The emotion of business

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The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts.
When we talk about emotion and business they are two words that usually shouldn’t go together. If we are negotiating fees, a new contract, applying for grants or funding or going out to sell our products and services, we need to take emotion off the table.

As creatives we are usually emotional beings. We create our work from a place of passion, love, commitment or the pure desire to share our gifts with the world. These are special emotions and not something that you should switch off.

There are times however when you need the emotional part of you to turn the dial down so that you can negotiate. We have all experienced that moment when we have to sell ourselves, or our products and services and the emotion wells up inside us. Our stomach feels like it is full of butterflies and we stumble over our words.

Selling yourself or your own work is always harder than doing it for someone else. That is why most artist statements are written in the third person, it is easier to talk about ourself if we aren’t saying I all the time. This is why we need to be able to control our own emotions when we need to.

In this podcast I talk about ways you can take control of your own emotions, and when it is important to try to do that. Sometimes we need to be emotional to share our passion, and at other times we need a business head on us in order to be able to negotiate successfully.

It isn’t something that you will get right every time, and I know that over 21 years of being a freelancer even I still get emotional at the wrong times-that is part of learning and developing your career.

Continue reading “The emotion of business”

Communication is key

Communication is key

If you are reading this article & enjoying the podcast, this is what I share with my mailing list every Wednesday. To join the gang you can sign up at the bottom of this page.

There are so many ways that we communicate these days that we can forget that there is actually an art to communicating well.

As creatives it is so hard to take the emotion out of our business interactions because we feel uniquely connected to our work. This is one of our biggest challenges. Remember that there should be no emotion in business, and this applies to your career as well.

Tricky?

I can’t say that I have completely mastered it myself yet, but I have learnt that clear communication is part of the success of any career- especially a creative one.

Whether you work alone or with a team of people, at some point during the day you will have to communicate with someone. This could be through a text message, email or in the old fashioned way of using the telephone.

Telephones can actually be a short cut way to getting things done, but we seem to have forgotten how to use them! We hide behind the typed word on our phones and in emails.

Think about how many times you have misinterpreted an email or text from someone. It is hard to convey a tone of voice in a text unless you want to shout and USE ALL CAPITALS!

I’m hoping you don’t shout at people very often!

In this article and podcast I want to talk about more productive ways of communicating and what to do if communication breaks down. We are all human and sometimes things go wrong. More often or not it is because someone didn’t understand the instructions, or that there was little or no communication between both parties. You can listen to it here.

I would prefer someone to check in with me daily and iron out any problems than sit wondering how they were getting on, and whether they understood what was required of them.

One of the best ways leaders in their field use communication is by empowering the other person that they are working with to take some ownership of the task.

There are a few simple ways that you can do this.

  • The first is to be clear what you want out of of the situation.
  • Ask them first how they would approach the task.
  • Listen to what they say before you answer them, as they may have some interesting ways of completing the work that you hadn’t thought of.
  • You want the person to take responsibility for their own work so that if things go wrong, they are more likely to take ownership of the problem.
  • Telling people all of the time what to do doesn’t allow them to take responsibility-and it is also exhausting for you!

Think of all of those helicopter parents we have seen in the playground or in cafes. They constantly interrupt their children again and again. If you communicate this way with your clients or services that you use to deliver your creative work, all that happens is that the work takes twice as long, and you end up with a frustrated team that feels like you don’t trust them.

I want you to think about how you communicate with your team, service providers or clients.

Ways of communicating

  • Do you have a respectful relationship with them?
  • Do you ask for their help or ask them to make suggestions?
  • Could you think of a better way to communicate with them?
  • Are there ways you have communicated in the past that did or didn’t work for you?
  • Examine why those ways of communicating did or didn’t work for you?
  • What could you do differently next time?

How do you communicate in your day to day. 

Do you prefer text to using the telephone, ask yourself why?

Are you nervous of using the telephone?  (In the podcast I explain how you can improve this).

Examine the words that you use in emails. Do you sound confident and clear?

In emails make sure you remove words like but, just, hopefully and I’m not sure.

These words stop you from coming across as confident. It shows that you aren’t sure what you want and this can lead to poor communication.

If you aren’t sure about something say that you need some advice with a task, or offer suggestions of how you think something could be done, and that you would like their opinion about it.

Saying you’re not sure, don’t help anyone, it only shows that you are panicking. Offering solutions (even if they aren’t used in the end) opens up a dialogue with the other person so that there is two way communication.

Remember that even if you work alone there are other people that you rely on to run your creative business or career. Whether they are your telephone provider, website host, or even the postal service. If you treat them as part of your team and communicate well, then they are more likely to help you in the long run.

What is your biggest communication problem at the moment ?

Let me know in the comments below and i’ll see if I can help you work out a strategy to fix the problem.

How to make friends with fear.

Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.”

When you are trying to build your creative career at some point you will feel fearful about the the future. In this week’s podcast I talk about ways that you can make friends with fear to help you with your journey.

When you are forging ahead and making new things it can feel scary. The path that you are creating may never have been walked on before. You may be inventing a new way of doing something, or creating a piece of art or product, that you want to take to market but don’t know how. Or you might be making so much progress, that the thought of success fills you with fearful anticipation.

Fear is a natural response to creating something new or pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we can even fear success (I know I have had those moments!)

Continue reading “How to make friends with fear.”

It’s all about the confidence.

It's all about the confidence

It’s all about the confidence is an article I wrote for the wonderful Australian Blog Society. You can read it by going to their site clicking here: CLICK 

I have also pasted the article here for you as well. Do let me know what you struggle with when you are asked to speak in public or present your work. Do you have tips that you can share with others? Share them in the comments below.

Continue reading “It’s all about the confidence.”