How To Make It On Your Own // Creative Enterprise Week 2013

Last week, Melanie of London Alternative Photography Collective  attended four events for University of the Arts London’s Creative Enterprise Week. The second event Melanie chose focused on helping early entrepreneurs…

Zoe Ruben's Workshop

Zoe Ruben’s Workshop

How To Start Up On Your Own 

Do you have an idea for a project but lack confidence and direction to start?

Anne Marie of UAL’s Counselling and Mental Health Team talked at Chelsea College of Art for Creative Enterprise Week to encourage budding entrepreneurs.

The event attracted many different people, with widely differing projects, but the group mostly comprised of recent graduates from University of the Arts London.

Bradley started the group discussion by sharing some statistics she had found;

Research indicates that people who make a success if self employment have the following attributes;

– Willingness to accept new challenges

– Resilience, with the ability to bounce back from difficulties.

– A sense of humour. If you can find humour in difficult situations that you face, then you will find it easier to confront the challenges ahead of you!

– A sense of perspective

– Tolerance of risk, someone who is not afraid to take a chance.

– The ability to influence people.

– Self direction, someone who really pushes themselves beyond their comfort zone.

– A strong personality, someone who is constantly inspired by the things around them.

– Ability to multi-task i.e. keeping a part time job whilst starting up your own projects!

Tony Cragg's Studio

Tony Cragg’s Studio

 Anne Marie then asked the group; 

“What Is Confidence?”

Here are some answers;

“To understand that making mistakes is okay and a natural part of the process.”
Bradley then reminded us that as children, we primarily learn by practising trial and error.

“Belief in yourself.”
If you have faith in your projects and your own ability, you will find it easier to invest in your own projects with your own time and money.

“Knowing your own limits and abilities.”
Sometimes we can become overwhelmed with the amount of projects we take on, or the gravity of a task. Knowing your own limits will help you to decide the amount of work you can deal with, assuring the success of your current projects.

Tony Bevan's Studio

Tony Bevan’s Studio

Anne Marie then asked us;

“What gets in the way of confidence?”

Here are some answers from the group;

If you aim to get a task 100% right, then you set yourself up for failure.

“Unrealistic Goals”
“Intimidation at the scale of a project”
Sometimes it’s best to make a plan of short term goals, to make sure what you want to do is achievable.

“Comparing yourself with others”
You are unique, and have your own set of experiences which have led you to this stage of your career. It is good to scope out competition, but ultimately comparing yourself with others is likely to make you feel insecure and intimidated. Do your own thing!

Putting tasks off will lead to more stress in the long run. Make a short list of tasks to do daily, and reward yourself with off time when you’ve ticked a few tasks off the list.

Chantelle Joffe's Studio

Chantelle Joffe’s Studio

So what can we do to increase confidence?

Members of the group said;

“Make a list of achievable goals.”
I would really like to recommend a book called 59 Seconds; Think A Little, Change A Lot by Professor Richard Wiseman which encourages you to define your short term and long term goals with short writing activities.
“59 Seconds” also offers a wealth of useful research, such as tips to help you improve your body language, which then makes a better impression on the people around you.

“Practise something you enjoy.”
“Practise your craft.”
“Develop hobbies.”
Doing something practical to improve your skills relating to your craft will help you to build confidence in this area. If you’re a photographer, think of creative practical ways to improve your skills. Can you take a course? Can you learn something from a tutorial online? There is a web full of practical tutorials at your fingertips!

“Celebrate small victories.”
“Hear positives”

All too often we beat ourselves up over tiny mistakes, it is much more productive to do the opposite and celebrate small achievements!

Grayson Perry's Studio

Grayson Perry’s Studio

Photographs taken from Sanctuary: Britain Artists and Their Studios



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