Orna Ross
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Video Episode of Histories and Mysteries Podcast brought to you by Orna Ross

For readers and writers

September 20, 2018


The Sequence of Creative Business Success: Introduction

with Orna Ross

This month I’ll outline the sequence that takes anyone running a passion-powered business to creative success. 

The Sequence of Creative Business Success

1: Creative Business Practice: GO PASSIONATE to Create

2: Creative Business Practice: GO PACED To Produce

3: Creative Business Practice: GO PITCH To Inspire

4: Creative Business Practice: GO PRODUCE QUALITY ASSETS to Earn

5: Creative Business Practice: GO WITH THE PROCESS To Further Flow

6: Creative Business Practice: GO PUBLISH To Grow Profile, Discoverability and Authority

7: Creative Business Practice: GO PARTNER to Expand

I’m your host, I suppose, for the next 40 minutes or so and we’re going to be looking today at the sequence of creative success, really, what it takes for creatives these days to get from knowing what they want to do and knowing that they want to make a creative business around something that they love.

So that might be writing, but it might also be art or it could be something that’s got nothing to do with the creative arts because research is clearly showing that creativity is actually a state and a way of approaching things. It is not something that’s confined to one domain. It’s not a particular talent or skill. And neuroscientists were all excited when they heard that they were going to be able to map the brain and they were going to find out and all of that, this elusive thing called creativity. And what goes on in creative brains that doesn’t go on in ordinary brains and they did all their research and they found there is no difference.

The same processes that make one thing make everything. We are all creative, but a lot of us have been trained out of it or we bring our creativity to one aspect of life and we don’t bring it to another and this is what my passion at the moment is, is convincing people and showing people and empowering people to actually think about bringing their creative and well, first of all, strengthening and growing their own creative capacity and then applying the creative process in arenas where it hasn’t traditionally been applied and particularly and specifically around the area of money and making a good creative business. So yeah, that is what we’re going to be talking about this evening. So I’m just giving a hello to everyone who is here and I see there is a few of you around.

If you could just kind of send me a comment or a wave to say that yes, everything is going okay and that you can hear me alright. That will be great. And I will get this presentation pulled up now so that I can just talk you through the various steps and stages in the sequence of success. Because the thing that often happens with creatives is we try lots of things, we try, you know, we want to do a bit of everything and we have spoken before about the three hats that the creative business owner has to wear.

You have to be the maker, you have to be the manager and you have to be the entrepreneur, all three together because we don’t want to outsource the making to somebody else like lots of businesses do. We don’t want to just think about the profit like a lot of business advice encourages you to do the profit first.

Our passion and our profit margins are side by side, intertwined and interlinked. And we don’t ever want to really stop. One of the main reasons we want to be in business is so we can keep on doing this thing that we love to do. So yes, you’re here. Hi Suzanne. And thank you for telling me that everything is alright. Thumbs up, Marie Claire.

And the idea of these workshops is that you get a chance to actually ask questions, and you know, to basically to, I’m sorry, I’m trying to get the presentation showing, basically to apply the whole thing to what you want to achieve in your business because you’re all at different stages in different places doing different things and you’re going to, you know, have questions about the sorts of things that are arising. I’ve gone and split myself in three now, I have to work this thing out for a second. Hold on. Where are we? We don’t need two of those, one is enough and there’s only me. So let’s hide you, okay.

No. Oh, here we go. I thought I was all sorted now today. Let me just check. So I think you are seeing a split screen with me at the bottom and the bigger screen on top and what I need to know, it’s very small in terms of what I’m seeing. Are you able to actually see the slide? If you could just kind of say Yay or nay and I’ll fiddle about a bit more if you can’t. So the presentation up on top is what I need you to be able to see. So if you can just tell me if that’s looking okay for you and that will be good because I can’t seem to get rid of the second one. I’m not sure why that’s there.

So, yes. Thank you, Angela. Alright. Okay. So you can clearly see what we are about. So let’s just talk through them a little bit about where we are at that. Slide five. Let’s go back to number one. So yes, we are going to be talking about the sequence of creative business success and today what I’m going to do is very much give you an overview of the steps and stages and then there are seven of them. Over the next seven workshops we’re going to drill down deeply into each of them.

