Selling “Stuff” vs. Selling Myself
When I first started thinking about all of the things that I wanted to do with my creative business a few years ago, it felt like the possibilities were endless. I had all sorts of plans for things I would create and artistic projects that I would bring to life. But over time, my bag of ideas began dwindling – not because I was creating everything and was running out of “good” ideas, but because I was doubting myself and beginning to think of my projects in terms of monetary value instead of creative passion. Simply put, it was no longer about bringing my ideas to life but about limiting myself to only those ideas that had the potential to earn me money. Because let’s face it – running a business is expensive. Student loans are expensive. Bills are expensive. In order for this business to be successful, it has to bring in as much money, if not more, than I would earn working for another company.
Thus, I have discovered the biggest downside to being a creative entrepreneur.
It’s so hard to find a balance between selling stuff and selling myself.
Lately, I’ve realized that I spend too much time and energy trying to sell stuff (ex. commercial projects), and not nearly enough time selling myself. I’m not selling my brand, I am selling out. And in truth, I’m not even doing a good job of that because I keep wasting time creating things for the sole purpose of making money, only to feel bad about it and not put it out there for the world. I haven’t even been finishing half the projects I start for this reason.
I don’t want to be that person that makes and sells garbage. Sure, I want to make money, but only if in doing so, I remain true to myself.