The Power of the Mastermind

Wow, mid-April already! 2015 is just flying by. So much for my intention to blog more this year.

When 2015 started I had my entire year planned out. At least that’s what I thought. Then I attended Christine Kane’s CLICK! Retreat in February and experienced a seismic shift in my life. And all of my plans went out the window. When I walked out of the retreat on the first day, I had an entirely new vision of what my life, my art, and my consulting business could be. So I made the commitment to step up and start playing bigger. I rejoined the Platinum Mastermind group and decided to stop letting my introversion define me. I’ve lived with that story my entire life and it's time to let it go.

Being back in Platinum means regular visits to Asheville for retreats so I’ve been in Asheville 3 times in the last 90 days. I realized on my last trip that I want to explore splitting my time between Santa Fe and Asheville. Both cities have a very similar vibe and strong art communities so both feel like home to me. I’m still thinking about what “splitting my time” would look like.

My Soul Ancestors have found a cozy little niche market so lately all of my new pieces have been commissions. I’ve had a couple invitations from art galleries and I’m still toying with the idea of gallery representation. On the one hand, my ego loves that idea but my heart is telling me that’s not the right path for me. At least not right now. There’s something very powerful, especially with the Soul Ancestors, about creating a piece for a specific person.

I mentioned my consulting business above so for those of you who don’t know, I’m also Gypsy Wolf Marketing.  I work 1-on-1 with creative entrepreneurs, artists, art galleries, and arts nonprofits around the world to help them build successful businesses by teaching them the latest business and marketing techniques and strategies. There have been a lot of changes at Gypsy Wolf Marketing in the last 6 months. At the end of 2014, I retired all of my old packages and programs and launched several new consulting packages that are much more in line with how I like to work with my clients. And there are a lot of changes still to come including a new eBook which I'll be releasing in May.

If you’re interested in learning more about artist residencies, make plans to attend TransCultural Exchange’s 2016 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: Expanding Worlds. I’ll be teaching my new workshop, Art Business Kickstart: Tips and Techniques for Succeeding in the Changing Art World at the Conference, as well as doing 1-on-1 sessions during Portfolio Reviews. I'll be distributing the workshop presentation and toolkit after the Conference so if you're interested in receiving a copy, you can subscribe to my mailing list here.

And, of course, there's always my passion project, the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe. I'll be volunteering once again this year in the Artist Training program and as an Artist Assistant. If you're going to be in Santa Fe July 10th - 12th, the Market should definitely be on your list of things to do. You'll see some great art, meet some wonderful artists, and know that with every purchase you make you're helping to change the world. It's an amazing experience.

So, I'm off to finish packing my suitcase. The gypsy winds are calling my name.

Rebirth

I couldn't see it at the time but 2014 was a huge wake-up call about putting other people's needs before my own and playing small. When I selected Warrior as my theme for 2015, I knew this year would be about stepping into my own power no matter how uncomfortable it made me.

When I walked out of the CLICK! Retreat on February 3rd, after spending 3 days with Christine Kane, I had a whole new vision for my life. A vision which included re-joining the Platinum Mastermind program... launching a new private consulting program, Marketing Kaizen... and deleting all of my online dating profiles. And as always happens when a clear intention is set, changes are happening and new opportunities are starting to arrive.

I'll be teaching my new workshop, Art Business Kickstart: Tips & Techniques for Succeeding in the Changing Art World, at TransCultural Exchange's 2016 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: Expanding Worlds, as well as offering Portfolio Reviews. I'll also have a limited number of private consulting sessions available during the Conference.

There's been so much going on that I haven't spent much time in the studio over the past few months. But the Soul Ancestors are finding their audience with several commissions coming in this month. I'm finding that people interact with the Soul Ancestors on a very deep, personal level and they're interested in having Soul Ancestors that represent their individual lives and history.

Other changes are underway also... a transition to an Ayurvedic lifestyle (diet, meditation, yoga), an image makeover, and a new focus in my volunteer work with the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe.

Plan for Success in 2015

This time every year there’s a lot of talk about the best way to plan for the upcoming year. Set goals… don’t set goals… how to set goals… what kind of goals to set… set an intention… select a word-of-the year… let your superpower guide you, etc. The one thing everyone agrees on is, if you want to be successful you need to have a plan.

Since autumn always feels like new beginnings to me, I start my planning in October. The entire process takes about a week to complete.  

First, I review where I am in my business and in my life… what’s working, what isn’t working, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to be released to make room for new opportunities. For every part of my plan I ask myself two questions... Does this limit or liberate me? Does this raise or reduce my energy?

Then I move on to the numbers, starting with revenue. Once I’ve set a realistic revenue goal, I start mapping out my plan to achieve it. I use a mind-mapping tool, Mindmeister, to organize the information so I can see how the various parts of the plan fit together.

Once I have a plan that feels right for me, everything – program launch activities, editorial calendars, content development, speaking engagements, marketing activities, studio time, professional development activities, personal development and self-care activities, volunteer activities, and travel -- is laid out in detail in Asana. Large projects are broken down into milestones and each milestone is assigned a due date. This project management approach allows me to see any potential conflicts and keeps me on track throughout the year. And since Asana sends email reminders, due dates don’t suddenly sneak up on me.   

This year, as I started my review process, I realized it was time for a drastic change in Gypsy Wolf Marketing. So, I retired all of my existing packages and programs. Yes, all of them. This opened the space for me to create new offerings – Art Business Spotlight, Art Business Accelerator, and Elite Artist – that are more aligned with my clients’ individual needs. When I launched my new websites for Gypsy Wolf Marketing and Dakini Dreams earlier this week, I also blank-slated my blogs, as well as my Facebook pages. It’s time for a fresh start.

Over the years I’ve found that balancing soul and strategy works best for me. So in addition to setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based) goals, I also set an intention which I include in my morning affirmations and I select a word-of-the-year.

I’m not going to list my SMART goals this year but I am going to share my word-of-the year, warrior. A warrior, in the Shambhala tradition, is someone who is aligned with their own power. It represents not being afraid of who I am; personal freedom and power through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge; mastering the challenges of my life; synchronizing mind and body; overcoming habitual behaviors; relaxing with discipline; facing the world with openness and fearlessness; and finding the sacred dimension of everyday life.

2015 is starting with an extremely powerful full moon, the Wolf Moon, in Cancer on January 4th/5th so get ready to take advantage of that energy to jumpstart your year.