So if it all sounds a bit overwhelming today, don’t worry. It actually does break down very logically and it is my real belief and my hope that in, you know, breaking it down in this way some parts of this you’re going to have nailed. We’re going to, you know, it’s going to be fine for you but there are parts where you’re probably struggling a bit because we are pioneers. We’re doing something very new as we work in our digital businesses and so we’re kind of making it up as we go along and we’re learning from each other so it’s not surprising if in some areas there is a bit of struggle.

So for those of you who don’t know me, just a quick introduction and most of all I tell stories. I play with sentences and then I love bringing people together, so I’m a writer, but also very important to me is creative community. The community of writers at the Alliance of Independent Authors, community of creatives that’s now building in the Creativist Club and I’m interested in the techniques and the tools that empower indie authors of course and also all other creative entrepreneurs because I think indie authors have a huge amount, far more in common with other creatives who are building businesses than we have with authors who are doing things a more traditional way. And we can learn much more, I think, from the creativepreneur movement, than we can learn from how traditional publishing is doing things in terms of being successful.

So I’m also a passionate believer in the power of the creative process itself and our own creative capacities that we’re only tapping into a tiny bit of our potential. I teach some practices that help to keep that and I know that some of you come along every morning for our morning flow practice that we started recently and that’s fantastic because I certainly find it really helpful and I’m loving doing it with other people in the Facebook group.
So these workshops, just a little bit so you know what you’re doing, it’s changed a bit since the beginning of the year. We’re now doing them here on Facebook live on the third Tuesday of every month. It says eight PM London time there but in fact it is 7:00 PM London time, as you know, because you’re here and hopefully there won’t be people irritated, though they can get the replay. They won’t be here for the live thing. You can catch up on a replay anytime you want and you’ll find them on my Facebook author page.

And because these workshops are based around a book series that is coming that I’ve been working on for a very long time, first book launching in October. So that’s exciting for me and these workshops, accompany the books, they’re a chance for people who have read them or who have been listening to me witter on for the last number of years and so know something about these principles, they’re your chance, as I said to go deeper. If something’s bothering you, to raise questions and then just to be here with like minded creatives and so on. But the whole idea of both the books and workshops is essentially to empower you to make your living doing what you love to do.

And so that’s what you should be getting out of this. And if you’re not getting closer to the that, if you don’t feel they’re helping you to do that, please do ask questions and tell me about how things are going for you. Because that helps me to make it better. So if you want to register for future workshops, if you’re interested in going through the next seven stages over the next seven months, then you can register on the events page and all the instructions are there if you want to click back to that later because let’s crack on with what we’re actually doing, just a quick recap before we do, before we get stuck in today’s work.

Last time we spoke about the process itself, the seven stages of the creative process and the fact that no matter what you’re doing, it always breaks down into the seven stages but sometimes they’re happening so fast, we’re not aware of them. So every time you make something, from something as simple as a cup of tea, you go through the stages: intention, incubation, investigation, formation, elaboration, clarification, completion. You just don’t know it, you’re so used to making tea, it’s no bother to you. You don’t have to think about it, but when it comes to a bigger creative challenge, like running a creative business and making enough money to support yourself from that business, that’s a big challenge.

Most businesses fail and so in this big challenge, you are going through these phases and it can really help to understand what stage and phase you are in. So tonight and for the next seven sessions after tonight, if you keep these stages of the process that we talked about last time in mind, think about where you are and in each phase and stage in the particular kinds of steps that we’re looking at. So each step, you’ll be more developed in some than in others.

And if you just keep that in your mind because if we tried to apply the tools of one stage or phase in the wrong timing, we can really get in our own way. It really helps to know, “Look, I’m only in the incubator stage, there’s no point in thinking about editing just yet.” You know, that kind of thing. So if you just keep last week’s, last month’s learning in mind, all of the workshops are available on the Facebook page and they’re also available on my website where it’s easier to follow them and find your way around. Facebook just keeps changing the pages.

I can’t find anything anywhere anymore, and so you will find them on my website, under the workshops page and I’m doing a bit of work on that at the moment to tidy it up but earlier workshops are there. Okay. So, onto tonight, any questions just before we get started with that? Or is everybody happy? Helen is wondering, is there a recording available? This is live now. Okay. It’s too small. It’s too small. Okay. Thank you. I’m only getting those replies now. Let me see if I can get a different, a different configuration before I start with the actual slideshow. Hold on for one moment. What I need to do is get rid of this chatter here.

