January 19, 2018

Always Be a Student

I believe I've mentioned that one of the secrets to my success is showing up. Sometimes I mean this literally as in all of the events I attend to support and stay in touch with our local art scene. With that said, showing up can also be more figurative. Trying. Learning. Continually developing your skills. Plenty of people are happy to stick with one big idea and never push the boundaries. Perhaps they’re scared of the "what if’s". What if I’m not good at this new technique? What if I don’t learn it as quickly as others? What if my customers aren’t interested in something new? These are all valid points, but that shouldn’t stop you from testing the waters. You’ll never know otherwise. People who stick with the status quo usually do ok, but if you really want to have a full professional life, you should never stop learning. Ideally you pursue things with the greatest likelihood of benefiting your business, but there’s nothing wrong with little creative tangents to keep your juices flowing. Whatever your reasoning or motivation, I highly recommend making time for professional development throughout the year to keep growing as an artist and entrepreneur.

Why the sudden push for workshops and seminars? Well, I just got back from my favorite annual conference - ImagingUSA organized by the Professional Photographers of America, and I’m feeling inspired. I'm glad they schedule it for January to start off the year with a bang and remind me why these types of events are worth the investment. In case you’re not convinced, Professional Development helps you in these ways…
  • Ongoing Improvement – The more tools you add to your toolbox, the more you have to offer, right? It takes a lot of hats to run a small business, so there's always more to learn. Of course, it doesn’t always have to be something new. Maybe you just want to practice what you already do. In today’s economy, efficiency is huge, and every effort to improve your game can really pay off. I’m totally the nerd that relishes in aha moments every time I learn something that solves a previous challenge because now I can do more of what I love and that much better.  
  • Networking – Who doesn't love meeting up with like minded people in your particular field? Share wins and challenges. Learn from each other’s stories. Develop connections you can turn to in the future. Find people with similar techniques and visions. You can bounce ideas off each other and consider collaborative opportunities.  
  • Renewed Inspiration – Running a creative business can at times feel like you're all alone. Come together with a group of your peers, and beyond networking, you can renew your connection to the industry. Rediscover why you love what you do and explore new ideas to potentially add to your offerings. 

Professional Development Opportunities in Austin

This is list is as of January 2018. There are constantly new opportunities popping up, so I'll share those on Social Media. If there are any I missed, I'd love to hear about them!