It’s January 20th, 2021 – Inauguration Day in the US and a new chapter has begun. And while I’m aware of the work ahead, I’m feeling SO much hope and gratitude. I hope you are too.
As Joe Biden reeled off the crises (very much plural) this administration is inheriting, he talked about heart, intention, and purpose as much as he talked about policy and action. He spoke of how values, the right people, a clear plan, and consistent action will be needed to pull it off.
Will they ever! But isn’t that the most perfectly distilled articulation of what it takes to turn anything around?
- the right people
- a plan
- consistent action
So, you probably know where I’m going with this, right? Yep, I’m going to attempt to connect the complexities of leading a values-driven country back to health and prosperity and building a profitable and purpose driven creative business. 😂
Here are 5 ways you can make your creative business more focused, meaningful, and profitable.
1) Know your heart (aka purpose)
What distinguishes your beautiful business from anyone else’s and why do you do it?
Choosing entrepreneurship is – in my opinion – one of the most fulfilling, humbling, and challenging things a person can do (parenting is right up there with it!).
To do: Reflect on who and what you committed to and why it matters will help you stay the course and do hard things when times inevitably get tough. Check out this post for more on this one.
2) Articulate your promise
In his inauguration speech, President Biden promised to fight as hard for the people who didn’t vote for him as for those who did. That’s a pretty big promise, and one that’s aligned with his values, story, and messaging thus far. What are you promising to help your clients do, become, or achieve? Are you an interior designer who promises to bring beauty and order to a home? Or perhaps you’re a graphic designer with an ability to capture the essence of a brand and apply it to every single touch point in a business. Or maybe you’re a wedding photographer who promises to capture the real, not staged, moments of a couples’ day.
To do: Identify what your specific promise is, distill it down to its essence, and shout it from the rooftops. The people who need and want it will hear you!
3) Find the right people to support you
This one is crucial. In my first business, a creative management agency, I pretty much went it alone. I ran my business in the way I’d been taught to run that kind of business. While I invested in bookkeeping and accounting support, I didn’t invest in business development or growth support. But when I started my coaching business – an entirely new business model – I realized it would take me way too long to figure things out on my own, so I invested in coaching. And then I invested in an assistant. And then I invested in the contractors (designers, writers etc.) I needed as I built.
To do: Figure out what role you want to have in your business e.g. CEO/creative director, and then list ALL the support you could ever wish to have. You probably won’t be able to pull the trigger on them all this red-hot minute, but you’ll have a much clearer pathway to a business that can thrive beyond your personal capacity.
4) Make a plan
I’m a big fan of a plan or roadmap. It keeps you honest and on-track when you inevitably get drawn to a bright, shiny, new idea. When it comes to creating your own roadmap, don’t over-complicate things. In fact, keep it as simple as you can.
To do: I recommend working backwards from the outcome you want to create. For example, if your goal is to bill $150K in revenue while working from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, you have some clear constraints within which to work. For example: How many projects (and of what size) will you need every month/quarter/year? What will you need to charge? What kinds of clients will you need to target? What will you have to outsource in order to work in your zone of genius most of the time? Will you need to purchase or learn new programs? Are there processes or procedures that you need to implement to support your goal?
5) Do the work
Ideas are useless without action, so this is where the rubber meets the road. Not everything is going to be fun, inspiring, or creative. But everything you do should move you towards building the kind of business you want to lead.
To do: Look at your roadmap weekly. Plan out your days (I love a bullet journal for this) and take daily action towards your goals.
Now it this all sounds easy in theory, but if you think will be trickier in reality, I hear you. It’s why I make it my business to be in a mastermind or coaching program with other business owners who are doing the same work I’m doing. If you feel like you could use the clarity that clear goals, the right people, and a clear plan provide, I have good news for you. I’m launching the next iteration of my Business Accelerator Group Coaching program in mid-March. There will be more info to come, so keep your eyes open, but if you’d like to chat in the meantime, click here and share a bit more about your business and goals.
I can’t wait to support you in building a profitable creative business!