Every creative I have ever met has said they want more freedom, flexibility and a way to get paid more for their creativity.
Many of us would love to escape our 9 to 5 or at least get paid more and to have our work be more visible. A massive following of great clients would make many of us very happy.
Clients and bosses who do not see your value really suck. Even worse is working on projects that seem to drain the life out of you.
So….Why are you not working on your dreams?
I used to have that dream as well. I was working as a Copywriter at an Advertising agency when I decided to start a business on the side.
With only one client and less than 6 hours of work on the side, I made my first $1,500.
This gave me a taste of what it would be like to have my own side gig.
In the next 6 months I had more than quadrupled that figure. This led to starting other businesses and teaching creatives all over the world to do the same. Interestingly I did all of this without a business card or even a website. (I do not recommend that but then again clients pay for results, not business cards.)
These are the thoughts that hold many people back(and my solutions for them):
1 I Don’t Have An Idea
To find out which of your ideas to turn into a business, do the following:
1.Make a list of your skills, deep interests and niches you are most passionate about.
It is important to only start a business in an area that excites you and where your unique skills and insights will help someone else. The primary reason for the failure is not a lack of capital. Not knowing what solutions you can provide and not finding out where the demand is will cripple any business faster than a lack of capital.
Find out what excites you and make a list of potential clients who need what you are good at.
2.Answer these questions
What do I know how to do well?
What do I see that others do not?
What can I spend 5 hours talking about without getting bored?
2. I’m not sure which idea to start with or if it will work out
As a creative, a lack of ideas isn’t really a problem for you. You probably have too many ideas.
How to do you find out which of your ideas will be a commercial success?
1.Decide which of your skills and desires is the most dominant one.
Our lives move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. Secondly, the skill that comes easiest to you may be your most dominant one. For example, I can illustrate, set up business growth and sales systems for businesses with less than 200 employees, write copy, build websites, code, design t-shirts, create specs for projects etc. However my most dominant gift of all of the above is setting up business growth and sales systems.
Knowing this, I started a business leading with my best food forward. I led with my dominant strengths and developed this skill. This really helped when speaking with clients since I could confidently pitch based on something I was already good at.
3 I don’t know where to start
Business is an exchange of value. When you provide a desired outcome for someone, they will pay according to what they believe the value is. Before you decided to start a side business as a freelancer, consultant or small business owner, consider there are a few steps to consider.
Even if you have already started making money on the side, these insights will help to lead you in the right direction.
After deciding what you want to provide and what skills you can turn into a business, your next step is to find out which niche has enough of a demand to justify your supply.
You can find out who needs your products the most by speaking with other entrepreneurs who are in your field. There are thousands of articles online that can also help you.
One of my favorite ways to identify demand for a product is to use the Google Keyword Planner. Type in your product and it will show you how many monthly searches there are for that product.
A young man found out there were about 70,000 monthly searches for “parrot”. Even though he was not an expert at parrot training, he figured that if he put a product in front of them that helped them train their parrots, he would at least make a few sales. The good news is he started making over $3,000 a month. That gentleman is Frank Kern. He has gone on to make millions of dollars since then.
In my case, I was already working in the advertising and branding industry so I had access to knowledge about client needs, hopes, and expectations. I created a product to meet that demand.
N.B. You can create a product and convince people to buy it or you can find out what people want and give it to them. I prefer the latter approach because it’s easier to sell water to a thirsty person than it is to convince an ambivalent person to buy your meal.
4 Distraction and a false sense of security
Job security provided by a corporation does not exist. For some reason many people believe they will have the same job for ever. This is a fallacy. If you are delaying your attempt to start a business because of your employer, think again.
Secondly, quite a few people are tricked by the proverbial corporate ladder. If you really have a desire in your heart to build a business, the corporate ladder will lead you to misery. You may get a promotion but at age 70 will you look back and say you lived a fulfilling life?
As Stephen Covey said:
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
5 I don’t have the capital
Here are a few answers to solve your problem with regards to capital after doing your due diligence on the market and ideal client.
Raising money for your business.
1.I’d ask God for the money. He’ll either send someone to give it to me or lead me to someone who is willing to fund my idea. He may give me an idea that will pay me enough to start this new business or give me partners that have the capital I require. There are millions of ways He can make it happen. This is my favorite way to get money.
Many entrepreneurs started by consulting with a few clients to raise the money they needed to start their business.
Write out your plan including how you expect to grow the business and find investors who have funded similar businesses.
Find someone who has a unique insight and zeal for what you are planning to build. Most importantly, this partner should also have a long term goal for this venture. I’m usually wary of partnerships unless you’ve known the person for a while. Tread with caution.
If you have a car or shares or some kind of asset, you can sell it to fund your idea. I’d recommend that you test the idea with a sample for a while before you sell your assets. Validation of your hypothesis is important.
You could also save for the amount you require. I’m not a fan of borrowing so I can’t advise that.
#6 Lack Of A Sense Of Responsibility
“Responsibility is stronger than coffee”—David Oyedepo
If you have a skillset or a unique insight into a problem that you can solve, it is your responsibility to act on it. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone but if you know in your heart that you hold the solutions to other people’s problems then it is a little inconsiderate not to do something about it.
When I speak with other successful entrepreneurs many of them tell me the reason they waited so long to start a business was because of fear and doubt.
Sometimes they were afraid of what their spouse of significant other would say. Many times their parents held them back. Often times they were not sure if their ideas would pan out.
You’re probably saying, “I wish someone would help me.”
I understand that if you have never started a business, you have a lot of questions.
Today I have started or co-founded businesses in industries such as Fashion, Technology, Consulting and Education.
I created this site to be able to guide creative entrepreneurs to their first $1,500, then their first $10,000 and upwards from there.
It is possible to have a business that pays you an obscene amount of money for doing what you love while working with clients you actually enjoying being around.
If you are ready to accelerate your progress. Check out is guide.
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