Mapping Your Creative Business 1: Introduction

Over the coming days, I'm running a blog series to accompany the Go Creative! workshops.

This series will take you through the stages of setting up, or gearing up, a successful creative business. Downloadable scorecards, maps and logs won't just explain, but will take you through the process as you do the exercises given.

The exercises, maps and logs are designed to steady you, to bring you, wave by dependable wave, through the seven stages from stating your intention (Stage One: “I intend to create a business that enables me to make a living doing what I love”) to being up and running successfully (Stage Seven: “I am a successful creative entrepreneur, making my living doing what I love.”).

Being a creative business owner is triply challenging:

  • Understanding your passion, mission and values, which form the core of any creative business, is challenging.
  • Building and running business of any kind is inherently challenging but profit-based business has the advantage of beginning with customer need.  a passion based business, creative business, must also take The Crafter's needs into account
  • Keeping to the creative way is challenging,  in a world is designed around conventional principles.

This blog series will guide you through the process. You'll learn

a) how to create a vision and then map that visioninto one-year, one-quarter, one-month, one-week and ultimately one-day waves of activity, so you'll always know what you're supposed to be doing.

b) how to find a core offering and micro-niche that will sustain you, creatively and commercially; and

c) how to run your business well, creatively and commercially.

What the Go Creative! method offers is a way to be carried through, stage by stage, wave by wave, by the process. We do this by largely focussing on the stage we are in and finishing it out, before moving onto the next.

I say largely because the process is never cut and dried, logical and linear, but it definitely does have its own logic.

And I say wave by wave, rather than step by step, because that's the motion of a creative business.

The best image is that of the sea. There are swirls and undercurrents and backwashes but under the guidance of the moon, the tide flows inexorably to the shore.

Under your guidance, the creative process flows like this too. If you stay focused and connected, it might take longer than expected, but it cannot fail.

One of the main reasons creative projects do stall or stop is the tendency to mix up the steps of the process. You do a bit of preparation, jump into drafting, then start correcting this isolated part of the draft, trying to improve it, going back to the beginning, moving forwards and backwards through various stages of the process, without understanding those stages and what they ask of you.

Everything gets all mixed up and you muddle your way through by trial and error.

You can create something meaningful this way (I did!) but it’s much slower. It can also be so emotionally and creatively draining that you get disheartened, and give up.

We start with establishing your core offering, the product or service that will most delight those your business serves–including you–around which you build the rest. You do that by understanding your passion, mission and purpose.

Go Creative! It's Your Native State, the first book in the Go Creative! series is publishing soon. If you'd like to be the first to hear when it's out, you can get an alert by signing up here:

I’ll also send you my free Monday Motivator and my Compendium for Creativists ebook.