for creative entrepreneurs

Episode 17: Surveying the Creative Entrepreneurship Landscape

Over the past 16 episodes we’ve taken a flyover of the five main subjects that structure this podcast—money, minutes, marketing, management, and motivation. Creative entrepreneurs face unique struggles in each of these areas, as they strive to turn their talents and creative ambitions into profitable, enjoyable, and sustainable businesses.

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As we return to each of the five areas of professional creative practice, we’re going to take each in reverse order. So having completed our episodes on motivation, we’ll return to the subject of management, then marketing, minutes, and money. All five aspects of creative entrepreneurship are related to one another. Time is connected to money, money is tied to sales and marketing, and managing effectively keeps them all in balance. And of course maintaining our motivation as we contend with all these aspects is a constant battle.

When we face the reality of all that goes into operating our creative practices as businesses, we can easily become overwhelmed. But hang in there! While certain aspects of running a business may be unfamiliar to you, and some practices may feel uncomfortable at first, you can learn to master them. It will take time. You can’t change everything all at once, or absorb every concept in a week. And you certainly can’t implement all the systems you may need in a day. Change takes time.

On the other hand, if you’re a typical creative entrepreneur, you may have been neglecting some, or all, of these professional practices, so you might be feeling tremendous urgency to fix them—desperate from the consequential seasons of feast or famine that result from neglect.

That’s one reason we’re returning to each subject, in reverse, starting with management. And as we move backward through these topics you’ll find that they all start to blend together we draw in aspects of money and minutes into the subject of management, or management practices into the subject of marketing. But we’re going to start with management because however you decide to tackle all these business changes, laying out a plan, managing your own resources, and setting priorities—is a managerial prerequisite for making progress in any of the others.

So in the next few episodes we’ll examine the various roles you fill in running your business—the specific kinds of hats you wear—in more detail. By having more clarity about these roles, and understanding the essence of each, you can better structure and prioritize your time, maximizing your productivity and efficiency, so that you can make faster progress, and avoid wasting any of your precious time.

Specifically, we’re going to consider three of the four main roles you fill: the fourth is your primary creative work—which is the one you already know. It’s the other three that we’ll discuss: the administrative role, the client service role, and the new business role. You need to fill each of these three roles to run your business—and each of the three have sub-roles and specific tasks that we’ll explore.

And so in our next episode, returning to the subject of management, we’ll explore the administrative role. We’ll consider how you can hold yourself accountable for overseeing business fundamentals such as managing your money, evaluating your minutes, and handling general business matters like payroll, taxes, and other necessary and annoying details.

So until next week: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business.

Are you ready to take the struggle out of finding new clients?