Entrepreneurial Freedom

Many people become entrepreneurs because of the freedom it affords them. When you own your own business, you are free to set your own goals, get out of bed when you like, and control your brand.
Of course, most people who seek this path of independence have no idea what they’re getting into. They don’t realize how much harder it is to be a successful entrepreneur than to clock in for an 8-to-5 job.

M.G. Ferguson oil painting
©MG Ferguson, Summer Walk Home. Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches. Used with permission.

Still, on this (almost) Independence Day holiday in the U.S, we should celebrate our entrepreneurial freedom and all the things we are free to do.

May you be . . .

Free to explore new creative ideas. To not be tied to the past. Tradition is a lovely place to begin, but then you have to experiment and find the artist’s voice within.
Free to be yourself in business. It’s good to learn how other artists are marketing their art, but you are hereby allowed to break the rules. Find your own path rather than doing what everyone else is doing. It’s infinitely more interesting.
Free to fill your creative well. Enroll in classes of any kind or visit galleries, museums, and artist studios. There is no way you can convince me that what’s on the computer screen is more inspirational than interacting with real people in real space and time.
I’ve been told that you hear my voice from time to time when you’re slacking on your marketing. Yes, you will still have a lot of computer work when you return from your art outings, but nothing is more important than the art-making process. And you can’t make much art when the well has run dry.
Free to raise your prices. If your work is selling as fast as you can make it, or if you realized that you’re losing money on every sale, please raise your prices. It might be argued that cheap art, which sometimes masquerades as “affordable art,” doesn’t serve anyone but the buyers.
Free to say No to what doesn’t serve you. You don’t need to be the person who volunteers for everything. You shouldn’t take on that commission that makes your stomach turn or maintain your membership in a group that you’ve outgrown.
Setting and sticking to boundaries is a hard lesson for entrepreneurs to learn, and the sooner you learn it the better.
Free to increase your income. The fear of “selling out” is very real to many artists. Make money in any way that serves you, without having to worry about what others will think. Heck, the upper tiers of the art world have been selling out for years!
And while we’re at it, I hope you are free from a few things as well: free from mean people, small thinking, and bad hair days.

Happy 4th!

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14 thoughts on “Entrepreneurial Freedom”

    1. Lucy: I needed this today. With not one, but 2 bad links in my communications today, it’s been a rough morning. Fortunately, people are mostly very kind.

  1. Thanks for mentioning how much work it is to be an entrepreneur. Yes, it has all those benefits you wrote but it comes at a cost. Good thing we love what we do and much of it doesn’t feel like work.
    Happy fourth to you too.

  2. I’m an artist because I need to be an artist. I have fatigue, and a long lst of chronic illnesses. I had depression before I became chronically ill. Since I couldn’t work, my life needed focus if only to fight the depression. Art is it. This years big project was starting my blog. Next year it’s getting my work into every show I can, not just one or two.

  3. Irma Braun-Hampton

    Alyson, thank you for the Freedom Wishes. I took them to heart because I felt you were speaking to ME; they were balm for my battered soul. I wish the very same to you. Happy 4th!

  4. We must add Freedom to listen and learn from who we want to – and I vote for you! I enjoyed this post. Makes me appreciate all the parts of being an artist-entrepreneur. I just gave myself the weekend off!
    Have a great 4th – and thank you for accentuating the positive!

  5. I love the painting you chose for this post. The use of color contrasts the light foreground with the rest of the evening darkness beautifully.
    Once we realize that we are in control and take responsibility for that control, plus recognize how fortunate we are that we can do this in a world where so many other people are downtrodden, we can also let go of the many negative emotions that hold us back.

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