Finding Your Inner Artistic Rebel

spray painting wall

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. –Andy Warhol

All this month we have been talking about small business as an art form and that of the highest level. Unless you have been hiding under your desk, you cannot help but notice the large amount of press being devoted to the value of creative intelligence in the workplace. Any person possessing large amounts of this ‘right stuff’ is suddenly the preferred candidate for top positions. Smart companies know that innovation seems to magically appear right behind any pixie who sprinkles this magic creative dust. Shortly after, old problems that everyone has been staring at for years also magically disappear.

We all know certain people who have more than their fair share of creativity. It is almost as if God tripped with the carton open. For true Artists, creativity is akin to breathing. But whether you can draw a straight line or not, there is nothing to stop you from thinking more like an Artist.

Here are five ways to find more of the Artist in you and in your company:

1. Artists are compelled to create.They are like the little chick inside an egg– with a life force inside. If they do not break out and become all they are destined to be? They rot. Entrepreneurs who purposefully create space in their day for creative thinking will also awaken latent skills. Not feeling it? Take a brisk walk. Genius has proven the benefits of fresh air to force out the cobwebs and get the gears turning. (Check these articles out here and here.) Great things happen from the inside out.

2. Artists see differently. They thrive on perceived limitations. They often use the same raw materials that everyone else uses, but use them in a different way than was originally intended, and in doing so add tremendous value to those same materials. Artists make a habit of asking, “What else could we make with this?” Stop looking at limited resources as a problem. Creative Entrepreneurs ask the same question.

3. Artists choose their style. Then they work that style until they are very very good at it. No artist can afford to experiment with every medium. They only have so much room in their art kit anyway. They focus on the things that they do best. Creative Entrepreneurs also choose. They choose their style, their methods, and their offerings. By virtue of what they choose, they are also choosing to exclude something else. If you try to do it all, you will do nothing well. On the entrepreneurial journey, you can only fit so much in your sack anyway. Focus on what you do best, and excel.

4. Artists are rebels. They do not do paint by number. They do their own thing. They do not waste time on things that do not matter in the deepest part of their hearts. They create from that place, and not to please the masses. Therefore, they are not quick to give up on their idea just because someone hates it. It goes without saying that real Entrepreneurs will do their homework to know if there is a market for their product before they begin business. But the presence of haters is not a sign of failure. In fact, haters may mean just the opposite. Every great product has haters.

5. Artists tell a million stories through their work. They know how you say it is as important as what you say. True artists know their message does not have to resonate with everyone–just a specific group. Because the message of their art is strong, that specific group is attracted as if by magic. Artists know the more powerfully they develop their message, the less they have to say.

Imagine attending an art show where the Artist goes around telling people all about the features and benefits of their work. That would be–well–just so weird. Real Artists do not do that. You either do, or you do not like it. Artists do not try to convince anyone why they should love their work. Unfortunately, many small business people are not acting at all like real Artists. They are still trying to sell something to everyone. Focus on making your best art, and source it from your heart. Make it matter to your target audience, and you will attract them by default.

Oh you little rebel you.

Stay tuned for The Artistic Business–Part IV, next week!