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I want to share with you a simple concept that cost me a few quid a while back. The guru that sold me the idea was Rich Shefren. At that time he was promoting a course on business success that seemed appropriate for me at the time. And it certainly opened up my eyes to see that there are lots of ways of enjoying being an artist and a business-person at the same time.

Like so many other artists I had been very dubious about the possibility of being both a good artist and a successful business-person. Surely they were entirely different things. Making art was a creative, enjoyable, worthy, positive activity, while succeeding as a businessman would entail non-enjoyable, and unworthy, boring, hard work.

How wrong! I am sure that many successful people in the business world thoroughly enjoy what they do. They also do worthy things like support families, pay taxes, explore interesting ventures, improve living standards etc. Some of them even support artists. Well done and thank you.

But I digress.

That is not what this blog is about. I am writing here with an audience of other artists in mind. And I am just sharing the simple concept of ‘constraints’. The idea is that it is not how good you are at something that says whether you succeed or not. But instead it is how bad you are.

Specifically it points out that you will be held back, or constrained, by your weakest skill. No matter how good you are at your strongest skill.

So the trick is to examine your whole practice and make note of the range of skills that you must use to survive and succeed. Then work at solving the problem of the weakest skill. You do this instead of going all out to get better and better at the strongest element of your arsenal.

So I took this on board and examined my own art practice and came up with the five skills that I thought were equally important in order to survive and succeed in my professional art making business. It is a crucial and important part of my book ‘Art-Biz Secrets’ part two.

I tried to discover five skills that were equally important and equally time consuming. Yet they should be quite different in character. I came up with these;

  1. Making art

  2. Marketing and selling my art

  3. Office work, admin for the business, accounts, archive records, etc

  4. Research, learning, networking, social media, website, etc

  5. Business development

Then I figured out where I needed to improve most.

The old adage that a chain is as strong as its weakest link is very apt.

And it is so important because it is so tempting to kid ourselves that our strengths are the factors that mean success or failure. It is so tempting to hope that the weakest link in our chain will survive if we make the strong links stronger.

Onward and upward.

P.S. Yes I did mention that I have written much more about this in my book called ‘Art-Biz Secrets’ part two. You can go and get a copy very cheaply at the moment here. Kindle version just £1.99

P.P.S. The book is newly published and will be updated over and over again as things progress in the art biz world. I would be very grateful if you could get it, read it, and then review it, so that I can see where it works for you and where not.

Art-Biz Secrets book cover



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