Miriam Schulman:
Well hello, this is your host, artist Miriam Schulman, and you’re listening to a solo episode of the Inspiration Place podcast. I am thrilled that you’re here today. Today, we’re talking all about not feeling ready yet. And as you might’ve guessed, it’s really about finding courage and building self confidence. In this episode, you’ll discover why sometimes you have to do things even when you don’t feel ready. Why doing things even when you don’t have everything figured out, builds confidence. Plus, I’ll be sharing a true story from my recent experience, doing a trade show for the first time. And also when I went to see Georgia O’Keeffe’s ranch in New Mexico. But before we get there, I wanted to tell you about today’s freebie.

As I mention frequently on this show, I teach watercolor and mixed media art online at my class site, the Inspiration Place. Now, if you’ve always wanted to get started painting, but don’t know where to start because either you don’t know what supplies you need. Or if you’ve been painting for a while, whether that’s just a few years or much longer, you may be curious about what art supplies I like to use in my mixed media and watercolor art. For the month of June, I’ve been sharing lots of free videos about mixed media over on my Facebook page. So I want to share with you my mixed media supply list to help you get started. You can grab that. It’s 100% free over at

By the way, if you want to watch those free mixed media videos, be sure you check them out over on my Facebook page. My Facebook page and all my social media handles are @schulmanart. That’s Schulman Art, S-C-H-U-L-M-A-N-A-R-T. So you’ll be able to find the mixed media playlist, and you can start watching those immediately. You don’t want to miss a quick demo of my mixed media sunflower painting, as well as four ideas of what you can put on top of your collage backgrounds. Now, if you’re listening to this episode, when it goes live, you can even catch my free master class, How to Create Harmonious Layers: 10 Techniques That Every Mixed Media Artist Needs to Know.

You can sign up for that over at If you’re listening to this episode later on in the year, there probably is going to be another master class going on in that link. I know I’ve thrown a lot of links at you just now. So if you’re listening in your car or you’re out walking your dog or running, you can always just go to the show notes. And you’ll find today’s show notes at

Okay, now back to the show. I want to share with you a true story that happened about two years ago. I went on an art retreat in New Mexico, and it happened to take place at the dude ranch where Georgia O’Keeffe used to go every summer. It is not quite in Santa Fe. It’s up in the mountains. She actually stayed at this exact ranch for a few years, and before she ended up getting her own home that was out in the mountains.

And the only way you could get to her house was by horseback. So I signed up for this horseback ride because I really wanted to see her home. I thought I’d gone all this way from New York to New Mexico, and I really wanted to see it. So it was billed as a sunset ride and the sun was just beginning to sink towards the gorgeous red and green landscape. My palms were sweaty and my heart was racing. I thought I was going to be sick, because you have to realize something. I’m from New York, I’m 50 now, but at the time I was 48. And the last time I rode a horse was at Girl Scout camp. That was not a great experience for me. The horse actually bit me. And I was allergic to hay and I was thrown from the horse. So that was not exactly a fun summer, even though I’m pretty athletic now and I do have a sense of adventure.

I am a city girl through and through. In fact, I don’t even own a proper pair of boots. I have the cute black suede bootie kind, but I really don’t have the kind of boots that you would wear for a horseback ride. So I was just wearing my gym sneakers. So when the cute cowboy called my name and told me it was my turn to climb up on the platform, I was just screaming in my head, “Oh my God, I am not ready yet.”

Come on, don’t you need lessons for this sort of thing? I did not feel prepared. I did not feel ready, but here’s the truth. You’ll never feel ready or be ready if you listen to those fears in your mind. And I really did want to see her ranch. And like I said, that was the only way you could get there.

