How You Can Change the World as "Just" a Creative Entrepreneur
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Ok, so you’re sitting there sipping your coffee, checking your emails, working on client work, scheduling social media posts. You’ll happily stop working for someone else 40 hours a week to work for yourself for 80 hours.
Yes, your business is ingrained in who you are as a person. I mean, that’s why you pursued creative entrepreneurship in the first place!
But as much as you love being your boss, the passion you put into your work, and the exhilarating side of “the hustle,” you’re still left wondering at night…
Am I actually making a difference in the world?
Maybe you feel selfish for leaving your 9-5 or sacrificing hours with your family to work on your side hustle. Perhaps you’re lacking a sense of connection and community in the online world.
Sure, people say community over competition and they believe in connection. But you’ve certainly never felt that connection to other creatives beyond thinking it’s a nice hashtag. And it’s hard to imagine what that REALLY means in practice and beyond saying “let’s get coffee!” then maybe following through.
You don’t want to live in a world defined by perfectly curated tiles, admiring the work of others but never feeling fulfilled in your own.
You want to make a difference. You want to change the world.
But saying that aloud? Thinking that you as “just” a creative entrepreneur could actually DO that? Pfffft. No way. Sounds more like a Lifetime movie than something you could do in your lifetime.
Trust me, I was right there, too. In my previous business, yes. I was filled with passion and believed in the work I did. I worked day and night while also juggling school, part-time jobs, and eventually a suffocating 9-5.
Yet, something didn’t feel quite right. I still felt distant and not fully connected to my work. I wasn’t fulfilled in what I was doing - even if was I proud or pleased with a certain accomplishment/milestone.
Then, I found the missing ingredient and everything fell into place. I wasn’t wandering aimlessly, desperate for a sale.
I found purpose. And that purpose gave me the direction I needed to begin my legacy and change the world. PURPOSE was the missing ingredient.
Getting Started with Why
Because truthfully, you don’t have to be the next Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., or Steve Jobs to change the world.
Change is fueled by human connection. As social creatures, we are built to trust people that we connect with. And once we establish that trust and bond, we can start to influence them. No, not in a manipulative sort of way (you’re not that slimy person).
No, I’m talking about the way that we build up, empower, and liberate those around us. When we are filled with passion and purpose, it is INFECTIOUS to those around us who are fueled by the same beliefs and values.
We influence them by sharing our strengths, unique perspectives, and by giving generously without ever expecting something in return. Because at our very core, we genuinely want that person to succeed.
By changing someone else’s life, we empower them to do the same for others. And as creative entrepreneurs, we have the unique opportunity to start a chain reaction of empowered women empowering other women throughout our niches, industry, communities, and the world.
THAT is how we focus on building a legacy - and not just a business. A legacy is about leaving a lasting impact beyond yourself because you are serving a purpose that’s greater than yourself. And that purpose will change the world.
Ready to create change? Let’s do it together.
Related: Learn the power of WHY with Simon Sinek's book Start With Why.
You Were Born to do This
Now, I know you still might be feeling a little nervous. The idea of “changing the world” is overwhelming. You’re getting sweaty palms thinking “Melanie, this seems a little big for me. I am not significant enough to make a difference.”
And usually, I’m a warm and supportive person. I’ll grab you a warm beverage and validate your current feelings, then work on pivoting them in a positive direction.
But in this case, I’m going to need to deliver a little tough love...
Telling yourself that you aren’t significant enough to change the world is only a way of dismissing the great responsibility that you have to do exactly that.
In the words of the great Marianne Williamson, “your playing small does not serve the world.” And I’ll add that instead, you’re doing the exact opposite.
As a woman, creative entrepreneur building an online business, you are already going against the norm.
You clearly have the passion and drive to build something you believe in from the ground up.
You are bold enough to take two societally-undervalued pieces of yourself as use them as your strengths. I’m talking rigid logic being valued over creativity/feelings and womanhood being seen as weakness.
I know it may not seem like all that much because it’s “just what you’re doing already.” But really, it takes guts to put yourself out there in the way you’re doing. And by pretending you aren’t powerful, significant, or capable is only robbing you and the world from the change you can ignite.
When we build our businesses as a vehicle for change, a tool to execute our life mission, we open a new way to change the landscape of our world.
As women in online creative business, we are pioneering the online world in a way that’s never been done before. We are building connection and creating a space for authentic support and generosity with limited access to one another physically. We are reaching new levels of “success” (however you define it) in a world that’s traditionally dominated by men.
It is our greatest responsibility to empower ourselves to improve our world and liberate other women (and men) to do the same.
