Most the world doesn't understand entrepreneurs all that well, and most people really don't understand Creatives. That is to say: all of us have a Creative drive. But the class of people I call Creatives, are first and foremost innovative, driven, and deeply countercultural (even if they don't know this about themselves). So to take a little group of six to ten renegades (a word one of my students brought to class last night) and reign them into all the more rigorous standards of business-building - well, it's a challenge.
TL/DR: if you sense red flags, pay attention. If it sounds like bad advice to you, it probably is. If it feels icky in your gut, trust yourself.
We are constantly being sold to. Most our feed is now advertisements (however cleverly hidden), affiliate / sponsorship links, boosts, pages or products we aren't interested in. Meanwhile our own reach has plummeted. People aren't seeing our content! Worse - we're not seeing our friends' stuff, either!
Some of our critics - implicit or direct, sensitive or boorish - provide us with that little grist for the mill that ultimately leads to positive change. I can't tell you how many times someone got on my dick about something and as I fumed and processed and thought it over, I came to realize there was something valuable in what they said. It might even be something entirely unrelated to their unwelcome fuckery - but nevertheless, the interaction led somewhere productive. This is mostly down to my own dogged determination to learn and grow, and I deserve mad props for that! But without their needling remark... maybe it would have taken me longer to get there.
When I get scared it can be really tempting to think I don't have time to play, it is wrong for me to experience Joy, it's wrong for me to be silly or give myself rest or recreation. I feel that dark cloud encroaching in my head and I am just so scared. Soon I'm telling myself a story I'm some kind of Cosmic Victim - the Universe is out to get me. I never say it in those terms because I know someone would argue me out of that. But that's what I'm believing, that's how scared I can get.
Want asses in seats? Have realistic expectations. What exactly are you hoping to achieve? Are you wanting to make sales? Get followers on Instagram? Establish community presence? Provide a low-cost or no-cost service? Or do you just want to get out and about? Don't roll all these objectives into a big mushy ball. Think carefully which objectives are most important to you, and make plans accordingly.
I started my business officially in 2017 and initially I planned a family-friendly art side hustle. We raised our children and we lived our lives as radical unschoolers, which for many years meant one income for four people. When I got serious about business education in 2019, everything changed and I quickly developed into a REAL business. My family-friendly entrepreneurship evolved into a business friendly to chronic illness, which amongst other things means it is a very strong business.
I'd been taught that Art was talent. You either had it - or you didn't. More embarrassing than being bad at Art (whatever that means), was being artistically bad while being *earnest* about it all.
Please remember that in considering an ethical artpreneurship you are doing something most people never attempt - and that many who do, fail. It's amazing, hard work, and you will often be misunderstood. - And it's worth it!
Many courses and mentors are unreflectively pro-capitalist. What do I mean by that? Well for instance I went to a certain national business organization’s webinar a while back and the first thing the presenter did was wax enthusiastic about drop-shipping methods via Amazon. Not one mention of Amazon’s problematic ethics and exploitation – just excitement about the profit we can make off the backs of abused workers! Sadly, that is the attitude and those are the willful omissions you’ll see an awful lot from many business mentors.