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In the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with hundreds of very creative, very brilliant people who find such joy in pursuing their art. But many of these same people find it difficult or impossible to see their art as a business-or, conversely, to make a business of their art. Art, some of them feel, has no place for business. It’s a place for passion and whimsy and discovery; how can business possibly fit in among these things?

Make no mistake: To make a business of your art takes courage; just not for the reasons many creatives think.

You don’t have to objectify or devalue your art in order to think like a businessperson. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Thinking like a businessperson means thinking realistically but also thinking big. What this means, in other words, is that you have the freedom to dream. For example, let’s say you’ve penned and published a memoir about your facing and overcoming childhood cancer. Why would you want to take a wait-and-see approach-wait and see how many copies are sold, wait and see the kind of recognition (if any) the book receives? Wait for permission to sell it, to market it, to impact lives with it?

No. Think bigger. Think like a businessperson. Think about putting your book into the hands of children suffering from disease. Think even bigger. What about introducing the book to hospitals? To schools? What about giving it-yes, giving it-to organizations that help families cope with catastrophic illness? Why not send galley copies to and seek reviews from publications interested in cancer?

The point of this example is to show that, by having the courage to fuse art and business, you will give your art a much bigger, better chance of making a difference in the world. Which is what every artist-and businessperson-wants most. You can do it, just like Alesia Shute is doing it with her book Everything’s Okay. Alesia is using her personal story of overcoming childhood cancer to make a real difference.  What are you doing with your art?

Check out Alesia’s journey at… and then follow in her footsteps.