The Creative Entrepreneurs Secret Weapon #1 31


creative entrepreneurs secret weapon

The Creative Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon #1

What helps creative entrepreneur’s to get ahead faster in the marketplace, to stand out from other businesses and to have more fun doing it? There are several secret weapons you possess that you may not be using to grow your business. I will tell you what one of the secret weapons is in this post but first let me ask, are you a creative entrepreneur? It’s important to claim your status as a creative and to discover how to integrate your creativity into your business.

What is a Creative Entrepreneur?

I would define a creative entrepreneur as someone who sees her creativity as the core of the work she does in the world. You might be an artist, writer, speaker, coach, graphic designer, interior designer, blogger, massage therapist, healer, or any of a number of other careers that are labeled as “creative” or “artistic.”

You could work in any of these industries and not be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has a certain mindset that is distinct from that of a business owner or an employee.

Simply defined, an entrepreneur is a person who solves problems for other people at a profit. No matter what type of product or service you are selling, you have to understand what problems it solves for a specific group of people.

What makes a creative entrepreneur different from any other woman entrepreneur? Take a look at the following checklist. If you agree with three or more of the statements in this list, you are a creative entrepreneur.

  • I am a visual or kinesthetic learner.
  • I consider myself to be right-brained.
  • I am always so full of ideas I feel like I can barely contain them.
  • I can see connections between people or ideas that other people don’t see.
  • I consider myself to be highly creative in my work and in my life.
  • I am passionate about what I do.
  • I am not a linear thinker. I struggle with structure and systems.
  • I prefer to work alone or with a collaborative team.
  • I love to go with the flow and not follow a rigid schedule.
  • I find certain aspects of building a business—like creating a budget or selling my services—to be frustrating.
  • I am easily overwhelmed by too many details.

How many of these statements did you agree with? I could answer “Yes!” to every sentence on the list. I can see my gifts and my challenges as a creative entrepreneur for the past fifteen years mirrored in these statements. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? I wish I had understood this about myself when I started my first business in 2001.

I have always resisted doing business (or most anything else) like anyone else. I have always longed to be original, to be different. And yet, I hid behind traditional business models for years. I owned a publishing company, producing a parenting magazine and blog for over a decade. It was years before I let myself write for my own magazine. I love to write but I kept giving away the space and making others voices more important than mine.

And yet the truth is, I was the creative genius behind the magazine. I didn’t realize that the more I was wiling to share my personal stories, the more readers were drawn to the magazine – go figure!

I know many other creative women entrepreneurs just like me, hiding behind their business model and their computer rather than loudly and proudly sharing their stories and their genius with the world.

Your secret weapon is your story, especially the stories about your creative journey!

Why is your story a secret weapon? Because most creatives I know struggle to tell their story. They hide behind their work or their business model. They hide their story beneath their creative work. Telling your story is the secret to building a profitable business and to standing out in a crowded marketplace.

Some examples of creative entrepreneurs who are achieving fame and fortune from sharing their personal stories are Oprah, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Gabby Bernstein and many others.

Think about famous artists, actors, authors and experts who are better or as well known for their stories as they are for their work: Vincent Van Gogh, Hemingway, Georgia O’Keefe and Brandgelina are just a few names that pop into my mind of people who’s stories are as famous as their work.

I want to share with you 3 reason why your story is your secret weapon and how your willingness to tell your story can help you to attract more clients.

3 Reasons Why Your Story Matters

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~Brené Brown

  1. People want to do business with real people whose journey mirrors their own and creates the hope that if you can do it, so can they. This is why we all love inspirational stories of heroes and heroines embarking on a quest and successfully achieving their goals. When you share your heroine’s journey, people can relate and the people who relate the most will want to learn more from you.
  2. Telling your authentic story showcases your expertise and your humanity. I find that many creative women entrepreneur’s struggle to tell their story because they don’t want to be perceived as “bragging.” Bragging is a good thing. It’s a useful marketing tool, when it is blended with humility. Share your creative journey – the highs and lows, the turning points, and the successes. No one got to where they are without experiencing some trials along the way. When you bravely share your journey, it shows your commitment, your talent and your humanity in a powerful way that will resonate with your ideal audience.
  3. Finally, your story is what makes you unique and sets you apart from a crowded marketplace. My clients often get stuck on what to say or what makes them different from every other designer, freelancer, coach or artist out there. The specific set of adventures, trials and triumphs you have experienced is what sets you apart.

It took me a while to claim that what sets me apart is my creativity. The more I integrate my artistic talents into my business coaching, the more fun I have and the more I attract the people who are a match for me. Who says business has to be boring? Not me! I love what I do and my creative journey is part of that story.

What is YOUR story?

Start by creating a timeline of major events in your life and look for the common threads. Seek out the parts of your journey that will most resonate with your clients. Have fun with this! Don’t like to write? Do a mind map, a painting or collage, or a video of your story. There are many ways to share your secret weapon with the world!

