Artist: Sam Shepard; Sydney, Australia
Ann Rea: All right. This is Ann Rea and Rebel Rea, and more importantly, Sam Shepard from Australia. Where in Australia?
Sam Shepard: Sydney.
Ann Rea: Sydney?
Sam Shepard: Yeah, south around Sydney.
Ann Rea: Oh, okay, so you’re by Lucy Chen. Alright. So, Sam is a student in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Program and I just wanted, he shared a post, and so many of my students were inspired by what you posted that I’m sure they wanna know more about what you did, so they can do the same thing. And even if you’re not one of my students, you can benefit from knowing what Sam did. So, I’ll just read what you wrote, said, “I’m buzzing with excitement. “I’ve just been slapped across the face “by the reality of the power of the smarter goal.” So I teach everyone how to create goals. So we all stopped and struggle with goals, and it’s not because you’re not capable of meeting your goals, it’s because you haven’t actually defined a smarter goal. So Sam knows how to do this now. So then Sam wrote, “I had to tell someone “and I wanna help encourage you guys “that anyone can do this.” That’s right.
Sam Shepard: Yeah it’s eye opening.
Ann Rea: It’s true. So then, “I don’t use the numbers to brag,” And you’re not, because you need the numbers to measure your success. “And I wanna show how being specific can help align you.” Amen. “With some direction, a plan to persist “and a desire to improve my life through “implementing Ann’s accumulated wisdom “for the third time now, I’ve achieved a far-fetched goal.” So our goals are centered in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Program around the sale of art. But when you learn this, you can apply it to any aspect of your life, not just the sale of your art. So Sam wrote, “My smart goal from earlier this year, “I’m so amazed and confident now that I’ve made “over $100,000 in 2016/17 financial year, “revenue, not profit, I was using a weird measuring “until my accountant put me right.” So good, “I also was traveling and snowboarding “in the US for a month this year.” Oh, okay. Nice. “Wow, the smarter goal setting and hard work pays off. “So far it’s worked.” So Sam lost 14 kilos, 30 pounds?
Sam Shepard: Yeah, yeah.
Ann Rea: Damn,
Question: Is that since enrolling in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Program?
Sam Shepard: It was in the early part of it yeah-
Ann Rea: Wow.
Sam Shepard: That I started to lose-
Ann Rea: Congratulations. He said “paid off $10,000 in credit card debt.”
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: “And has now hit over $120,000 this fiscal year, $60,000 of that has been art sales.” Damn
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: So here’s his lessons, and this is what you wanna listen closely to. “Set bigger goals.” Not ones that are impossible, that you don’t believe in right? But bigger ones, be bold, ’cause you’re not gettin’ outta here alive, so you might as well get clear on what it is you want while you’re here, enjoy the ride. And then what Sam also learned is, “It’s possible.” And said, “Dream, plan, execute, enjoy, repeat. “Keep telling people about your mission.” So for those of you who are not in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Program, that’s how you sell your art, you just simply share your mission, you don’t need to sell anybody. You just need to share your mission and guide them to a conversation. And then Sam goes on to say “Thank you all. “I’m so filled with gratitude for all the good vibes, love and support that flows so strongly in this group.” Yay!
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: Very proud of you Sam! And I’m so glad that you took the time to share it because you inspire other students in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Program and this could inspire somebody else who’s thinking about enrolling. What changed for you? I mean, you learned the smarter goal, but what else?
QUESTION: Did anything else change for you from the time you enrolled versus before?
Sam Shepard: It’s just starting to stew together and really getting little, like feedback from reality that’s like things are possible, that can be changed and so seeing that, once I hit that number at the date, when I’d set the date for it, I was just like- And that was like the slap in the face by the reality of it, it was like yeah, that’s the third time that I’ve set a goal, and then I’ve hit it pretty much on the date when I set the goal for it. So I was like, oh man, now I’ve gotta reevaluate that, and if I can use that sort of skill or power, what else could I achieve and how could I apply that to selling art to actually live the life I’m tryin’ to live.
Ann Rea: You sold $60,000 of art, that’s really great Sam.
QUESTION: How much had you sold before you enrolled? Do you know?
Sam Shepard: That would’ve been like my total for the entire year for everything, like other jobs and stuff, so it was amazing to get that massive chunk just from art-
Ann Rea: You got 120 for everything. But you said specifically you sold $60,000 in art on top of, that’s pretty significant chunk of your overall income.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, it’s amazing. So yeah, using the mission to be able to communicate with my clients better, about the benefit of, not the benefit of the art, but making … You’re selling the same art, but I’m describing it in a different way.
Ann Rea: I’m so glad you said that, because you are selling the same art. So a lot of artists have this misconception that they’re gonna have to change their style or they’re gonna have to change their approach, and that usually does not happen. What usually happens is they start making art and selling more art and their style or approach actually just gets better, but the art doesn’t really change that much. Unless your art is complete crap, then I can’t help you. But, right?
