on fearlessness

May 25, 2010 | Entrepreneurship, Life in Progress

(photo by the talented Vivienne McMaster)

i’m all about telling the story behind big events in our lives. it’s where the connections live, it’s where honesty breathes. inside all of those stories, i’m a big fan of acknowledging our fears and giving them a name. otherwise we can’t identify them, face their direction, and walk right through them, one step at a time. i wanted to share the short version story of my fears surrounding becoming an artist, having children, and most recently, launching an ecourse….

anyone who has read my book knows the story of how i waited until i was in my thirties to embrace the idea that 1)i might just be an artist and 2)i might be able to make a living with my art. why did i wait until my 30s to embrace those ideas? fear. all sorts of them. they were mainly of the whodoyouthinkyouare variety or the youcan’tmakemoneydoingart variety or the youarenotgoodenough variety. eventually i pushed through to the other side (i share how in my book).
my fears also made it extremely difficult for me to make a move in another part of my life: whether or not i wanted children. i’ve struggled with this decision for years and years. why? fears. all sorts of them. only this time they were of the maybeyoudon’tdeservechildren variety or youarenotmaternalenough variety or don’tyoualreadyhaveenough variety and on and on. through sheer providence and enough heart tenderness to last a lifetime, i had a breakthrough on these fears early last year and came to the conclusion that i deeply wanted children. i’m grateful it wasn’t too late.
and now here i am facing the door of my next big fear: leading my inaugural e-course which starts on sunday. the truth is is that i was stuck in paralysis mode on this particular dream for a long time. i remember mati and i having a long, inspired conversation back in the fall of 2008 about ecourses. we were in italy teaching our painting classes at the time and the thought of doing ecourses seemed invigorating, natural. but when i got home, i found all sorts of reasons and fears to delay my taking action: it would be too much work, too complicated. what would i teach? i don’t have that much to say/teach. nobody would sign up. who am i to be an expert? and on and on….you get the idea. this went on for over a year. meanwhile, everything about my journey has made me uniquely qualified to offer ecourses, but for a variety of reasons, i needed the time to really truly embrace and accept that truth and find the inspiration to begin. sometimes our dreams need time to be born…
finally, FINALLY, i found my inspiration, got some clarity, faced the fears, and took action to get the course up and running despite all the gremlins swimming around in my head. the truth is is that i’m lauching into this dream right along side those who have signed up. we’re on the adventure together and i can’t tell you how meaningful that is for me. i’m so glad i did it. the response to this ecourse has been in direct proportion to my inspiration and energy for it. i suppose it needed all that time to incubate in my heart, to make sure i really wanted it, to marinate in possibility. and now that we’re mere days from the start of class, i can hardly believe i waited so long! i have a good feeling it’s going to be a life changer not only for me, but for those who have signed up.

it’s not to late to sign up! class starts this sunday (may 30th)! are you ready to listen to all those whispers nudging you to begin? to take your creative biz dreams seriously? to embrace the creative community that’s waiting for you? if so, I’d love it if you joined us.

i will not be offering this course again this year (because we’re having a baby!) so now is your chance….

all the details are below, including FAQs. never taken an e-course before? not sure how it works? you aren’t alone – check out the FAQs below!



the background
Everyday, I receive emails from sweet and lovely artists, crafters, and other creative souls asking for my advice. They want to know how, in a span of just a couple of years, I built an online presence and successful etsy shop, wrote a best selling book, got published in several magazines, and launched successful gift collections (via licensing deals) that are sold in stores nationwide. They ask advice on how to sell original paintings, how to have a successful online shop, how to create and package prints/jewelry/originals, how to create a website and community. They ask about licensing, money, publishing, and press. They ask me how on earth I manage my time, how I face my fears, how I stay organized.

I know exactly where they’re coming from. It wasn’t that long ago that I was sending similar emails out to artists I admired, people who seemed to have booming creative businesses. Some would answer me, but most didn’t. At the time I was crushed – why weren’t they responding? Don’t they want to help an eager emerging artist? Now that I’m crazy busy over here and on the other end of that email exchange, I get it. I’m sure some didn’t respond because they were simply too busy to give advice to a complete stranger and I’m sure some didn’t respond because they wanted to protect their hard earned information – afterall, nobody told them how to do it when they were starting out, did they? For me, it hasn’t been a matter of not wanting to share what I know, it’s been a matter of time and the value of that time.

