How a Teacher Who Loved Art Became a Business Coach for Artists with Fiona Valentine| Ep #29

September 13, 2022

How a Teacher Who Loved Art Became a  Business Coach for Artists We’ve all heard of the starving artist, but what if you can create art and make money? Fiona Valentine began her career as a teacher, but painting was always her passion. After struggling to find a way to make a living as an […]

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Fiona Valentine

Fiona Valentine, Business Coach for Artists


How a Teacher Who Loved Art Became a  Business Coach for Artists

We’ve all heard of the starving artist, but what if you can create art and make money? Fiona Valentine began her career as a teacher, but painting was always her passion. After struggling to find a way to make a living as an artist, Fiona began to teach children and adults art. This gave her a paycheck and time to paint. Where she evolved next is incredible, as Fiona found a way to mix her love of art and teaching to build a business that brings her more joy than she could have ever expected. Let’s debunk the myth of the starving artist, as Fiona shares how it is possible to make a career out of the hobby or side hustle that lights you up. Get inspired with Fiona Valentine on the Second Act Success Podcast




CONNECT with Fiona Valentine

Website – https://www.fionavalentine.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fionavalentine.artist/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/fionavalentineartist/

Free Guide To Selling Your Art – https://www.fionavalentine.com/sellingartpdf.html

Boss Mom Retreat – https://boss-mom.com/retreat/



01:41 – Intro

02:29 – Fiona’s beginning

02:55 – Teaching in Africa

03:20 – Thinking art was frivolous while in Africa

03:49 – Creativity while growing up

05:23 – Gap year teaching in Africa

08:21 – Going back to Australia and getting married

10:00 – Going back to Africa with husband to teach again

11:16 – Painting again once back in Australia

11:45 – Getting an admin job at an office to support her family

12:40 – Trying to learn about the art scene in Melbourne so she could try to get paid to make her art

13:11 – Making a TV show about art

13:34 – Learning to start teaching kids and adults to make art

14:38 – Going full time in teaching art

15:04 – Exploring the online world of art classes and blogging

15:58 – Learning how to teach others how to make money with their art

16:34 – COVID and her business

17:44 – Light bulb moment in her business

18:43 – Her business

19:58 – Making money from art

21:59 – First steps on how to turn a hobby profitable

27:33 – 5 Fast Qs of the Week

27:47- Would you recommend taking a leap into a new career?

28:17 – Advice for starting a second act

28:46 – Working with Dana Malstaff from Boss Mom on a special program

29:29 – Connect with Fiona Valentine

30:11 – Shannon’s takeaways from the interview

Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 -Episode #29 - How a Teacher Who Loved Art Became a Business Coach for Artists
Guest: Fiona Valentine
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Fiona Valentine: What is it that lights you up and your own story as you would've heard from many of the people that you interview and you looking at this. This journey of putting together all the different parts of our life and how somehow they, they come into our second act. It's so true. If you're thinking about art, that where you are from and what you like and the colors you enjoy and your personal style, it all finds its way in.

[00:00:22] Shannon: Are you at a crossroads in your career or in life? Well, don't worry because life's next chapter is waiting. This is the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host Shannon Russell. It is time to shine. So let's turn the page and get started. Welcome to Second Act Success.

Guess what. My first online course is launching this October, it's called the Second Act Accelerator. And you can add your name to the wait list at [00:01:00] secondactsuccess.co/waitlist. If you are thinking about making a change in life and starting a second act. Then you have got to join this program. It's a six week course designed to help you map out steps to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. You'll get one on one coaching with me, Plus weekly group coaching self-paced lessons and live workshops with experts to help you in areas like resume writing, crafting a perfect LinkedIn profile and even branding and web design. You will also have lifetime access to our Second Act Community. where we'll share ideas, give feedback, and support each other on this journey. Learn more and add your name to the wait list. So you will be notified when enrollment opens. It's all at secondactsuccess.co/waitlist.

[00:01:41] Shannon Russell: Hello, my friends and welcome. I have Fiona Valentine here with me to share her journey from teacher to a business coach for artists. We debunk the myth of the starving artist as Fiona shares, how art is meant to be shared and that there is money to be made.

As someone who's struggled to find time to [00:02:00] paint and support her family. Fiona is here to tell you that you can make a career out of that hobby or side hustle of yours. She is proof. So let's get started and dive into the episode.

Hello, Fiona. Welcome to the podcast. How are you?

