6 Figure Creative Icon

The Creative Vs The Entrepreneur | Which Side Wins?

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In today's episode, I'm dedicating the entire discussion to the creative versus the entrepreneur. We'll explore the pros and cons of each side, helping you navigate the battle within and find that sweet spot in the middle—the balance that leads to a happier, healthier, and more prosperous freelance career.
First, let's really understand your creative side. As freelancers, most of us start as creatives at heart. We stumble upon a skill or a passion that sparks our imagination, ignites our creativity, and propels us to share our art with the world. It's what drives us to be here in the first place.
But to become a successful creative freelancer, it takes more than just passion and raw talent. It takes a truly entrepreneurial approach. This is where the magic happens, where we turn our creativity into a viable business.
Remember, both the creative and the entrepreneur are essential elements of your freelance business. Embrace the good parts of both and avoid the dark sides of both.
By finding that sweet spot in the middle, you'll find the ideal balance for running a happier, healthier, and more profitable freelance business.
So, if you're a creative freelancer who wants to earn more from your creative skills (without selling your soul), this episode is an absolute must-listen.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Balancing the creative and entrepreneurial sides of your brain
  • Why creatives are selfish
  • Creatives and speed to finishing a project
  • What entrepreneurs understand that creatives don't
  • Using people, processes, and systems, to create value
  • Keeping your creative spark alive
  • Scheduling time for creative and entrepreneurial tasks
  • Expanding your horizons by joining communities and finding mentors

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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative podcast. I am your host, Brian Hood. This is your first time listening to the show. First of all, welcome, so glad to have you here. This podcast is for creative freelancers who want to earn more money from their creative skills without selling their soul. That sounds like you, you are absolutely in the right place.

[00:00:16] Brian: For my returning listeners and viewers on YouTube, awesome to have you back. I just got home a wonderful trip with my wife and a couple other friends couples, where it just happened to be all three of the women's birthdays last week, including my wife. we went out to Taos, New Mexico, if anyone's ever heard of that or been to that.

[00:00:33] Brian: Taos is like a small ski town in the high desert of New Mexico, and it is a gorgeous, gorgeous town. Charming, so much history there. It's one of the few places you can go in America and actually have a thousand years of history. We went to the Pueblos of TAUs and it's a uh, continuously inhabited village that has been around for like a thousand plus years. It's crazy. When you think about it, 'cause in America, like historic building to us is like from the 18 hundreds,[00:01:00] you go anywhere else, like Europe or Asia and it's like thousands of years of history.

[00:01:04] Brian: If you want that in America, New Mexico is a great place to go. Nashville probably not the best place to go,

[00:01:10] Brian: But I am feeling rejuvenated. I'm feeling refreshed. And highly recommend anyone who's ever thought of going to New Mexico make a trip out there. It's actually beautiful. We did Taos and we did Santa Fe as well. And Santa Fe is beautiful. My wife and I decided we need to go spend more time there.

[00:01:22] Brian: But anyways, happy birthday to my wife. She's amazing. And now I'm gonna talk about what you're here for, not me and my travels or my wife's birthday even.

[00:01:29] Brian: You're here to learn about or talk about. The topic of the show today and the topic I have today is something I'm really passionate about, something I've talked about more and more recently, and something that I think is worth considering, no matter which side of the spectrum you're on. But on this show specifically, we have to continuously talk about this battle between the creative and the entrepreneur at the beginning of every show.

[00:01:49] Brian: I've said for like the past, I dunno, I've been saying it for a bunch of episodes recently. We help you earn more without selling your soul on this podcast. And people who go too far into the entrepreneur world, they end up selling their soul and making more money and being [00:02:00] miserable, that's one side of it.

[00:02:01] Brian: And then the other side of it's the creative, the person who's just making art for art's sake and they struggle immensely with how to actually earn money. and the place that I would love for you to get to is to find that balance in the middle.

[00:02:11] Brian: So I wanna spend this entire episode talking about the creative versus the entrepreneur. There are good parts and there are bad parts of both sides. And my goal for you is to find what are the parts of the creative that you possess right now that are good, that you should keep and nurture and grow? And what are the bad parts of the creative that you currently have that you need to get rid of?

[00:02:30] Brian: Then what are the good parts of the entrepreneur that you should keep and nurture and grow? What are the parts that you're missing that should find a way to add to your skillset or to your personality?

[00:02:39] Brian: And then the negatives of the entrepreneur. What are those that you may need to cut back on Again, there's pros and cons on both sides, and I wanna dive into both here both are absolutely needed. If you're trying to make money from our creative skills, and if you're listening to this podcast or watching us on YouTube, then you absolutely want that. Or else why are you here?

[00:02:55] Brian: so let's first start with the creative. The creative is what almost all of us start out as. You [00:03:00] don't really become a creative freelancer if you're not first a creative, usually, we first find a skill or something that we're passionate about that takes creativity, and we hone our skillset until we are good enough to start earning money.

