Is Your Art Business Failing?

By Carolyn Edlund


Like a living organism, your business depends on many parts working together effectively.


Every business is a system. And each business has many other systems working within it.

  • You have a system for organizing your studio and for creating work.
  • A system for pricing.
  • A system for marketing your work.
  • A system for following up with prospective customers.
  • A system for shipping your work.
  • You may have a system for applying to exhibitions or shows.
  • And a system for attracting online sales.

How is your business working for you overall? Are you happy with your results?

Although many right-brained entrepreneurs might prefer to work intuitively when creating a business, it helps to see that it can be logically broken down into parts. Some of those parts will be more healthy than others.

A very smart podcast that every small business person should listen to is “Why is My Business Failing? Here is Why …” by Paul Cooley of SteamFeed. He explains this concept, and will help you get a better grip on the state of your own business.

His main premise is:

“Right now your business is perfectly designed to achieve the results you are getting”


If you aren’t getting the results you want, you will have to make changes. Because according to Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity.


Albert Einstein


Is something broken within one of your systems? Take a look under the hood and find out what you are not doing effectively. Sometimes a small tweak can make a big difference.

Being able to pinpoint where you need to make changes is very empowering. Otherwise, it’s easy to feel like a failure and want to give up.

When you start looking at your business as a system, you can break down your challenges into manageable tasks. That gives you the ability to set goals to accomplish those tasks, and get started right away to make your art business more successful.



Carolyn Edlund is a business consultant for artists, working with them to create strategies for more successful businesses.



  1. very interesting way of looking at an art business…a system. i am going to go thru and look at each category and listen to the podcast. thanks!

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