What would you call yourself? An entrepreneur or a small business owner? We often intersperse these two terms because most people don’t give it much thought and feel they are more or less the same thing. But more often than not, we feel the term ‘entrepreneur’ sounds too posh, too much, too pretentious. So we stick with ‘small business owner’. Feels safe, right? But there really is a difference, and creativity is at the core of it. I tell you why you should start calling yourself an entrepreneur from now on, and feel good about it.
I can safely say that now I am in my 40s I am a lot more confident than I was in my 20s. But I do remember some of the bosses I used to have, when I was a young girl. You probably all have examples of those types: authoritarian, snobbish, with terrible social skills, and just making you feel like shit. It’s funny how, when you least expect it, they can suddenly pop up again in your memory years later. Here’s a story that popped into my head last weekend, out of the blue.
Many of you will not have a marketing or business background. You will probably have worked a ‘normal’ office job for most of your working life, or maybe you were a teacher or otherwise employed. Most of you will have started your business as a side hustle before deciding to leave your job completely and becoming self-employed. The freedom that comes with entrepreneurship is amazing, but you will sometimes hit a block. That is normal. But going on yet another marketing course is not the answer. What is my advice?
So many clients and fellow entrepreneurs tell me how hard they find it to find their way around online tech. They may want to teach an online course, or a masterclass of some sort, but the idea of having to study platforms, payment systems and integration makes them run for the hills. Such a shame! So today, I am going to share my favourite tricks to launch a paid online programme, course or masterclass without giving yourself a headache.
I know I have been banging on about my 7-week programme From Overwhelmed to On the Ball, but I know that sometimes there is a need. I know that some of you are thinking about signing up, and are still sitting on the fence, for whatever reason. Perhaps because you don’t know what you’ll get out of it. Or whether it will be too much to digest. Or that you are not sure if the investment is worth it. I will give you five reasons why you should not book on my course.
Not long ago I thought that business coaches were for people who run, like, ‘proper’ businesses. Not like me. You know, little old me, who used to work from the spare bedroom, being a creative, and trying to make ends meet. Business coaches, I didn’t even have a clear idea of what they did. I imagined that they’d be talking about stuff like sales projections, the budgets of the company, the targets, whatever, blablabla. Not for me, anyway. But now I am a coach myself. And you know what? It’s not like that at all. I am just like you.
Has anyone ever told you that “you’ll never earn money like that”, or “it’s better to find a ‘proper’ job”? I’ve been on the receiving end of such comments multiple times! I chose to study Art History at uni. I remember the laughs and sniggers of classmates (who all chose business economics) and even eyebrow raises by family or friends of the family, asking whether there was any work in that. Basically, they all thought I was stupid to pick a subject that was destined to lead me to poverty. Does this sound familiar?
What a year it’s been. What a journey we’ve all been on. What has been the best thing that’s happened to you or your business since the lockdowns started 12 months ago? I talk to so many friends, peers and clients, and it seems that 2020’s shit show turned out to be a game changer for many. We were faced with a crisis, and we turned it around. At least, many of us did. Did you? My income plummeted in spring 2020. I lost 50% of my clients. I felt deflated. Anxious. Hopeless. I started getting stressed out about being able to pay for my monthly outgoings.
I never meant to be a marketing expert. I studied Art History, for goodness’ sake. Anything corporate or sales-y made me run a mile. It’s just not me. I loved, and still love, arts and culture. The creative industries. I always worked in this sector, and that is where I belong. I was born with a pencil in my hand, picked up a guitar on the way, and always have a head full of ideas. I am an artist at heart, really. So how on earth did I end up being a marketing expert?
Do you ever feel like you want to throw your computer out of the window because you’ve had enough of posting content on your social media? So many creative entrepreneurs feel like they are wasting so much energy at promoting themselves online, but without any real results. It is such a familiar story. Stop beating yourself up, or feeling guilty about it. Marketing is a skill, and it doesn’t have to give you a headache. In fact, it can even be fun! I’ll tell you why.