Entrepreneurial Freedom

Many people become entrepreneurs because of the freedom it affords them. When you own your own business, you are free to set your own goals, get out of bed when you like, and control your brand.

Of course, most people who seek this path of independence have no idea what they’re getting into. They don’t realize how much harder it is to be a successful entrepreneur than to clock in for an 8-to-5 job.

M.G. Ferguson oil painting

©MG Ferguson, Summer Walk Home. Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches. Used with permission.

Still, on this (almost) Independence Day holiday in the U.S, we should celebrate our entrepreneurial freedom and all the things we are free to do.

May you be . . .

Free to explore new creative ideas. To not be tied to the past. Tradition is a lovely place to begin, but then you have to experiment and find the artist’s voice within.

Free to be yourself in business. It’s good to learn how other artists are marketing their art, but you are hereby allowed to break the rules. Find your own path rather than doing what everyone else is doing. It’s infinitely more interesting.

Free to fill your creative well. Enroll in classes of any kind or visit galleries, museums, and artist studios. There is no way you can convince me that what’s on the computer screen is more inspirational than interacting with real people in real space and time.

I’ve been told that you hear my voice from time to time when you’re slacking on your marketing. Yes, you will still have a lot of computer work when you return from your art outings, but nothing is more important than the art-making process. And you can’t make much art when the well has run dry.

Free to raise your prices. If your work is selling as fast as you can make it, or if you realized that you’re losing money on every sale, please raise your prices. It might be argued that cheap art, which sometimes masquerades as “affordable art,” doesn’t serve anyone but the buyers.

Free to say No to what doesn’t serve you. You don’t need to be the person who volunteers for everything. You shouldn’t take on that commission that makes your stomach turn or maintain your membership in a group that you’ve outgrown.

Setting and sticking to boundaries is a hard lesson for entrepreneurs to learn, and the sooner you learn it the better.

Free to increase your income. The fear of “selling out” is very real to many artists. Make money in any way that serves you, without having to worry about what others will think. Heck, the upper tiers of the art world have been selling out for years!

And while we’re at it, I hope you are free from a few things as well: free from mean people, small thinking, and bad hair days.

Happy 4th!

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