I wanted to write this post because I know many talented people who don’t believe enough in themselves; they struggle with the idea of “selling” or think they didn’t have enough luck. And I truly believe all artists are natural entrepreneurs. 💪
I can assure you I’ve been in the same shoes, but the moment you step out of them, it’s a huge wake-up call.
First, I wanted to talk about creative entrepreneurship, then share some self-imposed subconscious barriers, a quick exercise to get rid of them, and what essential aspects you need to have clear to achieve any financial goals as an artist in any form of art.
Do you actually see your passion as your business?
“My second conclusion is that attributes of creative individuals and attributes of entrepreneurs are so similar that even attempting to define a set of predetermined characteristics is a futile exercise.”
This is a quote from “The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship,” a book available on amazon. In an article, Jim Hart explains how both can create a business around their ideas, create jobs and culture, and, therefore, social-economic growth.
But on the artwork archive, they put it a lot more straightforward; “While not all entrepreneurs are artists, all artists are entrepreneurs.”
Then why so many creators struggle with the idea of selling their work, learning to manage and market a business? The concept that “your passion is your business and you can (and should) grow and profit from it” it’s more an obvious idea for young people.
By that, I mean I was raised when an artist was expected to starve, crafts were underestimated, and design needed to be luxurious to be counted.
I’m not saying that’s the world we live in now; for most of us, that’s just a memory. But memories can create self-imposed obstacles in your subconscious.
If you don’t think you have any self-imposed obstacles, congratulations, the world didn’t f@#$# you up yet, and you can skip this part.
Get rid of those annoying subconscious obstacles.
I don’t want to bore you with too many depressing barriers, so I’ll just mention a few That I think are the most common. Before moving on, If you find yourself thinking “this is pretty logical, then why do I found myself acting the opposite way” then, congratulations you have a subconscious barrier! No worries, it means you’re human. 🙌🙌🙌
You won’t make a living out of art; you need to be realistic.
If you never came across this comment, you might be the most trusted and supported artist ever.
The harmest of the statement is when it comes from people you trust; of course, they don’t mean any harm, but your subconscious trusts them as much as you do.
This notion that you have to starve or not profit from your art unless you achieve worldwide recognition is so dull. But it keeps messing with our brains for some stupid reason.
Tell me if this helps:
Aren’t you more afraid of living as a machine? Filled with regrets? Resentful and bitter?
Life’s not a rose garden, whether you become the victim of your dreams or the hero of your dreams; there are tons of opportunities these days; the internet has made it possible for you to do what you love as a full-time job instead of as a part-time hobby.
“If you’re not working to make a living out of it, it’s a hobby.”
(I’m not suggesting you should quit your job, I’m suggesting you can make it happen)
The business side of art takes the soul out of it.
A though art galleries have put into our brain like we were too pure or stupid to handle our work’s management and marketing.
How it’s going to take the soul out of it? If you know your values, you manage your goals and clients; you market your message and decide its value.
One of the best things that can happen when treating your passion as your business; is all the control you gain. You’re the only one responsible for the outcome.
It’s not like you have to put in the work and others just were lucky. If you analyze one ordinary day of a successful artist, you’ll see they create, manage, build relationships, market, collaborate. It’s a busy day to throw it all to luck.
Don’t you think they are putting in the work? There are so many things you can’t control, so many skills you don’t have. Yes, and they also were like you at some point.
You don’t need to know it all; you just need to know enough to make it work, one baby step at a time.
Make yourself accountable. You have more power than you think. 🐱🏍
I’m no Van Gogh, and I have no experience.
Creators have a self-critic side that can get in the way of self-awareness. I honestly think this happens to all of us; we compare our work, and if we don’t, there’s always a missionary soul to do it for us.
Excentricity and popularity are overrated, but how many times did you felt intimidated by it. Why? Could it be the notion of accomplishment attached to it? Or your annoying dushbag ego getting on the way?
The only thing you need to make worthy art is to be honest with it. Because you don’t need to have the experience to deliver, maybe look for it, build it. But enjoy the journey.
You don’t need to be a Van Gogh because you have your own way of being inspired, and you have a unique way of inspiring others. Nothing less, nothing more than any other artist, but unique.
