Virtual Journey: Create Your Own Legend

Attention all artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, actors, and anyone working in creative fields — even if your chosen profession is not the most traditional one, cultivating and growing a successful, financially rewarding career is still your goal. Peter de Kuster provides you with expert advice on overcoming some of the specific challenges faced by right-brainers who want a career that is both satisfying and successful.

Freelancers, those thinking about changing careers midstream, and even creative people working in corporate environments need a set of skills that will turn their passion into a viable career. These skills include:
* How to chose the career that best suits your talents
* Setting realistic goals using right-brain techniques
* How to avoid the pitfalls that ruin a creative career
* How to schmooze your way to success
* How to create a business plan when you are the business
* How to be disciplined when you are your own boss

When you find an outlet for your creativity in the form of a career, you’ll discover a freedom in your working life that you can live with for the long term. You can follow your passion, build a brilliant career, and have financial security — if you know which skills to use. Let Peter show you the way.

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lifes and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.

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Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

No Such Thing as a Perfect Career

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There is no such thing as the perfect career. That is what many people really think, and it is sad, because there are plenty of rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling career opportunities that allow creative people to use their gifts and be rewarded handsomely for their efforts. Those who settle for less than the best simply haven’t found the right job  – yet. You can have it all when it comes to a creative career – if you know how.

The fact is that most people hate their jobs. They would rather be doing something else – anything else. It doesn’t have to be that way. What if I told you that you would never have to work another day in your life? Would you be interested? When you find the right fit in a career, it no longer feels like work. You wake up every day excited abou how you earn your living. This perfect harmonizing of your talents, skills, personality and work style creates a passion and a desire as well as a feeling of contentment that is worth more than gold.

It can all be yours, if you will read this travel guide and apply its principles.

The challenge is that the creative arts are very different from other fields. To go ahead, you sometimes have to zigzag to the top. Let me show you when to zig and when to zag to make the most of the opportunities out there.

Finding contentment in your career is a lot like looking for treasure. Using a map, you embark on a journey, an adventure in search of yourself. The thing is, there isn’t a pot of gold waiting for you when you get to the spot marked ‘X’ on the map. The buried treasure is within you. The pursuit of the gold (or the goal) is the reward. Because, when it comes to a career, there is no ‘there’ there. It is all a search. Enjoying the search is what success is all about.

This is the age of opportunity for the creative person. Innovation and ideas are gold. Ridicule and red tape are being replaced with respect and rewards for the clever and creative person The work environment and job market are changing, and they are changing for the better – for you.  Are you ready for these exciting times ahead? This guide will put you in a position to prosper. What parents, teachers, and bosses might see as problems (sloppiness, habitual tardiness, short attention span, nonconformism) can actually be hidden assets in the search for work in a rewarding and interesting creative career. Intuition, emotion, divergent thinking, daydreaming, thriving on chaos, big picture thinking, cleverness, open-mindedness, and an ability to play and have fun are virtues in the right setting.

Even so it is not exactly easy to build a career in the creative arts. You have to be able to deal with heaping helpings of rejection. It is a part of everyday life for the creative person.

There is also that funny feeling that you don’t quite fit in – and you don’t. Thank God. An unconventional person with unconventional ideas, you are often seen as immature, temperamental, moody, difficult, distracted, irresponsible and irrational.

The truth is, you can be your wonderful self and still get ahead in the corporate world – or work for yourself, as many creative people do. Whichever you choose, this guide will help you manage your career using a whole brain approach that takes advantage of the way you are, without forgetting the way the world works.

Your Call to Adventure

It is time to move on, move up and move out with a new mission. This guide is about taking charge of your destiny. Be the author of your life story. Its hero.

This guide will show you how to find, create and tell you unique story, and then how to earn a living doing what your love.  You will learn how to overcome the challenges the hero faces, and how to make your nature and your creativity work for you.  You’ll learn how to market yourself and your art even in a crowded marketplace, survive and thrive in the battlefield that is the creative business, be your own boss and work for others, take the ‘free’ out of ‘freelance’, rise to the top without stepping on too many toes, and use your natural abilities to find a perfect pitch and harmony in your story about work.

