Episode 3 of the Creative Business Breakdown is all about working to find those things that make your business special and finding what works for you. No two companies are identical and for creative business owners there aren’t any exact blueprints or manuals out there to tell you how to make it all work or how the pieces fit together.
Rachel and I have no formal business training to speak of and have spent a great deal of time over the past few years talking about what sets our business apart and makes us unique so that we can best create the business that works for us.
Our company feels so different from most traditional businesses. Not only do we have an online store that we are constantly creating new products for, we also provide services for individuals in our studio, as well as providing contract services to individuals in the community. There is an additional online educational component for other music therapists and entrepreneurs that we are working also continuing to grow through our blogging, podcasting, and upcoming continuing education opportunities. On top of ALL of that, we are part of the relatively young field of music therapy.
We’ve had to get creative in both the business and service side of things considering that music therapy is an innately creative field and we are creating our own business rule book as we go. We’ve learned a few things along the way that we hope will help you in finding your creative business identity.
- Find what feels good! What story do you want to tell about your business? What makes you happiest? How do you want to present yourself?
- Be true to yourself. You cannot run any business but your own. Make sure that what ever you are doing aligns with your vision for your company and isn’t trying to simply re-create what your see on your instagram feed.
- Talk to every one! Get advice from others but put your own spin on it! Getting an outside perspective can be so helpful in determining what you want or identifying the questions you need to ask yourself.
- Understand that there is a lot of trial and error. We are always open to trying things we like and that we see work for other business owners BUT with the general understanding that if it isn’t the right fit, we can quickly move on to another solution that may work better
- Take what you learn from others and from research, try it out, learn from your mistakes or successes, revise, and move on.
- You have a different product and service than anyone else, even if they are in the same field or selling something very similar. Determine what sets you apart.
Creative entrepreneurs tend to be idea people. Rachel and I get so many wonderful ideas every day that we get so excited about but all while trying not to get carried away. For us, it’s about loving what we do and finding what fits for us. When things fail, we try not to take it to heart and instead either revisit our flops another time or revise what we are working on to make it fit with what we want.
Moving on can sometimes be difficult because we pour so much energy and heart into everything that we do, but understand that self worth is not defined by the success of business. Find what works for you, having the ability to take a step back, and determining your business identity helps to inform everything you do.
Until next time,
-Katey & Rachel
We all deal with self-doubt, anxiety, and fear but those feelings manifest in very different ways from person to person. While I show my anxieties in an energetic and talkative way, Rachel tends to be more reserved and introverted. That also means that we have very different way of dealing with self-doubt, which we discuss candidly in the episode below.
Here are a couple of the methods we highlight in Episode 2 of the Creative Business Breakdown for dealing with doubt related to making big decisions.
- Ask all of the the questions but also trust that you have the knowledge and experience to move through each situation or know where to find the answers/solutions.
- Build yourself up and let experience be your guide. You’ve handled big decisions and tasks in the past and are still moving forward. Celebrate your positive experiences and all of your successes. Talk to yourself kindly!
- Having a partner, trusted friends, mentor, colleague, or family member you can talk to is key! Find someone you can talk to, get advice from, and can be accountable with.
- Surround yourself with the people who will build you up, question you when it’s needed, challenge you, and keep you on track by supporting the goals and deadlines you set.
- Be honest with yourself and those around you. Talk to them about what you are dealing with and ask for what you need. Whether that is tough love or just a hug, know what will help you move forward and ask for the help!
- Just do it!! Rip off the bandaid and move forward with whatever decision you need to make or whatever task you need to do!
Looking for some other tips for dealing with day-to-day self-doubt or anxiety? Here are some additional ways we cope:
- Say something genuinely nice about yourself. Say it out loud and mean it!
- Put yourself in check by asking the logical questions (ex. what is the worst thing that could happen? Who are you really going to upset or let down?)
- Talk it out! That can be out loud with a friend or on paper by journaling
- Sleep on it. A good night’s rest is the solution to so many problems.
- Engage in self-care of some sort or exercise to work out any nervous energy and clear your mind.
- Put a deadline on whatever you might be putting off and make that deadline know by either posting on social media or telling an accountability partner.
- Ask yourself, “Am I experiencing fear or excitement”?
How do you deal with any self-doubt or fear you may experience? We’d love to hear from you and share your ideas on a future episode of the Creative Business Breakdown.
Until next time: find your people, go for that big goal, set a deadline, and just do it! We’ve got your back!
Dreams really do come true!! It may seem silly, but by starting a podcast are achieving a huge goal. This podcast is something we have been talking about for the past two years and we finally have the opportunity to get started.
Over the course of the last 4.5 years working together, we’ve made some huge decisions, handled several challenges, learned more than we could have ever imagined, and built something beyond both of our wildest dreams. But the success and journey hasn’t been free of mistakes or serious life lessons, of that you can be sure! We’ve been down in the trenches and are here now to tell you the 100% truth on how we’ve dealt with everything.
First, Our Story & Background – I like to think Rachel & I have an interesting and untraditional history. While Rachel began her career with a regular 9-5 job, her life quickly evolved into accidentally owning a thriving private practice. At the same time Rachel’s practice was growing to the point of becoming overwhelming, I happened to move to the Springfield, IL area to be with my now husband. With some encouragement I reached out to Rachel (the only other Music Therapist in the area) to let her know I would be looking for contracts in the area and didn’t want to step on her toes.
Rachel responded with the most thrilling email, she had a large waiting list of clients and wanted to meet in person to talk about working together. It was clear from our first meeting at Starbucks that it was a great fit. After spending two years working as a contractor and talking only online with Rachel, we met once again in person.
The meeting was meant as a social visit to just connect and touch base but turned into so much more! During that second Starbucks meeting, we set a HUGE series of dreams. We dreamt what we thought was impossible at the time. We talked about joining forces, opening a studio, creating a team, and growing our services. We talked about everything we wanted in the next 10 years.
Within six months of that meeting we found our first location, had created a new business plan, sat down with lawyers, created an LLC, formed a partnership, bought furniture, and so much MORE. We went into GO mode.
During our first year of business together we met most of our 5 year goals, had maxed out our individual client loads, and needed to reassess. Our second year meant a second much larger space, an intern, an expanded team, and even more diversity in our services. All of which has lead to where we are now.
Why are we podcasting – There are so many things we have learned over the past few years. It has been the most incredible experience but it hasn’t all been rainbows and sunshine. When I talk to other business owners, they often share only the best parts of their story, the photo-worthy, award-winning moments, all while leaving out the how and why of those successes. We want to share the unfiltered version. We want you to know you are not alone. We want to build you up and help you move through those tough situations. We’ve made mistakes that we are willing to share with you as a fellow creative and business owner.
Upcoming Episodes – Want to know what’s coming next? We’re going to be covering all the basses as we release a new episode each week. We will talk about how we handle self-doubt in all it’s forms, we’ll delve into the financial side of things, and we will talk about finding the right fit both for clients and team members.
Until next time, remember: You can do anything in time with patience and perseverance.
-Katey & Rachel