Sam Shepard: Yeah, there’s a sort of a middle ground where it’s gotta work.
Ann Rea: Right, right.
Sam Shepard: I’m also making less art, in a way, less floundering around just sitting at a canvas and just tryin’ to create something. Sort of art as a hobby kind of art. So I’d like to make more. Now that I’ve got this sort of plan in place, I’m kinda able to create a bit more time in my life to be able to spend time and enjoy the studio.
Ann Rea: So that’s a goal in itself. You could say, for example, you could say, I’m gonna spend every Friday, or a minimum of X number of hours each week on average. So that’s a smart goal right there.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, that’s a good way to do it. Yes, it doesn’t have to be massive goals, it could be simple, sort of, ways to implement it. Yeah, cool, I like that.
Ann Rea: Yeah, you don’t have to make this hard. This isn’t, that’s the whole point of this, is let’s not make this hard.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, for sure, and it wasn’t. Like the three times where I’ve done that big goal, it was something that didn’t feel like it was gonna be possible, but I just said we’ll give it a crack and put it down. It sort of seemed like this lofty thing, but then just kept taking steps towards it. But it wasn’t like, oh man, it’s like blood and sweat and tears, and then come out there, alright, I did it. It was sort of like, just a little bit every day.
Ann Rea: So suffering is optional. Let me just ask you this, so you had a pretty assertive goal.
QUESTION: So did you suffer the whole time?
Sam Shepard: I didn’t suffer. I mean I had to do things, like I had to get an extra job to get to there. But I’m pretty sure that the job wasn’t grueling and horrendous.
Ann Rea: Right. So a lot of people think, I’m just gonna go from not selling any art, or very little art to supporting myself full time. It’s very unrealistic. I started, I was working and I was selling my art part time before I actually transitioned to full time. So you’re not gonna be silly about this. You wanna gain some traction and let the numbers support your decision to transition to making art full time. And so, glad you’re being sensible about it. Let me ask you this,
QUESTION: If you could go back in time to the Sam who hadn’t yet enrolled and maybe was just thinking about it, what is the advice you’d give him if you could travel back in your time machine?
Sam Shepard: You gotta invest in yourself and that it’s not just for fine artists. It can be a practical thing to apply to anyone who’s just wanting to work in the arts. So it’s possible, and it’s exciting. And you’ve got this black magic, fun, skills in here. That will help you reframe your mindset on what you’re trying to achieve with your art.
Ann Rea: They’re white magic, and I’ve got the magic wand to prove they are white magic.
Sam Shepard: : Perfect.
Ann Rea: And then, alright, so a lot of students saw this post and your fellow students, and you did give some advice, but I’d like to just kinda capture it on camera.
QUESTION: What about them, what would you tell them?
Sam Shepard: Sit down and actually spend a few minutes thinking about your smarter goal. Make it all of the things, give it a set date, like it’s gotta happen by a certain time, otherwise it’s too vague. Set something slightly outside your reach, but not too far outside your reach. So it doesn’t lose its power or lure.
Ann Rea: Right.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, and then once you’ve got that, then step back from it and then figure out the milestones. Or at least the first milestone. And then start to make some changes to achieve that.
Ann Rea: So what’s interesting, it’s an interesting mix of identifying the practical steps that you only can assume will lead you from where you are today to where you want to go. You can only make an assumption because you don’t know right? You have to take the first step, and complete that first milestone, and that informs the second and the third milestone, right?
Sam Shepard: Yeah, I had no idea how I was gonna do it. I just take the first step, you take a step towards it, might not even be one in the right direction. It was just taking something, making some sort of forward motion.
Ann Rea: Exactly, so I set my goal when I first started out, I didn’t know either. I just started with a goal in mind and then I made a plan that was kinda half-baked, but you know, like I say, a plan is not a roadmap. It’s like a compass, it changes. Every move you make, it changes, you have to check, am I still going north, or am I veering off?
Sam Shepard: Yeah, so true.
Ann Rea: Yeah, and then you can adjust it. Now I know you connected with some people. You did some study partner sessions right? So the video calls? So how did that change from the Sam who had not yet enrolled, and now the Sam who’s part of this community that meets with each other on video calls.
QUESTION: How has that changed your approach or your experience of pursuing art as a business?
Sam Shepard: I have a big post it on my desk that says who can you ask for help today.
Ann Rea: Nice.
Sam Shepard: I’m really realizing that, as you’ve always said, you can’t do it by yourself. I wouldn’t have got to where I’ve got to so far without saying I don’t know everything, and I can’t know everything. Like I can’t just watch all the videos and do all the research and then come up with the perfect business plan for the art. It’s about finding out, bouncing ideas off other people, getting new ideas, and the exchange of the actual video calls, which I thought was a bit hokey when I first signed up. I was like, ah it’s alright, I’ll just do it. I’ll just watch the videos and I’ll do it in the studio, and it’ll be fine. And then you get tied in knots with the coursework or tied in knots with just like everything, but being able to go through it with someone else and swap ideas, because you hear different people’s versions of explaining the exact same thing, and eventually it clicks. You hear it enough times and you’re like, oh right, yeah, that makes sense now. And you can help each other, like verify stuff.
