You are a creative professional, such as:
- An artist
- An author
- A commercial creative – e.g. designer, copywriter, web developer
- A performer – e.g. actor, musician, dancer, TV/radio presenter
- A creative director
- A TV/film director or producer
- A coach, consultant, or other creative service provider
- An agency or studio owner
- An entrepreneur
You are not a beginner – you have a few (or maybe more than a few) years’ experience behind you.
You may have achieved a certain level of success – creative, professional and/or commercial. But you know you are capable of much more.
You want to make big changes in one or more of these areas:
Deep down, you feel you are not fulfilling your true creative potential.
You may have produced work that pleased you in the past, and that others praised or paid you well for. But you are no longer satisfied to play at this level.
You want to reach for the stars and (finally) do the work you dream of. The work you will look back on with satisfaction when it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Maybe there is a ‘dream project’ – such as a book, a different kind of art, a product idea, a new business, or a whole new creative field – that you have been putting off out of fear, ‘busyness’ or other forms of Resistance.
Maybe now is the time to stop making excuses, stop putting it off, and get started.
Whatever your creative field, there are people in your working life who make a big difference to your success. So how you show up in these relationships is mission-critical.
Too many creatives are so eager to please their clients that they take on the wrong kind of client, and fail to manage their client relationships effectively. This leads to disappointing results and stress all round. If you’re facing this challenge, then the good news is, the best clients are a joy to work with – as long as you know how to find them, and lead them through the process.
If you hire contractors or employees, your communication skills are vital to getting the best out of them, and giving them the best experience of working with you. And if you have a business partner, then you’ll know that the levels of commitment and authentic communication the partnership demands is comparable to a marriage.
All of us are familiar with the temptation to sweep problems under the carpet out of fear. To hide behind email instead of having a proper conversation. To tell people what they want to hear instead of what needs to be said.
But shying away from difficult conversations will only compound your difficulties. On the other hand, a powerful conversation, skilfully handled, can not only solve the problem, but strengthen the relationship immeasurably.
Speaking or performing in public is one of our biggest fears. But the ability to stand and deliver – whether an impromptu speech to colleagues, a stage performance, a new business pitch or a conference speech – is one of the most important skills in your arsenal. It’s not just about closing a deal or getting your ideas across – when you can do it well, it’s a huge boost to your confidence (and a lot of fun).
Authentic and effective communication is challenging and scary at times. But meaningful working relationships are some of the most rewarding things you’ll experience in your creative career. So it’s worth learning how to create and maintain these through thick and thin.
Fame and Reputation
Creating great work is the foundation of your career, and if you are a creative professional, you also need to build a public profile on top of it.
You’re human, so naturally there’s a little ego involved here. But pragmatically, you also know that a reputation for stellar work is essential for attracting opportunities and making an impact on your creative field. Plus, it helps you command higher fees with relative ease.
Depending on your line of work, you may also need to attract an audience to achieve your goals: if you’re earning a living as a novelist or rock star, fame isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s essential to your success.
So if you don’t yet have a public profile that will bring you the recognition and opportunities you want, now would be a good time to start building it.
Partly this is about having a strategy – working out whose attention you need to attract (whether gatekeepers, customers and/or fans), and how to present your work to them in the most compelling light.
It’s also about courage: daring to step into the limelight, getting your work out into the world without apologising or hiding your light under a bushel. Maybe even baring your soul. And dealing with the inevitable criticism, demands and other pressures of success.
Money can be a great enabler for creators – it can fund our passions, and bring us (and our families) freedom and security. Yet many of us have a complicated relationship with money.
It’s a cliche for creators to say “I love my work so much I’d do it for free”. Yet the fact that money was never your primary motivation can create problems for you.
Some people seek to take advantage of this, by trying to push down your prices with emotional pressure or vague promises of ‘exposure’. Other times, you can be your own worst enemy, selling yourself short out of fear, or neglecting money altogether because of your limiting beliefs around money.
If this is you, then you’ll gain huge benefits – psychologically and creatively as well as financially – by facing up to the ‘money question’ and learning how to create a more prosperous future.
Like fame and communication, money requires courage as well as strategy. But you wouldn’t be on this journey if you weren’t up for an adventure, would you?
This path is not for everyone
When you travel an original path, a lot of the usual rules don’t apply.
You want to make big changes in your career or business. And because you are a creator first and foremost, you want something more than conventional career or business advice.
You want to work with someone who ‘gets’ your creative passion as well as your professional ambitions.
Someone who walks the talk as a creative artist himself, and doesn’t just tell others how to create.
Someone who won’t flinch from challenging your fears and Resistance. Yet who will do so with compassion and humour.
You want to (finally) play full out in pursuing your ambitions.
You are prepared to work hard, face your fears, and to have fun on the journey.
You don’t want someone to spoon-feed you ‘the answer’. You’d rather have someone ask you questions that help you find your own answers.
If this sounds like you, we should talk.
This page explains how I help my clients.
If you’re up for an adventure, you can apply for a coaching place via this page.