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Feb 16, 2013
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Turning your Creativity into a Profit-Making BusinessCreativity is a wonderful thing. Some of us are more creative than others. If you love to create and you’d love to make a living from your creativity through your own business, there are ways you can transition into making a profitable living by using creativity.

It’s true that creating something beautiful is different from writing a business plan. Often times things like forecasting, inventory, and taxes can be overwhelming. Your business, however, will fall apart without those things. There are a lot of resources out there. Some seem so creative, but have no plan. Others are so business minded you lose your vision. In order for creative people to build successful businesses, they need help from someone that understands the ins and outs of both creative work and of an effective business.

There are several things that a creator needs to figure out in order to turn their creativity into something that’s profitable for them. Here are a few

  • Decide what you want to do—In other words, how do you want to put your creativity to work?
  • Why do you want to do it—What is it about this activity that makes you want to do it for? It could be because you enjoy it, because you’re really good at, or some other reason entirely.
  • What is your most important driver—This is important, because it’s what you’re going to have to remember as you go through this process. There are a lot of up’s and down’s, and this is what is going to make you want to keep going in spite of them.
  • Organize your goals—You need to know your goals and the order in which you plan to achieve them. You can start by putting them in writing. List making is good, but can be impractical when organizing. You may have to rearrange them many times. It’s good to get post-its and start writing them down. Write down everything. Then you can move them around without having to scribble out or erase. These goals may include anything you want to do or what you need to do to achieve them. For example:
    • Write a book
    • License your art
    • Sell to a major museum.

You can even include make a million dollars if you want. Once you’re finished brainstorming, put your goals in three main topics.

If you wanted to write a book, your list might be:

  • Write a book
  • Help
  • Work for myself

Then you need to figure out what you needed to do to execute that goal. Figure out how you can combine those three different things and put them into one plan.

  • Get Advisors—Surround yourself with mentors and people who are really invested in your idea, and invested in you. Make sure to have regular conversations with these people. You should make sure you’re bouncing ideas off of other creative people as well.
    This doesn’t have to just be people in your niche. Some good advisors are people who are what you might call “serial entrepreneurs.” Creative people are right-brained people. You should find try to find people who are just left-brained finance people as well to see what you should develop or change a little bit to meet what my niche is.
  • Build a Solid Business Platform–You have to have steps laid out in front of you and develop a business map to reach those goals you initially set. The big picture might be overwhelming. That’s why you break it out into small steps, and you map it out. You can even put a timeline to it. If you take more time to plan, it is more likely you will be successful.

Don’t let the term “Business plan” intimidate you. Really, it’s just a series of questions that you’re answering. You already know the answers; it’s just organizing all of those answers into, and a manageable plan.

When building your business, community is important. It’s always all about the people. You need collaboration. People help you to generate new ideas, create new ideas, partner with, etc. Partner up and work together. This helps you with “crowd sourcing.” This is where you bounce the ideas off of people and get feedback from your demographic. A lot of time, creative people have a demographic that is composed of other creative people.

It’s the kind of environment for that gives you that support and encouragement you need. Often, creative people can be too hard on themselves. They tend to underestimate themselves and undervalue their work. Having a community of people around you could really helps you keep from underselling yourself as well as overselling yourself.

Creative business is essentially putting yourself out there. You’re exposing yourself and you become vulnerable. For this reason, you should start on a more private level before you go all out into the public and show your true colors to everybody. You’ll want to get kind of, a little bit of feedback before you take that huge risk.

Creative people tend to be a little bit more sensitive to the negatives so as a creative person, you have to prepare yourself. You might get 100 comments saying something you do is awesome, and one negative one. Don’t let that negative get to you. Remember your driver, and keep going forward.

There will be leaders in your community. It is always good advice to follow through leaders. You’ll find a lot of really good insight, ideas, and applications by following their examples. You can also reduce the stress of the “I don’t knows.” You’re able to go to a community and get answers. You can find discussion forums specifically for business questions that will be manned by business experts who’ve done it. They’ve gone through the trials and tribulations, so they can tell you from their own experience, what they’ve done or recommend.

People will be there who can help you develop your mission. They’ll help you develop your ideas, organize your goals, develop marketing plans, business models, help you with accounting issues, to refine your creative vision, and turn that vision into a plan that makes sense to you. After your business plan is written, they’ll still be there to partner with you through every stage of starting and running your business. Once you’re confident that the business side is running smoothly, you’re free to create your best art!

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