How to Balance Running a Business and the Creative Process
The conflict between these two worlds drives many would-be-successful businesses into the ground.
To get deep into a project, you need to slow things down. You need space to think, feel, dabble, and experiment.
The conflict between these two worlds (i.e., business and creativity) drives many would-be-successful businesses into the ground.
As a young entrepreneur, husband, and father of three sons, JordanOverman has had to learn to manage this conflict. He is the owner ofOverride Films, a commercial film company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Here’s his process:
1. Spend Time With The Right People
Overman purposefully surrounds himself with people who are “better at both worlds.”
He spends time with people who are more creative than him, and with people who are better at running a business than him.
By doing this, he also gets better at both.
2. Schedule Time for “Passion Projects”
A primary way Overman manages the busyness of work, family life, and creativity is scheduling time for non-business “Passion Projects.”
For Overman, this “slows time down.” It allows him to connect deeply with his art. It keeps him connected to his purpose and keeps things fun. He said:
The creative process is all about slowing time down, about creating “fascination moments,” where, for a brief moment in time, nothing else matters for those experiencing the art.
His own passion projects are he Overman experiences “fascination moments” for himself.
3. Scheduling Time to Reflect
Overman also regularly takes time simply to “reflect.”
Research has found that mental reflection can be a form of self-regulation, which can improved planning, performance, creative problem-solving abilities, facilitate internal locus of control orientations, and lessen anxiety.
4. Capturing Moments as They Are
While explaining his creative process to me, Overman told me a story of recently being in Alabama. He chanced upon a peanut factory while driving around and stopped to check it out.
While there, he met a man named Andre, a worker in the factor who was covered in peanut dust. Overman spent some time talking to Andre andloved how excited Andre was about his work in the peanut factory.
Andre showed Overman a huge mountain of peanuts in the factory, which Overman shot footage and took pictures of (see this link for a picture of Andre standing on the peanut mound).
During these on-the-spot creative moments, which for Overman is more often than not, he forms in his mind what he wants to create “as he sees it happen.” As a formerly professional snow skier, Overman is all about “Freestyle” creativity.
Just as he does when doing a slope-style skiing line, he maps out what he’s creating in real time. While filming, he does this by asking himself the following questions:
- What’s my end goal?
- Who is this for?
- If it’s just for me, how can I have fun with this?
These questions mentally structure how he creates “fascination moments” on the spot and as he goes.
5. Framing the Experience
Overman has a framework to facilitate his creativity. Before any endeavor he asks himself:
- Who is this for?
- What I am we trying to convey?
- How do I make this interesting?
- What is the feeling that people should being experiencing?
- How can we visually make this happen?
When he can answer these questions, “The rest falls into place,” he says.
Once he has that structure, he can determine the tools, locations, music, and other features to create the “fascination moments” for those experiencing his art.
6. Involve Client’s Throughout Process
Lastly, Overman loves including his clients in the creative process.
Most of his clients are business-oriented, and thus are “wired differently” than the creatives at Override Films. By asking his clients questions and for feedback throughout the creation process, Overman says he sees their “eyes light up” as they see something they helped create come to life.
For Overman, this is a huge reason he does the work he does. Sharingcreative moments with as many people as possible.
Managing the tension between business and creativity is not easy.
But for many people, it must be done.
How do you do to manage this tension?