For many people, business and artists don't make for a happy marriage. In fact, most artists themselves have limiting beliefs about their ability to run a successful and profitable business.
But those beliefs couldn't be further from the truth.
Artists make excellent entrepreneurs, and there are plenty of examples to prove it. Just browse Instagram for a few minutes and you'll see lots of professional artists showing their work, sharing their story and selling high-priced pieces to their collector base.
I know for a fact, through my hands-on experience working in the art market, that there are many habits that corporate leaders and entrepreneurs could learn from artists to help them grow their business and connect further with their fan base and clients.
Here are only a few.
1. They know that consistency beats inspiration any day
Successful artists are prolific artists. It doesn't mean that everything they create will be the next Mona Lisa. It rather means that they know they have to create consistently in order to produce quality work. This also applies to entrepreneurs who think they can wait until they "feel" like going out and meeting new clients or getting on the social media train. That's not how running a business works. You have to make it a habit to get things done, and do get them done consistently to get results.
2. They exercise their creativity like you would any other muscle
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something you were born with, you can develop it at any age and time. And you always have to continue exercising it, if you want it to serve you. Continuously putting yourself in situations where you are learning, being curious and challenging yourself with new ideas are only a few ways to boost your creativity on a daily basis. Successful artists are very creative not only because they know how to trust their instincts, but also because they dare to step out of their comfort zone regularly.
3. They show up
Successful artists don't sit on the sidelines waiting for a sponsor to save them from a life of struggle and hunger. They make things happen for themselves and their career, and most of the success I've witnessed is through strategic and efficient networking. Surrounding yourself with people who can help, support and connect you with your ideal client is a must when you are building a business and a career. But this won't happen if you stay hidden, you have to show up to gain that competitive edge.
4. They embrace their emotions as being part of the process
The road leading to a successful business, whether it's an art business or any other type of business comes with its load of ups and downs, wins and disappointments. Emotional fluctuations happen all the time, but it's how entrepreneurs deal with these situations that differentiates them from the pack. Giving emotions room to exist, without letting them take over your life, is healthy and gives you an opportunity to reflect on the big picture or your long term vision and goals and ensures that you are truly in alignment with what you had planned to accomplish when you started out.
5. They constantly want to get better because they know nothing beats talent
Some say good work always ends-up being discovered. I believe that's only partly true, because no matter how well you do what you do, if you don't get in front of your clients, then you'll never make a sale. On the other hand, today's competition leaves no room for excuses and sub-par work and successful artists understand that. So they make perfecting their skills a constant priority. Although they produce a lot, they are very meticulous with their personal brand and what they show to the public. They polish their online and offline brand and make sure that everything with their name on it represents their highest standards of quality so that it showcases all of their talent.
Success in the arts and/or business is a choice and something that entrepreneurs can develop every day with the right mindset and habits. Artists that build a sustainable collector base and thrive know that in today's connected world, you can't just leave it up to chance.
Being accountable for everything that you do, showing up every day and getting the work done no matter what are certainly traits that have inspired me to continue working with artists and offering them my full gratitude for making the world a better and more beautiful place to live in.
No one said it would be easy, but I say it's totally worth it!
Are you an artist who would like to develop your entrepreneurial skills? Then join me and over 1,500 artists from around the globe at The Artist Entrepreneur Network.