The advantages of being a creative person in the business world can be uniquely helpful to break new ground and garner attention for awesome work. However, emotional ups and downs, perfectionism, and internal pressure to create can complicate the running of a business and the participation in the greater business community. I have found myself unwilling to attend community meetings and networking events that are important to my business growth because I’m too busy Creating. (Creating with a capital C, of course). Or, even more often I’ve seen wonderfully creative people shy away from interacting with their local business community because they feel they don’t belong there – they fear that they won’t be taken seriously and/or ignored for their contributions.
The five quotes below may be familiar to you, or not. Regardless, I invite you to read through them and really give yourself a few minutes to let the words sink in. Do any of the quotes stand out to you? Can you identify with any of the sentiments expressed? Let down your guard and see if any of these ideas resonate with your inner self’s true feelings. The only way to grow is to acknowledge that you have room to grow.
1. “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali
I love this Dali quote about perfectionism, because it’s so simple and true. Nothing I do will ever be perfect so there’s no point in worrying and stressing myself out about the idea of making things perfect. However, it’s a hard habit to break AND there’s nothing wrong with investing yourself in your work. There’s a fine line between working hard and working too hard. At some point you have to stop and know you’ve done the best you can. There’s always another project and another chance to be better.
2. “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus
I’ve seen so many creative people make wonderful things and then ruin them by continuing to add to them. Whether it’s a painting, a logo, a website, a dish in a restaurant, or a business tagline – often simple is better. Making something beautiful and complex out of simple materials or ideas is the ultimate in creativity. Embracing simplicity is a great exercise for business owners. Often we want to do as much as we can – bigger, better, fancier. It’s not always the best route to take though, and actively trying to increase simplicity can be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
3. “The story that we all live [is] the cycle of creation and destruction, of control and letting go, of picking up the pieces and making something new.” — Julie Burstein
When faced with running a business made from our creative pursuits, many of us let fear keep our work stagnant. We’ll produce the same line of jewelry even after we’ve lost our passion for it. Or we’ll write the same type of book because we know it will sell. It can be scary to leave behind that which is proven to sell for something new and different. This quote is a great reminder that our work and our lives are cyclical. By letting go of past work we can innovate and truly be creative. Ultimately, that’s why we’re here. We chose this work because we needed to express our creativity and make a paycheck at the same time. This fear can only hold us prisoner if we let it.
4. “Education is great … but it’s really my creativity that’s taught me that I can be much more than what my education told me I am.” — Raghava KK
This is one of my favorites and it tackles an issue that comes up time and again with my clients. So often creative business owners feel as if they don’t have the credentials they need to be taken seriously by the business community and some potential clients. Education and credentials are good things, but are not defining criteria for whether or not someone is talented. If you know you’re good at what you do, you can learn how to talk about your experience and your talent in ways that speak to other people’s need for credentials. Beyond that, you don’t need to justify your business and talent to anyone. Your creativity and talent are your credentials.
5. “Every ‘mistake’ is an opportunity in jazz.” — Stefon Harris
Whether or not you’re a jazz musician you can take something away from this quote. It’s a simple but powerful message. Don’t get hung up on the mistakes you make. You’re going to be making them for the rest of your life. Focus on learning how to turn mistakes into learning experiences and opportunities for innovation. As creatives we are especially equipped to for this, so get started the next time you mess something up.
I help heart-forward businesses create thoughtfully crafted plans for growth and sustainability. I love to inspire people to think critically, dream big, and clear out the cobwebs to let in the light and the joy! Wanna leave your soul-crushing job to start your own business? Check out my new book, Work Life Revolution! Laura Burns is one of our licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitators.