Monday, August 12, 2013

Artists: Act Like the CEO of Your Art Business

Guest blogger: Alyson B. Stanfield
Here are some words of wisdom from Alyson Stanfield, who has been my coach for over a year. We met when she came to my Art Sale Soiree in June, such a pleasure. 
Alyson Stanfield, Kathleen O'Brien, Lynn cooking in her beautiful home for the Art Sale Soiree 

The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is the person at the top of a company’s hierarchy. The buck stops, ultimately, with the CEO.

Start acting like the CEO of your art business with these 5 tips.


Artist CEOs Are In Charge

People have as much power over you as you give them. If you want to control your art business, you must take charge of your destiny. No one cares about your success more than you do.

No one else is going to look after you like you can.

For the Artist CEO, this means asking questions (and getting answers) and following up with people. It also means that you assume 100% responsibility for your actions.

Artist CEOs Seek Counsel from Trusted Sources

CEOs don’t run companies all by themselves! They have COOs, CTOs, and other managers.

Asking for help and advice is a sign of strength rather than weakness. You can make more informed decisions for your business by learning from others’ experiences,

The Artist CEO seeks input from a spouse, another artist, a friend with business savvy, or a coach. You know who to go to for support with specific situations, and who to avoid when negativism or criticism is possible.

Artist CEOs Delegate

CEOs do what they do best and delegate the rest. A CEO doesn’t have time to micromanage or, worse, do work that other people are better qualified to do.

As an Artist CEO, your #1 priority is your studio practice. Always!

As you go throughout your week, pay attention to tasks you’re currently doing that you could delegate. It doesn’t mean you’re going to hire someone right away. I just want you to be aware of how you’re spending your time. I think you’ll be surprised.

Artist CEOs Understand and Follow the Bottom Line

CEOs know how the money is made. They know how to cost out a service or product, and they know what their profit margins are.

More importantly, they read their companies’ financial reports and adjust operations as necessary. If a product, service, or situation is losing money, they will seek to stop the bleeding immediately.

As an Artist CEO, you know the cost of your materials and the time it takes to make something. You understand that your work must be priced for its market, but you also are aware that you must make a living.

See where your money is coming from, and what is costing you income. Learn how to read your financial reports.

Artist CEOs Adapt to the Environment

The world is changing faster than ever before. CEOs stay on top of technology, trends, materials, and information.

As an Artist CEO, you want to keep an eye on all of these areas in addition to the way art is exhibited (art fairs, galleries, outdoor festivals) and promoted (photography styles, magazines, online retail spaces, your local papers).

You are the CEO of your art business. Are you acting like it?

About Alyson

Alyson Stanfield invites you to attend her Art Biz Makeover workshop in Golden, Colorado on October 11-12, 2013, where you will network with artists from all over the country while you focus on growing into your role as CEO of your art business. See

Alyson is an artist advocate and business mentor. Since 2002, she has been a trusted source for helping thousands of artists grow their businesses. She is the founder of and and the author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion, which artists around the world use to market their art effectively.

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