We’ve got a bit to cover in this series AND I’ve got some fun announcements for you. Yes, YOU!
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you’re in one of three categories:
- You have a business that “works”.
- You’re working to get more control of the results in your business - something is missing or not working the way you’d hoped.
- You want to create a business or a side-project that generates some extra money (and freedom and control) but haven’t ever done it before.
This post applies to ALL of you. I want this series to be the most actionable and impactful that I've published all year.
I’d like to start with what we generally hear when we creatives want to learn more about business.
- you’ve got to HUSTLE 24/7/265
- it’s not what you know, it’s who you know
- until you master your craft don’t even think about the business stuff
- Don’t quit your day job
- It requires a ton of sacrifice
- You’re gonna be a starving artist for a few years
- It’s impossible with a family
Here’s what all of those have in common - there are exceptions to every single one of them.
Not just one or two exceptions, either. Lots and lots of exceptions.
If you’ve ever heard any of these yourself and been frustrated by how limiting they are, you’re not alone. If something feels “off” to you, I’m right there with you.
The good news is that there is a path forward for creatives who want to do what they love and make a great living at it, and all it takes is a quick and easy shift in your mindset.
Instead of focusing on all of the reasons it’s hard or won’t work, we focus, instead, on proven principles and frameworks.
Imagine what might happen if all you saw in your future was possibility, joy, and the ability to contribute at the highest level.
What if all of the wasted energy spent “hustling” could be focused on effective actions that actually led to the results you’ve been wanting all this time?
But, you may say, it can’t really be that easy…
Here’s the problem - it’s not easy. It’s simple, in that the steps are very clear, the framework is proven and works across industries and the individuals putting in the work, but it still requires work. Focused, disciplined, committed effort over a long enough period of time for things to take hold and then take off.
We’ve been led to believe that success as an artist or creative freelancer is the result of: - hustle - a secret method - being part of an inner circle - some fancy (aka “expensive”) funnel or hack that unlocks everything you’ve always wanted.
The reality is that financial success comes from doing the right things in the right order over a long enough period of time.
Reread that sentence, it’s extremely important to let that principle sink in.
Everything you want for yourself and your business is on the other side of doing that work consistently and over time.
Shifting your focus from hustling, insider secrets, or having the right connections to a commitment to do the work consistently over time is how the world really works.
Success comes from putting the right habits into place and letting them compound, day after day until they lead inevitably to the desired results. This isn't hustling or working harder, it's about working smarter and building habits and systems.
Where should you start, then?
With your mindset.
”Success in business comes down to the mindset and skills of the business owner, and it’s 80% mindset and only 20% skills.”
The business owner - that’s you.
This shift in mindset, from focusing on all of the reasons you can’t to all of the possible ways that you can succeed - is the first step in getting the kind of life you want for yourself.
You may be thinking, “sure, this seems great and all, but does it actually work?”
There is, after all, always a tradeoff.
My experience is that, yes, it works. Every time. The mindset shifts first, and then the actions follow suit. It’s a change in direction that leads to the results we've been chasing rather than to another dead end.
But it’s just the start.
A few years ago I was struggling to stay afloat in a creative services business - a boutique video production company. I had been frustrated for years at the results I was getting. (The number and type of clients, the amount I was able to pay myself, the partnership I was in, etc.)
Then something dramatically changed. It had to. I left the partnership and struck out on my own.
The first thing I did was realize that I had to change the way I approached my business. I had to understand what really worked, and I had to rediscover the reasons that I wanted to do this work in the first place.
Through that process, I was able to regain control of my creative life and double my business in the year after, and again the year after that.
You read that right. I made 4x as much in 2019 as I did in 2017, and it all started with a shift in my mindset.
Now, two years after that, I have two businesses that are on track to not just be six-figure businesses, but seven-figure businesses.
How? Again, by shifting my mindset to not just surviving and getting by, but on contributing as much as possible to the success of others.
It’s not just about monetary goals, though. It’s about being completely fulfilled, enjoying the work, being excited to do the things I get to do every day first, and foremost.
The money comes as a nice, but close, second.
This week, as we wrap up one of the most eventful years of my - and likely your - lifetime, I want to show you the exact framework that I used to create these businesses, and to make them resilient, profitable businesses that will be around for years to come so that you can head into 2021 with your own shift in mindset and a new framework to build a resilient and profitable business for yourself - even if you have a business that "works".
This isn't about making a quick buck, this is not a flash in the pan, and it's not selling out. It's about being able to do deeply fulfilling work that I will be able to do for years to come because of how I built the businesses from the start.
More on that in the next post…