You couldn’t get there by car. You couldn’t get there by walking. So I just had to trust. I mounted that horse and I made a decision from my heart that I was going to go for it, even though absolutely no part of me felt ready to do it. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and let’s face it. I wasn’t getting any younger. And I knew that I would regret it forever if I let the fear and the insecurity and my apparent lack of readiness hold me back from doing something I truly wanted to do. More importantly though, I knew that saying yes to myself would gain something that I wanted more than anything, which is confidence and empowerment. Think about it. There are so many times when we do things when we aren’t ready. And the truth is it’s not the results. It’s not the successes that make us more confident.

It’s the actual doing of the thing, whether it works out or not, that makes us more confident. So I took a deep breath and I went through with the ride, sweaty palms and all. And I’m sure you can guess that it was the best part of my entire week in New Mexico. That one decision to say yes to adventure way before I was ready, meant I got to see the hills and the juniper that O’Keeffe once painted and feel the energy of her spirit. And that’s what led me to coming home with new ideas and inspiration and gratitude for that crazy adventure. And this is a philosophy that I’ve tried to embrace my entire life, to start before I felt ready. Guess what? Every successful artist, not just artists, but successful people. They start before they feel ready too. That’s one of the biggest secrets to success that there is.

And I bet you have proof of that in your own life as well. Having some of your best experiences come because you bypassed your fearful “I’m not ready yet” thoughts, and instead made a brave choice in the direction of your heart’s desire. You probably have, but here’s the problem. Most people are addicted to putting things off and saying things like maybe next time or next month or next year on the very things that matter most, their biggest life dreams. By the way, my specialty is actually coaching other artists to take their talent and create a thriving business out of it. There are a lot of things you have to know, and I don’t want you spinning because you don’t know what to do next. If you want to profit from your passion or want a clear strategy to ramp up your existing creative business, I would love to help you.

To schedule a free discovery call, all you have to do is tell me a little bit about your business when you sign up at Can’t wait to hear from you. Okay. So now I want to share another story. If you’ve been listening for a while, then you may have heard me talk about one of my best friends, Portland artist Blenda Tyvoll. She was a guest way back on episode number two. Anyway, Blenda has been working really hard the last few years on building her portfolio for art licensing. She’s been taking all the right classes, both on Skillshare and with others. However, she hadn’t yet shown at a trade show because she hadn’t felt ready. The two of us were trying to plan an adventure together, perhaps our own version of the Georgia O’Keeffe art retreat or a spa weekend or a European adventure. And we even talked about going to a Mastermind event.

But when I heard that there was going to be a trade show called Blueprint here in New York City, right in my own backyard, I convinced Blenda that we should do that instead. You know what, Blenda said she did not feel ready. And the truth was I was not ready at all, because I had no idea what to do, because I had not taken all those classes that Blenda had. And I was not actively building a portfolio. But I was really curious, and I thought this would be a way better way for us to hang out together, actually trying to sell our art, rather than just going to some retreat or conference and talking about it.

Now, if you don’t know what Blueprint or art licensing is all about, basically any time a brand needs some sort of art for their products, for example, a floral print on a purse, or a design for a greeting card or the cover of an art journal, they need to purchase the rights to use the art or enter into a licensing agreement. Getting ready for a show like this is a big commitment in both time and money.

There are fees for the booth, the cost of the banners, and also printing out your portfolio. I estimated that I spent well over $2,000 for the show, as well as the time I invested designing the banners, preparing my portfolio, setting up the show and sitting at the show for four days. And the truth was I wasn’t really ready. And I did not sell any of my art, at least not outright at the show. I definitely had interest in the art. There are people who took my name and gave me theirs and asked to see images. I haven’t sold any art yet. Blenda, situation was similar. She definitely had interest in her art. However, during those few days, we both learned things that we never would have learned staying at home. And no amount of passive learning, whether it’s books or on the internet, could have prepared us.