[00:02:15] Fiona Valentine: Thanks. Shannon. I'm great. I'm glad to be here talking with you and with your audience.

[00:02:19] Shannon Russell: Yes. I'm so happy to have you, so let's hear about your interesting past. Why don't you talk to me about where your journey began, maybe, from high school or college, and then we'll go from there.

[00:02:29] Fiona Valentine: well, I dived straight in deep end. I was planning on going and becoming a teacher. And decided to take a, a gap year. So I went to Africa and was teaching children to learn to read, but things just took off while I was there. My stay was extended and I actually met my husband. Then he followed me to Australia and we went back to Africa together. A couple of years later. Life just kind of got fast paced really quick.

I ended up running a kindergarten in Africa. Then we moved to the Bush. I had a baby, [00:03:00] we were living in a mud house without running water or electricity. And life was just very than you know, go to college and then maybe meet someone and then maybe get married. I was really blessed in finding the right one for me early. And so that just kind of meant that I did things in a different order.

One of the things that was really significant from my story during that time in Africa was I felt like my creativity was frivolous. I really pushed that aside. And after we came back to Australia, I had to spend quite some time undoing the damage that I had done and building a better idea of what creativity really means in everyday life for all of us. And particularly for me as someone who expresses my creativity in making art

[00:03:46] Shannon Russell: Were you always creative as a young person,

[00:03:49] Fiona Valentine: My mom, I remember sketching when I was quite young and that interested me. My mom hadn't really pursued that, but she was a teacher and she enjoyed the arts. And so [00:04:00] she always encouraged those pursuits. My dad was always really encouraging about anything that we did, whether it was playing the piano or making pictures or things like that. But I can remember as we were driving around Australia on one of those, you know, take the whole family in a caravan and go away for months and months, I can remember looking at the view and thinking about farms for some reason, and trying to draw them as a kid and being frustrated. fortunately, when I was in high school, I had some really good training. And I learned how to draw realistically, which I think is a really important thing for kids to do. So I had some skills and that really, really helped my interest.

Cuz I, up to that point, I was sort of getting frustrated that it wasn't turning out the way I wanted.

[00:04:40] Shannon Russell: Having an interest in art, did that lead you into want to be a teacher? Cuz that was your original goal right out of high school. Is that right?

[00:04:47] Fiona Valentine: Yeah. Because that was modeled for me and we were in a really small, private school situation. And so I often actually helped my mom with teaching. So that seemed the obvious pathway and creativity seemed like something I sort of did on the side. [00:05:00] It was part of my teaching, but the art thing, I always meant to get back to it. But. Then I had kids, then I homeschooled my kids. And somewhere towards the end of that nine years of homeschooling, I realized, wait a minute, I've done some gardening. I've done some quilting. I really wanna get serious about painting. That wasn't till I was about 34.

[00:05:18] Shannon Russell: So you went on your amazing gap year. What brought you to Africa of all places for your gap year?

[00:05:23] Fiona Valentine: well, I didn't wanna just do a holiday. I wanted to do something that made it some kind of impact and the small, school program that I was a part of. They started a program to send graduates overseas because in a way, the curriculum we were using was almost like homeschool. . they wanted those of us who lived it and breathed it as students to go to some places where they were working. To come alongside local teachers Whose, schools were wanting to pick up their system and show them sort of how it worked. There was an opportunity to go with a couple from Tasmania, a state just south of me and [00:06:00] help them. So my parents felt great about that because I had an older couple to live with, which is nice. Safe. So it was just one of those things where you are looking and the perfect opportunity appears just at the right time. I'm a Christian and I had been praying and it just felt like one of those things that this was God's timing for me.

[00:06:14] Shannon Russell: That's a really big adventure for someone of that, that age to go on. And you're teaching children, you're working in the schools there. Did that kind of make you think, okay. Yes, I do wanna be a teacher

[00:06:26] Fiona Valentine: Absolutely. I had 12 kids in a little pilot class. And at first I did it with June, the woman that I was living with. And then over time, she could see that I was really passionate about this, but actually teaching wasn't her thing. So she got involved in other ways and she left me to do the class because we were both happier that way. And I just loved it. And with only 12 kids, I could, I could manage just fine. I had a great time and then it went so well that, they wanted to roll it out for 60 kids. So all of a sudden, I'm at a school with six staff. They were experienced teachers, but I was explaining the system. [00:07:00] Thankfully, they were just all very motherly and it was a really wonderful time. And at the same time, it was quite confronting being away from family, being in a completely different culture. Not really having anyone who is my person. So the first six months. We're pretty tough, but at the same time, yeah, very confirming of that teaching side of me and in those last few months, that's. When I met my husband.

