Since it’s nearly Easter, I thought I’d share with you a fabulous sketch done recently of me in a gorgeous hat by milliner Rachel Drewer, by fashion illustrator Clara Gomez. I met Rachel and Clara at Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups, a fabulous business programme which teaches creative people how they can build a successful business without compromising their creative needs.
I love working with creative businesses and the people who run them. For people building a business on their own artistic or visionary skills, the challenges of juggling their time are particularly acute. If they don’t have time to do their craft or follow their passion, all the fun their whole reason for getting up in the morning simply isn’t there. And yet, if they don’t have time for the planning, marketing, sales, growing their business, finding manufacturers or distributors, and thousand other demands on a business, then they’re going to struggle to have an income that allows them to live properly.
The most successful craftspeople and artists are often accomplished at setting boundaries on their time. They’ll know they need to set aside time for both the fun stuff and the tedious work. They’ll block out time to make the sales calls they need, or catch up on admin, because they’ve understood that’s what allows them to do everything else. While many small business owners get caught up in admin and have to find ways to do the creative work, for full-time creatives, the problem is exactly the opposite.
That said, letting go of things can be especially hard for them at first: craftspeople tend to be passionate and perfectionist about their work, and the idea that someone else could understand their business, let alone work in it, can be difficult to adjust to. They’ll often have little previous experience of delegating, managing staff or working with suppliers. But all those things can be learnt: it’s possible to work out the systems you need to put in place to be able to trust someone else, and create a structure that gives you the reassurance you need. And once a creative person has found someone to manage the things they don’t enjoy, they will really value them. A business owner who likes the idea of running a business might be tempted to hang onto more admin than they should; once a creative person has found someone they can trust, they won’t hesitate in sending over the work that gets in the way of their passion.
I’ll be featuring more creative businesses on the blog in the next few months, including taking a closer look at how some successful creatives set their priorities and organise their time.
And if you’re running a creative business and think you could do with some ideas on how you can grow more successfully by using your time more effectively, contact me now for a chat.