There’s a great book by Lisa Sonora Beam which I highly recommend: The Creative Entrepreneur – A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real. Find out more about her here.
She has this great way of looking at the Creative Entrepreneur by separating four pathways. Each pathway is an exploration in and of itself; but when you superimpose them on top of each other, in a mandala form, you get a really interesting insight into your sweet spot as a creative entrepreneur.
Pathway One – Heart and Meaning
In many ways, this is probably the most familiar pathway to you already. This is your love of your artform. It’s the excitement and the discovery that draws you to acting, music, painting, photography or whatever it is that makes you heart sing. If you close your eyes for a minute and think about how you love to spend your time, you’ll probably land right in the heart of this pathway.
That doesn’t mean there is only one thing! As a classic scanner myself (a scanner, a term invented by Barbara Sher, is someone who has multiple interests and passions and feels bereft if not given the opportunity to pursue them all. This is opposed to a diver who has one thing that they love to dive deep into) I can recognise that my heart and meaning path has to include multiple things: acting, music, writing, teaching. They all provide meaning to me. They are all as necessary as food and water. I have always done them; I will always do them.
What makes your heart sing and brings meaning to your life?
What would you do or make even if no one ever paid you to do it (though this is not our long term goal!)?
Quoting Lisa Sonora Beam:
Without Heart and Meaning, it is extremely challenging for the creative soul to keep moving forward when business gets hard. Having big doses of passion and a burning sense of mission for your work will keep you on task, even when the going gets tough.
She also rightly points out that you heart and meaning is not enough if you want to make a living from your art. If what sets you on fire is making apple head dolls, but you can’t connect with a consumer base who want to buy apple head dolls, then you are not going to make any money at all. So while it is really important to be close to what you love and has meaning to you, you can’t ignore market forces, which will be dealt with in some of the other pathways.
For now, just give some thought to what your deepest desires are, what brings you the most joy and where you feel most ‘at home’.
I invite you to use the comments below to tell me about your path of heart & meaning.