Episode 159: Rahti Gorfien – Turning Your Creativity and Passion Into Business
Find a job that makes you happy, and you’ll never have to work again. But for creatives who are good at what they do (and love being creative), one of the bridges they need to cross is learning how to monetize their passion and leave their current job.
Rahti Gorfien, the founder of Creative Calling Coaching, joins us on this episode of the Making Sales Social podcast to share her genius and teach us how to make that shift. Rahti works with creatives to be successful entrepreneurs using their artistic ability. She also guides people who have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to hone in on their skills and make a living doing what they love the most. Tune in and discover how to turn your creativity and passion into a business.
Rahti Gorfien 00:00
Connecting on a personal level, having been a playwright, what works in the theater is the same, I think in what works in making sales social. When you find something that’s extremely singular and personal, that becomes universal in talking to prospects, whether they’re in a concert with me or I’m just making a LinkedIn reel. I’m trying to address the specific, I imagined who I’m talking to and what their issue is.
Bob Woods 00:30
Brynne Tillman 00:55
Welcome back to Making Sales Social, we’re excited. You’re here because I have such a fabulous guest Rahti Gorfien is the founder of Creative Calling Coaching. She works with creatives to be successful entrepreneurs that want to take their artistic ability, but they need guidance. People with a little bit of ADD or, you know, kind of they’re all a little bit all over the place but they really want to hone in and make a living doing what they love the most. Welcome to the show, Rahti. I’m excited that you’re here.
Rahti Gorfien 01:32
Oh, I’m delighted to be here. She said as a frog jumped into her throat but fantastic!
Brynne Tillman 01:36
Awesome. Did I miss anything in talking?
Rahti Gorfien 01:39
You nailed it? You nailed it. I mean, thank you. You didn’t miss anything
Brynne Tillman 01:43
Awesome. Well, I’m just thrilled to have you on today, we just recently met, but I think we connected right away. And I was so excited to learn from you and I’m excited for you to share some of your genius with our listeners. But before we get into that we asked all of our guests one question, which is what does making sales social mean to you?
Rahti Gorfien 02:09
What does making sales social mean to me? I think it means connection, I’m probably not the first to say that but connecting on a personal level. And actually, you know, having been a playwright, what works in the theater is the same, I think in what works in making sales social, you know, when you find something that’s extremely singular and personal, that becomes universal. So in talking to prospects, whether they’re in a consult with me, or I’m just making a LinkedIn reel, I’m trying to address the specific. I imagine who I’m talking to and what their issue is. That’s what I’m trying to address. So for me, that’s what making sales social.
Brynne Tillman 02:58
I love that! I absolutely do that. Personalization is so important, and when you have your ideal person in mind, especially if it’s video, you talk about reels, especially if it’s video, they’re connecting with you. It’s funny, because you might put that content out there one time, but you have 30,40, 50 people that really connect with it, they feel like they know you. And so that is, it’s like literally it’s social at scale. So I think that’s awesome. I love that. So when we talked the other day, we talked about how hard it is for creatives, artists that are you know, their creativity is isolated, it’s, you know, in their basement, in their homes, they haven’t really been able to monetize it. And that’s where you come in and help them. So talk to me about the journey from “I’m really good at what I do, but I don’t know how to make money doing it” to “Now I’m an entrepreneur doing what I love.”
Rahti Gorfien 04:04
That’s a lovely question and first, though, I want to speak to something you said about creative being isolated. That I don’t believe that, I don’t agree with that, I have a different opinion around that. First of all things like acting, acting as a social art is totally non isolated, if you’re going to get out there and connect and you gotta get to know casting directors and all of that. But, you know, certainly the creative process, if you are like a visual artist, or even a composer, whatever, a writer of any kind, that can be isolating, I think, but when it comes to what you’re talking about taking it from being a hobby to a profession, isolation has no place.
Brynne Tillman 04:54
Yeah. So how do you make that shift?
Rahti Gorfien 04:58
Right, great question again. How do you make that shift? I’m sorry to be repeating. I’m a verbal processor. That’s one thing I do with my clients, I find out what makes them tick. Some of them need to think out loud and I’m among that number. I’m a verbal processor. So if I repeat a question, that’s why. (Brynne: Yeah! I’m the same way actually). Yeah, so first, I help them get clear about where they are now. They may be much further along, perhaps in their journey of becoming a pro than they realize.
So for instance, I worked with a young musician, who was very accomplished, and she, you know, she was doing concerts, she was out there. And all she needed to do was systematize her marketing, so that she was doing the same thing every week, you know, and continually reaching out on social media every week, having a newsletter and building that list and sending those out every week. You know, just the thing is there’s redundancy that can be unappealing to creatives in marketing.
