My most recent commissions are not quite ready to unveil, so this post is more about inspiration and motivation. In the past two weeks I have been focused on investing in myself to improve my artistic skills, business strategy, and overall confidence. I put myself in the mindset that spending time and money on things I normally wouldn’t buy would more than pay for themselves in short and long term value. Here are four products/opportunities I jumped on just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Although I recommend you look into all four, use the list to help you evaluate what products or experiences would be most valuable to you. It can range from cooking classes to golf lessons, a new book on your industry or even a fresh set of clothes to help boost your confidence.
1. Attended live presentation by Seth Godin, world-renowned business author and speaker
Last week I had the rare opportunity of seeing one of my idols, author Seth Godin, speak at a small creativity conference at COCA in U-City. I’m not very impulsive by nature, but it was one of those opportunities where I committed to going before even knowing how much the tickets were (luckily they were reasonable!). As expected, his presentation was highly insightful, funny, and worth more than the ticket price. Unless he comes back to St. Louis soon, that might have been my one and only chance to see him at that affordable rate. He publishes a daily blog, one of the most read in the world, and I highly recommend you check it out for his thoughts on marketing and general business.
2. “$100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau
Chris Guillebeau is an author and world traveler, and I’ve been reading his blog for at least three years. The book is all about stories of businesses that were started for $100 or less, but have grossed over $50,000 in sales. My copy is supposed to arrive this afternoon! Based on the reviews and video trailer it appears to be a tremendous source of ideas and inspiration for anyone looking to create a side business from home or take a current venture to the next level.
3. “Splashing Paint” by John Lovett
I discovered Australian watercolor artist John Lovett in my monthly magazine International Artist, and fell in love with his style. Problem is, I’ve never tried watercolor, but want to combine his style with parts of my own to create something totally unique. It’s a 2-hour instructional video, and I could not be more excited to start practicing.
4. Monthly membership to Sweat in Clayton
I thoroughly believe personal health should be the first priority in life since it affects literally affects everything else we do. I could go on for days about the topic, but will just jump to the point of using a somewhat expensive gym membership to force a healthy lifestyle. Each one hour session is run by an instructor, and classes range from boxing technique to traditional bootcamp. Although it costs more than the regular gym down the street, I use that as an incentive to get my money’s worth every time I go. Plus it’s nice to have someone tell you what to do next, instead of having to plan your own workouts, wait for machines to open up, or try to find the missing dumbbell that someone never put back on the rack. The extra cost is recouped by feeling in shape and being more productive each day.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“They didn’t know it was impossible, so they did it.” – Mark Twain