This past week’s evolving discussion on entrepreneurial, service and creative business has been really enjoyable! 🙂
I love hearing the stories, reading everyone’s comments and even being disagreed with. We have really dug into some issues that are on the minds of the majority out there in our fields and I know that all our thoughts and input are helping others now and will in the future when they are searching.
But there is one thing I really want to give some attention to that I keep hearing in the voices of artists, and massage therapists and musicians and a myriad of other creative right-brain, heart-led thinkers out there.
And that’s this general sense of guilt that it’s not OK to thrive.
There are two angles to this: Those who don’t have confidence that they can thrive and those who do have confidence, but don’t think they should thrive.
I keep hearing things like, “My motives are not money, I just want to make enough to get by.” “I enjoy this kind of work, so I don’t charge much because I’d do it anyway.” “I can’t afford much, so why should I expect others who can’t afford much to pay me?” (That’s a big one.) “I’m not good at business stuff.” (Another big one.) “I don’t want to seem greedy, or too focused on money.” “I don’t need to learn about business. Only greedy people do that.”
And on it goes.
Umm, hello! This may be news to you, but I don’t want to just scrape by. I know what that’s like and I don’t want to live it. I don’t want my kids to live it! My father was an entrepreneur with 4-5 employees, and we just got by. Thank goodness for Grandpa’s garden some years, because when there wasn’t profit after paying everyone, there wasn’t profit. And profit is how Dad got paid. And he was seen as a leader in the community. (He also had trouble getting paid by his customers.)
We survived. Obviously I’m here to tell the story. But we did not thrive. We did without shoes, scraped by on food and cut every corner we could.
Stop what you’re saying to yourself and to others and really think about that. Because I don’t think you really mean it when you say things like that. Because that would honestly just be weird to only wish to “get by.” We cannot grow on “get by.”
And I don’t want to just survive. I know how to do that and it’s not enough for me. I want to thrive. And that’s where I’m heading.
And you know what – you can come too.
I give you permission to thrive. And permission to say no to what’s unhealthy for you. Including poisonous customers and relationships.
I grant you permission to create a plan, a strategy and a structure that is good for you and good for growing your business. And if you get paid for what you do – you have a business! It’s not a bad word!
Learning and becoming good at business is not greedy. I give you permission to go forth and conquer – not the weak, but yourself.
I give you permission to be confident, brilliant and excellent – no apologies! No dissing your accomplishments, talents or yourself.
I give you permission to be successful. And you know what else? To define for yourself what success means to you!
I give you permission to earn a living doing what you love. And permission not to feel guilty because others don’t (yet).
I don’t however give you permission to be unkind, dishonest or apathetic.
I give you permission to be yourself fully and to enjoy making money.
I give you permission to take risks, to stray from the sidewalk, to do something breath-taking.
I give you permission to let go of “supposed to’s” and instead embrace “want to’s.” And to release all scarcity mindsets.
I give you permission to ignore advice! And your parents and your siblings and anyone else who is harming, not helping.
I give you permission to ignore good advice and strike out on your own path!
I give you permission to fail! And fail again! And to not see that as a bad thing!
I give you permission to allow yourself some clarity about what you really want in life and to let go of those inner blocks that are getting in your way and standing between you and the rest of your freedom.
Why am I giving you permission? Because apparently we haven’t all given ourselves permission. And hopefully, if you know what I’m talking about, somewhere in here is a seed that you can adopt and take home with you. Go with my blessing!
It’s time for us to commit if we’re going to master the calling of being an entrepreneur. Business is like a garden that requires love and tending. And it either thrives, or dies. Or gets overgrown and sidetracked by weeds. All of us artists, writers, musicians, and consultants – we’re all entrepreneurs. Don’t kid yourself otherwise, we are in business for ourselves. Art requires discipline and skill, just as does business! So we know we can do this! If an artist can sacrifice and pour out our soul to do what we love – you tell me why we can’t succeed at the core principles of good business!
I invite you to write yourself a code of ethics that embraces responsibility, integrity and ingenuity that you can embrace heart, mind and soul.
I invite you to be selfish and think about your needs: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. Who does it benefit if you are not nurtured? Seriously! Who? Kill the starving artist mentality!
I invite you to think of your business as a child you are bringing up and to nurture it and yourself. To nurture the relationship you have with business and money. To provide it structure that it cannot provide for itself.