It’s definitely not it, that’s me too bit.. It just basically wants to disappear. You don’t need to see me at all now for this. Okay. Why is it not giving us an option? Sorry about this. Just give me a moment. I will get there. We will definitely get there. Just give me a moment.

Okay. What I’ve done is somehow I managed to put a second one in. So I needed to go back to. So how do I do that? Sorry about this folks. The tech always seems to give me a little bit of trouble. I really thought I was sorted for today, but by putting this extra one in I’m making it too small for you to see, which is not good. I want you to really get the full screen experience. So bear with me. I think we’re there, is that better? Are you seeing what you should be seeing, which is basically the introductory slide which outlines the various stages of the process. Are we there? So I can just confirm, it’s looking good to me and the comments are a little slow to come through to me. So if you just can say it is better now then we can crack on.

Yes, thank you. I don’t know why. Angela, you seem to win the comment and get it in first. Fantastic. Alright, then. So, you will see there outlined the stages that we’re going to be talking about and as I said, some of these will be, you’ll be well organized already on them, but there’s always something else to know about how you approach things. And I think the most useful thing of all to take away from tonight is that you actually go, you know, you use these steps, these are the steps to go through and this is the sequence and that’s why tonight is called The Sequence of Success.

So, for example, number three is about pitching. Go pitch to inspire so you can’t really pitch until you’ve done that. This page says preparation. You can’t really pitch properly until you’ve done, work out what it is you really want to do, you know, exactly how you are going to bring that together in terms of your customer and what they value and what you value yourself and set up the conditions and tools.

Only then are you really in a position to start pitching and working out what your pitch should be. So if you go in the these, then you begin to build your assets from what you know about the first three stages. Of course, it doesn’t happen in this linear way and lots of us get into business, the creative business by default, we don’t even know what we’re doing. And as I said, we’re all pioneers. We’re doing something very new here, so don’t worry that this is not how it actually happened for you in the first instance.

What we’re really talking about today is understanding that these are the stages and if you are struggling, if you are not kind of, say, making the profits that you want to make, not having the income that you want to have, not having the influence that you want to have, not selling as much as you want to or you’re running around like a crazy thing and you don’t have any time or you know, a lack of money or a lack of time.

They are both indicators that your business is not completely aligned, balanced, and so on, and these steps you can go back and look at where in the chain did it fall down a little bit and work on that and then come back to where you are. So don’t worry at all if you’re already well ahead of working out, for example, phase one or two which is about what you love to do and how you bring it to your people. So any questions, do lop them in through the, at any time, through the conversation.

So yeah, the, that is completely wrong. Here we are. So what we are looking at first of all is the very first step. You need to, as a creative entrepreneur, you need to, first of all, begin with that thing you love to do and working out what it is you want to do, what you want to make of yourself and what you want to make of yourself you will make by making, first of all, the things that make up your business, the things that you’re going to sell, be that service or products or whatever it might be. And in the making of those things, you’re kind of making yourself.

So I always remember this guy I met when I was quite young and impressionable and he was a very successful businessman. I was a very left wing student or just not long out of college and just beginning to write some, and, you know, very hazey-mazey as writers, young writers are, you know, about the higher things of life and having this fantastic discussion with this businessman who was very successful but very thoughtful, very intelligent, very mindful person who is doing amazing things in the world with his money and with his business.

And he, I remember him saying that he loved his workouts, absolutely adored it, but what he loved most about it was not the fact that he was a millionaire, because he was. But it was what it had done to him in order for him to become a millionaire. And I remember thinking, I’ll have to do the same. You know, I knew at that time that I wanted to write and I felt one of the reasons I wanted to write was because I liked writers. I liked what writing did to them as people. I liked the kind of people that writers were.

And, what, you know, writing a book does to you, the person that it makes of you. And now I feel like him, you know, I stopped splitting myself off in two and now I feel the same way about business. I like both. In other words, you don’t have to separate them out as my younger self did.

So what you need to do in this phase, it’s not just about tapping in to what you love to do yourself. It is very much about that and that want that you have is something we’ll be talking about next time when we go deeply into this phase. We’ll be talking about true wants and how you distinguish them from false cravings and how they energize you and give you the ammunition you need to take things forward so we’ll be looking very much at that.

