Want to Be a Successful Artrepreneur? It’s Time to Adapt the Creator Role.

There are all kinds of character traits thought to make some entrepreneurs more successful than others. Taking on the role of the creator might be the most important.

About four years ago, my husband came home and showed me something that would change the way I thought of myself. He was in a personal development and leadership class; the professor talked about the role of the “creator.” He showed me the summary they had discussed:

“Adapting the Creator Role” Courtesy of Jennifer Kaplan

I still keep this paper on our refrigerator, because it reminds me of a critical challenge that every artrepreneur, every person, is faced with: becoming a creator.

Taking on the role of the creator is all about accepting an internal locus of control: the idea that you have more control over your outcomes than do the circumstances you are presented with. When you lose this internal locus of control, you fall victim to your circumstances and to others–you lose control over your outcomes.

The creator role is critical because as an artrepreneur, you are solely responsible for the success of your creative business. Of course, you can attribute failures to poor market conditions, fierce competition, or something else, but remember: others are competing in similar conditions–someone will be successful… why not you? Oftentimes, its due to a victim mentality.

When you accept the role of the creator, its easier to “see life’s challenges as opportunities” and make strategic changes as a response to circumstances beyond your control. When you’re acting in the creator role, you’re using your energy to continue building your creative business, instead of acting passively. The role of the victim is for those who make excuses. The role of the creator is for those who make changes.

Stress and anxiety are major symptoms of being stuck in the victim role. When you are stuck in the victim role, you feel helpless and out of control. This causes fear of all kinds. But if you can shift to the role of the creator, you’ll be able to adjust your response to uncertainty by understanding that you have the power to affect your situation–you just have to strategically take action.

I’ll admit: this is all easier said than done, but being aware is the first step. So the next time you feel stuck or out of control, think about the creator role. Are your thoughts and actions in line with the behavior of a victim, or a creator? Accepting the role of the creator is one of the most important steps you can take in creating your very own art-based business.

Peace, Kayla

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight up information about becoming a successful artrepreneur!

You and Artrepreneurship

Here at Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a strong business model based on a need that your potential customers have. But here’s something we haven’t talked enough about: YOU.

The probability that your business vision will actually become a successful business, without you, is 0%. Someone might do something similar, someone might even pursue the same model based on the same need, but they aren’t going to do it just like you. You’re the artrepreneur in artrepreneurship, so it’s important to evaluate yourself before, and as, you pursue your artrepreneurial journey.

Strengths and abilities

What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Understanding your strengths is important in using your abilities to their full potential. You must understand what you can do, so that you can decide what you will do. Look for fit between your strengths and abilities and your business vision.

Think about your weaknesses, too. Will you need to balance your weaknesses with others who have strengths in those areas? Will you work on improving those weaknesses so that you don’t need to? These are important things to think about as you develop a plan for moving forward with your artrepreneurial journey.

Financial readiness

Your personal financial situation will affect your artrepreneurial journey. If you have a slow start, do you have emergency savings to back you up? If you decide you’ll need outside funding to start-up your business, are you in a good position to be lent money? (Good credit score, solid amount of personal capital, etc.)

In order to build a successful creative business, you’ll need to be able to handle the business’s finances in a strategic and responsible manner. Doing so with your personal finances is the best kind of practice.

Emotional readiness

When there are struggles with a business’s finances, the emotional side of being an artrepreneur is usually hit first. In fact, there are all kinds of things that are going to affect your emotional rationale: unexpected mishaps, uncertainty, rejection, failure. As many of have stated before, artrepreneurship often resembles a rollercoaster–good and bad times following each other over and over again. Do you feel prepared to deal with the emotional effects of building a successful art-based business?

Your network

Considering your network is an important step in preparing to build your own creative business. Think about who you know, and who they know. Think about who you don’t know that you should. Evaluate the strength of your current network and make a plan for how you can expand it. Who can you learn from? Who can help you test your business vision? Who might become a potential customer?

You may want to work on expanding your network appropriately before starting your business, or you might do so while starting up your business. Either way, networking is one of the most important ways to build your brand–and its centered around YOU and your ability to communicate your value to others. Don’t forget to focus on others, too–networking is most successful when you work on recognizing the value that other people bring.

