and how to make space for your creative brilliance
Hey there, fellow creative entrepreneur!
When I say creative, I’m talking about that part of you that comes up with ideas and gets all fired up just thinking about creating new content, services, products! It’s the part of you that loves learning, loves living in the now, and loves being fully immersed in one thing, without having to worry about your to-do list. Sounds recognizable?
To me, a creative entrepreneur is a musician, a photographer, a writer, a designer, but also the less obvious ones like a coach, a yoga teacher, a nutritionist…
So today, I’d love to talk about the wild ride of being a creative entrepreneur. Because let’s be honest, it IS a crazy rollercoaster ride going from creation mode to linear mode which is part of running your own business. Enjoying taking photographs for people is something very different from building a business with the right systems and daily operations in place so that you can actually OFFER your photography to people, and make money from it!
Those systems and operations, in short: the linear tasks, tend to really suffocate your creativity and drain you energetically.
In this blog post, we're diving deep into the challenges we face as creative entrepreneurs, the drain of those linear tasks, and how we can liberate ourselves by having a sidekick.
So get ready to embrace your magic and let your creativity shine!
If you prefer listening instead of reading, check out this new podcast episode:
As a creative entrepreneur, your imagination really has no limits. You have a million ideas a day, and ideally, you’d like to pursue them all.
However, the reality of managing a business often forces you to shift your focus to more linear tasks. And let’s be real, those spreadsheets, emails, website tweaks, to-do lists can really put a damper on your creative flow. Am I right?
Lucky for you, there are people out there that get energized by checking off that list of linear tasks! One example is… me! I kinda have both.I have a structured (Belgian) mind with a flexible (Peruvian) lifestyle. I have a management background, because I used to play accountant and librarian as a kid, and still I need my moments of creativity, too, especially writing. Creating these podcast episodes, worksheets with journal prompts, systems… I even see the linear systems-focused side of myself as a creative problem-solver.
I recently read a great book called Rocket Fuel (by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winter), and it talks about the difference between the Visionary and the Integrator. The Visionary is the creator (and often the founder of a company), while the Integrator is the one who can IMPLEMENT a great idea (often the manager or CEO of a company). Integrators love running the day-to-day of a business, but for the Visionary, all these linear tasks feel like ‘noise’ that block what’s truly important to them: creating.
The Integrator can be an awesome sidekick to the Visionary.
So, who’s your sidekick?
The Linear Task Struggle is Real
The struggle gets even more real when you’re that creative entrepreneur, that visionary, AND you’re a high achiever, thinking you can do everything by yourself.
In your business, you’re probably the one who sends out invoices, answers emails, tweaks the website, tries to break down ideas into a task management system… And you MIGHT outsource your social media planning, that’s it.
This is where the real problem lies: for every hour of admin work, you could’ve spent 3 hours in your zone of genius. Say what?
If you’ve worked with me before, you know that I like to challenge you to start counting in units of ENERGY, not time. Let’s say you have 10 units of energy in a day (as a figure of speech). When you spend one hour on linear tasks, your energy goes from 10 to 7, or maybe even 6, because it just DRAINS you. But when you spend one hour in creation mode, your energy goes down from 10 to 9, or it might even go up from 10 to 12 because creating things ENERGIZES you.
Here’s my golden tip for today: you should spend your precious energy in your zone of genius, and outsource the rest.
You thrive on freedom, inspiration, and coloring outside the lines.
Let your Integrator and virtual team handle the rest!
Ready for some Outsourcing Magic?
Picture this: You wake up. You open the curtains. You feel the sun warming up your skin. You grab a cup of coffee (or tea). You get comfy in your creative space, and you start creating in your PJs. In the meantime, someone else is taking care of the tasks that drain your energy. Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, my friend, it's time to make that dream a reality.
By delegating activities such as emails, accountancy, or customer support, you create space for inspiration to flourish, and you can spend your precious time thinking of new concepts, experimenting with crazy ideas, and simply being there for your clients.
If your Integrator gets energized by numbers and figures (Honestly, it’s meditative to me!), why not outsource your accountancy if it drains you? It’s the perfect match!
You just can’t wear all the hats in your business. Or not for long, at least.
Your Outsourcing Checklist
This blog post is more fluff than others, because I just really wanted to highlight the importance of having a sidekick in your creative business. So to close off this one, I want you to walk away with a practical checklist so you can create more balance in your entrepreneurial life:
Create a list of the tasks you secretly hate: As a first step, you need to get clear on what’s draining you. Be brutally honest with yourself, even if you think you SHOULD like this task. You’ll be surprised by all the creative ways you can outsource. (For example: I have a client who hates email and she just doesn’t want to open her mailbox anymore, even though some questions from clients need her expertise. Doesn’t look very outsourceable, does it? Well, she and I came up with a system where I send voice messages to her in Slack whenever I have no clue what to reply, and on her morning walk she listens to my audio messages and responds. I write up the email, hit send, and voila!)
Use your creativity to envision your virtual team: Just close your eyes, and imagine what your outsourcing setup would look like in an ideal world. Who does what? How many people are on your team? What does your day look like if someone else is taking care of all the linear tasks?
Act as if you have your team already: What I mean by this one, is that you can start creating a setup for hiring with simple things: start using a password keeper, calculate your current budget for outsourcing, start asking around what your entrepreneurial friends are outsourcing, look at your onboarding workflow with clients and start imagining which tasks would be done by your sidekick, …
Hop on a call with me! If you need help envisioning what your virtual team could look like, and you want to start outsourcing that one awesome sidekick who can help you get clear on your systems, day-to-day operations, and your outsourcing needs: I’d love to brainstorm with you during a free 30-minute Clarity Call!
My goal during our call is to get rid of the clutter and chaos in your mind and create a clear plan to start managing your business in a different way. And who knows, we might agree to start collaborating right away so I can take some of those draining tasks off of your plate!
So Chievers, remember that your unique gift lies in your ability to envision and create. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not.
You have your own unique strengths, so leverage them.
I can’t wait to help you untangle that knot!
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