I am my business: a day to celebrate entrepreneurs

If you’re a business owner you can likely pinpoint that moment in time when you were inspired to realise your business idea. There was a niche in the market that only you could fill, or a problem that needed solving, and you were the one to solve it.

An entrepreneur is an innovator at heart, a creative individual with a relentless spirit destined to bring their ideas to life and fulfil a particular demand.

Modern history is laced with stories of creators who believed in an idea so strongly that they have built an empire upon it. You my have heard of the many influential entrepreneurs like Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft), and Richard Branson (founder of Virgin), Janine Allis (founder of Boost Juice), Kristina Karlsson (founder of Kikki.K), and Melanie Perkins (co-founder of Canva).

What they all have in common is creativity, drive, tenacity, and the diligence to see their plans through. But they didn’t stop there. They evolved and diversified their brand according to changes in their environment. In other words, their knowledge of their specific industries was never stagnant.

I have started my business in 2005. Back then, I was a sole trader who needed an Australian Business Number (ABN) for the purpose of being paid for gigs as a freelance musician. Over the past 14 years my business has grown with me and I’ve diversified the products and services that I offer. I’ve studied the world’s best entrepreneurs and I’m grateful to be in business and paid to do what I love. I can attribute my success as a freelance creative to a simple maxim, that being that ‘I am my business’ rather than ‘I have a business’.

I’ve learned to play piano by ear. I knew that reading music would give me better opportunities so I learned to read notes. Keep learning. Be better than you were yesterday.

Many creatives don’t think that they can make a living from their art. Perhaps they don’t consider their talent to be a product or service, and ultimately a business. Your personal brand is everything, and the top entrepreneurs in the world know this. If you are a musician, visual artist, dancer, actor, graphic designer, producer, or any other type of creative then you are your personal brand. You are your business. Every interaction you have is a reflection on your brand.

Being in business is rewarding, but it’s hard. It’s particularly more difficult when you are in the arts industry, facing the misconception that art doesn’t get you a job. The truth is that you can get a job, or you can create an opportunity to work and be paid. This is the heart of entrepreneurship.

If you create opportunities to do what you love then you can share your unique qualities with the world. Find a way to fund your idea and start your venture. To be in business, you must identify a need for your products and / or services to ensure you have regular cash flow. Ensure you have start up capital and a clear plan to cover your overheads, and eventually you may make a profit from your work. It takes time, patience, and a lot of effort and there are no guarantees of success.

Running a business is not for everyone but on this day, declared National Entrepreneur’s Day (USA), take a moment to celebrate all of the wonderful businesses that you know and love. They all started with an idea and a special, creative individual who found the courage to see it through.

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