From Flustered to Focussed in Five Weeks
If you made it this far, and you’re still reading after my last few monster posts, that tells me a couple of things. First of all, you’re someone who is committed to making a living from your own creativity. Maybe you want to have a solid, dependable income that’s independent of your partner’s job, so that you can start giving something back (and so that you’re all set if the worst happens.) Maybe your life would be immeasureably improved by being quiet and creative every day, and not by spending 9-5 fulfilling someone else’s dreams. Second, I’d say you’re at least somewhat interested in my Successful Creative’s Business Blueprint course.
This is the deal. It is possible to succeed as a creative. I’m living proof. I sew WAY too slowly, I’m a terminal perfectionist, and I’m an introvert. I can’t make smalltalk at parties, and in a regular office I’m about as effective as a lobster in oven gloves. And yet I did it. I created a successful business that gives me quiet, calm, space to create and money to live and travel, and so can you.
The “struggling artist” is a cultural constant, but don’t believe the hype; it’s by no means a universal truth. Success as a creative person is not luck or talent; it’s a skillset. A skillset that most creatives don’t see – one that I didn’t see for many, many years of struggle before I had my own “aha” moment and realised that I need to hone more than just my sewing skills. From when I graduated in 1996 to when I launched Your Wardrobe Unlock’d in late 2007, I was indeed a struggling artist, but those eleven years gifted me with just enough mind-bending frustration to break through the wall to a life I love. And you can do it too. Oh yes you can. (And without that long, bleak decade of beating your head against that wall!)
Maybe you know that you want this entrepreneurial, creative life but you don’t know where to begin. I’ll walk you through from the beginning, even if you’re not quite sure what it is you want to sell (in fact, that’s the best place to begin, with an open mind and no pre-conceived notions). Even if you’re not quite sure yet whether you can pull it off, I’ll help you build your confidence, crystallise that vision and take your first steps toward creative flight.
Maybe you’ve been beating your head against a wall for years trying to make this creative life work: this training is also for you. I’ll help you strip your business back to basics to see where the REAL snags and bottlenecks have been. You’ll remember why you chose this road in the first place, and what it was you were looking for – and you’ll rebuild your vision from there, with the results you want in mind.
The Course in Detail
I’ve been teaching this stuff in fits and starts since people started asking to pick my brains around 2009. When my second online magazine Foundations Revealed launched, people started noticing that I must have figured a few things out about making the creative life pay. And I’m glad to share – it’s been my honour to share what I know in classes from Costume College in California to the Oxford Conference of Corsetry in England, and in countless late night conversations around the kitchen table with talented friends who needed a break. In every case, people say they have walked away with stunning changes in perspective that have made all the difference in their businesses. But all of these were just one off opportunities to share a few quick tips.
Last year I quietly tested the idea of taking a group through a formal program, and now, for the first time, I’ve distilled all I know into a step-by-step interactive training where I can actually coach you through the process. We’re going to go through five modules that are going to be delivered via five live webinars.
I’ve touched on each of the subjects of those modules briefly in my recent blog posts, but this will be an opportunity to go much deeper and implement them in your own situation.
Week 1: The Dream Divination Project
Reach clarity on exactly where you want to go with a vision that’s a lot more specific than “a successful business”. Only when you have a picture of that destination in mind can you confidently plot a route to get there – and know whether you’re getting closer to it or not. We’ll work on crystallising what it is that you really want. When you begin to drill down and ask the right questions, you may be surprised.
Week 2: Move into your Mission
Make your WHY the mission that sets you apart. In a crowded, competitive world, true success is about more than exchanging goods for money. Discover the best vehicle for your energy, set out to change the world in some small or big way, and watch the momentum build, because I know you… and I know that for you, it’s about more than the money.
Week 3: Attracting Your Tribe
Connect with the right customers (lots of them!) How? We’ll take another look at your skills and assets – all of them – and look at the issue of attracting attention. Find a big enough crowd with a problem that your skills can help with, and shift your mindset to service. Then you have a viable business.
Week 4: Position Your Prices
Activate your fans by offering what they really want, and communicating the value in a way that means something to them. We’ll study value, the airspace you’re operating in, and set prices by placing you precisely where you need to be in that environment.
Week 5: Managing Your Future
Map out ahead of time how all this will pay the rent. Learn how to build your cashflow forecast and use it to test your business health, to plan for the future, and to pick a direction that will take care of your bank balance.
