One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my life this year is to prepare myself to succeed instead of hoping success will come, or going “cold turkey” into a new routine. The more I thought about the things that frustrated me in business or even creativity, I realized that they all culminated in one simple idea: Disorganization.
By preparing yourself to succeed, you take away the frustrating parts of running a business or being creative. So instead of having an idea and then trying to do it all at once, consider what can be done beforehand to make the actual implementation of the idea smoother and more efficient.
One easy example is cooking. If you go to the grocery store and think everything looks good, then get home and have no idea what to do with it, that can be a problem in many ways. The food goes bad, you lost money, and you’re stuck with a ton of rotting veggies…or at least that’s what happens in my home. So instead, go to the grocery store only when you have a recipe, buy what you need, and when you get home, prepare the food. I don’t mean cook and eat it necessarily, but if you bought fruit or vegetables you might consider chopping them up and putting them in storage containers for when you are ready to cook. Then, all you have to do is open the containers and throw the ingredients in.
Another example would be exercising in the morning. A lot of people like to wake up through exercise, but it can be daunting to be groggy and tired and to be confronted with a 3-mile run. So instead of waking up and having to prepare yourself, make yourself excited the night before. Lay your favorite workout clothes out so you don’t have to look for something to wear. Make a smoothie and put it in the fridge the night before so you have a treat to look forward to. All of these things will help with the motivation to follow through with something when that motivation might be lacking.
So, how does this relate to a creative endeavor?
These are 5 things that I am personally implementing in my life to prepare myself for success:
1. Keep a journal of creative ideas accessible at all times so that if you are inspired, you don’t have to try and remember your idea. You are always prepared to write it down. I keep a document in Google Drive so that I can access it anywhere, and I also keep a notebook with me when I can. And heck, if I’m on an airplane and haven’t got a book, I write on the puke bag. Oh yes. Not recommended.
2. Have necessary contracts and pricing already worked out before you go into business so that you don’t feel tempted to compromise your worth or principles. My biggest hiccups in business have come from not having a streamlined structure for pricing or for doing business with clients. The moment I set a contract in place and firmed up my pricing for all of my services, I was able to complete my email inquiries twice as fast and with the peace of mind in knowing that I didn’t mess anything up.
3. Set 30 minutes or more for yourself per week to do what you are passionate about. The worst thing anyone can do to achieve success is to get burnt out, so even though life can be hectic and it might seem like there is just no time for inspiring yourself, I believe that is the worst mistake anyone can make. To not allow yourself free time to be inspired is to trip yourself up later down the road.
4. Clean your equipment before you come close to using it. This is similar to the food analogy above. If you are a painter, have your brushes cleaned well before you have that creative spark. If you’re a photographer, have your memory cards clear before going on a shoot. If you are a writer, make sure your desktop is clean so that everything is organized. Doing these things well before you are going to use your tools will help to make the creative task that much more enjoyable.
5. Write a rough daily schedule for yourself and put it up on a wall in your work area. You don’t have to follow it strictly, but it will help to keep you paced, focus on what is important, and be productive without multitasking. My daily routine is below!
I hope that these plans for success have helped…
What will you do to prepare for success?
Brooke’s Daily Schedule
(social media, emails)
(novel, self-help book)
(documentary, convention, motivational speaking)
(presentations, emails,workshops, travel, file organization)
(editing, shooting, writing, video production)
Kristin V. - This was a VERY helpful post. I find that lately I have been so overwhelmed by my “Must do’s, Wants, Desires and Deadlines” that I feel more like I am spinning and less like I have momentum. I really like several of these ideas and plan on trying at least one of them for myself by the end of this week.
I hope you have had a magical time in France. xoK
Melanie Myhre - 6AM? Eeek! Have you always been such an early morning person? I had one short stage in my life when I had to be up that early and I hated it lol. Thanks for sharing your schedule. It gives some great insights on scheduling a day for success. I get overwhelmed all the time!
Avital - Thank you so much for this vido Broke! It sure helps to have you around 🙂 and kind of in my life.
robin spalding - very insightful! i love the look into your schedule super awesome!
julie - I’m always amazed at your insightfulness and willingness to share with others. Thank you for ‘promoting passion’ and giving people an anchor for which they can find clarity and direction.
Lu - Awesome! I love how you set up your times. Very, very helpful. Are you writing two new books? I can see you really master staying focus. Would love to know how you do that! Much love <3
lovelyn - I just have this conversation with my husband this morning. I need to get organized and start preparing for success because that will make me much more likely to achieve my goals. Thanks for you insights.
