How NOT to be a Struggling Business Artist (Or a Flat Spirited-Millionaire)

The banker, the MBA and the profit-driven entrepreneur all want to see the market research that identifies the need. They want to see round pegs and round holes. How many are there? Are they the right size? Yes? Good. Let’s go to production.

The artist, the musician, the creative entrepreneur all want to see their thing loved, valued and paid for. They want it to emerge from the depths of their soul into the world and they want money to then flow in exchange towards them.

Both groups are missing something though.

What the profit-driven entrepreneur creates is fully and only for others, but she is the empty millionaire. She makes money, but her soul is flat.

What the creative entrepreneur creates is fully, and only, from his heart; but he is the struggling artist. He creates from spirit, but he is broke.

The groups try to help each other.

The banker tells the artist to meet the needs of potential buyers, but the artist resists because he doesn’t want to ignore his spirit. He doesn’t want to ‘sell out’.

The musician tells the MBA to use her imagination to create, but the MBA resists because it would be too risky not to focus on the demands of the market.

What both sides are missing though is this:

Compromise is NOT the only option. By embracing the paradox, you can transcend the alternatives.

What the profit-driven entrepreneur is missing are the transcendent possibilities that would emerge if she were to let her creativity serve the market instead of her reason. By providing the obvious, she is missing out on a greater service she could provide. So quick to put a round peg in a round hole, she misses how the stems of the flowers that fill her house could fill holes of all shapes and sizes, despite the fact that nobody was looking for that. She doesn’t see what could be wanted because she is so busy looking for what is wanted from within the world of what already is.

What the creative entrepreneur is missing are the transcendent possibilities that would emerge if he, instead of dancing to his own music, was willing to dance to the music that is already there. He thinks the music is the thing and so he dances to his own. But it is not. The dance is the thing. If only he were willing to dance to the buyer’s song. He is missing that even more awesome thing he could create if he were to let the market’s needs be the paints on his palette and he were to paint with those colours.

The way for the profit-driven entrepreneur to do this is to begin using her imagination, to play with possibility and to risk creating in a way that’s not currently sought or asked for. She must risk in order to explore the possibility that by reaching into the world with a fist full of flowers round holes would reveal themselves. In this way, she provides something which not only serves a market’s need, but which is also a pro-creation between what the market needs and what she has to give.

The way for the creative entrepreneur to do this is to learn and get to know the needs of buyers, to listen to them and their language, to feel them, to bring these into his heart, to be with them, play with them, paint with them, sing with them and dance with them. And then to create something which is not only from the depths of his soul, but which is also a pro-creation between what he has to give and what the market needs.

On with creating…