Filmmaker and entrepreneur Audrey Rumsby says it’s crucial for an artist to have the right mindset. She helps artists beat imposter syndrome, find their confidence and even think like a CEO. Here Audrey talks about why artists have to take risks, be clear in their aims and never overthink creative ideas.

Business coaching

Sabina Nasic: Tell us why you started your business coaching people in the arts?

Audrey Rumsby: I started business coaching for artists out of necessity. I serve as Chair of Public Art for the City of San Jose, and have a long history as a filmmaker, director and actor based out of Silicon Valley.

With the visibility of those experiences, I’m constantly hearing from artists. They want to know how to take their ideas not just to fruition, but to a place of financial stability. My friend Jim LeBrecht (an Oscar nominee for his Film "Crip Camp") has described me as having the soul of an artist and the brain of a CEO. Most artists come to me with the goal of changing their identity from one that’s passive, waiting for the right grants to show up and never having enough money, to being empowered, with a CEO mindset and strategy. In 2021 I started taking time out of my week to coach artists on developing their identity and business plans, and I haven’t looked back.

How have you helped people succeed?

So far the greatest effect I'm witnessing is a mindset shift of the artists who come to me for help. They are transforming from skilled artists with a lack of clarity and fear of asking for funding, to confident and creative entrepreneurs with serious, well-articulated plans. Once you change your identity, you can accomplish anything.

Successful entrepreneur

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

You've got to have an appetite for risk, and be OK with the fact that you will fail in some way at some point. We spend so much time overthinking our ideas. Get it out of your head, onto paper, plug in some numbers, and make the damn thing. If it fails in some way, no biggie.

You’re a creative. Learn, try again, or make something new.

Upcoming projects

What other projects have you got coming up?

I’m overseeing multiple projects, including the May 2022 London premiere, Cannes Film Festival showing and Netflix release of "Barry & Joan," a feature documentary that I directed, produced and feature in. I’m also building the team for a feature screenplay titled "A Girl Named Arthur," and executive-producing a beautiful short doc called "Escape Your Dreams," by acclaimed filmmakers Jason Hanasik and Abbi Jutkowitz.