I’m as nutty as the next creative person – lots of ideas, interest in a variety of mediums, a preference for play over work.
So why have I been able to consistently start, finish and launch e-books, books, classes and programs? How do I make time for the creative adventures that are fun for me and continue to work?
The short answer: I became a coach and that forced me to the finish line in two ways:
1. I learned productivity and time management skills, and tweaked them to work with my creative ‘insanity’. I kept training myself to do things I didn’t want to do so I could have time to work on projects that matter to me.
2. I dug into my value of integrity; if I was going to help other people be creatively successful, I better walk the talk.
But the long answer? I discovered and held to my three F secret sauce: focus, follow through and finish.
Every year, I decide what my focus for the year is. This year, it’s making and showing my art, and developing my personal practices in order to have a life outside my business.
Every month, I make a map of the projects I am working on that month. I set deadlines and drive myself toward them.
Every week and every day I force myself to focus on what matters to me and the people I serve. This isn’t easy, but I am committed to refining my work and my life. I’m always learning and that’s why I invest in coaching and programs like The Good Life Project.
Like most creative superheroes, I receive a daily stream of new! exciting! different! paths I could follow.
It’s so frickin’ hard to ignore the thrill of these new things. Every day I leap like a trout at small flies that hover on the surface of my idea stream.
But I’ve learned that I’m only allowed to add new things if I am still able to follow through on my current projects.
The main way I am able to follow through is to be accountable to someone else. I use my mastermind partnerships to stay on track.
Because I’m not able to start new things until I finish current projects, I am motivated to complete things. I also know that great ideas have a shelf life and if I don’t get it out into the world, the idea will wither or someone else will do it. Which would stink.
It’s not easy to drive projects across the finish line. But the more I do it, the more trust I build that I can finish important creative work.
That’s it. This is how I stay on the right side of the nutty line and don’t veer into ‘flaky’ territory. This is what I help my clients do: focus on what matters to them, guide them to follow through on things that will get them where they want to go, and keep them on track to finish their best work.
That’s my secret sauce. Don’t get me wrong; I still struggle with all the same issues we all face in the adventure of living our best creative selves. But I find that this mantra or policy really helps me stay on track so I feel more successful as a creative person.
What’s your method for staying on track to ensure your creative success? Tell us in a comment below, and if there’s someone in your life who might benefit from this simple formula, for goodness sake, share this with them!