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Being creative on demand and other challenges of running a creative business

Often when I tell someone new about what I do for a living, they comment on the creative and/or so-called glamorous aspects of my work and very rarely on the admin intensive and mundane side of it which is actually the majority of the work – seriously, I spend 85% of my time behind a laptop, reading and responding to emails. The other 10% is spent in meetings and the remaining 5% is spent being creative.

I absolutely love Karin Bohn (I named my property development and investment company House of Rich after her and Bonang’s House of Bohn and House of BNG respectively – more on that on another day) and this week on her YouTube channel she speaks about how as an interior designer, there isn’t always time to wait to be inspired to do your work and you are often required to be creative on demand regardless of how you are feeling and it really resonated with me.

It is no secret that creative work is not taken seriously and it is because of a number of reasons, with the above being one of the most common. I have also found that often people do not regard creative work as work and as a result this also translates in what people expect to pay for your work. I often hear that I am too expensive and almost always have to go into negotiation with clients when it comes to the cost of my services.

Add to that the fact that it is not always easy to find consistent work. Just thinking of the current climate with the Corona virus outbreak where creativity could help so many brands in the absence of face-to-face interaction, there are still so many brands that will think of creative work last – and when they do, it is required at the most impossible (insert quote about how nothing is impossible here) turn-around times, at the lowest possible price.

I find that during these times, one of the toughest challenges for me is having to separate the business from Richmond, the person. There is so much of me that goes into anything that I do, but once it is time to present the final product to the client, I completely have to withdraw all personal investment. For these reasons, each time I am in one of those pricing negotiations, I have to remind myself to be fair to myself and consider these difficulties. Yes, we need to give our clients the best possible service at the best possible price, but never at the detriment of ourselves, the quality of our work, the people we work with and the businesses we are building.

Article written by:

Richmond Sajini is a musician and media entrepreneur in the public relations, television, radio and retail spaces in South Africa. He studied Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg and has worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Tsogo Sun, Heineken as well as the South African National Roads Agency. He has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition. Visit his blog, www.randomramblings.co.za and follow him on Twitter @richmondsajini.

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