Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Does It Mean To Be a Creative Entrepreneur?

I am still processing my weekend at CCE West. The first day was so full of inspiration I couldn't keep up with all the ideas that were coming to me. I'm afraid I lost a few, however I did make some new friends, connected with old, learned a few things and taught a few things. You can read my two recaps here and here.

With a bit of distance and taking the time to write about my takeaways for the 3 days I keep coming back to two ideas that I heard conveyed in many different ways. It's these two ideas that I think really define what it is to be a creative entrepreneur.

Be Open To The Possibilities

I can't tell you how many times I heard the phrase, "Say yes." I'm glad it came up numerous times because it bears repeating. I suspect you may react like me. The idea sounds great, inspiring even. You hear it, nod your head and smile. You think, "Say yes. I need to just say yes and figure it out later." And then you settle into your routine, back to business as usual. Then an opportunity presents itself and without thinking you begin to question how much time and/or effort it will take, you wonder if you can pull it off, you poke holes, question ability, and hesitate to "Just say yes."

I understand. I have a hard time jumping in, trusting, saying yes. I am a doubter full of question and uncertainty. I hide behind logic and practicality as a reason for not saying yes, when in fact it's fear.

A healthy dose of fear is good. It keeps us on our toes, but don't let it be the reason you say no or even don't say anything at all. In the stories I heard from all the panelists and attendees over the the weekend about lessons learned and experience gained there was one undeniable common thread. Going toward the fear, taking the scariest option, lead to the biggest gain. The ability to put your fears aside and trust that you are capable of figuring it out is the mark of a true entrepreneur.

Follow Your Passion And Strengths

Knowing what's most important to you and what you're good at gives you a whole new perspective on saying yes or no to the seemingly crazy ideas. This is where the creative part of being an entrepreneur comes in.

Ask yourself what it is you really want to do, what excites you the most and give yourself the freedom to come up with the "money, time, effort does not factor in" answer. If you allow this passion to be the driving force behind the paths you follow and the opportunities you take; if you say yes to that opportunity that excites you no matter how crazy or impossible it seems that it will be any sort of career; you are truly a creative entrepreneur.

I throw all this out there not only to encourage and inspire you, but to remind myself. Hold on to the passion and push toward the fear. There are so many amazing things waiting to be done.

The Savvy Entrepreneur is going on a break for the next two weeks. I'll be out in the desert practicing saying yes and being open to possibilities.

I encourage comments directly to this post, but also feel free to email me directly with questions, reactions, struggles, etc.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

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