The idea of turning one’s passion into an income source has been around for centuries. Since ancient times artists have been creating art. Artists from history such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Walt Disney are just some of the many successful businesspeople who started out by following their passions. While most of us dream about creating art, few of us think about how actually to go about doing it. Let’s look at the basic principles for becoming a creative entrepreneur.
What is a creative entrepreneur?
A creative entrepreneur earns a living from their creative or intellectual knowledge or skills. They use it for making money, usually in business or freelance work.
Creative entrepreneurs include writers (bloggers), musicians, filmmakers, designers (web designers), architects, illustrators, designers (graphic designers), web developers, animators (animators), photographers, copywriters, journalists, directors, producers, and editors.
Most people assume that if someone makes something, they do so because they need to earn a living. There are many ways to make money. For example, you could be an artist, musician, filmmaker, writer, designer, architect, photographer, videographer, game developer, programmer, marketer, consultant, coach, teacher, etc.
A creative entrepreneur has a passion for something and takes action towards making their dream come true. A creative entrepreneur is usually self-motivated and driven to succeed. They are not afraid of failure but rather embrace it. They are always looking for new ways to improve themselves and their business.
How to become a creative entrepreneur
There are many paths to becoming a creative entrepreneur. Some may start their own company, while others might decide to freelance. Some are self-taught, and some have a degree. Many options are available to anyone who wishes to pursue a career in creative entrepreneurship.
If you want to become an artist, musician, filmmaker, writer, designer, architect, photographer, illustrator, animator, web developer, copywriter, journalist, director, producer, editor, marketer, consultant, coach, teacher, etc., then read on!
1) Find your passion
Before you can do anything else, you need to find what drives you. What makes you happy? What excites you? What do you love?
2) Get training
You’ll never know everything, so get training. Learn as much as possible about your craft. Read books, magazines, blogs, watch videos, attend classes, workshops, conventions, trade shows, etc. Youtube is often a great free resource to get your training. If not, Skillshare and other teaching platforms can be useful.
3) Start small
Don’t try to take on too much all at once. Start small by working on a side project. This will give you experience and confidence before you tackle your big goal.
4) Be self-motivated
Don’t wait until you’re ready to launch your business to begin planning. You need to set goals and deadlines for yourself. If you don’t plan, you won’t achieve anything.
Networking is essential if you want to grow your business. Join groups online and offline where like-minded individuals gather. Attend networking events, conferences, meetups, expos, etc.
6) Don’t quit
It’s easy to quit when things aren’t going well. It’s harder to keep going when times are tough. Keep pushing forward even when you feel discouraged.
7) Build relationships
Relationships are key to success. Make friends with other creatives. Share ideas, resources, and advice. Help each other out whenever you can.
8) Stay positive
Keep your head up high. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the positive aspects of life instead of dwelling on the negative ones.
9) Have fun
Creativity should be fun. Enjoy what you do. Take time off from work to spend time with family and friends. Play sports or go hiking. Do whatever you enjoy most.
10) Be flexible
Your vision may change over time. Your priorities may shift. Things happen. Being flexible allows you to adapt to these changes without losing focus.
11) Be authentic
Be honest with yourself and others. When you’re being authentic, you’re showing respect for others. People appreciate honesty.
12) Be yourself
The best way to build relationships is through authenticity. Be genuine. Speak from the heart. Show appreciation for others’ efforts.
13) Embrace failure
Failure is inevitable. Everyone fails sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for this industry. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.
14) Be patient
Success takes time. Patience is important. Give yourself plenty of time to succeed.
15) Celebrate successes
Celebrate successes along the way. Recognize your accomplishments. Appreciate your hard work.
16) Never stop learning
There’s always more to learn. Always strive to improve yourself.
17) Be prepared
Have a backup plan just in case something goes wrong. Know how to handle any unexpected situations.
18) Be resourceful
Find ways to make money doing what you love. Use free services such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer etc.
19) Ask for help
When you reach a roadblock, ask for help. Many people are willing to lend their expertise and assistance.
20) Be persistent
If you want to accomplish something, you have to stay persistent. Stick with it.
21) Get feedback
Get feedback from those around you. Their opinions matter. Listen to them.
22) Surround yourself with inspiration
Find inspiration everywhere. Watch inspiring videos, read articles, and hang out with inspiring people.
23) Love what you do
Do what you love. Connecting with clients and helping them find solutions to their problems is rewarding.
24) Enjoy life while you still can
Don’t waste time living someone else’s life. Lead yours.
25) Believe in yourself
You deserve everything that comes to you. No one has ever achieved great success alone.
26) Find a mentor
A mentor will guide you down the right path. Someone who has been there before you will provide invaluable guidance and support.
27) Learn from mistakes
Mistakes are part of life. They don’t define you. Learn from them so you won’t repeat them.
28) Be kind
Kindness is contagious. Pass it on.
29) Be humble
Humbling yourself helps you become humble. Humility leads to greatness.
30) Delegate work
Life is too short to be miserable by doing tasks and work you hate.
31) Focus on quality over quantity
Quality matters. Produce high-quality content over quantity.
32) Create value
Create value for your audience. Provide useful information and resources. Share quality links.
33) Build trust
People trust people they like. If you show interest in other people, they’ll feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.
34) Be consistent
Consistency builds trust. Post consistently.
35) Be original
Originality attracts attention. Stand out from the crowd by providing unique insights and perspectives.
36) Be professional
Presentation counts. Dress appropriately. Write clearly. Speak slowly.
37) Be accessible
Be accessible to your audience. Answer questions when asked. Respond quickly.
38) Be responsive
Be responsive to comments and criticism. Thank others for their input.
39) Be transparent
Be transparent about your intentions. Let your audience know what you’re trying to achieve.
40) Be honest
Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth.
Find out who you want to serve
If you want to make money out of your passion, you need to have customers. It is important to know who you want your customers to be and tailor your products and services around these people. Using this free branding checklist, I would start by making a persona (ideal client) and go from there.
Get yourself a simple brand identity
Starting out, you don’t necessarily need to spend much money on brand identity to get going. I would have started out with a simple logo, colour scheme and a set of fonts to stay consistent and evolve the brand over time. Not until I have the money and the means to grow the business would I invest in paying a professional freelancer or an agency for a brand identity.
Get yourself a website
Start with something simple in the beginning. Avoid common website mistakes by downloading this free guide. Write about who you serve and why they should care about your products and services. Look at other professional websites for inspiration and mirror them. Lapa.ninja can be a great site for inspiration. It’s not before you have the money to invest in a better website you hire a professional.
To summarize, if you’re looking for a job with a steady income, then starting your own business or going freelance may not be your best choice. If you want to change peoples’ lives and your own life, then starting a business might just be what you need.
You will be able to make money from your creativity and build an empire around yourself. You will also be able to live a lifestyle that you always wanted.