I want to be clear to every creative reading these words:
Business is NOT a necessary evil.
But it IS necessary.
So, follow the logic with me: business is necessary…but it’s not evil. In fact, business is necessary and it can be super awesome.
Don’t believe me? That’s Ok. 25-year-old me wouldn’t believe me either.
When I was 25, in art school, and working on finishing my art degree, I hated the idea of “business”. In fact, I dreaded going to the more businessy-oriented classes and lectures. I considered them at worst a waste of time and a best incredibly boring. I usually left these classes feeling drained, bored, and overwhelmed.
All I wanted to do was make great art and somehow get paid to do it. The second part of that equation…the “get paid to do it” part…would figure itself out.
Truth is, I was petrified by the idea of business. I hated the notion that I had to “drum up work”, earn clients, make a profit, and do all that businessy-stuff in between. To me, it was a necessary evil and I wanted nothing to do with it.
10 years later, I’m now running a successful creative business, drawing for a living, working with hundreds of amazing clients all over the world, and managing a team that also gets to draw, animate, and storyboard for a living.
Somewhere between 35-year old me now and 25-year old me in art school, I had an epiphany: “Business seems scary and boring…but it isn’t”
My message to creatives wanting to turn their creative skill into a career is this: business is not a necessary evil. It’s necessary…and it’s awesome. In fact, “business” is the key to so many non-evil things.
Business can help bring you:
- More of what you love – as you get firmly into your 20s, 30s and beyond, you have to make money to live. Sorry, but that’s life. If you can turn your creative “thing” into a career, you get to do MORE of that “thing”.
- Less of what you hate – in contrast, if you can turn your creative “thing” into a career, you get to do LESS of what you hate. Less waiting tables, less bartending, less lame job, less paperwork, etc.
- Adventure and Opportunity – As your creative business or career grows, new adventures and opportunities will come your way. You might get to work with amazing dream clients, collaborate with inspiring collaborators, mentor under amazing leaders, learn new things and maybe even travel.
- Freedom – If you’re successful in business, you’ll acquire more and more freedom. Freedom to take the kind of jobs you want, work when and where you want, take the amount of jobs you want, and more.
- More Money – Of course, “business” is the key to making money, as well. And I’m not just talking about burrito money…I’m talking about good money…money you can live off of.
If you want to make a living doing your creative passion, you have to figure out business. If you can, you’ll unlock so many of these amazing benefits and pave the way towards a fulfilling professional life.
Now, I can hear your rebuttal:
“The quality of my work is enough.”
“My art will speak for itself.”
“My friends and teachers think I’m amazing.”
I hate to break it to you, but this is a “fatal assumption” many people make: “I’m good at [whatever], so I’ll be good at running a [whatever] business.”
Not true. Although having quality work is important, it is NOT enough. You also have to have a quality business.
I’ll leave you with good news: Business is not as scary or hard as you think. I’ve learned this and am eager to show you how. This platform is first and foremost about encouraging and equipping creatives to “figure out” business so they can make a living do what they love.
Business is not a necessary evil. It’s a necessary awesome – and you can do it.