[00:03:11] Brian: And then typically, this isn't always the case for everyone, but typically we fall into freelancing. It's not necessarily an intentional thing for a lot of people. Sometimes it is. But a lot of people, we fall into the passion first the money kind of follows. so when we're talking about the good parts of the creative, the first and foremost, the biggest thing ever is the fact that we can create something from nothing. And that is incredible When you sit down and think about this, the ability to make something from nothing is as about as close as we have to the golden touch. As humans, you can take just an idea and you can make it real. As a creative, that is an amazing thing to be able to do.

[00:03:43] Brian: And that is the thing that we get paid to do as creatives. We take an idea, a concept, a vision, and we make it a reality in some way, shape or form. Yes. Some of it might take special gear. All of it takes some sort of special knowledge, but at the end of the day, you're creating essentially something from nothing and then selling that some of the [00:04:00] other good positives of a creative is we're driven by passion for the art we create instead of money. Again, we'll talk about the negatives of that in a second. But the positive right now is we're driven by passion and that creates better art. Because when we're, driven by passion for the art that we create, we tend to make better art because we're not limited by, ooh, what's my dollars per hour? Or How efficient is this process? No, we are actually wholeheartedly passionate about the thing that we are creating, the thing that we are working on, the art that we're putting out into the world. and this leads to one of the other big positives of being a creative, and that is personal fulfillment. When you're driven by passion and you're able to create something from nothing and you're creating something that is true to yourself, there's a ton of personal fulfillment that comes from that, and that's what leads you to create the stuff that you create.

[00:04:41] Brian: so all of those things I just mentioned are things you should hold onto as a creative as best you can. As you're building the entrepreneur side. But there is also the dark side of creativity that we have to talk about because it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

[00:04:51] Brian: The creative, first and foremost, the pure creative, the one who is devoid of all entrepreneur side, struggles immensely with inconsistent [00:05:00] income. And that's usually, there's a few things that are behind that. But one of the biggest ones that I see personally from thousands of freelancers that I've interacted with just in the past year and probably tens of thousands over my lifetime, is they tend to be selfish.

[00:05:14] Brian: And if you're offended by that, I'm sorry, but just hear me out here, creatives, who are passion led. We're creating art that is personally fulfilling many, many, many times. It is focused on you and what you want as a creative, what your creative genius can put out into the world. it takes nothing into account of what the other person wants.

[00:05:31] Brian: little to nothing of what they want. there's a reason that these starving artists is a thing. It's a trope at this point, and that's because the starving artist creates art for themselves versus others.

[00:05:41] Brian: So when you create for yourself there tends to be very little value in that for what we call the market. And Mr. Market doesn't care about you, your personal creativity. They care about what's in it for them. so as a creative, we can't just be selfishly isolated in our little rooms creating art for art's sake because it fulfills us.

[00:05:57] Brian: Unless that's what you wanna do as a hobby. But when it comes to [00:06:00] actually being a business owner, we have to actually create value for other people, which means we can't be selfish when it comes to our creativity. We have to share it with others.

[00:06:08] Brian: And that means we have to take their input and mold our creativity around what they want.

[00:06:12] Brian: And there are countless examples in every conceivable freelance niche that I can think of. and there are a few that I can speak about personally. In my past, in music production, there were many times that I ignored my clients because I thought something was a better idea.

[00:06:26] Brian: I dunno if you've ever done that. But I tend to steamroll people. I'm an Enneagram eight, I'm a challenger. And when I have something that I've put in my head as a better idea, I go full force at that to the detriment of my clients. so that was something that I personally struggled with a lot, is, oh, I have this creative idea, or Your idea is bad, mine is better, so we're gonna do it my way.

[00:06:44] Brian: Unfortunately, when it comes to your clients, it doesn't always work that way. Now, I'm not saying that you always do what your client wants, because we all know sometimes our client doesn't have their best interest in mind.

[00:06:53] Brian: They think that something is going to be better, and you as the expert know that it's not. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about when you take nothing else [00:07:00] into account and all you want to do is sit in a room and create art.

[00:07:03] Brian: That is somebody who is selfish with their creativity. They're not sharing it with other people to give them what they want.

[00:07:09] Brian: and this leads to one of the other negatives of a creative is they tend to over isolate. This isn't always true, but many of the creatives that I know, that if you ask them, what would you do if money were no object? and they say, I would just sit in a room and I would do x. I would mix music. I would write music. I would,

[00:07:25] Brian: travel and take photos. As I travel, I would make artistic videos. I would write stories. they just wanna sit in a dark room and creatively vomit.

[00:07:33] Brian: and while this can occasionally, and you'll see this occasionally, create a masterpiece that's rare and for those who actually do that, where they just sit in a room and isolate themselves from other people from outside influence, they tend to be miserable humans are not built for isolation.

