Do you lay in bed at night and think, “I really like to create. I think I’m good at it and I’ll bet I could start a business and make a little extra money”?
Do you then think, “I wonder if I could make enough to quit my day job”?
Do you follow that with, “I’m going to sell my work, quit my day job and teach classes all over the world”?
You can, you know. First though, you’ll want to figure out few basic things.
My next few articles will be about the things you need to know about before you launch your creative business. Some of them will be concrete steps to take and others will be concepts and ideas you need to consider.
Why? Because these are things I wish I’d known. Because knowing some of the things that are common among people who start creative businesses makes us feel less alone. And because knowing some of the things to expect takes away some of the fear that may be keeping you from taking that first step.
The first lesson to learn is that It Takes Time and Effort. It’s not sexy and it may not be what you wanted to hear but starting, growing and maintaining your creative business will take LOTS of time and effort.
First of all, there is a learning curve. You may feel stymied by the software, frustrated by technicalities or overwhelmed by the many different hats that need wearing while running a creative business.
There have been times when a technical glitch on my website has brought me to tears. I remember one weekend I had my web hosts’ technical support, a friend of one of my kids and my husband helping me try to solve a problem. I felt defeated, depressed and discouraged. Not to mention stupid.
I had a meltdown that would embarrass a 3 year old.
I sat down with a cup of tea and told myself that it would get sorted out one way or another. I also told myself not to be too hard on me for not knowing the answer. People go to college to earn degrees in web design and I wasn’t going to flip a switch and know the answer instantly. Being able to step away from the problem and calm down gave me the clear head I needed to keep researching the problem.
Guess what? I figured it out BEFORE the tech support or the other helpers did. On my own. And boy, did that feel GREAT! I had to explain the solution to the helpers because they wanted to know how to fix similar situations in the future. YES!
The takeaway? Know that you will have to give yourself time to find solutions to some of the problems you will face. Rarely are the answers right in front of your eyes.
Put in the effort. Educate yourself as much as possible. There will be some things (like designing a website?) that you are not up to learning or have no desire to learn but knowing your strengths and limits ahead of time may save you some frustration. Put in the effort to know as much about your business as you possibly can. I could turn over the website portion of my business but I want to be able to tweak things as the ideas occur to me, not be on some guy’s list of people to get to… eventually.
If you already have a creative business up and running please leave a comment sharing how putting in time and effort has helped you grow your business and overcome setbacks. Sharing experiences with one another is a great way to feel supported and less alone.
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess