I remember my freshman year in college at Stephens College. I went to school for fashion design and by this point, I considered myself to be "self-taught" and I only needed to go to school to gain the technical skills that would elevate my work. And when I started my first sewing class, I felt like it was such a waste of my time.
I had thoughts like:
" I learned this already, I'm so far ahead of my peers."
and "I should be in a more advanced class, I'm not learning anything new here."
And to be fair, a good amount of what I learned in that first class I did learn before. I made prom dresses in high school and had been sewing since I was a child. So many people would tell me how talented I was and that I was going to be this huge designer.
But, as I continued my education I realized that my gifts meant nothing without work ethic and dedication. There were peers who I felt I had more talent than, but they completed their projects on time and spent extra time in the labs working and learning. In contrast, I rushed my projects and refused to do "too much" work and instead spent time at social events or watching tv.
Now, I do not condone neglecting your personal care or your relationships for work. I am speaking to the balance and dedication necessary to see results. As creatives, we are endowed with so many ideas and gifts that make us special. The world needs our minds and what comes as a result of our use of these gifts, but many of us struggle with the balance aspect.
How do we make remain creative and business-minded?
Many of us are not naturally business-minded and lack the skills necessary to turn our creativity into a lucrative business. We would rather be in a studio perfecting our crafts than working on budgets and sending out emails (I can definitely relate).
However, we are able to pick up the skills needed to make the changes necessary to pursue our dreams.
Here are a few skills and tips we can implement to get our businesses in order:
Create a business plan
You do not need to have an in-depth rundown of what your business will entail. In fact, it is better to keep it simple in the beginning, because it will probably change! The most important thing to have at this point is an idea of where you're going so you can get started. Research the lean business model to get the bare bones.
Get a mentor
When I first got started I quickly realized how confusing and daunting it is to start a business. As an entrepreneur, you do not feel like you have a business at first and many times we need guidance to know where to go and how to organize our thoughts. Also, as creatives, we often have the drive to create the product but lack the skills needed to sustain a business. So, if you can manage the costs of a coach I would highly recommend hiring a business coach. If not, a mentor can also be a personal relationship, through books, videos, or podcast the point is to gain the wisdom
Join a Community
As entrepreneurs and creatives, many of us are naturally introverted. We need time to gain inspiration and reflect in order to work in our respective fields. However, we are setting ourselves up for failure when we isolate ourselves to the point where we have no support. I had to get around like-minded people in order to develop accountability, get some much-needed support, vent when I got frustrated, and ultimately remain connected to the outside world.
Do you have a community? If not, come join our Facebook community and find other creatives like yourself.
Let me know how you liked this article with an emoji! Do you have any other tips to share? Drop those in the comments as well.