Your story is your life

There is a direct, undeniable correlation between the story you tell yourself about you and your career and your life story. It is less about what you do for a living than what you can live with doing. Finding fun and fulfillment at work spills over into the rest of your life. Without it, your health will suffer, your creativity will suffer, your work will suffer – and so will everybody around you. You don’t need to live that way.

If you are thinking of giving up on a creative career and getting a ‘real’ job, stop right there. When you settle for less than wat is best for you, you instantly get less than you settled for. Don’t sell yourself short. The regret will eat you up inside. Don’t miss your chance; it may be right around the corner. Instead, get going and go for it  – be bold.

Don’t let others push boulders in your path and fill your head with factoids like ‘most businesses fail in the first year’, ‘it is too competitive out there’, ‘there are NO jobs’, ‘you don’t have enough experience or talent’, ‘only the top can make a living’. It is bad enough that these insecure and misinformed people are telling you why you cannot succeed. It is worse if you believe them. Don’t let anyone talk your dreams down.

This guide is for creative heroes in all walks of life – composers, brand gurus, painters, poets, musicians, magicians, designers or dj’s, writers or actrices. It is not meant to apply to just the glamour jobs; whatever form your creativity takes, you can apply this story.

For everyone who tells you ‘you can’t make a living doing that’ there are hundres of stories of creative people in Paris who found a way to turn something they thought was fun and would even do for free into a fulfilling career.  I will help you take your powerful creative energy and harness it, and you will beat the odds, making a living doing what you love to do. Your life will become a legend. A work of art.

Your Hero’s Journey

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Few people know what they want to be when they grow up, and even fewer creative people want to grow up. Maybe you won’t discover your true calling until you make some Hero’s Journeys. Testdrives in your dreamjobs by exploring stories of heroes you are interested in. Meeting your rolemodels and interviewing them for the Hero’s Journey.

Is it not better to make a testdrive in your dreamjob, meeting people who do what you believe you will love to do for a living, using that incredible imagination of yours, than waste years on a dead – end job? One of the key things you will work on here is finding and creating your story about what you want to do (not for the rest of your life, but what you want to do now) and eliminating the careers that are not a fit.

The choices that lead to a life of creative expression and financial security are there for the making. The catch is that creative careers are often unconventional and in some cases completely unchartered. The challenge is that there are a million different things you could do.

The key to success in any career is clarity in your story. Becoming clear about who you are and what you want is the first part of this Hero’s Journey. Then how you get what you want is covered in great detail. It is hard work, but this is your chance to reinvent yourself. Don’t let it pass by you.

What is Right About You?

Success for a creative hero can be tremendous. Not just in money, but in creative freedom. Look at the list of highest paid entertainers and entrepreneurs, they are all people who don’t fit any mold, but they are also people who used that fact to their benefit.

You can do it, too, in your own way, on your own time, reaching your own goals. Unmire yourself from the myths about creative people. Don’t be afraid to look at your strenghts and weaknesses. Face the fact that traditional business management, which is left brain, logical and linear (not to mention rigid, boring and counterproductive) doesn’t work for you. It isn’t much fun, and if it is not at least a little bit of fun, you are not going to do it. It is that simple. If it is not fast, fun, flexible and easy, you are less likely to embrace it. Be willing to work within a story system as long as it is one you create and one that works with you as well for you.

You Could Be Even More Heroic

Creative heroes can have an insatiable hunger to achieve, create, accomplish. They want to be recognized and heard, receive applause and take home awards. They desire change, to create a body of work, to earn, to make deals. Many people who don’t know what they want actually want too much, too fast.

The key to success is learning how to focus on what is most important. It is counterproductive to try to do too many things at once, nor is it good to focus on only one area of your life. One way to whittle it down (focus) and spread it around (balance) is to have an integrating great story about your life. With one top goal for every area of your life united by your one great story.

Take a good hard look at who you are and what you want from life. Sometimes having everything to be just okay, having an adequate job and a moderate life, is the biggest tragedy of all. Take the time now to find yourself, so you can live your life without getting lost and make good decisions that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.

