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The Business You are IN vs The Business You WANT

Article By Jeff Little | | Accounting & Tax

Achieve what you want in business, not what you have fallen into.

When a creative businessowner starts a business, it is often driven by a passion to do what they love, the vision they will be successful in producing amazing work every day and clients will line up to pay them for it.

The reality is challenging; running a business is hard work. Where is the next job coming from? How much do I charge? Maybe I’ll quote low to win the work? Jobs come up that you aren’t passionate about but hey, it’s work so I’ll take it to pay some bills. Saying yes to work you have to rather than want to is common and often necessary in the early years of any business. The risk is it becomes normal and that amazing work you expected to be doing, doesn’t eventuate.

If there is no balance, if you are always saying yes, and if you are not doing the kind of work you saw yourself doing when you started, you’re working in the business that you are IN. You may not hate it but you certainly don’t love it.

Your business is 10% the creative work you want to do and 90% everything else.

One client we work with is a cinematographer and he struggled with this early stage of business. The understanding he came to is for every day he was on set with the perfect job for him, there were nine other days he either took work he had to or made phonecalls, sent emails and had coffee chasing the work he wanted. His focus is now on turning perfect jobs into 20% or 30% of his time by chasing the work he wants.

What does the business you WANT look like?

Once the mediocrity of repetitive, day-to-day, practice has set in – you may find yourself wondering where is the business I set out to create? An overwhelming number of management skills are required to run any business; winning jobs, marketing, hiring, working with your team, financial management, meeting new people, chasing people who owe you money and meeting compliance obligations.

As a ‘creative’ you may have zeroed in on your chosen field because of creativity or a passion for your craft. When it comes to realistically running a business in said field, there is often a shock.

Once you understand you need to run it as a business, not a hobby or passion project, that is step one.

Step two is know the work you are chasing. Who are your ideal clients? What work will you do for them? Identifying your ideal client will help you focus on how to find them and win their work.

Step three is spend time working on building the business you WANT. Find your ideal clients or contacts who can refer you ideal clients: make phonecalls, send emails, go out for a coffee.

Sound familiar? It might be time to figure out if you are working in the business you are IN or the business you WANT.