Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Creative Entrepreneur

by Dr. Cheryl Cottle

The creative entrepreneur like any other entrepreneur is fast becoming a vocation that many people are getting into. There has been a growth in every sector of the creative industry. In the mid eighteen-hundred, with the advent of industrial revolution and the birth of manufacturing, the creative artisan died. However, more recently with the economic down turn that has impacted the world’s economy, there has been an upsurge of creative businesses. People from every sector of the creative industry have began producing their craft and taking it to the market place.

To be a successful creative entrepreneur there are skills, knowledge and attitude that you should develop to start and run a business. Outside of your talent to create a new idea or new innovation, you also need entrepreneurial skills, collaboration skills and creativity. To successfully manage a business you will also need to master certain skills, and gain an understanding of intellectual property copyright laws. Having an understanding of patenting and publishing, to ensure the security and ownership of your work is very important.

Creative entrepreneurs should also have the ability to manage their creative process as well as the cash flow of their business. Management skills, marketing, branding, communication, collaboration, negotiation and leadership skills, are other entrepreneurial skills that they will need to be mastered. Alternatively, having other individuals within your business or network who have the needed skills for you to draw upon is crucial to running an effective and productive business.
It has been suggested by Howkins (2001) that the creative entrepreneur should also learn how to invent themselves ever so often; developing a professional image is also key to the success that they can achieve. Prioritizing their ideas, is also a skill that they should develop. It enables them to accomplish more. Education and development are also recommended, to update their knowledge base in particular to ensure entrepreneurial success.

Traditionally the creative entrepreneur required an agent or an art dealer, managers or publisher, depending on the area of their creativity. This individual showcased their work and decided the “prospective value” of the creative output, before placing it in front of buyers. The value of the creative individual’s works also included the fee for the “gatekeeper.” With the emergence of a new appreciation for the creative arts, along with government and policy makers support, spaces are being designed to create opportunities for the exhibition and sale of one’s artistic products. In addition, with the advent of digital technology and the Internet the creative entrepreneur can eliminate the “middle man” and go directly to market. Social media has also provided opportunities to connect with prospective clients and develop valuable networks.

Are you thinking about becoming a creative entrepreneur? It is a great sector to be part of, if you have innate skills that you can tap into that will support your livelihood. Why get into a business that is not natural to you or that you do not have passion for? Remember, we must do what we love and we will find the joy and happiness that we seek; and remember the money will follow.

Howkins, John, The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas, Penguin, 2001

About the Author
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the founder and chief consultant of Cottle's Professional Consulting. Dr. Cottle is an education and business development consultant, and has written several post for Crafted Spaces. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate degree in Education and Computer Applications. She has worked as a consultant for over ten years and is also a social media expert, who works with individuals and organizations to achieve their professional and business goals. Dr. Cottle also provides women entrepreneurs with valuable business development resources through her CPC Women in Business group and other initiatives.

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