7 Things Creative People Do to Stay Ahead
Look at you, doing your thing. Whether it’s your main bread and butter or you do it part time, you’ve decided to put yourself out there as someone who is in tuned and in charge of their craft. That’s awesome. Your goal (or at least I hope your goal) is to be considered a resource and expert in what you’re doing and to be successful long term.
Great! So how do you do that?
1. Keep learning.
In the design field, it’s easy for me to dismiss new ways or new trends. I don’t agree with brushing off new styles, software, and skills without trying it out first. It may help you a bunch, or it might be useless. You won’t know until you try it out.
Also, even though you are an entrepreneur in whatever industry, it does not mean you know everything there is to know. You know enough to feel confident, but you don’t know everything. There’s always information to be found and it’s ready for you too.
2. Ask for help.
When you’re in a bit of a pickle or you’ve tried something that’s failed, it’s easy to feel embarrassed. How will people see you if you failed in something in your industry? “Shouldn’t you have known x, y, z?” Maybe, but you don’t. Reach out to someone you trust and ask for their advice.
“Hey, I’m working on moving this in Wordpress for a client and I cannot get it to work for the life of me and I’m almost positive I’m using the right code. Do you mind giving it a quick look? Maybe I’m missing something.”
9/10, especially with a project, you are working so hard you’re overlooking simple mistakes. Have another pair of eyes look at it.
Or maybe you want to launch something and you need help on how to approach it. Tweet your question. You’re bound to get some responses on someone who has some kind of post on it. If you need someone to help you write copy, seek that person out (and pay them).
Bottom line: you're not a robot. You cannot do everything yourself, and that’s OK. “We all need somebody to lean on.”
3. Take criticism as a means of growth.
If someone thinks your site isn’t functional because of technical reasons or something is hard to read and they offer suggestions, it’s not someone being a hater.
“Hey, I really want to read your “About Me” page but the font is a bit small. Can you make it bigger and maybe break up the paragraphs?”
They are providing feedback. You need feedback to grow. If you think you’re the queen/king of everything and you don’t need people’s feedback, you will fail, fast.
4. Limit what they do.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Great entrepreneurs have a focus. They’ve tightened up what they want to do, how they can help and serve their clients.
Ever watch "reality" TV shows and they’re like, “I got many different businesses. I’m a clothing designer, bread maker, mechanic and own an accounting firm. I’m a boss!”
You’re not a boss. You’re tired and all over the place. Don’t be like this. A lot of creative people get into this by accident. They’re great in more than one field and think they need to capitalize on all of it. You know what? You don’t have to.
I did a few drawings and posted them on Instagram just to show (because if you don’t Instagram it, was it ever done in the first place?). someone sent me an email asking if I could something for them, and I politely declined.
“Girl, but that’s money.”
Yes, but I didn’t want to take something that relaxes me and make it a business. I have to have some way to decompress. Yes, I believe in having multiple sources of income, but I don't believe every single thing you do needs to be for profit.
Narrowing my focus has been really good for me, and the creation process has been ten times better than before.
5. Never settle.
You hit your goal. Awesome. So you’re done. Stick with status quo?
Keep pushing your goals because growth and challenge make you a better person.
Did you get 100 readers? Can you get 200? I bet you could. Will it take more work? Sure, but you got this.
6. Learn from their failures.
We don’t know how many ventures, products, etc a successful person had in the past. Look at the beginnings of Apple, Starbucks, and Microsoft. A lot of successful people failed (and failed and failed again) before being successful. You know what? They didn’t give up. I know it’s easy to because that feeling HURTS.
But like the Late Aaliyah said, “Dust yourself off and try again.”
Maybe what you have is genius, but you need to find a different way to get it out there. How can you draw the audience toward you? Analyze where it may have broken down, try to repair and go from there.
7. Think relationships before profit.
How can I help my client reach and impact their target audience? Is a lot greater than “How can get the most clients so I can profit quickly?”
Is money important? Of course, but like it’s been said time and time again, your relationships with your clients weigh far more than the money.
Think about it like this: When you go to a local coffee shop, does it mean more to that they treat you like a one of a kind guest or just another dollar? When the barista asks, “Hey C, the usual?” That gives you a warm feeling, right? They don’t know you personally, but they’re paying attention to you, and you’re more likely to come back because they treat you as a person, not a dollar. And you bring a friend. Everyone wins.
So, keeping these seven things in mind as you look forward to growing in your venture. Whatever it is, you have this. You can do it because I said so.
How are you staying ahead of the game? Let me know in the comments!