The really cool thing is that you’ll be able to get the whole process laid out for you – you just have to follow the steps. When I figured this stuff out myself, I did it in fits and starts. I found one piece of the puzzle, and then another, maybe the next week, maybe a year later – out of order, but I cobbled it together into a business that works. With the benefit of hindsight, I’ve been able to structure those pieces into the complete picture – a process that has a logical order so that you can build the life you want right first time, without the flustered sense of circling around your goals, getting no closer to them. It’s the gift I wish I could have given myself twenty years ago when I graduated with nothing but a sewing machine, a battered suitcase and a big dream!
How the Course Will Work
Again, this is a very interactive process, because I’m going to be delivering each class online and then I’ll be answering your questions live – just like an in-person class, but accessible from wherever you are (pj’s optional!) Again, it’s going to be a small group so that I can go in-depth with your own questions. My business has grown to a level where you really can’t hire me to do this. I would love to coach everyone individually but I simply don’t have the time; I can’t afford to take on individual clients. But in this process, as we go through the course, you’re going to be able to get that access and ask me questions, just you and a small group of creatives like you.
I’m not some brilliant salesperson so I don’t have a big fancy sales pitch for this, I’ve just got something I’m really passionate about sharing with other frustrated creatives. The world needs art, it needs creative people out there giving their best, and I want to do my part to help make that happen. If you’ve made it this far, and I haven’t taken this page down yet, then there is at least one more space available, probably more than one. But it’s a small group and there’s just not much room.
The five modules are going to be delivered over a five week timeframe, so it’s going to be very intense. I’m going to give you four weeks’ grace before we begin to get other projects off your plate. Then we can really focus together from our first session on Thursday, May 26th 2016.
I designed it so that when you complete the course five weeks later you’ll have your whole business mapped out, with a clarity you’ve never had before about what you business is, who it’s for, and how to fly directly to a point where it will give you the lifestyle you want. It’s going to be very interactive, it’s going to be step-by-step, and I’m going to walk you through the process. You can model exactly what I’ve done, with the exact tools I use myself.
You know I’m a big advocate of the idea that creatives should never hold back, but always charge what you’re worth. And how much is it worth to give a creative the tools she needs to turn her ship around and design a business that could change her whole life?
Well, coaching isn’t cheap. Giving this kind of support to individuals one-on-one would need a price tag of $10,000 a year. Realistically, that’s the going rate for business coaching in this world, which is pretty ironic considering that in order to have that kind of money, you have to already be successful! Clearly that’s not do-able for most creatives in your position.
So the way I’ve put this thing together is this. We’re going to have an interactive training where a group of you are coached together, as I’ve explained. I’m going to walk you through step-by-step for five weeks. I’m really excited about building this group, putting this together as a group program and making it available for some very special people, so I’m going to keep the price right down to $997. I want as many people as possible to be able to potentially take advantage of this opportunity, so that’s a special price; it’s certainly not going to cost you $10,000 to learn from me.
Furthermore, yes, there will be a payment plan – you can also choose to pay in three monthly instalments of $377 if you wish, but you’ll see if you do the math that there’s a small incentive to do the single payment if you can. At the bottom of this page are two payment buttons – just pick the option you prefer. Registration will be closed on Saturday night, April 23rd at 8pm London time, or when the course is full, whichever comes first.
Team Possibility Around-The-Clock Online Retreat: When you’re trying to achieve something amazing, it’s important to have a strong peer group who are on the same page. Committed peers as well as a great coach are key to your success. To that end, there will be a private online community in which you can ask questions, get support and get to know each other whenever you wish – and you will always have access to that community, for life.
Captain’s Log Money Management Templates: Do you struggle with keeping track of the money in your business? You’ll get templates of the exact tools I use to manage money – tools that will make your progress easy to track and assess without getting overwhelmed.
My Personal Guarantee
Of course, like everything I’ve ever done, there is 100% iron clad guarantee. If you’re unhappy for any reason within 30 days of the beginning of the program, just send an email to my awesome customer service team at [email protected] and we’ll take care of you right away. That gives you a chance to sample almost the entire course. So there’s no risk here: go ahead and click that button down below and join me.
Trust Heart, Venture Forth
We’re starting on Thursday 26th May, giving you four weeks to clear your plate and get ready to focus fully with me, and five weeks later you can have your business mapped out and ready to rock.
This model is a step-by-step, formalised version of the process I’ve been through myself. It’s designed specifically for the creative heart and mind, with none of the typical business bluster or jargon.
