There is a short article on Inc.com titled “The Six Traits of a Successful Business Owner”; you can find it here. If you read my posts you already know that I keep harping about how you need to understand that art licensing is a business, and in order to succeed at it I believe you need to not only hone your art skills, but also your business skills, your attitude and perhaps some personality characteristics as well.
Hone your personality characteristics? What kind of nonsense is that? No, I don’t mean you need to turn into Donald Trump (hey, ever see my combover?) but it is time well spent to learn about and recognize what characteristics can help a person be successful, and then work on bringing those to the surface when you need them. There has been a lot of research done on what makes some businesses (and people) successful while others fail, and when you read up on it you will soon notice that many of the same basic traits keep coming through again and again regardless of the type of business.
Three of my favorites from the article and how they can relate to art licensing:
1. The ability to collaborate. This is absolutely Essential with a capitol E. Art licensing is not a take it or leave it type of business – on most occasions you will be working hand in hand with your clients to make your designs fit their needs.
2. Curiosity. You must be curious – about your market, about your clients, about what is the next big thing, about every aspect of art licensing. Not that you need to be an expert at all things, or trying to chase trends, but you need to know how it all fits together.
3. Action oriented. From the article: “Successful founders are proactive and always differentiating themselves from their competitors”. Couldn’t say it better – every day the art licensing business becomes more crowded with hopeful artists and you need to find your key to standing out. What makes you different? How will you be unique?
Continued success in any business endeavor requires a process of honest evaluation, and then adjustment, for everything you are bringing to the market – including you!