Read Listen Watch Do Write Teach

Think you can take a few classes or attend a workshop and you’re suddenly a genius at business?

Of course you don’t. Being an Art Biz Success reader, you know better.

Libby Hintz, Serenely Happy Energy Cells As Seen Under A Microscope.
©2008 Libby Hintz, Serenely Happy Energy Cells As Seen Under A Microscope. Stained glass, millefiori, glass, beads, chalcedony cabochons, and pearls, 16 x 16 inches. Used with permission.

Libby Hintz shared a recent Aha! moment about this:

I realize it really does take someone saying something more than once for me to absorb what is being taught to me.
I have bought your book and read it; I have taken the three-week online marketing class; I have attended a workshop; and now I have taken the 13-week Art Biz Bootcamp. By the time Bootcamp rolled around, I do believe that I was ready to heed the lessons but I also feel that the 13 weeks was a great format for me to learn in. By giving me a lesson and actions each week, the seven days gave me space around the questions and allowed me time to make some decisions before the next lesson was coming to me.

We learn something from each new encounter with a subject. In particular, we learn better when we engage another of our 5 senses or see the topic in a new, or even slightly different, format.

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll relate to one of my tweets: “The more I know, the less I consider myself an expert.”

There’s so much to learn, know, and do. Every step forward reveals even more options, and we only begin to understand the implications of an action after we have been implementing it consistently.

Rather than giving up on learning a business skill, such as making a video or improving your blog, I suggest diving deep into the subject. Half-hearted attempts produce half-hearted results.

Here’s how to immerse yourself and really learn how to promote your art effectively.


Read about best practices in business books, on blogs, and in magazines.

Read lessons for your classes and comments on blogs.


In my experience, the order of reading and listening is interchangeable. Sometimes I listen to audio before I read a transcript or summary (my preference). Other times, it’s the reverse.

Listen to classes, podcasts, and other recordings. Listen to audio books.

Soak in the lessons.


Watch videos online and lectures at an art museum. Watch slide presentations.

What to the speakers do and say to connect with you? What could they do better?

Watch the masters. Sign up for their lists. Notice how the artists and marketers you admire are using social media, blogging, and connecting with their audiences.


Ultimately, it comes down to DO-ing. All of the reading, listening, and watching is for naught if you don’t implement what you learn.
Implement the best of what you read, listen and watch. Implement it before you forget about it or the next bright shiny idea comes along.

Tweak it to fit your needs and decide if it’s something you’ll use to continue to improve your circumstances.


Write about your experience in your journal, on your Facebook page, or on your blog.

Documenting what you have learned will make it more real. There is great value in seeing on paper or on the screen what you have accomplished.


I learn something every time I teach a class. In fact, I learn lots of somethings!

To bring the lesson full circle, teach someone else how to do what you have learned, either in person or through your writing.

Libby (quoted above) read my book, attended my live workshop where she listened to me and watched a lot of slides, and took my three-week classes. But it wasn’t until she participated in Bootcamp that the lessons began to stick for her.

What does it take for the knowledge to sink in for you?

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11 thoughts on “Read Listen Watch Do Write Teach”

  1. My 7th grade Biology teacher (Mr. Speed) cited a study at the beginning of the year (all of our first year, at this high school-so we were all strangers to each other then-so we were all ears back then about processes)…Ok, so before he started teaching bio he explained in the study that two groups of students were assigned to learn a course, one group told to take notes, the other not to…The results were spectacular-the group who took notes did way better (yes, “way” is my statistical way of saying I don’t remember the percentage-obviously I didn’t take notes on the study itself! 🙂 )…Anyways, this process information did sink in, & ever since then I force myself to take notes if I really want to learn something…The act of recopying messy notes also reinforces the learn…My new favorite thing is those colourful stick on ‘flags’ you can write on, then stick to the side of pages, so you can label a section of notes…Gel pens are also great…Binders now exist that you can fold over backwards, & they now have squishy covers in better colours too (instead of just red, blue & black)…

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      I agree, Sari. I’ve always been a big note-taker. And you’re right about recopying messy notes.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your statement: “Every step forward reveals even more options, and we only begin to understand the implications of an action after we have been implementing it consistently.” How true!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Thanks, Jennifer. It’s never as simple as taking an action and then it’s over.

  3. I like the idea of taking notes. I did take a lot of notes when I took the video course a few weeks ago. I went into my writing class the next day and talked about the importance of creating a story, and related the notes to what they were trying to do. For those of us who get overwhelmed easily, the lessons sift in slowly, and the words echo in our heads until we can absorb them. I feel I’ve learned a lot from you Alyson, but I’m well aware that I have so much more to learn. Can’t thank you enough for what you do.
    XO Barbara

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Barbara: How perfect that you took notes and then talked about them. That’s exactly how something new sinks in.

  4. I can definitely relate to what Libby is saying. I pretty much feel the same way. It definitely takes time to be ready. Bootcamp made a big difference in my art business. I am now re-reading, listening, and filling out the worksheets again. Thank you!

  5. Dear Alyson,
    Thanks for the informative article on how to really learn about something. this is not the first time that you have cleared up some important mysteries for me and I greatly appreciate it.
    Also I found the TED video “Tidying up Art” really amusing.
    As a thank you I am sending you a link for my Slideshow on Charity.
    One can find some deceptively simple objects surprisingly beautiful.
    Have a great day.

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