Art buyers came by our booths and told us which of our art was appropriate for their markets and which art wasn’t. We both made valuable connections that we can now nurture, which may lead to sales down the road. And should we do a show like this the next time, we’re going to be a lot more ready. And every time we do something like this, you become more ready each time. None of this would have happened if we stayed home because we weren’t ready yet. And just in case you think I’m completely fearless and always do things when I don’t feel ready, I want to share with you one last story. Last year, my husband completed a poetry collection and asked me for my help marketing it online. And every month I’ve been telling him, “It’s not a good time. I don’t feel ready.” Now, the book has been formatted.

It’s kind of ready to go over on Amazon. I’ve even added my art to the pages. It’s a fully illustrated art book. My husband and I even took the time to record an audio book version of the book. Yet I keep dragging my feet because I feel scared. I’m scared of promoting the book. I’m worried about disappointing him. I’m feeling all the fears about selling his book that perhaps you feel about selling your art. Or if you’re not at that stage yet, even creating art for the first time. Or some fears that some of my students tell me that they feel every single time they sit down to create. Heck, let me tell you something. I even dragged my feet about producing this podcast. I had all these episodes ready to go. It was August of 2018. And I kept saying, “I don’t feel ready yet. Maybe I should wait until December, or September.” I sure as heck did not feel ready.

And Jason van Orden, who was my business coach at the time, pushed me. He says, “You’re not going to feel ready, but you’ll learn if you just get started.” And I’m so glad I listened to him. So I did not wait until September or October. I started in August. So I want to share all these stories with you since I’m always hearing from my students and my followers, “I’m not ready yet.” People just like you. People who want to learn how to paint, but haven’t found the courage yet to get started. Or people who are painting, but haven’t found the courage yet to sell their art online or sell their art in person. So if you’ve been saying yourself, “I really want to learn how to paint, but I’m not ready yet. Maybe next year.”

I’m inviting you to rethink the I’m not ready yet strategy. Because a year from now, you’ll either still be thinking that you wish you could do that. Or you could be making art. Or you could be making better art than you are now. Or if you’re already making art, you could be selling your art. And it’s time for you to say yes to using your gifts and creating the art that you’ve been dreaming about for so many years. Do you remember a few episodes ago, I interviewed Lacy Boggs, and she shared the story about her father who waited until his retirement to begin painting. And that was one of the biggest regrets of his life, because he died shortly after he retired. Don’t let that be you. I’ve been where you are. From my heart, I cannot wait to show you what’s waiting for you on the other side.

So depending on where you’re at, either grab that supply list freebie, sign up for the free master class, or even enroll in one of my online art classes. And if you’re one of my more advanced listeners, perhaps you’re ready for one on one business coaching to learn how to take your professional art career to the next level. You hear me talk on this show, how I myself have used business coaches. If you really want to get good at something, it’s like anything else. Coaching really does help. Now remember if you want any of those things, you’ll find today’s show notes at, because I want to encourage you to follow your dreams even if you don’t feel ready yet. Now, to wrap this all up, I’ve just got a question for you.

Are you subscribed to my podcast? Because if you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that right away. Like right this minute. In a few weeks, my husband Ron is coming onto the show so we can share with you our journey of creating and publishing his book. Because yes, I don’t feel ready, but I’m committed to doing it. If you want to be notified when that podcast airs and every single time I have a new episode, including bonus episodes or some of these guest interview episodes that I have coming up, make sure you subscribe to my podcast right away, so you won’t miss a single one. If you have an Apple device, you can do that by hitting the purple subscribe button. And by the way, if you’re feeling extra loving, I’d really appreciate a review over on iTunes. I always give shout outs on Instagram to artists who leave reviews if you drop your Instagram handle into the review.

All right, guys, that’s it for today. Thanks so much for being with me. I will see you, same time, same place, next week. Make it a great one. Bye for now.

Thank you for listening to the inspiration place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at, on Instagram @schulmanart. And of course, on

Once again, this show was sponsored by the Six Figure Artist. If you’re interested in hearing how you can earn more for your passion with concrete marketing and business strategies that work, head on over to That’s

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