When you are first starting out, it can be difficult to find confidence in your creative talents as a business. Because creative talents are generally abstract and intangible, it’s hard to place a monetary value on the worth of those talents.
It also feels strange to ask someone to pay us for doing creative work when it comes naturally to us. Furthermore, if you are pivoting an artistic hobby into a business, then it may be harder to make yourself monetize something that you would be doing anyway. However, you have to keep in mind that what you are doing is work. When you are working for someone, you are paid for the work that you put in.
Your work being something that you’d choose to do in your past time because you enjoy it is just a perk of the job!
"Rather than waiting for someone to decide what the value of your work is, tell them it’s value."
In our society, there’s an understanding that there are a group of jobs that are classified as “important”. Jobs like doctors or nurses or scientists or lawyers, they are black and white important. Whereas creative professionals don’t have something of structured importance to point to and say “look at that, see my work is important”. Sometimes we don’t need education to utilize those talents either. Yet without creatives working in the fields that suit their talents, the economy would be incomplete.
Specialization in our society is built on a gathering of skills and talents. If we join them together it is a powerful thing. If we all had the same skills then it simply wouldn’t work. Art is just as important as science. The people that are strong in math and science should value our skills as much as we value theirs.
As the creative you have to back yourself up by requiring others to recognize that your work is meaningful. That takes a lot of confidence; to tell the world that your work is important and that your talent is worth money.
You have to recognize your work as valuable before you can confidently ask others to see your value.
Gaining that confidence is a vulnerable process in which you have to go back and forth asking for validation and waiting for others to validate your work. Especially as creatives, many times the work that you do is pretty personal, so it puts you in a vulnerable place to have to show your work to someone and hope that they will realize the value of it. But once you become comfortable acknowledging the value in your talents, this process becomes much easier.
It’s important to note that business confidence for a creative is not going to be a set it and forget it situation. The subjective nature of creative work means that you will face criticism that sometimes can make your confidence waiver for a moment. We want to feel like what we’re doing means something to people, so when we are faced with critics who don’t recognize our value it can be really hard on our self esteem especially as it is related to our business. That’s why practicing boasting about your own work is important. Rather than waiting for someone to decide what the value of your work is, tell them it’s value. Because really you know the value better than anyone else. You understand the heart that you’ve put into it.
The only way to make a business out of it is to brag about yourself. We are told we aren’t supposed to brag about our own work. We are told it’s unattractive or that we should let people should compliment us instead. That’s silly. You can’t wait for someone else to promote your business, because then it won’t happen. You have to believe in your business the most, because your attitude about it tells other people how to feel. Tell people, “I do this I’m good at it and others should be excited about it”. When you aren’t spending your time justifying your skill as important, then you can be excited to share it. Then other people will be excited too.
Ultimately, your business will be more successful when you support your business through boasting your talents.