TOP FIVE TIPS for Creative Success!

Because the internet is chock-full of helpful hints about How to Do Everything, I thought I’d take a crack at giving business advice for creative types. And I do so with the best of intentions, just like all those other people in your life who give advice that they don’t actually follow. Or in the case of some of them (me!), freely distribute advice without the benefit of actual knowledge. So here are my TOP FIVE TIPS for running a business:


#1. DON’T go into business for yourself — unless you are dedicated to working very long hours with no guarantee of an income for an unspecified length of time. DO go into business for yourself if you have a shocking tolerance for stress (in which case you should go to medical school or just play the stock market).

#2. TAKE THE TIME to give yourself a long hard look in the mirror. Stare at your own face for several uncomfortable minutes until you can no longer meet your own gaze and then say to yourself: “Be honest. What are you really, really bad at?” Hopefully your self will answer. Bookkeeping? Filing? Paperwork? Returning messages? Getting out of bed in the morning? Showing up when and where you said you would? Showering?

#3. GET HELP from people who are good at doing what you are bad at doing. Reward them accordingly. This applies to everything but showering.

#4. STAY TRUE TO YOUR VISION, which is a reflection of your own instincts, experience and skill. The caveat with this one is that sometimes your vision is more like a mirage — it doesn’t exist, and never will. If this is the case, quit and go work for someone else. As far as distinguishing between dreams and delusions? See Tip #3.

#5. Watch Tabatha Takes Over on BravoTV. Track down previous episodes. Watch every single one. Take notes. It doesn’t matter that she is addressing a business utterly unlike your own. Just listen to whatever she says, because she is right. If you can’t track down this show, watch Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, who puts in a stellar performance second only to Tabatha, who will haunt your dreams.


4 thoughts on “TOP FIVE TIPS for Creative Success!

  1. But just so we’re clear – you are far too talented to avoid running your own business creating such amazing landscapes for your clients. And you definitely don’t need advice from the likes of me.

  2. love it- certainly retail or self employment is not for everyone
    my only addition is can you stomach not having a paycheck for a long,long while! can you and or
    family survive that and be prepared to walk away if need be & that is ok
    so many do not know when they should close the doors and move on

    • That’s the truth. I remember speaking to one former retailer who said she held on to her shop six months too long, which made her life (finances, etc) much more stressful. Her candor made a big impression on me. Knowing when to close is just as much of an art as knowing when to go into business.

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