Mapping Your Creative Business 4: The Three Components: Craft, Direction and Enterprise

As we discussed in the last Go Creative! workshop, if your creative business is to make money, you must wear three different hats you must wear.

You wear:

1 The Crafter’s hat for work in the business (IB), producing the projects, goods and services you must create, in order to thrive. In the Crafter's inner-focused vision, finding and keeping happy customers is a matter of producing great stuff.

The Crafter craves creativity.

The Director’s hat for work on the business (OB), building the assets, employing the tools, improving the processes you must develop, in order to thrive. In the Director’s integrated vision, finding and keeping happy customers is about getting pricing, features, availability, and support right and having good problem-solving processes.

The Director craves order (and often ends up cleaning up after the Entrepreneur and the Crafter).

The Entrepreneur’s hat for work about your business (AB), coming up with the ideas and partnerships and placements that will enable you to reach customers at the scale you need, in order to thrive. In the Entrepreneur’s outer-focused vision, finding and keeping happy customers is an opportunity to make money and meaning, for self and others.

The Entrepreneur craves influence and impact.

These three parts of you will call on different skills and attitudes.

Here is the video of the workshop. Read below to understand how each of the different roles works, thinks, and operates.

The Work

The Crafter says: “I’d love to work on this product/do that campaign/offer the other service” and thinks this content is the key to a successful business. In the Crafter’s view, the work is to make more, and better, offerings to sell.

The Director says: “What work has to be done to run this business?” In this view the features of the business itself, not just to the project and products, are important. As are costs, customer retention, support of current processes and team, using the best tools and processes, are the keys to success. In the Director’s view, the work is keeping the business on track.

The Entrepreneur asks: “How should this business work?”, looks at the business itself as the main product, and think how the business competes for customers’ attention and money is the key to its success. In the Entrepreneur’s view, the work is to turn ideas, products and processes into impact and influence, creative and commercial.


The Director Perspective looks top down, seeing the business as a whole: how it acts, how it does what it is intended to do, how it looks.

The Crafter Perspective looks bottom up, seeing the business in parts, based on tasks to be done, from a maker’s point of view.

The Entrepreneur Perspective looks from the inside out, at the customers, collaborators and influencers, at where the business fits, and how it might disrupt, the field.

Time Focus

The Entrepreneur starts with a picture of a well-defined future, and then comes back to the present with the intention of changing it to match the vision. The present-day world is modeled after a vision of a better way that will delight customers and give the joy and satisfaction of success.

The Crafter looks through the funnel of time from the other direction, with the future being modeled from present-day conditions and past experience, and from a model of getting paid for effort or results.

The Director is in the present, improving existing tools and processes to make the Crafter’s life easier and to take the business where the Entrepreneur wants it to go.


The Entrepreneur see the business as a system for turning ideas into value, delivering results for a customer, resulting in profits.

The Director sees the business as a system that benefits the Crafter, Entrepreneur, the rest of the team, customers, clients and everyone it touches.

The Crafter sees the business as a place in which people work to produce an income that allows crafting to continue.

The challenge for you, as Entrepreneur, Crafter and Director is to maintain the right balance of views to get things done in a way that creates wealth, wellbeing and happiness for you and your business.

Most creatives put less attention in expanding their influence and impact (The Entrepreneur’s perspective) than they do in the business (“Creative’s Perspective”) — and even less time and attention, far less attention than is needed, on the business (“Director’s Perspective”).

Many of those calling themselves Creative Entrepreneurs aren’t thinking entrepreneurially at all. Many of us allegedly running creative businesses are not really in business at all. We’re just making stuff and putting it up online. Or perhaps not even completing stuff.

What about you? Are you more Crafter, Director or Entrepreneur? What do you need to do to bring your business into balance, and increase your creative and commercial rewards?

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