A few lessons thus far:
•Get a time-tracker app and keep track of how much time you spend on your art. The one I have is free, highly customizable, and easily exports spreadsheets to your email. It's simply called "Time Recording", and I love it.
• When switching to a new brand of paint, or really any medium, purchase a small amount at first. Do small test works going through the entire process of creating a work of art. You may be under the impression that all paints are created equal, but they are NOT. I have been angered and disappointed by both expensive and cheaper brands of materials. I have also been pleasantly surprised by both expensive and cheaper brands of materials.
•GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE, or use whatever search engine you like best, on any process you've never done before. Even the small things you think are easy or simple may not be. Also, experiment and go against the tried and true methods. It may fail, but you may learn something unexpected and wondrous that may you you to a discovery of something special a your own.
I've added a screenshot of my beloved time tracking app, you can get this one on Google Play.