We’ve been looking at how to create a thriving business with your art, your way and the steps necessary to take in order to ensure you have a solid financial plan in place that cannot fail you. We’ve discussed how to clarify your verticals, how to identify your ideal client and how to establish the financial baseline of your business. The big question though is how to tie all of these together to make them work for you, and more importantly, how to figure out where to begin!
Creating harmony between your work and your business is the key to creating a lasting, sustainable income with your work. Knowing how to balance the business side of your art while creating the work you’re meant to do in the world is the way to ensure you have a lasting foundation upon which you can grow and prosper continuously.
Yet let’s take a look at what the word harmony really means to those of us who strive to create the best work that we can in the world. When you create a piece of art, think about the ebbs and flows you go through while in the process of creation. There is a feeling of the unknown, never knowing where exactly you may go with what your initial idea is, where it will take you, what unexpected turns you may make along the way that could cause you to shift gears completely, making something completely different than, yet more in line with, your original intention. This is where the magic happens because you are confident about one thing: Nothing is certain within an act of creation.
Staying with your creative process, trusting the adventure it takes you on, is what ultimately results in creating harmony for your life as an artist. So what gives you the confidence to move forward each time you take on a new art project, knowing you are walking directly into the absolute unknown? Being sure of your craft allows you to dive in, or step in gingerly, to begin each time. You have honed your craft enough to know your starting point, and you know there is more to learn each time as you allow the creative process to guide you. You expect to learn new ways that you hadn’t explored or discovered before by trusting your instincts and giving yourself the time you need for the work to come into fruition. There is no linear sense of time as we think of in the day-to-day world when you’re working on your art. Instead, time becomes relative to the work itself, even when you are working on a deadline.
The same holds true for your business. There is absolutely no difference in the way you approach your art and the way you approach your business. Your business grows based on the way in which you shape it, mold it and alter it to suit your needs, your lifestyle and your purpose in the world. The only reason you may not feel this way is because you don’t have the same solid set of techniques to apply to your business that you have with your art, so you feel stuck with how to grow it. You feel discord.
The one single fact that many of us as artists tend to misunderstand is that running your business is a creative act in the exact same way as your art. It is as malleable, waiting to be shaped by your hands, at your will. The reason it may not seem this way to you in this moment is because you may not yet have the tools you need to craft it, and so you feel you cannot yet begin.
The good news is that whether you realize it or not, you’ve already started! Your art, by default, is considered a business if you’re making an income, and if you’re not making an income directly from your art you still have the business structure in place and simply need to learn how to fill it in and build it up. Once you have the basic tools- and there are only a few essential ones necessary to run a business that thrives- you then have the ability to put those tools into action to create your business, your way. To make it thrive in the way that makes sense for your lifestyle and for the work you were meant to create in this world.
There is one finite answer to determine where exactly you need to begin: Right now, in this moment. This very moment is where you can build upon what you have already so masterfully laid out for yourself and the life you are in the process of creating. This is where you choose which tool to pick up next and learn that will help guide you to filling in the blanks that are missing for your business as an artist. This is where finding the harmony between your business and your art begins. This is where you fine-tune the discord into a breathtaking harmonious tune.
There is one of three major places you are right now:
- You don’t yet make enough to cover your basic expenses.
- You are making enough to cover your basic expenses but now need to take your business to the next level of development.
- You have a thriving business and need to determine your next step to fulfill your larger purpose for your life as an artist.
Regardless of where you are, the One BIG question I get from artists serious about growing their businesses is how do you figure out what to sell without knowing what a person wants?
This is such an important question because the truth of the matter is that people actually don’t know what they want- if they did, they would be able to tell you exactly what kind of art to create or services to offer. However, everyone, for the most part, knows, without question, what they DON’T want. And this is a very important distinction to be able to make.
This is why I use the ASK Method in my business, a methodology developed by bestselling author and business developer, Ryan Levesque. And this week I’m going to be sharing with you an invaluable training Ryan has put together to show you, step by step how to apply the ASK Method to your art business to align your work with your most ideal clients. So be sure to tune into tomorrow’s Episode 122: Why Your List Can Make Or Break Your Business to find out how to access this free training now.