Episode 4: If You’ve Got A Creative Business Dream But Don’t Know Where To Start?
In this episode of the podcast I’m sharing my ideas on turning a big creative business dream into reality. I’m focusing on the point when you have already decided what your future is but you need a bit of help in taking the leap and bridging the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be.
This is the first stage of making your business a reality. I’m covering:
- Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
- Uncovering your business dream and sharing it.
- Acknowledging what might be holding you back.
- Making your business all about your clients.
- How to show up as you in your business.
- Making a plan to make your idea happen.
LINKS + RESOURCES
A Feel-good business plan for bloggers, freelances and creatives.
Episode 3 of The Happy Creative: On Creating Better Content For Your Business (and Pro Writing Tips)
THE FULL EPISODE BELOW:
I’m so happy to be back here to chat with you all today! Last week was a big one, releasing this podcast into the world felt scary but makes me smile every single time I think about it and the feedback I’ve had from you guys has been incredible. I’m so grateful so I have to start by saying thank you, a big, big thank you from the bottom of my heart for your emails, messages, listens, shares and love.
I launched this podcast – despite not liking my voice at all or how I sound when I listen back to it – because my mission is to inspire you on your journey with your creative business journey. I do that through this podcast and the ever-growing free resources on my website, ruthhoskins.com and through my email community where I go a little bit deeper into my creative life, it’s kind of like my journal that I share only with my subscribers.
I believe so much that investing in ourselves and learning like this can only go one way – up! I think it’s so exciting when we have a big creative dream that keeps ticking away in our minds but I know the gap between where we are and where our heart aches to be can feel HUGE! It’s a bit like standing at the edge of a canyon where you’re scared of failing and vulnerable or you just don’t have a clear way of breaking down something big into something small and actionable.
So today I want to help you bridge that gap! Because I know from my own experience and from my clients is that having a plan makes everything have more clarity and purpose.
By the end of this episode there will be actionable steps that you can take away to start making your dream happen.
We are going to work on uncovering your dream, figure out what is holding you back, how to make your business dream all about your clients but be infused with who you are and I’m really hoping at the end you can write up a vision for your future business.
So let’s dive in!
#1 Uncovering your dream
If you close your eyes and picture the other side of that gaping canyon, that scary gap, what do you see?
Just getting clear on our dreams feels really good, and sharing them feels even better. So I always say to people dream big and then dream bigger. Let’s start with your wildest creative dream and then start to reverse engineer a plan to make it all happen. I’m so passionate about reverse engineering because I love strategy and I see people have those lightbulb moments when they start to figure out that they can make this happen.
I’ll share my dream with you. I like to think I can create a space on the internet that is like the biggest, most fun meet up/co-working space you can imagine. It’s a beach house that’s filled with music and paintings and art and tropical plants and it serves all-day dim sum and we sell cool branded stuff raising money for good causes. And I’m working face-to-face coaching clients too and the community is working together to help each others businesses thrive. I love thinking of this dream when I’m feeling uninspired or I’m having a bad day.
So my big goal is to build this space online through a community centred around my podcast but my bigger dream is to create this space irl too, either as a series of retreats or in a permanent home so I’m working on how that could happen. My podcast is just the first step in making that all happen.
So to recap going to ask you again, what’s your dream? Who are you working for, what are you serving them? What is your mission?
# 2 What is holding you back from achieving it right now?
Now, I already know your answer is probably going to be the thing that your inner demon tells you when you need it least. You’re too busy already, you’ll never be good enough, you won’t find clients because there are too many people doing it already, or that it’s too early or late. Does that sound familiar?
Those little demons are bitches! I don’t think we should focus too much on the negatives but I think acknowledging the things that are holding you back is an important step. You know when you’re told as a child that saying something out loud it becomes less scary? It’s true for us as grown-ups too and I firmly believe that anyone can make it at anything.
The most successful people I know are not the busiest, in fact they know how important it is not to get wrapped up in being busy. It really is never too late, there’s no magic formula it’s just a question of showing up every day and plugging away at making it all happen.
Sometimes we all need a little reminder that we are already good enough, that we have a gift or that it’s never too late to build the business that you love (and deserve).
