Sometimes it feels like creativity isn’t valued nearly as much as other skills. But if you’re a creative person who’s willing to take the plunge and push the envelope, you can take your creative skills to the next level and turn them into a business.
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The Starving Artist Mentality
There is a pervasive myth that you can’t make any money as a creative person, and that you should work on a “safe” career rather than invest in creativity as a path to financial security. This myth is often validated by the people around you. When you’re a creative person, you’ll often get asked to make things– whether that’s a cake for a party, invitations, or other creative work– but when you mention compensation, suddenly the interest dries up. If you like making art of any kind, there will always be people in your life who are interested in your work but are not interested in paying for it.
Those people are not your audience! Believe it or not, there are people who will appreciate your work and who will pay you for it. Cultivating that audience is a massive part of turning your creativity into a business. But the first thing you have to do is escape that starving artist mentality– you have to acknowledge that your work has value and believe that you can be successful in pivoting into a business. If you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to use your creativity as the engine behind your success, you can do it– you just have to trust yourself.
How Can A Business Help Me?
Another important element in turning your creativity into a business is knowing what you really want out of your work. For some people, a 9 to 5 job is perfect. They thrive in the rhythm and knowing the day’s expectations. But for other people, that schedule and predictability are uncomfortable. Creative people often do better with variety. When every day is the same, they start to struggle.
You’ll notice similar patterns when you look at the subject of your work as well. For some people, doing whatever works to bring in the cash flow is fine. It doesn’t really matter if they’re passionate about the work or not, because, for them, the work is the means to an end. But creative people often find that they need to be passionate about their work. If they’re going to put all the time and energy into something, it needs to be something they care about– otherwise, burnout is imminent.
Creative Business Niches
No matter what kind of artist you are, there are things you need for your trade. This is one of the best ways to approach a business as a creative person. Can you turn your need for a certain product into your own market niche? Today, we can work with manufacturers to create products that are necessary for our arts, and we can market and sell those products to people who practice the same things we do. It’s a great way to create community because when you’re the person selling the tools and supplies people need, you’re also cultivating ideas and value.
Of course, there’s plenty to say about the finance of creative businesses, too. The online economic ecosystem is a growing marketplace, and there are all sorts of niches that you can find– or even create for yourself. Thanks to the starving artist mentality, it can be hard to give value to your own work. There’s also always pressure to make the decisions based on what seems the most stable, without realizing that creative work can be stable work, too. You just have to find a niche that fits you.
The Biggest Step
So you’ve identified a niche, you have big dreams for your business, and you’ve stopped feeding into the starving artist mentality. How do you take the first step?
This is the hardest part: diving in. All businesses are journeys, and there are some mindset changes that can make the journey easier. One thing that can be hard to think about is money. The mindset you need here is that money is a tool- you have to give it somewhere to go. And while for many people, that place is a traditional investment, you can also invest in yourself.
The next mindset you need to embrace is that having a business is really just solving problems and solving them well. If you listen to the market and pay attention to who it is that you’re serving, you’ll find that the playing field is open and there’s an opportunity for anybody to step in. You want to be the person who solves the problems, so listen closely to what your audience is saying!
If you’re a creative person who’s interested in leveraging that creativity into a business, why not join our Rainmaker Family? We can teach you the skills you need to improve your finances, make money, and grow your wealth in a supportive, family-friendly environment. Sign up with us today to get started!