How to stay committed to your creative business | Sarah Elizabeth Lahoud

When you’re getting started in creative business, the first stages are ideas, excitement, and possibilities.

I can turn this blog that I rarely use into a money-making MACHINE. 

I can have time to spend with my kids and hubby. 

I can quit the 9-5 that I hate and travel the world. 

I can take my whole family on vacation once a YEAR. 

All I have to do is sell 5 packages at $2000 a piece and I’ll be set for freaking LIFE (she said, exaggeratingly hopefully). 

As you dig into strategies and how this all works for the first time, you realize how simple the strategies really can be.

And you wonder why more people aren’t pursuing this, aren’t putting their creativity to good use, aren’t becoming wildly successful and changing and inspiring the world with their unique vision.

Surely if great, inspiring ideas came easily to YOU, they could come easily to other people.

Well, maybe not.

You must be special.

Oh wait

And then you realize…

You’re not.

You’re not special.

Because you had a great idea, but you can’t make it real.

The fears come in.

Like huge, icky, gross self-doubt that makes you feel like your whole world turned upside down and you just want to crawl back into your bed and time travel to the past when this idea wouldn’t have held a responsibility caveat over you.

I can’t do this! There’s too much to do!

Has my website ALWAYS looked like utter shite?

How is she so freaking happy on camera?

I can barely pay the bills with 80 hours a week.

And I’m supposed to pay of credit cards?

Or go to the islands?

I’ve let everyone down.

Surely no one is as much of a mess as me.

You were special in your epic, creative business idea.

And then you weren’t special enough to make it happen.

And then you were special in your huge, gross self-doubt.

(Because you’re the only one that ever had such huge, gross self-doubt. Those other people must have been successful because they weren’t as broken as you are.)

Hint: You’re not special because of any of those reasons.

You’re special when you take that brilliant idea out of your head and into the real world, DESPITE the huge gross self-doubt.

But while it’s true that you’re not special because creative, inspiring ideas are inside all of us, your grit makes you special.

(What’s also true is that you’re not special in your huge, gross self-doubts either.)

We all have great ideas. We all have gross self-doubts.

We don’t all take action.

You’re special, your idea is special, inspiring, world-changing, when you get it out of your head, out of the pub conversations full of nonsense where you’re just impressing your friends, and into action.

Let me repeat that: your idea isn’t special. Your action taking is.

Action means YOU taking action

Action means putting the idea into motion so that it’s visible, in the world, and taking action in changing it all on it’s own.

The same way that when an author writes a book, in some ways it’s no longer her own. The published book has a life of it’s own and a different experience in every new reader.

And writer.

You’re going to help so many people once you get out of your head and get this stuff done. Take action.

And you’re going to inspire other creative business owners as well.

Action is the acknowledgement of how unspecial you are. 

And then action makes you special because it’s farther than most people will ever go.

And THEN action brings you back to the land of unspecial when your creative, epic, business changes the world and takes on a life of its own, that reaches farther than your little legs could have run or pub voice could have ever shouted.

Action is freaking HARD. That’s what makes yours so special.

Getting started in creative biz is about strategies and ideas.

Being successful in creative biz about commitment, patience, and grit.

And creative business – and life – is about action.

Take action,

 

Action steps:

What do I focus on when I first get started?

Get clear on your goal, and get clear on what you’re going to try doing to get there (i.e. build yourself a strategy). Stick with this strategy for at least 90 days before switching it drastically. And then whatever’s not working, switch it up. Remember strategy in business is like learning an instrument or a new language. You gotta understand the rules before you can start composing symphonies or epic prose.

What to do when it feels like nothing is working?

When it feels like nothing’s working, either one of two things is going on (and it’s probably both).

A) Something’s not working.

B) Your brain is playing tricks on you.

The answer is NEVER nothing’s working. So that’s not even an option. (If anything, C) would be “Everything’s working and you’re just not checking properly, but that might not be the case either.)

So if it feels like nothing’s working, either

A) figure out what’s not working and tweak it until it does (bonus points: don’t take it personally because it’s not actually personal. As soon as you take it personally, it’ll work worse).

B) Don’t take it personally. Fix your mindset. You’d be amazed by how much your mindset affects business and income (and if you’re not amazed, then start working on it already!)

(If anything C) would be “Go have a chat with your friend in the pub. Whiskey not required, but recommended.”)

How to stay organized (and to keep my head on straight)?

I get that in the beginning (and every new) stage of business (and by the way, even if you’re a “creative business”, you’re in business. Act like it. Take it seriously), you have a million things you “need” to focus on. How do you stay organized (and keep your head from spinning around in circles uncontrollably)?

Write down your goals and your strategy for getting there. Then look at your existing to-do list and cross everything else the hell off.

And schedule everything.

Including whiskey and chats in the pub.

How do I show up even on days that I don’t want to?

Days that you don’t want to show up are either Upper Limits or burnout.

Figure out which, and deal with it accordingly.

Meanwhile, if you break you tasks down suuuuuper simply, it’s a lot easier to show up on days that you’re feeling that Upper Limit.

How long before I change strategies?

If something’s not working, how long do you wait around before you try something new?

i.e. how do I know whether I’m being impatient or something’s really not working.

Leave the strategy for 90 days.

Ask a coach/mentor. 

Work on your mindset

If you do all of the above and your results don’t change, time to switch it up.

How do I know what’s working and what’s not?

Check your data (i.e. conversion rates, sale numbers, list size, website traffic, course sign-ups, etc.)

How to stay patient?

Breathe.

Be ruthless with your mindset (impatience is usually rooted in old stories that need decluttering).

Bave fun (haven’t you ever heard the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun”?)

What does mindset have to do with my income/paying clientele?

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Hey!

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