Episode #280: Unconventional Tips for Business Success
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 280 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m sharing five tips for unconventional success for creatives. On to the episode.
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Hey, welcome to Episode 280 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I am your host, Taylor Bradford. I’m really excited that you are here. Before we dive into these five tips that are going to help you with your success in an unconventional way – because that’s how it rolls around here. We are unconventional business owners, you and I. And before I launch into that, I want to ask – I would so appreciate it if you would go out and rate and review the podcast through Apple Podcasts. And if you do that, and send me a screenshot once you see it posted, and email it to me email@example.com, I will select – so let’s put some a time limit on here. Let’s say from now until November 15, 2020 – if you rate and review this show, I and send me a screenshot of it once it’s posted, and email it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, I will select two people for a 30-minute one-on-one strategy session with me. So I would so appreciate if you would do that. Go out and rate and review the show through Apple Podcasts. Send us a screenshot of your review to me, email@example.com, from now until November 15, 2020, and then I will select two people to receive a complimentary one-on-one 30-minute session. I would so appreciate if you would do that.
So on to this week’s episode, which is all about unconventional success tips for creatives. First of all, I’m going to say we’ve got to stop chasing all of our ideas, because let’s be real, or just staying on that hamster wheel and not really being that productive. We’re not really being able to just push our businesses forward if we’re constantly testing and chasing our ideas. And I know that I fall prey to this because I also like to create things and put them out into the world. And then I’m like, why isn’t it working or why didn’t happen quick enough? Because you know, instant gratification, and that’s where we are in 2020. But if we can stand still and like actually give our ideas time and effort and love and attention, then we – they stand to be successful. So I found an article written by an author named Sam Bennett, and she is sharing five tips for creatives that is in an unconventional way but still leads to success, which is basically – we’re all writing our own rule books. That’s what it means to be unconventional, and I’m super unconventional. I’m a professional procrastinator like it is just who I am as a person. I’ve tried to change, it doesn’t happen, I’m leaning in, and I feel like the people that listen to the show – so you as the listener listening – are like-minded. You are the same as me. You’re like me. So I appreciate when I stumbled upon a fellow creative who is speaking my love language of unconventionalism because again, I don’t think that business is one-size-fits-all, I think that we can beat to the sound of our own drum. And we can do things exactly how we want to. It is what my M.O. is. It is how I built Sugar Creek, it’s how I’ve built Boss Girl, and I know it works. I am where I’m at because of the way I do things. And so yeah, so let’s dive into these five tips.
Number one is standing still. Creatives, we have lots of ideas all of the time, and sometimes we have half-baked projects that just – like we start something, and then we get into it, and then something pulls our attention somewhere else. And then we start on that thing. And sometimes, we just have things that don’t get completed, or maybe we do complete them, and then we forget about them. Like, true story, I’ve gone through, like my Google Docs, if I’m doing a cleanout or a cleanout of my computer, and I’m shocked at the things that I find that I’ve done and completed. And I’m like, why did I not do anything with that? It’s kind of embarrassing, but it happens, and it happens a lot with creatives. And so I don’t want us to get caught in a busy trap of being on that hamster wheel because we can’t stand still. We can’t be still. We can’t be in the moment because we are constantly churning ideas for the most part. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I’m like, I have no creative energy whatsoever. But then there are moments that ideas are generating so quickly, I can’t even keep up with my own brain. But let me say that busyness serves as a hedge against emptiness. Because as creatives, we don’t want to fill that stillness because it might be that we’re empty inside, that we might not have meaning in our lives. So we stay busy because we don’t want to find those weak spots. We don’t want to find that stillness. But we have to be still. We have to find that stillness, and we have to get comfortable in that stillness because busy is not sustainable. Inaction requires our capacity for emptiness for silence, for rest, for that whitespace. And we do have to stand still long enough for success to find us. So we do have to get comfortable in the uncomfortable. Like, we have to make that a priority because otherwise, we’re going to have half-baked projects. We’re going to have the projects that we’ve completed but have forgotten about. And we have to find that balance of being comfortable in the uncomfortable. So how do we do that? Well, we can work on taking walks, taking naps, meditating, taking weeks off or weekends off. We have to be able to find the calm so that we’re able to make better decisions, and we’re stepping off of that busy hamster wheel.
