Exactly What IS a Creativeprenuer?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to invent a word that ends up in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary or the Urban Dictionary? I love words…obviously, HA! So, think of my surprise when I realized “creativepreneur” wasn’t a genius brainchild term of mine. Although, for a while, I was certain I had invented this clever word for a creative person who is also a passionate entrepreneur.
You won’t be able to find this term listed with Merriam-Webster, but the Urban Dictionary defines a creativepreneur as…
“an entrepreneur who builds a business around a personal mission, passion or purpose and runs it from creative principles, using digital teams, tools, and tribes to expand income and influence. To succeed, a creativepreneur must fuse the creative and the commercial in ways that are equally alien to traditional business and to traditional creative industries.” (Urban Dictionary: Creativepreneur, n.d.)
According to this definition, as a creativepreneur, you’ll need to combine creative and entrepreneurial concepts with business practices in a very non-traditional way to be successful. When I read this definition, I realized why it’s difficult for creative entrepreneurs to make a living as artists, freelancers, or creativepreneurs.
Why? Well, for starters, creative work, by nature is the exact opposite of other predictable, measurable, and controllable types. Those who want to earn a living as an artist or a creativepreneur aren’t always compensated well, at least not at first. Businesses or clients that hire you with expectations fueled by traditional business practices will be frustrated when creativity can’t be “controlled” or “predicted.” Most importantly, working as a creativepreneur will take a fair amount of skill in traditional business practice combined with your creative talent or art to succeed long term.
Ask me how I know. (Hypothetical question. I’ll answer that one another time.)
Ever heard the phrase “starving artist”? Unfortunately, that reality is all too familiar for many creative people struggling to earn a living; thus why so many don’t embrace their creative or artistic side or even consider it as a viable career choice and ultimately find more acceptable or rewarded vocations. At the deepest level, I could argue that everyone is creative and many grown-ups exchange the creative urge with another one…financial stability.
The Trend Toward Freelance Work and Creativepreneurship
According to a blog by Josh Howarth with Explodingtopics.com, “World bank data shows 46.4 percent of workers worldwide are freelancers.” (Howarth, 2022) Most freelancers could also be categorized as creativepreneurs.
So, if you’re a creativepreneur, how can you ensure growth and success in business while preserving the nature of who you are and the work you do? I believe it’s by learning and practicing traditional business and entrepreneurial concepts and then adapting them to fit within the parameters of your creative life.
It’s a little like meshing the two worlds together instead of exchanging one for the other!
I’m a Creativeprenuer!
I’m a creativepreneur and recognized early on that traditional jobs, the status quo, or business as usual, weren’t going to work for me. It wasn’t that I hadn’t had jobs in various industries or that I couldn’t be successful. One day I realized the traditional work hours, business practices, and established systems or ways of functioning weren’t a good fit for my natural talents, gifts, and personality. More specifically, I’m an artist and a creative soul, and I didn’t want to only exist in my life. I wanted to thrive!
I don’t think I’m alone in that either.
After many years of trial and error and working on skills like organization, planning, project management, etc, I’ve discovered a few I believe are important to ensure your growth and success as a creativepreneur. Over the next few blog posts, I will share my top 3 skills necessary for success as a creativepreneur and some practical advice on implementing them. Let’s start off with what is, in my estimation, one of the most important skills needed to advance your career.
I realized early on that I was the most creatively productive from
10 am- 2 pm. So, that meant that I needed to answer emails or handle administrative tasks either first thing in the morning or later in the evening after my son went to bed. I also discovered that I needed a break every day from 2:30 pm-6:30pm to handle things like errands or take a walk or workout. I also needed that time to recharge, spend time with my son, cook and do some light housework, etc.
My Typical Day Looked Like This...
5:30 am Quiet time- Read, journal, prayer, meditation, stretch, etc.
8:30 am Answer email, look over my task list, and administrative tasks
10:00 am Creative work- writing for clients, building websites, designing, etc.
2:30 pm Break for time with my son and time for myself
8:00 pm Finish up Creative work
11:00 pm Lights out!
My Top 3 Skills of Succesful Creativepreneurs
Managing Your Time
In the traditional sense, you might not work Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, but knowing how to manage your time will help sustain your productivity long-term.
Time is valuable, and for a creativepreneur, it’s even more so. How you spend your time will determine what kind of progress you make daily, weekly, and so on.
When I launched my marketing company, not only was I a creativepreneur, but I was also a solopreneur. I didn’t have a team, and I had to wear many hats dividing my time between the different roles I needed to play to grow my business. If you’ve ever been a freelancer or a solopreneur, you know there are many roles to play…salesperson, marketer, accountant, project manager, artist, etc. It can be overwhelming!
Managing time proved to be one of my greatest challenges as a creativepreneur. If you’re creative and tend toward an artist-type personality, you already have a different way of seeing or being in the world. If by chance you are also dealing with mental health issues like ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, or Bipolar Disorder, to name a few, you may have to navigate another layer as you work to acquire or practice any skill. I’ve dealt with mental health issues, and I can say it isn’t impossible to experience success as a creativepreneur, but it can make it slightly more challenging.
No matter the circumstances, learning how to manage your time better will make a difference in your day-to-day operations and how you sustain your business long-term.
Here are a few questions to think about as you work toward better time management:
- Are you more energized in the early morning, mid-day, or later in the evening?
- When do you feel the most creative?
- Do you need additional resources or tools to help with things like tasks, accounting, or project management? (If you need some tips, check out my blog post on the Top 5 Tools I Can’t Live Without!)
- Do you have a time window during the day that is normally less distracting for you? i.e. kids at school, partner or roommate at work, kids in bed, etc.
I kept this schedule for a while; as with everything else, the season changed for me, and I needed to adjust. But one part of my day that stayed very similar was that “sweet spot” of creativity and productivity from 10 am to about 2:30 pm.
Last tip: Self Reflect.
Take the above-mentioned questions and write them down for some intentional reflection. Evaluate how you’re currently managing time and be honest about what things could be “time wasters or time stealers.”
One final encouragement, before you work to create a new schedule to follow, remember some times you’ll need to try different things to find what fits the best for you. So, be kind to yourself and remember change is about small steps on repeat. It took me a few weeks before I really was able to lock into a new schedule. Replacing old habits with new ones doesn’t always happen easily or overnight. The key is to keep trying until you find what works best for you.
And don’t forget…You’ve got this, Creativepreneur! The world needs you!
Howarth, J. (2022, November 14). 57+ Freelance Statistics, trends and insights (2023). Exploding Topics. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://explodingtopics.com/blog/freelance-stats
Creativepreneur. Urban Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Creativepreneur
Pyschology Today Staff. (n.d.). Mental Health and Productivity. Psychology Today. Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/productivity/mental-health-and-productivity#:~:text=Mental%20health%20and%20productivity%20are,a%20person%20and%20their%20relationships.