As makers, freelancers, or entrepreneurs, we tend to focus almost entirely on what we produce, instead of how to sell what we produce. Both the creation and the selling are important—that’s why these articles about the intersection of creativity and commerce are useful.

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The difference between writing lyrics and listening to songs

Years ago, I wrote songs and played a lot of live shows around North America in a band (it may sound exciting, but mostly it was 22hrs driving and sleeping in a vehicle, with 2 hours of impassioned music per night). After shows, we’d stick around and chat with the folks who spent their money […]

State of the Union, 2018

For the third year in a row (2016 , 2017), I present to you my state of the union 2018 address. Not that I think I’m a president of this mailing list, or even slightly presidential—I just enjoy the routine of summarizing the year and looking forward to the next.

The double-standard with creativity and commerce

Some folks in society seem to have always viewed creatives who want to make money as sellouts, shills, souls auctioned off to the highest corporate bidder.

Art is a powerful tool for change

Our world is a reflection of the choices we’ve made. So instead of complaining about how shitty it is or retweeting some hashtag on social media, there are two simple(ish) fixes: taking action and voting with our dollars.

State of the Union, 2017

I share everything I know about combining creativity & commerce, while staying true to my style of “angry man shouts at the internet.”

State of the Union, 2016

I’ve spent the last few months quietly reflecting on both 2015 and what lies ahead for 2016. (I also spent a lot of time making and eating lasagne—it helps with quiet reflection, or something…)

The incurable creative virus

So far in my life I’ve been: a writer for business publications, a web designer to Valley Startups and Fortune 500s, a nature photographer, a teacher of freelancers, a touring musician (and co-owner of an indie label), a failed startup founder (twice), a podcast host, a self-published author of five bestselling books, and, for a few weeks in the early 2000s, a stock icon creator and seller (they were very pixelly–it was a trend back then).

I am my own worst enemy

There’s nothing any troll has said about me, my work or what I put out into the world that I haven’t thought to myself at least once or twice.

The Step Back

As makers, creators, doers, builders, freelancers, we focus almost entirely on those things we produce. Especially in the beginning, because that’s how we’re wired.

The motivating and scary allure of expressing yourself in your work

The thing with lines in the sand is that they create division.

Find your rat people

For your creativity to support you, you need to find your 1%. Your rat people.

Do what you love

Even as someone who works for myself and makes a living off of creativity, it’s not always fun and holding hands while letting the rays of sunshine wash over my face.

What I’ve learned about creating meaningful work

Working for yourself is scary stuff. When you work for someone else, it’s easy to blame failings or frustrations on the boss, the company or even the customers you’re forced to deal with.

When is the best time to create?

The dishwasher is running noisily and probably should be replaced. There are at least 3 dogs barking outside (from the sounds of it, 2 large ones and one tiny one). As well, there’s a child screaming on the street — she doesn’t want to get in the car with her parents. Dinner, a vegan “meat” loaf, is cooking and since there’s not a working timer on the oven, I’m winging it.

Every Entrepreneur is an Artist

There is no map, no guarantee of success. If there was, the map would have been photocopied (or reblogged on tumblr) by now.

Fuck Stats, Make Art

Trying to follow a formula, script or tactic to get more traffic, sales or followers never works in the long run because it screams inauthenticity. Your goals and desires echo in everything you do, even if you think they don’t. So if you’re focused on going viral or being popular or selling something, it’ll show.

A brave new world

Too many people supervise others without making anything of their own. In a previous world, they were called managers, directors, foremen/forewomen, and critics. In this new world, that type of work isn’t required. Their best option is to move from managing to making.