In the end, I deeply believe in finding a way to share our stories, our resources, and how we’ve made it to where we are now. I also believe that there is tremendous value in what each of us has to offer when it comes to inspiration, concrete advice, and tips when it comes to creating a successful creative business. After months and months of writing, strategizing, and thinking about how I could best share everything I know (and finally answer, in detail, the questions that come my way) I came up with something that I think is pretty darned special: an e-course called Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks To Help Your Creative Business Soar.

what it's about
What I’ve learned in the last few years is that we can propel ourselves into living our dreams with successful creative businesses with two must haves: inspiration + tips. And that’s exactly what Flying Lessons is all about. Inspiration comes from sharing the stories of our creative journeys so that we can begin to dismantle all the misconceptions of what the creative life looks like. It means getting our hearts engaged in the business side of what we do. It means connecting to, and acknowledging, all the layers of our creative lives – our joys, successes, and downfalls.

And then there are hugely important tips – practical information and advice that we all need to be successful. When I started my creative journey, I was surprised at how hard it was to find answers to many of my questions: How do artists sell/price/package their works? How do they build a following and an online presence? How do they create their websites? How do they deal with the fears? And later it was: How do they get published, licensed, and accepted to shows? How do they organize their time? How do they market their work and get all that press? And most importantly: How do they stay engaged with their hearts and inspiration while managing the business side of what they do?

what you get

In Flying Lessons, you’ll receive the answers to all those practical questions and more. I’ll share my own personal stories of what’s worked, and what hasn’t worked as I built my creative business. And I’ll give you concrete information and tips along the way so that you, too, can create your own success whether you’re a crafter, a photographer, an artist, a writer, or someone who is still learning! You’ll find musings, encouragement, practical tips and thoughtful guidance on everything from how to create an online presence to how to create a creative community to how to successfully market your business to receiving press to getting published to facing the fears that inevitably come when we push ourselves to do things we’ve never done before. We’ll discuss the ins and out of money, creating a sustainable income from our creative businesses, licensing opportunities, craft shows, teaching opportunities, and how to handle the inevitable gremlins of competition, exhaustion, and overwhelm. And, of course, we’ll dive into organization strategies that are effective and promote the idea that small steps lead to giant leaps when it comes to creating the success we’ve always envisioned. Along the way, you’ll find inspiring quotes, interviews with successful working artists, and a few excerpts from my best selling book, Taking Flight.

More specifically:
* I’ll be posting nearly everyday for five weeks to the class website. Posts will be informative, inspiring, and full of resources. In addition to my posts, content will also include ongoing Q+A’s with me, interviews with working successful artists, and informative (yet casual) videos of me sharing everything I know.
* Class will be formatted and conducted on private blog (password protected) with comments open to promote discussion and questions. The idea is to promote topic focused discussion within the comments, but also to promote community amongst participants (so important and fun!). You’ll also receive special giveaways and promotions meant specifically for members of the class!
the breakdown
* Weeks one and two will focus on creating an effective online presence via blogs, websites, social networking, and more. We’ll talk specifically about the ins and outs of these resources including how to create, how to improve, and the secret ingredients to using them effectively. We also talk about networking and the importance of creating community and how to build long lasting creative allies. We’ll discuss all the fears that we’ll inevitably come up against as we push the boundaries of our horizons and how to effectively push through them.
* Weeks three and four will focus on selling strategies (both online and offline). I’ll give specific strategies for selling on etsy and other online marketplaces. We’ll discuss effective ways of styling, photographing, packaging, and pricing our products and/or services. We’ll also focus on a number of effective marketing strategies to get the word out about our businesses, including print media, newsletters, advertising, blogging, and more. We’ll also discuss in detail all the ins and out of getting press and getting published. Finally, we’ll discuss the actualizing of goals, creating schedules, and time management.
* Week five will focus on recharging our souls, handling competion as well as overwhelm and burnout. We’ll talk about creating other creative ways of income such as teaching, licensing, blog sponsorships, affiliate programs, and more. We’ll discuss an overview of taxes, money, and when it’s time to ask for help (interns, etc). We’ll also discuss organizing simple yet effective bookkeeping strategies when it comes to cataloging our income/expenses (so important when tax time comes around). Finally, we’ll wrap up what we’ve learned together and celebrate taking flight into our creative dreams!
who it's for
Whether you’re a beginner, an accomplished artist or crafter, or somewhere in between, this e-course is for anyone who wants to start or grow their creative business. More specifically:
* Anyone interested in how to create an online presence that will benefit their creative business and increase traffic to their websites and online shops. If you already have a blog/website, great! You’ll still learn a lot. This course is also for anyone who doesn’t have a blog, website and/or social networking accounts but are eager to jump in with a focus of growing their creative business.
* Anyone interested in how to effectively use social networking (twitter, facebook, flickr, etc) to promote their creative business.
* Anyone with dreams of growing their creative business in order to financially supplement (or possibly replace!) their full/part time jobs.
* Anyone with a creative business dream who needs the practical tools and small steps to make that dream a reality.
* Anyone interested in how to create a variety of income from their creative business, including blog sponsorships, licensing deals, teaching, wholesale accounts, and other means of creative/smart income.
* Anyone needing inspiration and gentle nudges of confirmation that we must listen to the whispers of our lives calling us to begin, to create, and acknowledge the dreams tugging on our hearts.
* Anyone needing practical, concrete tips and information on how to market and promote their blogs/websites/shops in online world with the goal of increasing traffic to their sites.
* Anyone interested in how to create a true blue community of artists, both for personal and creative business growth.
* Anyone needing tried and true tips on how to get press and how to get published in your favorite publications. Have big dreams of writing a book? We’ll discuss that too!
* Anyone needing advice on how to push through the fears that are inevitable along the creative journey.
* Anyone needing effective strategies for time management and ways to organize and implement their creative business goals, one by one.
registration is open
Registration is now open. Class is five weeks and costs $99. Class starts on Sunday, May 30th and ends five weeks later on Saturday, July 3rd. To register, please click on the paypal button to pay for the class (major credit cards accepted via paypal). After you’ve paid for the class, you will receive an email from me with everything you need to access the class website (password, etc). ** Please note: please allow 72 hours from the time you send in your payment to the time you receive an email with your password, and further details. All sales final. Thank you!