Interestingly, during that time, I took a trip to the museum with a local artist. She was a missionary who'd been there for many years, illustrating children's books. She was from England and she took one of her art students from the international high school and I to the museum to draw. She took me aside afterwards and she said, Fiona, this girl's making art her career. But I just want you to know that you actually have more talent. So if you ever wanna pursue this, just know that that's there. And I never forgot that, that, I mean, what a gift to have someone speak into your life just a significant moment, really, to, to realize your own [00:08:00] potential. Especially at that age, we just need people to speak into our lives. Don't we? And oh yeah. And tell us what they see. So that was just sitting there for, even as I went into the rest of my life, just sort of tapping on my shoulder, going, you need to get back to this.

[00:08:13] Shannon Russell: And you've always been creative, but you've also really loved teaching. So are you sitting here kind of debating your next step?

[00:08:21] Fiona Valentine: The next step for me was really going home the little community that I was a part of back in Australia. They had, a small independent school that was. Homeschool. so I came home to Australia and started teaching there and, I loved it. It was just four kids at the time and teaching them to read. I had a job and just, I loved what I was doing. And then, Mike came to Australia and we got married and just sort of kept going, but he's a, has a medical background and he wasn't able to transfer his qualifications to Australia. So that made. Our early married life really difficult. And we decided we had to do something else. So we ended up deciding to go back to Africa because a [00:09:00] position opened up for him to be youth pastor at a big international school there where we had been involved before. We moved, went straight back to the same town where we had met. He was working with the high schoolers. And I started a, a preschool for international kids. I had 10 kids from all over the world in this little class, teaching kids to read using the curriculum that I was used to. And I was just in my element. I loved it.

And then we decided to start a family. And at the same time, we also moved into the Bush into a different kind of work. we were working, in evangelism. We started working with nomads in the desert. So we moved to Niha, which is a French speaking country. We moved to a mud village with no electricity or running water. And when we moved, I was eight months pregnant.

It was really an amazing time. And at the same time it was grueling. It was hot. I had to cook. Everything from scratch. I had a baby, I didn't have any family support. And I decided crazily that my creativity was frivolous because here I was, you [00:10:00] know, there's poverty and suffering around me. So, you know, just painting or drawing, it's just really self indulgent. And, you know, I can't do that. I had no idea what the damage I was doing.

[00:10:10] Shannon Russell: Right. But I can see where that came from. Like that came out of the goodness of your heart, of not wanting to do something that seemed frivolous while they're in such despair.

So I, I can see where it came from, but I'm sure now in the position you're in, that could have really helped them. If you shared some of that. Art with them.

[00:10:27] Fiona Valentine: Yeah, absolutely. And, and even just doing it for my own sense of wellbeing.

Although to me the surroundings there was poverty and there was definitely some illness and there were different things. And even for the women who didn't have a lot, there was a lot of joy and they were using their creativity. They were embroidering their clothes. They were decorating the cooking vessels. They were making blankets for newborns. So if I'd really been looking smart, I would've seen that these women knew what I needed to know. Yes. That creativity is just an everyday part of life. Sometimes you need other people to help [00:11:00] point out the obvious, but

[00:11:01] Shannon Russell: yeah, but you were in a totally different element with a new baby. I can't even imagine that.

[00:11:06] Fiona Valentine: And then we came back to Australia and, um, Yeah, that was the end of our, our sort of coming and going from Africa years.

[00:11:13] Shannon Russell: You're thinking about your second act. What were you thinking,

[00:11:16] Fiona Valentine: I had a teaching diploma, but it wasn't a government recognized teaching diploma. It was just through this, sort of almost homeschool type community. I'd never stopped and gone back to university cuz that just wasn't the life path we were on. It really hit me hard. I'm not qualified to do anything I'm excited about doing. And by now I. I had picked up painting. I started painting again seriously, and I was sort of doing that on the side of homeschooling and I was really enjoying that. Well, I can't make money doing that. So I, I went to get a job and I got a job with a lovely, uh, family company in admin.

