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Welcome to my BossAss blog


I'll be sharing thoughts, musings, experiences and ideas to help us all build BossAss creative businesses.

By Devon Pop Ups, Jun 27 2018 05:44PM

Today I’m going to shock the living daylights out of y’all and use the ‘C’ word.

Yup – Cash

Oh Lawdy I’m so filthy. Mentioning money in public and everything.

Anything to do with money is a bit of an emotive word for us creative folks. Right? But why? Without a decent living we can’t really call our creative endeavours a business. Being skint is definitely not BossAss. We need to earn money to buy materials, look after ourselves, buy awesome art from other creatives and do tedious things like pay the bills and, you know … eat … and buy weekend supplies of merlot … or gin.

Why do we get so hung up on money? It’s just a word. And yet it’s availability to us, or lack of it, can often be a reflection of deeper issues around self worth.

I’m not known for being woo woo, I’m not a floaty kind of creative. I am, in fact, a very practical person; highly organised, with various tendencies that lean a tad towards being anal. After some soul searching this past year I realised that, at some weirdo level, I do not have a healthy relationship with the old spondoolies. And it’s deeply embedded in my head. It’s an old script that has set limits and rules so secret that even I don’t know what they are. It includes patterns of behaviour that I learnt as a child that make no sense in a world where I have to do adulting on a daily basis. They’re buried deep within and I’m in the process of digging the blighters out and banishing them for good.

Don’t get me wrong, I earn a decent living and have managed to carve out a full time career running two creative businesses. I also get to rent an awesome studio space so it’s all pretty cushty really. But there are months, when I am embarrassed to admit, that it’s all a bit uncomfortably tight on the financial front.

Of course it could be that I’m not as great at the business side of things as I think I am. Or it could be something else that’s holding me back from really raising the financial stakes in my creative business. It’s known as Money Mindset. And having a healthy one can give you a very healthy bank balance. It can also have a deeper, far reaching impact that links to self worth, self care and even self love.

Years ago, before I got all arty farty, I had a proper grown up job as a freelance PR and was paid very handsomely. I’d often bill way over £6K a month. Each month I kept waiting for something to happen. To be found out. It is completely insane to admit this but it felt very uncomfortable to me to be earning this kind of money. I literally had no idea what to do with it beyond having a nice time, treating myself, my daughter and my family, buying great clothes and going on holiday without penny pinching. But instead of enjoying it, I worked hard to prove to everyone that I was worth it. Like REALLY stoopidly hard. In hindsight I think I was mainly trying to prove my self worth to my very good self. To cut a long story short I worked myself to the ground and made myself ill. Very ill. I could have just enjoyed that level of income and had loads of massages and holidays and bought shit loads of stuff. But I didn’t, something was stopping me from enjoying it. Me and my blipping money mindset and lashings of self sabotage thrown in for good measure.

And so this inner script played itself out: lots of money is scary and uncomfortable. To earn it you have to make yourself poorly. It’s a pattern or a script that I have unwittingly played out several times since. It began to dawn on me that I might very well have something to do with it. And if so I could change it.

I’ve been using a technique called tapping to address my Money Mindset and steer it in a more expansive direction. Tapping – also known as emotional freedom technique – literally taps into some of the visceral feelings we have around money, and helps to identify blocks and self sabotaging behaviour linked to events or patterns of behaviour from the past. Once we know what they are we can start to get rid of them and tapping helps with this too. So, for example, if your parents argued quite a lot about money, when you were a child, your 7 year-old brain would have processed this as ‘money is bad’. Money causes hurt and upset. The idea that money is not a good thing would have been stored away deep in your subconscious, where it may very still be lurking and pulling at your purse strings. Or it could be that, as an artist, you create for the pure love of creating and the whole money thing is just, well, a bit unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. It’s ugly and to think of it sullies your beautiful creativity. Wrong. That smacks of not valuing your talents. Why the heck shouldn’t you receive bounty from the universe in exchange for your awesome creative talents?

I really can’t tell you how important I think this head stuff is in terms of growing a BossAss business. You need BossAss business skills. Sure. In spades. But it doesn’t matter how cracking your marketing skills are, if your Money Mindset isn’t in the right place, financial freedom ain’t never gonna happen.

As for me, I’ve been tapping away and digging away and I’m beginning to see the benefits. I’m far more focused, less prone to procrastination, and my bank balance is looking pretty darned groovy.

So, as part of my Building a BossAss Creative Business workshop offerings, I wanted to build some of the head stuff into the programme. Shift the shit and get ship shape for success. I met with Karen from Red Oak Coaching and loved the fact that she totally spoke my language and totally got where I was coming from. She uses tapping to address all sorts of ‘head’ stuff and is already working with the corporate world to use tapping as a technique to build better businesses.

So she’s designed a tapping workshop just for us. Money Mindset for artists and makers. It will take place over two mornings. One in September, after which you’ll have homework. There will be a follow up workshop a few weeks alter in October to address issues that come up when tapping at home.

Let’s get our shit together and build some BossAss creative businesses. I totally organised this workshop for me btw, so I’m hoping others out there want to join in too.

By guest, Jun 16 2018 11:13AM

- BossAss -

A word defining how totally awesome something is in a sense of being purely, utterly and ridiculously brilliant

When I set up Devon Pop Ups I can't tell you how many times I heard:

'Nobody will climb up that dirty great hill and come to your event'.

The venue was at the top of the steep High Street in my home town, Bideford. I ignored the naysayers, ignored my own doubts and self sabotaging thoughts, trusted myself and did it anyway.

Guess what?

People flippin' well did climb that big 'ol hill, not once, but three times.

Has it been easy building an events company? Not. Even. Slightly. There have been obstacles and challenges along the way. Many tears have been shed and many socks have been worked well and truly off. I've learnt so much along the way - growing this and my other creative business Benton's Menagerie (a maker of mixed media sculptures).

But I have so much yet to learn. I mean what the flip is Instagram Stories? I know I'm supposed to use it but I don't get it. I don't get Etsy. I am just working out how to use Eventbrite and link it to my social media platforms. I know I need to blog, but I don't know where to start. And as for self sabotaging beliefs - I have them in spades and work every day to overcome them.

I figured that I might not be the only creative entrepreneur needing help in certain areas so I'm hosting networking events and business workshops under my Devon Pop Ups umbrella. I'm gathering together people that I have learnt loads from, people I'd love to learn from and people I think are bloody brilliant at what they do, to help us all build some seriously BossAss creative businesses.

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