5 Takeaways From My First 6 Months of Business
I have always wanted to be an artist and I always was, except now I am making a business out of my passion and creative spirit for making. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a fast learning curve, openness to ideas, powerful drive for success and pure love. It has been a whirlwind 6 months of new experiences and budding opportunities. I want to share my top five takeaways in the hopes of continuing the support and growth behind the female creative community.
1. Implement organizational strategies in order to boost productivity whenever and wherever you have time to work.
Learn and practice time management and organizational strategies. I create categorical lists so I don’t forget the small things, like following up from a specific meeting or ideas for new designs. Create folders within your email to best arrange correspondence. Mine are sorted first by revenue stream and then by company. Archive anything you may need to go back to and only keep items in your inbox that still need responses. Design an organized, pretty and happy workspace even if it is just a nook in your living room. I hang and display my art supplies in interesting patterns, within pretty vessels and on beautiful hooks. If you like the space, you will love what you create within it.
2. Confidence in yourself, your business and your creations are an absolute must.
This starts and ends with craftsmanship. Typically I think craftsmanship refers to the hand skills that go into the creation of well made objects and art. Now I believe craftsmanship refers to every aspect of a person and their business. Overall, is everything well put together? Is your Instagram feed cohesive and on brand? Is your display imaginative yet functional? Are your emails well crafted and professional? Are your social interactions positive and giving? Each aspect of life provides us the opportunity to be our best self. Have confidence in your craftsmanship and apply that artistry to every moment.
3. Your skills must be versatile.
If you don’t know how to do something, you must figure it out. My life and work experiences are fairly diverse, which is a nice start, but I still learn as I go. Maintaining flexibility and confidence while learning new material will aid in quick decision making and growth for you and your business. Whatever your craft, you won’t just be doing that; you will do everything. I personally designed and created my logo and website, designed and constructed my displays, developed my accounting systems, created advertisements, developed marketing strategies and photographed and edited my entire portfolio all while creating artwork.
4. Absorb as much information as possible.
Listen to podcasts, read blogs, listen to friends and family and benchmark what is currently being done. Although it is a few years old, my favorite podcast is still After the Jump. Grace Bonney of Design Sponge interviews successful artistic and creative entrepreneurs as well as provides useful lists explaining west elm local, Etsy and many other creative business topics. Comment and reach out to virtually meet people on social media. My best experiences are within Instagram. Gather, absorb, process and then find more.
5. Your city is a lot bigger than you realize.
I don’t mean geographically larger, I mean there are so many more people and opportunities available than you might think. Find and join new business groups in order to expand your network, learn about collaborative projects and gain support from likeminded creatives and entrepreneurs. Creative Chics and Tuesday’s Together are fabulous support systems offered in many US cities. These groups host monthly meet-ups and constantly updated social networks for new business owners to discuss and brainstorm specifics for reaching short and long term goals. Meet these women and create passion projects such as styled photo shoots, workshops or other events to build community, confidence and support. Say yes more than no and ultimately your artistic soul as well as your business will thrive on everyone’s joint positive energy.
My list of new business takeaways is by no means complete and I am still learning, so please share your own ideas in the comments below!