Is there a creative or entrepreneurial venture that’s been tugging at your sleeve but you just can’t seem to pull it off? Maybe you want to flush out your documentary idea after work, or spend time with your oil paints while the kids nap. Or you could be itching to turn your love of shopping into a styling business or your crafting talent into an online store. Whatever the body of work that’s been calling to you, I guarantee it’s matched by an equally loud voice of resistance. You don’t have time to waste: there’s only one moment to speak your truth, share your art and put your ideas to the test. And I believe the world needs whatever’s inside that creative soul of yours.
Here are 3 bulletproof steps for developing your business or creative dream. In fact, each step is a question to put to your heart: WHY you care about this vision, WHAT is available to support the process and HOW can you take one baby step forward today.
1. Why do you want this, anyway?
I spent an entire year trying to write my book with little progress. My breakthrough? When someone finally asked WHY I wanted to write this book in the first place. It took 30 minutes of free writing to get past the surface-level expectations and encounter a more soft, raw place in my heart. I found a fierce longing to own my story and create dialogue about issues that I deeply care about. Once I connected with this immovable driving force, all the scattered ego-level motivations were obliterated to ash. Now I was ready to work.
So I challenge you to start with these questions:
- What do you really want to do or make?
- Why do you want to do or make it, anyway?
- What is your most authentic guiding intention?
If you’re really scared to try something, there’s got to be a good reason for it. Get to the nugget of why you care. The answer may surprise you.
2. What resources are available to you?
For many years, I thought I had to meet huge business and creative ambitions with equally superhuman efforts. But going fast and hard always led me to the same destination: burnout. Every time I crawled back to that safe place of mediocrity, resistance raised its flag of victory. This cycle would have continued my whole life if I didn’t take a step back to build my foundation. I started with a yoga practice and then a daily meditation practice. Then writing classes, diet changes, schedule tweaks and accountability partners. As I slowly built up my resources for balance, clarity and community, I saw an increased capacity to sustain efforts toward a larger-than-life goal. And you can, too.
Inquiries to ponder:
- What’s stopping me from reaching my creative vision?
- What tools do I need to get from here to there?
- What resources and practices are available to help me?
Whether it’s creating a failsafe morning ritual or signing up for a class, start one thing THIS WEEK that supports your vision. There’s merit to investing in a strong foundation before picking up the nail and hammer to build that house.
3. How can you take one baby step forward, today?
I’ve been meeting tight client deadlines to deliver market-worthy writing content to my clients for seven years, so why couldn’t I do it for myself? Once I started treating my passion project like a client project (with a real deadline, process and discipline) I was finally able to match the results. With a clear foundation of WHY I was writing, tools to help me along the way and a step-by-step plan for moving forward, I committed to writing the first draft of my book in one month. It may have been a shitty first draft, but I did it.
Figure out your HOW with a few simple questions:
- What are all the steps between where I am today and where I want to be?
- How can I break this down into bite-size pieces?
- What milestones can I commit to today, this week and this month?
Don’t tolerate disorder or distraction, cuz it’s time to work. You’re on a deadline, after all.
So there it is, my foolproof 3-step plan to developing your creative voice. Hint: your saving grace is that one guiding intention from Step 1. It’s the compass that will steer the ship home, if you let it.
How have you managed to pull off colossal passion projects, paid or otherwise? What are your biggest challenges in bringing a creative vision to life? I’d love to hear from you.