Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Effy Wild Interview: Part 2

And now for the exciting conclusion of Effy Wild: The Interview where I dig into her business side….Enjoy! 

Q: I recently participated in your Moonshine: Mother program. Just like in my experience with your previous BOD work, you again challenged and inspired me. Week after week I was really impressed with the amount of work you had put into the program structure and content (both art and topic exploration). When did you know it was time to make the leap from artist to business woman?

A: In 2010, Connie Hozvicka invited me to teach in the very first 21 Secrets. That vote of confidence informed me that I had something to offer. It was a very scary time for me because I didn't feel even remotely qualified to teach anyone anything, but I realized that my experience as a writer had prepared me to teach people how to develop a practice. It wasn't long after that I began to dream up classes of my own, and LEAP! I threw myself into with passion (if not expertise) and excitement (if not business acumen!). The most important thing I learned in that time was that enthusiasm is as important a quality to bring to teaching as expertise. You do NOT need to be an expert to begin.
Q: How do you maintain a balance between art and business?

A: Honestly? I don't. I struggle with this mightily. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not asking myself how I can leverage whatever I'm doing so that it can be included in my business. I'm not in a place where this is bothersome, though. I know for sure that if I am teaching it, I am committed to it, and that means I work prolifically and regularly. Teaching is my cure for resistance and procrastination (two things I struggled with a great deal before becoming a teacher). It is also my guarantee that I will always be learning, which is my heart's fondest, most cherished endeavor.
Q: What have been some of your business successes, challenges, and lessons learned?
A: My biggest challenge in business was boundaries. When I first began teaching, I wanted to be everyone's friend. I wanted to be universally liked. I wanted to avoid any and all conflict and please everyone. This, as you can imagine, drove me bat crackers. I had to learn how to do what was best for *me* at the end of the day (boundaries!). I had to learn that if I'm doing something valuable, I will not be universally liked. I had to learn that success breeds envy in others, and I had to let go of my inherent need to dull my shine to make other folks comfortable. I'm shiny! I like being shiny! If people are envious or mean spirited in the face of my success, that is no reason to go quiet and stay small! Learning that took two years and a lot of therapy. My biggest success has been in the area of community building. I don't just have a 'network', which is absolutely crucial if you're marketing classes! I have a bona fide tribe. My students are incredibly loyal and there is a core group who return class after class, year after year. I reward loyalty with time, attention, and major discounts, because there is nothing more valuable to me in my creative business than loyalty.
Q: You have built an amazing “tribe” over the last few years. What have been your most successful strategies?
A:  I am myself at all times. That's it. I am loudly, proudly colourful. I am accessible. I maintain a sense of connection with my people. I don't produce classes for the money. I produce classes for the *joint experience* that we will all have together. I don't set myself up as a 'leader'. I stay in the trenches with my fellow artists and we work *together*. I believe in shared power, not power over. I believe in power *with*, and I create spaces in which that can be experienced and expressed.

I also just love the people I attract. Like, madly. And by 'love', I mean in the verb sense. My work is service. I am in it for us all. I feel blessed and grateful that I am so supported by my community, and in turn, I do my best to support them.
Q: Maintaining your web and social media presence must be daunting and quite time consuming. How much time do you spend on your website? Using technology to create videos? Various social media sites? Maintaining and distributing electronic newsletters? What are your favorites/least favorites and what trends do you see emerging?
A: My website is the least time consuming part of my business. I spend about an hour 'in it', either blogging or administrating comments every week. I spend several hours every day in the groups I run on Facebook (the glitterhood, and the groups established for my classes). I spent about an hour a day dealing with emails and processing orders/answering tech questions. I spent, on average, 8 hours a week recording and editing video. I spent about a half hour a week on my newsletter.
My first 'marketing' love is Facebook. My least favorite is my newsletter, which isn't personal enough for me at this point. I know it's important (an on line business is *nothing* without The List) but it is very difficult for me to maintain my conversational style of communicating when I open up that newsletter dashboard. I'm working on it. :)
Q: What words of wisdom do you have for artists that are just beginning to explore the business side of the arts?
A: Take Business Goddess by Leonie Dawson ( and Flying Lessons by Kelly Rae Roberts ( Know that you may lose 'friends' as you begin to succeed, but your real friends - those who love you - will be supportive and excited for you. Establish a council of people you trust who can be there for you when you need to vent - preferably people who don't want what you've got. Be wary of people who want to get close to you very quickly. Maintain good boundaries. Get good rest.

Q:  For more info...
A:  You can find me at In 2014, I am teaching in both Life Book ( and 21 Secrets ( I will also be leading a year long exploration of the feminine divine in my class, Moonshine ( and a 12 week journey into keeping a Book Of Days ( can always find out what I'm teaching here ( or signing up for my newsletter here:
And as 2014 is getting underway, I am really enjoying Effy’s latest effort a new weekly dose of inspiration she is calling, “Wildly Inspired.”  Find out more at:
Thanks, Effy! 


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