Online Business Battle: Artists vs. Scientists

A while ago, I received an email from a man by the name of Aldo Baker. He was promoting an infographic titled “The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist” and asking me whether I’d be willing to share it with you through my site.

Although 99% of such email gets an automatic “no” or, more often, no answer at all, this one got me thinking. Is online business art or science? Or maybe, a little bit of both?

First of all, let me give credit where credit’s due; here’s the infographic that Aldo wanted me to share (so mission accomplished, Aldo):

artist-scientist

Now let’s answer the main three questions:

  • Are you an artist? Or
  • Are you a scientist?
  • And finally: Which is best?

The concept of twofold nature

Actually, this concept of twofold nature is commonly known in the business world; mostly when we’re dealing with partnerships where two co-founders build a company together.

I think that this happens naturally rather than as a deliberate arrangement. But as it turns out, many partnerships consists of two completely different personas: the creator and the person that gets shit done (or at least tries to get it done).

The creator is the creative mind (duh) of the business. They have a lot of ideas, a lot of new projects on their mind, a lot of new ways to expand the business and so on.

The executor is the person who takes it upon themselves to turn ideas into an actual reality. They are the ones with some kind of methodology, with a productivity system, with tactics and so on.

Such partnerships are often much more effective than one-person businesses. The interesting thing is that venture capitalists seem to have understood this a long time ago. Quite frankly, if you’re looking for some funds, you are more likely to get it if you have a co-founder. As it turns out, it’s a lot easier to succeed if you have two sides of the spectrum of personas covered – the creator and the executor, or in other words, the artist and the scientist.

So, which are you? You must be able to determine your persona especially if you’re running a business on your own.

Are you an artist?

Before I can attempt to tell you which persona is best, let’s list some symptoms of each “condition.” Therefore, you might be an artist if you:

  • focus on what to do,
  • like to list the opportunities,
  • tend to brainstorm hundreds of ideas all at the same time,
  • like to get into every new project on the horizon,
  • like to get into every new promotional method,
  • like to join every new social media site,
  • prefer to act on impulse,
  • like creating new content,
  • enjoy reaching out to new contacts,
  • feel a bit unorganized at some times,
  • prefer to work at different times of the day when you’re in the zone,
  • get a lot of inspiration from regular everyday activities,
  • like to consume content (posts, advice, books, etc.),
  • buy things because you like them.

There’s probably a million more traits like these, but I guess we can stop here and switch to the other persona.

Are you a scientist?

You might be a scientist if you:

  • focus on how to do things,
  • like to execute on one opportunity at a time,
  • tend to break down individual ideas in detail,
  • like to finish projects you’re already a part of before getting into new ones,
  • like to test and examine the promotional methods you have,
  • like to master social media sites one by one,
  • prefer to act based on data,
  • like measuring the efficiency of content,
  • enjoy growing existing relationships,
  • feel too organized at some times,
  • prefer to work on a fixed schedule even if running your own business,
  • get a lot of inspiration from how others do they work (mentors, peer, etc.),
  • like to consume only the content you need for a specific purpose,
  • buy things because you need them.

Do you see the pattern? Even though the artist is not as obvious as sitting in front of a blank canvas and painting some flowers, and the scientist is not the one with the calculator, a clear picture starts to present itself.

To put it simply, artists in business like to think that they can only succeed if they try a thousand of different things and then see what works. Scientists like to get into just a handful of things and perfect them until they bring success.

So, I’m sure that by now you can choose sides…

Which one is it?

For me, I’m the scientist.

Which is best?

I’m really REALLY sorry for giving you this sort of answer because I know that a kitten dies whenever someone says this, but IT DEPENDS.

You see, the kicker is that if you’re 100% scientist or 100% artist, you are doomed to fail.

An artist without at least part scientist will never execute plans as effective as possible. In most cases, they will find themselves jumping from one idea to another until the end of time.

On the other hand, a scientist without at least part artist, will always miss new opportunities and will not be able to move on or kill a project when a better one presents itself.

So what to do, then? Be a Jack of all trades?

The answer is simple (yet not easy). Here goes:

  1. Identify your persona.
  2. Start researching the other persona.
  3. Spend at least 25% of your time doing the things the other persona would do.

For example, since I’m the scientist, I know that I have to review the list of activities for the artist and focus at least 25% of my work time doing things the artist would do.

Now, I have to be honest with you … this is a theoretical concept, but it seems to be an accurate one considering the fact how business partnerships work and how every investor is more likely to work with partnerships rather than solo-preneurs. Also, every business preacher says that business is both art and science, so it kind of makes sense that you should learn how to be both if you want to succeed.

That being said, there’s also the short path – find yourself a counter-persona and make them your business partner (probably a good topic for a separate post).

Anyway, what’s your opinion on this? And most importantly, are you the artist or the scientist?