Today’s post comes from Melissa at Launch Your Creative Life.
A failed business, a mountain of credit card debt and a career path that went south is hardly the way I thought I would figure out my journey.
However it was in my failures I discovered the necessity of creating a business that really reflected who I am becoming.
I stayed in a career that is noble, but didn’t align with who I was. Many of us know what it is like to be the square peg trying to fit in the round hole. Different job and lateral changes within the field left me frustrated.
Several years and some wise counselors helped me to see that I wasn’t working out of who I was. I was fighting the grain of who I was. By acknowledging my real strengths and taking off the masks of trying to be who I thought others wanted me to be, I began to walk more authentically.
Aligning work and business so it comes out of who we are is a step to living authentically, being true to ourselves and truly serving others.
But authenticity in our personhood and our work isn’t the only thing needed to move towards creating consistent income and building a business and a life. Awareness is only part of the journey. If we don’t act on that awareness, our circumstances will stay the same.
What do we need?
A big dose of courage.
Growing up with my grandfather as a full time artist, I watched the struggles of artists: the pull between the desire to create and the need to sell. Between the struggles of the economy and the onset of the digital age, the traditional foundation for selling primarily at shows and galleries began to shift and shake.
I saw artists who knew how to create beautiful oils, watercolors, pastels, sculptures, jewelry, etches and other art but didn’t know how to market their work beyond the traditional show venues.
No matter what your art is, there is more opportunity to share and sell than ever before yet there are also new obstacles.
If you want to move closer to sharing your art with more people but something is holding you back, you may need a dose of courage. To have courage is to have guts, nerve, to be brave and daring.
And it is hard to be courageous.
What Do We Need Courage For?
1. The courage to learn new skills.
It takes guts to learn something new. Admitting to being a beginner isn’t for wimps. Studies show many people stop intentionally learning new things after college. Few people pick up a book to learn a new skill after traditional learning. It’s more comfortable to stay where we are then take the risk of doing something new.
If we want to thrive and run a business, we don’t have the liberty of stopping our education. We will be constantly learning if we want to thrive and create income. Learning to make public presentations, manage a website, write an effective email: all these are skills that take a bit of courage to learn.
2. The courage to approach new people.
The fear of rejection, failure or embarrassment in front of others is a powerful reason not to approach anyone new with our products and services.
Doing new things requires us to practice courage. Just like repeating squats and lunges will increase the muscles of our legs and burn fat over time, repeating activities will increase our courage and decrease fear.
It takes courage to begin. The good news is that with each presentation, we get better.
3. The courage to believe in yourself and the value of your work.
Believing in yourself is not easy. It takes some guts to say, “I created this product or service and I believe it to be valuable. I believe in the value so much I want to ask for your hard-earned money.”
Aligning Courage and Authenticity to Create a Business
Knowing who we are and living according to our values is the spine of our business.
The courage to learn new skills, approach new people and believing in yourself and the value of your work are the muscles. The spine holds the body up. The muscles make the body work and move efficiently.
Authenticity and courage go hand-in-hand to building a business and a life. When we incorporate these characteristics into our lives- both personal and vocational- things go smoother.
You can read more about how I pivoted in my journey and began to chew on authenticity here. How about you?
What internal battles have you faced when starting your own creative business or following after a desire of your heart?
Melissa AuClair is a writer, author and artist. Her life goal is to help creatives become “artpreneurs,” blending art with business to create an income and live a life true to who they are. She can be found at Launch Your Creative Life.