I invite you to forgive yourself and to be tender and kind in your dealings with yourself. And yet, not to be too easy on yourself either.
I invite you to analyze your business inward, not just outward. Find your unique value to the world. And find who benefits from that?
I say these things as much for me, as I do for you, because I need that encouragement too. I want my children to have it someday too. There’s been an unhealthy disconnect between the creative soul-driven worlds and business and we do not need to feed or foster it.
The key is our mindset.
What does thriving look like for you?
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:
When Designers Hear “Can You Cut Your Price?“
Dear Artists: Your Prices Are Not The Problem – Or Are They?
Dear Artists: There’s A Problem With Your Pricing – Part 2
Please Help Me Travel The World To Study Crochet Hooks!
When Artists Hear “I Can Make That!“
Disparaging Handcrafts In The Name Of Law – How Far Does It Push Us Back?
Cro-pocalypse: The Rise of Crochet
11 responses to “I Give You Permission To Thrive!”
Great post. I hope to need this advice soon, as I am getting close to finishing my novel! If I can manage that and edit so it is good enough then maybe next year I will be self publishing and having to market it! Most authors’ least favourite task.
Awesome! Congratulations and good luck! I am looking at the self-publishing angle too. Actually considering becoming my own publishing company. Still researching and playing with it.
You should both definitely look into self publishing! Talk about having the ability to thrive! It used to be authors had few choices and all them involved the HOPE of surviving. Some thrived, but not many. Now authors can make a decent living writing! So go for it! And follow the other awesome advice in this blog! THRIVE!!! (Why do people feel guilty for providing a SERVICE OR PRODUCT that people want and then asking to be paid for it? That’s not evil or selfish! Are you mad at the grocery store for charging you for food? The farmer for charging for food? Why are we so angry at businesses who provide the services we want or need? We’ve always bartered something to get the things we need. Always!)
Exactly! But, as I always contend – when I barter, that exchange of energy, whether money or something else exchanged, must be of value to me. I cannot exchange my work for something that does not have value to me. Keeping this rule really helps me in business, because so many artisans and service peeps expect to barter with each other and I won’t unless it makes sense and can make sense in my accounting. But also, it gives me perspective when it comes to money too. Kind of like my reference to what an hour of my time is worth. A cup of coffee, or a lunch?
Thanks for the added encouragement about self-publishing. I’ve been heading down this road a while, just need to do the writing. I have one I want to start out with, so I’m not learning on my most treasured stuff, but it would be a compilation of my retelling of other people’s stories. I’m still not clear on how to handle that one. I don’t know if I’d owe those people a contract or something or what. Still poking at the research and not clear on how to do it. But it’s an idea I really want to do.
Thank you! This is such a lovely and helpful post and I really appreciate you putting in the time and effort to write these posts too.( I am amazed at your output !! ).And now I am going to tend the garden of my business and think of a forward plan.
Thank you Bea! I’m glad you find it helpful! The output frequency is mainly due to the NaBloPoMo challenge I’m participating in. I don’t think I can write this well on a daily basis more than once or twice a year. But this is my preferred writing style and these things rumble around in my head every day. Truth be told, I think my ability to write well daily under pressure is increasing over the years. When I first started NaBloPoMo some years ago, it was challenging to get any writing mojo going. It really has taken the development of a mindset. And I draw from my public speaking skills quite a bit. It also helps to make a habit of writing down my ideas when they are first inspired.
Of course, discussion always helps
Thanks! This article was great! You have really inspired me this past week and it’s produced a lot of results in my etsy shop (not customers, but a full makeover, new items and re-vamped listings!). So thank you!
Awesome! That’s music to my ears Ben! Glad to hear it. Here’s to all of us succeeding. 🙂 Please share if you think others could benefit too.
I was just thinking about this earlier today…Somehow it started with the thought of buying new towels, which we haven’t done in more years than I care to admit. I do want to thrive so I can buy new towels (or whatever) when they’re needed without having to worry about the money I just spent on groceries. The starving artist mentality is for the birds. I want my business to succeed and be a source of income. I’m tired of feeling guilty over being paid for my talents and not pushing myself harder. Lovely article.
Precisely! And thanks for your kind feedback Jess, I’m so glad you find this supportive! 🙂
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