[00:07:47] Brian: There's been study after study that humans who interact with people more are healthier, they live longer. And if I were to guess, this isn't part of the studies that I've read, but if I were to guess, they're more creative because they've had more inputs to then turn [00:08:00] into more outputs as a creative.

[00:08:01] Brian: So we've talked about being selfish as a creative. We've talked about isolating as a creative, but one of the other big negatives of the pure creative is they tend to avoid work. this goes back to the selfish thing. Creatives want to work on the things that they wanna work on.

[00:08:14] Brian: So they focus on all the things that personally fulfill them, and they ignore all the things they don't want to do. Tell me if this resonates with you. Your bookkeeping is a mess. your office is a wreck.

[00:08:23] Brian: You've been putting off those things you know you need to do because they don't personally fulfill you. You've put off learning those skills, you know, you need to learn because they personally don't fulfill you. So you tend to avoid all of those things as the pure creative, because you would rather focused on just creating the art.

[00:08:38] Brian: this is what the pure creative the one left to their own devices tends to do.

[00:08:43] Brian: Not always, but they tend to do this. The next negative is the creative relies on emotions versus logic. again, these are just generalizations. This isn't everyone. This is just a generalization of the pros and cons or the positives and negatives of the creative.

[00:08:55] Brian: But creatives tend to rely on emotion over logic, and this can lead [00:09:00] to all sorts of negative things in your business. For example, when you rely on emotion over logic for pricing your services, tend to just give everything away and you don't ask for enough for yourself, and that can leave you feeling bitter, that can leave you being broke.

[00:09:13] Brian: When you rely on emotion instead of logic that can be some of the reasons that you avoid. It can be the reason you don't market your business because you don't wanna do that. It emotionally feels weird or off or It doesn't emotionally resonate with you. It feels off to who you are instead of your logic brain taking over and saying if no one knows I exist, I'm not gonna get clients.

[00:09:31] Brian: And the final negative I wanna talk about here when it comes to being a creative or a pure creative, is that things just take too long. And because of that, it can be difficult to compete with other freelancers or earn what you need to earn. So here's what I mean by this. creatives tend to not really think through how long it actually takes them to do something.

[00:09:49] Brian: How long does it take to produce a song? How long does it take to do a photo shoot and edit the photos? How long does it take to create that video and edit that video color grade, that video? How long does it take to

[00:09:58] Brian: complete that project? And when [00:10:00] you really sit down and think about it and do line item by line, item by line item, which you generally have to force a creative to do this and you put down how long it takes you to do that, whether you've tracked time or you're just estimating, almost always.

[00:10:10] Brian: Here's what happens. You look at this and there's an exorbitant amount of time spent in one or two or all areas, and that means you are either going to earn very, very little per hour, meaning you're earning peanuts, or that means you have to charge a ton in order to make it worth your time. And here's why that's bad.

[00:10:27] Brian: When you're comparing yourself the pure creative, the one who doesn't think about time, you just want to create the best art possible and you compare that to somebody who's a little more entrepreneurial. We'll talk about the entrepreneur in a second. When you compare that to someone who's more entrepreneurial, they've thought about all those line items and how long it takes to do those things.

[00:10:42] Brian: They've corrected the inefficiencies they've used. Some of the things we talk about on the podcast, the EZ Eights framework, automate, delegate, eliminate, and. Mitigate, If you haven't already listened to episode 216 where I talk about this stuff, it's called How to Spend Less Time Doing The Stuff You Hate, the Easy Eights Framework. That's an awesome episode that goes [00:11:00] into some of this stuff. They use those things to cut down on the amount of time it takes to complete a project. Now they're doing the exact same project with a similar or sometimes better quality at half the amount of time.

[00:11:11] Brian: Now look, who has the advantage? Creative, A, the pure creative who's taking a hundred hours for that deliverable, or B, the entrepreneur creative the blended creative, the creative entrepreneur. That's awful. The creative entrepreneur who does it in 20 hours because they've found inefficiencies. They hire help. They've automated delegated, they put systems together. They're using better software. They found ways to create a similar or better output for half the time. Who has the advantage in this scenario?

[00:11:39] Brian: It's the creative who's done it faster. Sometimes they're just faster because they've done it more. They're not obsessed with the things that don't matter. the pure creative, they tend to obsess over minute details that aren't gonna make a difference at the end of the day. I remember the first time I ever recorded a label album. This is in the studio in 2006 or 2007. This is gonna be released on one of the bigger labels in my niche. I. I [00:12:00] remember the entire time as we're obsessing over all these small details in the studio, I remember thinking, God, it would be so nice to know the impact that these decisions make.

[00:12:09] Brian: So when we change the song, does that increase our fans or decrease our fans? Does that increase our album sold or decrease our album sold? And I just remember thinking we'd be obsessing over one or two small things and I just couldn't help but think this is not gonna make any meaningful difference in how our record does.

[00:12:25] Brian: And I remember some things thinking, man, that is a huge difference. That's gonna make a massive difference in how our record does. And if you just think about all your projects that way, there are certain things that never make any meaningful impact to the end product. But the creative can't let those things go.

