Creative Confidence

Confidence is something that is always changing. Some things we feel confident about and others not so much. Whether you’re super confident or not so confident, everyone could use more confidence. We all start out with a clean slate and then things happen in our lives. We have teachers, mentors, coaches, parents, mostly well-meaning people that say things that can have an impact. My mother was told by a teacher that she was no good at art, she believed it her entire life and at the age of 70, she decided that she was going to start painting and of course she was fantastic at it.

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Miss Phillips, You Were Wrong

Here is a great story from Jack Canfield. A grade school class that was given the assignment of writing about their dream. There was one particular kid who had the dream of owning racehorses and farms and raising horses and breeding horses and doing all these fabulous things. He got a “D” on the assignment. The teacher said his dream was unrealistic. She told him that he would never be able to achieve that (imagine). Fortunately, this kid didn’t believe it for a second. He had such incredible belief in himself that he went ahead and did all these things he dreamed of just to prove this teacher wrong. Later in life, he wrote a book called “Miss Phillips, You Were Wrong”

I was too Slow

When You start to think about the things that may have happened early in our lives, it’s interesting to see who had an impact on us. Think about it for a minute. Early in my career as a brand strategist, I had a mentor who told me that I was too slow. He processed information really quickly and I didn’t. I like to take things in, think about it, ponder it, sleep on it, get other ideas, build on it. This person told me that I was too slow and I believed it. Now that I think about it, who made him like the king of speed? Who decides how fast things need to get done? I know I’m good at what I do and does it really matter? It was just his point of view and all these things are just somebody’s point of view. It’s not really true.

Who Stopped You?

There is no real truth only what’s true for you. Think about the people in your life that stopped you. Was is it a parent, a teacher? Was it somebody else? You can look at it now and say “that’s just an interesting point of view”. It’s not the truth. I’m not that. Even if it has been with you for 20 or 30 years, it’s not the truth and you can just choose to change it.

Creatives are bad at math

As creatives we get labeled that a lot. All creatives are bad at math (might be a bit of truth to that one). But again, who cares? There are enough people in the world who are good at math. You just need to partner with someone who’s good at it. The school system tells us as kids that we need to be good at everything. We really don’t.

Focus on the amazing

Sometimes something amazing happens and that stays with you. Those are the things that we need to focus on more. When I was in fourth grade I made a picture at school of a winter scene using oil pastels with paint sponged over top (below). My mom loved it and she framed it and hung it up in the house. And a few years later her interior designer asked where she got the picture. He loved it so much that he offered to buy it and my mom said it wasn’t for sale. Then he asked me If he could commission me to make another one that was similar. He paid me $300, which in fourth grade is like $1 million. Talk about confidence. I was over the moon. Those are the kinds of things that we have to focus on rather than the stories that we tell ourselves.

 

Discover where you’re leaving thousands of dollars in potential new business on the table. Grab the Missing The Boat Scorecard and stop missing the boat!

 

Client love

Think of a time when you worked on a project that was a big success or created something that you were really proud of. One of my earliest clients doubled her business in 6 months after I renamed and rebranded her . Now put yourself back there and feel how it felt. A few years ago I was having a casual conversation with a client that took my business development course and coached with me. I asked her if by chance she had measurable results and she told me that she grew her business by 500% in one year as a result of working with me. That’s something that I want to focus on!

When you get client feedback, print it out and put it in a folder to remind yourself. One of my clients calls it her “client love folder”. She’s been doing it for 10 years and has quite a big stack of papers there now.

The biggest judges are not putting themselves out there

The judgment is part of reality. There’s a lot of it. Brene Brown has spent more than a decade studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She has thousands of followers and gets a good deal of nasty feedback but she doesn’t let it stop her from doing the good works she’s doing and the many people that she’s helping. Brene talks about how putting yourself out there in any way increases your vulnerability and that’s ok. Most of the judges are not the ones who are putting themselves out there!

When I started putting myself out there, teaching and coaching, I was pretty scared. Once in a while, someone will email me the rudest comment. I used to get really upset when I first started. I would take it personally. Now I say “interesting” and throw it in the trash. Next!

Building your creative confidence takes work and practice. It’s the same a starting a fitness routine. A little at a time. It’s not something that comes naturally to many. It’s very freeing to just let anybody judge and let it go. Get out of the stories your makeup. You know they are not true! Keep going back to focusing on what’s working and the places where you created your confidence. It’s a way more fun place to be. Oh, and when you slip back into the old patterns just be kind to yourself and refocus!

I’d love to know who stopped you and how you’re going to change that. Write to me in the comments below.

Discover where you’re leaving thousands of dollars in potential new business on the table. Grab the Missing The Boat Scorecard and stop missing the boat!

Changing Your Mindset About Money

Money. We all want it. Some people have it by the truckload. Most of us could do with a little more in our pockets.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the same boat as the rest of us. So, how do we get into that big, gold-plated boat over there instead?

A Money Mindset = More Money

Back in 2010 when I started my business, I discovered there’s actually a certain type of mindset that you need to have if you want to make more money.

Most people believe their income is determined by external things that are outside of their control. We make excuses for ourselves like, ‘I can’t find the clients’, ‘I don’t have the time’, ’The economy is weak’ or ‘99designs are killing the industry’.

time is ticking watch face close up

Every single successful entrepreneur – creative or otherwise – knows that really it’s our internal dialogue, our internal mindset, that determines what we get paid.

Want to get paid what you deserve for your creativity? Learn how to create your money mindset with my free money mindset worksheet here.

