One of my absolute favorite things is connecting with other creatives, encouraging each other, helping each other learn. The most powerful and meaningful for part of being an artist is bringing beauty and light into people’s lives. I think that is the most important part of creating. That should always be the main focus. When the goal changes from serving people and bringing beauty into their lives, the art declines and the most important part of painting is lost, the people.
This is why it was a struggle for me to come to the decision to start coaching. I’ve received some really positive feedback about coaching and some negative feedback from people who feel like it is disingenuous and offensive that I ask to be paid for my time.
Here is what it came down to for me and these are the reasons I decided to start charging for my coaching services.
- I was spending about 6 hours a week responding to people’s messages
I get a lot of emails and messages on social media from people asking for help, asking paragraphs and paragraphs of questions, asking to, “pick my business brain,” etc… I was spending way too much time trying to help people with their businesses, to the point my own business was struggling. I’m more than happy to serve and help others, but I also can’t let my business die, or my own time be taken from me.
HEAR THIS: if someone shoots me a message asking what paint I use or where I get my stretcher bars, I always respond. That kind of question is not a coaching question. But when people ask multiple questions relating to business development, or how to get started as an artist, that’s not one short answer I can shoot off quickly, that takes time, it takes thought, and it’s not a one-word answer.
- I wasn’t serving others well
I started to get frustrated when someone would ask me for business advice and counsel and I started resenting the people who asked. I’d shoot back short, curt answers that really weren’t helpful to them actually growing their business. I’ve found with coaching professionally I’m able to send out a questionnaire, dive into their goals, and help them put a plan in place to reach their goals, and offering ongoing sessions to keep them on track, much more helpful.
- I felt taken advantage of
This is never good, in neither professional nor personal life. This is an indication of a lack of boundaries. When you feel like you’re being robbed or that people don’t appreciate you time, something needs to change. Here is the truth, people actually appreciate me more now that I charge for my services and I also don’t feel like people are stealing my time. Both of our businesses can succeed with mutual respect of each other’s time.
If these points resonate with you, then maybe it’s time to consider coaching. If someone gets angry with you for charging for your time, then maybe they aren’t someone you could have helped anyway. Mutual respect is key. Respect those who ask for help by giving them quality time and resources that will help them. Respect yourself by giving others the tools to respect you.