We are all born creative. What happens to us from kindergarten to college shapes how much of that creativity stays with us. Some, despite the best efforts of the school system and corporate system to stamp out the creative spirit, slip through the cracks, creativity intact. You are still not safe. Ninety eight percent of the people in the world are living the left brained life. Society tends to reward the left brain (structure, status quo) and reprimand the right brain (chaos, creativity, innovation).

You can stunt your creative spirit with disuse. You cannot lose a talent, but your skills can certainly atrophy. Yet almost any job can be done creatively. Creative careers are everywhere. Entrepreneurs must be creative to survive, managing people can be done creatively, marketing certainly involves a degree of creativity, even distribution can be a right brained affair. What makes any career interesting, exciting, and vital is the creative approach you take to it. Happiness in business comes from finding your greatest gifts and abilities and then developing and using them in the work you do.

The Right Brain 

Creativity and creative careers involve a whole brain story, an interaction between the left hemisphere of your brain (the detail-oriented, accountant side) and the right hemisphere (the big picture, artistic side). The right brain comes up with the ideas and the left brain implements them. Too much right brain and nothing gets done; too much left brain and life is dull and uninspiring.

As a creative professional, you are absolutely unique (and wonderful). There has never been anyone like you and there never will be again. Ponder that for a moment. Beneath all the self-doubt, guilt, fear, remorse and distorted beliefs is a gem of a person who, more than anything, deserves to be happy, successful and fulfilled. To have a career that is rewarding and challenging. A career that fits like a glove and is such a joy that you would do it for free – but is so valuable to others that you are paid well. And why not? You have found your place in the universe, you are making a contribution with your talent and creativity.

Once you understand yourself and what work you enjoy doing, you can work with your natural abilities and tendencies rather than against them. It makes life much easier. This is something that is unique to you. It is what will work best for you. So don’t breeze past the questions in this guide. Make the time to really give some thought to who you are, what you want to do, and what would be the best way to go about doing it. I have always said that to find yourself you need to get lost. you need time for reflection, away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life, to open yourself to new possibilities.

Do you honestly love what you do now? Are you excited to go to work on monday? Do you go home happy? If you answered no to any of these questions, there is a better way.

The following quiz gives you an indication of where your creative tendencies lie – left brain, right brain or whole brain. Answer honestly and quickly. Don’t dwell on the answers and do not try to figure out where we are looking for. There is no ‘right answer’.

  1.  When it comes to emotions
    a.  I can articulate my feelings to others
    b.  I am better at expressing my emotions through my work
  2.   I have always been told  
    a. I would make a great accountant
    b. I was a natural born artist
  3.  Success is
    a. closely related to annual income
    b. unrelated to the money I make
  4.  When trying to explain how I came up with an idea                                                                         a. I am able to put in into terms others can understand                                                            b. I feel like an alien from another planet.
  5.  When I am working on a project                                                                                                          a. I am not happy until it is done                                                                                                       b. I enjoy the process
  6.  It is a beautiful summer day, but I have work to do. I will   a. get my work done first and then go to the beach   b.  go to the beach and deal with my work later
  7. When it comes to a big project, my strength is in seeing  a. The worm’s eye view (details)  b.The bird’s eye view (the big picture)
  8.  When I have several unfinished projects going on at once, I feel  a.  frustrated  b. stimulated
  9. When it comes to decorating my office   a.  I find an arrangement that works and stick with it  b.  I rearrange everything at least every six months
  10.  Multitasking for me is  a. doing two things at once  b.  doodling, talking on the phone, sending an email, searching for a file in a teetering pile of work on my desk, watching a movie, reading a book, and sorting through my mail on Linkedin at once.
  11.  Before I speak   a. I think it through and censor it in my head   b.  I say the first thing that pops into my head
  12. When it comes to problem solving   a.  I analyze things from a logical perspective  b. I consult my ‘gut’ for an answer
  13.  My car is a.  practical and safe  b. stylish and fun to drive
  14.  I am best at remembering  a. names  b. faces
  15.  Whenever there is a crisis in my life,   a.  I retreat into myself and try to solve it on my own b.
  16.  In making decisions,  a.  I tend to focus on the actualities  b. I tend to focus on the possibilities
  17. When someone asks about my vacation  a. I give them names and places and brag about how much I saved on airfare (elapsed time, three minutes)  b.  describe in intricate detail how wonderful it felt to be away, and talk about all the things I saw, the wonderful people I met, and the fun I had (elapsed time, three hours)
  18. I am a natural born   a. learner  b. teacher
  19. If I had two yearlong projects to choose from, I’d pick   a. an analysis of the company’s past and future profit centers  b.  working on the company’s marketing materials
  20. When I meet a prospective client or employer,   a .  I have a written list of questions to cover b. I talk off the top of my head, taking my cue from them
  21. I believe  a. you can make things happen through sheer force of will  b. there is a force in the universe that brings things together
  22. My idea of organization is  a. making a list of all the things to be done and then prioritizing the tasks  b. playing with my Post-it Notes, putting them on the wall in some sort of order
  23. I am ready to leave for work, and  a. I know exactly where my car keys are  b. I go on a search and destroy mission until the keys turn up (in the fridge)
  24. When I log on to the internet, I do it with  a.  a plan and a purpose; get in, get out  b.  a sort of stream of consciousness, pausing to look at whatever catches my fancy
  25.  When researching a project  a.  I find as many books and articles as I can and read them from front to back  b.  I ask someone for tips on the best places to look and skim those