And I learned a lot. I was there for seven years. I didn't love my job. But I realized I was learning [00:12:00] a lot of skills. I didn't know anything about the business side of things, finance, so I was developing. Different skills in speaking quickly with people, the facts, the filing, it was a completely different head space after I'd done that a while I started thinking I really wanna be home painting. I don't really wanna be here. How can I make money from art? that was a big shift moment.

[00:12:22] Shannon Russell: so how did you start thinking about that? Everyone has that theory in their head about the starving artists that you can't make a living with art.

[00:12:29] Fiona Valentine: Looking back all of those questions and thoughts, and as you said, that's, that's what everybody tells you. That's what you think. And the way that I move through it, now I look back and I think. That journey was just so helpful for me in working with my clients now. But at the time, yes, I'm going okay, how can I do this?

I went to see a woman who, I'd gotten to know in the Melbourne art circle, very experienced, lovely artist, beautiful person. And she knew exactly what was happening in the Melbourne art scene. And I asked her, what do I do? So she told me [00:13:00] exactly what she was seeing. Artists were having a really hard time and that the way to do it was teaching. That was music to my ears because I could teach mm-hmm . So that was the pathway that I took I made a TV show with a group called Coloring Life, I launched workshops and slowly built up adult classes. I had a deal with my husband that I'd start this side hustle and when I could replace my salary, then I'd go full time.

[00:13:24] Shannon Russell: Good way of thinking side hustle it. Okay. So then how did that go? I think it's fantastic that you thought to teach, not only just children, but adults as well, kind of broadens the business.

[00:13:34] Fiona Valentine: Yes. And, and I really did wanna work with adults but I knew I had a lot of experience with kids and I actually went to an art festival. , I just bumped into somebody at the festival and he said, oh, I've got a friend who's teaching art. I should get him to tell you how he does it. And you know, you sort of think, oh yeah, I'm never gonna see this person again. To the man's credit, his friend rang me and he gave me this beautiful little framework that he was using with teaching kids. And I went, [00:14:00] wow, I can do that. So I did exactly what he told me. And it worked. And I built up two kids classes that I had for about five years. and someone recommended me for an adult class that needed a new teacher. So I inherited 16 beautiful ladies, who were wanting to continue their watercolor painting. And that became the, the backbone of my business, but the thing that happened next was that I was teaching because I wanted to paint. So I was constantly looking okay, well, how do I make money from the painting side?

[00:14:29] Shannon Russell: Definitely a conundrum you're happy. But at that point, were you able to leave your corporate or admin job?

[00:14:38] Fiona Valentine: Yes. So 18 months into this process of teaching classes, I went full time in my business. That was 2016. And I was so excited to be able to do that. I started to hit my head on the time for money ceiling, I had about 60 students and teaching four classes. I was just, going okay. I can't do any more teaching. Without all of my painting, [00:15:00] creativity just being depleted. I was pouring an all out in teaching and there was nothing left.

So I started exploring the online world and discovered online course creation and blogging and so I started doing that for a couple of years, and then I worked with a coach and I realized. As I'm building my courses, I'm also really passionate about what's happening in these classes with these students. And as their art dreams are growing these adults, they're wanting to step out into painting and, doing more with their art. So I started luxury art retreats, and I took a handful of women to a beautiful country hotel in the wine growing region near Melbourne and we stayed in this beautiful 1850s homestead hotel. It almost looks like something out of Jane Austin. Just beautifully decorated. We could just come and I could teach them the art side of things, teach them about sharing their art with the world, how to do that. And I started to see that lights go on and people getting excited. And I realized this, this is what I'm really excited to do.

Not just teaching the painting techniques, [00:16:00] but I'm teaching them what I'm learning about selling your art in the online space. I'd been doing these courses, working with a coach and discovering a. It's not true. that artists, staff, I found plenty of them who are making plenty of money. It's just, we've gotta change how we are thinking. They weren't thinking of themselves as artist entrepreneurs.

You were getting inspired by your students and you're inspiring them at the same time. You're giving them ideas and then you're realizing this is fulfilling me and lighting me up. How cool is that to kind of be going through this experience together?

Just seeing these sort of passions coming together and then COVID so no more art retreats. So I'm scrambling like the rest of the world to figure out how to do life on zoom just pivoting like mad for two years because things just kept changing and we just kept getting into lockdown During that time. I really had this light bulb moment that okay. I'm teaching so I can paint more, but actually the teaching side of things, being able to [00:17:00] do that in this bigger way, where it's art and business. And teaching this coaching space. That's what I'm really excited about. So while I can't do all these other things, that's actually where I wanna pour all my attention. I thought I wanted to do retreats full time and that's just not possible anymore. , but this is the other thing that I really wanna do coaching. And I'd already been doing, I'd started working one on one with artists and the natural progression. I had realized in all of my teaching classes, as soon as you teach people to paint people come along and say, oh, I wanna buy that.

