Sydney-based performer Bunny Star shares her three insights into creative business success.
You have to have a vision for your future self. How can your life be better? How can you be better? How can you be the best you that you can possibly be? And how can this self transformation be of service to others? That’s what turns your journey of self discovery into a business – identifying, capturing, distilling and packaging your unique gift to the world as shaped by the experiences in your life and the paths you have taken.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” – Madonna
The vision needs to have three terms – short, middle and long. Create landmarks for this very moment and the year ahead, then project three years down the track – what does your business look like and where will you be? Finally, it is said it takes seven years to master anything – what will your business look like once you have mastered it, what kind of business person will you have become and how will you have got there? Here’s how …
You better werk! And I say that with all the Chelsea Drag I can muster, including the strut. But seriously grrrl! This is what it takes – 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Get jiggy and get onnit! Prepare to werk like never before and love it to a seriously questionable point.
A fine line I would suggest needs to be drawn between working in your business and working on it.
It wasn’t until I hit the wall of injury and got wiped out from physical participation in my own business that I learnt the powerful truth of this distinction. Don’t let it go that far before you define boundaries and make time for building strategy, overviewing work practices and systems, completing your financial reports and projections. This is about getting meta on the mega workload you invite in by being an entrepreneur.
I love my work so incredibly much that there is very little reason for me to stop except for maybe burnout or injury, which gets the major BABOW from my own inner critic.
However, I am here to say that there is always a light at the end of every tunnel and if I were to give you one essential piece of advice on your journey into creative business (or any business for that matter) it would be: have an exit strategy. Anticipate your next step before you are staring it in the face and need to take it. It may even enhance what you are doing in the now.
Which leads me to the third and final essential element of running a creative business …
“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.” – Henry Rollins
If you can do it once you can do it over and over again. How many times have you changed your self or changed your mind simply because you can? It’s like a change of seasons – nature must withstand it and make something of it or die.
When it comes to money, business, let’s face it – survival – that change factor can be daunting. But it really is no different to changing your clothes … it’s just very personal, like underwear … hey! What’s going on with your underwear? Do you change it? Do you wear it? Do you change between wearing and not wearing? Is it saucy or sensible? Personally, I am all over the place in that department.
Bringing the dollars in, particularly if you have other people who depend on you for it, is serious business. This level of response-ability can really threaten or take away the impetus and joy of jumping off the cliff to take a risk based on your passion and urge to live a creative life. Don’t let it.
Here’s why …
After following my passion for 21 years as a career choice, instead of following any practical sensibility of what I ‘should’ be doing for the sake of security and societal rules, I have found myself in the tenth year of running a creative business and it has never been more successful, even after wipe out.
Do you really want to know why?
Because I am unrelenting in living a life defined by art – which to me is about my soul’s journey to express my creative potential, which we all have. It is called a childhood dream. What did you want to be when you grow up? Through this drive, and undying thirst to discover the ways in which to achieve this dream life, I have created it and recreated it and will continue on this path until the day I die.