Create the path to your success rather than following the path given to you
Psst…your path to success likely doesn’t line up with any expert’s formula or require chasing the next trend.
You’ve lost sight of why you started your business. And you wonder if the life you envisioned is ever going to materialize.
You are trying to keep your head above water but all you can see are the to-do lists, the 50 balls in the air, and the stress. You feel like you’re spinning your wheels. And you worry that you are never going to get ahead.
Having a clear well laid out contract has actually gained business for me. The first time I used my revised contract was for a basic social media marketing contract. My client was so impressed she added three additional services (including re-doing her website). Two thumbs up for the artist’s Courtyard master workshop that helped me create it!
Elizabeth Hahn, Cow and Rooster
You can find the path from here to there. But it takes the hard work of discovering the best next step, rather than following an expert’s formula or chasing the next flash-in-the-pan trend.
Sadly, there’s no magic wand. And the key to building your dream business is making sure you’re building it on a strong foundation.
But building your foundation and discovering the best next step doesn’t have to be a solo journey. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. And it takes a village to build a thriving, sustainable creative business.
the artist’s Courtyard is here to be your village. It functions as your guide, your mentor, your sounding board, and your resource library.
Oh, and did we mention, that we happen to firmly believe that there can be ease in the legalese of running your creative business?
For good reason, legal jargon gets a bad rap. But the resources in the artist’s Courtyard, aren’t like the templates you find online.
They help you create contracts that you and your clients understand. Contracts that are written in English and set you up for a smooth working relationship.
They help you easily register your copyrights via the 1990s U.S. Copyright Office website. So that you don’t pull your hair out. And you have the strongest protection when a copycat strikes.
They help you create your LLC by giving you the exact resources and links you need for your state. Plus give you a checklist of the tasks you’ll have to do to keep it on the up and up. And all the templates you’ll need so you can prevent any holes in your newly formed fence.
I know that I’m an oddball. Because I can (and do) talk law 24/7.
But we don’t talk law 24/7 in the artist’s Courtyard.
the artist’s Courtyard is about much more than the law. It’s about learning about what’s best for your business, running experiments, and sharing what worked (and didn’t).
Yes, we talk about the law more than your average Facebook Group or business coaching program.
But that’s because when you ask a question, you aren’t getting an answer from Google, or from someone who knows someone who dealt with this issue, or from an armchair lawyer.
You’re getting answers from either someone who has:
been empowered by her own real-life experience dealing with this exact issue
a degree and a license to practice law
(And you can bet, if the first person tells you incorrect legal information, I’m going to kindly point you in the right direction. 😉)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you do need to worry/care about the law no matter what stage your business is at.
It applies if you think your business is a hobby
It applies if you aren’t making a profit
It applies if you are running your business as a side hustle
Sure, while you are small, your chances of being “caught” are lower. But that doesn’t mean that can’t happen. (And if you make it big, your chances will skyrocket.)
I’m risk-averse. Because of that, I will step outside of my comfort zone to learn things that greatly reduce my risks. And learning/caring about this stuff will greatly reduce your risk. So the question becomes are you willing to step outside your comfort zone in order to achieve what you want?
Do you know who is on my list of problem clients? Those business owners that call me in the middle of a legal crisis or huge opportunity, but have never, ever, done a single legal task for their business.
I avoid them like the plague.
Why? Because in addition to either the crisis or the huge win, there’s usually a dozen other legal problems with their business. And many of those have to be corrected before I can even dive into the reason that caused them to reach out.
While these clients can be great from a revenue-generating standpoint, it’s incredibly frustrating for both of us. And other times, problems go unresolved or opportunities get missed because they don’t have the time or money to do everything required.
I would’ve never been so proactive about copyrighting my artwork if I hadn’t been a part of the artist’s Courtyard. I now know that by filing a copyright application, I’ll have a much greater leg to stand on if someone steals any of my designs. And thanks to the artist’s Courtyard I had all the tools and resources I needed to file my first application!