Brynne Tillman 06:17
Yeah, I get that.
Rahti Gorfien 06:18
And we all know that eventually, you get the support of a team in helping you and I also coach people to get to that point. So they don’t think they’re doing it all alone, because you’re making the art. That’s the one thing nobody else can do. So she’s doing extremely well now having up to her visibility, then there are people who think they are much closer to turning their art into a business than they are. And, you know, for instance, they’ve never written for television, and they want to get on the staff of SNL.
Brynne Tillman 07:00
That was my dream.
Rahti Gorfien 07:04
Brynne Tillman 07:00
It was. Yes, no joke!
Rahti Gorfien 07:04
Well, it’s a lovely dream. And it’s like climbing Everest. It’s possible but you know, you have to understand that there is an incline for a goal like that and it’s stiff. So folks like that, I have to be very careful. I don’t want to discourage it’s not my business to pop anyone’s dream, you know, Blow, Pop their bubble. However, I am not doing a service to them, if I’m not real and saying, “Well, let’s just start out with getting some work on its feet, getting some work written and on its feet”
Brynne Tillman 07:044
Rahti Gorfien 07:045
Brynne Tillman 07:046
I love that.
Rahti Gorfien 07:47
And then from there, we can get into community building networking. You know, maybe there’s probably a lower bar than SNL to initially, you know, you might end up doing a web series. You know. So the journey is very individual. It’s very individual.
Brynne Tillman 08:12
That’s awesome. So I used to rewrite the skits to be funnier. That was what I always wanted to go in there. Like after I watched it.
Rahti Gorfien 08:22
You’re not going to be the gut doctor.
Brynne Tillman 08:24
I know I just like, “Oh, they missed it by an inch.” Because often they do. Anyway, once we had, a big piece of this is building a path. Now a lot of creatives want to work their way out of a job. They’re making a living in a pretty boring, not motivating way, but you know, they got to eat. So what are the steps that they have to take? Obviously, first, we have to figure out if, well, a couple things come to my mind and tell me if I’m wrong, they have to be really good to make it, you just really have to be good. You have to love it. Like you have to love what you’re doing and someone has to be willing to pay you for it. So if all of, how do you know if all of those things come together?
Rahti Gorfien 09:20
Well, first of all, I think there is a mythology in the culture around making it as a you know, that is such an individual, you know, what does that mean? Does it mean being a household name? If it does, you know, I can’t you know, very few people are gonna cross that threshold. I mean, you know, nothing’s impossible. However, I think it’s the wrong point of focus.
Brynne Tillman 09:48
So where do they start?
Rahti Gorfien 09:51
Where do they start? First they take pressure off making a living at their art ironically, they take the pressure off of their art. Now of course it depends where they are in their career but in many cases, creatives failed to see their day job as it were, as the patron of their art. You know, if you are suffering financially, that’s all you’re thinking about. And then you had the double whammy of your art having to be saleable. It has to be, you have to make it sell. I think you can get so far away from your values creatively and your impulses creatively that you’re kind of dead in the water before you start. So I coach a lot of people to get clear about what their baseline income is, like any business person, right? The base, how much do you need to make? And how…
Brynne Tillman 10:49
Yeah, no, no. So now we’ve decided, okay, I know that I need to make X number of dollars to quit my job. What’s the next thing? How do I identify who will pay for this? Is it saleable? What do I do?
Rahti Gorfien 11:06
Yeah, again, it’s, you know, it will really come down to the art what it is. Now, you know, initially, for instance with actors, I don’t coach a lot of actors, but there’s another coach who’s hot, more qualified, named Brian O’Neill and he wrote a very good book called “Acting As Business” But for instance, if you’re an actor, and you want to get out of the day job thing? Well, I think the shortest point between that and getting to be financially somewhat independent, is commercials, you know, you would really lean hard into getting commercial work.
Brynne Tillman 11:49
So can you want to write a book? Would you go out and try to get published in Forbes? And blog post.
Rahti Gorfien 11:56
Yeah well, first of all, if you were to write a book, we presume that you have finished it and that you have written it, I think, right? And then, you know, I think a writer may need to look at other ways to leverage their writing to make a living. There might be steps, a lot of steps between making a living as a novelist, right, and, and getting out of a day job. First, make a living as a writer, we might focus on that, copywriter, and, you know, doing an editor, you know, a journalist, you know, but and that means starting your own business in a sense, and working on that, concurrently, because we’re not all working all day long. I think there’s nothing wrong with putting together a strategy for getting published.
