Step 4. Pick One Idea
It’s not unusual to have several different ideas for the classes, workshops or retreats you want to run. As a person with a fertile imagination, it’s easy for you to dream up lots of alternatives! But then you are faced with choices. Since having to choose can provoke a lot of anxiety, many artists fail to run any classes, workshops or retreats because the anxiety gets to them and, instead of choosing, they drop the idea entirely.
In order to run a class, workshop or retreat you will need to make a choice. Let’s create a hypothetical example. Say that you’re a female watercolor artist and your subject matter is typically landscapes, flowers, and animals. You also have a spiritual bent and consider painting a spiritual activity. Likewise, you believe in empowering women and have the feeling that you might like to run a “painting and empowerment” workshop for teenage girls. But you also like to work with elders and wonder about offering them a workshop.
It’s easy to see that you are confronted by many diverse choices: a studio workshop focusing on the technique of painting flowers; a studio workshop focusing on the technique of painting animals; a plein air workshop focusing on landscape painting; a studio workshop with a spiritual focus; a plein air workshop with a spiritual focus; a studio workshop for teenage girls; a studio workshop for elders; and more!
How will you choose? You might ask yourself, “Which workshop would be the easiest to fill?” You might ask yourself, “Which workshop interests me the most?” You might ask yourself, “Which workshop helps me sell my paintings?” You might ask yourself, “Which workshop would be the easiest to prepare?” You might ask yourself, “Which workshop would be the most profitable?” You might ask yourself, “Which workshop would physically tax me the least?” In short, there is no single “objectively highest” criterion to use to help you make your decision: it all depends on where you want to focus.
Rather than waiting for the “perfect” choice to come to you, recognize that you will need to choose your criteria (easiest to fill, interests you the most, easiest to prepare, least taxing, etc.), pick the workshop, class, or retreat that best matches that criteria, and run it—remembering that you can run some other one after you have run this one.
There isn’t a “perfect” choice to make. Rather, there is SOME choice to make. Using whatever criteria you decide to employ, pick your idea and get it clear in your own mind. It’s time to settle on one idea and run that specific class, workshop or retreat!