I’ve been teaching bits and pieces of it for years, but I’ve never taught it at this level. I am putting my decade of knowhow into walking you through step-by-step, giving you examples, giving you tools, giving you the support you’ve always needed to create the business and the lifestyle of your dreams. It’s going to be an amazing training.
Again, it’s very limited. I’m not going to send out a bunch of reminders, because I just have a few places. If you’re reading this, I still have a spot available for you, otherwise I would have already unpublished this post, so there should be a registration button at the bottom of this page. Click that button and join me. I’ll see you in Module 1!
Registration now closed
Hi Cathy-thank you so much for all these posts here- I just subscribed to your online-coaching and I’m really curious and eager to learn from you! I’m a musician of first profession (pianiste), but since my childhood I always worked with textiles, sewing, knitting, embroidery. My interest and love for historical clothing is about 60 years old now:-) – I began to sew costumes for me several years ago and dare say that in the meantime I proceeded well in the necessary skills, learning always more and more. It’s aboit 10 years that I began to sew for customers also, and I founded my business “mipiace” four years ago- it is running, but at a low level. As I’ll be retired in 2017 I really want (and need to!) do all this more effective, and I believe that I’ve found here the possibility to learn how this will to be achieved. Your offer is really the first one relating on the special needs of creative business!I never saw another one till now.- I often tried to get advice from “normal” business people- but this never worked , they simply don’t understand our special conditions. So now I subscribed this spontaneous and really “out of belly” and I’ll be lucky to hear from you and to join this company. Kind regards from Switzerland Martina
Martina, it’s a pleasure to meet you, and thank you so much for putting your faith in me – and yourself! I look forward to getting to know you and your business during the course.
Thank you, Cathy! I’m also greatly looking forward to this course and to meet you!
I wrote a comment on one of the previous posts saying that I am really interested in doing the course. But now I’ve seen the starting date & I am commuted to a project until the following month.
I have been working on a school musical every year at this time for 11 years. This year 70 middle school kids in 1950’s costumes for Bye Bye Birdie that closes June 24 & the month leading up to that is always completely out of control.
Will you be running the course again this year? I’m hoping there will be another opportunity to take part in your wonderful program.?
Hi Jayne, sounds like fun! I won’t be running the course again this year, but if it proves popular I may run it again in the future. I have a lot of other commitments – last time I did this it took me a year and a half to clear a space to do it again! Must clone self… 🙂
Well shucks, I am on Social Security, and the price of the course is more than I get in one month, which also means that it is more than one third my income for an installment.
I guess I’ll just have to do the best I can on my own.
If only I were even 10 yrs younger.
Thank you for putting this together, I know many will benefit.
Could you include something about the time commitment involved and whether the videos will be archived for future access in case a student wants to review part or all of a session? By time commitment I mean how long each lesson lasts and how long the comments/questions period will last. Future access to both is also very important.
Have you considered offering the course/questions in archival form during the rest of the year until you can offer a new course? I would find that very useful but also cannot afford the high cost of the live course.
Cameron in the US
Hi Cameron, each call including Q&A will be around two hours. Yes, all the classes and slideshows of notes are available for download later by students, for life.
Yes, I have considered an archived version of the course, but since students tend to want the details of their situations to be kept within the group, this seems unlikely.
Hi, just wondering what is happening with the peacock dress? No posts about it for over a year?
Hi Rachael, I’m sorry about the delay, somehow I didn’t get a notification about this comment.
I haven’t said it explicitly, but this post you see right here *is* what’s happening with the Peacock Dress. It hasn’t felt quite right to make a big public show of it, but here is the explanation in brief:
I worked on the embroidery for a year, discovering that this was way too big to do alone, but figuring out a lot about how it had been done. I realised that, duh, I ought to do exactly what Worth did and hire the team of experts in India to do the embroidery in three weeks and not the thirty years it would take me (not even kidding!)
That comes with a price tag of $8000, which I think you’ll agree is an awful lot. I went back to Kedleston and finally connected with a then-new member of staff who GOT it. A grand exhibition was planned, for which they would order the Peacock Dress as a commission from me. I really thought we were getting somewhere.
Unfortunately, that lady left the job after a year because of unrelated issues, and it’s not yet clear whether the idea has been taken up by her successor. It’s not looking good, since I haven’t heard anything in over a year, although I haven’t heard a definite answer either way.
That leaves me back at square one, needing to raise $8000, probably more by now, to pay for a piece of embroidery. And here we are, looking at a number of ways to grow my business enough to fund it.
Thank you for asking.