So that may involve researching publishing companies online, and finding out how to write a book proposal. You know, I’m a big proponent of Barbara Sher’s work, I don’t know if you know, the book “Witchcraft” she is lovely, she is great, to me, she’s the mother of coaching and she had ADHD. She’s a proponent of reverse engineering and she has a lovely flowchart in the book, where you start with a goal, like getting published, getting my novel published, and then you work backwards, you know what has to happen right before that. You know, the final draft has to be approved by the editor, what has to happen right before that, and continuing to break that down until you get to what you could do today?
Brynne Tillman 13:47
That’s like the mic drop moment here. Which is, start with your goal and back it out. So that you, in my, you know, I would say put the dates around it as best as you can. SMART goals, right? When will this be due? And what’s the consequence if it’s not too, right? So I love that I think that backwards timeline is genius for you know, this is when I want to quit my job.
Rahti Gorfien 14:18
It also keeps people I think connected to their why? Because it’s so easy, especially if you’re someone with ADD for whom working memory is an issue. And what that means is, you can’t quite remember how you did something, it always feels like you’re reinventing the wheel. You know, that can be you know, all that all there is is now. If you’re doing some boring little research task, it could be easy to lose heart. Whereas if you have this flowchart, all you have to do is look at it and see where along the way you are and how it connects to getting the book published visual prompts like that, anything to keep your walk i in front of you, for people, for creative people, for neurodivergent people, you know, having that ignition, inspired ignition, you have to inspire yourself to ignite yourself to take action. And I love that breaking down something visually gives a person that.
Brynne Tillman 15:19
That’s great! One of the specialties you have where I want to kind of wrap this up in is really helping those with ADHD focus on being an entrepreneur. So talk to me a little bit about that.
Rahti Gorfien 15:31
Right? Well, you know, for one thing, I find this is true with all my clients. And many times my ADHD clients are polymaths, meaning they’re very good at everything. And just because you’re very good at everything doesn’t mean you should be doing everything, you know, as soon as possible in order to stay consistent, especially if you have ADHD, where you know, what you want is not always aligned with what you feel it’s important to create a support system, and that includes fellow entrepreneurs, and it also includes team. Do you have somebody, even just a virtual assistant, three hours a week, making sure that you are posting on social media consistently? You know, consistency is what gets you seen? Don’t try to do it alone. That’s where in working with entrepreneurs, It is a campaign to get people to believe in themselves enough to invest that money to hire a team.
Brynne Tillman 16:34
I love that. And you talk about three keys, clarity, focus and action. So how does that all pull into what you do? And then how do we, if there are people like, “Oh, I really want to have a conversation with Rahti” How would they get in touch with you? So if we can end this with kind of bringing it together with those three keys and next steps?
Rahti Gorfien 16:56
Right, the three keys, I wrote that a long time ago.
Brynne Tillman 17:00
I did my research, clarity, focus and action.
Rahti Gorfien 17:04
Thank you for reminding me what I said, Oh, that’s embarrassing. Anyway, yeah, clarity, focus and action. Well clarity is knowing what you want. That’s the big question, what do you want, not what you think you should want. What do you want? And then once you really are honest with yourself about that, you can focus on the shortest path to getting it. That simplifies life considerably. And you identify actions that will have the most impact, for instance, the shortest distances, I’ve heard a coach say, between your bank account, and, you know, your market is a conversation. Yeah, the most frightening thing is to ask for conversations to get work, right. So if you’re clear that you know what the work is you want to do, and you know what problem you solve for people, then you take those high impact actions. Don’t stick around on your website, you know, people build businesses without a website these days, either.
Brynne Tillman 18:09
Yeah, I love it. I have a client that just launched without a website, owns the domain and is redirecting it to his LinkedIn profile.
Rahti Gorfien 18:19
That’s brilliant. That’s so exciting. That is so efficient. I love efficiency, and you know, what you don’t get you don’t come about efficiency alone, either, right? Because, you know, sometimes ideas can only come through conversation. So get out of isolation. That’s number one and people can go to my website, creativecallingcoaching.com and you can schedule a conversation with me through there and that’s how they can, that’s what they can do.
Brynne Tillman 18:50
This was a lot of fun. I think there are so many people in a sales role that are probably listening today that have a different passion, that really want to follow something else and I think that the things that you talked about today are gonna get some people really excited to start pursuing that.
Rahti Gorfien 19:09
Well, I hope s and I am so delighted you had me I had such fun when it flew by in 10 minutes.
Brynne Tillman 19:17
It did, it’s crazy. I mean, we do keep them around 20 minutes and we’re just about that 20 minute mark and, and I appreciate your time and I’m sure that the listeners got great value. And as we close this out to everyone that is listening right now, when you’re out and about in the world don’t forget to make your sales social.
Bob Woods 19:40
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales training, and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Hit the Subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.