Corey Winter 0:01
Welcome to 10 minutes to being boss, a bite size show for creative business owners where we give you actionable insights, tools and tactics on Korea winter. And here's your host Emily Thompson.
Emily Thompson 0:14
All right, Cory, I'm gonna start with a question for you. You're excited about this? roll your eyes?
Corey Winter 0:21
I would never do that.
Emily Thompson 0:25
Thank you did? Um, here's my question for you. Are you feeling more or less creative right now?
Corey Winter 0:33
At the moment? Because I'm talking to you, I feel super creative. But in
Emily Thompson 0:40
Corey Winter 0:42
but in general, I during this time, I have not felt any creativity. And so that actually raises a question. We all hear that creativity fuels you. But I find that my creative work drains me. Am I doing it wrong? You probably are. But as a general, creative business owner, right? Am I doing it? Right?
Emily Thompson 1:05
So this is actually is this something that I feel like I talk about often and so my business bestie conversations, and it says is actually something that's come up for me in the community the past couple of days. So we started doing, we started doing Monday, meetup calls in the community, we started via sort of quarantine or thanks to quarantine, we decided to turn our Monday meetup prompts into live calls, so we could all get on and talk to each other and check in. And those have been so much fun, so much fun that we've decided that we actually want to keep doing them beyond quarantine. So it's actually a feature of the community now is that we're all getting together every Monday for an hour. And we decided to also in that case, give a little structure to these phone calls. And this week's call was the first one that we've done with structure. And we're sort of wrapping in some other plans that we had. I don't even know if we've made we have talked with about this, but we thought about doing meetups, local meetups. And then yes, COVID here, guess who's not doing local meetups anytime soon. So any literally the entire world. literally anyone, no one group, no groups larger than 10. So we decided to use this Monday meetup space to start testing this local meetup content in our virtual space. And it was a great hit. We talked yesterday or this week, I don't even know what day it is, it doesn't matter. About to agree tivity. And this is one of the things that came up for us in that space. We were talking about doing creative things that fuel us and somebody was like, hmm, I'm not really feeling fueled. And I was like, I get it, I get it. And this happens a lot with creative business owners, because we're selling our creativity. And I think when you're selling your creativity, your creativity is not yours, it kind of belongs to someone else, someone else is literally paying you for it. And so whenever it comes to that sort of repayment of energy is coming back to you in terms of money, not necessarily satisfaction.
Corey Winter 3:23
Yes, like your creativity, it's no longer fun, it just becomes work.
Emily Thompson 3:28
Exactly, exactly. So oftentimes, with creative entrepreneurs, we go into this space thinking, Oh, I'm just going to be able to paint all day or design or, you know, crochet, or whatever it may be, I'm gonna love it, because I love doing that. But here's the thing you love doing that for yourself, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to love doing that for other people. So quite often times creative entrepreneurs will get in this space and find that their creativity no longer fuels them, but instead drains them. I always think of this in terms of draining is when you're solving someone else's problem, because that's technically what creativity is. It's problem solving in one form or another. But it's fueling when you're solving things for yourself, because then you're able to very directly reap the benefits of those outcomes that you've created with your creativity. And we sort of don't understand really creativity in that way for the most part. But I think that's what's happening. And I found that there are sort of two solutions to this. I realized this for myself many many years ago. Easily a decade ago whenever I guess I started designing sites designing websites for myself about 13 years ago started designing them for and I loved it I was like nerding out all the time designing a website for myself over and over again because it was so much fun and energizing. And I was like getting in flow because I was like practicing an interesting skill set and creating something cool for myself. And then I started doing it for clients and It immediately lost all of its fine. Not all of it by any means, but definitely a lot of it. And so I started, I remember having this sort of mental conversation with myself during that time of that transition from designing for myself to designing for other people in that way, and began experimenting with what it looks like to be creative outside of my work and sort of using outside creativity as a way to refill my cup so that I could be creative and work without it completely draining me. So it makes sense. It's like, let me think, can I think of a good analogy for this, it's like, No, I can't give a good analogy for this, I just won't. But I do think that you have to have a balance. If you are creative for work, and you find it very draining. I think you need to be creative in your life, so that you can, so you can fill your cup so that you can turn around and sort of expend some of that creativity for your clients or for your customers or however it is that you get paid. I also think that whenever creative entrepreneurs stop being creative in their life, they lose their ability to be adaptable, and to to be what's the word resilient in the face of sort of blocks and their creativity, or sharing the story. And the Monday meetup call where we talked about creativity, where recently I decided to sew a dress for myself. I like to sew occasionally, I also shared how I get very angry when I sew. Whenever I get my sewing machine out, David and Lily usually flee the house because they know at some point, I'm going to get real angry,
Corey Winter 6:46
like I needed to get away from her and she has needles,
Emily Thompson 6:50
heavy machinery, right? The whole thing. David's even like thing just sounds aggressive. Like he doesn't even like being in the house with it. But I'm at ennemi Um, so you know, I'm doing this dress, it's like it's problem solving. I'm like putting these things together. I'm sewing them correctly, making sure that it fits me make it like just all these things are happening at the same time. It's very much so an interesting test in my ability to do something difficult to stretch my skills to the stick with a project through the end all of these things. And then I swear, I had four inches left to sew and my sewing machine jammed. And would not undulate. I'd been sewing for hours the last four inches. I was livid. I was so angry.
