So you think you can start a creative business… Well, I got something to tell ya.
You totally can! (Bet you saw that coming.)
And if you’re anything like me, dream-chaser, then you’ve probably toyed with the idea of starting your own creative business before. Be it a freelancing side hustle or an online shop selling your goods, you’ve had more than just the one idea.
But you have a problem
Even if you already know what kind of creative business you want to start, there’s often a creeping little problem that holds us back. No, it’s not lack of ideas – you’ve got plenty of those.
Instead, it’s...the doubt.
Doubt that what you’re starting will never make money. Will people even want to pay you?
Doubt that what you want to do won’t fly. What if nobody likes your thing...or worse, you?
I’ve been caught in that rabbit hole once before, junebug. Not fun.
But I’ve learned that confidence can be practiced – just like those piano lessons you took as a kid.
Sure, for some people, pumping themselves up and switching into Beyoncé-recovering-from-a-fall mode comes a little more naturally.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to show up and slay the day like you were Beyoncé.
So to help you get started, I’m sharing these 7 great, actionable ways you can gain the confidence to start your business. Soon you’ll be saying, “Self-doubt? I don’t know her.”
“Self-doubt? I don’t know her.”
- Future You
1. Set super clear goals for yourself
Getting laser-focus clarity on your goals makes a huge impact on the way you show up every day to meet them.
Let’s look at it from a lens of someone not starting a business. Let’s say someone out there just made the decision to lose weight and get fit.
This person began setting super tangible goals for themselves – weigh 120 lbs, be able to do 20 push-ups, complete 5 pull-ups.
Once they set those goals, they start breaking it down into a fat-burning, strength-boosting action plan – work out five times a week, strength training every other day, do healthy meal planning.
Can you imagine what that person might be feeling after laying out their goals in a super clear and actionable way?
I can tell you, it’s probably the word pumped.
So go ahead and do the same for your business.
Set really clear, actionable, achievable goals. They have to be so crystal clear, it’s like you put on the perfect pair of glasses for the first time after living in a blurred reality for weeks.
Plus, if you say you want to start a creative business, stick to this goal. Don’t be all wishy-washy – how else are you going to launch and grow that business if you don’t have clarity and certainty that that is what you want to do?
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2. Be in lifelong learning mode
I have a little secret for you: all those gurus out there? They might seem like they have it all figured out, but they’re actually still learning every single day.
Every day, these experts, these entrepreneurs, these goal-slayers are showing up and absorbing all the world’s lessons as though they were a sponge that was just dropped in the middle of the ocean.
Take in everything you can possibly learn about your craft, your industry, your business – and do it every day.
Don’t let your lack of knowledge scare you. Let that inspire you.
Tell the universe, “Hey! I’m ready to learn everything I can to be the entrepreneur I want to be!”
(And even when you’ve launched your creative business, still be in lifelong learning mode, okay?)
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”
– JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI
3. Surround yourself with a like-minded tribe
This took a bit of a while for me to understand. In my head, having friends and family were enough as a support group. After all, friends and family knew me. They got it, didn’t they?
Turns out...not really.
You see, as much as we love our friends and our family (and they love us equally back), any major life decision – yes, even a small side hustle – puts us on the path of growth that, most of the time, our friends and family don’t always understand.
I mean, if you’re lucky, your friends and family might also into creative biz things, and they might understand and support you. But even if that were the case, they’re not always the support system you crave so badly.
Instead, turn to real groups full of people who are on the same wavelength, the same journey as you. Go on Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups. Find Telegram channels, look at membership sites…
Surround yourself with a tribe of people who totally understand where you are in your creative biz journey. These are the people who can lift you up when you’re feeling that self-doubt creeping in, give you free advice whenever you need it, and share in your major wins and major #fails without judgement.
It’s not a huge room of people, but do you know that signing up to my newsletter makes you a part of my creative goal-getters tribe?
Sign up here, and every week you’ll get helpful tips, advice, and the occasional motivational quote that will light a fire under your butt.
4. Get to know your ideal customers. Like, really know them.
Now, I know what it’s like to have a super amazing idea for an offer and then think, “What if no one wants to buy this from me?”
And I’ve found that the only way to know is to...talk to my audience.
By getting really close and transparent with my email list subscribers, my Instagram followers, and people I’ve met at one time or another, I got to know who they were.