In the above quiz  a. answers count zero,  b. answers count 1. If your total is 8 or less you might read this guide for somebody else because you are a serious left brainer. A total of 9 to 15 indicates a fairly balanced whole brain approach to the world. You will go far if you can learn to loosen up a little. With a total over 15 you can consider yourself a right brainer with all the blessings and curses attached thereto.

The Right Brain

Creativity and creative careers involve a whole brain story, an interaction between the left hemisphere of your brain (the detail-oriented, accountant side) and the right hemisphere (the big picture, artistic side). The right brain comes up with the ideas and the left brain implements them. Too much right brain and nothing gets done; too much left brain and life is dull and uninspiring.

As a creative professional, you are absolutely unique (and wonderful). There has never been anyone like you and there never will be again. Ponder that for a moment. Beneath all the self-doubt, guilt, fear, remorse and distorted beliefs is a gem of a person who, more than anything, deserves to be happy, successful and fulfilled. To have a career that is rewarding and challenging. A career that fits like a glove and is such a joy that you would do it for free – but is so valuable to others that you are paid well. And why not? You have found your place in the universe, you are making a contribution with your talent and creativity.

Once you understand yourself and what work you enjoy doing, you can work with your natural abilities and tendencies rather than against them. It makes life much easier. This is something that is unique to you. It is what will work best for you. So don’t breeze past the questions in this guide. Make the time to really give some thought to who you are, what you want to do, and what would be the best way to go about doing it. I have always said that to find yourself you need to get lost. you need time for reflection, away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life, to open yourself to new possibilities.

Do you honestly love what you do now? Are you excited to go to work on monday? Do you go home happy? If you answered no to any of these questions, there is a better way.

Are you in your Right Mind?

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The following quiz gives you an indication of where your creative tendencies lie – left brain, right brain or whole brain. Answer honestly and quickly. Don’t dwell on the answers and do not try to figure out where we are looking for. There is no ‘right answer’.

