Why Conventional Business Planning Doesn’t Work For Creative Business

The Go Creative! method I've put together came out of my own frustrations with conventional business planning, and why I believe it doesn't work for creative business. There are five main reasons. Conventional business planning:

1. Wants to outsource or delegate production, often the part of the business of most interest to most creative business owners. The reason we're in business at all.

If somebody shows me a business model or method that outsources or delegates the writing, I'm gone. I like being in creative business because it's the most enjoyable, and effective, way to support my writing.

You don't have to be a writer or artist to feel like this. Coaches, counselors, educators, healers, spiritual leaders– all those who run mission- or passion-based businesses–love  the Crafter role. Loving it to the extent of neglecting the Creative Director and/or Creative Entrepreneur role is not recommended but holding those three in place is essential to doing creative business the creative way.

2. Uses unsympathetic Language. Many creatives find business language too hard-edged, too goal-driven, too simplistic.

Language is representational and the tough talk and hard edges arise out of the profit motive, which is probably the most fundamental difference.

3. Assumes A Profit Motive. The main point of a conventional business is to make money. The main point of a creative business is to make meaning. A Creative business does not exist just to make money but, in the widely used phrase, to “make a difference”. By which is meant make a positive difference in the world.

Both will, of course, make both and the most effective business consciously balances these two. Forced to choose (which we are not) most creatives would probably not choose the money.

4. Feels one-dimensional. Conventional business planning takes no account of the deeper creative dimensions we’re so aware of: the fluid and nebulous, unexpected and sometimes chaotic nature of the creative process.

5. Makes Us Feel Bad. Businesslike people can often chivvy us for being uncomfortable with conventional concepts or language. We are told we need to embrace it, change our mindset, get with the program. This is the way it is, we're told. Suck it up

Creatives are wise to be suspicious of this.

The whole point of running your own creative business, and not settling into a cubicle and toiling for The Man, is to feel good. To make health and happiness and true wealth, not just money.

There is another way. The Creative Way. It puts production at the heart of the business. It uses language that aligns with creatives' thought and behaviour patterns. It assumes passion and mission and making meaning are as important as turnover and perks and making money. It feels multi-dimensional and, most of all, it makes us feel good.

That doesn't mean we'll always feel comfortable, or won't have challenges, or won't suffer all the feelings that go with failing, trying, failing better. But not making us feel good about ourselves, and how we think and approach things. Not prioritzing reason and dissing intuition. Not implying that our way is ditsy, for the birds, crazy.

Creative and conventional are made to work together, in harmony. That means mutual respect for each other's ways.

We're ready now to get started on doing your creative business, the creative way.

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.