It’s not easy to grow your creative business in the middle of a pandemic. And you know what? When that pandemic takes away your freelance income, it gets harder.

A blue desk with multi colored pencils and a white keyboard with the text "3 things you must do to grow your creative business"

This has been a year of shifting, and I am much stronger and better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship because of it. But damn, y’all. Just damn.



I know I shouldn’t complain because Chris and I are thriving in a way that a lot of people aren’t during “this unprecedented time” that has been around for like 9 months so there is clearly a fucking precedent.

I think the thing I just wasn’t ready for was to think on my feet. That’s not something you really need as much when you’re doing a job you’ve been doing for 5 years. So, 2020 was a year of putting out metaphorical fires and trying to land on my feet only to find that I had landed on another metaphorical fire.

Was quitting my day job at the end of 2019 the best plan? With the information I had, yeah.

Would I do it it again if I knew ahead of time there would be a pandemic?

Honestly, yeah.

Building a business in 2020? Pressure makes diamonds, right? Click To Tweet

They say pressure makes diamonds, right?

So, it’s with all this in mind that I wanted to share with you the major lessons I’ve learned this year.

3 Things You MUST Do to Grow Your Creative Business

001: Focus on what you can control.

When freelance stuff dried up, and then all my contacts within the companies I worked with were laid off, it got a little harrowing for a minute. What was a girl to do?

Everything was so uncertain, and I realized that I needed to look at the things that I could change. Worrying all day and thinking about every possible “what if” scenario was slowly going to drive me mad.

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So, I started thinking of all the things I could do. I knew I could build an eCourse. I knew I could write. I knew I could lean on some of the networking groups I was in, and I knew that I could build some products.

So, I wrote the zero draft of a novel. I wrote 10 short stories. I created the Author Platform Planner. I made the Evergreen Author Platform Bundle. And I made Art Like a Boss.

It was a really big, productive year, now that I look back on it. But it doesn’t look like anything I thought it would. And now that I look back on my goals for 2020, I kind of laugh. I really thought I was going to do a ton of speaking gigs again, didn’t I?

That’s why I’m really shifting my focus and energy into the next year. I’ll be sharing more on that later. But know that I’ve had a bit of an epiphany, and there are going to be some changes.

Yes, I’ll still be online making content. But I’ve really thought about how I can do that in a better way. So, know that I have some big, big plans to take over the world. Or, at least a small corner of the internet.

002: Dig into learning.

Nobody knows everything they need to know to do what they want to do. We all have to learn, and we all need to research shit we thought we already knew.

That’s been a huge thing I’ve been leaning into. But if you want to grow your creative business, you have to be ready to learn and unlearn and learn in a new direction.

I’ve invested in a lot of courses this year, and I have zero regrets. In fact, 3 of the courses I purchased are directly responsible for some of the products I’ve created, and there is a course that actually made me good at and care about my email list.

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So, it’s all a matter of figuring out how you learn best, and then following that information.

I know that structured courses work best for me. (I am a nerd who stayed in school way longer than most, so my brain is just conditioned for this.) I know a lot of people who claim that googling can get them all the information for free. I think the record should show that it takes a long time to find information that way, and if you have no deadline or investment, you’re not incredibly likely to finish.

But to each their own.

Whatever works for you, make sure you do that. Committing yourself to learning new stuff often is the best way to stay on top of the game a creative business owner.

003: Throw spaghetti at the wall.

This is metaphorical. Please put your noodles away.

Basically, you just have to keep trying stuff. No, not everything will work. But you don’t know most of the time until you try.

I’ve learned so much about how I like to work this year, what my audience likes, and what I’m willing to do. It’s crazy.

And I learned a lot about what I’m not willing to do, and what my audience was inadvertently trained to expect from me. All of this information I wouldn’t have had without trying new things.

So, if you feel stuck or like you’ll never get over a plateau, boil up some metaphorical noodles. Better yet, do some learning and boil some very specific noodles.

Even if you’ve always done things a certain way, you can make changes. It will be to your benefit, and in a lot of cases, you realize you don’t have to work so hard when you try something new.

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Tip 3: Throw spaghetti at the wall. (This is metaphorical. Please put your noodles away.) Click To Tweet

But Could You Be More Specific About How to Grow Your Creative Business?

Why yes, yes I can.

That’s why I wrote this eBook. It’s called 21 Ways to Build Your Creative Business in 2021. It’s for people just starting out, people who are elbow-deep in their business, and folks looking to get back to basics with their approach to their creative business.


the cover of the ebook "21 wasy to buildyour creative business in 2021"

There are ideas for products, for building an audience, and for creating a consistent presence.

It’s a tough time to be a business of one, and your good ol’ pal Marisa knows that. So know that there’s nothing on this list that’s going to ask you to spend tons of cash you don’t have.

All you need is an afternoon to read the eBook, and make a plan for your business.

21 Ways to Build Your Creative Business in 2021 is for people just starting out, people who are elbow-deep in their business, and folks looking to get back to basics. Click To Tweet

It’s a quick read, and it’s full of actionable advice. And the best part? It’s only $21.

(Get it? Because it’s 21 things for 2021, so it’s only $21…I thought it was cool.)

You can grab a copy right here, and if you do, I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram when you’re putting the advice into action. The new year is just a month away, so make sure you snag your copy soon so you can make your plans for total domination in 2021!

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