  1.  When it comes to emotions
    a.  I can articulate my feelings to others
    b.  I am better at expressing my emotions through my work
  2.   I have always been told  
    a. I would make a great accountant
    b. I was a natural born artist
  3.  Success is
    a. closely related to annual income
    b. unrelated to the money I make
  4.  When trying to explain how I came up with an idea                                                                         a. I am able to put in into terms others can understand                                                            b. I feel like an alien from another planet.
  5.  When I am working on a project                                                                                                          a. I am not happy until it is done                                                                                                       b. I enjoy the process
  6.  It is a beautiful summer day, but I have work to do. I will   a. get my work done first and then go to the beach   b.  go to the beach and deal with my work later
  7. When it comes to a big project, my strength is in seeing  a. The worm’s eye view (details)  b.The bird’s eye view (the big picture)
  8.  When I have several unfinished projects going on at once, I feel  a.  frustrated  b. stimulated
  9. When it comes to decorating my office   a.  I find an arrangement that works and stick with it  b.  I rearrange everything at least every six months
  10.  Multitasking for me is  a. doing two things at once  b.  doodling, talking on the phone, sending an email, searching for a file in a teetering pile of work on my desk, watching a movie, reading a book, and sorting through my mail on Linkedin at once.
  11.  Before I speak   a. I think it through and censor it in my head   b.  I say the first thing that pops into my head
  12. When it comes to problem solving   a.  I analyze things from a logical perspective  b. I consult my ‘gut’ for an answer
  13.  My car is a.  practical and safe  b. stylish and fun to drive
  14.  I am best at remembering  a. names  b. faces
  15.  Whenever there is a crisis in my life,   a.  I retreat into myself and try to solve it on my own b.
  16.  In making decisions,  a.  I tend to focus on the actualities  b. I tend to focus on the possibilities
  17. When someone asks about my vacation  a. I give them names and places and brag about how much I saved on airfare (elapsed time, three minutes)  b.  describe in intricate detail how wonderful it felt to be away, and talk about all the things I saw, the wonderful people I met, and the fun I had (elapsed time, three hours)
  18. I am a natural born   a. learner  b. teacher
  19. If I had two yearlong projects to choose from, I’d pick   a. an analysis of the company’s past and future profit centers  b.  working on the company’s marketing materials
  20. When I meet a prospective client or employer,   a .  I have a written list of questions to cover b. I talk off the top of my head, taking my cue from them
  21. I believe  a. you can make things happen through sheer force of will  b. there is a force in the universe that brings things together
  22. My idea of organization is  a. making a list of all the things to be done and then prioritizing the tasks  b. playing with my Post-it Notes, putting them on the wall in some sort of order
  23. I am ready to leave for work, and  a. I know exactly where my car keys are  b. I go on a search and destroy mission until the keys turn up (in the fridge)
  24. When I log on to the internet, I do it with  a.  a plan and a purpose; get in, get out  b.  a sort of stream of consciousness, pausing to look at whatever catches my fancy
  25.  When researching a project  a.  I find as many books and articles as I can and read them from front to back  b.  I ask someone for tips on the best places to look and skim those

In the above quiz  a. answers count zero,  b. answers count 1. If your total is 8 or less you might read this guide for somebody else because you are a serious left brainer. A total of 9 to 15 indicates a fairly balanced whole brain approach to the world. You will go far if you can learn to loosen up a little. With a total over 15 you can consider yourself a right brainer with all the blessings and curses attached thereto.

Your Talents

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Many studies have shown that the creative person is more intelligent and scores higher in tests than do lawyers and doctors. While nobody uses only their right brain or left brain, most creatives tend to rely heavily on their right brains – the source of their creativity. Because of that, many of the following statements will apply to you. Even whole brainers (those who operate equally from both hemispheres) will see some of themselves here, often tempered by the logical, stabilizing influence of the left brain.

The creative hero is able to compare and combine two things that are not usually related. The creative mind is not limited by normal boundaries, and so can see relationships that aren’t obvious to others.

The creative hero sees abstract concepts and then is able to express them in concrete terms.

The creative hero tends to have rich and vivid memories. Right brainers are able to remember faces and places, but aren’t so hot at namesand titles. They retain images better than words. They remember themes and scenes from movies, but not the names or the director. The right brain remembers feelings – good and bad.

Creative heroes have the pioneering spirit that it takes to do things differently, regardless of the grief they may take from (and give to) others. They are eager to go where nobody has gone before. The great unknown is more interesting and inspiring than the safe and secure. It is intoxicating to be involved with an idea on the ground leven. The early stages of the creative process are magical, where anything is possible and reality is way off in the distance.

