A Guest Post by Eric S Burdon
Starting a creative business
Starting a business is an incredibly daunting task for a lot of people, especially creatives! And even when they enjoy the challenge, there is still a lot to do when setting up their creative business. From the business idea to assembling a team, there are many steps.
One of them is mindset.
Although when it comes to any business, a lot of people will say you learn as you make mistakes. However, I believe it’s important to learn from other people's mistakes. To avoid committing the same mistakes as other people have made in the past.
For myself, I know I wasn’t all in the right head-space when I started my creative business. Over the few years I’ve been in business, there
were things I wish I knew when I started.
I have summarized for you my knowledge and experience in 4 steps listed below:
1. Be Committed To A Single Idea
When I started the creative business I’m in today, I didn’t feel like it was my business at all. It was something that I did on the side along with scrambling to find money making ideas.
At the time, my YouTube channel and my blog were making pennies every day. I’d make a few dollars every month and that would be it. But instead of being focused on that, I was more concerned about getting some more money.
At the time, I signed up to all sorts of money making opportunities online. It got to the point where I was utterly swamped and felt completely unmotivated to work. Still, I found myself making videos and writing on a regular basis and eventually decided to commit to it.
Even though in my situation I was in desperate need of money, I learned then that if I continued at the rate I was going I would still be in the same place I was in. I had to commit to an idea and start to focus in on it.
I get it though. When you have so many ideas in your head it’s hard to focus on one idea. You want to try out as many ideas as you possibly can. But the thing with life is we have time to see things through to the end.
Remember, you only need one idea to make money and that money can roll into other projects. For that to happen it’s getting an idea and committing to it fully.
2. Be In It For The Long Run
Before I started the business I have now, I was in network marketing. Clearly I preferred other peoples ideas over my own.
Anyway, part of network marketing is the pitch. If you’ve listened to any network marketing pitch, it’s sensationalized.
Even though everything they tell you is true, people tend to see the bigger picture. Not to mention in our instant gratification world we get into the head-space that this could be achievable in a year or so.
I was one of those types of people, to a degree. Again, with me desperate for money and getting off the ground, I felt I’d be alright after a few years of being in that business. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. And I left.
I learned a bitter truth that in order to succeed, you need to be in it for the long run. I feel it’s necessary to be in for the long run when you start up your own creative business. Of course some people can start breaking even and making money quickly. But for a lot of people, patience is important.
I certainly lacked that back then, but I do have it now and it’s only been recently that I’ve started to earn a reasonable amount of money for my work. And even then, the amount is still pretty low compared to a typical day job.
3. Have a plan of action
The other thing I lacked were goals. In network marketing they ask you to state why you’re getting into business. It’s good you’re setting a why, however, how I set it was more of setting 50 reasons.
There wasn’t a clear objective I had in mind. I also lacked any sort of tangible goals to strive for. I was still someone who followed along as opposed to made decisions on my own.
Having a plan of action is simply setting goals and having a road map in order to reach your destination. Figure out how you’ll measure your success of your goals and how you’ll actually complete them.
In essence, the plan outlines your big goals whether it’s a lifetime goal broken down to a series of monthly goals. You then break those down into basic habits that you can do every single day that can bring you towards those goals.
4. Listen to your own thoughts
One of the biggest struggles in my life stemmed from the fact I listened to what people told me. I listened to what I told myself, which in often times was what people told me. This sort of reality that I had was very troubling for a few reasons.
It ultimately led me to depression, but also to the path that I took before. I strived to be an accountant even though near the end I lost interest in it entirely. I felt empty. A shell wandering through life.
It was only when I grasped my thoughts and decided to forge my own path did I feel more in control. Even though I made silly decisions, and people even questioning them, they were mine to make.
The thing is, people make mistakes, it’s part of our natural process. But I’d rather make mistakes under my own control as opposed to mistakes from what other people told me.
So take the time to listen to yourself. Ask yourself is what you are doing something you believe fully in, or is this something that people want you to think is a good idea?
Remember - It’s YOUR Life And YOUR Business!
Being mindful is important, as these four lessons were lessons that repeated themselves. They emerged when I was struggling with breaking out of my shell and struggling with depression. But they also manifested into some major problems that I had with my creative business.
It was only until I realized those things and grew past them that my business started to get better and better. These types of valuable lessons along with a lot more I outlined in my book “The Shy Boy I Once Knew”.
I wrote this book to share my story, and also to share my knowledge. How I went to dealing with business struggles, but also sharing helpful tools to help you along the way as well.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
Have your say!
- Have you chosen an idea to commit to?
- Is it something you would like pursuing long term?
- What is your goal and your plan to achieve it?
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