Written by Daniel Alexander
1. CREATE OFTEN
The more you create by going out there and actually doing what you love, the more you will naturally find yourself getting better at what you do. You will also find that over time you will start to develop your own style and unique way in presenting your work. This is what will set you apart from the rest and put you in high demand.
2. DON’T EXPECT OTHER PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR DREAM
People will rarely understand your dream like you do. Don’t get discouraged when people start looking at you like you’re crazy for not getting a normal office job and settling for a 9-5 lifestyle. Stay confident and be strong enough to believe in yourself when everyone else around you doesn’t.
3. SET GOALS BIGGER THAN YOURSELF
The only way we become great is when we attempt to do great things. Playing it safe doesn’t yield any great reward or life changing results. Aim high, you will be amazed at what you can achieve if you just ‘go for it’. Most goals, which seem too big only seem that way until you take the first step towards achieving it.
4. TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY, TREAT IT THAT WAY
Try to value time over money. You wouldn’t give away money everyday to anybody who asks of it, so don’t give away your time so easily either. You should be so busy creating your dream that anything else that requires your time should either directly move you closer to that dream or have a significant positive impact on your personal life and wellbeing. The quick trick to valuing your time is this: plan everything you do well, only agree to meetings if the outcome can’t be reached via telephone or email, have strict deadlines for when your hired to work by other people, and understand FULLY what you’re committing to before agreeing to anything. Other people’s lack of knowledge in your field will have them believe a 10-hour task will only take 3 hours. Meaning you need to be well versed in your practice so you can avoid being misled into time consuming projects.
5. CONTINUE TO LEARN
For every day that you are not learning and harnessing your skills, there will be someone else working hard to pass you and leave you behind. Don’t ever stop learning, read books, research online, attend workshops and get out there and test out new ideas. If you’re not getting better then you’re getting left behind no matter how good you are!
6. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FIRST IDEAS
There’s something special about the first time you respond to a challenge, you’re unique way of seeing the world will naturally come forth and present creative ideas that usually have something within them that will make your work stand out from the crowd. Of course develop them, as the brain can also have a tendency to revert to familiar ideas, however within them you will often find something special. Trust your instincts and be conscious of your first response to creative ideas, as this will usually be the making of your individuality.
7. KNOW YOUR WORTH
Understand that from your love of creating, you will eventually harness this passion into a skill that is very desirable and very employable. Do not let people exploit your passion to fulfill their needs. Know the business you’re in, understand the equity rates and what you should be making financially and personally and don’t agree to tasks that have no financial, business or creative benefit as this is the sure and fast way to get stuck in a rut of repeating such tasks for a very long time and stunting you’re growth.
8. HAVE ALL AGREEMENTS IN WRITING
Familiarities in business can sometimes be a time bomb waiting to happen. Regardless of how friendly you become with your client, make sure all agreements are in writing, because I can assure you that later down the line, confusion will arise about payment or the agreed time to commit to the project or even the initial agreed idea. To save you the headache, and to start functioning more professionally, make sure that all agreements are in writing.
9. GIVE YOUR MAJOR GOAL YOUR MAJOR ATTENTION
Be careful not to become so distracted by meaningless tasks that they stop you working on your major goals. We should all set major goals of where we are trying to get to, and the only way we will get there is if we pay careful attention to the direction we need to be heading to achieve it. Everyday when you begin a task ask yourself this, does this take me closer to my major goal? Most things we do only benefit our present situation. A year later it is forgotten and has kept us standing in the same position. Take risks, make sacrifices and move closer towards a goal that can sustain you long term.
10. DON’T WATCH OTHERS TOO MUCH
Sometimes it’s good to see the other great works people are creating and what they are up to via social networks etc, however this can also affect your path if you pay too much attention. Many people tend to talk more than they work so this can make you feel that you’re sometimes being left behind because of all the great and wonderful things they’re ‘Tweeting’ about or posting up online. Be careful of the energy you operate in, sometimes when you’re working on something special you just have to be in your own space until you get it done or else the influences from the outside world will have you questioning and re-directing your efforts to the point of not finishing and doubting yourself.
11. MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING, BUT IT’S CLOSE
People say money isn’t everything, and yes I agree because of course money can’t buy you love or even perfect health BUT it can buy you everything else! Having a passion for doing something is great, and loving what you do is amazing, but understand that your love and passion will eventually make you great at doing that thing, thus making you valuable and in a position to make lots of money doing what you love.