But there’s a second dimension to it and this is where a lot of creatives, creative entrepreneurs fall down. It’s not enough that you value it, that you love it and that’s what you want to do. You also have to find the point around what you love that others value too if you want to be in business. I mean, if you just want to do it for its own sake, that’s great, but if you want to make a business out of it and you have to locate that point where something that others value enough to pay money for, intersects with what you value and want to do with your life and it’s getting that balance right in the first instance. Understanding, you know, understanding your values and the value you offer and where the what you’re offering connects with your values and gives you that one unique thing that you can get really passionate about.

And it also gives you your micro niche, your categories, you know, your keywords and your customer. Understanding that intersection is really, really important. And as I said, we look into it in more detail next time. The next stage then is about preparation. So before you start a business there is a lot of preparation that goes on and you know, if you were starting a restaurant or any other kind of business that will be very obvious that you would have to work out a lot of that stuff in advance. Because we’re in creative businesses and we are doing, making money out of things we love to do anyway. It’s not as clear how much you need to prepare and sometimes, very often, creatives skip a lot of the preparation. So you need to prepare at two levels. You need to prepare both to produce and you also need to prepare to profit.
So we’re good often at preparing to produce and we have lots of arguments with ourselves, procrastination and all the rest of it around that but we’re not always good at preparing for profit and that will be something that we’ll be talking about in that workshop, about both of those, what you need to do in order to prepare both for production, and for profitable production. And it comes down to very simple things. It comes down to, at the beginning, you know, at the most base level, where are you going to do work that needs to be done, and not just the work.

Also, the rest and the play, because we’ve talked about creative practice and the importance of practice as one of your core conditions for success, you will need to find some way to tap your creative side if you’re going to run a creative business the creative way, and there are lots of different ways to do that and some of you here, as I said, join us on Facebook every morning, or Monday to Thursday for morning flow practice, which includes free writing and inspiration meditation, but there are lots of ways to do it, but it’s really important that you have it in place.

You also need the tools. We’ve got fabulous digital tools. They’re there, we need to use them and it’s incredible what you can make happen in terms of building your influence and your income these days in our creative digital industries, we really are spoiled and there are too many opportunities, actually, it isn’t a case of not having enough. There are too many great things that we could do.

The challenge is around selection and that’s tools and time is super important, so at the moment I’m working hard on these time maps that I’m going to be offering you whereby you will actually lay out your creative week in a way that does incorporate creative rest and play as well as the work and that also takes in some of the research that is now being found about optimum amount of time to work for and how to actually get good creative flow, so place and time and tools and conditions and then pacing and that’s really important. Stop pushing. Pushing doesn’t actually get us very far. Pacing ourselves well through the week, through the month, through the year is very key and we’ll look at that more closely in a couple of months time.

Okay. Let’s just see. Sorry, I need to pop over here. Are we going okay? Has anybody got any questions? Are we clear? Anything you want to say or anything you want me to cover? Don’t forget to just throw it into the comment box there and I will take it on board. So, no questions there as yet so I’m taking it as all is well. But do let me know if there’s anything you want to do and we will stop in a moment and do a little bit of free writing and I think you’re all familiar with free writing, which is writing fast and writing free, but if anybody isn’t, just let me know.

And Bea is saying she needs to learn more about pacing. Yeah, we go into that in great detail. Today is the overview of the seven stages, so pacing is something we will cover not next month where we’ll be looking more at true wants and your passion and your mission and your purpose and your massion as I call it, where they all come together.

That’s what we look at next month. The month after that, we’ll do that preparation and pacing. Pacing is a huge issue. It’s one I struggle with myself every so often, especially with things going wrong in life, you know, it’s very easy for me to throw myself into work. I know some of us have the opposite reaction. It becomes difficult to make yourself do the necessary, one way or the other it becomes problematic. So yeah, we’d definitely look a lot at that and that will be our November, our November workshop. Okay.

So the next stage is your pitch. So this is a short message that you give to people, you need to learn it off. You need to be able to say it comfortably. So you need to have worked through stage one and stage two. Sorry, step one and step two where you understand your passion and you have done some preparation. You know the conditions you need, the tools you need and so on because otherwise you can think you, very often creatives, we think we could do much more than we actually can do.