[00:12:39] Brian: And that is one of the major disadvantages the pure creative has compared to the creative entrepreneur. Again, we'll talk about that blend in a second. I'm getting ahead of myself.

[00:12:48] Brian: But this is the danger of the bespoke creative who every single project is a unique little thing you can't systemize or build processes around or productize at all. Now, that is the creative, [00:13:00] those are the pros and cons.

[00:13:01] Brian: there's a lot of good and there's also a lot of bad, and we've gotta find ways to mitigate those negatives. And the way mitigate those is by looking to the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is almost a mirror, almost a reflection of the creative. Many of the positives of the entrepreneur mitigate or eliminate the weaknesses of the creative, but also some of the positives of the creative mitigate the weaknesses or negatives of the entrepreneur.

[00:13:24] Brian: So let's talk about the positives and the negatives of the entrepreneur. And my goal is for you to see where you stand. No one that I know is the pure entrepreneur or the pure creative. We're all blends of both of these. And the goal is to find what blend do you need to hit your goals as a freelancer.

[00:13:40] Brian: first and foremost, the positives for entrepreneur. They know how to make money. And the reason they're able to make money is that they're strategic and intentional instead of impulsive. While creators are impulsive, they let their impulses dictate which direction they go. They can let shiny objects pull them one way or another.

[00:13:55] Brian: They can let obsession on one thing, that impulse drive them to perfect that one thing that will [00:14:00] never matter where that's the creative. The entrepreneur understands how to take a strategic approach to what they're doing. They know how to set up their business for success from the very beginning. They know how to be intentional and focus on the 20% that's gonna get them 80% of the results, or the 5% that'll get 95% of the results.

[00:14:15] Brian: They understand all of that and they don't let the impulse pull them away from the plan that they have created. Another reason entrepreneurs can make money is because they understand the logic behind pricing instead of emotions.

[00:14:26] Brian: they understand that every hour they save on the project, they can pass those savings forward to their client. Which means They understand what to charge for or what to not charge for, where to be efficient and save their client time versus where to be strategic and spend more time on those things because it ultimately affects the end product that the client is paying for.

[00:14:43] Brian: The entrepreneur also understands how to focus on others instead of being selfish. And this is one of the biggest things that I've seen time and time and time and time again. The entrepreneur, they understand how to create value. And if you ever wanna earn money, you have to learn how to create value.

[00:14:57] Brian: And value is created when you take a [00:15:00] non-self approach to your business. And entrepreneurs are wonderful at this. This is the good part of capitalism. There's a lot of negatives in capitalism, don't get me wrong, but this is the really good part of capitalism, is that the person who creates the most value typically wins.

[00:15:13] Brian: Now, those who hate capitalism, fine, there's plenty of dark sides to cast stones at. But generally speaking, to make money as an entrepreneur in a capitalist society, you have to create value. And value comes from serving other people.

[00:15:25] Brian: So entrepreneurs aren't creating value simply because they're altruistic. There's plenty of ways to do that. In nonprofits and in charities. Entrepreneurs are forced to create value because they know that's how you make money. So it's fascinating to me that the creative not you, not always, you just, some of you, the creative tends to be more selfish and self-centered when it comes to value creation because they just want to create art for themselves that's personally fulfilling and rewarding to themselves while the entrepreneur is Forced to create more value. not because they necessarily want to all the time. Some people have better motives than others, but because they know they need to in order [00:16:00] to earn more money, that's the pure entrepreneur.

[00:16:02] Brian: Another positive of the entrepreneur, and this is honestly all trickles down from how they earn more money more consistently, they know how to use tools, processes, and people to become more efficient.

[00:16:12] Brian: So think about this for a second. Remember that example I gave earlier, the creative who takes a hundred hours to deliver on something versus the creative entrepreneur who can do it in 20 hours. This is how you can do it in 20 hours instead of a hundred. understanding people, processes, and tools.

[00:16:25] Brian: And if we're looking at a pure entrepreneur, one who is not creative at all, or at least not in the traditional sense, they can still create something out of nothing. It's interesting when you think about it this way, the creative creates something out of nothing from their own artistic ability.

[00:16:39] Brian: Whereas, whereas entrepreneurs create something out of nothing by using other people. They use tools, they use processes, they use systems. This is a different type of creativity. Ironically, a very good entrepreneur is very creative. Some of the most creative people I know are the pure entrepreneurs.

[00:16:55] Brian: They're just business owners. They couldn't draw, they can't create art or music, but [00:17:00] they create value from scratch by using other people. This is the reason that companies like Fiverr earn $350 million a year, or Upwork earning $600 million a year, or freelancer.com earning $800 million a year. All these companies were started by entrepreneurs who use people, processes, and systems to create value.