Do not let people usher you into doing something for free when you’re now trying to operate as a business because nothing is actually free, in fact it will actually be costing you in time and energy which is more valuable than money.
12. CLICHES ARE FOR THE WEAK
We’ve all heard the endless clichés and clever quotes that plague the internet, making excuses for the things we don’t have or making us feel better for the things that haven’t gone right in our lives and give up on. Excuses are for the weak, they are for the people who want to talk their way through life and know all the answers without doing the work necessary because they are bound by fear. Winners don’t just talk about what they hope for; they take action and go and get it.
13. PROCRASTINATION IS A DISEASE
Putting things off is the most common reason for failure. It’s amazing at what we can achieve if we just do what we need to do when we’re supposed to. Most of us know the steps in which we need to take to get to where we want to be but for some reason we put things off and avoid doing the essential tasks that are holding us back. Learn to identify the things you need to do which will take you to a higher level and then do them, TODAY. Everyday you procrastinate is a day longer you will be without your vision coming to full fruition.
14. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
Put your goals down on paper, clearly state them and have them clearly visible. When you have your goals down so you can physically see them, they become more real, you have something you can see with your eyes, which statistically is proven to be more effective in motivating a person to achieve them.
15. DO NEW THINGS TO GET NEW RESULTS
This one is simple. If you want new results, new heights in your career and new outcomes then you simply have to do new things. It’s crazy to assume that we are going to get different results if we keep doing the same things. Have an honest look and reflection of your last year and start planning on how you can change this year to give you bigger and better results.
16. STAY MOTIVATED
Even the best of us need to stay motivated, and keep our energy levels high. Creative people are usually carving their own unique path to success, which sometimes gets rough, and things look like they are too hard to go on, to the point of wanting to give up. It’s at these times when we need a mental and spiritual top up, whether it’s from a good motivational speaker, a good book or your religious faith, whatever works for you. Just make sure you frequently feed yourself motivational content to remind you that yes the journey is hard sometimes, but if it were easy then everyone would do it.
17. USE WHAT YOU HAVE, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH
Many people don’t get round to creating pieces work because they feel they don’t have the right technological tools for the job. Whether that’s the right camera for their film, or the right paintbrush for their painting. What you need to remember is that some of the most well respected and well-loved pieces of works that exist in the world today were done with equipment that’s not even half as good as the tools you already have at your disposal. Use what you have, it’s good enough! If you’re making a film, then it doesn’t matter if you’re using the latest £80,000 film camera or an iPhone 5, the audience needs have always remained the same, which is to simply be entertained by a great piece of work, they don’t care how you technologically achieve this.
18. BEWARE OF THE ENERGY VAMPIRES
Be very careful of the company you keep and the conversations you engage in. It’s amazing how being around the wrong people can suck up all your good energy to the point you don’t have any left to work on your dreams. If people aren’t building you up or adding to your development as a person then they’re usually bringing you down and holding you back.
19. REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR DREAM
It can be hard to know the right steps to take when moving towards the goals you have set yourself, as the path is new and not something that has been set before you. I find that sometimes it’s easier to reverse engineer where you want to be in order to clearly see what steps you need to take. What I mean is this, if my goal was to be an award winning filmmaker then I would write ‘award winning filmmaker’ at the top of a piece of paper. Underneath that I would then right the immediate required step I’d have to take before getting that title. This would be ‘my film winning an award’, which would then lead me to write the step underneath that which id need to take to get that award, which would be ‘make a film and submit it to award festivals’. Below that I would write ‘develop script and cast actors’ and so on. I would repeat this process until I get all the way down to my current position, which would now give me a clear step-by-step guide on how to reach my dreams!
20. NEVER BE SATISFIED
Stay hungry, reach your goals then set new ones, be constantly on a journey of adventure to reach new heights and impossible goals. The moment you become satisfied is the moment you stop experiencing the fullness of life. Remember that there really is no limit to what you can achieve and the only way you will start to see how true that is, is by making sure you never allow yourself to be satisfied with any of the past achievements you have gained. Also stay strong and be prepared for 100 ‘no’s’, but remember it only takes 1 right ‘yes’ to make all the difference. Keep dreaming, keep creating and keep living.
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All the best