We think we’re going to. I’m always thinking I’m going to get much more done than I actually get done, and that’s even when I’m careful and I map it. So, getting your pitch right is very often a matter of properly going through those first two stages and really understanding your tools and your techniques and how you’re going to go about things helps you formulate your pitch.
So the pitch needs to be a short summary of what you do, but it needs to be more than that. It needs to be a short summary of what to do, told in a way that excites the other person so they want to buy something. And so it’s not as simple as just kind of a sentence “Here is what I do” and I see a lot of creatives with very boring bios and LinkedIn style explanations, what they do and when I know them or see what they’re actually producing.

It’s amazing and their pitch is not connected to their actual production, you know, what’s going on, what they really, truly want to do. We’re a bit afraid and we hide behind that business-like talk and the way everybody sees somebody else who’s got a lot of followers and they decided to copy what they do because of my speed or in inverted commas “right”. And it’s not like that.

Success in this business is really about going very deeply into yourself. And it’s a process that keeps on going. You know, that never stops. You go back in because you keep changing, the business keeps changing, the world out there keeps changing, but all the time you keep returning to self and if you can get a pitch that can last you a lifetime, you know, a lifetime of creative business that’s marvelous, so it should be, needs to be big enough to actually encompass what you do now and what you hope to do in the future and if possible, anything you might do.

And of course that’s not possible for everybody at all, but some of us do kind of know and I always think we’re the lucky ones if we actually do know exactly what we want and then we’re only changing how we do it and the tools that we use and the techniques and things, but the overall big picture doesn’t change.

And that’s great and that makes it easier to pitch. But however, whether you’re not quite sure, the pitching process helps you to get clearer. So again, in a workshop we’re going to go very deeply into pitching, but now I’d just like to stop for a moment and just free write for just a few minutes about the first three steps. So the passion, the preparation, which includes pacing and the pitch. I’d like you to just, without thinking, without thinking at all, just start writing now about those three things. Any idea that pops into your head, just write fast and free, now to turn on a timer, I thought I had it there in front of me, hold on, I’ll get it, you keep writing. So writing fast and free three minutes on pitch, preparation, taste, passion.

Okay. So you can put down the pen and you can have a think about that a little bit more as we go on, obviously we’ll look at it in more depth, as I said, in the next sessions but when you have that sort of roundness in place, you can begin then to understand your assets because the key to success in creative business is assets and the understanding of creative assets, what they are, how you make them and so on.

So just before we leave and look at assets now, which will be sort of a core part of what we’re doing for the next second half of the presentation, any questions arising out of free writing. Anything, any comments, anything that arose, anything anybody would like to say about the content of what popped into their head and popped out onto the page, or any issues arising just if you’d like to ping them into the comment box, we can deal with them as we go along.

So yeah, assets, so important to understand assets and so few of us do and we think of assets as being a very financial sort of thing. And of course, financial assets are part of what we look at as a creative business people, but it’s only one tiny part of it. So what do I mean when I talk about assets. I’m talking about anything that increases your influence and your income.

Essentially, if we’re looking at an asset to do both, an asset in a creative business should do both. It should be something that actually puts money in your pocket. That’s basically the blunt definition of what an asset is. It’s not always obvious that it does that and sometimes it does that through earning and increased income but sometimes it does that through saving and tightening up the process. So as creatives we have three different kinds of assets that we need to constantly be looking at and you know, through all of these workshops we’re going to be talking again and again about the maker, the manager and the entrepreneur.

The three hats you have to wear. And when we think about assets, this becomes really, really important because again, as creatives, very often we’re good on the craft assets. So we talk a lot. So say we’re a writer like I am. So I spent a lot of time with writers and we spend a lot of time talking about word counts, productivity on the making of the book.

And that’s one kind of asset. If you’re a service based person, as a digital creative entrepreneur, so say you are a counselor or a coach or in the wellness industry or the education industry, in any shape or form, as a creativepreneur, you will now be shaping up all you know and all you’ve done into digital assets like, books and video and audio and those kinds of things, but also your sessions can possibly become assets that will tell stories for you.

And obviously each session that you do can be done online as well as all off. So it’s a matter of considering each offer. That’s the craft asset, the product, the service that you make and offer out there. Then there are the process assets, which is the business itself. This is what is often called working on the business, not just in business.

So these are the processes that you have around, you know, how you make things, how you manage money, how you get paid, how you invoice or you know, what is the cycle from start to finish on something like that. Your business processes are greatly facilitated by being in a digital business. So things that used to take whole departments, like getting paid can now be done by an online tool. There are many things like that, but we often don’t give enough thought to our own processes.

