HOW I BECAME A CREATIVE COACH

 After finishing up my dream job, doing what I loved most, running a little brick and mortar corner store - branded as " A Lifestyle Store", I knew wanted to jump right back into something else creative. 

After finishing up my dream job, doing what I loved most, running a little brick and mortar corner store - branded as " A Lifestyle Store", I knew wanted to jump right back into something else creative. 

A year down the track, people ask me - do I miss it. - and my response was...

“I don’t miss the time it took away from my family and friends, but I miss the people.”

I needed to leverage my precious time. I needed more time to do the things I loved, but I still wanted to work with the people who inspired my style and brand - and made me what I am today.

I didn’t want to be a blogger, but I wanted to help people.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but I spent a lot of my day helping people find want they wanted, find what looked good, find what suit their lifestyle, find what their friends would like, find what made them happy. So instead of selling physical products ... I thought ... why not make a business (an audience) creative coaching and engage in “creative consulting”.

What the hell is that?

Well, to sum it up ... this is what I find myself doing these days...

Answering Questions

People did it all the time, they used to come into the store, and ask questions over and above the scope of the products I was selling. Now, they still do that, but people text, email or ask me at a party - a particular question on how to something. I love that they think I am a go-to resource or someone who they trust.

RESEARCHING

After a brief convo with someone, I always get ideas. It could be an answer to someone's questions, or it could be a solution to someone's problem, it could be a solution to someone's problem they didn’t know they had! But once I get that idea, I start researching, looking further into the thought and seeing if it has legs. (some people might call it an obsession)

BIG-VISION THINKING

I get a lot of joy from helping people with things that interested me. I get excited, I go into research mode, the creative big-vision and macro thinking get a workout, and I can safely say I can do this with my eyes shut and smiling.

DOING WORK, I LOVE

Being creative and innovative comes naturally to me. I can see things in 4D. I can see the big picture; I see the end-result. People comment on this, and these compliments make me happy (and quietly proud and a little embarrassed!).

EMBRACING DIGITAL CHANGE

Well... I have a thousand computer programs that do a thousand things. The digital space could be very overwhelming to a non-digi person, but I love it. I have piles of notebooks on my desk, all titled for a different project, continually learning how to keep up with the digital world.

CHARGING PEOPLE FOR MY SERVICE

When someone first offered to pay me for my advice - I said “No don’t worry, it's easy for me and I love it” ...doh! But now I am feeling confident, I have embraced my obsession as a business ... and guess what, I am once again making money doing something I love.

 
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About Sarah

Through her love of creativity, innovation and big-vision, Sarah is recommended to anyone who needs clarity, support, direction or guidance in their creative project.

Connect with Sarah now at mentoringcreatives.co or on Instagram or Pinterest.

THE ART OF REMEMBERING SOMEONE'S NAME

 Some people are good at it, and some people are plain terrible.But are they really that bad, maybe they are just not trying hard enough.

Some people are good at it, and some people are plain terrible.

But are they really that bad, maybe they are just not trying hard enough.

Remembering someone's name can be the most rewarding for any meaningful relationship. This basic skill will give you respect, and people will admire you, it’s a bit like another language of love! They look at you with complete admiration and say “that’s amazing you’ve remembered my name”.

You might have been one of those people starring with admiration,

Do you remember how it feels when someone uses your name?

Well, adopt a bit of love language in your vocabulary.

There are three main steps to help you do this.

ARE YOU TRYING?

Firstly - are you trying? Are you listening in the first place? Of course, you will not be able to remember someone's name if you have not heard it or taken it in. Most people have a terrible habit of thinking about what they are going to say next in a conversation instead of thinking about what the person has said. So before you even start the discussion, you need to commit. You need to commit to remembering someone's name.

REPEAT AND REPEAT AGAIN

Secondly, after initial introductions, repeat their name, when you say hello back, and then multiple times during the conversation (that’s if the convo is more than a minute, repeating someone's name ten times in a minute could be very annoying!).

