Learning the Business of Being a Business Woman
Dear Dr. Rosie,
Here I am in my fifties and I’m now just finally feeling passionate about my work. I was in the field of special education for 30 years and though I loved it I never felt completely fulfilled. I think I was supposed to feel fulfilled and so I just kept at it. Due to many contributing factors I was not invited back to teach. Though disappointing, this gave me an opportunity to really do some deep soul searching to discover and recognize what’s mine to do.
I’ve always loved creating but never until now considered being a graphic artist. I’ve had to start from the beginning by taking courses at the local community college. I’m half way through my degree and am anxious to get started. I’m in a very similar place as Usha. I can really relate to her story. What should I do next?
From Dr. Rosie:
I’m really glad to hear that even after all these years you are willing to keep your heart open to what feels passionate to you. It’s happening more and more that women and men are willing to take risks, exploring what’s possible by following their passion. I believe by doing so you model for others that living a fulfilling life means less stress, more ease and more joy in the world. Thanks for being one of those people.
While getting my Ph.D., learning to be a coach and writing my book, Self-Empowerment 101, it never occurred to me that there was another really important component to this work – being a business woman. I didn’t want to be a business woman. I wanted to be a coach and a writer. I was ready to just sit back, have clients show up and have my book fly off the shelf. I was very disappointed when that didn’t happen. Then I participated in a webinar. The facilitator was very clear in her message: First, learn your craft; then, learn the business of being a business woman. YUCK!!!!! Yes, yuck! But, then, it began to make sense to me: Unless I’m working for someone else I’m going to have to learn how to create and run a business, and, I’m going to have to learn how to let people know that I’ve got something great to offer.
There are many like you and like Usha, who are just at the beginning stages of putting their dream into reality. Just thinking of all the possibilities that are part and parcel to creating a business can appear really stressful. There are so many facets to a business and so many opinions on how it all should be done. It can seem daunting. But unless you create a foundation for handling the details of currency, marketing, selling, taxes, and networking, you’ll be teetering on unstable ground. You have to develop some business skills in service to being successful as a successful graphic artist. That seems crazy but you’ve just got to accept that unless you can pay someone to run your business, you’ll have to make this part of your life’s work. I’m saying this not to worry you or make you feel anxious. If you can just accept this fact you’ll be successful before you know it.
Getting past the resistance to seeing yourself as a business person might be the first line of business. What thoughts, judgments and interpretation about business do you carry that creates resistance? What expectations and assumptions do you have about business and business people? These are really important questions to ask yourself, because if you have a lot of judgments and negative interpretations about business and people who are in business you will most likely sabotage this whole endeavor. You’ll create what looks like failure in service to “I don’t want to be like one of those people.”
One of my assumptions about being in business was that I would be overwhelmed with responsibilities and won’t have time to do what I love to do. So, because of this one particular belief I avoided the stuff I didn’t want to be responsible for. Then, I worried about all this stuff that didn’t get done, which took me away from focusing on what I loved to do. I had to find a way to be with what was true – that I have to create healthy business practices, and still do what I love to do. I also had to find ways to not be overwhelmed by doing it all. Because handling money was the most distressing part of my business it made sense for me to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant. That took a huge load off my shoulders. More often now, I’m willing to pay people who love to do what I don’t want to do. That’s a win-win proposition.
So considering that what I’m saying, Veronica, makes sense to you, what do you want to practice in service to cultivating a business of being a graphic artist? Doing some research might be a good start. See what resources are out there. Look for writers, speakers, workshops and webinars that resonate with you as learning opportunities. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get information. So much of it is free and accessible on the internet – even right here on Invincibelle.com! Perhaps there are courses in business practices at your college or at night schools in your area. I truly encourage you to not rush the process; continue to refine your skills as a graphic artist and take one step at a time in engaging in the business of being a business woman.
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