We neglect some of these things. We don’t factor the time into our monthly map, you know, that we need to do this. So it’s important to understand the processes that you do and run in your business, and they’re quite simple for creative businesses. We were very lucky, but if you don’t, this particular type of asset, the actual structure and processes that go on within the business, if you don’t get on top of those, you’re actually a freelancer.

So it is the ability to work out your business process assets that changes you from being somebody who exchanges time for money, essentially a freelancer who is very similar to somebody who’s in paid employment. Somebody in business actually sets up the process that runs when they’re not in the room and that is, you still, of course, are the maker. You make the product that is being sold and being presented and being offered out to people and of course often you are in the room because you want to be in the room.

We’re in creative business. We love what we do, but the point is your business needs to get to the stage where it runs and you could take two weeks, certainly, without ever turning on your laptop or a month or even longer. You could actually be absent and money would still be generated, work would still go on. Everything, nobody, you know, your, the people who buy what you have to offer wouldn’t notice that you weren’t actually there because everything has been set up in such a good way that it is delivered by your processes.

And that can take a bit of time to work out so that will be our workshop in a while and then the other kinds of assets are growth assets and these are what the entrepreneur thinks about. How can we make this business bigger? How can it bring in more money, how we can, you know, growth doesn’t always mean getting bigger, adding on more people, adding on more things to do.

Growth can be about just doing things better. And in fact, in creative business it generally is. it’s not, most of us don’t want to run huge big empires. We’re very happy to be in our micro business, just ourselves, maybe one partner working with us that we’re not looking for that huge growth in the conventional way of talking about business growth. But growth is profit per person in the business.

So if it’s just you but your profit is growing, your influence growing, your impact is growing but your work isn’t necessarily growing, processes are, the growth assets are set up in such a way that they again, manage to go off and work on the Internet, on your behalf without you having to be there. So any questions about any of this, do fire them through?

Here Suzanne has a question. “This is something I’ve been thinking about for our music teaching business. We are exchanging time for money and that won’t be sustainable in the long run. I’d like to be able to retire at some point.” Absolutely. I completely agree. You’d be a better teacher and so on for all of that. And I think I spoke to you about putting you in touch with somebody who’s done that really quite successfully and we must hook you up with him. But yes, definitely.

Every, no matter what business you are in now, it can be turned into products and services that can be delivered digitally that work for you, you know, while you’re asleep, as passive income people like to say. I’m not a leader myself really in passive income and I don’t think it encourages the right way of thinking about this at all, but getting your business up and running so it is a self sustaining entity, so you’re not running around like a busy person, you know, all the time, work, work, work, without understanding what’s going on and so that you are getting enough money to sustain and sustain you and sustain the people that it needs in it to keep it going. And of course, the key to all of this is getting some virtual assistants and you know, you’re not expected, neither can you, do all of this.

You have to hire some help, but again, that all goes back to understanding your assets. Once you understand them and you know what it takes to get from the beginning of the process to the end of the process of making that thing or running that process within your business. Once you know the steps and you know the bits you like to do and are good at and the bits you don’t like to do and are not so good at, they’re usually the same thing and you outsource those bits that you are not good at, but if you’re constantly hiring people to help you just when you’re in crisis, then you’re not actually building an asset in that mindset, in that mind mode, and again, don’t feel overwhelmed because we are going to go through this in much greater detail in a little while.

So got lots of lovely, I think before it’s well worth saying, and I don’t have time because the time is running away on us as usual, I’m talking too much, but it is worth thinking, answering some of these questions that are here on the screen, you know, what assets have you already created? Are they working for you? Are they you? Are they exactly what you want to do or did you create something that you thought the market would like?

Okay, fine, but you know, just analyzing assets that are there, how good are your business process assets? You know, how easy is it for you to manage the functions that hold your business together and have you got growth assets in mind and in place? Are you developing those as you go and again, with a profit mentality on, because again, there’s a thousand million things you could do. There’s so many opportunities now. None of us is starved of opportunities. It’s about selection here, it’s about drilling down, getting small, going really, really small doing the next small thing that you can do.

Okay, so this is then about establishing, the next thing is about understanding your own process and that’s your overall process as a creative entrepreneur, which encompasses within it those three smaller processes of the maker, the manager and the entrepreneur. The overall thing to establish which stage are you at in the process that we talked about earlier, the seven stages of the process.

