Ever heard the phrase "too much of a good thing"?
Chocolate, exercise, and 90's pop music are just a few things that come to mind when I think of something that's good for me in moderation, but taken to excess can destroy me.
Here's another: your habits.
As a business coach for creatives, I regularly see people cling to habits that eventually bite them in the butt. They get so attached to those habits that they begin to think that what they do is who they are. Who would they be if they didn't sign their name the same way every time, or share their company vision in every elevator pitch?
As Albert Einstein said: "We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them."
You may not think of your Great Work as a "problem", yet the analogy still applies. The thinking and habits that got you to the level you're at now won't sustain you as you grow.
3 Habits that can be helpful or hold you back
Habits are mini routines that provide a sense of stability. They can also become ruts that block the very progress you seek.
Every creative entrepreneur has at least one well-meaning habit that's preventing them from being well paid to do what they love. These habits seem useful, important even. Depending on your Creative Entrepreneur type, they could be devastating your career. Here are three habits that keep creatives from the success they so richly deserve:
Habit #1: Focusing On Your Vision
A vision shapes your life, your career, and the way you want to serve the world with your awesomeness. Some creative entrepreneurs get stuck, though, when they chain themselves to the vision above all else.
If it's hard for you to trust anyone that can't implement your vision to the letter, you might be a "Chaotic" creative. Chaotics typically have a big vision and put it above all else - sometimes even your health or financial well-being.
For Chaotic creatives, it's important to learn the art of compromise. I don't mean compromising your integrity, but being willing to be open to ideas and direction from others on your team that want to help you bring your vision to light.
Other people have great ideas, too and Chaotics sometimes forget that because they are so vision-focused. Take the "38 Special" approach to your vision: "hold on loosely, but don't let go. If you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control."
Habit #2: Being Results-Oriented
A business needs to make a profit, but some creative entrepreneurs get so focused on bottom-line results that they forget about things like vision, passion, and service.
If you find yourself regularly bemoaning the fact that "good help is hard to find" because you can't clone yourself, chances are good that you're a "Linear" creative. Linears typically focus like a laser on developing their offer and getting it out into the world. In fact, they are usually the type of creative entrepreneur that sees financial success most quickly - because of their focus on results.
Linears need to see the bigger picture and try to better understand your customer - not just as it relates to your offering. Customers are people, not ATM machines, and Linears tend to forget that.
Bringing a little heart-centered understanding to your bottom-line orientation can go a long way toward making your offer not just the logical choice, but the most popular one, too.
Habit #3: Setting High Standards
I've never met anyone who wanted to sell a crap product. They want to have the best offering that the market has ever seen so that people line up for miles to be first in line to buy it.
But some creative entrepreneurs get stuck in perfectionist mode and never bring their offerings to market. If you find yourself constantly checking your industry to see what other people are doing - then comparing yourself to that benchmark - you're probably a fellow "Fusion" creative.
We Fusions have an interesting predicament. Because we fall in the middle of the Linear and Chaotic spectrum, we often know someone who is more creative, more strategic, or in some other way "more" than we think we are. This leaves us paralyzed by the fear of not measuring up to some mystical yardstick that only we can see.
The best thing Fusions can do is take ourselves out of the comparison-itis trap and get our offering into the world. Seth Godin calls it "shipping" and Fusions are the least likely to ship consistently - but when we do, it's awesome.
In my book, "The Secret Watch" I wrote that "good enough never is, not enough usually is." Fusion types rarely have a "good enough" problem. Instead, we judge ourselves through the lens of perfectionism, which says nothing is ever good enough.
My suggestion? Take the "Frozen" approach to your work and learn to "let it go". Believe me: you and your offering are more than good enough.
You Are Not Your Habits, But...
Ultimately, your level of success is determined by your level of thinking. Are you willing to shift your thinking and shift your results? Are you willing to let go of the well-meaning habits that you've been clinging to in order to make great strides? What do you feel is stopping you? Share your thoughts in the comments and let's be a rising tide for everyone.
Meet the Author
Known as "The Singing Business Coach" Lisa Robbin Young is both a business coach and performing artist. She creates results-oriented edutainment to help creative entrepreneurs build a Noble Empire and live an inspired life. An award-winning speaker, composer, writer, and performer, Lisa wrote the international business best-seller “The Secret Watch,” and is now recording 300 songs. Lisa believes that the best way to be truly successful in life and business is to be yourself – warts, sparkles, and all – so you can own your dreams without selling your soul. Discover your Creative Entrepreneur type at LisaRobbinYoung.com/quiz