What Is A Creativepreneur? Creativepreneur is a relatively new job designation, unheard of before the 1990s, and only really taking off with the widespread adoption of smartphones in the past decade.
A creativepreneur builds a businesses around a personal mission, passion or purpose and runs the business from creative principles, using digital teams, tools, and tribes to expand their income and influence.
Like an entrepreneur, a creativepreneur takes risks to build assets, in the hope of yielding a profit, but with some key differences.
We have three clear identifiers:
- We have created a business out of a passion, mission or sense of purpose (maybe all three)
- We work in the digital space, hiring virtual assistance when we need to expand
- We understand creative principles and we apply them to the work we do on as well as in our business
What Is A Creativepreneur? Not A Freelance
Like the creativepreneur, a freelancer is self-employed—but the way a freelance business is structured means their financial life is far more like that of an employee more than an entrepreneur. Freelancers, like employees, trade their time for money. Creativepreneurs don't.
When a freelancer stops work, income immediately stops. You are only as good as your last job. A creativepreneur creates assets that go on making money, without us having to be in the room.
What Is A Creativepreneur? Not Any Small Business Owner
People often use the word “entrepreneur” interchangeably with small business owner–but again, these operate very differently. Most small businesses are not set up around innovative products and services or creative business processes.
They’re not primarily digital. Digital tools are useful to them as an extra, if at all.
Neither are they aiming for scale. They’re not interested in adding or improving assets and they don’t really think about growth, certainly not global growth. From corner shops and restaurants to large institutions, conventional business is happiest doing what its always done. They do change of course, change is inevitable for all but creativepreneurs choose change. And we consciously use using digital teams, tools, and tribes to help us to change and grow.
What Is A Creativepreneur? Not Any Entrepreneur
Creativepreneurs have more in common with the entrepreneurial classes than any other group (it’s there in the name). Entrepreneurs also sell innovative products, processes or services, harness the power of digital tech and many work alone, especially in their start-up phase. But again there are key differences.
An entrepreneur is typically focussed on achieving fast growth, market share and a high valuation, a process financed by venture capital and angel investments. They aim to scale up by adding employees and premises, markets and territories. Many of us work from our kitchen tables, garages, or “shedquarters”, and wouldn't have it any other way.
And they often start the business with the exit in mind. We don’t want to exit, we want to grow a business so we can do what we love.
And, crucially, a creativepreneur applies the same creative process to business as we do to art or craft work.
That’s where the “creative” bit comes in.
As the old song says, “Tain't What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It… That’s what gets results.”
Sy Oliver’s and Trummy Young’s 1930s song is the classic anthem to the creative way: “You can try hard, don't mean a thing/Take it easy, breezy, then your jive will swing./Tain't what you do, it's the way that you do it…
The creativepreneurs I work with are swinging their jive into five-, six- and seven-figure businesses that offer their personal passions to the world in innovative, creative ways.
Creativepreneurs don’t want to accumulate staff or stuff, premises or stock, or to be weighed down by convention, doing the done thing.
Some of us are digital nomads, traveling the world as we work. All of us want to stay creatively free as we continue to grow our reach, our income, and our love for what we do.
And for how we do it.
Example of A Typical Entrepreneur
Daniel founded and runs Dent Global a growth accelerator programme for small enterprises, a business he began in 2009. At age 25, he'd built a multi-million dollar event, marketing and management business. He has built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK. Daniel coaches business owners in how to grow businesses that provide exit potential for a life-changing amount of money, and walks his own talk. In 2011, Dent Global was worth £4 million pounds, by 2013 it was worth over 7.5 million. In 2016, he did a deal that valued his business at just under 10 million.
Daniel is a typical entrepreneur.
Example of a Typical Creativepreneur
I run a self-publishing, speaking and events business from this website, and a related self-publishing non-profit, ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors. Together these provide a good living for me and my husband (who also works in our non-profit). We contribute to the income of editors, designers, formatters, marketeers, tech companies and rights sellers, all over the world, from Turkey to Holland (the long way round).
We are focussed less on numbers and more on the quality of our engagement with our community, and the quality of our own lifestyle. We work on our laptops in various coffee shops, have a home office, and are Associates at the Free Word Centre.
That’s all we ever want to have, in terms of physical assets. Fancy premises or full-time employees have no allure.
What I love most about my creative business and non-profit is that running them allows me to write every day, while also using my energies to empower other indie authors and creativepreneurs. That’s the reason I do what I do, and I never want to stop doing it.
For me, there’s no exit plan. I started this way of life in my 50s and have no intention to retire.
I am a typical creativepreneur. What about you?
I’ll also send you my free Monday Motivator and my Compendium for Creativists ebook.