Letters for Creative Entrepreneurs

November 13, 2012


When I first started freelancing over 2 years ago I was completely freaked out. So of course, I shared that struggle with you guys. I also shared the details of how I work with my Freelance Matters series – from advice on when to quit your “real job” to how to fire a client. And then when my sister quit her job as a creative director / VP to work with me we took a big leap of faith and decided to build a business model out of giving away our advice – we call it gifts of knowledge – for free over at Braid Creative.

But I wanted something more meaningful… or more personal… So I had this idea to start a series of letters for creative entrepreneurs (and aspiring artistpreneurs too). These letters aren’t flashy or tricked out with designs and photos. They’re letters like we would send to our friends where we share our personal journey as well as the advice and insights.

Today I want to share some excerpts from a couple of our letters with you guys – and then I’m going to ask you to sign up for our mailing list so you can continue to get these nuggets of Braid Creative wisdom for creative entrepreneurs from us. Or maybe just a good laugh. Or maybe a little bit of both.


From the Creative Entrepreneur Letter | Money Is Energy:

Confession: when I first started working for myself I felt like I didn’t really deserve to make money. I had convinced myself of a few deep-seated myths that I found to be true, including:
1. If I do what I love for a living then I don’t deserve to make lots of money.
2. My work is more meaningful if money has nothing to do with it.
3. Money is bad.
4. My family doesn’t come from money. I’ve always been provided for but “being rich” is for other people.

Now two years into working for myself my mindset about money has completely changed. Economics are fascinating to me and money is one of my favorite topics of conversation. It took a little bit of work to get right with my attitude about money but one of the best tidbits I received (and boy, did I receive) was this:

Money is energy. Giving and receiving money is an exchange of energy.

When I take a look at my list above and replace the word “money” with “energy” it is clear that I am worthy of energetic transactions that result in me making money. For example, statement #2, “my work is more meaningful if money has nothing to do with it“, would now read: “my work is more meaningful if energy has nothing to do with it.” And that’s just some horseshit right there. I got right about money real fast after thinking about it in those terms. 


From the Creative Entrepreneur Letter | Everyone Else SEems to Have Their Shit Together But Me:

One of the most complicated things about working for yourself is the abundance and potential of ideas (so many world-rocking ideas!!!) immediately followed by the overwhelming feelings that:
A) you should’ve figured it out already, and then
B) not knowing where to begin, quickly followed by
C) paralysis to act

If you’re anything like me you start surfing blogs and reading interviews and watching TED talks on creatives you admire and start feeling like everyone else has their sh*t together but you. The earth begins to rotate a little faster and your heart starts thumping a little louder and you get that knot in the back of your throat and fantasize about working an “easy” job – like at a makeup counter in the mall. You start feeling really unoriginal and as if you will never be able to create anything world-rocking. Ever.

Tara and I have found from our work with creative entrepreneurs that this end-of-the-world feeling is common. We have found that everyone feels as if they’re making it up and nobody feels like they totally have their sh*t together.

My recommendation to remedy this feeling is this: start creating content immediately.

Where do you begin?
1. First, figure out which ideas have spark for your big future vision but also make sense of those ideas within the trajectory of your past victories. Pick one idea to start executing on now. Our past, present, future exercise is a great way to identify the overlap of what you should focus on right now.
2. Then sort out and organize what you can share about this idea (your expertise and gifts of knowledge) against what you actually get paid to do when implementing this idea.
3. Get specific and make it real. If you’re trying to keep your idea appealing to anyone and everyone it’s going to fall flat. If you’re using words like “unique” or “quality” to describe your product or idea … stop. Those words say nothing about who you are and what you do.
4. Get hired. Tell your customers how to hire you and then get paid – this step is what takes you from having a dream to becoming an entrepreneur.

If you miss Freelance Matters and want more of those insights sign up here (if this sign-up box doesn’t show up in your RSS feed visit my blog page and sign up in the right hand side bar – or at www.braidcreative.com):

These letters will also keep you updated with our Braid ECourse offerings – including exclusive discounts for our creative entrepreneur letter recipients. (Pssst… one is going out Thursday for our newest ECourse on Dream Customer Catching). 

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