Once upon a time I promised to make an extraordinary dress in return for raising a lot of money for charity. The dress isn’t completed, and now it’s five years later. There have been two failed attempts, and it’s time to try a third time.
I’m not done yet. But what do you do when you have a vast, ambitious dream that intimidates you – so much so that you hardly have the courage to even begin it?
The answer is to come back to the beginning and rediscover the inspiration that started you off on this path in the first place. As a great man once said, throw your heart over the fence, and the rest will follow…
When Cynthia Settje walked down the Red Carpet on Saturday night at Costume College, the Los Angeles costume makers’ conference, I was standing next to the person who made this video, so I’m the one you can hear cheering louder than anyone, right into the mic. (Sorry, Ali.)
Luckily the video stops after ten seconds, so you can’t hear me literally losing it in public, bursting into overwhelmed, happy tears as I thanked Cynthia for giving us all this wonderful gift.
If you made it this far, if you’re still reading after my last monster post, that tells me a couple of things. First of all, you’re someone who really, really wants to make a living from your own creativity. Maybe you want to have a solid, dependable income that’s independent of your partner’s income, so that you can start giving something back (and so that you’re all set if the worst happens.) Maybe your life would be immeasureably improved by being quiet and creative every day, and not by spending 9-5 working toward someone else’s dreams. Second, I’d say you’re at least somewhat interested in my Successful Creative’s Business Blueprint course.
In my previous two posts we’ve covered whether creatives can really achieve a comfortable, independent lifestyle from creativity alone (they can), and we’ve covered three of the Five Elements of Creative Business that you need to have in place in order to make it work. You’ve crystallised what you’re doing all this for, what your grand mission is, and who your customers are.
Now, it’s time to get down to the stuff that keeps you up at night, but that no-one wants to talk about… money.
In my last post I talked about the big myth that’s holding most creatives back from a successful independent career. To recap:
Success is not some cruel lottery in which you might or might not luck out. The freedom of lifestyle that you’re looking for is not achieved by talent, effort or chance alone; there are a few new skills and distinctions to be learnt, and newsflash: they’re not rocket science.
Have you ever wanted to make a living from doing the creative things you love? Ever felt like you’re floundering, lacked focus, or did you just feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin? If you took a breather this afternoon, and we sat down together for tea and finger sandwiches, what would you ask me about running a creative small business?
After over a year of work, I’m putting the finishing touches to version 2.0 of my long-awaited coaching program to help creative people make a good living from their talents. This thing has been a labor of love, and I’m so excited that it’s nearly ready!
It’s not easy to carve out time to develop a really awesome course at the same time as running a business like Harman Hay Publications. But I would feel selfish keeping what I’ve learned to myself. With so many people asking me to share what I know about making a living from my passion, it’s time for me to get this off the ground.
When I was a little girl, I was conscientious, neat, smart, and capable. Achievement was valued in my world, and the need to impress and be validated became strong. I tried ever harder to keep up, to do well, to maintain the very neatest handwriting.
(I still have very neat handwriting.)
I would listen to the other kids playing outside while I obediently stayed in the classroom to try to finish my work. I fell further behind every day. I was near the top of the class, but I was Too Slow, because every word had to be just right. I learned that my role was to do more and play less than everyone else. A pleaser and a perfectionist were born.
What is there that you have been meaning to do “one day”, someday, when you have Spare Time(TM)? You need to pick a horse, pick something out of all the myriad things that you really want to do and just give it a go…
…and be prepared to absolutely suck at it. It’s only by being prepared to be a beginner that you give yourself a starting point to work from. Get in the game, get something out there, because once something is out there, then you can tweak, fiddle and iterate it into something better and better. But in order to have something to improve upon, you have to be prepared to get out there and be absolutely terrible for a while, if necessary.
Way back in the woods in deepest England, there is a unique Victorian home. With her leaded windows, her steep, mismatched gables and her big red front door, she is a small, yet perfectly formed bijou country-house-ette.
Although vast by modern standards, she is a trifle in comparison to her extravagant tourist attraction peers at Wightwick and Tyntesfield. And therein lies her uniqueness. Unlike those sprawling estates, which finally defeated the grand families who ran out of funds to keep fixing them, you could almost call this elegant little lady manageable.