Are you just beginning with working actually on your business and what stage are you with the current product or service that you’re going to be offering next or that you are putting out there, you know, want to be used or known a bit more widely. Mapping each wave of the activity exactly where you’re at and where you want to take it. So the important thing to understand here, and we can’t talk much about this at all until we’ve gone through the other steps, the first four steps.
The really important thing to remember is that your process is both personal to you, but it also fits that seven stage sequence that I’m always banging on about intention, clear intention, incubation, allowing the subconscious in, investigation, doing the proper level of research and preparation, formation, then the drafting of a blueprint, elaboration where you’re deep in that blueprint and make sure it’s exactly what you want to do right now, clarifying it, fixing it up, editing, whatever, and then completing, putting it out into the world and going through that full cycle with whatever one thing you’re working on and not getting distracted by shiny objects syndrome, you know, running off and doing something and coming back and saying, I am talking to myself here. So, you know, until you’ve gone through the first four steps, you can’t really think, even trying to think right now, I think, about your process will probably be more confusing than anything else.

But just to take away that, takeaway that it is both personal and also universal. And then there’s publishing. So a lot of you are authors, I know, and self-publishing is what you do, and I’m not really talking to you in this slide though, there is extra publishing that you do that you may or may not know about or think about as publishing. What I’m talking about here is really the fact that every business is now in the publishing business.

Everybody wants to run a digital creative business and wants to publish because it’s those published assets that we were talking about earlier that do the work that, in the old days, was done by the traditional way, was done by a salesforce or a marketing team. For you, it’s likely to be a tweet, a brochure, a book, a blog post, an article, a white paper, an infographic, a heat map, a quiz that you’ve set up, so these assets that you create, they’re publishing assets.

They are forms of media that express and tell the story of your business, the thing you’ve worked out in your pitch, what your story is, who you are, what you’re offering, why you’re offering it in this unique and particular way, what your values are, how your value intersects with the person who is going to want to buy, and it’s very small. It’s micro micro, micro niche. You want to be only talking to the people who get it because it’s on a global scale when you work digitally, so no matter what you’re doing, however small and niche it is, there is an audience there who wants it and who needs it and who is willing to pay for it, but you need to work out who they are, who you are, and where you intersect, and that’s where the success begins to come and publishing them is the process by which you would pass on what you have to offer over to them.

So forget about your qualifications or CV, your background, your, you know, your history, your resume, all the old traditional things. Authority, reach, influence, income in creative business is not built in those ways really anymore. Very few people are even interested in that stuff. It’s Google, it’s about standing out and creating authority and reach in our world is about publishing and you need to put a face on your business and create information funnels that get you recognized online and you are who Google says you are.

And so things like SEO becomes very important and your social media and various things like that. I don’t talk about the detail of that stuff because there are lots of experts out there who are very good. I do recommend people that I know you can trust and who would give you very good advice, but my advice is kind of before you’re ready for that.

So where I come in is helping you. It’s not advice that replaces any of that. It kind of precedes it so you understand what you’re doing, so you understand what asset you’re creating when you go on Facebook or Twitter. Like, I’m here now talking to you guys with these slides and things and in the process of doing that, I’m creating something that will have a shelf life beyond the hour that we will spend talking here.

That’s the kind of thing I mean to begin to, I love doing this. I’m having a great time having this conversation. It’s very much part of who I am and what I want to kind of get over. And I’ve been doing it for years in private, but now I do it this way. I do it in a very different way and that’s the kind of thing you need to be thinking about for yourself and for your own business. How can you create credibility and discoverability so that you’re the person that turns up when somebody is looking for the kind of thing that you offer.

And finally, then is partnership, and once you’ve got all the other six in place and you’ve got everything kind of sorted pretty well, it’s never perfect. You’ve got to get used to as a creative, you know, things being good enough and the perfection of imperfection, as they say. And so it’s never perfect, but when it’s good enough, you can begin to work with other people in the field. And that maximizes, again, optimizes your income and your influence. It creates opportunities. You’re opening doors to the right people, so these are people who are already in touch with the kind of customer that you want to have a conversation with and they can help to bring you there and you can go further with that, you could do actual active collaborations and there’s all sorts of things you can do at the partnership level and we will discuss those when it comes to that particular workshop.

