I think that, like “Millennial” or “Artisan”, the term “Creative” has been appropriated by media to use in a negative, condescending connotation, which I feel is really unfair. How can the definition of something like “creative entrepreneur” become such a thing of shame and ridicule when broken down it means someone who is embracing their genuine passions?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as the holidays are rolling around and I have to explain what it is exactly I’m doing to make money to my older family members who grew up with a sense of loyalty to their employer and felt protected and secure in their jobs. It’s a difficult question to answer, as my “job” is atypical and isn’t reliant on one stream of income, but I instinctually balked at the idea of saying “oh, I’m a creative entrepreneur” by itself.
And dammit, that’s just not fair. So rather than hiding behind a murmured response, I’m taking it back and saying “I am a Creative Entrepreneur and my life is amazing!”
So let’s escape this stigma together and once and for all define what a Creative Entrepreneur is and does:
To me, a Creative Entrepreneur:
- Inflects elements of their own personality and style into their business
- Stays true to what motivates them, rather than trying to jump onto trends and fads
- Isn’t afraid of utilizing traditional business strategies, but uses them in a way that molds the tool to the business and not the other way around. (As an example: we’ve all got to make sure our business is legit, but now there are ways to own your business and not feel like a giant cog in a machine. Check out new initiatives like starting a B corporation)
- Owns the “weird” part of their personalities, and utilizes it to their advantage
Being a Creative does not mean:
- Being flippant about running a business correctly. Take the business part seriously and make sure your business is legal, established correctly, and isn’t trying to skate around taxes
- Leaving the selling part of a Creative business as an afterthought.
- Injects feelings and entitlement into their business. Everyone faces rejection, or bad customers, or disappointing products. Learn to understand that the negative times aren’t a judgment against you as a person
- Using artistry as an excuse to skirt safety or regulations for themselves or customers