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to share everything I know, everything I’ve learned along the way, and to also learn from you! This class will have a lot of discussion and I’m looking forward to getting to know you as we journey together!! Questions? I’m here to help – please send your questions to kellyraeroberts[at]gmail.com




Q: I would love to sign up but the timing isn’t the best for me right now. Will you be offering another one soon after this one ends?
A: It’s highly likely that I won’t due to our having a baby and renovating a house and moving and, and , and. The window of opportunity for me to offer this class is right now and I’m so thankful for that!


Q: I really want to sign up but I’ll be out of town for a week or two during the class. Will the class content still be available after the class is over on July 3rd?
A: Totally. I’ll have the content still up on the site two weeks after the class is over so you’ll have access to all the content for a total of 7 weeks (well into July). Because there will be a lot of information in this class, you are welcome to cut and paste content to a document on your computer for reference later (for your eyes only, of course).


Q: I’ve never taken an on-line class before. Are the classes LIVE? Do I have to be at my computer at a certain time during the day in order to attend the virtual class?
A: The whole course is entirely self paced, meaning you don’t have to be anywhere at any given time to make it to the class. There are no specific times that you need to log in (meaning, nothing will be LIVE at 8pm, 8am, etc.). You can log in whenever you want and have access to the content that I’ve uploaded thus far. You can log in everyday or every other day or once a week. Either way, the content will be uploaded and waiting for you!


Q: I’m worried about it selling out before I have time to sign up. Is there a max amt of people who will be allowed to sign up?
A: I’ve given this a lot of thought. Because this is the ONLY time I will be able to offer this class this year, I am not limiting the number of people. Also, I deeply believe in the value of what everyone can bring to the table inside the comments/discussions. I don’t have all the answers and I have a feeling that we are all going to learn a lot from the resources/ideas/information that everyone will be able to offer inside all those discussions. So, the answer is no, this class will not sell out, so you’ve got time to sign up!


Q: I live abroad. Can I sign up?
A: Yes! That’s the beauty of online classes. Anyone can sign up no matter where you live!


Q: Are you nervous? Should I be nervous? A: I’m more excited than nervous but I definitely have that tad bit of fear that you get when you’re pushing yourself to do something a little scary. It’s good for us to feel slightly nervous and afraid – it means we’re invested and it means we’re flexing our courage muscles. My intention for this e-course is for it to be fun, a little scary so that it gives us both a chance to push thru a fear, and super informative and inspiring. I have a feeling this community will inspire, lift up, and support each of us along the way. I can’t wait.

Sending much love,

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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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