[00:17:18] Brian: Now, those exact examples, which I gave intentionally, They create value off the backs of US freelancers because they know that creatives tend to not know or invest into the other areas of entrepreneurism. They don't want to. So instead they end up paying what I call the Fiverr tax. It's the 20% tax.

[00:17:35] Brian: You paid a five for the rest of your life if you're reliant on them, and that's on top of the taxes you pay to your own country and your own state if you're in the us. So you end up giving 50% or more away before you ever get any money. At the end of the day, I can't imagine if you live in a country with like 50% income tax, what that looks like at the end of the day, if you're earning money from Fiverr, 20% to Fiverr, 50% to your country, you take home, what, 30% of what you earn?

[00:17:56] Brian: A hundred thousand dollars income is $30,000.

[00:17:59] Brian: that is the [00:18:00] price we pay as creatives. If we fail to nurture the entrepreneur side.

[00:18:03] Brian: and finally, one of the last positives I'm gonna bring up for the entrepreneurs for this episode is they tend to be less isolated.

[00:18:09] Brian: They tend to be more focused on people because they have to. that is more healthy to be around people, more to interact with more people. That is the way humans are wired. And entrepreneurs tend to be forced to be around more people because people are how they create something from nothing.

[00:18:24] Brian: okay, so that's all of the positives of the entrepreneur. Let's talk about some of the negatives. These are the things that we want to avoid if we're going to be creatives, because again, we have to create the perfect blend between creativity and entrepreneurship.

[00:18:36] Brian: So some of the negatives of the pure entrepreneur, is you can lose that creative spark. Now there are plenty, plenty of successful entrepreneurs who have no creative spark when it comes to art, However, as. Creative entrepreneurs, the creatives, who are trying to make money from our creative skills.

[00:18:52] Brian: We want to obviously avoid this. I've been down this path before 20 17, 20 18, maybe early 2019, somewhere around that, place, [00:19:00] that's where I saw a big dip in my creativity because I was too focused on the entrepreneur side. And so you don't want to lose that creative skillset that you've taken so much time, effort, and energy to build up.

[00:19:10] Brian: You want to continue to nurture the creative side. So if you focus for too long or you're focused too much on just the entrepreneur side, that creative spark can start to dwindle and die.

[00:19:20] Brian: and there's a few reasons for that, but one of the biggest is when you're motivated by money that can kill your creativity.

[00:19:26] Brian: Again, that's why I say on the show, earn more money without selling your Soul. When I look at selling your soul as a creative, it's when you are just wholly focused on earning more money, it does not work for creatives like us. We have to have both things in mind and not to mention there's a reason they say more money, more problems. That's because when you make more money, generally speaking, more problems can come from that. It can be as simple as, now I have more stuff to take care of, or it can be as complex as I have people in my life who are trying to get more money from me.

[00:19:56] Brian: I have problems with investments not doing well. I have problems with [00:20:00] cash management, cash flow issues. There's so many things that can come from earning more money, that bring more problems, that can kill that creative spark.

[00:20:07] Brian: the goal, if you're trying to nurture the entrepreneur side of yourself is to avoid this from happening.

[00:20:12] Brian: And the only way I know how is to simplify everything. Simplify your finances, simplify your investments, simplify the people that you work with. Simplify how you pay people. Simplify anything that could be a money problem. And it's the same with people. People can also kill that creative spark because when you're spending all day managing people or talking to people or contractors, or if you build a team, All those things can lead to you losing that creative spark. And remember that creative spark is why people are paying you in the first place.

[00:20:39] Brian: Another negative of the entrepreneur, and this is something again you have to avoid if you are going to be a creative entrepreneur, is they can cut corners. And you see this all the time. You see Big companies doing this and they get fines or slap on the wrist. You see small companies doing this and folding.

[00:20:54] Brian: You can see this in creative freelance businesses. You can see this in major Fortune 500 companies. People tend to cut [00:21:00] corners because it's more efficient. So when you hear me talking about doing a a hundred hour project versus a 20 or 50 hour project, something that's less time, I'm not telling you to cut corners.

[00:21:09] Brian: This is not at all what I'm saying. I'm saying to become more efficient, to do the same quality work or better work in less time. And there are plenty of ways to do that. But here is the danger of that. It's when you start looking at these things as well, I gotta be the most efficient possible. I've gotta bring costs down.

[00:21:24] Brian: I need to be able to undercut the market, or I need to be able to be as competitive as possible with my pricing. And that means I have to cut these corners. I need to use this cheaper gear. I need to cut out these specific tasks. That's a recipe for disaster.

[00:21:35] Brian: And this can also, again, lead to that creative spark dying. All these kind of lead back to that big negative. So if you are a pure entrepreneur, and you see yourself starting to cut corners, This is a death trap.

[00:21:46] Brian: So let's take a step back for a second. Now, we've talked about the pure creative, we've talked about the pure entrepreneur, we've talked about the positives and the negatives of both. There are still great things on both sides and there are really bad things on both sides. So let's talk about how we can marry these two things together to find [00:22:00] what your perfect blend is.

