I took part in my first teleconference today and I rocked it! I’m 39 and I was genuinely terrified to do this call. My husband who has done a thousand of these calls is out of town so I didn’t even have him to lean on. I was on my own. Just me. Okay, let me back up a bit.
I’m going to be a Creativity Coach. An actual Kaizen Muse! This time last year I was a burnt-out daycare provider. I was also an uber-talented photographer (in my own mind) and a wannabe writer. I needed a change. Badly. I felt like I was going to explode. I made the decision to close my daycare and be happily unemployed until I figured out what my next move was. In September 2010 I started my blog, Living Life Photographically. In November 2010 I opened up my first Etsy shop and filled it with my best prints. I joined a few teams and held my breath. I’d never sold anything before and had no idea what I was doing.
One morning in March 2011 I finally got my first sale from a stranger for one of my prints. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I hollered for my hubby to come downstairs to confirm that what I was looking at was my first sale. It was indeed, I’d made my first $30 from my photography! I sold a few more prints after that and I continued to blog my butt off. My readership grew to in the 400’s and I was now lining up guest posters and conversing regularly with some crazy talented women. In the meanwhile I had come across Studio Mothers and Miranda graciously said yes when I e-mailed her to see I was Studio Mother material. I discovered (and have a total girl crush on) Goddess Leonie. I joined her forum and started networking there.
I then got the itch to do something a bit more hands-on with my photography. I’d created my ‘Write’ print and it was selling fantastically. I wanted to be able to offer it to those who didn’t want it as a print. Long story short, I got into the jewelry biz. I shrunk down my images and made jewelry from them. My jewelry then started to outsell my photography so I closed up my Photography by Jodi shop and opened up Creative Life Designs. I transferred over my favorite prints and sold them in this shop instead. It was the best decision. I maintain 1 shop and sales are steadily growing. I was officially a WAHM. I was making my own money!
But something was still missing. I was using my hands to fill my creative need but my brain was craving more. I then came across Miranda’s coaching site and filled out her questionnaire about my creative habits. It took me 45 minutes and I tried to be as honest as possible. It was while answering these questions that I realized I wanted to do more for my fellow creatives. If I could, at 39, have so much fun writing for my blogs (I started a 2nd blog, Creative Life Designs), enjoying my photography and making jewelry, why couldn’t others have this same opportunity? I know that sounds simplistic. I know that not everyone can quit their job tomorrow to pursue their dreams, but what if I could give them a gentle nudge to at least consider this possibility? And if they considered it, what if I could help them realize it? Read more
Eric Maisel, prolific writer and creativity coach extraordinaire, has launched a new creativity resource with his wife, Ann Maisel. This new venture is the World Salon, an interactive resource for creatives around the globe. And I’m thrilled to have the inaugural column in the Coach’s Corner! Opportunities to contribute abound, so don’t miss out. More about the World Salon, from Dr. Maisel’s introduction:
Thinking about writing a mystery? Need to raise money to produce your album? Need help as a beginning costume designer? Want to give more powerful auditions? Looking for inspiration as a textile artist?
You’ve come to the right place!
My name is Eric Maisel and I’ve invited creative and performing artists from around the world to share their experiences and their expertise with you—for free. Our World Salon is a worldwide community of creative individuals from all walks of life who are looking for community, resources, and a place to feel heard and understood. We hope that the World Salon will become that place.
Our features include a library of Ten Tip pdfs that you can download immediately, read, and use. And we’ll be adding more all the time! We have a feature called Worldwide Perspectives where more than a hundred creative and performing artists from around the world share their experiences in “Letter From” columns (for example, “Letter from Los Angeles,” “Letter from London,” and “Letter from Berlin”). We have other features, too, like an artist’s voice feature, links to great articles, a coach’s corner, a philosopher’s corner—please look around!
I hope that you’ll want to contribute to our community. Many of our features are open to you. Look around, see what interests you, and join our worldwide community of contributors!
Please enjoy your visit.
Check it out!
In January I made a big decision. Something had been on my “maybe” list for over a year and I decided it was time to jump in with both feet.
I decided to become a certified creativity coach through the national Creativity Coaching Association (CCA). This means I’ll spend up to two years taking classes and coaching clients in order to earn my certification. My first class, with creativity guru Eric Maisel, began at the beginning of February. I’m already learning so much that I can hardly contain my excitement. I am now a CCA member, although I won’t be a certified coach until I complete the training program.
For me, becoming a certified creativity coach is the natural next step in what has long been my passion: understanding the ways in which we express our creativity and striving to help creative people (women, and mothers, most specifically) overcome obstacles, reach their creative goals, and live in alignment with their priorities. This work directly informs the nonfiction book I’ve been working on for the past three years: A Mother’s Guide to the Creative Life (a survival guide based on interviews with dozens of creative mothers). Receiving professional training helps me re-asses and refine the framework and strategies that I developed in my manuscript. And of course, certification will enable me to step up the informal coaching atmosphere of this blog — which is really an exciting prospect.
If you’re wondering what a creativity coach really is, here’s a blurb from the CCA website:
What is a Creativity Coach?
- Creativity Coaches are similar to life coaches, but focus more specifically on your creative work.
- Creativity Coaches help you to develop your artistic and humanistic talents.
- Creativity Coaches have helped thousands of artists, writers, inventors, entrepreneurs and other creative souls to accomplish their dreams.
I feel so good about this decision — and the process itself — that I’m pretty much a grinning fool, even when nobody’s around to see me. Of course, one of the primary bonus by-products of coaching training is that I am learning how to address my own issues and perceived obstacles. By helping others, I help myself. And the more I help myself, the more able I become to help others. A pretty awesome self-perpetuating loop. While I naturally had concerns about how to fit one more thing onto my already overflowing plate, I know that this is an important step for me — one that merits prioritization. Like most “right” decisions, it’s working itself out organically. Even though I’ve been busy with classwork and coaching, I’ve also made time for my own creativity, with a renewed sense of presence and commitment. It’s happening.
Along the way, I’ll be needing volunteer “coachees,” in the same way that you can go to a hairstyling school and get a free haircut from one of the students. The student stylist gets to learn on a live person, and you get a free haircut — and hopefully leave the school’s salon without looking like a poodle, unless of course that was the look you were going for. So if anyone is interested in joining my pool of coachee clients, drop me a line at creativereality (at) live.com and let me know. I promise I’ll do my best to avoid bad perms.