Okay, number two is creating but letting others actually do the executing. Because let’s be honest, creatives are really good at creating but may not be so great at the execution. And I know that I personally have issues with the execution, where I’m just doing the bare minimum to keep all the balls in the air. And I know I get asked all the time, I don’t know how you do it. Well, first of all, I just choose to do it. Like, that is a conscious choice. I choose to do this. So you can choose to do it, and you can basically do what I do. Obviously, you can’t replicate me, and I can’t replicate you, but we can do it. It’s just a choice that we have to make. But us as creatives, we can create, but sometimes we’re not really great at the execution part. And too much creating means nothing has time to take root. Nothing has time to grow and become refined and reliable, which is why we have to find team members who are geniuses at those things. The heart of successful businesses is reliable, repeatable processes. And if we can’t put that into our own scope of work, into our own businesses, we’re gonna still be on that hamster wheel. We’re gonna be able to create till the cows come home, but actually executing is a whole different story. You’ve got to have detail-oriented people on your team that are able to test out your ideas, that are able to improve on your ideas, and are able to systemize your ideas. That’s the point. You’re the creative; they’re the worker bee. They’re the super-smart worker bee. Let’s be real; you need people that are detail-oriented that are – like that is their mojo, that is their secret sauce. You’ve got to hire people that get you and that share in your values and that they are so good at what they do that it literally helps you continue to create. And you’ve got to make it clear that when you bring that person onto your team that they’ve got to pay for themselves within six months; otherwise, it’s not a good hire. And I know that a lot of us are still solopreneurs. I am a solopreneur. It is really hard for me to add team members. And in this particular season of life, it’s even more challenging because my day job has taken a nap for a while. And so it’s made me have to pull up my bootstraps and get more active within the things that I don’t particularly like doing, but have to do because again, I can’t let the balls fall. So when you are ready to invest in somebody, to come onto your team, they’ve got to be the detail-oriented type of person that can test your ideas and improve on them and make the systems so that it is a running workhorse. Like, that’s ultimately the goal.
Number three is approaching everything in beta mode – and let’s be real; everything we do should be in beta mode. And you should just launch the thing because you’re never going to be truly ready, and it’s never gonna be perfect, but if you can classify it in your mind as it’s still in beta mode, then do it. Because if you wait, then somebody might beat you to the punch, or you just might be that perfectionist, and it never comes to fruition. Launch everything before it’s perfect. AKA put it into beta mode, embrace the errors, embrace the mistakes, embrace the misjudgments they’re going to happen. But if you wait till perfect happens, then you’re missing out on so many opportunities. Because at the end of the day, it’s not important to know the answers in advance. It’s truly not. You’ve got to figure it out as you go. Because if you think you know the answer now, once you actually get into it, I promise you, it will change. Let me give you a perfect example. So with Ivory and Ink, which is the wedding business, which is a wedding resource for couples by wedding vendors, when we launched it in early March, we were still in development mode, like we launched our quiz. And we launched our blog, and we’ve been writing content for the blog, but we’ve had a misstep with our development team. And now we’re in some legal issues with that because we paid a lot of money but didn’t get a viable product. All that to say, when we were finally able to test out phase two.