After you have left the conversation and you have a quiet moment, instead of scrolling through your social media feed, have a surreptitious scroll around the room and repeat all the names (silently in your head) for everyone you have met, or are going to talk to imminently. And, when you get home, think about all the people you have met, picture their face and think about their name. Actively try and remember people's name.

ASSOCIATION

I rarely need to get to the third step, but if you are still struggling, continue to use the first two steps, but also, associate their name to something … anything - it could be time, date, colour, place, adjective, noun. Do they remind you of a vegetable? (Geez) Or maybe they remind you of some animal. Do they have curly or straight hair - Curly Caroline could be your NBF.

Whatever works for you, the main thing here is that you need to commit to remembering names. Don't ever admit (or say aloud) you are terrible at remembering names, maybe say something like - “I’m getting so much better at remembering names”.

Remembering names takes all of your relationships to a whole new level.  It creates a lasting and positive impression. It is a necessary step in showing respect for others and building those beautiful, meaningful relationships that give you so much joy.

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About Sarah

Through her love of creativity, innovation and big-vision, Sarah is recommended to anyone who needs clarity, support, direction or guidance in their creative project.

Connect with Sarah now at mentoringcreatives.co or on Instagram or Pinterest.

THE START OF MENTORING CREATIVES

 When I was thinking about creating another business, in my general state of contemplating, I kept thinking...I want to help people find their creative bones like I have done before, but will this business be about me, or will it be by me?

When I was thinking about creating another business, in my general state of contemplating, I kept thinking...

I want to help people find their creative bones like I have done before, but will this business be about me, or will it be by me?

If it were to be about me, I would always be under pressure to reveal my story and my life. Always in deliberation about how much I should reveal. I think deep down, this is a great strategy for someone who loves the limelight, but for me, I think it would be stretching my comfort zone and my love of personal space just a little too much.

So during this small deliberation, I decided it is not about me as a Creative Entrepreneur, a Designer or a Consultant, it is about me being a Mentor.  Helping others realise their dreams.

I would like to share with you the perfect formula for being creative, but it doesn’t work that way.

It is a bit of a painful realisation but ultimately it is different for everyone, and everyone needs to trust their unique perspective on the process and the journey they are about to embark on.

For me, I work on my own, from the kitchen table, in the sunlight, creating material through graphics and words, all delivered digitally. I have my computer, my notebook, my coffee and not much else.

There are some days I wish I had someone to bounce ideas off or someone to carry out the mundane tasks, but for the moment I can handle running my lifestyle business solo!

Although I have complete freedom and flexibility to do want I want, when I want, I do have to keep a working structure to keep me focused and on task. Productivity can fly out the door and procrastination sneaks in if I am not strict with myself and my work routines. I create an hour by hour daily schedule ensuring I keep my work life balance on target, because after all, that is what I have created,  “a Lifestyle Business”.

This can be a challenge some days because the other side of me likes to change things about. Those personality tests tell me I'm a "visionary". I am someone who is always looking at the big picture, and if I need to take a different tack to get to the big end goal then I will happily lose the structure for a bit of creative adventure. But structure and focus are both definitely important to be able to tick boxes.

For me, I think adding creativity is really important to a successful lifestyle business.

I creatively brainstorm or mindmap every aspect, every decision, every question, every variation and then one by one cross them out until I am left with ones that stand out.

This way I know I am addressing some outlandish ideas, or maybe the opposite, covering the ultra simple, bordering on the boring concept, or maybe something in between, but knowing I have exhausted all options I can begin to believe and embrace my ideas.  This also helps to find your business's value proposition or its competitive edge.

This extraction method is highly productive because it gets rid of everything that is not making a point.

Most creatives make the mistake of adding, but indeed, if you subtract and provide a little whitespace or a little breathing room then your message will be clearer.