[00:22:01] Brian: Because everyone's blend is going to look different. Everyone naturally leads to one side versus another. I tend to lean more naturally on the entrepreneur side. That's why I have this podcast. I love talking about this stuff. I love eating and breathing this stuff all day long, every day. Some people are the pure creative, they lean on that side more, and so they don't wanna talk about this stuff and they don't listen to this podcast.

[00:22:18] Brian: So if you listen to this podcast, then generally there are some at least small part of you that wants to embrace the entrepreneur side, and that's what we have to do is find out where can we get in there and expand that so that you can be a better business owner. At the end of the day, how can you earn more money from your creativity without selling your soul?

[00:22:36] Brian: Let's talk about some of these things.

[00:22:37] Brian: I've got three points here. Like any good Southern Baptist preacher, I'm not a Southern Baptist preacher, by the way, never have been, ever will be. First point here is take the best and leave the rest, This is generally the best idea. Anytime you're looking at two things that have positives and negatives and honestly, humanity would be better off and less polarizing if we would just look at the bests of both sides and then leave the crap we don't like.

[00:22:59] Brian: Because in [00:23:00] almost all cases, when there are two extreme examples of something, there are great parts of either side, but people tend to just pick one and ignore the rest. There are plenty of people who say, if you're going to be a successful freelancer or a successful creative, you have to focus on the art.

[00:23:14] Brian: Nothing else matters. Just create the best art possible. That's not good. There's also people that are saying, To be the best freelancer, you would just have to find the best system, the best process, the best productized service. You just have to think about ones and zeros, dollars and cents. Systems and processes.

[00:23:29] Brian: How can it be repeatable? That's also wrong. There's a blend, there's a marriage in the middle, and that's done by looking at episodes like this. Looking at people in your life that you know and finding what are those positive traits that I know and love and want to incorporate into my being, and what are those parts that I hate, that I never want to be, that I know is not just my emotional brain taking over.

[00:23:49] Brian: I'm logically and objectively looking at this and saying, those are not for me, so I'm gonna take the best of both sides and I'm gonna leave the rest.

[00:23:56] Brian: The goal should be what I consider selfless creativity. how [00:24:00] can I be the best creative that is selfless. It is serving others, even if you're just creating the best art possible, it's for an audience of people to enjoy that art. So what do I need to do in order to let the most people enjoy that or the people that I want to enjoy, enjoy that, or to have that emotional connection?

[00:24:15] Brian: Or if I'm working for clients directly, how can I make my client the happiest possible with my artistic abilities? So that's the first point, is just take the best, leave the rest. The second point is set aside intentional time for both sides. So here's what I mean by that.

[00:24:29] Brian: Me personally, I know my rhythm throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the year. I know that I'm generally more creative. My brain is able to create better in the morning, so my am time, the morning time is where I do almost all of my creative tasks. Like this podcast, I literally am creating something from nothing.

[00:24:45] Brian: I started at about 9:00 AM outlining some ideas, looking at different topics I might wanna talk about, and by 10 o'clock I'm recording an episode. By 11 o'clock, I'll likely be done. That has to be done in the morning for me. There's no way I can create something like the show[00:25:00] in the afternoon because I'm just not creative.

[00:25:02] Brian: In the afternoon. Now, in the afternoon, I am logical.

[00:25:05] Brian: I can look through spreadsheets, look at numbers. I can't talk to people, I can't have meetings, things where I'm talking to other humans, but I just know my rhythm throughout the day. Morning time is my creative time. Afternoon time is my logical time. So you need to set aside times for both things. and even when I was just producing music, I did the exact same thing.

[00:25:22] Brian: I did all of my creative stuff in the morning, which was producing, recording, mixing, mastering, and I put all of my non-creative tasks in the afternoon, editing, comping, bouncing files,

[00:25:35] Brian: c r m work. So it doesn't matter whether you're a blended entrepreneur like me, where I have multiple businesses that I run, or you're a freelancer with just one singular focus. You still have a split focus when it comes to logical tasks and creative tasks and those logical tasks.

[00:25:49] Brian: You need to know when you are best at those and your creative tasks. You need to know when you're best at those.

[00:25:53] Brian: that's the second point, is set aside intentional time for both sides of your brain.

[00:25:58] Brian: And my third point, and [00:26:00] probably one of the most important is invest in the areas that you struggle with.

[00:26:03] Brian: So we all have weak points, we all have struggles. So how can you invest in actually solving those struggles? Well, First is invest in friendships, relationships,

[00:26:11] Brian: partners, contractors. To fill in those gaps. So if you have weaknesses and someone can fill those gaps for you, that's a great place to start. so the easiest way to start this is if you look at your entire creative process from first contact with a client to final deliverable, there are usually things within that that you are not naturally gifted at, and those are the first areas that you can go to to bring in friends, partners, contractors, who can help fill those gaps.

