Creative business idea number 8: don’t be afraid to learn from mistakes

May 21, 2019

Creative business idea number 8: don’t be afraid to learn from mistakes

Being afraid to make mistakes can be such a block to going for your dreams. There is no way to make a success of this without making some mistakes. As we know, I’ve made some huge ones! I shared my own business story here: Creative business ideas to help you live the life you dream of  But we all do. The key is to pick yourself, learn from what went wrong and avoid beating yourself up.

I knew Gabrielle Treanor (a mentor and coach for overthinkers) would have some valuable advice on this:

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Knowing that you have sole responsibility for your business can weigh heavily on your shoulders. You can find yourself going over and over decisions for fear of getting it wrong. The truth is you will sometimes get things wrong, there’s no avoiding it until you don’t start a business at all.

It’s only by trying out ideas that you’ll find what works well for you and what less so. Rather than seeing each decision you make as life or death for your business treat it as an experiment, an opportunity to gain more information.

You can take advice from other people but you don’t have to do anything you don’t feel is right for your business just because others have. Remember that, like you, your business is unique so while it can be useful to see what others do, comparing isn’t helpful because everyone’s business is different. And definitely don’t compare the start of your business with someone who’s in the middle of theirs!

Gabrielle wrote a wonderful guest blog post for us, sharing glimpses into her life in the Brecon Beacons and the inspiration behind her own creative business: Meet Gabrielle Treanor, mindfulness and overthinkers’ coach

Empower your decision making

If you haven’t already discovered Kayte Ferris’ Simple & Season podcasts, there’s lots of honest advice and inspiration to be had. I loved this episode Overcoming Indecision and Empower your Decision Making with Carissa Tanton, an illustrator in North Wales who, like many of us, struggles with indecision. She works on her business part time, and finds herself spending way too much time researching and agonising over decisions, wasting limited time. I can certainly relate to that.

creative business advice - how to be decisive and stop worrying about making mistakes

Carissa and Kayte talk tactics to overcome indecision and find clarity. Some really great advice on how to avoid falling down unproductive ‘research’ rabbit holes, avoiding perfectionist traps that fill your time and hold you back. How to make more time for the work that is why you set out on your creative path in the first place. How to separate yourself out as artist and business owner. Making the decision about what’s a good product to market and sell when you’re so emotionally invested. Moving away from the emotionally charged place of ‘is it right, is it wrong?’ towards ‘who is is for?’ And much more.

Definitely worth a listen.

Carissa’s work is available to buy on Etsy.

Josephine Brooks also has help and advice for creatives hoping to make a business out of their passion, alongside other commitments.

Josephine wrote an inspirational blog post for us How to Make a Living from Doing what you Love where she shares lots of helpful ideas.

This podcast episode with self doubt coach Sas Petherick is all about Managing Self-Doubt When You’re Building a Business. It’s a great listen and covers what self doubt is, how it shows up and what you can do to get it under control and stop it from holding you back.

According to Sas, self doubt is our in-built protector that tells us: ‘don’t do that you might hurt yourself’ in 1000 different ways. Don’t market your business, people might criticse you… Don’t let that product go out into the world it’s not quite perfect yet and people will think you don’t know what you’re doing… All ways that self doubt tries to tell us to stay safe at all costs – avoiding criticism, or taking risks, fear of getting it wrong.

Perfectionism, procrastination, the need to prove yourself, passive behaviour are all ways common we respond to self doubt and can often make the self doubt worse in the long run. I can definitely identify with the mindset of working too hard in a relentless drive to over-prove ourselves. It’s so important to recognise what’s going on and press forwards instead. Ignore the voice telling you something’s not quite perfect yet, or that you should clear the laundry before you start promoting your new product and just do it anyway. Disrupt the pattern and create a new set of beliefs. Because the world really won’t stop turning if there might have been a more perfect typeface choice, better image or choice of words to describe your new product.

We can’t get everything right all the time. In fact getting it wrong sometimes is how we learn and move forwards. So the only ‘safe’ place to be is where you ignore the voice of self doubt and just try things, have a go, risk getting things wrong. There’s no other way to build the sustainable creative business you dream of. You’ve worked hard to share your creations with the world, so don’t let fear of making mistakes or worry that you’re somehow not worthy stop you from getting the success you deserve.

I’m sharing my 10 Steps to Creative Business Success in a series of separate posts, as well as a PDF with all the information in one place for you to download and keep at the end.

The 10 steps I’ll be covering are:



Gabrielle Treanor is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

Simple & Season is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>

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