If you are a regular reader, you probably think that I’m a big planner and that I have my whole life and business mapped out for me.
I love planning! But like many creative entrepreneurs, I find planning can be confining.
A Time for Planning
Planning has its place in any business.
I believe in strategizing an income plan. I believe in planning my months, weeks, and days based on my income plan and big-picture ideas.
But there is no such thing as a fool-proof plan. I believe in planning a little and then taking a lot of action.
The As-Soon-As Plan
I’ve seen many of my students and clients paralyzed because they are looking for The Perfect Plan. What they end up with is an “As-Soon-As Plan,” which sounds like this:
- As soon as I find the right business plan to follow, everything will fall into place.
- As soon as I take this class, I’ll know what to do.
- As soon as my kids are old enough, I’ll have more time to work on my art.
- As soon as I add this new section to my plan, I can get started.
If they just tweak this or that, then they can start taking action.
This is just delaying. It’s excuse-making, not planning or acting.
The One-Page Business Plan
One of my favorite chapter’s in Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup is “The One-Page Business Plan.” In it, Chris says:
There’s nothing wrong with planning, but you can spend a lifetime making a plan that never turns into action. In the battle between planning and action, action wins.
I agree with the action bias, but you have to take action, not just think about it. You have to act consistently and with purpose if you want to turn your art into a successful business.
You must have regular studio hours. You must market your art consistently. You must evaluate lack of sales. You must network and meet new people.
Stop over-planning and start taking action. Over-planning is killing your art business.
Free Book and Feature to the Best Artist Business Plan
I’ll give away a copy of The $100 Startup (free shipping USPS to anywhere in the world) to what I think is the best artist business plan left in a comment on this post no later than midnight ET on Friday, May 25. Here are the rules:
- Your plan must be 200 words or less.
- You must use your real name.
- Your plan could be for a specific period (e.g. the next 6-12 months) or for a special project such as an exhibition.
- Your plan should include these six areas: 1) your art or product, 2) audience, 3) promotions, 4) money, 5) how you will overcome challenges or obstacles, and 6) how you will know if you’ve succeeded.
- For a framework, you can (but aren’t required to) use Chris’s One-Page Business Plan as featured here.
- This is not a democratic process. My selection is the final word.
Notice the plan must be under 200 words. This is intentional because I don’t want you to over-plan.
The winner will also be featured in a blog post along with his or her plan. What have you got to lose? Even if you don’t win the book, you’ll have a plan in place.
Give us your thoughts about planning, and share your 200-word business plan in a comment below.