Water Nymph by Olya of Raspberry Acid. Photograph.
This post is going to rile a few people up. You might leave a bit cross. But I’m going to do my best to explain my opinion in a caring way. Rest assured, I don’t think this is the answer for everyone. But I do think it’s the answer for those who read my blog – artists (and other creative types) who want to make a living or a sizable side income from their passion.
That being said…
I see a whole lot of people, from clients to friends, getting hung up on all these little details about their businesses. “Should I have guest posts on my blog?” “Do I need to do a sale or discount code?” “When should I post on Facebook?” The questions are endless. And I always try to answer them because I know the frustration of getting stuck on one detail.
But this can sometimes be more damaging than just being honest with the person. The answer really should be, “It doesn’t much matter.” These details you obsess over for days are just holding you back from doing the important stuff – creating art and finding customers.
So every time you find yourself unable to let go of a particular task or question you just can’t figure out, you should ask yourself if it contributes to either of the important things?
If you can’t (honestly, please…. no rationalizing) say it’s helping you do one of those things, then stop worrying so much about it and just move forward. Pick a direction. Do what’s easiest or most fun. It really doesn’t matter much!
Now that’s not so controversial, right?
Well how about this part…? Condense those two important things down to just “making money”. Why? Because you’re running a business. Truly. Your point here, no matter how much you hate thinking of yourself that way, is to make money. It might not be to become a millionnaire (probably isn’t, but don’t be ashamed if it is), but you’re wanting to let go of the other ways you’re making money so that making money can be wrapped up in your passion.
Good for you for getting to that point. Many artists never make it there. If I’m talking to you right now, check out Tara Gentile. She’s practically the master of money matters for makers (yes I totally just made up that fantastic alliteration!). She completely changed the way I think about income.
Anyway, my point is that you shouldn’t be so horribly concerned with the ridiculous number of distractions the internet has when you’re starting a business. You need to cover the basics (website you’re reasonably proud of, email list, business cards, way for customers to pay) and then you can fill in the blanks as you find time while you focus the majority of your efforts on CREATION and SALES. Talk to your customers and potential customers. Make stuff.