During my Left of Centre two-day creative life intensive, I work with artists at all kinds of stages of their career trajectory. Some might be brand-newbies and others have been at it even longer than I have (and I’ve been working in the arts for more than 20 years!). For those that are later in their career, one of the activities we do that they find most helpful is working on what, in traditional business, they call a SWOT analysis.
This process is simply about taking a really good look at what is working and what could be working even better. If you find that you are in a mid-stage of your career and things just aren’t flowing quite as wonderfully as they could be, or you would like them to flow even better, then I suggest spending some time taking a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are facing your business.
Have a look at the things you do really well. These are the things that you do better than others, your special skills and your special abilities. Within these strengths are the seeds of growth and the opportunities you can leverage to take it to a new level.
Where are you getting let down? This can be on a personal level like your home life or time management, support systems and available resources (mainly time and money), It could be on a higher level to do with technology and systems. Have a look at what your weaknesses are as a creative entrepreneur AND as a creative practitioner. Both are equally important for arts professionals.
What opportunities are out there in your industry? This is where you might revisit a little bit of market research. Have a look at the trends that offer someone with your particular skills some new opportunities to grow or to work smarter or to really improve what they’re doing. This is where all those years of colleagues and creative friends come into play. Are there partnerships and collaborations you could be creating?
Have a look at what’s going on in your industry that puts your business at risk for continuing to grow. These can be other players in the field. These can be trends that are making what you do redundant.
In having a critical look at all of these things you’ll find the seeds and keys to better growth and more creative fulfillment.