Creator economy for the rest of us
Building a newsletter in public. This is a work-in-progress document.
Here's an excerpt from the brief:
ideas4growth newsletter is a celebration of the Creator Economy. It complements the ideas4growth.com website, summarizes fresh posts, and shares interesting updates from across the Creator Economy worldwide.
It’s meant to inspire new creators and creator-sympathizers, nudge them to start. This is for the person who went pro in something else than being a Creator. It’s for the corporate officer who reads a lot and has a wealth of experience to share with the world. It’s for anyone who has any kind of art and creativity in them.
This is a celebration of amateurs in the original sense of the word — done for pleasure.
This one is for the amateur Creators. Those who might not choose to make a living from their creativity but would still like to engage.
My father used to have a small workshop in the basement. It was filled with TVs, radios, and all kinds of old appliances. Occasionally someone would bring over their appliance and my father would fix it for a small tip. Time and material, that was his method. Some people didn’t have money, so he’d fix their stuff for free. He spent most of his free time down in that workshop. I’d sit on the table and watch him tinker with things, and he seemed content.
I chose to be a knowledge worker and I feel that about my job which I get to practice as a professional manager every day. My other deep interests are reading and writing. I’m an amateur in those.
When I picked up photography, the amateurs with money were able to get exactly the same gear as professional photographers. And plenty of us were good at it just as well. So they started differentiating amateurs from professionals by the notion that professionals are earning money from their photography (and they mostly spent it repaying debts from buying the lenses).
Amateur Creator is the same. They create and love their form of art; they’re happy to spend money to engage with it. But they aren’t necessarily making — or planning to make — money from it.
The thing is, most of the creators don’t want to maximize their earning potential. They find their enough in spending time with their hobby. If they choose to monetize, they might not look to become billionaires, but simply make a decent living by doing what they love.
I love this Seth Godin’s post from October 2008 (emphasis mine):
Do your art. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.
(And the twist, because there is always a twist, is that as soon as you focus on your art and leave the money behind, you may just discover that this focus turns out to be the secret of actually breaking through and making money.)
This is who’s this newsletter is for. Creator Economy for the rest of us.