Corey Winter 7:42
So you can still so a by hand.
Emily Thompson 7:46
Okay, Cory, okay. Okay, you say so. Um, so then I had to like, stop, take a breather, walk away for a couple of hours, chill myself out, come back, figure out what the problem was, and solve the problem. And I did all of this. Like all of these things, were just a personal project, which then gives me that sort of adaptability and resilience to go at all the crazy problems that I deal with in my work. And I would not have that skill in that way if I weren't trying myself and really fun. And no, I made that sound so much fun. And really fun ways in my life that are very sort of, like, no one's whenever I'm sewing a dress, no one's lifestyle, or no one's like ability to pay their mortgage, or none of those things rely on my ability to so address, right? It's very like, low what's the word of the year of low, not committal? Low,
Corey Winter 8:45
threshold low, barred low.
Emily Thompson 8:50
Who knows? Everyone in high listen is yelling the word out. But there's just not a lot relying on me being able to say this dress, right? Yeah. And so I'm able to sort of create these skills for myself, this resilience for myself, and these is still the word still not coming to me in these situations where it just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.
Corey Winter 9:11
I mean, it's on the tip of my tongue to you, I have no idea what it is. Right?
Emily Thompson 9:15
And I'm able to take that into the creative work that I do, and my work. So I do think that there's an interesting balance that has to happen between the two if you find that your creativity especially in work is just draining you and it's like causing some problems. Go break, be creative in your life and see what that does for your ability to be creative in your work.
Corey Winter 9:34
I was gonna say this actually reminds me of that saying that I'm probably gonna butcher is that you should have three hobbies with one hobby to make you money, one hobby to keep you in shape and one hobby to keep you creative.
Emily Thompson 9:45
I completely agree. I think that the money one can no longer be your creative one. And that's fine. Which is also another reason why you should not turn every creative hobby into your business. Like keep some things just for you. I'm never going to sew dresses for money guys, like, that's literally never going to happen. You wouldn't want to pay me for it. Or maybe it's cute, it's cute dress, I'm not gonna lie. So the second side of this is I do think it's very important for us all, to learn to reposition our mindset so that we do see the benefits a little more directly like just in our head, when it comes to the creative work that we do in our work. So if the difference here is that we're not, so if creative work fuels you, that's sort of life creativity, because you're getting that immediate reward. So let's say my problem is I have a big hole in my wall, not like a like a, like a visual hole, like I have an empty wall. How about that? There are no holes, it got
Corey Winter 10:45
so angry. Well, assuming that you put a hole in your wall, right? Yes, that hole, okay, David
Emily Thompson 10:50
did it drove him so many, but the hole in the wall? No. So let's say I have an empty wall that needs something in it, and I paint something, I put it up there, and it fuels me because I get to enjoy this thing every single day. Like that's gonna be very fueling. But if I paint something, and I sell it to someone, and all I have is then as money, like creatives really do kind of struggle with money, that is a fact. But if you can reposition that for yourself is like that is the fuel that you get, I think it's a lot easier to reconnect your work, your professional creativity with the rewards that it does give you. But it just is very different from the fueling life creativity that you're doing. So all that to say this is a fascinating conversation and one that I love having and is one that I think that every creative needs to sort of it's a conversation you need to have with yourself, what forms of creativity drains you, and what forms of creativity fuel you, and find a way for the fueling creativity to sort of power you in general, but also your professional probably draining creativity. There's a way to make creativity work for you. And if anyone is going to be well sort of suited to do that. It's us.
Corey Winter 12:06
You actually made me think 13 years ago, was when I started making websites. I actually did the math this morning. And back then it was just a hobby for fun. And then it became work over the years. And now I no longer build websites just myself for fun anymore. It's just work, right? Like I don't have an outlet to just like go make fun things.
Emily Thompson 12:26
Right. I do think that like turning creativity into work is how you I don't want to say he has how you change your relationship with that creativity. I don't necessarily want to say that it makes it worse or like ruins it or anything like that, but it definitely changes your relationship with that creativity. For better or worse.
Corey Winter 12:49
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