Note: This blog post contains audio version at the very bottom of this post. Narrated by: yours truly. Enjoy the ride.
I might be an utopian, I admit. But I like seeing my willingness to see good in everything and potential in everyone as a virtue. For the longest time I thought that literally anyone could make a living doing what they love. I thought it was possible for every creative out there to create a life they desire, support themselves and their families and earn money by pursuing their passion, the thing they love the most.
I don’t think that way anymore, and in this article I will be exploring what it takes for a creative soul to make money doing what they love. If you feel like a creative soul and you have thought of turning your passion or expertise into a creative business of yours, you might enjoy this article and the perspective I am about to offer.
Turning your passion into a profession requires you to change
Entrepreneurship or running a creative business is a journey of becoming a new person, a lot different from who you are now. Silently, this is what most people are not willing to sacrifice. Not because they absolutely love who they are now, but because fear of change is woven deeply in our DNA. Once again, it is not because change is dangerous, but only because our mind loves repetition and loves the known, probably because it takes less resources to function when it knows what to do.Follow my blog with Bloglovin
This is what is known to become a daily rut. Doing the same things, the same tasks, the same work, the same chores every day without questioning. For us humans, who are creative beings by nature, or at least this is what I love to believe in, a rut is not a good place to be at. Imagine if you were only sitting the entire day on a chair. You would be using only some of available muscles, and all the others would atrophy. If you were to do yoga or go for a walk, hike or run, you would notice how many muscles are there in your body you were not aware about before.
The same is with our creativity and our potential. It shows more, expands more the more we practice it. Starting your own business out of your passion or out of your skills and expertise and experience requires breaking the cycle of the known, changing daily habits, leaving some people behind to create space for the new ones. It is just a typical process of making a living doing what you love.
Can you be consistent?
Practice takes effort. Just as doing yoga, walking or running does. And if you want to see some tangible results, you need to do it consistently. As you might have heard this before, but you don’t get to have a six pack if you do abs workout once a month. And to make a living by doing what you love means to consistently take action in the first place. That is just to start with. Consistency.
This one is often spoken about, and not without a reason. Starting your own creative business does not only mean consistent action and creation. It takes consistency in dealing with challenges that were unknown to you before, which require developing a problem solving mindset.
Dealing with challenges
Challenges are not only business wise, tech, papers, products, launches, taxes, shipping, and finding clients to bring in some money. And I say, not only. Challenges show mostly in daily life when you go through these processes. In waking up earlier, breaking old habits, creating new habits, dealing with your own mind and emotions. Challenges show in unpredictable moments when you are faced with your own ego, beliefs, patterns. That is, if you are lucky enough to see them.
Sometimes a tech issue will make you spend a day, or two or even a week to work on your website update or a problem that occurred with your blog, and you only thought it would take an hour to resolve. Going through this kind of challenge might make you feel that this was not meant for you, or that you are not good enough, not capable enough, or that it doesn’t make sense, or however your beliefs system shows up. This all doesn’t mean you should quit. Many times our external occurrences reflect our internal state, in such subtle ways, and we must first make a change inside for something to change on the outside.
This doesn’t apply to everything, and to everyone, every time. But, to make your passion pay off, you will have to deal with your ego, your beliefs and change them accordingly. You will have to deal with patterns you keep repeating that bring you no good and start creating new ones.
From the outside, this is not something you will ever see with any creative out there. We all go through this silently, within our own homes, minds and hearts, and only share glimpses of it on socials. Sometimes. Maybe. And I think many people drop it here. If you are not consistent in finding solutions for the next step, trying out new things, finding new ways to make money, serve better, find new clients or improve the quality of your product or service – and working on yourself – you won’t make it. You can, but only up to some point.
Anyone can make money for a while. But longterm? You need a strategy.
Most people start enthusiastically, and make sales from the beginning. When you decide to sell what you’ve got and go for it, your vibe of enthusiasm and excitement will open the doors for you. People call this beginners luck. I don’t think it’s a matter of luck, but exactly what I said. Enthusiasm, excitement, fresh energy, new ideas that keep popping up, intention and action. These are the things that move the needle.
However, after a while comes a period of ‘now what’? What is the next step, what next to offer? How to find more clients? You know, it is about figuring out the long term strategy for your business. It is all about how you want to be seen, how you want your brand to develop, what impact do you want to make, what kind of people do you want to serve and many other things…
Developing a business mindset
Without a strategy that will help you actually grow your business (not only run it) and help you level up in the eye of the consumer, you won’t get far. Without a doubt, first things first is figuring out who you are and where you want to go. This is why I dedicated the entire first module of my course, The Thriving Creator to confidence. To help my students become clear on who they are, what do they want, and understand where they’re headed in the terms of longterm life and business vision.
This all sums up to developing a business mindset. It means understanding who you are as a provider of product or service, what value you give, who do you serve, who is your audience, understanding the power of branding, pricing, communicating your message and communicating with clients. Having a business mindset set in place means that you understand your worth and are able to create, sell and maintain a good relationship with your existing and potential customers.
Making a living doing what you love – what does this even mean in real life?
Earning money by doing what you love requires you to become your own boss, as well. It’s very popular right now, to call yourself your own boss. But do you feel the weight it brings? Becoming your own boss means becoming the one who directs, organises, brings ideas, makes connections and decisions. It’s the system person. On the other hand, the boss doesn’t really execute. You do that. You do the creative work as well, the one ‘you love doing the most’. That’s two different persons. That is, of course, with marketing, socials, content, taxes and everything else aside. That’s a few additional people. And the boss decides on optimising the work of each. The days are just not as long once you start your creative business. But hey, for most creative souls, they’re not long enough even without a business.
With all this written above, this is probably not who you are today. You probably think you can handle this all, and you most likely can. The question is not whether you are ‘willing to do the work when you don’t know what to do and how to do it’, or not. You don’t have the option there, really.
There is no one thing that will determine whether you will make it in the long run or not. But what will definitely be helpful is knowing yourself better. The question is, what is it that you really want? And even better, why you want it in the first place?
>>> Are you ready to take the next step? Click here and download my FREE GUIDE on how to start your creative business the right way. It is completely free and it leads you through 7 steps of creating a brand that are essential for any kind of business. I got some really good feedback on this free guide, so check it out!
The breaking point
With everything aside, there are a few thoughts additional. Do you believe it is possible for you and do you believe you can make it with your efforts only? Do you have the willpower to be consistent, challenged, learning, expanding, growing personally on all levels? Are you willing to change your thinking, let go old way of thinking and accept new and show up confidently as a new person, a creative business owner?
Are you willing to find ways instead of excuses? To be honest with yourself about what you want and speak about it openly? Are you willing to make the first strokes messy, uneven, insecure and let go of perfectionism knowing that somewhere in the future you will reach the level you feel and want now?Willing to start not knowing how or when it will happen? Are you willing to – do and work – until resolved?
And once again, it is easy to answer a ‘yes’ to all these questions. Be honest with yourself around what and why questions, and if you feel the calling, the urge, if you have had enough of procrastination and excuses and fears, then go for it. Trying is, after all, the only way to find out.
If you liked this article, you might also like:
You can listen to this blog post in audio format: