I've added this chapter upfront because it's something I wish more books had - a 30,000' view of where we're starting and where we end up.
This book isn't just a book, it's part of a journey you're taking as the reader.
A journey that started with learning that I and Craftsman Creative even exist.
In a second I'll outline the journey that you've started that takes you through to the end of this book, but I want to quickly talk about what comes after.
Once you've read and implemented what's in this book, you'll have all the information you need to go from a five-figure creator to a six-figure business owner.
But that doesn't mean you'll be a six-figure business owner yet.
Because that change doesn't come simply from the acquisition of knowledge.
It comes from action.
Once you read this book, you'll have everything you need to start taking action and making the changes necessary to grow your business and reach that next level with your creative work.
And there will be opportunities to have my help at those stages as well, more than what I can do through a book.
But, know this: this book is an action-oriented, tactical guide to help five-figure creators build six-figure businesses. If you don't do the work, I make no promises.
But if you do the work, the process, principles, systems, and frameworks laid out in this book are a direct path to that desired outcome.
You're welcome to read the book all the way through first if that's what you prefer, but if you don't take action and take advantage of the action items in each chapter at some point, you'll be no better off than if you never read the book.
So why waste your time reading and not taking any action? Don't do that to yourself. Promise now to take action toward achieving your goals.
Ok, so what is this book really for and where are we headed?
This book is split up into five parts, and they are meant to be read in order. Like building a home, you start with the foundation, then frame in the walls, then lay sheets of plywood on the roof, then finish the exterior, then the interior.
They go in order because you need a solid foundation to build upon first.
And just as you wouldn't build the roof without first having the walls framed in, we're not going to focus on growth until we have the "walls" of our business.
Here are the five parts, which you can look at as a blueprint or as a journey, whichever works best for you:
Part 1 - Mindset Mastery
Part 2 - Financial Mastery
Part 3 - Marketing & Audience Building Mastery
Part 4 - Sales Mastery
Part 5 - Leverage, Systems, and Growth Mastery
Each one of these parts represents an essential part of the business you're going to learn to build through this book. A very specific type of business.
You're going to build a resilient, profitable business. One that can stand for decades, far beyond the time you work on the business, and that can withstand any shifts in the economy, your market, or your industry.
Now, there's one thing missing from this business.
Your product or service.
This book isn't about creating SAAS businesses, startups, creative businesses, service businesses, dropshipping businesses, or any other type of business.
It's not about creating the best product, though the section on Mindset Mastery may help you rethink your approach.
If you think that's what you need the most help with, I want to push back a little on that belief.
When the pandemic shut down the economy in the spring of 2020, events and concerts were shut down.
All of my musician friends were hurting, as their main source of income was turned off overnight.
The default response from most of them was to focus on their product, the live music they performed for audiences.
Some went online and asked for donations through Venmo.
Some put together small, intimate, outdoor concerts.
Some stopped altogether.
The one constant was that none of them made any money.
Except for those that focused on their business instead.
Some decided to create a new product like an online course.
Some decided to write music intended for licensing to others.
And these individuals thrived through the pandemic.
The answer to growing your business isn't more/better art.
It's to shift your mindset from thinking like a creator to thinking like a business owner.
Write that one down. Put it in front of you. Look at it every day.
That's the whole point of this book, and if you can make that shift then I've done my job here.
Now, you can skip the rest of this if you're ready to start, but here's a little more detail on the journey ahead through this book:
In Part 1 you'll focus on your mindset as a creator. You'll learn new ways to think about your work, the job(s) that people are hiring you for, and how to do that work at a professional level.
We'll create a vision for your future that pulls you out of bed each morning, where you can skip your morning coffee because you can't WAIT to get to your desk and start creating.
You'll build new habits and routines that help you get into a peak state whenever you want, and snap out of negative states when you find yourself stuck there.
You'll have a new perspective on your role in your business and the three personas every business needs, whether you fill them yourself or find partners to help with those specific roles.
In Part 2 you will learn the financial systems, frameworks, beliefs, and patterns that successful creators use to build and grow their businesses.
Enough of the "starving artist" and living paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. Let's create a profitable business with consistent cash flow and the confidence that you've set up your financial foundation for a successful business to be built upon.
In Part 3 you will take a new look at marketing and audience building. Even if you "suck at marketing" (like I do), you'll find ways to automate different parts of the process and get more awareness for the work you're doing.
A business without marketing is like a man winking in the dark.
Only he knows he's doing it.
Having a marketing system that is generating awareness and engagement for your business makes everything easier. You'll have more clients and customers, make more sales and revenue, and be able to grow your influence with people that want to be on the journey with you.
You'll learn how to create superfans by delivering more value than anyone else can because you're the only one that can be you.
Part 4 is about sales and deals. You can double your business in this section alone.
Two quick examples:
I sat down to lunch with a friend who is building a business centered around investing. He was having a tough time getting the money he needed.
I asked him how the deals were structured and offered a new option.
"Change the default."
His eyes lit up and he instantly messaged his business partner.
That change alone will more than double their business and the amount of money coming in.
I spoke with another friend who is starting a podcast.
She only had a single offer to bring in money for the business - sponsorships.
In our conversation, we explored different ways to monetize the information and the opportunities:
Thinking outside of the box a little helped her see a bigger, more sustainable (and profitable) business rather than a small content business built on a single revenue stream.
You will do the same for your business and you'll instantly be able to add more clients, more pricing tiers, and more offers to your business without requiring extra work or capital or people.
Lastly, in part five, after having built the foundation, the walls, the roof, and the exterior, we'll get into the details.
We'll look at how to leverage people and money and the new awareness around your business into new, bigger opportunities.
You'll build systems to automate the parts of your business that you shouldn't be doing manually any longer. And we'll use all of that to grow.
Now, important point. The purpose of a business is not to grow.
That's not the ultimate goal of this book.
The goal is to help you become a creative business owner and stay one as long as you desire.
If you want to grow, you'll know how. But if you want to stop growing at a certain point and have a nice, consistent business, it's arguably easier because the market dynamics are in your favor.
For example - say you're a photographer.
You currently make $50k a year shooting 35 weddings.
You could try to grow to 52+ weddings a year, and you'd make more money.
But you would burn out pretty quickly.
So you could hire other photographers and take a percentage of their sales, but now you're managing photographers rather than taking photos.
Another option is to systematize parts of your business so you make more profit per wedding, increase your pricing because you're creating more value, and limit the number of weddings you do per year which decreases supply and increases demand.
Now you're charging $5k per wedding and limiting to 20 a year. 2x the income with close to half the amount of work.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We're not there yet. Start with Part 1, take action with the suggestions in each chapter, and we'll get there together.
I'm excited to be joining you on this journey and am excited that you now have this blueprint ahead of you to build your own successful creative business.
This book is being written in public through this blog! I'd love to get your feedback if you are willing to share. Sign up for the email list and hit reply to the emails as the book is written, and I'll be able to incorporate your feedback and comments into the final manuscript of the book!