Welcome to the last post in our Creative Freedom Challenge.
I love Creative Entrepreneurs. I might be a little prejudiced, since I am one, but I love ya, nonetheless.
Most creative entrepreneurs begin because they love what they do. Often you don't even think about turning it into a business until later - out of a desire to serve a higher purpose (remember those Five Tenets of a Noble Empire?). You're typically a bootstrapper by necessity, not by choice. You never really thought about investors or loans or any of that stuff, you just started sharing your Great Work with the world around you.
Then, somewhere along the line, you found that not only do people love what you're doing, they want to own a piece of it - either through buying your work, or experiencing your services, or just telling the world how awesome you are. So you "hang your shingle" and poof! You're in business.
You'll probably find yourself in the Artisan Trap at some point (sell - deliver - sell - deliver), but until then, things are fun.
Until they're not.
Eventually you hit your limit. You can't do any more by yourself. Stuff is falling through the cracks, and there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done and still have a moment's peace for yourself.
Welcome to Whitewater. This rocky stage of business growth is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you've got business coming in and cash is flowing. A curse because there's too much to keep up with by yourself (and maybe even your small team is dropping balls because the right systems aren't in place).
Help is available to you. All you have to do is ask.
As soon as you need it. Maybe even before you need it.
Go back and look at that list of things you need to "handle" that is slowing you down from sharing your Great Work with more of your right audience. I'd bet that somewhere in that list is something you could ask for support on TODAY. You may or may not even need to pay anyone to help you with it.
In a facebook group I'm in, someone posted a photo, offering to pay $5 to anyone that could change the color of the image to a specific shade of purple. Someone else in the group posted back a few minutes later with the edited image along with a note that said "No worries. Pay it forward."
Help is all around us if we're willing to ask. Sometimes it's free, sometimes, it's not. Sometimes the "cost" isn't cash.
This single shift in awareness can create a truckload of freedom!
Over the years, I've compensated my "helpers" in a variety of ways: trading babysitting, pizza, driving them to the movies, back rubs, business coaching, and yes, good old American currency.
The hardest part for most entrepreneurs, though, comes in making the ask in the first place.
I've been there. It takes courage and vulnerability to step out and ask for help. Even after more than 20 years in business, I sometimes forget to check my ego and ask for help. 🙂
Being a creative, out-of-the-box entrepreneur means you need to get used to asking for and accepting help in all its various forms. Build your network of colleagues and friends to reach even more potential clients. The Chinese proverb tells us that "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now". Don't wait to reach out and build those connections. Do it now - before you think you'll need their help.
Last list, I promise! Make a list of people you'd like to connect with, and people you'd like to strengthen ties with. Then pick ONE person to reach out to this week. If you're feeling courageous, reach out to one person every day. Not to sell them, but to share your enthusiasm, your stories, and see how you can genuinely serve them. Then watch what happens.
I'd like to share something I'm enthusiastic about with you: It's my Creative Freedom Apprenticeship.
I developed this program after years of watching creatives like you get swallowed up by their jobs. I've watched too many artists, visionaries, leaders, and out-of-the-box thinkers put their dreams on a shelf for "someday" when the world needs them right now.
The Creative Freedom Apprenticeship gives creative entrepreneurs in the start-up phase of their business a framework you can use to build your own blueprint and forge your own path doing more of what you love - and make a sustainable living doing it.
If you're ready to bring more of your Great Work into the world and reach more of your right audience, I invite you to join us today. We cover a lot of territory - and all the materials are updated since our last round of the course (including three new modules!). I've intentionally kept the time and money investment reasonable. You're not here to spend all your time and money taking a course. You're here to build a Noble Empire and live an inspired life. I'd like to help if I can.
Maybe you have questions, or aren't sure if the Apprenticeship is right for you. I totally understand how that goes! Just reach out and I'll be there to answer any questions you might have.
My vision for you is to make a good living doing what you love so that you can own your dreams without selling your soul. It may sound a little cliche, but I believe that, now more than ever, we need you to bring your Great Work into the world. This is YOUR time. The world is waiting for you. You can do this!