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For the past few years, I've realised that for creatives (web designers, graphic designers, photographers, copywriters and writers), starting a business is tougher than anything else I've ever attempted in my life.
It's totally different from my life in IT where my work is validated by machines—computers will tell you whether you did the right thing or not.
When you're a creative, it's very subjective that your work may, or may not...work. For your client. Then there's times where you feel like you've lost your mojo and can't come up with a great idea. So you start looking for inspiration on the web, and end up spending hours on Pinterest. You find a design that inspires you, but you feel guilty copying even one aspect of it. (You're not even copying the whole thing, perhaps just the font, but there's still this guilty feeling.) Then you remind yourself of that "Picasso" quote:
Good artists copy; great artists steal.
So you sort of borrow a few things and still doesn't work for you. Maybe in the back of your mind, you know it's not yours. So whoever said that quote must a conscience that has atrophied. ;)
Nevertheless, you push on because you have a deadline. Either self-imposed or project-imposed. So you put on your "Dumb Designer Sally" hat (which helps prevent analysis paralysis), do your best work (still far from perfect—though everyone says it's great), and put it out there.
Then there are days when you just need the extra boost. So you scour the Internet for something that will help you.
After years of scouring, I thought I would share the best ones that I've found, so you don't have to spend too much time searching.
Without further ado, here are my favourite resources for your business (and mental) health as a creative:
Probably the greatest business blog out there for creatives. One of the key things that hold us back in business is mindset and the right processes.
Ash Ambirge is a genius at empowering creatives, helping you get through impostor syndrome, how to talk to clients, and much more. I love that it's practical, powerful, and fun. Business doesn't all have to be serious.
While her main blog is a treasure-trove of "humorous business advice", Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends gets more intimate as Ash mentors you to get over your own demons, how to start a business, and live a good life.
Because it's one crazy rollercoaster ride—you need one heck of a survival kit.
WEB DESIGN TOOLS
I am in love with this platform and wish it could do everything Wordpress does so that I can finally just focus on websites. It's a breeze to use and it's quite stable and reliable.
Designed for creatives, they offer premium websites for artists and creatives for FREE. This is where my main design website lives.
Sometimes it can still be a little buggy but they have beautiful templates, so it's perfect if you just want a basic, static website that's polished and beautiful.