Crystal Parker - I have actually started considering the idea to do meditation & yoga first thing in the morning. I have found that I really enjoy yoga for exercise physically and mentally.
Thank you for sharing your insights and I will definitely work to implement these things into my daily life. Prepare for success knowing success is on it’s way! 🙂
Steve Kessler - Thanks Brook. Great ideas. I expand the journal to document how I did a particular image (lighting, Photoshop effects, etc.).
Joshua Sterrett - This is the problem of my life, exacerbated by ADD.
I’m really glad you posted this and showed what your schedule is like.
I need to make a similar one.
I’d love to know your method or workflow of prepping speeches and presentations.
Also, where did you first find or decide what your pricing would be?
I’m always stressing when I’m quoting a client and wondering if I’m underselling myself. For example, currently my 8×10’s go for $50.
Thank you so much for this weeks inspiration!
Tiffany Zellar - Thank you so much, I really needed to hear this! My struggle is finding the time for my “real” job, 3 children, husband , chores, passion and preparing for success. It’s quite a juggling trick to balance it all, but I’m still working on it!
H - This is an amazing advice! Always so inspiring, Brooke!
I have focussed alot the past year on being efficient in my daily life, almost to the point where it gets boring (beware of this effect). What I have focussed on is every day routines, I have a full time job and take care of my daughter. Driving her to activities and cooking and the list goes on and on as for most parents. I go grocery shopping once a week, I write the list beforehand so that I know, I have one afternoon every week when I clean the apartment and take out the trash and water the flowers and so on… my goal is to keep the saturdays free for creating (shooting, I have recently started a blog). After a while you become Super Woman handling it all very easily (but sometimes I am very tired of it).
Hang in there and find routines for the daily life, it frees time, I can most of the time find time for my passion.
Sydney Paige Richardson - Ah, I just love that you did this.
I work a full time job, for a government agency that I hope to leave soon. I just this year started writing down a schedule for myself.
I had mentioned before on a previous blog comment about hanging up a calendar on my wall – FINALLY DID IT. and every month I write down goals.
Keep up with my writing, do a fine art sesh, book a wedding…
It helps me to see that I make these goals – and crossing them off gives me such…pleasure? lol satisfaction, I guess I should say. I get excited that I make goals and keep them!
But something I think I need to focus more on is taking time for myself. To just be. In silence and relax. Ease my mind!
I have never thought about preparing for success. I always say to my husband – when this happens, or when that happens…honestly it feels weird to prepare for when it happens, but this needs to be something I work on! Thanks for always inspiring us!
Catherine Rondeau - Another great video Brooke, full of helpful insight once again! As most people, I find that when I make a “to do” list I indeed get a lot more done. And I’m all for making schedules and planning ahead. The more you structure your day, the less time seems to slip away.
That being said, every now and then, I really feel the urge to be delinquent. To NOT do any of the stuff I need to get done. To allow myself a day off to totally goof off, splurge, indulge. These private little parties tend to unfold when I’m on the verge of starting a new project or have something important to do that will require much effort. I guess it’s a form of procrastination. I’ve learned it’s okay to give into the laziness every now and then. Essential, even, to balance out the rigorous side of my personnality, an important trait for people who work at home.
After a day of lazing around, I usually start getting bored and look forward to getting back to work. And I do so with probably more energy and determination than if I hadn’t allowed myself to take a break.
Margherita Introna - One of the major things I learnt from you Brooke is to be more prepared. Especially when taking a concept and preparing for a shoot <3
Being prepared is certainly valuable, but so too is learning how to not get frazzled by the unexpected. Taking things in your stride and just rolling with it. Also, sometimes just shooting from the hip and going shooting without a real concept in mind – seeing what sparks inspiration and creating on the spot.
Diana - As always, Brooke, you inspire me. It is a lot easier to hear when others find it hard to multi task and get overwhelmed when the plate is too full. Unfortunately, that is when the ball gets dropped a lot. I start each day with a list, but rarely does it all get done, because it is too much in too many directions. As of listening to your promoting passion video today, I plan on refocusing and getting things in order so that I can move forward. Your ideas were really good ones. Thank you for all that you do to help others in such a genuine & unselfish way. If the world were more like you, life would have more love & caring for each other. So refreshing! You keep me believing in mankind. Thank you.
Tom Newforge - Very interesting post. I will definitely merge a few of these points into my success preparations.