I was recently talking to a very talented artist at a wedding reception. She builds dream-like tables and chairs that are straight from a Dali painting. They require incredible detail, skill, and precision. She uses lasers. And she said something that made me sad;
“Oh, I hate the business side of what I do.”
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that background music that floats through every artistic community. It says “I’m bad at math”, and “that legal and tax stuff is so boring”, and worst of all “I just wish I didn’t have to focus on the business part of my art and could just… create it!”
And they are all toxic half-truths. But there is some really good news, guys!
Rise of the Creative Class
More and more creatives and artists are winning in their businesses every day. In fact, there’s a well-documented “Rise of the Creative Class” that is happening in our generation like never before in history. We all know the amount of information and choices we experience every day is growing to an unbearable level. And it’s people like us that can absolutely thrive and dominate in the new economy. I really like the way Fast Company breaks it down in their article “Why Creatives Will Rule The World.” These are some of my favorite insights:
COMPLEXITY: We live in the most complicated age in human history. And this gives right-brainers an amazing opportunity to thrive. Why? Well, creatives are big-picture thinkers who can simultaneously focus on the tiniest details. We don’t get bogged down or stuck with a complex problem. Instead we thrive in a high level of ambiguity, and are willing to take more risks than left-brainers. Complexity can slow down or even cripples analytical minds. Creatives are designed to excel it in.
STORYTELLING: Creatives get the power of storytelling. It’s fuel for our souls. And in the new economy, human empathy and strong collaboration is the key to winning on a big scale. Facts, charts, and raw data is becoming less important in our information saturation of 2015. Finding and telling stories is the most powerful way to unite groups of people, and accomplish big tasks. And nobody excels at story-telling more than creatives like us.
QUICK ADAPTION: We right-brainers were never really the “In-Type”, so we’re not super attached to tradition. That’s awesome because the world is changing faster than we can even understand. Our ability to adapt and find creative strategies is like the bob-and-weave of a prize fighter. You can’t knock us down if you can’t land a solid punch.
Okay, so maybe you “know all that”, but you’re still hung up on the things that you know are holding you back. Those things that seem to keep you from thriving in the work force. I hear creatives tell me that they just can’t get in front of the right decision makers. That the small annoying details of growing a business or brand are wearing them down. And many feel the overwhelming urge to jump off a bridge when they think about filing your quarterly taxes. Hey, we’ve all been there. And believe me, there’s hope.
NEXT: Practical Steps
In Part Two of this series, I’ll be sharing with you some of my most tried-and-true methods for getting over those internal walls that we all face. Be sure to read it, too. But in the mean time, settle in to the fact that you actually have some great things going for you as a creative in business.
(Seriously, check out that article to see all the hidden super-powers creatives have and don’t even realize when it comes to business and finance.)