Lisa Robbin Young

How to succeed as a new creative entrepreneur

Credit: Pexels

Accidental entrepreneurship is more common than you might believe. So often, the creative entrepreneurs I talk with started their business out of a desire to move away from something else, and only after they'd seen some success "selling their stuff"... whether it was profitable or not.

Whether you want to create a clothing brand, become the next music sensation, or open a therapy school, in order to have a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, you need to know how to build the business - in ways that work for how you're uniquely wired to work, as well as ways that work for your best customers. Most of the time those things are pretty similar, but not always identical.

Using this guide, you can understand the best ways to make your own business a hit.

Get help during start up

So many creative entrepreneurs start businesses with little business knowledge, then they wonder why they are experiencing all kinds of issues. Trying to go it alone is a one-way ticket to stress, frustration, and a lot of trial and error.

One of the places I see most creatives trip up is worrying about the type of business to form. LLC? S-Corp? C-Corp? Sole proprietor? Non Profit?

While on some levels, this isn't nearly as important as, say, figuring out who your best buying audience is, it's still not something you want to try to do on your own. Even setting up a sole proprietorship, while easy, comes with risks that you should understand before committing to that type of business.

And if you want to start a non-profit here in the U.S., knowing how to start a 501(c)(3) is key if you want to avoid obstacles. Without the right support, you'll likely have a bundle of problems come tax time.

Don't be afraid to get piecemeal help if your budget doesn't allow you to keep professionals on retainer. Have an attorney review a contract, or hire an accountant or tax pro for an hour to explain the differences in start-up types. Arm yourself with enough clarity to help you make more confident business decisions.

Wild ideas are often the best ideas

To grow your business, new may be better, but WILD can be the best way to go. Out of the box approaches and innovators in the market face some uphill struggles in the beginning - Walt Disney built his playground in a swamp, for pity's sake! But once the idea takes hold, you'll be miles ahead of what any competitor could do to play catch up.

Being an entrepreneur requires a willingness to take risks anyway, so why not go after what you REALLY want to be doing? Your quirky thought could turn into something big and wonderful. You might manage to build an incredible business from a "silly", yet effective, idea! Be that brave person and start doing what feels right. Honor what you feel called to do with this one precious life of yours!

Create an Environment of Empowerment

Some folks can create massive empires from a humble kitchen table start. But wherever you start, it needs to be a place that empowers you. Having a comfortable and functional workspace will help you stay focused. Filling that space with inspiration, motivation, and encouragement will keep you going even when things get hard - and they WILL get hard! That's business!

Your environment at home, at work, and even the folks you associate with all matter. Jim Rohn once said you're the average of the 5 people you hang around most. I don't entirely agree with that notion, but I do believe that you're a product of whatever nourishes you. If you're feeding your mind, body, and spirit things that empower, energize, and lift you up, you'll be farther ahead than folks who are stuck in demotivating and uninspiring situations.

If it's not feeding you, it's not helping you. Nourish your mind and spirit as much as you can. Create a "sanctuary" for your work, and do everything in your power to keep that space sacred to sustain you.

Always sign the checks... and trust the process

Bootstrapping isn't a badge of honor. Trust me, I've lived that lifestyle and it's stressful. Being "self made" is a myth anyway. Yes, watch your pennies, and be mindful of what's coming in and going out. Debt is a tool that's more like a scalpel than a hammer: it can cut you if you're not careful or knowledgeable in its use.

Oprah once told Queen Latifah to "always sign the checks" - meaning, if you're putting your name on the checks, you'll always know where the money is going, and be able to spot things that are amiss before they become a problem. But minding your pennies is only half the equation.

Sometimes wonderful, miraculous things DO happen - and we need to be open and willing to receive them. Yeah. I know that sounds a bit woo-woo for my tastes, too, but it's true. You just never know when that next client will pop in, or a new offer will arrive - out of the blue - to provide the financial blessing you've been looking for. Like that first point - sometimes just getting the right help at the right moment can be a godsend!

It may seem obvious, but Fusion Creatives are notorious for trying to do everything themselves and save the world in the process. Asking for help is our growing edge. Chaotic Creatives are good at the "trust the process" part, but often struggle with the "sign the checks" part. And Linear Creatives have the opposite strength.

Everyone can use a little help from time to time. Be willing to ask for and receive it. Create an environment that allows you to thrive as a creative entrepreneur and put your wild ideas to the test. Then, keep your eyes on the finances, and trust the process. You're doing the hard work, you're sharing your brilliance with your right audience. It's only a matter of time before success is yours!

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