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)