As regular followers of my blog know, I have written extensively about the unique challenges that accompany having an online presence. Trying to promote my work, share my experiences in a meaningful way, stay true to who I am and make connections with my online colleagues isn't always the easiest of tasks, but it is a worthwhile journey that has opened new pathways to creative souls all over the world. My dear friend Marisa Haedike and fellow inspiring blogger has just introduced her new e-course, In the Fish Bowl, to teach participants how to maneuver through all the trials and tribulations of building a creative presence online. I've invited her to be a guest blogger today to talk about her course, what inspired her to create it and what her secret to success is. Welcome Marisa...
Some people are content doing the work they were meant to do privately while others feel compelled to transform that work into being a voice in the world; I've always leaned towards the latter. And believe me when I say that if you get within earshot of me, there's a really good chance I will start asking you about your dream, and will do everything in my power during our time together, even if it's mere minutes, to convince you to follow it.
I believe in dreams coming true. It's what I do.
And to be honest, I think one of the early passions behind starting my own business was so that I could confidently tell others that it's true: You CAN make a living do work that you love.
I also believe that the more people live the lives they want, the happier the planet. As soon as I began Creative Thursday, I knew my mission for it was to one day become a vehicle to encourage others to follow their dreams, especially creative ones. So here I am. It's time for me to share what I've learned with you. Everything I've listed above is what has inspired my new e-course: In The Fish Bowl :: Life as an Artist.Online
This is an e-course for artists that will cover a range of topics from making a living, marketing and maneuvering online, while staying true to who you are (which I tend to think of this as one of the most important parts).
There's so much to say on all of these topics, especially the one about being true to who you are, so I will do my best to keep this brief. If you are here reading Christine's beautiful blog, then chances are you are a creative who is already quite familiar with the online world. While the internet continues to move at the speed of light, it is becoming increasingly evident that in order to keep up - especially if you are also an online business - you will have to decide what you want your place to be in this world. This does not mean, however, that you have to compromise your artistic and personal vision to be a part of this fast moving stream. It actually means that now, more than ever, you have to become crystal clear about what your vision is. And then you have to remain fiercely loyal to it.
Life online is about transparency. And much like a fish in a fish bowl, it's about finding contentment within that transparency. It's no longer just about sharing your work, it's about sharing yourself. As Christine mentioned in her introduction above, developing an authentic online presence and all that accompanies this is not always the easiest of paths to travel, yet a willingness to travel it can open you up to opportunities you didn't even know were possible.
Developing supportive communities, your own "fish bowls", both online and in person are what will help you navigate these waters. With this e-course I hope to be the beginning or addition of that community for you. As I get students signing up from all over the world, I realize once again just how connected we all are. The opportunity for us to learn from one another is like no other time before, and the more we learn from each other, the more likely we will all create and live the lives that make us truly happy.
In closing, Christine asked me about my secret to success. Oh the pressure :) Of course there is no one answer to this question, because there is no one answer to what success is. So, first and most importantly, you have to define what success means to you, and check in on that from time to time, because you'll find that your definition may change as you grow. Take time to discover what you love most in life, then you have to believe in yourself. You have to know where you are going, even if no one else knows or sees it yet. You have to stay dedicated to that vision no matter what, and it goes without saying that you want to be gracious, genuinely kind, supportive and loving to others along the way. Follow your heart, remember not to take it all too seriously and have fun, because it's all a journey - one that will always continue to evolve.
Thank you for having me Christine ~ and I hope to see you all "in the fish bowl"!
Register for Marisa's course right here.