Creating innovative products and services already is very task-heavy. Being able to run a sustainable business at the start-up level is a whole another endeavour and often, rewards both in customer feedback, retention, and financial profit don't appear immediately at your doorstep.
Somewhere down the road, many creative entrepreneurs hit a roadblock or several.
It can happen from one of many things:
1) Run out of financial support ($$$)
2) Travelling to and from many geographical locations makes creating inconvenient
3) Care-taking of pets and family members that require more mental energy
4) Stress from full-time job
5) Run into a creative block (i.e. writer's block)
For many creative entrepreneurs, we are not one-hit wonders that profit from the royalties of a fabulously created idea or well-engineered prototype.
We have to strive to create and prioritize what we create, constantly. We (normally) don't get paid by the hour or by salary so oftentimes, projects and project deadlines can creep up on you amidst all of life's other priorities in the limited hours of the day.
Keeping a journal and personal planner is crucial: writing things down is deemed to be incredibly therapeutic by mode of putting pencil to paper.
It only takes 10-20 minutes of your day. Think of what you already doing that takes 20 minutes - commuting, waiting in line for your lunch, taking a shower. You can easily insert this in the morning, to organize all of your important TO-DO's.
So you've lined up all the tasks that you have to do for the day.
Use the Pomodoro Timer: try it - 25 minutes per task; then allot yourself 5 minutes or 10 minutes of a break. This is a physical break from digital media, your phone, AND
your actual work. Whether it is a walk around the office, a few minutes to make a coffee, or to read a book. By disconnecting from the actual task that you are so engaged in, it gives you better room to reflect on the effort you put into it, and be able to reassess if you should be putting in an additional 75% or should take back 25% to be used on something more important.
Keep your diet carb-heavy in the mornings and light and full of nutritious throughout the day.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day - and it is, for the brain and productivity. According to your natural circadian rhythm, the human body's digestive system is working twice as much a few hours of waking in the morning.
Of course, this is arbitrary advice to follow, but as I have noticed many creatives opt for that simple cup of java to stimulate them first thing in the morning.
On a rather empty stomach, the nervous system is working in overdrive and the endocrine system is kicking into fight or flight mode. If you choose to eat a larger meal later on in the day, it will also stimulate more feelings of fatigue, causing the midday slump (i.e. 3pm) where you will opt for
Make a daily practice to unwind and completely disengage from your craft. Creative entrepreneurs also tend to be perfectionists as they are both the creator and executioner of selling their goods. It is incredibly important to remember that you need to disconnect at least once a day (i.e. even if it's before sleep). Taking 10-30 minutes of the evening to pause and reflect, stretch, journal, or even meditating (counting your breaths from 100, or sitting in stillness with a timer helps). Yoga also allows for light-moderate intensity stretching and mobility to reduce repetitive strain injuries such as sitting slumped at a desk, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other issues that come up.
In a world saturated with beautiful creations and products galore, why not share and trade your craft for a service (i.e. haircut, moving furniture, electronics). Often times, we are consumed with purchasing more and having more but statistics recently state that clutter is also one of the number one stressors and inhibiting creativity from free-flowing. So why not make a trade instead and feel like it will be of better value to the recipient as well?
Have you used trading groups such as Bunz yet?
Yes there are a slew of creative consultants and financial advisors and mentors and helpful professionals out there but many do not have a pencil-in feature when you need them to help you count inventory, organize photo-shoots, drive you to and from running errands, etc. You'd be surprised at the number of friends and family that are sitting on the sidelines cheering you on that are willing to lend an extra helping hand. Of course, be mindful that you can't get away with free labour for just about everything in the business. It is important to consider this extra help as most of us are isolated in our own business plans and schedules that we often forget or overlook this resource. Similarly to making a trade publicly, why not trade your specialized services to ask for their help?
Yeah your personal budget may take a blow once you decide and realize more of your income is going back into the expenses and overhead of your business. There are so many ways to be creative with your personal necessities (i.e. groceries, cleaning, trades for furniture, alcohol, etc.) Hosting get-togethers or creating collectives with other creative makers and designers can help ease the blow of feeling financially and mentally isolated (i.e. pot lucks, luncheons, or BBQ's) where you can share food, ideas, and network through the ongoing struggles and successes of being a creative entrepreneur.
Whether that is blogging about similar products and services, running ads or promotions on your website to generate hits, becoming a brand ambassador on social media, or volunteering your time for community events and pop-ups, you can always find ways that won't break the bank and in turn help out your own creative venture!
If you are still feelling stuck, please feel free to go over the following articles as well:
1) Getting Started - Become a Creative Entrepreneur
2) Where to Work in the city
3) Resources and Programs to help
4) Avenues to get Social
5) Who to Work With
If there are other topics that you feel are of relevant mention, please leave a comment below!
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One of the greatest advantages of working in the creative industry is coming into contact with the sheer amount of talent that you can work and collaborate with on projects. The digital age has definitely sealed the deal in helping us approach industry professionals and start-up gurus with a slick email conversation, direct message, tweet, or Instagram message.
Oftentimes we are caught under the impression that if we have an incredible roster of big-name talent helping and supporting our brand, that we will have made it - whatever that means.
Be careful and diligent in the beginning about whom you decide to bring into your brand as you want it to stay consistent and as authentic as possible throughout its lifetime.
First and foremost, are you working as a partnership or a sole proprietor?
What avenues are you currently using for yourself? Can you easily translate the platforms you already use towards your creative business?
Is your business reflective of your own personal brand? Can you keep this theme consistent throughout all the platforms you decide to use?
Creating a separate profile for your business is a helpful option, not to mention free - if the context of your business is different from your own personality and aura.
The most immediate thought when starting a creative business is how much $$$ will be involved?
Fortunately, if you are a young adult living in the GTA and under 29 years of age, there are lots of great resources, FREE of cost and easily accessible as long as you have an open mind to apply.