The Creative Venture Episode 3: Choosing Your Path

nestguy-castThe latest episode of The Creative Venture podcast is now online.

This week I look at the different paths of the creative venturist – working for a company using your creative skills, freelancing, and building a company around your work through products, services, or licensing. I also talk about letting go – learning to separate yourself from your work.

My Foray into Podcasting – The Creative Venture

nestguy-castToday, the world of podcasting will be forever changed – okay, not really. But it will gain one more show.

Today is the official launch of my new podcast The Creative Venture, part of the GNMBusiness channel, presented by Grasshopper New Media.

The Creative Venture

A large segment of the folks I work with (and a big portion of my readers here) are in creative fields – artists, writers, dancers, designers, craftspeople, etc. – and this show will focus on helping them to use their creative talents to build a successful business:

One of the greatest challenges for creative people is finding good information on how to make a living from their creative talents – on their own terms.

Our goal with The Creative Venture is to bridge the gap between creativity and practical business knowledge. The Creative Venture brings you great advice, insight and guidance for taking your creative talents and turning them into a business. Utilizing real world experience, we will help make the process easier for folks setting off on the grand adventure of the self-made creative venture.

I am very excited to be joining the Grasshopper New Media family. Started by Chris Brogan and expertly managed by Ben Yoskovitz, it is a perfect example of how to attract talent and provide valuable content.

So if you want to learn a thing or two about starting and running a creative venture, or you’re just curious about how I sound, go check out the first episode of The Creative Venture.

Why Settle for Just One Path?

work-wheelA common struggle for some folks, when it comes to discovering their passion, is their seemingly lack of focus. There have been so many people who I have talked with, that struggle to define a single passion to pursue. Or they have an interest in one area, and suddenly lose that interest and want to take up something else. There can be a kind of jealousy of people who have a singular mission, something they’ve wanted to pursue their entire lives.

Chris Cree over at SuccessCREEations brought up this really great point in his comment on Friday’s post, and in his follow-up post on his site:

The part that I’m struggling with is the whole part about where my passion really lies. That may sound pretty dumb to most of you. But the truth is I am good at a bunch of different things. I enjoy a variety of stuff. And I tend to get passionate about things for relatively short bursts of time before I move onto the next thing.

You might begin to question whether you’ll ever find that “passion,” that one single “thing” that you want to do with your life. Chances are, if you have this type of personality that you won’t. That may seem a little harsh or disconcerting, but it’s actually quite liberating. I know, because I’m that type.

For the Love of Scanning – The Serial Enthusiast

Called Scanners, Renaissance Souls, or Serial Enthusiasts – among other fancy labels – it beats being called scattered, flaky, unfocused, or hyperactive. When someone thinks differently, people like to slap a nice label on them, and maybe even medicate them :). But some of the most successful entrepreneurs have this type of personality. It used to drive me crazy that I couldn’t just pick one thing and run with it. Now, I’m glad I didn’t.

Barbara Sher defines a Scanner in her book Refuse to Choose! as “Someone fascinated by so many areas they can’t settle for just one.” Margaret Lobenstine’s book The Renaissance Soul and related Website provides a wealth of information on the subject. In addition to her book, she offers quizzes, workshops, and articles that cover “…ways to understand and design your life that don’t require you to choose one part of yourself, one interest, one passion over all others.

Les Orchard calls himself a Serial Enthusiast and Anne Zelenka concurs:

I, too, am a serial enthusiast

Serial enthusiasts, also known as foxes, aren’t fully appreciated in our culture. We like hedgehogs, a.k.a. experts, better; in fact, we want to be them. No one has ever written a blog post titled “How to Be a Dilettante” (I checked). And yet, what would the world do without us? Some of the most interesting thinkers today – Malcom Gladwell, Steven Levitt, and Virginia Postrel, for example – are more fox than hedgehog. They draw on broad knowledge of many subjects to get at underlying patterns of meaning.

I can’t think of a more interesting and exciting group of people to be similar to.

How to Be a Dilettante – Embracing Your Enthusiasm

So where do you go from here? First, stop beating yourself up and embrace the fact that you have the amazing talent and intelligence to be able to tackle a bunch of subjects. How boring would it be if we all just did one thing our entire lives? Instead of struggling, use the resources available to capitalize on your talent (yes, talent, not liability) for learning and mastering a variety of things. Maybe move from serial enthusiast to serial entrepreneur. Or be known as the writer that can provide in-depth coverage on any subject needed. Choose multiple niches that interest you, and provide something of value that you feel is missing from what’s currently available.

The world is your oyster – why settle for just one pearl?