It's darn hard to hire someone to help with your business. You've been working by yourself for so long that you aren't sure you can trust anyone to do the tasks the way you'd like them done.
Or you feel like it's easier if you just do it yourself.
But if you want your business to grow, there comes a point at which you must hire to support that growth. And the wisdom is to hire before you think you can afford it.
In this episode I talk with Angela Fehr and Robin Edmundson.
Angela had been building a thriving business teaching heart-led watercolor since 2013, while leading a community of artists to support one another on that journey. She knew she needed help, but she wasn't prepared to struggle to find that help. She was content in setting her intention and being open that the right person would come along.
Enter Robin—a student that Angela had her eye on. And, I'm kind of proud to say, a member of my former Inner Circle program for artists.
You'll hear us discuss how Robin was and is the perfect fit for Angela, and vice versa. They're building a team using Robin's unique talents to support her in this process. We talk about the technology they use, how they work with other team members who have since come on board, and how they communicate with one another to stay on top of tasks.
- Angela and Robin both focus on watercolor and Angela’s teaching offers regular lightbulb moments. (1:43)
- How Angela’s approach to watercolor has grown her teaching business. (4:45)
- Building a thriving business while raising families and connecting in the artist community. (9:09)
- At what point do you know it’s time to get help? (11:15)
- Finding the best fit—from both Robin and Angela’s perspective. (13:25)
- Learning how to hire correctly while trusting and protecting your values. (16:22)
- Finding assistants that have the skill set you might be lacking. (19:35)
- Building a support staff as your art business needs expand. (24:13)
- A typical week in this thriving art business. (29:32)
- The first step of a journey might be a boring one, but it can lead to a great adventure. (32:18)
- Email support, tech support, and everything you might want to hire an assistant to do for you. (34:54)
- The policies and procedures that keep a sustainable business running smoothly. (39:18)
- What are the rewards and challenges of supporting another artist? (43:32)
“Long before I got help I knew that what I was doing was not sustainable.” — Angela Fehr
“One of the hardest things about starting a relationship like this is that you may not know what you need.” — Robin Edmunson
“Trust that what you need will come to you.” — Angela Fehr
“I’m able to delegate certain tasks, but I also need to recognize that I need to take ownership of my position of authority.” — Angela Fehr
“We all need to be in a position where if we need to take two weeks off, things will continue on without us.” — Angela Fehr
“One of the challenges was learning the balance between handling things, and I can actually do a lot of stuff without taking over.” — Robin Edmundson
“We try to bring out the best in each other and in our students.” — Robin Edmundson
About My Guests
Angela Fehr first picked up a watercolor brush as a shy teenager newly returned to Canada. During her teen years she’d lived in a remote village in Papua New Guinea, and the solitude had cemented a passion for art that she was excited to pursue. She quickly realized that watercolor was a perfect fit, and along the way, realized that she wanted something more for her paintings than simply to copy what she could see with her eyes. Angela aims to show her heart in her paintings, to pair the beauty of the world with a loose, intuitive, heart-led style.
She launched her first online course in November of 2013, with the goal of teaching technique and empowerment to help painters become their own favorite artist. Angela shares her home in northern British Columbia with her husband and three teens. The beauty of the Peace River and northern Rocky Mountain region serves as the main source of inspiration for her paintings.
Follow Angela on Instagram: @angelafehr
Follow Angela on Youtube: Angela Fehr Watercolour
Robin Edmundson paints everyday rural things in new ways with bold and unusual colors, using simplified shapes and lines to emphasize the patterns and rhythms of rural life. Robin grew up in northern Indiana in an old farmhouse on a property full of old farm buildings. Her early goal was to learn as many languages as she could. In college, she quickly found Linguistics and earned a Ph.D. in that field. She taught in various capacities at Indiana University for twenty-seven years. Always looking for creative outlets to balance her academic life, she learned to dye and weave and became an award winning fiber artist.
In 2011 she began blogging about rural life in southern Indiana. It took her a while to realize that she was still searching for a language that could express some things she wanted to say about life in rural southern Indiana. Imagine her surprise when she finally figured out that the language she was looking for was one of paint, color, and line instead of words. Nothing makes her happier than to communicate through her paintings her deep love and respect for the unruly places and people of rural Indiana.
Follow Robin on Instagram: @robinjedmundson