In spite of my fear that you may decide I do nothing but watch TV (because trust me, I don’t watch that much…)  I have to tell you about this concept that has been floating around my head for 2 days now after watching Sunday night’s episode of “Shark Tank”.

I started watching the show because I knew someone who knew someone who was almost on the show. (Does that make me “2 degrees from Shark Tank”?)  And although I’m not completely into it… I keep watching because I am fascinated by the business points they make. (Sometimes not so nicely but that is what makes tv these days…)

They discuss business valuation a lot(a bit generalized but still interesting).

I often enjoy hearing why each one says “NO” to giving money – a good lesson on keeping your priorities straight and not going after every opportunity but just the ones that make sense to you and your business.

And sometimes one of the sharks will come up with a different thought that gets stuck in my head until I release it onto the blog.

image © ABC

Robert Herjavec asked one of the  entrepreneurs what was more important, THE IDEA or THE EXECUTION?

The man answered “execution” and all the sharks agreed.  How many times have you heard of a person with a great idea but they just didn’t know how to turn it into reality.  Or didn’t want to expend the effort, etc.

So now lets morph the question for artists – What is more important, the art or the execution?

Of course to succeed with any type of art business, you need good art.  Licensing is no different.

But is the very best art always the art that gets the deal?  Absolutely not.

If your blood pressure is going up, please take a deep breath and bear with me a minute.  My point it that ‘the very best art’ is relative.

The art that gets the license, in my opinion, is the very best art the manufacturer knows about when making the choice.

Sometimes the artist who creates the art can influence the decision a little as well.  There is something to be said for the ease of working with someone, past experience, etc. when there are a few things to choose between.

So the EXECUTION in question, for artists who want to earn income by licensing their designs, is to make contacts, know when companies are looking for art and make sure they know about yours.  Don’t create the best art no one has ever seen!

The “sharks” on Shark Tank have one thing and one thing only in mind when looking at the businesses all these entrepreneurs are presenting: “Can I make money with this?”  And why shouldn’t they?  That is the point of being an “investor” – you invest with the intention of getting your money back and more.

When manufacturers review art, what do you think they are asking themselves?  You guessed it!  “Will our customers like and buy our product if we put this art on it.”  Translation: “Can I make money by choosing this art.”  That is the name of the art licensing game.

So effective EXECUTION in the art licensing arena means successfully doing two things:

1.  Create art that will sell a manufacturer’s product.

2.  Let the manufacturers know that you have the art available to license.

If you need help with your execution skills, you are already in the right place. The point of this blog and the whole “family” of sites is to help artists navigate the wild and crazy world of licensing.  Tune in to the free calls.  Get audios to listen to again.  Check out the eBooks, tutorials and teleseminars.  Hire a coach.  To see all your options, go to and as always…

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara

P.S.  CLICK HERE to see the entrepreneur in question on Shark Tank (he was sharp!) although they don’t show you the question… you might have to watch the full episode from 9/13.

P.P.S.  Shark Tank is moving to Tuesday nights – catch it tonight (9/15) at 8 pm / 7 pm  central. (If I create a whole blog based on a tv show it seems only fair to give them a little plug, don’t you think?)  Learn more about the show…