3 Ways To Better Your Creative Business in 2019

It may sound a bit cheesy, but 2019 is going to be a big year, my friends! I know, I know, we say these kinds of things every time a new year rolls around, but something tells me this one is going to be different. New year new me? Not quite... but a better me? Now that’s something I can get behind!
3 Ways to Better Your Creative Business in 2019
I’ve noticed a lot of other creatives overhauling their businesses this January- or at least trying to! I thought I would share a few things that have really opened my mind, and helped me set my business up to succeed.

1) The book, The E-Myth (Revisited): Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber


   This book has completely blown the lid off of the way I think about my business. Michael Gerber teaches you how important it is to work ON your business, and not just IN your business. The way he guides you through his strategic process to better the company you're creating is absolutely priceless. If you take anything out of this post, it should be to READ THIS BOOK!

   He really pushes you to think deeply about your goals in life, so it’s certainly not something you can breeze through. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, but I specifically gave myself days to go through each chapter. Make sure you give yourself time to stop and think after every major question he asks you. I just ordered myself a hard copy, so I can go back, highlight and take notes!


2) The Rising Tide Society: Strategic Planning for Small Businesses Guide


   What started as local meet-ups for creative business owners has grown to meetings all across the globe and a thriving Facebook community. Want to know more about SEO? Can’t decide on your three logo ideas? Have a question about your camera lens, or adobe programs? This is your place to be! (Perfect example: these beautiful new headshots, like the one at the top, by AR White Photography, whom I met through RTS). This group has enabled thousands of creative business owners to bounce ideas off of other creative entrepreneurs (which is especially invaluable for those of us who work by ourselves day in and day out). Rising Tide is a living library of educational resources by creatives for creatives.

   This year, the Rising Tide Society  released a free “Strategic Planning for Small Businesses” guide that helped me really nail down my goals for each year, quarter, month and week. I have never been more prepared in my life! Do yourself a favor… click here to download this guide and seriously answer EVERY question they ask. I filled about 30 pages, writing down all my answers. I’ve never been more aware of my goals, and it feels incredibly empowering!


3) Podcasts:

  • Thrive by Design: Business, Marketing and Lifestyle Strategies for YOUR Jewelry Brand to Flourish and Thrive - with Tracy Matthews

   While this podcast is mainly meant for jewelry designers, most of what she discusses can be applied to any artist trying to make a profit from their designs. She interviews everyone from business gurus, content creators, successful designers, and anyone else that can help your creative business grow. She is so encouraging, and so filled with energy that it’s my go-to podcast when I’m in a slump! She wakes me up, gets my head out of the sand, and encourages me to crush it every day!

   Ever wonder how that designer got through school and started their business, all while paying for rent, art supplies, school and equipment? So does Sarah Rachel Brown! She gets down to the nitty gritty and asks artists of all mediums what it took to get there- and how much it all cost! Transparency is one of my biggest values, so this podcast really checks all the boxes for me! Get ready, 'cause SRB is about to be your new best friend. Happy listening!

   This NPR podcast was introduced to me by painter Rachel Alvarez, a fellow creative entrepreneur whose friendship started in the land of social media, and blossomed finally at our first Rising Tide Society meeting! Guy Raz interviews innovators and entrepreneurs who have created some of the most massively successful companies in the world. It’s so nice to hear their stories of humble beginnings, the successes and the failures that got them to where they are today.

These are just a few examples of the amazing resources that are out there today. It’s up to you to decide how to really show up for your business day in and day out. Whether it's finding a business coach to push yours to the next level, forming a support system with other creatives, or diving deep into some business strategy resources, just be sure to follow your passions, figure out what works best for you and take 2019 by storm!
- Caroline F. Downes