The hardest part of being a photographer, graphic designer, artist, creator….?
The rest of business.
The sales, the marketing, the budgeting, the tax planning…
You might spend 80% of your time working on the business just to get to the 20% you love. And then suddenly you realize you’re spending 80% of your time on something other than what you were wanting in the first place.
You become an employee of your own company…
This is beyond the “E-Myth” which rightly points out that you need to understand process and systems, or see if you are a maker or manager, business owner or employee.
If you don’t figure this out I fear that you run into one of these three terrible outcomes…
- You become jaded
- You burn out
- You become disappointed in yourself.
Becoming jaded, you see the worst in your industry. No longer seeing with rose- colored-glasses, you blame others, feel like a victim, and essentially see the business surrounding your craft as bad. This is why so many niche freelance memes exist… People enjoy commiserating.
Burning out… you find yourself doing so much of what drains you, that there’s not enough that supports your energy and enthusiasm. That can only go on for so long, and so eventually you’re fully drained, needing an exceedingly long period of recovery to fill your cup again.
Disappointed in yourself… you question whether you have what it takes, and you accept less than you should. You feel lost after doing the work you loved but not being fulfilled by it.
I believe there is a way out from this trap, it takes a critical understanding.
How can we do work we love and avoid these outcomes? Become of service.
When you see the art as meant to SERVE YOU, then of course any time you’re not getting what you want from it, you’re going to feel disappointed or like you’re not getting what you want.
When you see the art as SERVING OTHERS, then it is a process of creating and giving on behalf of the art.
When you’re in service, you think about the full experience.
If you want to host a workshop, then planning the details of finding the venue, creating the event page… all of this is part of building the experience you want to share with others.
Art is not just the painting or the design, but the way you show up and how you approach your work.
Becoming of service IS your art.
If you can have a passion for the service of what you do, with your craft being a favorite part of that service, you’ve found one of the keys to sustainable success as a solopreneur.
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