My First Year as an Artistprenuer (Lessons Learned)

It was one year ago that I first decided to not pursue a 9 to 5 or work in a cubicle. Well, I always knew that lifestyle wasn't for me (hence the dreadlocks), but I wasn't sure I was capable of entrepreneurship either.
I haven't made a lot of progress for the first year, but there are some things I've learned, and some truths which have come to light. I hope my realizations may inspire, help, or encourage another Artistprenuer who wants to run a business doing what they love.

1. You will never get it right the first time.

2. Just like life, it's all about the journey, not the destination.

3. You can plan too much. (Or too little.)

4. Artist first, Business Person/CEO/Accountant/Marketer second. (I refuse to budge on this one.)

5. All "rules" in making & selling art, design, and craft are really just suggestions.

6. Be yourself.

7. Nobody is perfect.

8. You cannot start a business without a start-up investment. (I'm learning this one the hard way.)

9. You need an outlet. A diary, journal, or personal project will do.

10. Listen to someone else's view of creativity and art. Whether you agree or disagree.

11. Having a "day job" is overrated. Get real about what matters to you.

12. Take a 2 week vacation from work every year, 1 day off a week, a 10 minute break every couple of hours. (Stop working & don't feel guilty about it.)

13. Capture inspiration in a variety of formats & use it.

14. There will always be someone who likes what you're doing. (And someone who won't.)

15. You're allowed to grow and change.

16. Buy handmade.

17. Reward yourself. Be your own inspirational/motivation coach.

18. There really is no limit to what you're capable of.

I hope that some of my lessons learned may inspire, re-assure, or encourage you. I've never experienced anything more challenging than trying to make a living doing what I love most. It's filled with moments of joy and happiness, but also struggle and fear.
Yet, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

There are sure to be other Atristprenuers out there who have learned a thing or two from their experiences. Impart your wisdom upon me in the comments. Also, if you know of other creative business types sharing their lessons learned, feel free to leave a link.

(You might be interested in the guest post over at Modish Biz Tips from Caroline Devoy sharing 7 things she learned from 8 years of being in the creative business.)

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