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Artist vs Entrepreneur - we tend to treat these two things as mutually exclusive..

Artist vs Entrepreneur

But in reality there’s lots of overlap like this..

Why artists aren't so different from entrepreneurs

Reading Jeff Goins’ new book Real Artists Don’t Starve, I’m struck with how often we believe otherwise. You’re either a business person -or- an artist. But the people I’ve admired the most like George Lucas or Michelangelo were in fact both artist and entrepreneur.

The Power of Crazy Little Ideas

Years ago, Project Tango.. A small group of us had this crazy idea “what if we danced tango to contemporary music?” That one little question ended up starting a movement that led to national events and the rest of the dance community accepting “alternative tango.”

Derek Sivers shares his story with CD Baby and how he reached his breaking point where he stopped going to the office and turned off his phone. Things just couldn't keep going the way they were. But eventually Derek realized he was running away from the problem, not solving it. So, each time a question came up he got everyone together, explained his thought process & document this.

Real Entrepreneurs Make Themselves Unnecessary

It's an ironical part of being a real business owner. You make yourself obsolete. I've seen it again and again, where pseudo-entrepreneurs kid themselves into thinking that running a business means they're indispensable. That's ego talking, not your business or your customers.

“To be a true business owner, make it so you could go away for a year," Derek says. "And when you come back, your business would doing better than when you left it.”

Today, Project Tango still continues - each week dancers come together to share their love of this passionate dance. Over time they are building a community.

“Business is as creative as the fine arts,” says Derek. “You can be as unconventional, unique, and quirky as you want. A business is a reflection of the creator..”

“Just pay attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay close attention to when you’re being the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.”

"You'll Know When It's Time.."

In the end this is why I decided it was time to move on from my involvement with Project Tango. Over time the organization brought on members that were draining to be around. Their negative energy made it no longer fun to be a part of what we started.

At the same time I was confident that we had gotten our nonprofit to the right place. There was a strong enough group of volunteers that the weekly events would keep going. Financially as a business, it was not only solvent but positive in cash flow.

Help for the Creative Entrepreneur

Meanwhile, I continue to advise small business owners. What I realized from my time as a business broker was that I needed to start working with them much further upstream. Often by the time these folks approached me, there was little I could do but slap a price tag on their “business” and try to help them with the sale.

Here’s the basic question you have to answer: are you really building a business vs. creating a  job no one else will want or can do? Often, it’s an unfortunate answer. That’s why I created this course to help entrepreneurs.. Build a Business That You Can Sell

If you purchase with this link, you’ll not only get half off the regular Udemy price, but the first few who purchase will get a spot for the next mastermind group. If you haven’t sat in on one of these sessions, then you’re in for a treat!

There is no better way to finally get past some of your big stumbling blocks than connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs who “get” what you’re trying to do and won’t let you fail!

To learn more about masterminds click here.

Over the last year I’ve written about a variety of topics. I know, content marketers tell us to simply stick to our “niche.” Basically, find that vein, mainline it, then work it, baby, work it!

From individuals to creative community

For a while I tried to write pulpy articles for Blasting News that the BuzzFeed’s of the world reward. That got some traction with a bit of artificial enhancement, but ended up in utter failure. So, I went back to work, writing and creating content that might truly matter to my audience.

But who exactly is my audience? To be honest that’s something else I still don’t know.

Again, the guru’s in their infinite wisdom talk about “defining your avatar” like some D&D generated character:  Intelligence: 16, Wisdom: 15, Constitution:17.. - That way, I could simply plug this into Facebook ads and serve up just what they wanted.

Most of all, I was supposed to have it all figured out - mastery of social media tools, running a kick ass team of elf helpers and marching forth to world domination.. Do you hear the people sing?

Recently, I started simply engaging and connecting. Sure, my creative output has slowed to a trickle but at least on Medium here’s the results - more views and reach.



On YouTube I’m looking at ways I can partner with other creators..

On Facebook I look for how I can involve others by tagging.

In his upcoming book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins talks about the importance of community. “The Starving Artist works alone. The Thriving Artist collaborates with others.”

I love the example he gives where J.R.R. Tolkien is stuck after the success of The Hobbit. All Tolkien can see is writing a few chapters with the sequel, The New Hobbit. It’s only when he sits down to lunch with a member of their literary group, C.S. Lewis, that inspiration hits the Lord of the Ring creator.

Another idea mentioned in Real Artists was that Wednesdays were no doubt Tolkien’s busiest nights. Besides raising a family while teaching a full schedule as a tenured professor of Oxford, the last thing he wanted to do was to show up empty-handed at the weekly meetings on Thursday!

No literary group, no beloved fantasy series..

That’s why I started a Facebook group for us all to connect.

It’s kinda like the lobby for the breakout sessions or in our case masterminds, which I’ve done on Skype or Zoom with clients.

Down the road I can see holding these meetings in person like some friends have done. This requires considerably more planning and logistics, of course. But it’s nice to know that for now there’s a very affordable and convenient option.

By the way, if you order Real Artists right now, you can get some awesome bonuses.

Bonus #1: The Real Artists Don’t Starve Online Course ($100)
This 12-part video course shows you how to make a living off your art.
Bonus #2: All the Expert Interview Transcripts
Get copies of the interviews with hundreds of experts and Thriving Artists during the research of this book.
Bonus #3: Exclusive Community Access
Get special access to a private Facebook group where Jeff will answer your questions regularly and connect with others reading the book.

Too many times creatives, especially busy entrepreneurs, say that they don't have time to read. I used to say the same thing, but now I think that it's just an excuse.

When I was a kid, I loved being left at the library. That was my Wonderland, and the librarians were my surrogate parents.

Losing That Light for Reading

Over the years, school slowly ground out that love of reading ‘til I was only plowing through emails and work-related material.

But slowly I've re-discovered my passion for books. Occasionally, I'd even pick up a paperback that an ex-girlfriend introduced to me, but it was still slow-going. There was always something else taking priority, and that favorite excuse “I just didn’t have time for reading.”

Always Darkest Before There's Light

Lately, all that changed. I started walking again and taking libraries’ worth with me on my iPad. One day I’d listen to the inspiring story of Amanda Palmer; the next day I’d be spellbound by Stephen King.

Generally speaking, now I juggle a couple of novels on audiobook with non-fiction stuff on creative entrepreneurship or inspiring stories.

Since I started doing this, I’ve actually finished more books in the past 12 months than probably the past 12 years before!

Short Rundown of Recent Books I’ve “Read” Over the Last Year

Wild by Cheryl Strayed -
Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull -
10x Rule by Grant Cardone -
Unselling by Scott Stratten / Alison Kramer -
Freakonomics by Steven Levin / Stephen Dubner -
Think Like a Freak by Steven Levin / Stephen Dubner -
Grit by Angela Duckworth -
Essentialism by Greg McKeown -
The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson -
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling -
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling -
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg -
Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg -
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh -
Cell by Stephen King -
Fluke by Christopher Moore -
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams -
Let’s Pretend That Never Happened by Jenny Lawson -
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson -
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran -
Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson -
I, Zombie by Hugh Howey -
The Walking Dead Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman -
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Greene -
The Martian by Andrew Weir -
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee -

Insane, right? Believe me, it's not as though I'm a reading maniac. But you'd be surprised at how much time you have walking around, waiting in line or driving in your car.

So, check out Audible. (I'm an affiliate not only because they're a great service but, well, you can see the results!) They have apps for your smartphone, iPad or tablet as well as your PC. So, get more reading done!