Emily Caven, Blue Jay Bay
It’s hard to go at it alone. Which is why you’ll have access to member calls and Q&A sessions. So you can get practical information on the options available and ideas on how to move forward.
Every six weeks, you’ll get all the tools and resources you need to tackle a big project. Last year our members registered copyrights, created LLCs, and created their own client contract template.
Narrow down the legal and biz resource library to only those resources relevant to your path. And confidently use and customize them based on examples of businesses just like yours.
Ask your questions and get answers without getting sidetracked by a Facebook rabbit hole. You’ll also have the chance to share your experiences and knowledge so you can help others skip your mistakes.
The kind of work that we do in the artist’s Courtyard is challenging. It’s not a bag of tricks, formulas, or quick fixes. It’s building a business on a strong foundation that works for you.
No matter what the Internets try to tell you, you can’t build a strong foundation in a 30-day challenge or a 7-day cleanse.
To build a strong foundation it takes time and dedication. It requires that you roll up your sleeves, admit what you want, and make it happen.
But you are right to be skeptical. Hype and promises abound on the Internet. There’s a Facebook Ad out there right now about how to be seen as an expert when you don’t have any clients. And if I were in your shoes, I’d be wary too.
Which is why I’m going to put a little skin in the game.
If within the first 30 days, you decide that the artist’s Courtyard isn’t the right place to help you build a strong foundation, I’ll refund your full year’s fee.
No hoops to jump through, no worksheets to submit, no screenshots of how you participated. You just need to send me an email.
Here’s what’s included in your membership to the artist’s Courtyard:
Two to four calls with your legal mentor—that’s me, Kiffanie Stahle, each month. Depending on your needs these calls might be Q&As, masterminds, or workshops.
Access to other creative business owners, just like yourself. With a Mighty Networks community to ask your questions and get answers from other members and me.
More than 125 practical, intuitive legal resources in our library. These include courses like Securing your creative business’ legal foundation, Using your website to boost trust and sales, and How to create an LLC for your creative business. As well as dozens of individual tools, templates, and resources to help you tackle other issues.
Resources in the legal library include past video workshops and webinars, like a six-hour masterclass to help you create your LLC or interviews with Lisa Congdon about working with art directors and building multiple revenue streams.
You’ll also find checklists, like how to run quarterly legal check-up or build your central legal documents file.
There’s also written courses and resources like a 24-part course to help you build trust and transparency with your website or templates to send cease and desist letters or DMCA takedown notices.
There are more than 120 resources and new resources are being added every month!
We are looking for creative business owners who are ready to take action. You should have a DIY-mentality, be a self-starter, and be willing to raise your hand and help out your fellow members. And it might be right for you if you want to work with Kiffanie on a regular basis on a small budget.
If you are looking for an attorney, this isn’t the right place. Kiffanie can’t provide legal advice about how to handle your specific problem and joining the artist’s Courtyard doesn’t make her your attorney.
She’ll only be able to provide information about the law and give you options. You’ll have to decide what’s right for your business. And if you don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do the work and support the community, this isn’t the right place for you.
And if you aren’t based in the United States, the legal resources won’t all apply to you. And that’s because the resources only cover U.S. law.
Each month, the members will have two to four sessions with Kiffanie. Depending on your needs (and Kiffanie’s schedule) these might be Q&A sessions, Hot Seat sessions, or workshops.
These calls are usually on Tuesdays. And since our members are in different U.S. time zones and some are building their businesses while working full-time jobs, the calls rotate between 10 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM and 6 PM Pacific | 1 PM, 4 PM, 7 PM, and 9 PM Eastern.
Additionally, these calls are hosted via Crowdcast. So even if your schedule doesn’t permit you to attend live, you can leave a question. And you’ll have the opportunity to watch the replay at your own pace.
Can I cancel at any time?
Yep! No contracts or commitments here. You can cancel at any time with just a single click from your member profile page. If you email Kiffanie to cancel within the first 30 days, you’ll get a full refund. However, if you cancel after 30 days, you won’t receive a refund for any remaining months.