Stay In Alignment To Be Productive In Life And In Business
Alignment? Just what am I referring to? You will find that both in art and in life, your perspective is very important. Success doesn’t happen by accident, you have to plan for it. This post is about a strategic alignment, where you utilize not only your human resources but also technology. In short, use everything you have. Why? Because you are responsible for the behavior, results and growth of not only your business, but yourself, too. Stay on track, stay on the path, line yourself up with your goals and you will reach your destination.
What does being “effective” mean?
In my last post, Mission Statement For Clarity And Focus, I provided you with ideas so you could create your own mission statement. If you haven’t completed this task yet, I highly recommend you do so before moving on with your business. The mission statement is like the solid foundation you have created for your art business and you will refer to it very often throughout your business.
Your mission statement is the vision you have conceived for your business, for your art, your dream of the future. You cannot let someone else define this vision for you. It’s a very personal thing. You are sitting in front of a blank canvas, you are the visionary, the artist, the one that decides which direction your project will take.
Make sure your mindset, business plan, marketing, and mission statement are all in alignment. This may mean that you have to instill new healthy habits in order to reach the level of success you desire.
- Get The Word Out About Your Vision. After the mission statement and vision for your company has been defined, the real work begins. You need to be able to communicate it to everyone. You need your employees, team, network, printers, editors, customers, collectors — the whole world to catch that vision and shout it praises! Otherwise, what’s the point? If no one gets excited but you, where’s the true joy? (Not to mention, your sales won’t be anything to get excited about, either).
- Be An Effective Communicator. As an artist or creative, you have to be a great communicator. Your artist statement (which I will discuss in a future post) is part of that communication. Many years ago, I was challenged to create a 30-second elevator answer to the question, “What do you do?” 🙂 I still think this is a great idea. Today we live in a very busy world. People are distracted by technology, challenges at work and in their personal lives, and sometimes with their health. You need to communicate effectively and quickly to gain their attention and actually get your message across. How would you respond to that question? Would you be able to answer truthfully, convey the basic concept about what you do and encourage further discussion?
- Set An Example Of Excellence. A company’s persona starts at the top — yes, that’s you! 🙂 This is also part of building your brand, so pay attention. Set and keep appointments. Show up a bit early. Be dependable, reliable. Return phone calls in a timely manner. When you create a painting or sketch to sell, imagine it in your own home. Use quality materials, give it your very best! When you write a book, imagine your audience reading it, enjoying it, being transported to another time or place. Give it your all! Speak from the heart! Whatever it is that you are creating to sell, make it the best quality you can. We used to have a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” in the corporate world. This is still true. Remember, your products are a message from you to your customer. What is it you are trying to say? Everything you produce should be the very best part of you.
- Be Customer Focused. As artists, we do so enjoy working on the projects that bring us so much joy! I believe that the passion and joy that we feel is definitely projected outward to the customer or buyer. Be sensitive to delivering the very best product or service you can as quickly as possible. Communication with your customers is a high priority. Today, we have technology that can make communication instant. We should be readily available by text, email, and social media. Make sure to check your messages and notifications throughout the day. Later, when your business grows, you can implement a third party customer service if you like. Also, think about your network. If you are using a shipping company, printer, etc., make sure they provide excellent customer service as well. They will be part of your customer experience.
- Set Realistic Expectations. “Unhappiness lies in that gap between our talents and our expectations.” Sebastian Horsely. As pointed out by one of my commentators, this can be a real stumbling block. Set realistic expectations but be prepared to be spontaneous. Life rarely goes as planned. Don’t set your expectations upon other’s expectations. Create your own rules, your own goals, and then plan for every conceivable situation, but expect the very best results.
Effective and successful business owners have to be proactive. You cannot let life just happen and expect for your goals to be realized. Here’s what I’m talking about.
Are you truly committed to your business success as an artist? Do you feel you communicate effectively, getting the word out about your vision for your work, your company? If you feel you have some weak areas, and we all do, why not sit down, be honest with yourself, and come up with ways to deal with your weak areas and turn them into strengths.
After all, you’re worth it!
Wishing you all the success and happiness you deserve,
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