Creative heroes welcome challenges. They are able to see the big picture and tackle problems on a global scale. They use intuition rather than facts and figures to find new and better solutions.

Although creative heroes may be in touch with trends, they are more likely to start trends. They are leaders, not followers. They are flexible. Passionate. Tenacious. When it comes to getting their ideas or their pet projects made they can be relentless.

Creative heroes are open minded and less prone to prejudice. Creatives often have high ethical and moral standards. Gray matter thinkers in a black – and – white world, they often see more than one right answer and maybe even more than one question.

The successful idea person has some way to capture ideas and refer back to them later.

Creative heroes are obsessed with their work and improving their skills and abilities. 

Your Obstacles

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Sometimes speaking without thinking, as in a brainstorming session, is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes creative heroes forget where brainstorming ends and real life begins, however.  Saying the first thing that comes into mind makes people uncomfortable.

Creative heroes feel things more deeply than most other people do. It is trying to verbally communicate those feelings to others that gets them tongue-tied. That is why they create, to express what they are feeling through their work. So maybe that is not a bad obstacle.

Creative heroes can be impulsive. That live-for-today attitude and ‘being in the moment’ works for the artist in them, but to succeed, they have got to give some thought to the future. There can be long term consequences when they play now and pay later.

Divergent thinkers often go off on tangents, and are frequently seen as scatterbrained. It is hard to concentrate when you are not inspired or interested. It takes discipline to get started and stick with the business side of creative business. Creatives can work harder than anybody if they find something they love to do. They just have a hard time learning to love math, taxes, regular business hours and client follow up.

Leaping ahead, seeing the big picture, creatives lose those people who want to take it step by step and see things in black and white. Sometimes this makes them angry. Creative heroes spend a lot of time dealing (or not dealing) with frustration.

For creative heroes, all play has a purpose – it is fun. This attitude makes them seem immature. Left brainers like rules, a purpose, and a plan, even for play, and worse, they need a reason to do it.

Creative heroes tend to be sloppy. Not disorganized, just not organized in a way that an anal-retentive, uptight, left brained person would like them to be. Many creatives feel neatness is a waste of time.

Creative heroes are particularly vulnerable to the ‘they are going to find me out any minute” syndrome. They may be confident about their work, but not about themselves. Insecurity often rules them.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, depression – all are very real dangers for the creative heroine. Although right brainers are not necessarily self destructive, they are prone to overindulgence, which can lead to the same thing.

Creative heroes high ideals may make them inflexible. Many creative heroes are frustrated by the requirements of the commercial world.

Creative heroes tend to have short attention spans, which means multitasking is second nature.

Creative heroes procrastinate. Procrastination is a problem for people whose attention span is short and whose interest scope is broad. They like to have several projects going at once, and switch off whenever they reach the point of boredom and burnout.

Creative heroes don’t like to be told how to do it. But they are also very clever if you just tell them what you want and leave them to their own devices.

Your Left Brain

Each side of the brain processes information, but the two side process it differently. You’re always using both sides of your brain; we use the term ŕight brainer’and ‘left brainer’ as a matter of convenience. It is a question of emphasis. The left brain is the timekeeper, the organizer, the linear thinker. Because of it, you are able to get things done – and done on time. Being resourceful and resilient and sticking with something until it is completed requires a lot of left brained thinking.

The left brain is logical, neat and orderly, a built in editor and critic. It is quite maddening really. But we need this serious, buttoned down side to take care of all the things the right brain simply does not deal with, among those things is time management. The left brain can be a little compulsive though. It will do the same thing the same way every time.

While the right brain can get you lost in the world, the left brain can get you lost in the details. Still your left brain is not your enemy. It will get you w here you want to go, and it will get you there without wasting time or energy. It is the goal setter, the action hero, the muscle man.

The Creative Career

Living in a left brained world is not easy when you operate in the creative way – that is the right brained way.  It is easy to feel trapped by a mortgage, car payments, a retirement plan. But going against your own nature, your instincts and your talents turns out to be the worst possible way to live your life. You end up with ulcers, depression, deep – seated anger.

