HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE
I’ve often wondered what it really means to be a successful creative entrepreneur? Looking the word up in a few dictionaries, it seems that there really is no definition of successful because there were so many alternatives; such as ‘satisfactory accomplishment of a goal sought for,’ and ‘achieving or having achieved success,’ and ‘having attained wealth, position, honours, or the like’.
Now how archaic is that last one!
Below are some of the secrets I use everyday, as well as a few actions you can put in place, to help you be successful. Whether it’s a new idea, you’re starting a new project or you have a goal you want to achieve, these tips below will show you how to be a successful creative entrepreneur.
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Do what makes you happy, for the right reasons, and you will find success because when you do what makes you happy, everything else seems to flow. Yes, you will work harder. Yes, you will work longer hours. Yes, you will make sacrifices along the way. Yes, you will experience a few trying failures along the way. But you won’t even realise it because you are doing what makes you happy. And in my experience, being happy results in positive thinking, which spreads positive outcomes – success!
HAVE A PLAN, SET GOALS AND ACHIEVE THEM
In order to be a successful creative, you need to put thought into your process and have an actionable plan. You need to write down your short term and long term goals, and the steps you will take to get there. I am a huge believer in manifestation and write my business plan and goals down on a whiteboard. These are hung up on a wall in my office and I read them every day. By reading my plan and goals, I am making myself accountable for them; I manifest them. There’s a reason why I have to update my business plan and goals every three months…and you should too.
GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT
I can’t help but this about this scene in I Love You Man when I think about this tip. Being a successful creative entrepreneur doesn’t come easy. You need to give it everything you’ve got. You need to work hard and make sacrifices. You will have hectic days and sleepless nights. You have to focus and be determined. You will have to stay motivated and positive. Remember, you only get out what you put in.
TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS
Distractions only lead to one thing – procrastination. And that’s the killer of success. Whatever it is – phone, music, television – know what distracts you and get rid of it. Multitasking is another killer, so focus on doing one thing at a time.
TAKE RISKS AND TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? This is the very question you need to ask yourself everyday. What would you do in order to be a successful creative? As long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or somebody else, of course, what can you do today that will help you become successful? Whenever you need to take a risk or make a decision, always trust your instincts. Your instincts are there for a reason, so listen to them.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
It’s easy to get bogged down by comparing yourself to others. It takes up too much time, and leaves you with a foggy headspace. Think about what you could have created and achieved in the time you spend comparing yourself to others – a lot! Remember, your goals and measure of success is different to everyone else, so stop comparing yourself to others and start using that time on achieving your goals.
NEVER EVER ASSUME
When I started my first full time job after completing university, my manager wrote on a piece of paper ‘never assume’ and with sticky tape, stuck it to my computer screen. This moment, without me even realising it, became the single most important piece of career advice I’ve ever been given. It’s amazing how quickly we assume things and by doing so, how quickly it can lead to a mistake or a failure. So before you make a decision or an action, remind yourself to ‘never assume’. Turn every rock over, ask lots of questions and do whatever it takes until you feel completely satisfied with moving forward.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…
…dust yourself off a try again. Do those Aaliyah lyrics ring true? They should, because being successful is about never giving up. It’s about perseverance, determination and persistence.
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
Knowing how to be successful is about understanding your mistakes are just as important as your successes. The saying ‘you only learn from your mistakes’ is one you should carry with you for life. Don’t be hard on yourself when something doesn’t go the way you planned – learn from it and figure out how you will do it better the next time, because there will be a next time.
Words by YCS Director, Jaharn Giles