When I began business coaching for creatives about five years ago, I carried with me all the lessons I’d learned from my years in the online space in branding, marketing, retail, etc. I carried with me the good, the bad, and the ugly of all things business. What I didn’t realize is that there would be so many lessons I learned as a creative business coach. I had no idea I would continue learning so, so much about myself, my own business, and all of us that choose this path of running a business.
I can’t possibly list all the lessons here, but we can start here, and add to it.
Lessons Learned as a Creative Business Coach
- We’re all the same, really. No matter the size of the company, no matter how many employees, the challenges and fears are the same. We worry about the money. We worry we will fail. We worry we won’t be able to hack it. We worry we are imposters. I know now, after hundreds of conversations with business owners of all shapes and sizes, we all fear these same things.
- At the beginning of our sessions, we almost always come to the same conclusion–your schedule matters. No matter how much you like to create when you’re feeling inspired, or like to work on the fly, your schedule absolutely dictates how productive you are, how much anxiety your work brings (or doesn’t), and what direction you are actually heading in. How you spend your days really does decide how you spend your life, and where your business goes in the meantime.
- We get so hung up (and rightly so) on where we want to be in five years, that we spend a lot of time making little money in the early days of our business or early beginnings of new projects. We stay frustrated, wanting to make our business work, but not making enough of an income from it that we can keep going. And often, we just have to stop, and do something else instead. But…you can make it. We can. We just have to look at it a different way. We can spend time on the things that make us an income NOW, while building arms of our business for the future. And it goes back to our schedules and which priorities we uphold.
The Most Valuable Lessons
- If everything is a priority, nothing is. One of my previous business partners and friends, John, said this all the time when we met with clients. And how stinking true it is, no matter what kind of business you are running. As a solo entrepreneur, you just cannot do it all. For someone running an e-commerce business selling products or services, handmade or not, there are so many things your hands touch week to week. Website maintenance, social media, email marketing, creating/making, customer service, SEO….the list goes on and on. And you cannot, and I mean cannot, do it all. We have to pick what we can do, today, and plan for what we can do tomorrow, next week, next month, and so on. We’re all just one person trying to grow and build a business, and a whole life at the same time.
- You can have all the right tools, the perfect branding, and even a beautiful message behind your business, but if you don’t believe in your own creative voice…It’s all for nothing. That is the message behind the message. The driving force of why you do what you do, where you want to go, and how you get there. I might add recognizing the power of your own creative voice also dictates just how much you will enjoy the creative work you are doing. This is sort of my passion project as a creative business coach, so more on this later I’m sure!
Bottom line: It’s never too late for you to begin. It is never too late to try something new. Don’t worry. We are all in the same boat anyway. We are all afraid and new and learning and becoming every single day. If it has been on your mind to try a new project or start a new venture, I will you tell you this: If it pulls at your heart long enough, you owe it to yourself to lean in. You never know what can happen. 😉