I was helping them with the business skills, you know, already for. Probably about five years and all this time, I'd been selling art and, having an exhibition and entering art shows and all that sort of thing on the side.

[00:17:41] Shannon Russell: You're feeling fulfilled as an artist while you're doing all of this.

[00:17:44] Fiona Valentine: Yes. It was a real fight to make time to paint, of course, like doing the classes and doing the online learning, but just this light bulb moment for me was realizing the order of things for me. It's not artist teacher. And then, you know, the rest of my life it's [00:18:00] teacher artist, and then the rest of my life, I really saw with clarity. Oh, wow. I'm not teaching so that I can then make art. I'm teaching and it's art and business that are the areas that I'm excited about. And so that really gave me permission to go, okay, I'm not doing six different things, I'm doing one thing and it's coaching artists. That's the thing that's really lighting me up. That's been really exciting to work with clients and to really develop that program that had come from all these years of my own art, learning my own business, learning my own online learning, and put it all together and seeing it work for people it's been exciting,

[00:18:35] Shannon Russell: you're pulling from all these different chapters in your life to form this business. what is the business called? Tell us how the business runs today.

[00:18:43] Fiona Valentine: I still operate under my own name, Fiona Valentine. And my focus is a business coach for artists. And my 90 day program is called the Profitable Artist Method.

I take artists through a journey of strategy, looking at what it is they really wanna do and ask them some big [00:19:00] questions. How much time you wanna spend, how much money do you wanna make and what do you really love to do And then once we figured out what they're going to do so that they're not, you know, making 3000, $25 products that they're trying to sell online, but they're realizing, wow, I could make 25, $3,000 products and that's a lot less to sell. Those kind of epiphanies are happening. Once we've worked the clarity piece out, then I help them with their creativity and we streamline what they're creating so that it's efficient. Some artists are afraid to do this. They're afraid to focus, like it's going to limit their creativity or their feelings that why am I just selling out becoming commercial, so that's an exciting step. And then the third step is connection and that's where I help them with their website, email and social media to bring together this ecosystem so that they're connecting with the people who love what they do, and can't wait to buy it.

[00:19:49] Shannon Russell: Are your students, people who find you because they want to eventually make money from their art and they just need to know the steps to get there.

[00:19:58] Fiona Valentine: Once people have been making art for a while, they.[00:20:00] Art's like a conversation. if you are an author, you don't write books that nobody will read no, we, we write books knowing that there's a reader on the other side and art is the same. There's meant to be a viewer. And whether you meet that person or not, it's a really important part of the feedback loop. That you know, that your art's going out into the world and it's doing what it's made to do. It's bringing joy, it's bringing beauty, it's bringing meaning, it's bringing purpose. It's communicating a message maybe it's, it even ends up in a healthcare environment where it's bringing calm to people in trauma, whatever the purpose of your particular kind of art is, there are viewers and people. Respecting that art some people get, get hung up on having to do it for free because it matters like somehow involving money diminishes it, but it's actually just recognizing and exchanging value, right. To be paid properly for what you do. So, Sometimes artists. Already realized, I wanna make a living from my art. How do I do it? Some of them have been selling through [00:21:00] galleries for a long time successfully, but they're realizing, wait, the gallery can close. And then where am I? So they're realizing they need to be more independent. Some of my clients are experienced artists who are realizing the opportunities online. And they're wondering, how do I make more sales? Because I'm not really making ends meet. Some of them have tested the waters by trying Etsy or small products. And they're finding that's a lot of work for very little income and they're just, they're needing a different business model.

and then there are other people who've been hobby artists and they're like me at the beginning, thinking, could this work, could I make come doing something I love? They don't have tech skills. They don't have business skills. And they just go, just show me what to do. We start right at the.

