It’s been over eight years today being a creative professional. There are things I wish I could’ve learned at a young age that would better prepare me for the season I’m in today. The lessons I’ve learned have all been critical to my growth as a human and a creative. So, here’s a few lessons I would’ve told my younger self:
1. Take the time to rest and fight the desire to “hustle”.
The hustle will kill you – mentally, physically, spiritually. You’ve been in some scary seasons where you’ve almost worked yourself into a hospital or a mental facility. It’s okay to rest. Be aware of your mental condition so you don’t become victim to over-productivity.
2. Be like water and adapt.
This industry and your career will change often. How you brand and present yourself will change often. What you do and how you do it will also change. You have to be willing to shift when the industry moves or possibly fall behind. Don’t be so stubborn in your ways that you miss out on opportunity.
3. Cultivate community.
Your people are the most important asset that you have – they remind you of how wealthy you truly are. Words like loyalty, honor, and dependency are fleeting. Make sure you find people that value these terms just as much as you do. People will enter your life because of what you have or what you can offer them. Be mindful of the difference there is between people that care about you vs. caring about your resources. Use discernment often.
4. Lose yourself in art.
Don’t let anyone ridicule you about the forms of art that inspire you. Embrace everything that embraces you. If you like it, study it further. Sometimes you will find things that spark your creativity that have nothing to do with your own profession – these are the best types of inspiration. You’ll learn that you’re a conversationalist and that having conversation fuels your desire to create. You’ll subscribe to communication being an art form which you will study daily and it will impact your work. You’ll love people and learning about them, maybe even imparting them with something. Don’t lose this.
5. Create out of humility.
There will be times you feel like you’re the sh**. Kill that quickly. You are just a human being who was given a gift to see the world differently than others. You cultivated that gift for it to become where it is today. You did not gift yourself with what you can do. Practice creating through humility or be humbled. Don’t ever think this can’t be taken away from you. Don’t think for once that you are the only person who can do what you do. You just happened to be blessed. Walk in that only and kill your pride daily. It’s an honor to do what you do.