Your desire

Your dedication is going to be the driving force behind your success as an artrepreneur. However, the desire we’re discussing now is your desire for yourself and your future. What are your long-term goals with this creative business? What would your ideal future look like? What do you really want, really desire, for yourself? This vision for yourself will be what helps motivate your dedication. It’s also a way to measure your artrepreneurial success in the future. Write down or draw out your desire. Keep it with you as a “postcard” for the destination you’re trying to reach.


I’m dedicated to giving you straight-to-the-point information about how to be the best artrepreneur you can be. It wouldn’t be right to NOT bring YOU up in one of our discussions. I hope you’ll take some time to have honest dialogue about yourself, with yourself. Doing so will help you understand the fit between who you are and the creative business of your dreams. Finding this fit is one huge step toward becoming a successful artrepreneur.

Peace, Kayla

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Should You Still Start Your Own Creative Business in the Midst of COVID?

Coronavirus has brought a lot of uncertainty to our lives, especially for those planning to take the artrepreneurial leap. With businesses closed and consumers running out of disposable income, you might be wondering if now is still the right time to start your own art-based business. Before making a decision, ask yourself the following questions:

Photo by Andy Dean Photography

Does the need still exist?

Hopefully, you’ve been able to work through your business model and you understand the need that you can fill with your creative business. The solution you create to help fill your customers’ needs is your true value. To understand if you should still start your creative business or not, you must think about your value and whether it is still strong enough to move forward. So, if the Coronavirus has completely changed the market you’re thinking about entering, your value might no longer exist.

You must be candid with yourself: Does the need for your product or service still exist? You might want to do some research to understand what’s changed.

How has the need changed?

Maybe the need does still exist, but has shifted in some way. Maybe customers could still use your product or service, but your offering would be more valuable if you modified it. For example: Lots of artists are taking full advantage of online classes and online formats to help deliver their value. Consider revisiting each portion of your business model and asking yourself what has changed and what you can expect things to look like in the future.

Are you financially prepared?

Let’s say you’ve decided that the need does still exist, and you’ve thought of ways to adjust your services to match the impacts of COVID-19. There are still a few important questions to ask about yourself: How has your financial situation changed? Do you still have a solid source of income to help you get by in the first few months? Emergency savings? A solid funding source? Re-evaluate your current financial situation to understand if starting your art-based right now is the best choice for you.

Are you emotionally prepared?

Lastly, it’s important to make sure that you are emotionally prepared to take on this already challenging endeavor amidst a global crisis. Becoming an artrepreneur is hard work and building a business takes time. Do you have the emotional capacity to launch your art-based business right now? Entrepreneurs often struggle with putting the brakes on starting a business–but sometimes its needed. Your business will not be successful if you’re not ready to take on the artrepreneur role. It’s okay to take some time to prepare yourself and your business before taking the ‘big’ leap. Remember: Direction is more important than speed.

So should you still start your own creative business in the midst of COVID? It depends on your answers to these questions. Be honest in your dialogue–the success of your creative business relies on your ability to coordinate your vision with reality.

If now isn’t the right time to start your business, that doesn’t mean your artrepreneurial journey is over. Timing is important in the world of artrepreneurship, and you’re doing yourself a favor by evaluating how COVID-19 will affect you and your future creative business.

Peace, Kayla

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet for more straight-to-the-point information that can help make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Monetize Your Art By Finding the Blue Ocean

There’s a phenomenon in the business world that’s all about red and blue oceans. Some of the world’s leading business strategists cite the “blue ocean” as the frontier of hope for new businesses. So what is the blue ocean?

Photo by solarseven

The blue ocean is an open market free of competitors. The red ocean is a crowded market filled with competitors, or sharks, constantly attacking one another. The barbaric nature of competition leaves businesses bleeding, and oceans red. So business strategists Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim wrote a whole book about the importance of finding a blue ocean.

“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”

In saturated markets, its hard to compete on much more than having the lowest price. And as an artist, I would bet that you don’t want to just compete on price–you probably want to compete on the creativity and quality of your artistic abilities. This is where the blue ocean comes in. If you can find a new ocean to swim in, you don’t have to worry about other sharks, other competitors, driving down your price. Your value stands so far apart from competitors, that you’re in an ocean of your own. Of course, easier said than done. Finding a blue ocean isn’t easy, otherwise everyone would do it–and that would defeat the purpose.