 

Image Copyright: elnavegante / 123RF Stock Photo

Minette Riordan, Ph.D. on EmailMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on FacebookMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on InstagramMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on Twitter
Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

I am Dr. Minette Riordan. I am an award-winning entrepreneur with close to 15 years experience in marketing, sales and education. In my professional life, I am a coach, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping creative women entrepreneurs build profitable businesses. I am also proud to be a wife and mom of two teens doing my best to maintain the balance in my life and in my business. I make art, write, cook and try to find more time to work out. I am crazy about Zentangle®, SoulCollage® and poetry. I love all of the roles I play and work every day to juggle all the balls that I am holding, sometimes I drop all the balls and drink a couple of glasses of wine. http://www.minetteriordan.com



About Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

I am Dr. Minette Riordan. I am an award-winning entrepreneur with close to 15 years experience in marketing, sales and education. In my professional life, I am a coach, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping creative women entrepreneurs build profitable businesses. I am also proud to be a wife and mom of two teens doing my best to maintain the balance in my life and in my business. I make art, write, cook and try to find more time to work out. I am crazy about Zentangle®, SoulCollage® and poetry. I love all of the roles I play and work every day to juggle all the balls that I am holding, sometimes I drop all the balls and drink a couple of glasses of wine. http://www.minetteriordan.com


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31 thoughts on “The Creative Entrepreneurs Secret Weapon #1

  • Aprille

    Once again, brilliant post. Stories have always connected us. Stories are in our DNA. There’s a reason why storytellers were some of the most valued members of a tribe. We remember stories long after we forget stats and data.

  • V.J.Maheu

    Such good advice, I find that people are much more interested in my art if they hear what it means to me, or if they have seen it slowly taking shape through work-in-progress photos (the story of that particular piece and how it unfolded). As for my story, I struggle with what parts to share. I want to share enough to relate to people, but also don’t want to lay my entire life open for everyone.

    • Minette Riordan, Ph.D. Post author

      Yes, this! It’s so true, people love feeling like they are on the journey with you. There is no need to share stories that are too personal or to lay your entire life open. Share what feels aligned with your art and your business!

  • Maya

    I love thinking about my story as a secret weapon..or well, for me, maybe more like a magic wand.
    Coming out of the psychotherapy field, I was indoctrinated in the mindset of not sharing your story, staying contained and private and only sharing little pieces after careful consideration if they are appropriate and beneficial to demonstrate something to your client or group. Thank goddess I have a little theater in my background as well, and a deep love of storytelling and dramatic presentation. And thank you for offering me the courage to see my story as valuable and actually essential to connecting with my ideal clients & audience.

  • Cheryll

    I answered yes to all of the statements! I guess I am a creative entrepreneur. I try to put the real me in everything I do, so in a way I am telling my story bit by bit. Thank you so much for this post and the validation!

  • Debra Oakland

    Minette, I adore this article and you. I said yes to everything on your list. Telling our stories can be scary and make us feel vulnerable. Stepping outside our comfort zone is a huge benefit to ourselves and others. Trials are part of life. Share them, grow from them, and know your story matters.

  • Andrea

    This is perfect timing for me and I like your approach. While I’m willing to share, I don’t enjoy reading posts that feel self-indulgent… something my first editor and I tagged “emotional flashing.” The way you talk about sharing my story makes sense and is something I will explore further. Thanks.

    • Minette Riordan, Ph.D. Post author

      LOL, I like the term “emotional flashing.” It’s so common on social media and yet not what people want to hear. To me it can feel like a plea for attention rather than an opportunity to showcase yourself as the expert.

  • Kelley Grimes

    I love this quotes from Brene Brown, “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” I totally agree and love your encouragement for us to share our stories. I love being a creative entrepreneur and leading from my creativity! Thank you so much for your insightful blog!

  • Suzie Cheel

    Minette this spoke right to my core. Yes I can tick the 10 too 🙂 i printed your post out to read over breakfast as I knew from the card I drew reversed today TRUST that there was something I still had to address. Your comment on my blog along with Deborah’s and Barb’s have me knowing that I can hold back no longer from both telling my story more widely and getting my book finished. This looks like a wonderful series, look forward to part 2 love you xxxx Ps then I had just borrowed the Gifts of Imperfection to reread and opened the book and there was Brene’s opening quote! Synchronicity

  • Linda Joy

    I ❤️ this post. I checked off every box too. I have to agree that storytelling is the #1 secret weapon and have been using it for years . It’s so important to me as a creative and an entrepreneur that back in 2010 I,along with my editor, created the Authentic Storytelling(Tm) model and master classes for my book publishing company and have guided over 220 authors/entrepreneurs through it.

    What we’ve since discovered is that when the authors dove deep into their story it empowered them in business, and in life. Many of my authors also noticed that their blog writing and way of connecting with their audience was completely transformed when they used the Authentic Storytelling methods.

    Like you Minette I believe, and share with my clients, that today’s women want to do business with someone they can feel emotionally connected to–and not someone hiding behind a mask.

    Here’s to female entrepreneurs and creatives everywhere using their secret weapon!

    I can’t wait for the next post in the series!!