Finding the career path that matches what you enjoy doing and do well makes more sense. I say – make a run for it. Find out what makes you happy and fits as it should, showing off your assets.

A good fit – in a career as well as a pair of jeans – is different for different people. Some like them loose and baggy, some formfitting. It is a personal thing. All I know is, I would never send anybody else out to buy me my car, clothes, furniture. The same goes with your career. Only you know what will work for you.

For some creative heroes, networking is a dirty word. For others it is a never ending source of inspiration. There are plenty of examples of famous creatives who crave seclusion. No naysayers, no distractions, no naysayers, no phones, no needy people. NO NAYSAYERS.

Creative heroes do more than their job title requires – they can’t just help it. They want the education, experience and exhilaration of doing something different, so they don’t confirm to strict parameters. The creative career is no walk in the park, even for the most talented. Audiences are fickle, deals are tough to come by, and the pay is not always what it should be. You need to be clear about what you want, and you have to want it badly enough to work hard, but you can make it.

No creative job is perfect. The trick is to find a job with imperfections you can tolerate. You may be willing to work from nine to five for the opportunity to be involved in an exciting project. You may put up with a mountain of bureaucratic bull so you can work with people you respect and admire.

The Nearly Perfect Job

No job is perfect. The trick is to find a job with imperfections you can tolerate. You may be willing to work from nine to five for the opportunity to be involved in an exciting project or to  have the protection of a top notch health plan. You may put up with a mountain of bureaucratic bull so you can work with people you respect and admire. You may manage to get along with a nitpicking, anal retentive, narrow minded knownothing pipsqueak of a boss in exchange for the gratification of producing work you can be proud of.

Action:

List the things you tolerate in your current job. Then, beside each item, list the trade off (the thing that makes you willing to put up with it).

Take a look at your list. Do future or possible benefits outnumber the here and now benefits? Do the negatives outweigh the positives, or have you achieved a balance? At what cost?

Most of us make unconscious choices about what we can live with. Sometimes you make the wrong choices, and these are damaging your spirit and your future. Go back to your list again and choose. Think about it. You will always have to tolerate things you don’t like in this life, but you don’t have to tolerate everything. Pick your battles but don’t be afraid to fight when you need to.

Action Time

List the things you tolerate in your current job. Then, beside each item, list the trade off (the thing that makes you willing to put up with it).

Take a look at your list. Do future or possible benefits outnumber the here and now benefits? Do the negatives outweigh the positives, or have you achieved a balance? At what cost?

Most of us make unconscious choices about what we can live with. Sometimes you make the wrong choices, and these are damaging your spirit and your future. Go back to your list again and choose. Think about it. You will always have to tolerate things you don’t like in this life, but you don’t have to tolerate everything. Pick your battles but don’t be afraid to fight when you need to.

Your Best

 

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Nobody can motivate you. You must be self motivated to make it. In any career, you are the boss. If you don’t feel like working for weeks at a stretch, nobody will shoot you. But there is always a price.

The creative hero works well in a relaxed environment. That could be a casual corporate structure, a close – knit small company, or off alone in a cubbyhole somewhere. Freedom, individuality and being able to be yourself are serious issues for you, wherever you choose to work.

You will find you have boundless energy when you are in a creative flow. It is amazing the number of hours you can spend, the attention to detail you can muster, and the ideas you can come up with when interested. Conversely, if you are not interested it is almost impossible for you to focus, and you feel as if someone unplugged you from your power supply.  You want to create something, you may make less many, you may work longer hours, you may spend a lot of energy networking and following up on contacts – but it is all worth it to have a chance at life, at contributing something positive to the world you live in.

Creative heroes need constant input and stimulation. An environment with all kinds of interesting things. Don’t settle for a sterile office. You cannot work that way. There is a certain lifestyle that appeals to a right brainer, one that involves experimentation, swapping, multiple positions, passion, excitement and stimulation, variety, visual input, feeling and compassion, connection and expression. For the creative person there is real value in learning and growth as well as self-expression, freedom and flexibility in work.