Your passion is waiting for you to show up, and Stand by it!
If there’s any other self-imposed obstacle popping into your head, leave it in the comments below, and please let me know if you think the next exercise is useful…
Get ride of your subconscious blocks
10-minute Meditation exercise
- Find a quiet space where nobody can disturb you. (if you’re new to meditation, watch HEADSPACE on Netflix)
- You can put music on; I prefer complete silence. Take a piece of paper with you.
- Write down all the subconscious barriers you identify within you. Take your time
- Imagine they are characters living inside your head. The idea is to put a face on them so we can talk to them during the meditation. Write their names.
- Relax, sit comfortably or lay down, and start focusing on your breath.
- Once you get into a meditation state, you’ll bring one by one each subconscious obstacle, and you’ll acknowledge them (because your subconscious is not being mean to you), then you’ll ask them to change or give them a new job, and finally, you’ll thank them.
Hi, “sells are evil” monster, 👾 I know you’re trying to protect me, but if you genuinely want to help me, I need you to stop telling me sales are evil. Instead, I need you to remind me to stay true to myself and help me bring my message to the world as honest as It can be. I know I can trust you with this task, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
You can repeat this cathartic meditation as many times as you want, I recommend writing each statement to repeat it like a mantra until you feel your subconscious got the message (it will). This exercise is not entirely my invention; it’s a mix of books, webinars, and many other experiences. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me!
The essentials to have a successful creative business
You can find tons of business plans online, but what I notice is many artists and creators tend to miss either the foundation or the numbers (including me 😅). So I figure to share this, so it doesn’t happen to you.
The foundation; Know why you do it, how you do it and what’s the outcome
Why you do it it’s a simple way to call for your desire to make art; I wrote a bit about it in the last post, so this time I asked a friend the same questions.
You enjoy your art because it’s yours; everybody else enjoys it because it inspires THEM” it’s not about you.
Why do you want to make music? I’m not asking why you like it? Or what you want from it?
As before, it’s not about you; why you want us (the world) to have it? There’s plenty already.
“I want to transport people to new places, places I don’t even know.”
You get the point; your why goes beyond your craft; your why is your purpose.
How you do it? I’m not talking about tools or technics, but about the connection between your purpose and the product delivered.
“I always look to challenge my interpretations of different genders and search for as many collaborations I can to search for a fresh perspective.”
Your What is your product? That’s simple; it is your work of art. And what you’re supposed to sell.
It happens to all of us; when starting, we tend to focus on the piece of art. It’s not necessarily wrong, everyone has their process, but you need to have more clarity for building a business.
This is the best way because you build the big picture, such a clear picture that can easily transform into your target market.
Another reason to use these questions is to have an easy decision-making tool on any aspect of your work. It narrows the possibilities, yes, but it also focuses your attention on what matters the most.
Moreover, the answer to these questions is what makes you unique. You can answer them for different projects. And by discovering all your mini-purposes, you could discover the main one.
The numbers; Know where you are and you’re heading
I didn’t find much but enough people talking about making money as artists or business plans for creators.
For a long time, I loosed myself into the aspects of the business I liked the most. But what truly brings it to the next level is the stuff uncomfortable part of it.
In summary, You need to know how much you spend, both resources and time, how much you want to earn, your current inventory. Where are you now? Where you want to be.
Close the gap; how much time you can give yourself to make it happen. (be realistic)
It doesn’t have to be so complicated; once you do your numbers a couple of times, it gets easier and even fun. It’s exciting to see if you’re making progress.
You don’t have to use a spreadsheet; it can be a sketch with drawings and all. Just don’t make the mistake of not knowing your numbers.
I generally wouldn’t recomend using anybody else’s layout because your business is unique, and you should understand it better than anyone else. Still, I know at first it can be a bit overwhelming not knowing where to start.
That’s why I wanted to share with you a spreadsheet that I use in the workshop (it is just the numbers side, you can download it by filling the form below). And if you are curious to know how I manage to build a business online from scratch, you can access a Free Workshop here.
PS: Just a little final advice, once you open the file and examined it for a while, grab a piece of paper and make a sketch of how you want it to work for your business. There’s nothing better than a blank piece of paper, have fun with it!