How Committed Are You to Your Creative Career?

Anyone who made the decision to enter into a career as a creative entrepreneur knew that it would take commitment. When asked about their commitment level, most people say, “Of course I’m committed!” And I believe them – I’m certain on some level they are.

But what many people may not know is that commitment does indeed come in different levels. The question is: does the kind of commitment you have influence the success of your creative career?

Based on what I’ve known to be true for myself and for those I’ve coached, the answer is yes. Below are some thoughts on different levels of commitment, each building on the one before, and what it might mean to your success potential.

Commitment to the creative concept
This one’s usually not a problem at all. If you weren’t committed to the idea of what you’re doing, you probably wouldn’t be doing it anymore. This is usually a commitment to the fun parts – the things happening as part of your career building that are almost always enjoyable.

If you don’t feel committed to your creative concept, it’s time to have a talk with yourself about why you chose to develop your creative skill into a career and see if you should continue that path. This can be a tough conversation, but it’s an important one.

Commitment to showing up
A lot of people think they are committed to their creativity and want to work in their chosen field, but what they really mean is that they are committed to showing up. They are definitely committed to their creative concept, and they want to work in their chosen field.

Showing up is important, and sometimes it’s the most important thing you can do (we’ve all had those days). This is a commitment to putting in the time, but it’s not a commitment to what happens during that time. Many people show up to create, to practice, or to execute, but that doesn’t actually happen. They meander through their work without much purpose. Or they are distracted by a commitment to perfection rather than being committed to the true essence of the work. Or they easily become overwhelmed without a system in place. Or they struggle with fear, oftentimes not knowing that’s an underlying issue.

This basically amounts to busy work. It can feel like things are getting done when they are not, or it can feel like nothing’s getting done, both of which ultimately lead to frustration.

Commitment to creativity
When you truly commit to creativity, you are saying yes to process, and this is where great work is done. It can be a messy, dirty, mistake-ridden experience, and often is. When you dive into process, you’re diving into the essence of what makes your career move forward. You can’t do this work without be committed to your creative concept and to showing up.

Process can be different for each person, but if one wants to continue to improve, it is not always easy. To be truly committed to creativity, you have to be in the right frame of mind. You must be in a place where you feel free to explore without judgment – that’s where you’ll find your good stuff and really be able to cultivate and refine your work.

Commitment to your vision
If you’re truly committed to your creative vision, you are finding ways to make things happen, even (especially) when you don’t care to do all that needs to be done. Admin work, phone calls, networking events, marketing – a lot of people find tasks such as these to be difficult, and yet without these kinds of non-creative aspects, the chances of creating a thriving business are very slim to none.

Creative vision drives you through all parts of your work – the fun parts and the not-so-fun. If you can’t do something, you’ll do anything and everything from learning a new skill to swallowing your pride and asking for help; you’ll invest money even if that’s difficult for you, and you’ll delegate. Commitment to your creative vision doesn’t mean that you necessarily enjoy all aspects of building a successful career. It just means you’ll do whatever it takes.

Having this level of commitment doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers, it means you’ve clearly identified what you want and where you want to go and that you’ve taken the time to visualize your career path. It can be hard to stay motivated when you don’t know what you’re working toward, so if you haven’t had a sit down to think about your creative vision, do it! It’s important. 🙂

Where are you with your commitment to your creative career? Are you all in, or do you experience some challenges that keep you from fully committing to your creative vision?

If you find you need help aligning your desire to succeed with your level of commitment, don’t be afraid to reach out and work on this with someone. It can make all the difference in the amount of time it takes you to get ahead.

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