Staying True to Your Form

by: Shannon McNay

One of the hardest things about being a creative is the fact that we tend to be interested in everything. Sure, we love what we do with a fierce and focused fire, but the creative mind is a curious mind – and that can lead to many a rabbit hole.

Usually, this is a good thing. The more we broaden our horizons, the more we can challenge ourselves. But when it comes to networking and marketing our work, this curiosity and openness can become a slippery slope.

That’s why it’s so important to develop a strong viewpoint of yourself, your work, and what you have to offer. Sure, we all want to say that we can do anything and everything with our skillset. But being everything to everyone really means being nothing to no one.

Imagine if you were a product, not a person providing a service. Take yourself out of the equation completely and view your “product” from an objective viewpoint. What specific value does the product provide? Forget about what you think people want. Keep all emotions and expectations out of it. Then look for your product market fit. In other words, who needs the product and who will get the most value from it?

As a freelancer or entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to take any business that comes your way. But a poor fit can lead to unhappiness on your end and on your client’s end. Instead, think about who really needs the value you provide the most and focus your efforts on communicating with them.

Going down a path that steers you towards any takers means losing your form – becoming whatever everyone needs at that time. While that may lead to a few less ramen dinners, it could also stunt your creativity and your business growth. Instead, define and develop your form and stay true to it through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. You’ll end up much stronger and happier too.

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” — Aristotle

Image Credit: Todd Quackenbush

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