I’ve been in this business of creativity, as a sole proprietor, officially for a few years now. I don’t claim to be an expert, by any means. I enjoy business and I enjoy designing and making products. The two going hand in hand just made sense to me. One of the challenges I thought I would have was whether or not I would continue to enjoy the creativity side of it all if it were a ‘job’. Is it possible to reach burnout on your favorite hobby? I suppose it is possible, but the enjoyment for the creativity never goes away for me. That is what I fall back on when stress tries to steal my attention.
There are two avenues to the topic of creative business. There is the business outlet for the creativity and then the creativity of building the business. The business of being in business is an entire market unto itself. The volume of knowledge online for building your business is astounding. In fact there is so much information that it is overwhelming. The thing to remember when reading and expanding your own knowledge on business is determining what to take action on and what to put on a shelf. I usually have no more than two take aways from any article or class I take for my own business. The rest are stored away for anther time and place, should it ever come.
The best person to make decisions on what is best for your business is you. Many well meaning people may not have the best ideas for your business. When I first started out, I asked for critiques and input on how my online presence looked and what could be improved. Typically if someone didn’t like a particular photo, others would think it was amazing. The same would happen with pretty much every single detail of my business. After chasing everyone’s ideas and input, I stopped asking for critiques because in the end, it was my business. The decisions were mine to make.
One of the hardest part of being the sole person in a creative business is self critique. We critique ourselves very harshly. If we were to look through the eyes of our greatest fan, we would be amazed at just how awesome we really are. Pollock and Picasso had their critics, but had many more fans. Trying to make every single thing in our creative endeavors perfect is not only exhausting it isn’t necessary. Creative businesses are personal. No doubt. We want everything to be well received, but no business out there is perfect. The big businesses I’ve worked with have an acceptable margin of error, and these were banks and pharmaceutical companies. Talk about the need for perfectionism!
Try to separate the business of your creativity from the joy of your creativity. They each deserve their own attention, but should never compete.