I’d like to begin by saying that I’m not a cynic. On the contrary, I’m a big believer that if your dream is to have success with your creative endeavors, then, in time, you will find that success. However, I am also a realist. There are rarely shortcuts in our line of work and being a gifted creatively, in my experience, simply isn’t enough to guarantee your success. It takes a combination of factors including patience, perseverance and, most importantly, an undeniable work ethic to rise above the masses of talented creatives all hoping to get their ideas out into the world.
- There are lots of talented people
If I’ve learned anything after living in Nashville and New York City over the past almost twenty years, it’s that at a certain point, creative talent is the least common denominator. In fact, the pool of gifted creatives is deeper and wider than we can possibly imagine. This is a good thing. It gives us ample opportunities to learn from each other and improve but the flip side is that talent is only a starting point. It’s all of the other things you do that will eventually separate you from the pack.
- Talent is something that you’re given, it’s up to you to develop it
There’s a reason talent is also referred to as a “gift.” The spark that makes us creative and intuitively wired is something that we don’t choose, we just have it. But just because you’ve got a gift doesn’t mean that you don’t need to develop it or spend time understanding it. That’s the actual work. Then, what happens when you do this work is that you will develop the ability to turn something that was previously mysterious and unpredictable into something you can do consistently in order to make your living.
- You’re running a business
Being a talented creative without taking the time to understand the business world is the equivalent of a company that makes a great product that no one will ever hear about because they have no marketing department. In other words, your creative output is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to remember that like any business, you’ve got to know the landscape, who the major players are and set specific goals along the way in order to get to the next level. I’m not saying this is easy but I am saying it’s essential.
- Your work ethic is everything
The dangerous myth about the creative world is that it’s an exciting, inspiring place where people have brilliant ideas, create beautiful things, go to parties, and then one day they wake up and they’re well known. The gritty, unglamorous truth is that just like any business, there are mundane, yet necessary, things you have to do day in and day out in order to get your creative projects out into the world. Having a solid work ethic and a willingness to get up every day and work toward your creative goals will eventually get you there. It’s not always clear along the way how these little things help but believe me when I tell you that they absolutely do and, in the end, make all the difference. There is, of course, glamor and excitement in the creative world but there’s a lot of good, old-fashioned work for you to do as well.
Creative talent is a wonderful thing and should never be taken for granted. I’m here to remind you to enjoy your gift for the amazing thing that it is. However, I’m also suggesting that talent is only one part of a bigger set of conditions that need to be met in order for you to successfully get your ideas and creative projects out into the world and to make a living doing it.
Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.