The Art of Business
Starting a business from scratch is hard work and there's a huge learning curve especially if you're not naturally business savvy. For an artist that scenario can be even more difficult. Life as an artist is about creating, getting your hands dirty and often times spending countless hours away from the rest of the world.
We're naturally hard workers, putting massive amounts of time and love into everything that we do but sometimes that just doesn't transfer over to the business aspect of things.
As one such artist, there are a few simple things I've learned in the short time I've been business focused instead of just hobby focused.
First and foremost, you have to have a dream but that's not enough. Your dream has to be crystal clear with extreme detail, most people refer to this as "the plan". I'm not talking about 100+ pages of how everything is going to work that takes you 10 years of research before you even take the first step.
I'm talking about knowing exactly what your mission is, what products or services you want to offer, the perfect client you're going to target, a working knowledge of what your business is going to cost you (financially, physically and emotionally), who you are as a person, what your business values are and what you're going to do in times of stress or hardships.
These things are the basic foundations of running a business and if you can't see them crystal clear in your mind or articulate them to someone else then you're not ready to get started. Take it from me (and countless others) jumping off before you're ready can lead to undue stress, hardships and ultimately failure no matter how experienced you are.
The second most important thing, for me, is learning to let go. As an artist and entrepreneur I want total control of everything. That's part of being the boss right? Wrong! There's just some things I can't do by myself and it's exhausting wearing so many hats and juggling everything. It takes hours of my life away that I'd rather spend creating, which is what makes me an artist in the first place.
It's like they say "love what you do". Well for me, loving what I do doesn't involve accounting or taxes to name a few things. Those things are better left to the professionals so I can focus on what I do love.
While we're on the subject of getting help, number three is a must. I don't care how much of a hermit or introvert you are, you need to reach out to others. Just like you can't run a business 100% on your own (most of us, there are those super heroes among us) you can't run a business without support either. Make friends in the industry, collaborate with other local businesses in your area, bounce ideas off your spouse, family or best friend, reach out to other business owners or programs.
Just don't think you're in this alone. There are literally hundreds of people out there that want to help you succeed.
'Til next time,