Article written by Impact Hub Bucharest
Being a creative entrepreneur means living your dream, right? Doing what you love and loving what you do. While this may be true, it does not come without its challenges. Some struggles are symptomatic to most entrepreneurs but may put additional pressure on your shoulders if you operate in a creative field: dealing with the imposter syndrome and creative blocks, the difficulty to create a strategy and stick to it, not setting clear boundaries and neglecting your self-care, or undervaluing your pricing and profitability.
In this article we will tackle some of these issues and share some useful resources to help you boost your wellbeing.
Being an artist is hard enough these days. Adding the extra layer of entrepreneurship sometimes makes it even harder. But the truth is that the two are not that different after all, and the main traits that make you a good artist are the same that will help you excel in your career as an entrepreneur.
One misconception about artists or creative people in general is that they are daydreamers – naïve and unstructured. According to the University of Bolton, artists are curious-minded people, risk-takers, passionate, independent, and thorough individuals. Creative people are also characterized by devotion to their work, independence, their drive for originality, and flexibility – which are also the most important traits of an entrepreneur.
Start with “why”
First, you should find your “why” following the principles laid out by Simon Sinek in his groundbreaking book “Start with WHY”. This is the reason why you do what you do and why people should care about your company, and it should guide you through the most troubled times. If you remember why you started it will be easier to overcome the hardships that come along the way.
Then, you should think about the strategy you are going to follow – the “how”, the mechanism that puts in motion the mission and vision of your creative enterprise. Define your business model and your value proposition and take a moment to reflect on your profitability. You can find the most important business tools you need at the beginning of your creative venture here.
Balancing the financial aspects of running a business while being true to one’s artistic vision is one of the most difficult tasks for creative entrepreneurs. It’s critical to understand the resources, time, and work that go into creating your art and integrate that into your price approach. It’s also important to thoroughly research your market so that you can make sure you value yourself and your work at the right price.
This has a double impact: first, it means you can put a fair price on your creations, and second – it will help you deal better with the imposter syndrome, whenever it arises. By breaking down everything that goes into your creation – from raw materials to your time or expertise, it will become clearer that you are a true professional and that you should be treated as such. Another thing that matters is how you market yourself: find the right approach and messaging strategy, build a story around your brand, just like Donald Miller advises you in his bestseller. As a creative entrepreneur, benchmarking is not always the go-to strategy when it comes to pricing – you don’t always know whom you should be comparing yourself with, you don’t have the same processes as your peers and your workflow is definitely different. So, as they say, know your worth, then add tax.
Wellbeing is a work in progress
Now a bit about creativity and wellbeing: your creative mind thrives when it can focus on what you like most. Obviously, there will be some administrative aspects that you will have to deal with but apart from them, you should learn to prioritize, delegate, and automate tasks as much as possible. This will keep you in the focus zone and prevent you from getting burnt out too early on your way. You don’t need to be a marketing wizard, a SEO guru, or a copywriter genius. Stick to what you do best and let other experts help you. This is valid for small entrepreneurs as well: don’t try to be a Jack-of-all-trades because you’ll end up as a master of none.
It may all look overwhelming at first but trust us – you’ve got this! Create SMART objectives and break them down into smaller goals and tasks. Create daily and weekly schedules: they help you stay consistent and focused. Use the Impact/ Effort matrix when prioritizing tasks in your daily and weekly schedule and turn to apps like Trello or Asana to stay organized and manage your to-do list efficiently.
Resources to help you boost your wellbeing
Jai Long’s podcast – No matter what business stage you’re at, the Make Your Break podcast will ignite your soul purpose and reconnect you with your “why”.
Recipes for Wellbeing – In the same way a recipe in a cookbook takes you through the steps to prepare a particular dish, the wholebeing recipes guide you through specific processes to cultivate wholebeing in your everyday work and life. You can choose from their starters, mains, or desserts and apply the level pf difficulty that matches your level of energy and your state of mind: easy, medium, or hard.
pi.ai – Pi stands for “personal intelligence” because it provides infinite knowledge based on your unique needs. Pi will help you organize your thoughts, make clear plans and act on them – whether you’re changing jobs, trying to get healthier, or learning a new skill.
Simple Habit is a 5-minute meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better.
Day One is the #1 journaling app and was started with one mission: to help you discover the transformative power of journaling in your everyday life. Always accessible, anytime, anywhere, Day One is your constant companion, helping you capture memorable moments and everyday experiences. Leveraging a beautiful design and robust functionality, Day One assists you in developing the life-enriching habit of journaling. With Day One, you can record, reflect, and revisit your thoughts and memories.
Happify offers simple and effective solutions for your mental health and wellbeing through engaging activities and games that can be used anytime, anywhere—on your smartphone, tablet, or computer: small slices of time can make big-time changes.
Kinder World is an emotional wellbeing app designed to help users build resilience and explore their own emotions. Take care of virtual houseplants in a judgment-free environment by completing scientifically-backed wellbeing activities for just a few minutes at a time, twice a day.
Mind mapping software to overcome creative blocks. Among those, Scapple may be the closest thing to your traditional brainstorming process. Ever scribbled ideas on a piece of paper and drawn lines between related thoughts? Then you already know what Scapple does. It’s a virtual sheet of paper that lets you make notes anywhere and connect them using lines or arrows.
Use these worksheets to tame your imposter syndrome: on PositivePsychology.com you can find 9 worksheets that will help you dispute negative thinking, build positive emotions, adopt a growth mindset, better visualize success, replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk, or track and measure success.