Entrepreneurship as an Art - How Artists and Entrepreneurs are Similar

Entrepreneurship as an Art - How Artists and Entrepreneurs are Similar

Rajh V Iyer 30/07/2018 3

The business of start-ups and the creation of art have nothing obvious in common. They seem as different as chalk and cheese. Even when we picture them in our minds, we see suits and offices for one and galleries and colours for the other. The results are obviously very different but the similarity is in terms of their creators. The artist and the entrepreneur have more in common than meets the eye. While their work and work environments often differ widely, their inner workings run along the same lines.

Gut Instinct

Both artists and start-up founders rely heavily on instinct. An artist paints and puts together displays on what he/she feels will work. This decision-making is based on the ‘feeling that it is right.’ If asked to explain it, he/she will have no logical, step-by-step method. In the same way, entrepreneurs often make decisions, on which millions ride, based on gut instinct. They decide the future of the company and where they want to go based on what they know, deep down, will work. 


The artist is imaginative and creative in an obvious sense. Every stroke of the brush is based on this very important ability. In a less-obvious way, entrepreneurs must have an imagination because they are in the business of dreams. Without the ability to dream and imagine, they will not be able to bring out unthought-of products and breathe fresh air into old industries. What is the point of a start-up if there is no imagination and newness involved?

Existing Outside the Box

There is no box as far as these two types of people are considered. Forget about thinking outside of it, they exist on the outside, completely. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, both types of people are very imaginative and this quality enables them to break barriers and come up with unique concepts and ideas, be it business or art.

Eating, Breathing and Living the Job 

Artists and entrepreneurs don’t just go to work. They eat, breathe and live their jobs. Even if they aren’t at work, they are thinking of their next idea or their next big move. They probably dream of their jobs and what they could be doing in the future. In fact, they don’t ‘have’ jobs, they ‘live’ them. As perfectionists, they are focused up to the point of being obsessed with what they do. While other people may see this as too much, they cannot do something without giving it their all.

Customer-Oriented Fields

Both types of people must put their ideas out there for everyone to see. Artists and entrepreneurs must be courageous people, unafraid and unfazed by criticism. Their finished products and ideas must be sold. They both have a purpose to convince people of the worth of their idea or concept. While this is often difficult, they both should have never-say-die attitudes to move forward and continue doing what they love.

Positive Attention-Seekers

Artists and entrepreneurs must seek attention, not for themselves, but for their products. Since they have invested so much in their work, it often feels like the product is a part of them. Learning to let go and invite attention to the product can be difficult. It must be realized that nothing can be perfect, especially in the mind of someone who is a perfectionist and critical to a point of obsession. Both types of people need to learn when to let go and when it’s time to send the product out.

Quantity or Quality 

Everyone knows that quality stands higher in the list of priorities but it must also be noted that when you start out with something, quantity is as important. In a creative field, it will be a long road to being noticed. The more of your creations that are out there, the more likely it is that someone will stand up and take notice. Both artists and entrepreneurs should realise the importance of quantity in the initial stages of starting something new.


It is only natural to want to be involved in every step. While that is possible initially, it is important to know when to let someone take control of smaller details. Artists and entrepreneurs face the same problem of not knowing when to let go. Both sets of people should learn to delegate responsibilities so they can focus on bigger, more important tasks. 

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  • Paul Finnigan

    Both disciplines play a crucial role in shaping our world.

  • Zulma Herrera

    I didn't know that entrepreneurs and artists have so much in common

  • Samuel Lamont

    Both art and entrepreneurship require vision and creativity to bring innovative ideas to life.

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Rajh V Iyer

Investment Expert

Rajh is a serial entrepreneur with ventures in knowledge process outsourcing, hospitality, retail, IT and e-commerce. He has over 25 years of corporate experience and expertise in key roles of leadership, strategy, planning & management. Rajh is especially skilled at developing new profit centers within scheduled timelines and costs while ensuring operational efficiencies through long-term strategic planning. His core expertise includes delivering customized and cost-effective solutions to meet the operational and financial goals of the organization and its stakeholders. Rajh holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. 

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