So here, here’s the process to get to phase two, you wireframe your ideas out on paper. So basically, you’re drawing everything out – you’re drawing the flows – and if you click this, this is what happens. And if you click this, this is what happens. But it’s one thing to see it on paper and to draw it out and think you have everything working and functional. It’s a whole ‘nother thing once you actually get to physically test out the product. And that’s when you realize you didn’t answer the right questions. And but you really didn’t need to answer the right questions when you were building it out. You set the framework. You understood the concepts. But once you actually got into that actual testing of it, you realize, well, that’s not going to work, it’s got to look like this, or this button has to now do this, or this button can’t do that. And so wireframing it out on paper and formulating your ideas, and everything is one thing. But once you actually get into test mode, you’re going to realize that you didn’t know all the advance the answers in advance. And now you’re going to be able to really work on the product because now you can touch and play with an actual physical thing that’s tangible now before it wasn’t tangible. And so it’s important to know that you don’t have to have all the answers and advance know what the priorities are, know what the overall concepts are, and just go with that. And then you’ll answer the questions as they pop up. So all that to say, you’ve got to discover the answers by living the questions. Like that’s a total truth bomb. Success is a journey that needs to be celebrated along the way, not at specific stopping points, like our journey through our businesses isn’t that A to B like I was referring to that in last week’s episode that we have a circle. Our journey is our circle. It’s never-ending. And there’s not a, you know, a specific place where we stop and celebrate like we have to celebrate along the way.
Number 4: Do what needs to be done. And this couldn’t be more true for an unconventional person. Pick the things you want to ignore. Anything that starts with a “should” needs to be ignored because, let’s be real, you don’t really want to do those things. Like, you don’t care, and honestly, they’re probably not going to move anything forward. If they’ve been sitting on your to-do list for more than three months, let’s just kick them off the to do list. But you do have three options when it comes to the shoulds on your to-do list. Number one is you don’t give a crap about it; it doesn’t need to be done, so give yourself permission to remove it. Number two is you don’t give a crap about it, but it does need to be done by someone else, just not you. And go back to number two, which was hire that brilliant mind to execute that thing because you created it, but you’re not a good executioner with that thing. So you hire. So your second option is that you don’t give a crap about it, but you know, it needs to be done by someone else, just not you. And then option number three is you do care, but you’re scared. And this is powerful. You do care about that thing that’s been sitting on your to-do list, and you should do it. But you’re scared. So it’s important to take some baby steps to doing that thing that you’re scared to do and see what happens. So three options of those shows on your to-do list, you don’t give a crap, it doesn’t need to be done, it won’t make a difference. Give yourself permission to remove it. Option two, you don’t give a crap about it, but it does need to be done by someone else, so you’re going to hire that person to do it for you. Or number three, you do really care about it, but you’re scared, so you’ve got to take some baby steps on that thing to see what will happen. So you got to either do it, delegate it, or ditch it, or find a more creative solution to those should. Can you re-spin that thing on your to-do list that’s a “should” in a more creative solution?
And then finally, number 5: Rules don’t apply. And let me tell you, they don’t. We’re unconventional. They don’t really apply. Learn what the common practices are in your niche and in your industry, but then apply your own common sense, your own individual style, and your own values to running your business. That’s the most important thing. Use the rules you love and abide by in your own life to run your business. Lean into your creativity. Always go with your gut. Break the rules. You’re not an entrepreneur because you want to be bored. Rules don’t apply to people like us who are unconventional in our ways. We understand how our industry and our niche works, but we do things in our own way. We apply our common sense. We use our own individual style. We follow our own core values. We create experiences for our customers because that’s important. Use the rules you love and abide by in your own life, and I promise you, you will find success if you can stand still long enough for success to find you.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you found value in it and you have a business bestie that would also find value in this episode, please share it with them. I would so appreciate that. Again, if you would like to put your name in the hat for one of two one-on-one 30-minute consult with me strategy sessions with me, go out and rate and review the show through Apple Podcasts. Send me a screenshot. Email it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, before November 15 or by midnight of 11:59 pm Central Time on November 15, 2020, and I will put your name in the drawing for one of two 30-minute one-on-one sessions with me. And finally, if you want to get yourself into the Inner Circle, what are you waiting for? I promise you; you want to be there. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to get yourself in ASAP. Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week.