Click through the link to read about these 10 traits that kill entrepreneurship and reflect on how they apply to artists and creatives too. These are my quick thoughts on how they apply to artists:
1. Self-doubt: not good for anyone, but especially artists. If you don’t believe in your own art, who will?
2. Anti-social tendencies: fairly easy to understand why this will hinder success. Like I said in my last post, you must promote and talk to others about who you are and what you do.
3. Control issues: while you must stay in control of your art and your message, learn to trust other people who can and want to help you. Let go a little, let others in, it will go a long way.
4. Inflexibility: the world is changing at lightning speed, make sure you can adapt to the changes and go with them because that’s where the opportunities are.
5. Power: this one is tied to control. If you work with others (like interns or even your accountant) be nice - you’ll get better results! Don’t be bossy or intimidating or hysterical or a prima donna.
6. Lack of Focus: want to go in a million directions or don’t know where to go at all? Sound familiar? In art as in creativity, you must focus your energies - whether that’s on a style, an industry, a product, or a goal. And work towards it with everything you’ve got.
7. Competitiveness: artists are competitive with each other! And there are probably other artists or people in your industry that you measure yourself against. This is healthy to a point, but make sure it doesn’t become a focus - you’re better off redirecting that energy into your own creativity.
8. Perfectionism: artists are the most self-critical people I know. While striving for perfection is honorable, give yourselves a break and don’t obsess if something goes wrong! Again - redirect your focus back to where it needs to be, on where it is most constructive.
9. Close-mindedness: Being open-minded and considering other people’s opinions or ideas is a sign of self-confidence, not to mention a way of infusing yourself with potentially new creative ideas. The act of simply listening and acknowledging new ideas can set off a creative spark! Be ready for that - open your mind!
10. Impatience: as with anything in life, patience will cause you less suffering. Setting goals and working towards them is rewarding, but you’ll encounter setbacks. So give yourself, your skills, your art, and your market, time to evolve, grow and become solid.
The most important trait is believing in yourselves, and having faith that if you work hard, your efforts will bear fruit. Sometimes those efforts take a lot of time, but don’t give up! Opportunities are disguised as obstacles, delays, angering situations or even annoying people. Use those beautiful artistic brains to see the opportunities, to see the “white space”, which is a skill that is taught to students in business schools and that artists have inherently.
In wanting to build your own careers and businesses from your art, you are taking the path of an entrepreneur, so if you have the chance, read up on business themes and entrepreneurship. I’ll share lots of articles with you too.
What are some other traits that “kill” artists & artistic entrepreneurs? Are there some that are “artist-specific” that we should all watch out for?