If you feel overwhelmed at being a creative business owner, you’re not alone.
You like to make things. And one day, one of your friends told you how cute something was and that you should sell it. All of the sudden, a lightbulb goes off in your head that you could actually MAKE MONEY doing something you really like to do! That fire starts burning in your chest and your thoughts start racing. Ok, let’s face it… Your thoughts probably are like squirrels having a party because they are coming so fast and so disorganized.
“Hey- I could sell at Farmer’s Markets!” “I could list things on Facebook MarketPlace!”
“I need a website!”
“Wait… how do I build a website?”
And it keeps going and going. Suddenly, you can’t sleep at night and you’re daydreaming at your “real job.” You’re itching to be creative. But here’s the thing: Being a creative Entrepreneur, in my opon, is one of THE hardest types of Entrepreneurs to be! (Don’t get discouraged… just brace yourself!)
1. Business Books aren’t always set out for Creatives.
The first thing I always go to when I’m trying to pursue something in my life is books! So when I started Paisley Grace Makery I instantly grabbed all the “starting a business” books I could. But here’s the thing– Most of them weren’t even related to the creative entrepreneur journey! Sure it’s great to talk about scaling and Business Org Charts– but when you’re literally the one CREATING the product you are hoping to sell– the ballgame is different. PLUS, as a creative the numbers game and “business-y” talk felt like torture to read.
Thankfully, there are some out there that really have been inspiring and have helped. One of the first books I read that I related to was Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too By Gary Vaynerchuk. While it wasn’t directly to the creative industry, it really gave me the bases for story branding on Social Media and finding my niche in the creative community.
2. You’re literally doing ALL. THE. THINGS.
See above. It’s one thing to run a retail store that you have to purchase items and photograph them to sell them. But as makers… we take it one step futher. We have to first get an idea, then find the materials and tools we need to craft it, make it (insert hours here), and THEN finally we get to photograph it to sell it. But here’s the really challenge– you have to stay creative– find your niche, continually learn new skills to stay ahead of the curve. The creative struggle can be utterly exhausting– especially when you get bogged down in things like ROIs, Social Media, Business Accounting and all the other hats that come with managing a business.
As hard as it can be…. how amazingly cool is it to be able to do ALL. THE. THINGS. There is no one telling you to stop, dictating your next move or forcing you to create something you’re not passionate about. This is literally the force that drives me. It keeps me going in the direction of forward. Because even if one of my ideas didn’t work, or maybe it didn’t sell well– at least I am Failing Forward. I have made progress and learned from my creative process. I get to be 100% ME in everything that I do and don’t have to consult a board of directors or gain approval from anyone. This autonomy, for me, is exhilarating and literally is the blood for my business.
3. Time is your enemy.
Lady A said on one of her songs “Time is a thief I would rob”…. and while I don’t condone crimes– If I could rob some more time in life I sure would. Makers never have enough time…. especially with creating our own products to sell you will ALWAYS FEEL LIKE YOU DIDN’T DO ENOUGH, or make enough product, or touch up the final details.
The time is your own. You don’t have anyone forcing you to work outside of your creative hours. Sure, as a mom, there are definitely repercussions when my creative bug strikes me at 3am and the babies are awake early the next morning… but ultimately YOU get to determine how fast or slow you are going to build your business. Here’s my challenge for you though… Don’t let your hurdles become excuses. In all of the clients I have coached through the years, I hear it often that people “can’t” because they are a mom, or “can’t” because they have a full time job. I’m calling baloney. In no way am I saying that these things are not hurdles, and YES– they will slow you down from achieving overnight success– but if you truly have a passion to make it in the creative world– YOU CAN. It’s going to take grit, and yes, there will be some late nights (or early mornings if you’re one of those opposite-of-me people who like waking up before the sun). If you have a will, there is a way. And if you need help finding that way— I’m just a one-on-one call away!
4. The dreaded Imposter Syndrome.
You know that little voice inside you’re head that’s telling you’ll never be as good as the lady you saw on Pinterest. Or the one that whispers quietly in the night that you won’t be able to support your family “with your little crafting hobby”. Feeling like you’ll never catch up or be good enough is extremely common in the creative entrepreneur world.
Ahh… this one hits deep. In the world of Pinterest and Social Media, it seems impossible to not fall into comparing yourself to another creative out there. Maybe they are ahead on getting their holiday decor out, or you feel their stuff is “so much cuter.” But I’m here to tell you to tell the voice in your head to pipe down. There have been SO many times that I have found myself in this same trap of comparison– and you know what? The adage is true– It steals your joy. I’m giving you permission to unfollow, unfriend, unsubscribe to anything that you’re feeling that stress point of “I’m not good enough” when you look at it. Because let me tell you… there ARE people out there looking specifically for YOUR style, YOUR brand, YOUR niche. And if you try to copy others or fall into the keeping up with the Joneses… you’re telling these people they don’t matter. Be true to you. Work at a pace that challenges you but doesn’t consistently drain you… and Be. You.
5. It’s never finished
If you’re looking for the 8-5, punch out and you won’t think about work until tomorrow– this is not it. I repeat… This. is. not. it. Even when you find moments of balance– the creatives mind is always racing, looking for inspiration, solving problems and overall thinking about work. It can be draining.
Do you really want it to be? If it was finished, the joy of the puzzle would end. The passion for putting something new into the world would be over. When you’re feeling that exhausting feeling of overwhelm, when the to do list is never ending. Take a moment. Exhale. And count your blessings. If you have a list of to dos, you have business. If you’re in the process of building– the climb is so worth it for the Mountain View peeks you’ll experience. Entrepreneurship is not a straight line journey. It’s not for the faint of heart…. but if it’s in your soul… it’s for you!
The biggest advice I can give you is CONNECT. Don’t be an island. If you’re not already part of our Facebook Community head over and join! We are here to build a bigger table and not a higher fence.
Until next time,
Want to dive deeper into this training and others? Join our next MAKER BOOTCAMP for a deep dive into how to start, scale or grow your handmade business.
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