Top 5 things I’ve learned about starting your own creative business

I am not a business expert. I might actually be the opposite, whatever that’s called. (Novice? Beginner? Idiot? ) But that’s why I’m writing this post. – to offer a handful of observations from a regular person. One who loves creating so much she made it her business. Sound like you? Then here we go.
1. Start small
My first show was a four-day wholesale trade show, downtown Chicago at the Merchandise Mart. It was big chiz. Unfortunately, I sold nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. It wasn’t that my product sucked, it was just way too big of a venue for me. Way. One day I would love to try climbing that mountain again but not until I’ve conquered a few smaller hills around here. I know you have big dreams but if you start out too big for your britches you’ll just end up showing everyone your ass.

2. Other people are making it up as they go, too.
Sure there are people out there with business degrees that have a written plan and a big budget. But I’ve learned there are just as many who don’t. A lot of the business owners I’ve idolized /stalked on Twitter write in their blogs that they are winging it just like us. Don’t feel like you can’t do it just because you’re not sure how to do it.

3. There’s a big community of supportive, creative people out there.
I attended my first local show a few weeks ago and was amazed at how many other business owners bought my product, offered help, recommended shows, and were just amazingly nice. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. What a pleasant surprise.

4. Twitter is your friend.
I was sooo intimidated by Twitter. It was something that real business owners used, not little ol’ me. But I knew it was all my marketing budget of $0.00 could afford so I pulled up my big girl panties and logged on. Now I’m a total addict. I hit Twitter before I pour my first morning cup of coffee and the connections I’ve made there are countless. Seriously, try it.

5. Do something. Anything.
When you think of starting your own business it’s easy to become paralyzed with doubt. What if I make a mistake? What if that one mistake now ruins my chances of ever being successful in the future? Chances are, it won’t. More importantly, doing nothing is the surest way to fail. This stuff scares me everyday, but everyday I make myself do it anyway. Slowly but surely, it’s paying off.

So that’s my top 5 for now. I learn something new everyday so I’m sure the list will continue to evolve. Hopefully you read something that was helpful. Or maybe you have something to add. Let me know. I always love hearing from you.



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