Making things is hard. It’s so much easier to live a life of consumption. Just sitting back and playing video games, reading books, and watching movies. It’s so much easier to let life wash over you. But that’s not satisfying at the end of the day, is it? Do you wake up fulfilled after a long night of binging on Netflix? Do you really find eating ice cream and watching Sunday matinees to be fully satisfying to your soul? If you do, then you can stop reading. You’re good. You’ve figured out the secret to life. You’re done. You’re set. Say goodbye now.
The rest of us got work to do.
Creating is hard, sometimes really hard. Whether what you’re making is music, comics, podcasts, films, or custom jewelry, all creative pursuits are challenging. They all take time and energy and they’re often very difficult to produce. Nothing is easy. But the key is to have creative confidence. You need to be fully able to say to yourself “I’m a podcaster” and get up the next day and record three episodes. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m a movie director” and go out and sweat working on someone’s short, all part of your grand plan to connecting and getting hired on the next project. If you can’t say those things, you’ll never accomplish them. It’s as simple as that. You need to have the faith in yourself to be able to fully actualize your own potential. You have to give yourself permission to believe in YOU.
Self-belief is the foundation of success. You need to have an unrelenting ability to see yourself as the protagonist of an amazing story. You need to be able to fully embrace the fact that you’ll be struggling and working and attempting to churn out product, doing it all on your own steam. You’ll be fueling your journey with willpower, sweat, and self-detemination.
You’ll also be honing your skills. They’ll come quickly after you make the decision to create and to believe in yourself. While you’re learning, you’ll make the choice to stick with it and get through the times of being less-than-great at something. This is where 99% of the wannabes will drop off and go back to smoking their proverbial pipe dreams. You will not be one of them. Instead, you’ll embrace the challenge and persevere. You will improve. Give yourself the pep talks, see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will put in the time, the elbow grease, and make hard work the thing that fuels your days and enables you to sleep as sound as a baby every night. You are living your life on-purpose. Welcome to a life few get to experience.
Once you’re living in step with your creative goal, once it’s the focal point of your life, you’re in for a change. You’ll start pushing yourself harder and harder. You’ll keep on telling yourself, “You got this,” and you’ll tell yourself you’re proud for a job well done. All the while you’ve be honing your craft, dedicating yourself to making the future you want. Along the way, you’ll go pro, and your side hustle will become your main gig. For some, that moment comes blazing with fireworks. For others, it sneeks up on them, side projects become opportunities or part-time gigs and until one day they’re in the driver’s seat. Their new normal day-to-day life was once that fuzzy dream, that hard to grasp something that was hard to believe in, hard to put into action, hard to make go. Come this far and you’ll know better. Because of it, you’ll set your sights even higher, in love with the challenges ahead. You’ll keep on blazing trails, knowing just how sweet it is to try and to succeed. You’ll keep on putting in the extra 10, 20, 30% knowing it’s worth it because you’re worth it and your work means something to you.
Being a productive creative person who actually makes things versus merely talking or thinking about them takes confidence, self-love, and lots and lots of work and tenacity. Be your own best friend. Give yourself the tough talks, assess your own progress, and when you take a misstep, assess where you went wrong. Have compassion and take yourself seriously. Do this again and again and soon, you’ll know the creative life is the life you were meant for. The work will become easier and those hard-earned rewards will taste oh so sweet. Go all in on YOU.
Burning to turn dreams into goals and goals into reality?