Big Picture Thinking for Creatives

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If you are a creative who pursues your craft at a commercial level; whether full-time, part-time or free-lance, you are a creative professional or entrepreneur.

To borrow a phrase from entertainment, you are in “Show Business”. “Show Business” is two words and “business” contains twice the number of letters than “show”. This gives good indication that you require twice the amount of effort in the business aspect of your work, on top of honing your show or craft. This is the indisputable reality if you are pursuing your craft as a commercial business. ”Business” is the bigger component of the “big picture”. (If you are doing your creative craft for fun and as a hobby, have the most fun with it and ignore anything I’m writing here.)

Big Picture Thinking

Many creatives unfortunately do not see the big picture. Their singular focus on honing the skills and techniques of their craft or buying the latest and best equipment consumes their time, energy and resources because they have passion for just the craft. And that is crucial and excellent, because you need passion to fuel your creative drive.

But unfortunately, good technique, creative tools and equipment alone will not ensure survival, let alone success as a creative professional. The business aspect is what the top pros pay equal if not more attention to. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  1. Positioning and related to that Product Differentiation & a Unique Selling Proposition
  2. Branding
  3. Marketing
  4. PR
  5. Direct Competition
  6. Indirect Competition
  7. Market trends that directly affect your industry/ craft
  8. Market trends that indirectly affect your industry/ craft
  9. Time Management
  10. Effective & Productive Business Operations

As a creative professional, on top of honing your craft and being up to date to the latest equipment, do you spend time learning, studying and executing the above? Are you even aware of what the above entail?

This is a greater part of the big picture for an entertainer.

Many have no interest in the business side of things. But the big picture is – as a creative professional you must be concerned with the business and all aspects that impact your commercial viability. If you have completely no interest and are not prepared to put in time, energy and resources to learn and executive the business, you have only four options:

  1. Do not pursue your craft as a commercial business
  2. Learn all the aspects of how to run your craft as a commercial business and then execute them with consistency
  3. Get someone to be your business manager or partner up with someone who understands business
  4. Carry on pursuing your craft without working on the business and be prepared for a very tough career

Know this: There are four things that will determine your success as a creative:

  1. Excelling in your craft
  2. Developing the business
  3. Working hard
  4. Luck

The only component you cannot control is luck. That leaves you with only 3 components that are left in your control. So, if you give up any of the remaining 3 components, you only have a 50/ 50 chance of succeeding. If you work on just one component, you only have a 25% chance of success. But, if you work on all 3 remaining components, you have a 75% percent chance of success. Based on these odds, it is a no-brainer in deciding how to purse your career as an entertainer.

Undaunted & ready to go?

Excellent… time to get to work!


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