[00:26:35] Brian: It might be that somebody you need to go to when it comes to pricing problems because you are too emotional about it. You're too close to the project. You need somebody to talk you off the ledge when you're trying to throw a low ball price out there because you don't feel confident in it. It might be that there's some skill that you lack, that you need someone else to do, to fill in some gap, usually you need to pay them.

[00:26:52] Brian: That's why I'm putting this under the investing in it. You're either investing time or money into filling this gap.

[00:26:57] Brian: another way to invest in the areas that you struggle [00:27:00] with as a creative or an entrepreneur is by education or coaching. There are plenty of books, there are plenty of courses. There are plenty of coaches out there who can help you with whatever area that you struggle with.

[00:27:09] Brian: For example, I'm naturally have been avoidant of building any sort of team or hiring any sort of full-time employees. So I hired a coach at the beginning of this year to help me with that. It was the most I've ever paid one single human being in my life. Did I miss the money when it first happened? Yes.

[00:27:24] Brian: Did I have emotional issues? departing with that money? Yes. Looking back six months later, do I miss that money now? No. I've made multiples of that back from that investment, but that is just one area. There's plenty of books that are $12 that can help you with all sorts of things like social skills, how to win friends and influence people, people who struggle with habits.

[00:27:41] Brian: or routines. Go get atomic habits by James. Clear.

[00:27:44] Brian: if you suck at marketing, go buy the book. The one page marketing plan,

[00:27:47] Brian: there are plenty of things to get you started in all the areas that you struggle. You need to invest into it through education or coaching. Again, you're gonna invest time or money into this in some way, shape or form. pick the one that you have the most of and start investing that. And the third [00:28:00] area to invest in, if you struggle with this, is with a community or with mentors.

[00:28:04] Brian: The goal here is to just be inspired by other people. There are tons of people who are strong, where you're weak. There are plenty of people who can inspire you when you see that they do something a certain way that you've never seen before. think one of the more detrimental things that we as creatives fall into is we get into our little bubble and we see that this is how things are done in our little bubble.

[00:28:21] Brian: we failed to see the bigger picture of how things could be done. Because we're just in our tiny little bubble. I call that the incest business. You are just in your little, island, you're breeding with other little businesses just like yours. And that becomes an incestual business.

[00:28:34] Brian: It's gross. I'm sorry, I could say this 'cause I'm from Alabama. I can make fun of this stuff. But we need to add diversity to our gene pool as business owners. And that comes from being inspired by people outside of our industries. That's why we launched the six Figure Creative. And you can do this through community.

[00:28:49] Brian: We have, a Facebook community. It's actually for the six figure home studio, but it's still a ton of the six figure creative people in it. And by mentors, people who maybe, who have already been there, done that, and are a few steps ahead of you.

[00:28:58] Brian: Either way, being [00:29:00] inspired by people that have gone through those steps that you're trying to go through now is a wonderful thing. Because it is hard for us to even ever imagine doing something that we've never seen other people do. And the only way we ever see other people do things like this is by joining communities or having mentors who can share those things with us.

[00:29:15] Brian: Now, if you don't have a community, if you don't have mentors, I'll try to leave you with a few things that can maybe inspire you. And that is some of our episodes from our backlog Here. I've got six episodes here to share with you. And here's what I want you to do. I've ordered these from what I consider loosely the most creative to the most entrepreneur.

[00:29:33] Brian: 'cause it's kind of a gradient. These first ones are I'm gonna share, are gonna be more on the creative side, who is successful as an entrepreneur, and then all the way to the person who is the most entrepreneur side and is still obviously successful. I want you to listen to these episode titles.

[00:29:46] Brian: I'll talk through a little bit of these and figure out which one or two are you gonna listen to next based on where you're at, what you need.

[00:29:51] Brian: This is a great way to be inspired by others because again, the reason we started Six Figure Creative is because we wanted to talk to other creatives who can inspire us. And I haven't [00:30:00] had any interviews in the last while since we went, got back from Bali. We've been very sparse on this. So I'm gonna be bumping up the interviews just to, again, more inspiration from other people.

[00:30:07] Brian: But all of these episodes I'm about to list out will be on our show notesPage@sixfigurecreative.com slash 2 6 9. That's episode 2 69 The first one on this list is episode 204. It's called How to Generate a thousand Inquiries per Year as a Logo Designer. This was with James Martin. He also goes by, made by James.

[00:30:25] Brian: He's an awesome creative who has found a way to focus his creativity into things that actually generate leads and inquiries for him. And I put him first in what I consider like most creative focus on this list because he's found a way to do this in a way that I think is true to him as an artist

[00:30:39] Brian: because his real marketing strategy is just sharing what he's already doing. So that's episode 204. The next on this list is episode 187. It's called Quitting Her Day Job to Become a Six Figure Illustrator. This is Lisa Congdons success story. her story's awesome if you haven't listened to that episode where she was torn between these two paths she could take, and she finally left her day job to start an illustration company and that grew [00:31:00] to six figures, and she's probably seven figures now at this point.

