If you’re a musician, chances are you’re not motivated by money. You’re more likely inspired by creativity and by the joy the Creative Arts brings to our lives. You probably haven’t put business and creativity in the same sentence, but you may be surprised just how much your creativity is enhanced through building a business of your own.
Change The Thinking Around Business.
I’ve been a self-employed music professional in some way or another my whole adult life. But I’d never thought of myself as a businesswoman or entrepreneur.
We Artists do our Art for Art’s sake, not money, right? That’s how we’re programmed to think when starting our careers in music.
Problem is this mindset prevents us from seeing the immense opportunities, both creative and financial, that being in business provides for us.
So let’s reprogram our perception of Business.
To get us started, I wanted to share what I discovered about my own creativity when building my studio business over the last few years. I’ve noticed several surprising benefits of going through this process, which I’ll share here.
Being in Business:
#1. Awakens The Creative Thinker
When starting out in business our inner creative thinker springs to life, in force. The first step will be a process of self-discovery, to try and understand who you are right now, and who you want to be in the future.
This process involves some serious deep-level creative thinking. You’ll need to access your innermost desires, imagine several possible futures, and then translate these thoughts or dreams into tangible, workable, and actionable ideas.
Next, as you design a vision for your life, you’ll brainstorm, workshop, and test your ideas, to find what feels right for you. You’ll need to find a unique angle, to help you stand out from the crowd. This process is about finding your niche.
Maybe you’ve seen others doing something similar to your vision. That’s great because you can reverse engineer it. This process involves studying exactly how they did it and creating a roadmap to follow, setting small goalposts to aim for along the way.
Then you need to come up with solutions to potential problems before they happen and design systems to help you make progress towards your goals.
#2. Makes You An Idea Machine
I found going through this process switched my brain into another gear entirely.
Exercising my creative thinking skills made me a hyper-productive idea machine.
When you have a lot of ideas it’s a good sign that you’ve really tapped into your WHY. This becomes crystalised in the self-discovery phase.
When you’re really clear about the reasons you’re getting into business your productivity is supercharged. You’re enthusiastic about what you’re doing and you’re never bored or stuck for things to work on.
Once you start down this way of thinking, ideas can come fast and furiously. You start to see ideas everywhere (granted, many of them not always great) because your brain is now wired to create. It’s invigorating, truly!
The trick here though is not to become overwhelmed by them.
I can sometimes fall into this trap. I struggle to decide which ideas to prioritise and switch back and forth between projects too much, which really slows down my productivity.
Ultimately though, I far prefer having too many ideas than none at all.
#3. Gives You An Innovative Mindset
Once you’re a business owner, it’s a natural progression to shift into an innovative mindset. You’re always on the lookout for ways to optimise your mind and your processes to transcend the old ways of operating and free up your time to do the things you’d rather be doing. Like being creative in music or spending time with family.
After a while you find yourself innovating, almost by accident. Obstacles that arise become opportunities that are immediately filtered through your imaginative problem-solving lense as you search for unique solutions.
This is where your creativity is most useful, and potentially the most profitable. We’re talking designing original products, resources and services to solve the problems you discover in your space.
#4. Transforms You Into A Thought Leader
Every time you create a solution to a problem, test it and verify it for yourself or for others, you become an authority on that subject. Over time you can collect your own original approaches to specific problems. This gives you the power to have influence.
Ultimately, I see this as the pinnacle of our growth. To emerge as a person of influence, a thought leader, with a goal to serve the world and make it a better, easier, more rewarding place for someone, anyone, out there.
Creativity, by definition, is the act of transcending the old and progressing towards the new with imagination and originality. Building a business, for sure, is about progressing towards the new – bringing in new money, new customers, new services, new facilities, new products. But it’s the imagination and originality bit that us “artists” are programmed to not believe.
Over the last few years, as I’ve been building my studio business, I’ve noticed a significant boost in my creative thinking skills, in my idea generation, and in my ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems I’ve encountered in my business and my life. It’s led me to write this blog where I share my discoveries to the world.
Maybe some ideas will spark in the minds of those who read my words.