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Can you be creative and be in business?


Many people believe that if you are a creative person, you can't run a business! Now, this is a potentially controversial subject and one that some may find touchy! I've heard that you either have a head for business or a heart for creativity and never the twain shall meet! I don't know where this idea, myth or story came from, but I believe that creativity and business go hand in glove. Particularly in today's climate, I'd say it's crucial!


Not all artists are messy and disorganised. Not all businesses are straight-laced. I believe that it's essential to be creative, being in business means you have to be creative, whether in your thinking or practice. I love running my own business, I admit, there have been times I've not

found it easy, but as a general rule, I love it!


I'm a fashion and beauty photographer and have run my own business for 21 years. It's been a roller coaster financially and emotionally, and there have been many times I've had to dig deep and push through. I'm creative, and I create solutions for clients that help elevate their brand. It's a bold statement, but it is what I do.


So many women (and men) have started their business as a passion project from their spare room. Creative projects that have had sprung from an idea without training or guidance. And, they have built a thriving business.


With business, it's important to stick to the things you are good at, know your strengths and where you should concentrate your efforts.To give you some context of mine, I'm good with lighting, art directing and understanding the clients brand, so that everything is on point, and my client walks away happy at the end of the shoot. What are your good points, and what do you bring to the table?


It's good to see where you are strong, but also weak. Be aware of when to get help. And, very importantly, don't expect to be able to do everything yourself. Many people hold back from starting their dream venture simply because they know there are parts of the picture where they feel inadequate. If you need to be a whizz with the figures, then find yourself an accountant or if you need help steering the business, find a business coach though I'd never shy away from approaching your heroes for mentoring. I can be creative with lighting and making things look great but not with my tax return, and the thought of doing my end of year accounts turns me cold!


But let's get back to being in business, what does that mean to you? Having a team of 30 people or just you being a solopreneur? Are you working from a big office in town or a desk in your lounge? Either way, it doesn't matter as it's good to know what you want and what you are! There is always a new way to do something familiar that in itself is creative thinking, and if you're practising this in your business, then you are on fire and doing great work!


Have you noticed how fast things change? In particular, your industry? It's fundamental to be keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape.


Creativity is one of the best tools in your kit to keep up, to stay relevant and reinvent yourself, and most importantly, stay in business! But what do you mean by being creative, I hear you say and how does that apply to me? Most people don't think of themselves as creative and yet, they are surprisingly resourceful and good at finding the right answer to the problem.What have you recently achieved that required some resourcefulness and thinking in a different way to normal? I bet it made a difference? Maybe this can be food for thought, take inspiration from the best in class. Do proper research and get inspired by the best practice by others. And I don't mean the compare and despair route, that's detrimental, I mean find delight and encouragement from others.Take what works for you and make it your own.


Think of Madonna. She is the mother of re-invention on many levels but always Madonna, you know it's her but new and improved. She is creative and an astute businesswoman, she understands what it means to be relevant, contemporary and consistent. Perhaps trying on her mindset and applying it to your business could be an exciting new way to rethink your strategy. I'm not suggesting the studs and eye patch of her latest look, but the new way of seeing something already known.What can you take away from this and use in your life or business?


So do you think you can be creative and be in business? What do you say? For me, that answer is quite simply, yes you can.


Any questions, then please contact Amanda - amanda@amandathomasphotographer.co.uk or 07808 951518

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