5 reasons why you struggle to start your creative business

struggle to start your creative business

I tend to be a glass half full, super optimistic, cheerleader type of person on most days. If you have dreams of starting a creative business, but struggle to start, I absolutely believe that you can be successful. Because if I can do it, I know you can too.

But, I also don’t want to set you up for failure so I don’t want to sugar coat my optimism to set you up for unrealistic expectations. Because when you start your creative business and work on growing it – there will be struggle too.

My guess is you may be in that struggle to start your creative business. You have a dream. It over takes your mind most days in “what if” thoughts that don’t feel like an attainable reality. You know that other women have walked in your shoes and seen success: other photographers, makers, authors, and creative thinkers.

You probably also wonder how in the heck they are able to balance being a mom, being creative, and being a business owner. Most days you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of responsibility already. Adding another layer to an already complicated juggle of kids, work, home seems nearly impossible in your mind.

There have been days where I’ve felt this too. Many of them. But, I’ve found that the mountains we make in our mind are often much bigger than the actual struggles keeping us from realizing our creative business dreams. I’ve laid out 5 common struggles to starting your creative business for you here WITH some practical tips to keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams.

You are swirling in worry about if your creative business ideas are doable

If you are creative you probably have lots of loves from photography, to art, to crafting, to writing and more. One of those is probably THE one you dream of turning into something more. Maybe friends have told you that you would be an amazing author, or you’ve had friends ask you if you’d consider doing a photo session for them. The seed for your creative business has been planted but you’re not sure if you’ve got what it takes to make it into a business, not to mention you also worry if you’ll still get enjoyment out of that hobby or passion once you turn it into a business.

My advice this creative business struggle?

Get curious! But do it without emotional attachment. Research other people who are doing what you dream of doing (but try not to compare what they are doing with your current abilities – remember everyone starts somewhere and they were once a beginner like you!). Look at other photographer websites, check out Etsy shops, Google what it takes to become a published author. Take notes about your research and start to feel your way into what it means to fully embody becoming a business owner.

struggle to start creative business

You struggle with your dreams feeling too big

Maybe you’ve done a bit of research. And you can see that your struggles stem from not being able to know the right next steps. Your creative business dreams feel SO lofty that you don’t even know where to begin. When I was first starting my photography business, my dream was to leave public education. I wanted to stop teaching and stay home. I wanted so badly to be my own boss. But, that felt soooooooo out of my league. Not only did my photos still seem mediocre, but I also had no idea how to find clients, or make a website, or take payments, or deliver client images, or price packages. That path to building my creative business was in a word: overwhelming.

My advice for this creative business struggle?

Stop doing research. (yes I know in the last struggle to start your creative business I told you to go get curious and do research). But at some point you have to stop swirling in ideas and take action. There honestly isn’t a step-by-step roadmap for building a business. Yes, you need clients. Yes, you need a way to find them. Yes, you need to take payments. And some of those tasks you’ll learn when they are urgent and in front of you. If you honestly aren’t sure what needs to happen next, I suggest finding ways to share your creative passions with those around you. In photos, in conversations, in social media posts. Don’t SELL services. SELL your heart. SELL your creative passions. Experiment with showing up fully and connecting with others and the next steps will follow. That might mean creating an IG account, or building a website. Or it might mean just being more open about your dreams with those around you!

You keep your creative business dreams too close to your heart

When I mention the idea of sharing your creative business ideas with the world does that excite you or do you feel like a turtle ready to crawl into its shell? I know it may feel like you need to have a business perfectly planned, and executed before you can share it with the world, but I promise…you don’t! This business. The one you are currently visiting, it happened seemingly by accident. I was that mom with a camera that had friends asking about photos. My photos were awful and in need of mega improvement. I was knee deep in grief and trying to process my emotions. I had no intentions of growing an online based business. But, it was that healing process that ultimately led me to take action and share my heart in a blog. And it that blog is what led to connections that informed my next steps forward.

My advice for this creative business struggle?

I’m going to be completely honest, if you aren’t willing to share your creative self with others you may want to rethink if you REALLY want a business. Now, sharing your creative self does not mean that you have to bare your deepest soul secrets on the internet. The magic of online creative business is that introverts can still be introverts! We can write, and blog, and photograph, and create. But realistically “marketing” a creative business means getting what you offer out to the people you know most need it. And that means building connections. You can connect with others on so many different platforms and in so many different ways these days, that there is a path forward that will suit you and your unique personality. But you do have to be willing to face some of your fears and put your work and your heart out there for others to see. That may mean asking another writer to read the draft of your book idea, or posting your photos to social media more frequently, or hanging some of your artwork in your office so others see what you’ve made.

struggle start creative business

You struggle to prioritize working your creative business dreams into your schedule

If I asked how much dedicated time you work on your creative business what would you tell me? When your business is just a seed of an idea that you allow to turn around in your mind, my guess is you may not be giving it the time it deserves to take root. I know you want this dream to be “fun” to grow. And it can be! But it’s more fun to watch it grow when you are actually setting aside dedicated time to grow it. If you sit waiting for the right time to appear, guess what? It’s never going to come. It’s like having a baby, there’s really never the “right” time. I know you’re busy. Our jobs as moms never end. Which is exactly WHY putting yourself and your creative business at the front of the line is so so so very important. Not only will this time help your business, but it will help YOU sneak in more self-care and recharge time too.

My advice for this creative business struggle?

Start thinking about your creative business dreams as school or a part-time job. Give yourself homework. Find time each day to work on your creative dreams. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. That 10 minutes could be spent honing your creative craft (journaling and writing, taking photos, making art), or it might be spent on more business related tasks (social media, blogging, emails, website). Each day might look different. The important part is you are sitting down every day and prioritizing time for YOU and this creative business so it can grow!

Final struggle? You don’t have a creative business mentor

When in the middle of a struggle to start a creative business, it can be hard to ask for help. But, there are certain places where we wouldn’t even hesitate to find a coach or a mentor to guide us along the way. When we struggle to get our butts to the gym, we hire a personal trainer. When our kids are struggling with their math homework we hire a tutor. Mentors have been along the journey ahead of us. They know what to expect and the potential pitfalls we may encounter. They can offer us strategy, and advice, and a quicker way to get unstuck and continue moving forward. Maybe you’ve been afraid to ask for help with your creative business dreams because you worry about bothering your “competition” or you feel like you should be able to “grow it yourself” without having to invest too much money at the start. But let me tell you, having the right mentor can make a world of difference, not only in how quickly you can make progress but also in your mindset and confidence along the journey.

My advice for this creative business struggle?

When you’re ready to fully lean in, be more visible, and prioritize your creative business there will be investments of time, energy, and money. And finding the right mentor can make ALL the difference in the world to our mindset and motivation. Being in community with like minded creative business builders will not only help you connect with others but it will also help you stay committed and consistent to your growth.

But it’s also important to do your research and find the mentor that can best support YOU and your unique needs. Here at Momtography we love supporting dedicated, adaptable, resilient women in using creativity to fuel their confidence to go after their dreams. And we’ve developed a 4-part framework to help them do just that!

I believe in you and your creative business dreams. I believe in your ability to make time and space for them. And I believe in you finding the support you need to make them a reality. Grab my “Am I Ready” guide here and let’s get growing together.