This whole year has been a creative crisis for me. Although I’m a “Content Creator” I don’t consider myself especially creative. I believe there’s this spectrum that most people fall on somewhere between creative person and business person. I definitely feel like I’m on the business side. This year I’ve been coming more to terms with that by being more future-orientated and figuring out my long-term goals and how to reach them. I’ve even been talking about money a lot more, with friends and online.
I love this. Turns out my love for organisation and productivity fits neatly into being an entrepreneur and wanting to grow my business. Side note: how do we feel about the word entrepreneur? I like it as an accurate descriptor for what I am/what I do but I feel like it also has a lot of negative connotations and seems to be just thousands of American white guys selling entrepreneurial online courses.
I’ll level with you, I actually feel like an aspiring business person. YouTube was a side hustle turned full time hustle and I thank my privileges and luck for that as well as my hard work. I’ve learned about how my industry works, I understand basic accounting, my taxes and I’m pretty damn good at time management. But what I don’t know is how to create big budgets and project for future growth. I don’t know how to create marketing or production strategies. Perhaps I’d benefit from hiring someone who can do this more bizniz business stuff but I can’t afford that right now. If I want to, I’ve got to build it myself and figure it out as I go.
And that’s kind of exciting but also incredibly daunting.
I would love to know how other creative freelancers balance their identity and time between creativity and business. Do you let one slide? Are you in a position where you can outsource certain bits of work? I think this topic is really interesting especially as a lot of people think of the two as separate. Creativity is a “hobby”, what makes you money is a “job”. But that’s not the case for many people, myself included.
So last weekend I found myself at a creative retreat in Wales called Ruckus Retreat. It was organised by (my friend) Rowan and Krish. Everyone there was so talented. Poets, artists, writers, photographers etc. It definitely made me double down on my identity as a business person rather than a creative even more so.
There were workshops, creative free time and an open mic night. I think I was in a slightly unique position as someone who was doing their thing full time but the event was a breath of fresh air from the types of events I’m used to. Mostly I go to conventions and in recent years I’m on the guest list which means I have access to the green room, do meet ups, panels and there’s a separation from viewers.
This year I’ve been trying out different kinds of events. In May, I went to Clamour in Palm Springs which I wrote about in another blog post which was for YouTubers and video makers. It was basically an industry event and I learned so much about the business side of things. Ruckus felt like the counterpart to Clamour that I needed. Trying new things (I made a key out of clay), having free time to play, appreciating others’ art and encouraging each other and an impromptu improv workshop! Ruckus and Clamour – ying and yang. It was nice to just have that time to explore and play (at Clamour I was a vigorous notetaker).
And as I go into the next stage of my life/career it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I’ve just moved house, I finally feel like I can get settled. My recovery is going well and I’m the healthiest and fittest I’ve been all year. Also, it’s September and even though I’m not in school anymore it still feels like a great time for fresh starts. And Ruckus was a great way to kick that off. Have some quiet in the Welsh countryside surrounded by creatives to completely reset.
Ruckus Retreat is such an amazing event and unfortunately last minute they had their big sponsor drop out which means Rowan and Krish are paying out of pocket. If you’d like to give these good people your support so they can make Ruckus happen again please consider donating to or simply sharing their Go Fund Me page.