In creative projects there is a tendency sometimes to over complicate and accumulate, rather than slim down and simplify. Creative nature is resplendent with ideas and projects can soon take on a wild life of their own.
It happens in life, in family, and it happens in business.
But sometimes more is not better, and simple systems and processes can be the most liberating adjustments to your creative endeavors you will ever make.
Yes, I did use two expletives in that last sentence, “systems” and “processes”. I’m creative and prefer the language of spontaneity, but have found that systems lead to freedoms that fortuitous accidents never will.
A creative life can sometimes a lonely business. Some creative flows thrive on solitude, and there’s no problem with that. The problems arise when the art side of what we do spills over into the business of being an artist.
The comforts of the lonely road can lead to wanting control of every aspect of the process. An example from my own life as a writer would be the danger that from writing to editing, covers to promotion, my hand is firmly on each and every part. Because our art is so much a part of who we are, not just what we do, it’s difficult at times to let go of the baby and trust parts of the packaging process to be handed to others.
But to grow you must let go.
And to let go you must simplify.
Press The Pause Button and Reassess The Stresses on Your Time and Business
The most productive thing I ever did in my business was to press the pause button on production and take time to consider the process.
Get granular with your profit-producing activities, and document them carefully and clearly. This needs to be done in a way that someone else, with little or no experience, can follow. Develop a documented pathway from inception all the way through to shipping the end product.
In doing so, you will realize that there are elements in your process that are not easily reproduced. Your job is to determine which ones are essential and non-negotiable, and which ones are merely preference and icing on your creative cake. You need to wipe away any complicated frills and make duplication of your creative pathway from heart to the hands of your audience is as easy as humanly possible, without sacrificing essential qualities.
You will also be inspired to conceive new ways to do things, to discover new tools and apps and procedures, that extract the complexities that may have been easy for you but would certainly prove troublesome for others without the same level of experience. Constraints provoke the discovery of creative solutions.
It actually led me to develop quicker more intuitive pathways that require less effort to fulfil the core components of my publishing and promotional pathways. I’m certain the same can be done for your creative business.
It has helped me to bridge the different components and consider how they can flow more seamlessly one to another – so other people can take on each part, and one part of the process can be completed and handed to the next person without cause for question or confusion.
The ‘me’ Factor
The greatest benefit I see is that it has increasingly taken the ‘me’ factor out of the ‘business’ side of my business so ‘I’ am free to concentrate more fully on creating, unhindered by the frustrations of all the machinery that goes along with balancing art and business, passion and profit.
I urge you, fellow creatives, take a long hard look at your processes. Make them as simple and seamless as they can possibly be.
Outsource to other capable hands the elements that do not require your direct control.
At the outset this may seem burdensome. Time spent doing things other than making or profit producing. But the fruits of the exercise will lead to a greater liberation to pursue your passions, and to live the liberated creative life you always dreamed was possible.
Simplify to multiply.