I’m a big fan of rap music. One of my favorite lines penned by Jay-Z goes like this: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man.”
That has always stuck with me through my career. It has remained true not only for myself, but others I see chasing their dreams.
As a creative entrepreneur, you are the enterprise. There are a few critical questions impacting whether your professional growth aligns with your dreams.
How do you spend your time?
Who do you spend your time with?
What do you spend your time working on?
Most people float through life because they don’t know the answer these questions. If you want to be successful in your field, you cannot afford to be one of those people.
Build Your Plan
To be a creative entrepreneur, you can’t just have creative output. You need a business plan that aligns with what you want to create. You also need a financial blueprint to tackle your creative pursuits.
One of the challenges in setting and managing a creative professional life is the resistance the many creatives feel towards structuring themselves. It’s critical to turn your focus towards your business instead of only focusing on your craft.
As a creative, you may often resist setting time tables and delivery expectations for the work you do. You might also resist looking at your work objectively with your clients, or other things that feel too “corporate”.
Well, in a traditional office environment, there would be rules, expectations and time tables. So applying those standards to your work makes sense. You have to run yourself like a business in order for profits to generate.
When you position yourself as a business owner, you have to operate with that mindset. It’s very simple. You don’t make a payroll without your clients paying you. That means work has to be done at a quality level that the client expects so that they sign the check.
That mindset starts to shift within the creative. As you view yourself and your work with the same level of importance as a business owner, the drive to handle that business comes naturally.
Donald is the CEO of Creative Allies and an accomplished author writing about business, leadership, an entrepreneurship.
Guest contributors are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.