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How to Talk to a Creative...

I have been self-employed my whole adult life (most of it- I don't count my time teaching in Japan because I was working my business too!) and I'm dedicated to it. Why? Well, in the previous post I wrote about Ryota, the Japanese pole dancer and how fucking amazing he is and how akin I felt to so much of what he said. So you may have a glimpse already.

First, I *have* worked in offices and in retail and 9 to 5s. But they didn't last. I didn't fit. So... Second, I started my own gig and loved it. Yes, it comes with uncertainty, pay isn't regulated, you don't get health benefits, etc. None of that matters. What matters is I can't function without a job that is flexible and is in the realm of my creativity. It just doesn't work otherwise. Though the challenge of switching businesses - especially finding the right one - with a small child, financial trouble, and then a separation, has been... challenging is the "polite" way to put it. A f*cking nightmare sometimes is a more accurate way. But I'm also f*cking all about perseverance. That's the way an artist makes it. Not talent, nope. Because success won't come to you, you have to dedicate yourself to it.

There's definitely perks to the grind. I don't hold judgement! But I will give advice on dealing with the creative peeps in your life. Starting a business takes time (average of 3 years to make a profit) and though makers often understand this, not everyone does. Maybe you aren't an artist or maker- no prob - or maybe you are and have been able to go another route. What I *can* say, though, is to show grace and patience and curiosity to your maker or small business friends. Ask "What are you working on?" rather than "How's the business going?" It helps if you think of a business more like an infant. They take up all you time but don't even begin moving without constant assistance until at least a year has gone by. And it takes months after just inception before you even know what'll look like! So asking "How's the baby doing?" is a bit... odd, unless you think something is wrong with it. XD Business is similar. Also, the question, "How's the business going/doing?" has the underlying question of "Is the business making money yet?" So remember the average (some take longer, some shorter) to make a profit is 3 years. Any question that implies "Is it making money?" is not really asking what you might be aiming for, which is support. "What are you working on with the business now?" actually sounds curious and can open up a whole conversation. And I know support goes a long way! And I know friends want to show it! Ja ne!

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