[00:31:02] Brian: I think she's a really good one to listen to. If you wanna see someone that really struggled to have the confidence to make that step. And then has really done a good job as she's made that transition to nurture that entrepreneur side, to build a skillset that she's needed to build, to grow a really good business at this point.

[00:31:17] Brian: ' 'cause she's not just a freelance illustrator anymore, she's got a lot of things. She does art prints, she has a shop, she has merch, I think she has a warehouse now

[00:31:24] Brian: she's got a very unique style and she's worked her way up to work with some really big brands and she's done a really good job also of just building a personal brand for herself. Next on the list is episode 215. the title is How to Earn Up to $500,000 Per Hour As a Designer. That's one of my favorite titles, by the way.

[00:31:39] Brian: But this is with Kat Collette. She's another freelance illustrator, she and Lisa are very similar when it comes to the entrepreneur brain, I think Kat is a little bit more on the entrepreneur side because she's done an amazing job of finding really scalable ways to monetize her skillset as seen by earning $500,000 per hour.

[00:31:56] Brian: That episode, we actually talked through the math on that and how she's done it, but if you've ever [00:32:00] wanted to know how you earn $500,000 an hour as an illustrator, it's not from freelance services, it's another method. it's a different business model.

[00:32:06] Brian: Again, I love people like Kat because she's done such a great job of taking this creative skillset and monetizing it in so many different ways. So again, that's episode 215. Next on my list is episode 152. It's how to build a multi-six figure video production business using cold emails. This is one of the early episodes of Six Figure Creative, and this is with Anthony Crap. He is a great entrepreneur. He has found a way to make a productized service hyper successful because he is very systems focused.

[00:32:33] Brian: If you wanna have a really good idea of

[00:32:36] Brian: how creative can systemize something, create a very valuable productized service, and then scale it to multiple six figures with a small team, and cold email, meaning he's sending out tons of cold emails to people to get clients. You wanna see that process? That's episode 152. Next on the list is episode 207, how freelancers can use the Rule of Seven to ethically get more Clients. That's with Michael Jana.

[00:32:57] Brian: I love Michael because he's somebody who, [00:33:00] came outta the gate swinging. He had a great career as a designer. He worked in a company or in an agency for years and years and years. If my memory is serving me correctly, I think he worked with Disney. he's also got some books out and he, took that skillset, he learned working at an agency or working with his day job as a designer and then launched that into earning six figures his first year as a freelancer. And then he grew that into an agency that he then sold in 2015. So he's gone from working a day job to then being a six figure freelancer to then launching an agency and growing that to, I don't know what number, and then selling it in 2015.

[00:33:32] Brian: And now he's just more on the educational side of things. But he is awesome because he is gone through the full journey that very few people make. and I think that he is absolutely made a great transition from just pure creative to. Almost pure entrepreneur, but still a lot of creativity in there.

[00:33:46] Brian: And then finally, this is what I would consider the most entrepreneurial in this scale, or this gradient is episode 165, and the title is Pricing Strategies from the c e O of a Billion Dollar Business. This was Mike McDermott. This is the c e O [00:34:00] of FreshBooks.

[00:34:01] Brian: He came on the podcast back in episode 1 65.

[00:34:03] Brian: I wanna say this was around September-ish of 2021. This is when my wife and I were traveling over Europe, and I remember we were in a hotel in Valencia, Spain when we did that interview with him.

[00:34:12] Brian: But Mike is what I would consider the perfect example of someone with that innate desire to create. He learned and honed a skillset that he then monetized through freelancing. And then because he was constantly focused on creating value on helping others, he naturally shifted that to a different business model.

[00:34:29] Brian: He launched FreshBooks and grew that to multiple billions of dollars, and he's now worth a lot of money. So if you wanna talk about extreme examples of just going from a simple humble freelancer to now the c e o of a multi-billion dollar business, and I think they have actually hired another c e o now.

[00:34:42] Brian: He's just, an advisor on the board there. Either way. Wonderful story, wonderful transition, and honored to have him as a past guest on this show.

[00:34:48] Brian: So those are six episodes for me to choose from. I don't expect you to listen to all of those. I don't expect you to even want to listen to all of those, but I do expect you to find the one or two that you think is gonna help you and your journey right now to finding [00:35:00] that perfect balance between a creative and an entrepreneur.

[00:35:02] Brian: The thing I'm hesitantly and hatefully calling the Creative Entrepreneur, it's a stupid name, but it is what it is. It really tells you what I'm going for here. But again, you can get links to all those@sixfigurecreative.com slash 2 6 9. That's the link to the show notes for this episode, and that'll make it easier for you to not have to search through our podcast backlog to find those.

[00:35:20] Brian: that is all I have for you today. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the six Figure Creative Podcast, and we'll see you on the next one.

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