Ann Rea: I’m glad you said that because a lot of people will enroll, and think, oh I’m not doing this study partner part. Here’s the thing, I get to see who’s being successful, and I get to see who’s floundering, and the ones who graduate, and the ones who don’t graduate. And I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, the ones who try to do it by themselves, they don’t even frickin’ graduate. They don’t.
Sam Shepard: I can imagine.
Ann Rea: They don’t. Because they have to rely on their own willpower and you just don’t have enough. The ones who I can see are actively meeting with others, and making friends … Like look at Khadeeja, did you see Khadeeja in London? Like some, another student from London came and gave her a big, fat hug.
Sam Shepard: Oh yeah, that was such a nice video. That was one of the ones that kicked me off to really get back into this more.
Ann Rea: That’s why I do these, because if you, constant motivation and constant reminder. But, I can’t do it all the time. You get on a study partner call, and you can get it from each other. And I always say, if you meet someone and you don’t wanna meet with them again, don’t, I don’t care. You wanna meet with people who give you energy and you give them energy. Don’t take it personal, we all have different, we just connect differently. And I see that. I can see the logs of people who’ve met and the ones who’ve had lots of study partner meetings, they just really jam it. It’s really interesting. So you gotta have a support network.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, 100%.
Ann Rea: Even if it’s the first phone call-
Sam Shepard: And also to have a safe space, where you can come and share your victories. To jump in there and, at first I was like, I feel a bit embarrassed about it, but I was like, there’s no one else who I know who is involved like this-
Ann Rea: Way to go yes!
Sam Shepard: Yeah, it’s just like, that’s fuckin’ amazing! It’s great.
Ann Rea: Yeah, I’m so glad that you did because I invite all my students to do that, you know, share your wins. Even if they’re small things, like somebody asked me for a discount and I said no, and I responded with the strategy that Ann says to respond with. And I didn’t discount and they bought it full price. Like that is huge victory. Just like one little thing for it. I got another freaking “you’ve been accepted to this art contest, it’ll only be $100 bullshit”, and you said, yeah, this is bullshit, I’m not doing that anymore. And that’s a huge win.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, I love it in there, it’s great. ‘Cause the course work, I have to set my deadlines for it, I’ve kinda fallen off ’cause I started another business. So every time I see the videos and those little posts and it’s always like, oh, yeah, that is possible. There are other people doing it, come on, get back on the schedule.
Ann Rea: Yeah, yeah. So anyway, the big takeaway here is to understand that you need to set goals, but you have to do them in a very specific way to increase the likelihood of you attaining them. And they have to fit the SMARTER criteria. And Sam did this and he sold $60,000 worth of art, that’s pretty damn good, after just enrolling late last year. And lost 30 pounds, damn. So it’s-
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: Alright so if there is somebody sittin’ on the fence and they’re like, oh I think I wanna apply to enroll, but I’m not sure. Maybe I should wait.
QUESTION: What would you say to them?
Sam Shepard: Get off the fence you drongo, life’s too short. If you wanna do your art and are bored of where you’re at, if there’s a part of you that’s bored of where you’re at, you’ve gotta change something. So invest in yourself, you’re the person who’s gonna take charge of it. No one’s gonna give you anything. You’ve gotta go take it, or go reach out for it. And asking for help for someone who’s, ’cause it’s not just paying for a course, it’s a community of people who can help you and that want to help you.
Ann Rea: Yeah, yeah.
Sam Shepard: That’s more valuable than just a little course payment.
Ann Rea: I’m really proud of, I have to say, I’m more proud of the community than anything. Even my own course creation, because so many artists are so busy competing with one another and being jealous of one another, that they’re really missing the boat. This community is the opposite, like when Sam posted this, everyone cheered. Everyone was like, yay, it means I can do it too. That’s who you wanna be around. So if you’re around artists who are competing with you or jealous of you, or you’re jealous of them, you gotta flip that script and you better do it quick. ‘Cause it’s not gonna work. Competition kills creativity, it doesn’t –
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: Not in this sphere. So, awesome, well I know my other students are really looking forward to seeing this. And I wanna hear the next goal, and the next goal, and the next goal, ’cause I know you’re gonna hit ’em.
Sam Shepard: Yeah.
Ann Rea: I know you will.
Sam Shepard: ‘Cause now, yeah, it’s like I’m a superpower now.
Ann Rea: I know! You’ve got a magic wand.
Sam Shepard: Yes.
Ann Rea: Alright, awesome, well thanks so much for taking time outta your day to share and I’ll see you in our Facebook group.
Sam Shepard: Yeah, awesome, thanks Ann.
Ann Rea: Alright, take care, bye.
Making Art Making Money