The first step in finding a blue ocean is understanding what’s already happening in the marketplace. Ever think of an awesome invention, only to find out that its already been invented? Don’t let that happen to you in your artrepreneurial journey. Do your research to understand what other people/companies are doing, and think about how you can offer a value that’s truly different.

The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy urge readers to look beyond demand that already exists and think about how new demand can be created. Sometimes people want something that no one offers. Sometimes people don’t even know they want something until someone else offers it to them. New demand can come from many places. Think about how you can “innovate” your value to help create a blue ocean, free of competitors.

What do you think about the “blue ocean strategy”? Would you like to read more about the tools that are presented in the famous book? Leave a comment below.

Peace, Kayla

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The Importance of Execution

You know the famous Nike slogan – Just Do It! Execution is all about just doing it, and doing it strategically.

You know the famous Nike slogan – Just Do It! Execution is all about just doing it, and doing it strategically. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Business plans? Crucial. Marketing research? SO helpful. Financial projections? Yes!

But in order to accomplish the things you plan, or to put that research to use, or to meet those sales projections, you must be able to execute. Sounds obvious, but execution can be one of the hardest parts of artrepreneurship.

Businessmen Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan co-wrote an entire book about execution. Let me paraphrase some of the most helpful tidbits of information below, so that you can spend your time executing instead of reading! Much of what they discuss revolves around two common execution struggles:

#1 – You don’t have the necessary time, resources, or partners to execute what you’ve planned.
#2 – You don’t have the habits or system in place to help you execute timely and well.

So how do you overcome these struggles?

#1 Robust conversation: You must be willing to have conversations with your partners (or friends, or yourself) that revolve around digging deeper into what the situation is and how it should be approached. Honesty is key here–you must be able to face reality. In order to set goals that are achievable, you must truly understand what your capabilities and resources are. 

#2 Set clear goals and prioritize: Be explicit in what you want to accomplish. Create deadlines for yourself. Think about what actions will result in a successful project and prioritize those actions. Try thinking both long-term and short-term here. And by short-term, I mean even one day. What will you execute today?

Some other things to think about:

To-do lists
Writing down your tasks for today, or even for the entirety of phase one of your plans, can be so helpful in helping you get past slumps and lazy days. Don’t get me wrong, rest is important. But on those days when you’re feeling lazy but really want or need to get something done, to-do lists can make it easier to choose where to start. Plus, it feels great to cross something off your to-do list, which can give you motivation to tackle the next item!

When’s the most productive time for you?
You should also think about when and where you work best. Although at its core, execution is really all about doing things even when you don’t feel like it, it’s also important to know when you do feel like it. These are the times to take advantage of. Remember, these aren’t necessarily the times when you are used to working, but rather when you are truly most productive. For example: I’m used to working in the evenings, but I really get more done in the late morning. In accordance with #2 above, execution is really all about knowing yourself.

Align your planned tasks with your strengths and interests
Often, we have to do things we don’t want to do, and this can cause us to procrastinate. There’s no real way around this aside from will-power. However, you can plan your tasks around what you know you like and dislike. For example: I plan to do things I like on the weekends. Otherwise, I’ll procrastinate, cram my least-favorite tasks in on Sunday night, and dread it the whole time. If I plan to do things I like on the weekends, I’m way more likely to wake up in the morning and be excited to get to work on a Saturday or Sunday.

My husband and business partner always says: Eat the frog for breakfast. For him, doing his least-favorite things in the morning gets them out of the way and sets him up for a productive afternoon of executing tasks he really likes doing. Again, it’s all about knowing yourself. 

Remember:
– To truly execute a larger vision, sometimes we have to do things we don’t love doing. Do them anyway.
– You must know yourself in order to set goals that are achievable. That means we can’t shy away from the reality of things.
Direction is more important than speed. Having a plan makes your time working worthwhile, because you’re working on things that are truly going to help your plan come to life. It might take you a while to reach your goal, but all that matters is that you reach it.

Challenge: Make a plan for today or tomorrow. List one or more things that you’ll accomplish, and make a note about why those things are going to help you reach your larger goal of becoming an artrepreneur. Then, execute!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get straight-up information on how to make your artrepreneurial journey a success!