I had two powerful client calls earlier this week, with creatives who I am coaching/mentoring for 3 months just now. It is funny how often you see the same patterns occurring in these calls with clients, despite their businesses being very different (one is a visual artist, the other a graphic designer). This Monday both calls were around fear, and how to overcome this to grow a sustainable business, and to follow your real purpose. In those blog post I will share the story of one of my clients, who is a visual artist, and what happened to her when she had a eureka moment.
I always tell my clients to celebrate their wins, because they are important milestones in our journey to success. And today it is my turn to celebrate something fabulous: The Creative Business Coach is ONE! One year ago I decided to launch my new venture to support creative entrepreneurs in their business, and it has been a blast! A lot has happened in just one year, and I am so grateful for all my followers, clients – and my family, who have been very supportive. What has been happening over the past twelve months, and what have I got planned for you next?
Emily, in California, contacted me in September this year. A dream client; someone who is still stuck in the world of full-time work (she is a lawyer), but with her inner creativity eager to burst out, she was yearning to launch a quirky business of her own: Sweet Orange Adventures. A small business, based around a bright orange 1970s VW camper van, which Emily wants to offer as the perfect backdrop of unique events on the Californian beach. And Emily had a head full of ideas, but had no clue where to start. And she was very scared. She came to me for help, and this is what we did…
I am an artist at heart. Not even just at heart, I am an artist in my bones! Still, for most of my adult life, I have been supporting other artists and creatives as a marketing expert. I was a marketing manager and consultant for arts centres for years, and produced a zillion press releases, brochures, web texts and other material to shout about their fabulous offers, build their reputation, and up their sales. And now I am a business coach for creatives and small businesses. No, I am not a traditional business coach. I do not offer a cookie-cutter style program to support you in your business. So what makes me suitable for this work, then?
I know nothing. What do I have to offer? I am not as good as any of the others. Look at them, and how well they are doing, I see their posts constantly. Not like me, struggling to make it all work. Here I am, staring out of the window of my office again, a deep sigh. Not knowing what to do next, even though I have jobs to finish. Am I even cut out for this running-your-own-business stuff? Maybe I should get a job. I’ll probably fail at this anyway, so I may as well. They’ll find out soon enough that I’m no good at this, and I don’t actually know what I’m doing. I’m a fraud, really. Does this sound familiar?
How do you find work in Spain for English speakers? Or in Italy, France, or anywhere else you are planning to move to? Unless you are retired and are bringing a healthy pension, moving abroad means figuring out how to earn money to pay for your lifestyle. Some expats are able to work remotely for their employer overseas, but many expats who move to countries where the unemployment numbers are high, start up their own small business. And why not? You are already brave, making the move abroad, so becoming an entrepreneur is really not that big a step. So what skills could you monetise as a small business abroad? (FREE download included!)
As a business coach I work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses, to help them get more clients. Most of them have one thing in common: fear. Fear of becoming visible through marketing and getting judged for it, fear of starting, fear of failing – but also fear of tech and being a business in itself. They over-complicate things in their head, start feeling overwhelmed, and then they freeze. They think they need to have it all 100% sorted, or else they can’t call themselves a business. They look at peers and competitors, and believe that everyone else has it all well organised and they are in a mess. So they procrastinate, panic, or even give up. Is that you? Today I am telling you to chill out, and listen. It ain’t that hard, really.
Imagine opening a physical shop in your local town. You get the keys to the space, you are dead excited. But there is nothing in it. What do you need? Shelving, display units, and a counter, if you are running a retail business. Kitchen facilities and furniture, if it’s a cafe. And you need to decorate it of course. Bits and pieces, artwork on the wall, paint, wallpaper, maybe some bespoke joinery. And someone to fix the lighting. Add it all up, how much would you need to invest before the grand opening day? Thousands, probably even tens of thousands, if you include everything. Now, be honest… how much did you spend on starting up your online business?
When you start Googling the term SEO, you’ll quickly find yourself lost in a long list of websites all telling you what to do, how to do this, the newest trends in the field of SEO, and why you should hire some expensive fancy agency to improve your website for you. I mean, who wants that headache, trawling through all that? Exactly. I just want to bust that myth right here: SEO is not rocket science. It means nothing else that making sure your website contains the right keywords and phrases so that potential clients find your business in the search engine when typing in their query. So how do you start?
I had a very powerful call with my own coach not long ago. I love having those weekly calls with someone who has been in my shoes, helps me grow as a business owner, and holds me accountable. Whilst we were talking, we discovered I still had some self-limiting beliefs (like everyone does!), and she asked me where I thought these came from. I know from my own work with clients, that many of them fear judgement from family and friends. But I realised, that it was not my loved ones and dear ones who I was afraid of; but that I had other demons haunting me. Memories of people that were holding me back from stepping into my true power. Or were they?