We all know how creation works...
You create a planet, populate it, and rest on the 7th day.
Or if you're a mere mortal, creation works like this -> first you got the idea, then you grab the tools, then you bring it into existence, and finally you get to figure out what you're gonna do with it and who's going to benefit from it.
Well, these days the process goes differently...
First you get an idea, then you figure out how to package and market it, then you might even presell it, and all that BEFORE you create it. This is probably why we spend our days overplanning and underdelivering. Some of us will abandon projects before we start them and jump from idea to idea, plan to plan, before we ever get to create our unfortunate, miscarried masterpieces.
Many of my friends and clients complain that they can't get anything DONE because they're: planning, marketing, nicheing, and everything else that needs to be done for creative business, except what really needs to be done:
The actual creating part.
Resist the backwardness.
Have you noticed how sometimes you're going to outline an entire book and then struggle to actually write the damn thing? Or how you're going to plan an entire launch before you have even started creating your course?
It's really difficult to do things in reverse.
That is, if you start from a place where something is already supposed to be done, your brain feels good about it, and going back to that place of uncertainty and incompleteness is actually painful for you.
As painful as it is, try to start from the beginning - write the book before you draft the marketing plan, create the course before you start selling it.
Order exists for a reason, and it's a good one.
This busyness and backwardness have gone too far.
Things happen in order for a reason, and it's a good one. It's because when you jump ahead in the future, you're sending a signal to your brain that your project is done, and when you have to go back and actually do it, your brain isn't happy. It still thinks you're done, and if you're not, that's your problem, why should it do something that was already supposed to be done?! It wouldn't.
Even when you're not tempted to jump 1 million years into the future, you're bombarded with other distractions from the experts, who don't only insist that you should be preselling things, but also give you unsolicited advice about HOW you should sell your products and services. Obviously, you should do it their way. Because their way works. Nevermind your way is actually your best chance.
Your way has not proven to be effective... yet... so it's tempting to only try strategies that work, but all this expert-worship is only breeding a culture that idolizes experts and not thought leaders. Creative rebels.
Resist the online madness.
Everyone online is telling you to:
- Do live streaming and webinars and vlogging (when you're much better at writing or creating images and you're not interested in teaching)
- Create endless funnels to sell your things (when you'd rather actually do collaborations with people or do more low-key strategies)
- Devise a diabolical launch that lasts forever (when you'd rather release a couple of blog posts and emails instead or do mini-launching)
- Create the perfect sales pages (when you're more interested in creating the damn thing and making it valuable for people, and besides, you're more interested in creating an authentic sales page, not a perfect one)
- Publicly share everything, including your income reports (when you're a more private person and you'd rather keep your $ to yourself)
It's like a race to the finish line, but you never get there because there's always something more - to do, to learn, to perfect. Hellooooo, burnout.
Stop racing. Stop rushing. Stop trying to do all the things.
To be clear, I'm not saying trends and experts are wrong, I'm saying that some of them fit you and some of them don't, and it's easy to get carried away and think that you have to do it all to be "successful," when the truth is that successful people bet on their strengths and ignore everything else.
Elise McDowell from House of Brazen has just reminded us how trends go irrelevant very quickly and if you focus your efforts on them, you'll constantly be stressed about whether your content is still relevant and going back and updating it when that's the last thing you wanna do. The same goes for trend methods - if you constantly employ them, you'll be in constant fear of them becoming obsolete and having to start over from scratch.
It's that simple. There are so many creative rebels out there who are blowing my mind with their quiet resilience and creative marketing. They don't shout from the rooftops, they whisper from the deepest crevices of creation.
Jen Carrington writes about being intentional in business and she just released a lovely minibook about making next year the most wholehearted, intentional and joyful yet. She says, Who you are right now is enough.
Sian Richardson constantly updates us about what's up, and she does more behind-the-scenes collaborations than shouty industry trends.
Kelsey from Paper and Oats uses super introverted techniques to launch her lovely courses (even has a course about it) and her whole brand reflects her quiet, introverted style, in a beautiful, designy sort of way.
Elin Lööw always writes the truth and asks the tough questions that you need to answer in order to be best buds with your creativity.
Meg Kissack is loud in a delightfully rebellious way. She doesn't need to shout, though, because her message about couragemaking and the dreamshitters is deeply true to her and resonates with many.
Like these people, you're an original, and you have a responsibility to share your creative genius with the world, in your own unique way.
Set your priorities and minimize distractions.
Creating can only happen if you can focus on it.
If you look at all the distractions around us, it's no wonder we can't focus at the task on hand. It's actually scientifically proven that multitasking is teaching your mind not to focus. I've previously written about working fewer hours and the importance of deep work, so this time we'll work on priorities.
So I'll ask you to join me in setting our priorities straight, making a list of the things we'll sacrifice, and deciding on one promise for next year.
Once you do that, it will be harder to be distracted by everything else, be it prevailing industry trends or backwards behavior or anything that takes you away from being a productive and authentic creator.
I'll do the exercise first, you can follow suit:
1. My priorities for 2018:
2. To be able to pull it off, I will:
- keep a steady pace
- go in order - create first, promote second
- stop consuming blogs that add nothing new to the table
- promote in a way that's true to my nature, not some expert's
- dedicate more time to writing and editing my book
- stop learning things for learning's sake
- cut my time on social media
- reach out to new people
3. Finally, my ONE PROMISE to myself is to publish a book next year.
You heard me. I'm tired of waiting and being afraid and wasting my time. It's time to get on that next level everyone talks about, except my level is a state of "productive play," which means that I'll strive to be productive only if I'm also having plenty of time to play creatively. This is what matters.
Now's your turn. Do these three simple steps for yourself and put them on your wall, or just somewhere you can see them.
If you feel like you're stuck and haven't made a lot of progress this year, let me help you get out of your own way and get things DONE. I specifically help multipassionate creatives with their habits and creative process.
Among other things. Read what my clients have to say.
And hang in tight because we're going to start testing some of my new workshops in January 2018. They're about finding your purpose, converging your passions, getting things done, nicheing down like a rebel, and other necessary topics for us multipassionate creative rebels and business owners.
Until then, thanks for reading. :)