Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching is clearly a kindred spirit – especially with her appreciation for the right side of our brains. She’s doing a tour of her favourite blogs to get the word out about her Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit (February 27-March 9, 2012) and today, she’s popping up on ours!
For her Pink Elephant debut, I asked Jennifer if she’d share the three biggest mistakes she sees creative entrepreneurs making, as well as her recommendations for avoiding them. I love what she’s written for us.
The 3 biggest mistakes I creative entrepreneurs making – and how to avoid them
1. Not trusting themselves.
This is the biggest thing I see come up for creative entrepreneurs. They think that they need to look outside themselves for the answers when really the answers are inside and they actually know more than they think they do. We worry about the details like if we’re using the right technology or tools, or if we’re making the right business decisions, or we spend time comparing ourselves to others we think are more successful. However, you and your creative business will thrive the most when you stay true to who you are and honor your values and vision. Focus on what’s most important to you in your creative business, believe in your vision, and trust that you’ll figure out the details that you need to (or get support to do it – see #3).
2. Not knowing their numbers.
I know the financial side of things can tend to be scary for creative entrepreneurs who would rather just concentrate on their passion and not have to worry about the money. And yet, I find that not knowing exactly how much money is coming in and going out actually causes more stress. The Moola Map exercise I share in Chapter 5 of my book The Right-Brain Business Plan offers a fun and visual way to look at your income and expenses. It’s a great way to get your feet wet. I also recommend having some type of bookkeeping system (and no, I don’t mean that shoebox overflowing with receipts) because it will help you track what you’re spending and making. Quickbooks or Outright are popular bookkeeping tools (not sure how to get that set up? See #3). When people take the time to look at the numbers they usually feel more empowered and excited about the opportunities. Knowledge certainly is power!
Note from Carrie: I’m with Jennifer – getting organized around your money is empowering and essential. If, though, you just can’t make yourself go the software route and you’re not in a position to hire a bookkeeper yet, at least start small. Here’s my own computer-free money management system for small business. It’s a step up from the shoe box and way preferable to doing nothing.
3. Not getting help.
Just because you’re a soloprenreur doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. In fact, if you are, you’re probably not being as effective (and profitable) as you can be. It can feel uncomfortable to reach out to others for help, but when you do, you’ll make your life a whole lot easier. I recommend making what I call a “helping hands wish list” where you write down all the ways you can use help right now in your work and personal life. Then identify one or two people you could make requests of. And even if you think you can’t afford to hire help or outsource work, remember that if you’re wasting your time doing things that you don’t like and aren’t good at rather than the things you love doing and make you money, you’re probably holding your business back. Another no-cost way you can get help is to find an accountability buddy. This is someone who you can check in regularly with to share what actions you’re committing to doing and to report back to them if you’ve done them or not. Sure, running a creative business can be challenging. And it can also be lots of fun when you invite others to play with you!
Like Jennifer’s take on things? (Me, too.) Visit her video summit or follow her on Twitter @artizencoaching to get a little more.
Jennifer Lee is the founder of Artizen Coaching and the award-winning author of The Right-Brain Business Plan. Her bestselling book has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world grow their businesses authentically and creatively. Join her live for free at her 2nd annual Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit February 27th-March 9th. You can find her on Twitter at @artizencoaching.