[00:21:47] Shannon Russell: How fantastic for them to have your experience to help them. If a listener is listening, how can they take the first couple of steps? Turn this, hobby into a profitable business

[00:21:59] Fiona Valentine: it [00:22:00] starts with those three big questions and thinking about where do you want this to go? What do you want it to look like? Are you trying to fund your hobby or are you actually looking at replacing. Some kind of work either as a side hustle or eventually a full-time gig. Let yourself dream and think about how that fits with the rest of your life, that's gonna be really different for different people. And if you can go there, you kind of begin with the end in mind as cuby would say that's really helpful. To look at the, you know, the time piece of that. how much time do I wanna spend on this? And how much money do I need or want to make? Cause for me, that was really clear in the beginning, I had a salary that I was trying to replace, so I had a dollar number and I could look at the time I had and go, okay, well that's not gonna work, cuz don't have enough time or that's not gonna work cuz it doesn't make enough money. When they see some of the models that I have of, what they can do and realize it's actually possible. it gets exciting, when you face the hard fact that you can't do everything there, isn't time to do [00:23:00] everything and you can get a little bit focused. What is it you really wanna make? Do you wanna. Big art for corporate spaces. Do you wanna make paintings that people who've been on holiday can take home with them maybe you wanna help people remember their wedding day and paint, beautiful floral bouquets for them based on their wedding flowers. What is it that lights you up and your own story as you would've heard from many of the people that you interview and you looking at this. This journey of putting together all the different parts of our life and how somehow they, they come into our second act. It's so true. If you're thinking about art, that where you are from and what you like and the colors you enjoy and your personal style, it all finds its way in. I ask a lot of clarifying questions and if someone's just starting that process and thinking about it, I. Free guide that talks about some of these things. They can grab that, from my Instagram bio it's called how to start selling your art. And it really just walks you through some of the questions, some things about pricing to help you get started. Just thinking about it in the [00:24:00] right way.

[00:24:00] Shannon Russell: That's great. I'll put that in the show notes as well, so everyone can grab it quickly.

[00:24:04] Fiona Valentine: I think one of the things that holds people back when they're thinking about art is sometimes they feel like there are some things they have to have in place. They have to have this huge portfolio of paintings or, you know, they need an art degree or they need permission somehow, but you really don't. I teach people how to create their portfolio. And build their business at the same time, because as we go through these clarifying questions and you start to see the kind of art that you really want to make, then I show you how to build up a collection and share the process with your audience. Then when those paintings are ready, the buyers are ready. And once you've done that, that can become a rinse and repeat. And it really leaves you free you're not dependent on anybody else because you've got this whole sales system that's happening. Don't let a feeling that you have to have this giant portfolio before you can begin hold you back, cuz you really don't.

[00:24:56] Shannon Russell: So many people think, oh, it's just a little something I do on the [00:25:00] side, but this is so eyeopening I think, This was something you wanted to do on the side, just to calm yourself, just to check off a box on your creative, energies. Yes. But you were able to work it as a side hustle and then make it into a full-time business. How amazing, now, looking back over your life of wanting to be a teacher, being a teacher.

Wanting to do art, being an artist and putting it all together. Would you ever have known that you would come to being, a business coach for artists?

[00:25:29] Fiona Valentine: I definitely didn't see that coming. And now I look back and it makes perfect sense, all those interests are coming together and probably like lots of the people that you interview. This second act. They didn't necessarily see it coming. It's not like it was a life plan. I mean, my, my life was kind of backwards. I found the man first and then but all, all of those pieces, the overseas pieces, the creativity pieces, the admin business pieces. I [00:26:00] couldn't do what I'm doing now without those pieces. So even though some of those chapters were really challenging, it's brought together this unique skill set. And if someone had offered me way back in the day, what I'm giving to my clients now, it would've helped so much even, you know, going back to 2015, if someone had been able to show me this process, it would've saved me so many headaches. And I think the teacher in me loves saving people, headaches. Yeah. And saying, Hey, I, I took the really messy route, but now that I know you can just go, Follow these steps into so much clearer, save you so much angst and fluffing around with things that just don't work,

[00:26:37] Shannon Russell: right? You need that. You need that framework and, and you save other people time and money in the process. I'm working on a course as well for my clients. That's kind of a roadmap to figure out your second act. And I did all the different routes of going to grad school, taking the nine to five job, all these things in my process. And now I'm just putting together kind of a tool book similar to you. And it's, I feel like I would've [00:27:00] loved that resource as well, so it's really, I think it's, it's so wonderful what you're doing to offer this to other artists and future artists out there. You're in a really great place molding all of your skills together and like a perfect opportu.