Start somewhere. Start writing, start drawing, start doodling. Get some ideas down on paper. It’s not about waiting for inspiration to strike, it’s about providing the opportunity to allow inspiration to peak through.

Something amazing might happen, or maybe it won’t, but all that matters is you have enabled a chance for something to happen.  And for that, you have to sit at a desk and start making decisions, start answering questions and hopefully come up with the beginnings of a plan.

Curiously, try throwing in something you think you will regret and see if it ends up being the most interesting part. If all fails, take a break, get some air and come back refreshed later.

When I was younger, I was always searching for a profession. I always wanted to have a “title”, so when someone asked me what I did, I could say with absolute confidence…”I am a…..”.

But I’ve come to the realisation Creatives don’t stick to one profession, they have many, and that is OK, it’s more than OK. The turning point was when I started to find people like me.  People who understood me, the people who thought my crazy ideas were not crazy at all.

This is the essence.

Finding your groove and sharing your experiences and knowledge with people who want to listen. This is so much more interesting and energising than explaining or defining your work to those that don’t understand or don’t have an interest.

I have my “creative crushes”. I have people or mentors who I look up to.  These people inspire me and keep me focused and keep me in touch with my ultimate goals. After all, if I don’t have goals, I don’t have a business because they are still just pipe dreams.

These “creative crushes” also give me the strength and courage I need to stop feeling embarrassed about what I do and what I create. If I wait for the perfect timing and a perfect composition, I would get nothing done. I have learnt to have the courage and to not worry about what “imperfections” I may have made. I feel it is better to have something “out there” for people to see than to have it hidden away or worse still, whirring around in my head.

I have my creative work zone.  I am not a fan of mixing work with my personal life. So I like to structure my time for pure focus on either work or family, not mixed. Admit, there are times when I need to pump out an email in family time, or I have to do the grocery shopping in work time, but generally, I am a lot more productive and present if I separate the two.

I am also one of those types of people who changes direction when things are going well!  Crazy stuff, I know. I always feel the need to top up my creative tank. And to do that, I actively seek and accept every opportunity that comes across my table. I am not scared of opening a new door. I don’t necessarily know where that door may lead but whatever the situation I find, I will guarantee you I will make the most of it.

Changing your direction or mindset doesn’t have to be hard. All it probably needs is a little tweak or pivot. What other people do, and what you want to do, doesn’t have to correlate, and this is mindset a budding innovator needs to have. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and totally change traditional business methods, but certainly, put a new spin on things to help you get a competitive edge.

It has been happening in the music industry for decades. They don’t invent a new story, they tell the same story again and again in a new and interesting way. There have been many a song written about love, they all just tell the story differently and target their audience and pitch their delivery in a way they know their audience will love.

More and more, people are wanting to feel personally connected before committing to a decision. They want to hear your version, through your voice and personality, pointing out the big truths.

The designer in me has taught me not to give away the whole story in the beginning. The skill of leaving room for imagination allows your audience to be intrigued, captivated and ultimately connected.

So zoom out, take a high-level approach to your ideas and designs. Getting bogged down in the detail, in the beginning, can really slow you up, so think big picture.

I’m not much of a novel reader because I hardly ever want to escape or be in someone else's world. I work hard at making my life interesting. Everything I read needs to provide value to me, it needs to make my life interesting, it needs to serve a purpose. So when I create, I create with purpose with a particular person in mind.

This is particularly poignant for creators as it gives so much focus and direction, a skill most often lacking for the flamboyant creative.  When I start creating for one particular person, I have their name “sticky noted” on my screen and I work to tell them more about what they already know or already have an interest in.

Once I know where to focus, I take a step back.

The approach of not planning and “freestyling”, letting your thoughts lead the way creates these magical moments. And having the courage to be fearless makes me investigate further and sparks amazing creative energy to come up with amazing ideas.

So find your groove, create an experience, and blossom. Flowers bloom side by side on a single tree, not worrying about the obvious competition and so should you.

Question;

If you love what you do, is it really your “job”?