Jane Martino interviews Clare Bowditch about Big Hearted Business, the musician’s new endeavour to help passionate and creative Australians build strong, successful businesses – along with juggling her new project with music, business and family.
What exactly is Big Hearted Business?
Big Hearted Business is a resource that exists to teach creative people about business, and business people about creativity (right-brain thinking), in ways that make sense.
Our aim is to help fill the enormous educational gap that still exists for creative-entrepreneuial-types in Australia, and allow clever creative people to write a bigger story for themselves, one that allows them to make their living doing the things they love, and contribute to the world along the way.
Our hub is our website (we make the best free videos we can, and release a new one each week), but we also run live events and will launch a series of virtual programs in July and November.
What was it that sparked the idea?
BHB was probably sparked the day I graduated from a four- year Creative Arts Degree with a baby in my belly and a realization that I had absolutely no idea how to make my living as a multi-passioante person in Australia. I didn’t even have a clear idea of whether that was possible or not.
And so, it was then that I realized I could either give up, or work it out. I did the later, which took some time, and a multitude of support, but thanks to new technology it’s now more possible than it ever has been, and that’s the spark behind BHB.
I have seen many many talented people along the way who, for one reason or another, gave up, which is a loss for those of us who would have benefited from their work.
Essentially, BHB is here to offer that help and support to creative Australians who want to write a bigger story for themselves and their lives.
Banners from the Big Hearted Business website.
What part of creating a business from your talent and creative passion do you personally find most challenging?
My greatest challenges have always been internal, and I suspect this is the same for most creative-entrepreneurial types. I’m constantly working to challenge that irrational part of me that loves to tell the story which goes “There is NO GODDAM WAY YOU CAN DO THIS YOU IDIOT!” and to learn ways to say “Well, I’m gonna try anyway”. This is why I always say that living a creative and/or entrepreneurial life is really a Heroes Journey, in the classic Joseph Campbell definition. My challenge is making the space to hear the call, and then acting on it. I regularly fail, but I don’t give up. That’s the main lesson I think.
If there was one thing you could tell your 20 year old self, what would it be?
You are enough. Now get to work.
You recently held the Big Hearted Business conference. What was the highlight?
Sincerely, the highlight was the people who came, their generosity with each other, and the realization that we were creating something that needed to be created. It was a weekend that meant so much to so many people, and I think for me personally, realizing we could help people in this way was one of the most inspiring moments of my life.
What does the future of Big Hearted Business look like?
Right now, bloody busy! We weren’t really prepared for the kind of interest BHB has garnered so our task now is really just to respond to this opportunity in ways that are really helpful.
Which at this stage just means continuing create our weekly Inspiration Bombs (interviews and art-videos with some of our creative heroes in every single creative field), and staying in close contact with our mailing list who are teaching us so much!
In July, however we launch our first online e-courses. In August, we will be running BHB Morning Tea’s around the country. And in November we’ll run our first ever Creative Business Mentorship program (and heavily preparing for the BHB Conference 2014).
How do you do everything you do? Performing, recording, touring, running a family and business?
OK – the most helpful way for me to answer this question is just to be absolutely upfront about the fact that my life is very much a work-in-progress, I do not have it all figured out, and I stumble all the time.
And yet one thing I do know is that when you’re a “sensitive multi-passionate creative type” with a family, and this involves working with your husband daily, there is very little divide between LIFE and WORK, it’s all in the one big bundle, so why fight that? Your passion is your life is your love is your work is your chaos is your growing and so on. Best to accept that it’s going to be a little crazy, and make it a fun kinda crazy.
So this is what I do that helps: I work out my LIFE priorities (love, family, health, creative-expression, contribution, telling the truth etc), I say no to anything that didn’t serve them. Also, I loosely plan my life five years in advance (in terms of major projects), I work on one major project at any one time (let the others simmer), I have a gardeners mentality to success, and I work it out as I go.
Also, I have very good friends and family, I work with mentors and colleagues who keep me on track, and I employ passionate capable people who can do the things I hate doing (or the things I did for many years and hated doing, but eventually grew into a position where I could pay other people to do them, like web-site management and bookkeeping). This was a long time coming but gee, does it make a difference!).
Big Hearted Business
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By Jane Martino
Co-founder of Smiling Mind and Director of Martino Group.
Clare Bowditch is an ambassador for Smiling Mind (that’s how they became chums)