Yeah, you’re a part of something bigger - whether you realized it or not going into an online creative business. And I know it’s scary. But it’s also pretty damn amazing. Because it gives us the freedom to do some incredible things.
How to Find Your Purpose
ONE | DISCOVER YOUR WHY
Finding your WHY is the root of everything you do in business. A WHY gives you purpose and is fueled by passion. By understanding and wholeheartedly believing in your WHY, you will have the confidence to tell people what do you, sell with passion, and provide a valuable transformation for every single one of your customers and clients.
Now, how do you go about finding your WHY? Your WHY address the following question (posed by Simon Sinek in this inspiring talk):
“How do you want to further the human race?”
This might be a little (or a lot) overwhelming at first. But really, I want you to sit down, close your eyes, and think about the world.
Think about the causes you’re passionate about. The environment? Making sure every human has access to water? Spreading affordable and accessible medical care? Gender equality? Or more?
Think about our world and the one way that you are most passionate in changing it. Then, create a belief statement based on that answer.
For me, I believe that giving creatives have an obligation to build their business as vehicles for change. Ok, but how might that apply if you’re B2C?
I also believe that our personal fulfillment is the most precious currency that we will ever own. Every giving woman deserves to pursue her life passions and make her world a better place. But to do this, we have to take ownership of our fulfillment, believe in our value, and prioritize our needs.
You WHY is fundamentally rooted in what you believe about the world and people. And it’s a constantly evolving process as you grow and change!
Think about how you want to improve humanity - keep asking yourself “but why do I want to do that” until you get a feeling of inspiration and fulfillment by simply thinking about it and you can’t explain why any further
Write a statement starting with “I believe…” as your WHY
Continually revise and edit your WHY. Let it evolve as you evolve as a person.
How Great Leaders Inspire Action - TEDx Talk by Simon Sinek
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Find Your Why by Simon Sinek (can you tell I'm a little addicted?)
TWO | ALWAYS LEAD BACK TO WHY
In his viral TEDx Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire,” Simon Sinek says that “What you do is only proof of what you believe.” To create a business filled with purpose and fueled by our WHY, we must make sure that every action we do leads back to that why - holding our business and personal conduct in the highest esteem.
This goes from the copy you write, to your client/customer experience, to the way to present yourself on video, and more. The best part about having a business rooted in WHY is that it’s inherently a business rooted in you. Thus, allowing (even forcing) us to show up as our truest and authentic selves every single time we show up.
Maintaining a consistent brand on a WHY-level isn’t about a logo, fonts, or brand colors. It’s not even about making sure that you tell the same stories and create consistent touch points.
To build a legacy, we must ensure that every single action we take in business and our lives is rooted in our WHY and authentic to who we are.
This means passing up seemingly good opportunities that don’t align with our why. Holding our conduct and behavior in the highest of standards because we are serving something greater than ourselves. And connecting with other people who will further the cause and build community around your shared values and beliefs.
Always use your gut check to see if your actions align with your WHY
Share your WHY often and wear it like a badge of honor. You will naturally attract the same people who believe in the same WHY.
THREE | FOCUS ON WHY
One of the most obvious ways we can lead back to why is through our signature programs. For example, if you’re a holistic living coach who believes that minimalism is the key to living your fullest life and sustaining our environment, then create your signature program to 100% reflect that believe.
Consider where your ideal client is starting at and where you want them to be. The end result should align perfectly with your why. Then, every piece you put into that signature program should contribute to delivering that transformation to your client.
When we create a signature program rooted in WHY, an interesting thing happens…we start to actually believe in them. We artfully and strategically created an experience that will deliver a transformation. And we believe that that transformation will change the world.
Because of our deep believe and sense of purpose, this program becomes infinitely easier to sell with confidence, an enjoyable to experience to complete, and impactful for you and the client.
And it’s always going to be a work in progress. As you grow, your believes will evolve, and you can tweak your signature program to reflect those. You’ve never set in stone - another perk of being your own boss!
That’s why we focus on creating a draft of your signature program in my Big Dreams Builder 1:1 coaching program. It’s a base to start from and as you gain more experience and practice working with different types of people, you can update the program as you go.
Evaluate how you can infuse your WHY into your signature program
Define the transformation you want for your clients/customers. It must align completely with your WHY
Draft your signature program by focusing on what you can do to provide that transformation - small pieces DO matter!
Phew. That was A BUTTLOAD of information we just covered. Now, you can totally stew on this for the weekend. Maybe your brain is swirling with ideas and you’re thoughts are zig zagging in all sorts of directions.
If you're looking for direction and clarity for your vision, be sure to snag my audio training on running your business from a place of alignment!