This really built up my confidence before launching a product because I was kinda getting into their heads (I’ve been told I’m a mind reader ) and reassuring myself that, yes, my offer is exactly what they need.
Which leads me to my next tip for your aspiring entrepreneurs...
5. Start an email list
There is nothing more reassuring than people signing up to your email list. They’re practically saying, “YES, I want to hear more from you!”
Now imagine that energy for when you launch your first offer. Your subscribers are practically screaming, “YES, take my money!”
I recommend using Convertkit for your email marketing, only because it’s very subscriber-centric.
You can create more than one opt-in freebie for your email list – say, a free cheatsheet or guide in exchange for their email address – then see what kind of freebie does best for your dream audience.
I also like being able to tag and segment my subscribers in different ways, sending informal one-click surveys or polls from time to time. Convertkit made it really easy for me to do this. If you want to try it out free for 14 days, use this link to get a 14-day free trial.
And I know what you’re asking: do I need an email list even before I have an offer?
My short answer: YES!
And my explanation for my resounding yes:
Hearing from your readers, seeing what they like from your newsletters, and actually talking to them gives you extremely valuable insights about where they need help – and where you can swoop in and save them like you’re the Superman to their Lois Lane.
I can’t tell you how many readers have written in with questions or feedback, telling me what blog posts or email tips they loved. That gave me an idea about what kind of offers I could come out with next, so go start your email list!
Want to test out Convertkit for free, my dude?
Click here to get a free 14-day free trial – no strings attached, yo.
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6. Do whatever it takes to lift yourself up
One thing I get from people, especially those who witnessed the beginnings of my creative biz journey, is, “How do you have that kind of confidence?”
I mean, I don’t blame them. I used to look at all these rockstar entrepreneurs and think, “Man. I could never be them.”
Fast forward to today, I have a thriving creative business that I love showing up for every single day. And I was just like a lot of these entrepreneurs that I fell in love with: started with zero connections, zero audience, and zero income.
It’s not like we were trust fund babies slash socialites the likes of Paris Hilton. (Sorry, Paris.)
The thing is: a lot of my friends and early blog readers did think that my confidence came really naturally, but the truth is?
It doesn’t, not by a long shot.
Instead, what they were seeing (and what you’re seeing) is the product of a long uphill battle – one that I continue to fight probably every day.
What I’m saying is I built up the confidence that I have every. single. day.
This became a practice for me –
...whether it was reading an empowering book (follow me on my Instagram Stories to see what empowering book I'm presently reading!) –
...chatting with a mentor who just gets me (super recommend you have one, by the way) –
...or repeating confidence-boosting affirmations that had me feeling like I was Beyoncé by the end (I’m still not Beyoncé though).
You have to do whatever it takes to set yourself up for the success you crave.
It’s not about ego, either. It’s really just knowing that you can do some really great things if you show up, do the work, and constantly keep your ear to the ground.
(Oh, and don’t ever pretend to be someone you’re not. That is the surest way to get your confidence plummeting instead of skyrocketing.)
7. Last but not least...take the leap.
As the queen Carrie Fisher (still a queen, even if she’s no longer with us) said:
Be afraid. And then do it anyway.
– Carrie Fisher, a queen always
In the very beginning of my blogging days, I always talked about the importance of doing the thing, even if you don’t think you’re ready.
Because when are we ever ready anyway?
And look. You can sit there at your desk, Googling “how to start a million-dollar online business 2020” all you want, but none of that is actually going to start your business.
I’ve given you the tools and tips to start building up the confidence to launch your dream creative biz. Now it’s up to you to actually pound the pavement and start that biz.
Go on, dream-chaser. The world’s waiting for what you’ve got.
Need a little extra boost to start a rockin' biz?
Check out my free Resource Vault to see the exact tools I use to manage my website, grow my audience, and launch awesome offers.
BUT BEFORE YOU GO…
Just in case you aren’t sure what kind of creative business might be your type of thing to start, I made this fun free quiz that will help you figure it out based on your unique personality.
Have fun, you creative unicorn you!
Share your thoughts!
Did you find anything particularly useful from this post? Any other tips you'd want to share? Or maybe you've got some other burning questions you want answered?
Leave them in the comments below!