Confessions of an Aspiring Artistic Entrepreneur

What is the deeper need? The pull that pushes past being an artist or writer or content creator or business owner. The longing to build something of lasting value, human benefit, eternal significance. 

This desire to delve into developing never departs for the artistic entrepreneur. I don’t fully understand it. In fact, I’m far from figuring “it” out. All I know is “it” continues. 

I pass through project after project and platform after platform, creating, building, establishing, only to end up disappointed with the results in the end. I have a hard time hanging my hat on something I think is significant, even when I’m successful. The internal itch continues to agitate, propelling to pursue more and more possibilities. 

Sometimes I long to be like others that seem satisfied with just creating for the sheer pleasure of making something. I wonder, why do I have this unsatisfied drive inside to monetize what I make?

The urban dictionary defines entrepreneurism as “…someone who’s restless until his or her vision, plans, and ideas are monetized.”

Wow!

Is that really me? I wonder.

“Is it more about monetization than I’ve realized?” I ask myself.

But then again, I argue, it’s not as if I need the money, so it’s got to be something more, something deeper.

Perhaps I’ve believed the lie that monetization = success.

  • If you sell your art, you’re an artist.
  • If you sell your writing, you’re an author.
  • If you sell your digital designs, you’re a content creator.
  • If you sell your goods and services, you’re a business owner.

I’m not saying making money from creativity is wrong. Far from it! But if we creatives set our sights on monetization as the end game, it robs us of the joy creating in the here and now brings. Sometimes we need to create just because it’s beautiful!

Recently, a former colleague left encouraging comments after a Facebook post that featured my book:

rAvailable on Amazon: Refrain from the Identical: Insights and Inspiration for Creative Elects

“So loved that REFRAIN from the IDENTICAL concept when I heard it from you y-e-a-r-s ago. Warms my heart to see you continue in an artful world. It is yours!

“You inspired a great many of us!”

Candy Rodio’s encouragement realigned my thinking: I’ve got to find a way to pursue my entrepreneurial bent without equating success with monetizing my creations.

I determined: when art or books or graphic designs or whiteboard animation videos sell well, I will celebrate.

But if they don’t, I will still create and encourage others to create. There’s definitely eternal value in that! 

So, if you’re a creative hung up on monetization = success, I encourage you to view your artistic ventures through a different lens. Look back through social media or email comments and find significance in the appreciation people expressed. I guarantee, there are many that are thankful you brought your creations into the world. 

It isn’t all about money. It’s about the desire to fuel the soul!

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