This is where having some support in your journey can make a big difference. An accountability partner. That could look like a mentor, or business bestie you rely on, or a coach like me. Someone to cheer you on and support you in making it all happen, someone to run things by and know they are dedicated to helping you put out the best work you can.
# 3 Put yourself into the picture
What are you really good at? What’s your super power that you can bring to your dream? How can you bring it alive and show up for your dream clients and customers? What are your values and beliefs and passions and are any of those relevant to your business?
This is about honing in on what you bring to the party, what makes you uniquely awesome! Maybe you have super-vibey personality and connect easily with people? Maybe you are full of ideas and you want to bring that into your business? Or maybe community is very important to you and that needs to be reflected in how you build your business.
What I like to say to my clients is that we all have some secret ingredients – the things that make us us! We also don’t need to share every part of who we are but deciding what is relevant to your clients and helps them get to know you is a big step. It’s all about building the like, know and trust factor.
I also think at this stage it’s good to identify where we need to learn on behalf of our future business. So for a lot of the amazing creatives I work with, they have the creative talent (i.e. the thing they do) but they know they need to learn the art of online business.
I believe as creative business owners we HAVE to be committed to learning as part of our journey, because we don’t have a team of experts to hand and usually have a limited budget. And there is so much help out there to help us learn, whether that’s grappling with website (not so difficult now thanks to SquareSpace), or design (hello Canva) or writing (totally possible for anyone to learn how to create compelling content, you can check out my last episode about creating better content and pro writing tips if you haven’t yet listened).
I’m not a life coach, I’m much more focused on the practicalities of growing a business online but I do help people with confidence and mindset issues because I see time and time again that once people start to crack the things that they thought they couldn’t do (like creating an awesome online home for their work, or finding their first client) then they can see that this dream is really happening.
So my message to you is this: Put yourself into your dream, what role do you play? How to bring your values and beliefs into your business? And consider what skills you need to learn so you can think about what support you need it making that happen. Maybe that’s listening to podcasts, or taking some online courses or going to a workshop.
#4 Serving dream clients and customers
So now we’ve explored your big dream, we need to think about who we are serving and how we can add value to the people you really want to serve (and eventually sell to).
Lots of people get a bit stuck at this point, but writing down 5-10 types of dream clients or customers and thinking about how you can serve them through your online content is going to bring you clarity. What do they struggle with? What are their hopes and desires? What can you do that enriches their lives in some way?
Do you want to make a blog or a podcast the heart of your business? Or build an email list? Maybe you want to focus on social media as your main channel to attract people back to your online home where they can learn more and eventually buy your signature offer.
So maybe you’re a nutritionist and you really want to connect and work with busy working women who need some help achieving balance and make healthier lifestyle choices. So you decide to serve them by creating a podcast where you interview women about their lifestyles. This this all leads in towards selling a course that you’ve written as well as live workshops too.
The list that you write here will underpin your content strategy and give you the content streams, topics and themes that you can talk about to reach out to your dream clients and customers.
#5 Making a plan
I know for some people the idea of a business plan is daunting but I really believe it can be done with clarity and purpose so that it feels really good!
However you want to make your plan, just having it is the important thing! It’s ever evolving but it really is so important to do because it’s like committing your dream to paper and in itself that’s an important act.
You should definitely include:
- Your vision, your mission, your why
- Your dream customers and clients and how you can enrich their lives
- What you bring to the party (how will your business be infused with your personality, your values, beliefs + passions)
- Your signature offer, packages or products
- How you are going to serve and connect with your clients (the content, so that’s through blog, podcast, social posts, Stories, video, free content, emails etc)
- Where your dream clients hang out & how you will show up there and build the like, know, trust factor
- What your working week looks like
- Your financial goals for each month
- Priority projects to start to make it all happen (building an online home, how you’re going on onboard people, sales channels, designing your brand, going to a local meet up, freeing up time to work “on” your business.)
OK so we’re coming to the end of this episode. I always like to give my clients a bit of homework, so I’m challenging you to write up the vision for your business. If you want a guide for this you can head over to my website ruthhoskins.com/freebies and sign up for all my resources which includes a feel-good business plan template and also a workbook to uncover your North Star if you’re not quite at the making it happen stage right now.
Before we finish I just want to leave you with this quote by Barbara Sher:
“As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.”
I am SO excited to follow your journey.