I felt there must have been something wrong with me. I had switched from a long time position teaching art and was now a stay at home mom while my husband supported us. All I kept thinking was about how many other women would die to be in my position, sitting around baking cake.
I hate cake.
Like any good Catholic girl this came with the maddening crush of guilt. I wanted more. The truth was: I still had dreams and goals. The truth was: I hadn’t yet had the chance to be what I always wanted to be when I grew up.
When I did my research on B-School I wanted someone to guarantee me that this was the right choice, that this was going to work for me. I wasn’t a life coach or app developer. I wanted to know whether online marketing could work for…..wait for it…. art.
I can’t think of anything more undervalued and less understood than the business of making a living as an artist. And like many creatives, I had no idea how to fit all the things I make and do into ONE business. What program on earth could actually answer these questions and do all this? I was insane and obsessed and yet I still kept emailing my questions to Team Forleo.
Almost two years later I am living a dream. I know that sounds like such bullshit but let me lay it down for you. I have two studios—one for painting, one for jewelry—plus an office in Cold Spring, NY. These physical spaces are a huge accomplishment for me. After being a homebound mom, the fact that I have spaces of my own where I focus is paramount! It’s also a sign of the growth and dedication I have to myself and businesses. That is right, I said “businessES”.
Not only do I set my own hours, but I balance both disciplines of art and jewelry, gaining recognition by leaps and bounds. I’m in several stores and preparing to exhibit in my first national trade show. I call the shots. I wake up and decide if I am going to make a couture gemstone collar or follow through on a new idea for a painting.
I feel that my gifts are wanted and needed. I did not feel that before.
It’s been an eventful year of many great firsts—sales, shows, awards, press… but there was one day last winter that really got me! My husband brought in the mail and handed me an odd shaped envelope. I opened it and from the official seal to the heavy gloss type paper I was a little frozen. I was being awarded the Best of Westchester for Specialty Jewelry. I looked up at him and asked if he printed this out! I really thought this was not real. Westchester Magazine covers the first county above the five boroughs of NYC. The entire Hudson Valley lives and dies by this magazine. A-Listers reside here from the Clintons to half of NY royalty. Now I am on this list of The Best of Westchester. OMG!
This is a far cry from where I was before B-School. I used to sell my work with what I called the “self-esteem discount”. This completely explains the groveling desperate scarcity nature of selling before B-School. When a person would appear interested in my work I was so grateful that I barely wanted to take money from this person. “You like it? Take two!” Oh my God! It is hilarious now to think about it.
I can ramble on and on. I have to thank Marie and all of Team Forleo! It’s never too late to be what you wanted to be when you grow up.