Coaching the Creative Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, from a variety of backgrounds and influences. There is one class I find quite interesting: the creative class of entrepreneurs. Creative types rarely start a business in hopes of mastering spreadsheets and number crunching. In fact, making money is often at the bottom of the priority list. Interestingly, I find that freedom from a profit mindset often allows creative types to stay in their highest productivity zone: CREATING.

Creatives usually see the possibility of things. Musicians, architects, film makers, designers, advertising executives are just a sampling of creatives I work with regularly. The focus is on creating. Not on process, HR, fiscal managers or any of the other anchors that can weigh an entrepreneur down.

As these creatives gain traction and their big ideas actually become a business, most realize that the numbers do actually matter. And while creatives typically do not come to the table with a skill set in maximizing financial management and profitability, that does not mean that the other side of the brain cannot be trained.

I am lucky enough to work with some of the most talented creatives in the country. I actually see a recurring observation. Although the creative may not have a clue about fiscal management, budgeting and profit growth, most have a keen curiosity about the subject and are able to grasp the concepts rather quickly if the learning approach is suitable to left brain learning.

For me, a key approach has been to allow enough flexibility when discussing finances with creatives. Using a Situational Leadership approach, we increase the quality and quantity of fiscal conversations intermittently, while never take the primary focus off of the creative mindset. In other words, we have a great deal of elasticity around all things logic and process as we build competence in those areas. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm the creative’s energy and mojo. Without that, there is no need to focus on profits as there will likely not be any.

The creative entrepreneur is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. Their unique approach to business is what sets them apart, and with an open mind to engaging their right brain, the sky is the proverbial limit.

chris weinberg