Next up in our series on how creative people weave together their work and personal lives is guest blogger Jen Beebe. She and her artist husband Bill have been working together for over 24 years. I call them The Dynamic Duo! They have accomplished what many of us (me included) struggle to achieve: They work together in harmony and successfully balance work with the rest of their life.
We created a website for them at williamrbeebe.com and are big fans of not only Bill's art, but of Jen's relentless passion for learning skills that help her run their business more effectively. Of all our clients Jen is the one who learns the most, tackles a lot on her own, and knows when to ask for help.
Thanks Jen and Bill! We are so grateful to you for sharing your insights and wisdom:
Working together for over 24 years has always been easy for us. We each have our clearly defined roles, which when combined create a well-rounded partnership.
Bill, the artist, is obviously responsible for creating the artwork, blogging about his paintings, photographing finished work, framing, and the business financials. He not only has his Bachelors in Fine Arts, but also an Accounting degree, which comes in handy when analyzing how the business is doing.
I am responsible for marketing Bill’s paintings and promoting the artist. This includes creating frequent newsletters to update clients on what Bill is up to, developing marketing materials, contacting galleries and clients, invoicing clients, as well as managing and updating the website.
Keeping current with how the paradigm is shifting in our business toward a more direct relationship with clients through social media is something we both work together on. We share Bill’s FB profile/account and we both manage his business page as well. I have placed videos of Bill’s work on YouTube and Vimeo, created a LinkedIn account, and utilized StumbleUpon to help increase our website visibility.
We recently streamlined our business by creating a network between our Macs, so we can share documents and images easily. A good example of how we work together is when Bill writes his blog every week, I look it over and edit it if need be. Bill will size and manipulate the images to be included in the blog, making sure they are color correct compared to the original artwork, and then I post them into the blog through our website journal.
Being self-employed, our business life and everyday life are very intertwined. We both are on the same wavelength, so when we need to get away from work we do. Quite often we find that even in our down time we are brainstorming and asking ourselves what we can do better? Our daily long walks and runs are perfect for batting around ideas about our business direction. Exercise is a priority that we always make time for. It revitalizes us and helps clear the mind.
In order to be productive Bill needs to be in a creative frame of mind. Sometimes that is difficult as issues arise and need to be addressed immediately. He is not a multi-tasker and needs total concentration during his painting time. I on the other hand am a multi-tasker, which allows me to handle many of the issues that come up on a daily basis. Again, it’s all about teamwork and working together toward a common goal.
In summary, we have simplified our business and everyday lives, in order to make work and life more manageable and enjoyable. We always try to learn from our setbacks and celebrate our successes!