Are you a creative (e.g. musician, artist, writer, poet, designer, dancer, etc.) who feels uncomfortable to talk about your work as a business?
If you want to make your creative work a full-time job or a business, then this is an interview you really need to listen/watch.
In this week’s podcast, apart from my personal updates/lessons learned, I also included my interview with Monica O’Brien, a coach who has been working with creatives for years. However, Monica’s story didn’t start in a way you may expect.
The following is a recap of the main points we discussed in the interview:
Monica was trained and worked as a nurse in her early years. She then worked with a lot of youth before “accidentally” became a music producer and founded a publishing company. Since then she has been working with creatives like composers and artists, and eventually, she became a coach and work with them in that capacity.
I love her story because it just shows us how we don’t know what may be the next surprise on our paths, and we just need to go and explore and be true to who we are.
Here are some of the mindset issues that we’ve discussed in our interview:
- There is no money in creative work or being an artist – is that really true? Or is it just your fear speaking?
- You can be a good artist OR a brilliant business person. Wait – but these two things are not mutually exclusive!
- Go-Pro: I love this concept by Stephen Pressfield. What does it mean when you are committed to become a professional, instead of treating what you do as a hobby? Are you willing to go Pro?
- Authentic marketing: It is about being who you are, sharing your passion and talent, it is not about hard selling or cold calling.
When you do your creative work for a living, you need to find ways to monetize what you do. You’ll need to decide if you want to keep it as a hobby or something that generates income. Even better, you may want to diversify ways that you can generate multiple streams of income.
If you are a painter, you can sell your original artwork, or digital copies, or make it into prints or stationary or craft paper, or teach painting in person or online. There are numerous ways to share your art and your passion.
Just know that you don’t have to do it all. When you make your creative work as a business, some of the tasks will be unappealing to you. You still need to do it, but you may consider to out-source, get help or delegate. If you don’t have the budget to do so, you can try to barter with other creatives or join similar interests Facebook groups or communities. If you start looking, there are many ways you can support one another.
Many people even find the idea of “marketing” uncomfortable, but it’s time to think about this differently. You can find ways that you feel comfortable to share what you love. Social media is a big help for that. Ed Sheeran started to share his music on YouTube and look at him today! Do you find him like a hard-sell kind of guy? Not at all! It is about being who you are!
Nurture your creativity and don’t let fear to overpower you.
Take one step at a time. If you need a day job to support your creative passion, please do that, so that you take the pressure off making money from the creative work to pay the bills. Start small, when your income from the creative work starts to rise, then consider working part-time or quit your day job.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support, get a coach, mentor or join some like-minded free groups. It always makes a huge difference when you have others to share your journey with.
Just remember, you don’t have to do it all alone 🙂
You can find more information about Monica and her work at https://creativeedgecoaching.com.au
Do you have a story about going Pro with your creative work? or what is stopping you from doing so? Share with me in the comments below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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