Artist versus Art Teacher

I’m going to flatter myself here and call myself an artist. Whether you like my work or not, with... [gestures around] …all this, I promise you I’ve logged the hours in my studio. I’ve shipped and I’ve showcased.

CoachAccountable art studio

I wish dearly to focus on being an artist again. And that is very distinct from being an art teacher.

My time as art teacher has been fruitful. Teaching others to do CoachAccountable the CoachAccountable way.

You see it everywhere in CoachAccountable’s reviews: the way our team has showed up for our customers is well loved and appreciated. The CoachAccountable way of doing support is something that’s always been near and dear to my heart; it is rooted in the early days when I did all the support, proudly representing my own creation. Even in the job description for our most recent hiring effort describes it with “There’s an expectation that you elevate the support you give to an art form.”

Past CA staffers were artists indeed. Their work with CA’s customers was consistently superb.

But no matter the skill level of someone coming into the job, the domain expertise of CoachAccountable takes time and effort to cultivate. Like, a lot. It can take a year to get to that place of mastery and finesse. But on that sort of timescale, reasons to leave can readily arise. Changing life circumstances and the desire for a new challenge are among the most inevitable.

So when it comes to building and maintaining a team of talented artists, there’s a grind. Not insurmountable, surely, and the result is worth the effort. But the fact remains: if I wish to have employees, employees that operate at the level I’m committed to, I must devote considerable, ongoing effort to being an art teacher.

Which means I’m not being an artist.

I crave being an artist, to be focusing my efforts thusly.

...

You know what I don’t crave? Growing an empire.

Seriously, I know that’s one of the things I’m “supposed” to do, to want. I don’t, and I don’t care. With a team I could surely continue growing our bottom line at a faster rate. Having, as a company, more bandwidth to be available to more folks, to do more demos, to reach out to more trial customers and offer assistance? It all works, it all drives more business. We’ve done it, we’ve measured.

But that growth, even with ample hands on deck, comes at the expense of creation. The forward progress of the platform that I REALLY care about: CA being actually what people are looking for and getting value from.

Think about it. Imagine 2 coaching platforms, each with the same number of paying customers. One has large teams driving that number through sales, advertising, onboarding specialists, biz dev partnerships, and so on. The other doesn’t have ANY such teams driving adoption, meaning everyone there is there based on the merits of the platform itself.

Which platform is better for you, the end user?

Remember, the same number of people are paying customers of each. One company paid considerable money (in staff and advertising) to get its customers, the other did not.

I am building the latter. I will go slower. I don’t care about a fatter bottom line (it's already plenty fat). I want to create a platform that’s genuinely good. No glitz, no one paid to convince you, no dollars levied to flood your attention with ads.

I'll be in my studio if you need me. :)

John's office


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