So they are the seven stages. Let’s just look. “I have to look at my lack of income as an investment at the moment or I’d go nuts and give up.” Yeah, absolutely. We all, we all invest in what we’re going to do. We are at different stages and that’s what I’m talking about. If you are at the, it’s Marie Claire who’s raising this and thank you for raising it because it’s, you are not alone. So she’s saying, “I think I’m away off all this. I’m still making the things” and you are, and I know you’re doing an awful lot more besides that, my dear. You’ve got a huge amount of things going on at the life level as well as at the business level.

Making the things, yeah, you’re the factory, you’re the crafter, you’re the maker and you can do this a couple of ways. So you can actually spend quite some time just doing that, making the stuff so that when you do go out there, you go back to stuff and one thing leads to another and you’re not just selling one thing and so on. That is a way to approach it.

And it’s a good way, I think, Marie Claire, in a situation like yours where you’re, I know you won’t mind me saying it because you’re very open about it, you’re working as a carer as well as doing what you’re doing. So making the stuff and just concentrating on that. If you have enough income to keep it going and as you say, you’re investing time, you’re investing income that’s absolutely 100 percent legitimate.

And so all that is in the intention stage. So, what you’re working through the seven stages in the making. So you’re getting through all that. Another way to approach it and if you have time, so this comes into the workshop we will do on the conditions, the time, the space and the conditions for creation are very important.

Our job as manager, our biggest job as manager is to create the right conditions for ourselves. That’s the most important thing of all. In fact, if you create the conditions right, things begin to happen. They begin to rise up through those conditions rather than beating ourselves up about actually making the thing itself or working on the business itself. Creating the conditions and habits is the most important thing. And I know, again, that you do that, Marie Claire, through your devotion through, to practice and what you’re making.

The other way to do it is to do a bit of everything. If you have more time so that you are working on each aspect of your business at the same time. So you’re doing some crafting, you’re doing some business process work and you’re doing some entrepreneur work in a week. So you don’t have to do it every day.

I think, as creatives, often the craft work is going to take and by craft I mean everything, teaching, you know, I don’t just mean making craft, handicrafts, I’m talking about the whole thing. Often we put more time into that and that’s fine, but it depends on where the need is and it depends on what the intention is. It depends on what you want to happen. So so much comes back to that original intention and passion and what you love, what you want to do and what you would love the outcome to be.

So that’s what we will look at. Breaking it down into pieces, very small pieces as we go so that some of this becomes easier and next time and through the next seven workshops, we will be doing small takeaways. So there will be things that I would ask you to do, which you should be able to complete between, you know, within the month.

There will be a task, one task that you will do within the month that would set up and what you need to get on top of this by the time we get to workshop seven, you will be in a position to go and make partnerships with influencers and other people in your industry who can help you to do more of what you want to do better and with more ease. So that’s it for this evening, unless you have any other questions for me, which I will be very pleased to answer.

Next time. That’s just a little bit about the, how to sign up for next time if you want to do that. And just to say the Go Creative books which will explain an awful lot of the background of this as well are coming soon and we’ll be launching the first one in October. So I’m looking forward to that. It’s been a long time coming. And also to let you know that we have a closed Facebook group called The Creativist Club Cafe and you find it on facebook groups/creativist.club.

A creativist is somebody who applies the creative process to everything in life, not just to work. And certainly not just to art. And I think that’s the joy of becoming a, being a creative entrepreneurs that you can also be a creativist who can create the life around the work, and the work feeds the life instead of, as it does for so many creators, life just collapses in.

And I think I answered that one Angela, the first one comes in October and then they’ll be following on after that and there’s a lot in the first one about what we’ll be talking about in the next workshop, which is the passion, the mission and the conditions, setting up the conditions for success. So thank you very much for coming along and you can add a comment later to this if you know, if a question strikes you or you can catch me anytime on Facebook or anywhere else in the various spaces I am to be found online and I’d be delighted at anytime to answer your question, love to have you in the Creativist Club Facebook group.

We’re building a really nice group of very supportive, creativepreneurs who are really happy to motivate each other and celebrating successes, setting our intentions at the beginning of the week, confirming them at the end of the week. Seeing how we’re getting along. So do come along and join us there if that appeals to you. And, yeah, wishing you the very best for this. I hope you have creative month and I hope to see you next time when we’ll be talking about making a living from what you love. Bye bye now.