How To and How Not To: Setting Up a Workshop

Have you ever wondered how to set up a workshop? At the end of a recent SoulCollage® class in my studio, my students asked to extend the class. I wanted to keep my Sunday afternoons open. What to do? I remembered what Alyson Stanfield had said about collaborating and asked for suggestions. One student who worked at a cancer center suggested using a space there. What a divine idea! I thought. "And you could offer it to cancer patients and their peer navigators." she continued. 

 Discovery #1In need of new ideas? Collaborate with others.
My friend spoke to the outreach coordinator at the cancer center and soon, I had a meeting set up to discuss the possibility. 

Discovery #2•Follow up on ideas pdq/asap/stat.
The next piece was a bit trickier. I planned to offer the class free to cancer patients and their peer navigators and charge a fee for other folks. Win-win: I would be paid and the cancer center would be able to offer a brand new service. The tricky bit: could I use their facility (which opens you to great publicity channels) and still charge a fee? 

Discovery #3 (similar to #1)If in doubt, ask until you get an answer with which you are comfortable. I ended up calling their compliance office and discovered exactly which policy allowed me to offer the class and charge for it.  I also e-mailed all the students to find out if they were still on board. Here I met my first whoops. I'd assumed
I had enough participants so I had not done much outreach.

Discovery #4 Always do your outreach, no matter what. Seek out all possibilities for spreading your word. Even if, like me, you are an introvert who would sooner crawl under a rock than pick up the phone. So what to do now? I read Rebecca Crowell's post about an entire day spent working on upcoming classes. I flew into action, collaborating with my husband and other colleagues to make a great flyer. Ready to go? Well, almost...
At the same time that I created a flyer, I'd written an article for an on-line newsletter and now I heard from the newsletter editor telling me about an error in my dates. 

Discovery #5: Check and recheck your dates. So now here I am, flyers corrected (and recorrected), article published, word spread and grateful for all the help I've received. We'll see what next week brings, but for the moment, I'm staying with this thought from Jack Canfield:"When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on and complaining about what you don't have. Your focus is on what you have received, and you always get more of what you focus on." (p. 357, The Success Principles) Now I'll start working on my curriculum...
Top photo courtesy of Lynn Cohen