[00:27:13] Fiona Valentine: It's very fulfilling to be able to take those, all those things together and know that what you're giving someone, this has come out of life experience and you know, that you know, that you know, that this works and, and to see the lights go on for people and to see them to step into making their dreams work. Yeah, it's a lovely.

[00:27:33] Shannon: Alright. It's time for our Five Fast Qs of the Week. Here we go!

[00:27:40] Shannon Russell: Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you

[00:27:44] Fiona Valentine: to relax, be patient in becoming myself.

[00:27:47] Shannon Russell: Would you recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best friend?

[00:27:51] Fiona Valentine: Yes, I would with provisos that you have the hard conversations with your spouse. If you have one, get [00:28:00] on the same page and just be realistic because, you know, you can jump in the net might not appear. So being practical while also dreaming is entirely possible. And I think that's smart.

[00:28:12] Shannon Russell: I like that net analogy. I have never heard of that before. That's so true. Right?

[00:28:16] Fiona Valentine: I think that's actually a Liz Gilbert thing.

[00:28:17] Shannon Russell: what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who is trying to start their second act? Now

[00:28:22] Fiona Valentine: be clear about where you want this to go be clear about the end and what you want your life to look like and keep living while you're getting there. It's not worth it to. Wear yourself out in trying to get somewhere, especially if where you get to is not actually what you wanted in the first place. So be clear about where you're going and be kind with yourself live well on the way.

[00:28:46] Shannon Russell: What does the next chapter look like for you?

[00:28:49] Fiona Valentine: More coaching? I'm actually working with Dana Malstaff at boss Mom and we're doing a big thing in September, an online summit. And I'm really excited about that because [00:29:00] there are kind of two sides to what I do. I work with artists who are wanting to build a business, and I also work with businesses who need to build their creative skills. And I build that connection between art and business and help them see how they can unlock their creativity and exercise their brain for more creativity and innovation. So there are a bunch of us who are, are working in different areas of specialty to coach women who are setting up their own businesses. So I'm really looking forward to coaching artists and coaching business women who want to tap into their creativity.

[00:29:29] Shannon Russell: So where can our audience connect with you?

[00:29:31] Fiona Valentine: The best place to find me is fionavalentine.com because you'll see all the links to, I have a Facebook group called The Confident Artists. You can grab the free guide, how to start selling your art. And you can also connect with me on Instagram @fionavalentineartists.com.

[00:29:45] Shannon Russell: Fantastic. Fiona, this was so much fun. And what a lovely life story you have. I'm so impressed with everything you've been through.

[00:29:52] Fiona Valentine: thank you for digging deep into the juicy details of the, the journey.

[00:29:57] Shannon Russell: Well, it's so exciting and it's brought you to an [00:30:00] amazing place. So I thank you for your time and for sharing all your wisdom. And I look forward to seeing what's next and following your career.

[00:30:07] Fiona Valentine: Thank you. And you too, been such a delight time conversation with you.

[00:30:11] Shannon Russell: That was such a lovely conversation with Fiona. Fiona mentioned that she had suppressed her creative side because she didn't feel like it was necessary or important. And that later she realized, wow. I really could have impacted people more. If I had been more present with my arts. I found it really interesting that she made a plan with her husband. On how she could work and bring money into the family. But also. work on her painting on the side. She looked around her community to find a need. And through that need, she built a business. And through that business, she realized painting and art was only a part of what she longed to do. She learned a lot about dealing with people and clients and the admin side of business. then she put it all together. And what did she create? An amazing company [00:31:00] where she teaches artists that they are valuable and that they can make money from doing what they love. Definitely a lot to take away here. I think the main thing is the importance of doing what you love dip your toe in, do it a little bit on the side while you're working and making a city paycheck. Don't let your passions and what you truly love and what lights you up fall to the wayside. Always be working on it a little bit here a little bit there, and then it will grow. And if you keep at it you will find a way to let that prosper.

If you are an artist and you love your work. But you're not sure how to really truly make it into a money-making business. Then reach out to Fiona. She has done it. She has the tools to help. And she can be found at fionavalentine.com. Thanks for joining me. I hope this was inspiring. keep that glimmer of your creativity alive and knowing that is not something to be pushed aside, no matter what. Go out into the day and make it a great one. And I will see [00:32:00] you next time on the Second Act Success Podcast.

[00:32:03] Shannon:

Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon Russell, and this is Second Act Success.



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Episode #28: Thinking About A Career Change? Know Your Why First