got me here!

Just the other day, some of my close girlfriends and I were ruminating on our life goals that we’ve accomplished so far, and how much easier it is to see how far we’ve come if we look back a year, or even 5. A few years ago, I never imagined I would actually be a published author, or that I’d be helping so many aspiring Artists and creative entrepreneurs as The Productive Artist.

It’s been one hell of a journey – one that’s taught me a lot about how to guide other Artists along that journey toward realizing their own dreams and goals. And one of the joys of having reached some of those goals and achieved some success is the recognition you receive from peers and the resulting opportunities to share your story with even more people.

That’s what happened when Kent Sanders approached me about appearing on his podcast for The Artist’s Suitcase, a wonderful online resource geared towards Artists and creatives who want to unlock their creative potential.

The Artist's Suitcase

Wanna know how it all got started, why I do what I do (for all of you), and what my new book is all about?

Then listen up to this podcast from The Artist’s Suitcase, featuring yours truly!

The Artist's Suitcase-My Podcast 9.26.13

Huge thanks to Kent Sanders of The Artist’s Suitcase for the opportunity to do this awesome interview! If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to my email list and YouTube Channel for more juicy nuggets and valuable advice to come.

Have You Created the Business You Want?

Well it’s been a week since the official launch of my new book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan, on the Amazon Kindle store – and already the rave reviews are rolling in! I have to say, I am so incredibly moved and thrilled to hear how much people are enjoying the book, and finding it invaluable in their creative endeavors.

MFrenchie calls it “A “getting things done” how to for artists.”

Chris Cheng says it’s “A great framework that takes some best practices from the business world, and gives artists a leg up on how to be successful in their industry. ”

Nathan Hoskins adds, “I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to bone up on how to get things done and get them done right! ”

And bookfan even claims, “This is the book I wish I had when I was starting out. ”

So if you’re one of my glowing reviewers, then thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope you keep that momentum going! You are on the road to a very exciting, more Productive and prosperous future as an Artist – so keep it up!

And if you haven’t read my book yet, what are you waiting for?

If you are an Artist, in any sense of the word – if you have a passion and drive to create something original and make a living from that – then you need to build a strong business foundation around that to give it (and yourself) the best chance for success. This book will help you do that, so get your copy today!

Then read it, use it, enjoy it – and write me a review on Amazon to tell me how it all went and whether it really helped you become a more Productive Artist.

I wrote this book for you, my people! And I want to write more and share more and keep pushing this forward. But there’s no point in my doing all of this unless it makes a difference for you.

So how about it? Have you created the business and life you want as a creative entrepreneur yet?

The Productive Artist's Business Plan

The Productive Artist’s Business Plan – now on Amazon!

Well folks, our 5 day free book promotion has run its course – so I hope you didn’t miss out on getting your free copy of my new book, The Productive Artist’s Business Plan.

But if you did, it’s not too late!

The book is still available on the Amazon Kindle store, and now for only $9.99! Now that’s not so much is it? For just under $10, you can learn how to create the business and life you want as a creative entrepreneur, and sustain yourself as an Artist. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal! So what are you waiting for?

The Productive Artist's Business Plan on AmazonIf you’ve got a great vision for your art, but no idea how to turn it into reality – or if you know you need a business plan, but aren’t sure how to start or wish you had a more creative option than the traditional templates out there – then you are (still) in luck!

No matter what kind of creative work you do, if you are driven to create something original and innovative, and want to make a living from that, then you are an Artist and this book is meant for you! I designed this book specifically for my fellow Artists and creative entrepreneurs just like you, who need a business planning method as unique as the art you create.

The key is not to tell you the right answers, but to ask you the right questions. This book will guide you through my simple, yet thorough, signature Seven Questions that you must answer to build a sustainable business around your art; one that is fulfilling for both you and your customers. Each “Quest” on your journey will translate into one piece of your business plan puzzle. I will help you outline your offerings, map your competitive landscape, craft your marketing, operational and financial plans, and design your action plan to bring it all to life. And when I’m finished with you, you’ll walk away with a comprehensive and creative plan to guide you on your next adventure building the business and life you want as a creative entrepreneur!

If you’ve already read and love my book, remember to subscribe to my email list and my YouTube channel, so you can continue to hear about the latest in my Productive pointers and products.

Get the Super Special Sneak Peek of My New Book!

It’s finally here! You’ve been waiting patiently – and I’ve been working not-so-patiently – and I got my book done ahead of schedule! So to reward all of you for being dedicated readers and supporters, I’ve decided to soft launch a super special sneak peek of my new book for you all… for FREE!

The Productive Artists’s Business Plan!

As I’ve said before – you are my people, and I’ve designed this book specifically for Artists and creative people like you! So your thoughts and opinions are vitally important to my quest – and how well I’m able to help guide you on your quest. For the next 5 days, I will be offering you this book for FREE – so it won’t cost you anything but your time, and can provide immeasurable value for your own creative pursuits. In return, I would be incredibly honored if you would give my shiny new book a read-through and then take an extra 5min to write a quick review on Amazon. Pretty good deal, huh? That’s how valuable you and your feedback are to me.

So get yourself on over to Amazon and get your free copy today!

The Productive Artist's Business Plan on Amazon

Do you have a great vision for your art, but no idea how to turn it into reality? Do you know you need a business plan, but don’t know where to start or want a more creative option than the traditional templates out there? Let me show you how to become a more Productive Artist! No matter what kind of creative work you do, if you are driven to create something original & innovative and make a living from that, then you are an Artist and this book is meant for you! I designed this book specifically for Artists and creative entrepreneurs like you, who need a business planning method as unique as the art you create.

The key is not to tell you the right answers, but to ask you the right questions. This book will guide you through my simple, yet thorough, signature Seven Questions that you must answer to build a sustainable business around your art; one that is fulfilling for both you and your customers. Each “Quest” on your journey will translate into one piece of your business plan puzzle.  I will help you outline your offerings, map your competitive landscape, craft your marketing, operational and financial plans, and design your action plan to bring it all to life. And when I’m done with you, you’ll walk away with a comprehensive and creative plan to guide you on your next adventure building the business and life you want as a creative entrepreneur!

How Do You Write a Business Plan?

Well I’m back from Burning Man, and completely covered in dust! But I’ve never felt more alive and inspired – and blessed to be a Productive Artist, making an actual living from my creative endeavors.

What a beautiful, creative world we live in! And what beautiful fellow Artists and creative entrepreneurs I met this past week in Black Rock City!

But I’m also excited to return to all of you, and share with you the final video in my first-ever Productive Artist video series!

I’m sure, after my last video, that you’ve all been just burning to know more about this idea of a business plan that can help you build the Productive business you want as an Artist. And now, you probably want to know how the heck you can actually do that.

So without further ado, here is the final video Part 4, complete with a breakdown of my carefully crafted business planning process and Signature Seven Questions that you need to be able to answer in order to build that Productive business for yourself. So take a gander and let me know if this helps make the idea of writing a business plan a little less intimidating, and a lot more worthwhile?

And that’s the last one. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching my videos! If you missed the earlier ones, please go back and give them a watch too. Or just subscribe to my whole YouTube Channel!

And please keep sharing your thoughts and opinions on the comments here or on the YouTube video pages, so that the conversation doesn’t have to end here.

Then remember, my new book comes out in just one week. So subscribe to my email list and check back here for more up-to-date news on that – and get excited!

Kthxbye for now!