What’s a lead generator? A what? What does drop shipping mean? Heck if I know.
In February of this year, I and about 300 other creatives from around the world began learning the answers to these questions and so much more when we began taking a life-changing online course called Creativity Made Business. When it was announced several months before launch through the Jeanne Oliver network, jeanneoliver.com I knew it was something I had to go for.
I had a dream, you see. I wanted to develop my own art business, but had no idea how to get there. I questioned myself. At 67, was it too late? I had been thinking about this for at least 20 years! Well Jeanne answered that with a resounding NO! To paraphrase her, as long as we have a living breath, it’s never too late.
So I began working towards my dream. The six-month CMB course was almost three years in the planning, development and filming stages. Its individual modules span ideas such as Your Creatively Made Life...getting strong in who we are...and Building your Brand, to Marketing and Connecting to Customers, and finally this month, to Diversify, Sustain and Grow.
Each of the six modules contains about 10 videos. There are podcasts, a book-of-the-month, worksheets, a private Facebook group. A live book club and Q&A at the end of the month summarizes what we’ve learned. Jeanne provides amazing individual feedback, advice and encouragement throughout.
We started strong in February and going into March. And then? Well, you know what happened. We sunk into a pandemic. It was hard on everyone. Suddenly, jobs were lost, businesses shut down, kids were home from school, isolation was rampant. Focus was near impossible.
Let me tell you what Jeanne did for us. At least once a week in those beginning COVID weeks, she was on a live video, encouraging us to do what we could, empathizing with us that of course we felt as we did. Sharing of herself and her own pain, and her own plans for moving forward. Those videos were moving and empowering, and I’m not sure I would have gotten through the course, indeed would have gotten through the initial stages of COVID, without them.
But I did. And here’s some of what I’ve accomplished over the last few months. I’ve gotten clear on what I want my business and life to look like. I’ve set up my first website cecesullivanabstractartist.com, with the help of former colleague Fred Birchman and current CMB member Monica Yother, posted on my first blog on the website, have sold three paintings off the website, and have approached a gallery for the first time for possible representation. And you know what? I’m getting ready to “drop ship” a few of my paintings on products from the platform of my choice.
Mine is not an isolated experience. Many in the group are way ahead of me in their business plans, and it’s been inspiring to witness their own creative growth towards the future of their dreams.
So here we are in the last month of CMB. How do I feel about this incredible experience ending? Well, in a way it’s really not, as we have life-time access to the modules. Still, I’m feeling bittersweet. Very much so. I’m excited for the future, but I’ll miss the interaction with Jeanne, and with the CMB family. I hope our Facebook group will remain lively.
Good luck to all. And thanks Jeanne. For everything.
Next week, early registration and special pricing are opening up for a second course of Creatively Made Business. As you can probably tell, I would not hesitate to recommend this life affirming experience. http://creativelymadebusiness.com