Pendant by KarmaCrochet
It is easy to say that a person's talent determines all of their success but that is not always the case. There are incredibly successful people that only have marginal talent and yet we are drawn to their work.
I read the Quit Your Job Series on etsy and watch CNBC How I Made My Millions. Many of the people covered did not have the only idea for how to sell lip gloss (or what ever it is they create). The difference between those that are successful and those that are not might be attributed to how they think and approach their creativity.
Successful creative entrepreneurs tend to do the following:
- Think Big. This is when you hear the 'think big or go home'. Anyone can think about lip gloss but it was one person that thought to use beeswax, focused on what could be automated, and had the foresight to think about branding for the future in an interesting way (Burt's Bees).
- Take Responsibility. If you fail at a new design do not blame others; it came from your hand. Acknowledge that you need the assistance of others to help but remember that it is your creativity that is fueling the business.
- Pay Attention. Recently on Project Runway, Michael Kors made a comment on the importance of the designer listening to feedback from the client. When the designer finally listened the product turned out better. Be willing to listen and be open minded to those around you.
- Work Hard. It is called work for a reason. Often when you hear stories of an 'overnight success' you find out that the person had been working hard on their craft for years. It has been said that it can take 1,000 hours to perfect a skill so it stands to reason that developing your creativity will take time.
- Give Unforgettable Customer Service. There is a local children's boutique we support because of the customer service. The big box stores have longer hours but I return because of what I don't get elsewhere -- a memorable experience with a great product.
- Branding Makes Sense. I struggle with making everything related but the most successful creatives I have seen have their branding down to near perfection. It is the kind of thing that when a screen pops up you recognize a product, photo, phrase, or logo without having to read the fine print. The blog, the shop, the packaging go together seamlessly and help to form a tight connection with their audience. If you don't think this is important then think back to what happened when Gap and Coca-Cola changed things up (it wasn't pretty).
- Know Thy Audience. I was shocked to discover that a friend's blog has a much older audience than I expected. The implication for her shop is that the older blog audience may or may not be interested in her product. Once you visualize who you are selling/writing/promoting to, then it is easier to determine their needs and what you can offer them.
The economy and the craziness in the press makes it more of a challenge but the stories of success lead me to conclude that it is important to never give up.