When I decided I wanted to have an art business, the main thing that I wanted to do was get into licensing. Licensing is getting your art put on products--greeting cards, home decor, baby products, product packaging, etc.
I found a course on licensing that I wanted to take, but it was like..$900? And I couldn't justify that when I first started since I had been painting for such a short time. So I just started following breadcrumbs in order to raise the funds to purchase the course. Which sort of backfired, because I then got into doing some fairs over the summer. That was fine, though, because they were a ton of fun, HOWEVER, I ended up spending a bunch of money on prints and then all the gear (tent, sign, displays). Still haven't recouped that money, ha! To be honest, I didn't think that I would recoup that money very quickly, but the most expensive stuff (table, tent, displays) I would be able to use for a long time I justified the expense as "educational."
Long story short, i actually got farther away from pursuing licensing rather than closer, in the financial sense, anyway.
I got pulled into selling originals and prints, marketing, and becoming hyper-focused on growing a social media following, none of which have been wildly successful. It has been STRESSFUL, however and very frustrating being online/on social media all the time and being stressed if I haven't posted/haven't gotten any engagement. Again, a learning experience, but not exactly how I wanted to be spending what little time I have to devote to my business.
This has been a long and as you can see, circuitous journey! And there will probably be more unexpected detours.
Now, I want to see if I can do this without so much focus on social media/growing a following. I think that the following comes naturally when I am producing meaningful work and so THAT is where the focus should be--the EXPRESSION, not the BYPRODUCT.
So, refocusing and redirecting myself is my priority right now. I'm going to do the creative work and be visible (of course), and focus on my creative community and...I bit the bullet and bought the course. :)