 

Of course, acquiring this mindset isn’t instantaneous. It takes time, and it takes practice to figure out. Some people can do it overnight, but for most, it’s an ongoing process.

Today we’re going to start that process for you.

Step 1: Get Clear About What You Want

One of the reasons you’re not making the money you want is that you don’t actually know how much money you want.

Do you know EXACTLY how much income you need or want?

someone counting a stack of dollars close up

The best most of us have is a general idea about our income and expenses. We aren’t clear on what we want. The first step to making more money is to get clear about how much more money you want. Here’s a little exercise you can do to help figure that out:

Figure out where you want to be

Grab a piece of paper (or you can download my Money Mindset worksheet for free here) and write down the answers to the following:

What are your monthly expenses? What are your expenses and what would you like to put into savings, set aside for taxes, investments etc. Write down everything you can think of and add them up.

Now, write down what would you like extra money for. Is it for education? Travel? To expand your business? A second home? Whatever it is, write it down how much you’re going to need every month to have those things.

Take those two numbers and add on another 10% for unforeseen and emergency expenses. Now you know exactly much money you want. Simple!

Figure out where you actually are

Now, what are you ACTUALLY BILLING in your business monthly?

If you don’t have this number to hand, you need to ask yourself why not.

If you don’t have a proper book-keeping and tracking system in place, you need to get one together, and fast. Your expenses can add up incredibly quickly, especially if you’re not keeping an eye on them. You need to know that you are making money in your business.

laptop compter with reporting data on it

Not getting paid what you deserve? Use my free money mindset worksheet to start creating the income you want.

If you don’t have that expense report in front of you on a regular basis, how are you going to know where you can improve? An expense report doesn’t need to be complex software – a spreadsheet will do.

Now you have a bit of clarity on your finances, you can take some action steps.

Step 2: Save 10% – no matter what!

Your first action step is something everyone should be doing, business-owner or not; saving 10% of your income.

Whether it’s a $2,000 invoice or a $20 invoice, once you get paid, stash away at least 10%, somewhere you can’t get your hands on too easily. In a matter of months, you’ll have a nice little financial cushion in your back pocket (not literally!).

You’ll notice that as your savings grow, your mindset around money begins to change. When you feel you have money to spare, it helps to create a mindset of abundance. It’s this feeling of abundance, instead of the stress and worry that you’re aiming for.

As you give yourself a little more space financially, you’ll start to notice that the way you’re thinking about money changes too. This is something you want to encourage.

Change the Way You Talk About Your Money

You may have heard an old saying that goes something like this: “Your thoughts become your words, which become your actions, which become you.”

This is so powerful because it’s true. The words you use to think about money are actually influencing your financial reality. And this goes beyond just finances.

Start paying attention to the way you’re talking to yourself and to those around you about your situation – financial or otherwise.

are you still begggin for money for you business? homeless signs

Start paying attention to your thoughts and you’ll be surprised how much else will change. This happens because most of the stuff in our heads is not terribly helpful; it’s where we find all our worries and fears. The first time I consciously listened to my train of thought it was a bit of a shock – there was some pretty unhelpful stuff going on there!

We walk around all day with all this chatter going on in our heads, telling ourselves what we can and can’t do…

If you’re telling yourself you’re bad with money, or that you can’t afford something, or you have too much debt, or not enough time, you’ll end up being right. Henry Ford memorably described this problem: ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’

So, think about the language you’re using. With every thought try to ask yourself, ‘is this helpful to me?’. You’ll find that a lot of it is not. The rest you know you can act upon.

How do you start creating a money mindset? Use my free money mindset worksheet – you can download it here.

 

When you’re constantly focusing on what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T, you’re constantly refocusing and redirecting your efforts for growth. Which brings us quite neatly to the final component, visualization.

Feel Your Success

All the top athletes know that success isn’t just a matter of training, or attitude, or luck. Continued, repeated success requires feeling into it.

athletic runners starting a race in black and white

Champions like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt know this well. Of course, they train hard and have a great biological platform. But that doesn’t account for the kind of success they have both attained.

There have been many studies around training, which have demonstrated that, not only does visualization activate the same neural pathways in the brain as performing an actual exercise, it can also activate the muscles.

In fact, that same study shown above demonstrated that visualization had an equal impact to physical training. Why? Because your brain can’t actually tell the difference is between reality and imagination. Children take advantage of this all the time without realizing – it’s part of their learning process.

Think about that figure you wrote down earlier – the amount of money you’d like to be making. What would it feel like to have that money coming in? What would you be able to do? What would your life be like?

Who do YOU need to BE to have that money coming in? How do you dress? How do you talk? How do you approach a problem?

When you concentrate on where you want to be instead of revisiting where you’ve been, you’re moving yourself into that reality.

man throwing arms in the air in victory

Want to start getting the income you deserve from your creative business? download my free money mindset here worksheet to start changing your mindset about money.

 

Here’s an exercise to help you get started:

Imagine bumping into a friend 5 years from now and telling them what your life is like, and all the things you’ve achieved. It might sound silly, but promise me you’ll try it out – you’ll be surprised at what comes out, and how it makes you feel!

This is the key: once you realize that having that peace of mind, feeling financially secure, and feeling empowered, is something that you project on the world, rather than be subject to, you’re starting to move into a money-making mindset.

This isn’t just about money either – this works for anything. Imagine you’re going on holiday. Imagine you’re buying that second home. Imagine dinner at the Ritz-Carlton.

You choose. You’re the creator of your reality – what are you going to create?

 

 


Photos thanks to Agê BarrosSharon McCutcheon , Lukas Blazek,  Matt Artz , Japheth Mast  and Braden Collum  on Unsplash.