I recently purchased
Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful
Freelance Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho.
At the very start of the book, the authors describe qualities of
a successful freelancer. As I read them, I thought these same
qualities are also essential for a successful artist. Substitute Etsy
shop owner for artist, selling art, jewelry, craft, even vintage ...
business owner, manager, consultant - these are qualities of
a successful person in any field.
So let's review:
One: A strong business sense.
You may make beautiful widgets. But if you can't promote them,
no one will ever see them.
Two: A love of your art.
If you are selling life insurance,
you should be passionate about life insurance.
If you sit in a studio all day,
go to the science museum or take a finance class.
If you sit in a cubicle all day,
visit a gallery or the library and find a good book.
Four: Confidence and a strong vision.
When you decide to follow a recipe you have never made before,
you are confident the outcome will be a success.
Five: Good listening and observation skills.
When you're the new kid in class, you check everyone out first -
then you move to make friends with those that will be compatible.
Six: Good communication skills.
When composing a proposal, you should be able to write it legibly,
type it up in an organized fashion, be your own copy editor, and
present it well verbally.
Seven: An ability to handle criticism and rejection.
Your professor was brutal in that last critique.
You maintained composure, didn't argue, and took the advice.
Your next critique was stellar.
You asked out 10 girls in as many weeks with no success.
You asked out girl number 11 and she said yes.
Eight: A positive attitude and professional demeanor.
If you're having a bad day, leave it at the door.
Customers don't want to hear it.
If you have some great news, by all means, share it.
But please don't give your life story.
Nine: Good work habits.
"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
And my personal quality I'd like to add:
Ten: A friendly sense of humor.
No one wants to work with a stick in the mud.
An ability to laugh will make you a more well rounded and
interesting artist/freelancer/shop owner/manager.