Investing in Growth: A Guide for Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs
In the bustling tapestry of the creative realm, one thread consistently stands out: the value of investing in yourself. This is not just about spending money but your time, effort, and intention. A genuine investment in yourself can be transformative—leading to heightened confidence, productivity, and an enriched quality of life.
Spending vs. Investing
Every dollar or minute spent doesn't qualify as an investment. Genuine investment is characterized by the anticipation of a return. This could be in the form of enhanced skills, deeper knowledge, or personal growth. Embracing this mindset is pivotal for every artist and entrepreneur.
Releasing the Bottleneck
Every creative process or business encounters bottlenecks – be it the lack of technology, insufficient resources, or gaps in skills. Identifying these bottlenecks and strategically investing to alleviate them can streamline your journey. Instead of being deterred by costs, challenge yourself with the question: "How could I make this possible?"
Harnessing Your Greatest Resources
Your zeal, creativity, and enthusiasm are priceless assets. They are the driving forces that can propel you to heights you've never imagined. Investing to nurture these qualities yields immeasurable dividends.
Three Pillars of Personal Investment: Skills, Creativity, and Mind, Body, and Spirit
Skills: Diving Deeper into the Realm of Personal Growth
Continuous learning remains at the heart of personal growth. This can be pursued through courses, books, conferences, workshops, webinars, podcasts, and even articles. Familiarizing yourself with specific technologies can also be invaluable.
- Embracing Technology: As my business has expanded, the significance of investing in the right technology has become glaringly evident. Whether it's a new app, a platform like Kajabi, or communication tools like Slack, the right piece of tech can revolutionize workflows, streamlining processes, and enhancing efficiency. While in the past I may have been hesitant about the costs, now I recognize that if a tool can significantly improve our operations, it's a worthy investment.
- Courses and Classes: I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. From in-person workshops to a myriad of online classes, I've immersed myself in diverse learning environments. Each course offers a fresh perspective, enabling me to delve deeper into areas that can bolster my skill set.
- Masterminds: Joining mastermind groups, especially Impact with Stu McLaren since 2019, has been transformative. While the investment is significant, the returns, both in terms of knowledge and networking, have been unparalleled. These groups offer a platform for collective growth, where like-minded individuals share insights, challenges, and solutions.
- Conferences: There's an undeniable energy that permeates conferences. After a brief hiatus, I've rekindled my passion for attending these events. The atmosphere, the networking opportunities, and the wealth of knowledge shared are invaluable. Every conference leaves me rejuvenated, brimming with fresh ideas and strategies.
- Webinars and Workshops: Tapping into the genius of other experts through webinars and workshops has been enlightening. These sessions offer a deep dive into specific topics, presenting a blend of theory and practical insights.
- Books and Podcasts: In our digital age, we have the privilege of accessing wisdom from experts worldwide. I cherish this opportunity, ensuring I read at least one book a month. From enhancing technical skills to personal development, books offer a treasure trove of knowledge. Podcasts, on the other hand, have been instrumental in shaping my leadership skills. They offer bite-sized wisdom, perfect for on-the-go learning.
Creativity: A Never-Ending Journey of Exploration and Joy
While it's inherent in most of us, creativity is a muscle that needs regular flexing. It thrives on exploration, curiosity, and the sheer joy of creating something from scratch. As artists, our responsibility is not just to maintain this creativity but to nurture and expand it.
- Embracing the Fundamentals: For me, the journey began with learning the nuances of artwork and then ensuring I practiced it regularly. The very act of routinely creating art, even if it's just a doodle or a sketch, keeps the creative flames burning bright.
- Sewing - A Thread to the Past: My foray into sewing, guided by my mother, was not just about learning a new skill. It was a cherished journey down memory lane, connecting me to my roots and offering a tactile, hands-on experience.
- Clay - Molding New Experiences: Recently, I've ventured into the world of clay. Throwing shapes, or as I fondly call them, "bowls," has been an exhilarating experience. While I'm still honing my skills, every moment spent molding and shaping clay is a testament to the joy of learning something entirely new. It's a delightful departure from my usual creative endeavors, reminding me of the vastness of the artistic universe.
- Investing in the Next Generation: One of the most profound ways I've nurtured my creativity is through my daughter, Ollie. At seven, she's a wellspring of creativity, often outshining my own endeavors from a similar age. Nurturing her artistic inclinations has been a dual investment. It's a joy watching her immerse herself in various creative pursuits, and in the process, it rejuvenates my own passion. Our latest adventure? Knitting classes for Ollie. As she weaves her creations, the happiness it brings to both of us is immeasurable.
In essence, creativity is not just about individual expression. It's about connections - to our past, our present, our loved ones, and the infinite possibilities the future holds. As we invest in our creative pursuits, we're not just enhancing our skills; we're enriching our souls.
Mind, Body, and Spirit
Investing in yourself extends beyond skills or creativity; it's about nurturing the core – the mind, body, and spirit. This aspect of personal investment, while often overlooked, is arguably the most impactful and transformative. Through my journey, I've learned that to truly flourish as an artist and an individual, embracing a holistic approach is essential.
- Intentional Mornings: The start of the day sets the tone for everything that follows. I've made it a conscious practice to dedicate the early hours to reading and prayer, grounding myself before the day unfolds. Accompanying this introspective time with specific music, particularly worship, offers a profound sense of serenity and focus.
- The Power of Boundaries: In our digitally-driven world, it's easy to dive straight into work and social media. However, I've realized the importance of setting boundaries. By dedicating time for reading, praying, listening, and exercise before diving into work, I've experienced a monumental shift in my mental well-being and productivity over the past three years.
- Physical Fitness: Exercise has become a cornerstone of my routine, not just for physical well-being but mental fortitude. Pushing my limits in the gym five to six times a week has inadvertently strengthened my mental resilience, enhancing my performance outside of physical training.
- Nourishing the Body: Eating healthily is more than just a dietary choice; it's a lifestyle. Over the past 12 years, I've embraced a plant-based diet, experimenting with foods that not only nourish the body but also the soul. While we generally maintain a healthy diet, I'm constantly seeking ways to optimize our nutritional intake.
- Travel - A Soulful Escape: Traveling is more than just a change of scenery; it's a revitalizing experience for the mind, body, and spirit. Whether it's creating memories, rejuvenating oneself, or simply spending quality time with loved ones, travel has been an invaluable investment in personal growth.
- Personal Development: There's an innate curiosity in me about understanding human nature. Delving into personality types and human psychology, particularly through tools like the Enneagram, has been enlightening. The Road Back to You by Ian Cron remains a favorite, offering insights into the complexities of human behavior.
Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that our well-being is intricately tied to our professional success and personal fulfillment.
Skin in the Game
Investment, whether in the form of time or money, amplifies commitment. It acts as an anchor, ensuring you remain accountable to your goals and grow beyond what you thought possible.
Investing in yourself is an ongoing journey, not a destination. As I reflect on my personal journey, one message resonates with clarity: we must never stop learning and investing in ourselves. Every investment, every effort propels us forward, shaping our path as artists and entrepreneurs in this ever-evolving world.
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