Throughout my career in business, I’ve had the unique privilege of getting to work hands-on with people from varying professional backgrounds. All of these successful individuals–––no matter if they worked in human resources, marketing or an executive office–––have one thing in common: a profit-driven mindset.
Artists reading this may cringe at first. But training your brain to focus more on the “entrepreneur” side of being a creative entrepreneur, can help you overcome fears, grow your business and drive your success.
Monetize your Hustle
If you want to turn your passion into profits, then sell what you’ve got. Take your talent and find innovative ways to make it commercially available. Use your skills and build out your own personal website, your social media and your marketplace presence. Direct your creativity towards shaping what your brand is about, and then get yourself out there.
Let’s say you’re a musician. You’ve got to push out your demo. You’ve needed a manager that believes in you enough to book you on shows.
So you work for free until you can work for a fee.
In order to turn a creative gift into a formidable career, you actually have to be in the marketplace. You must compete in the arena of ideas among your peers to determine if your artwork can get positioned well at a local art show, literary magazine, or website.
Know what you’re doing, and own it
You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Are you in it for profits alone? Is profit secondary to getting your name known?
How do you balance that creativity between projects you do for the aesthetic value and projects you do to keep the cash flowing? They’re different mindsets within the same creative entrepreneur, but they operate together to achieve the same goal.
When you think about the reason you’re doing something and profiting from it as well, you can remove doubts. You will be motivated to knock out that voice that says, “Well if this isn’t perfect, I can’t present it to the world.”
When you understand that money affects your ability to fully chase your dream, you won’t see choosing this mindset as a compromise. Instead, you’ll see it as a contiguous step towards meeting your ultimate goal in your path.
Find a partner who will challenge your thinking
Typically, the mindset of the creative and the mindset of the business person are totally different. The “Artist” is about the aesthetic value of the artwork–––whether it’s music, film, dance or a physical work of art. The brilliance of the creative is built into what the art makes them feel.
On the other hand, the business minded person is painted as only seeing the monetary value of art. In actuality, they have the ability to see what that art can become when launched into a monetized space.
The business person is going to look at a piece of art and ask a few questions.
“What kind of following could this create?
How could this art be used in campaigns?”
With this particular individual, they see the brilliance of the work and desire to get it into the hands of the rest of the world.
That partner will give you balance. Even if you’re the entrepreneur yourself, having someone in your corner with a business mindset is going to force you to reconcile between the “creative” and the “cash” realms of your business. Everyone needs to stay grounded, and in this particular area, the advice of someone financially minded is necessary for the creative professional.
Success doesn’t mean “selling out”
Artists often feel like having a commercial mindset means that they’re less authentic as a creative. I would say, not being successful commercially hurts your credibility as an artist as well.
There is a gap between hobby and profession. In order to close that gap, you have to abandon the thought that you are losing something by taking this path.
You want to do things where you accomplish inspired work. But if don’t have a financial thought process, others will determine if you have the ability to finance your dreams. This goal is attainable; don’t let old ideas of what is and what isn’t “selling out” hold you back.
There is an intersection of artistry and industry. That is where the creative entrepreneur will thrive.
Finding a balance between these two parts of your identity will allow you to efficiently move into your future.