“If you want to be a successful business someday, you have to start acting like one now.”
At a recent TuesdaysTogether meeting, a friend said “I have to be more like Apple, not an orange.” In response, I giggled but the whole concept is similar to “faking it, until you make it”. However, I don’t propose we FAKE anything. I propose we do the total opposite and genuinely treat every move and goal as part of a strategy, geared toward the bigger picture.
We need to begin with the end in mind.
With this, 2 words come to mind: structure and accountability. I had developed an immense understanding and awareness of both while working for a major office supply corporation. Who knew that a few years in the corporate world would pay it forward to my creative one.
Your To-Do list may be the elephant in the room, but Structure is the room. In the corporate world, this room is predetermined and everyone is given an elephant. In the creative world, we all develop elephants but sometimes forget to build the room. How’s that for a metaphor?
There are three things you can establish to start building that room, before you should address the elephant:
- Give yourself working hours
- Establish a Start time and End time
- Don’t Forget to take Vacation days
- 45min of uninterrupted work, 15min break: stretch, take a walk, grab a coffee, use the bathroom, check your e-mail
- Kickoff “call” (review the day’s to-do list and make adjustments if necessary)
- Recap “call” (review the day’s performance and productivity, prepare a to-do list for next day, including any meetings or sessions lined up).
- Monday, Tuesday: Administrative (Office) Days
- Thursday thru Saturday: Field Days
- Sunday: Day Off
Note: Gigs sometimes happen upon office days, but avoid it if you can and make sure you are still held to the same metrics. “Go into the office” another day of the week to make up for it, if you have to.
In the corporate world, you have a boss to hold you accountable for your performance and assigned tasks. In the creative world, who do you have but you? If you don’t seem to be cutting it in accountability, find someone or something else that will help.
- Establish metrics
- Set goals, and ways to attain
- Order goals by probability
- Reflect monthly/quarterly/annually & adjust when or where necessary
- Find someone or something else to hold you accountable, if you cannot
- Family Members
- Networks (i.e. The Rising Tide Society)
- Apps & Planners
- Hold recognition “calls” with those that hold you accountable
- Review your accomplishments and performances with Family or Networks
- Write them down or print them out, then place in a binder or hang on your wall
To become consistent and avoid the big “P” (Procrastination), engrave this acronym into your creative brains: B-A-T, Behaviors-Attitudes-Techniques.
Believe you can make it happen and use any resources or tools necessary to make it so. Techniques will help you improve, but attitudes and behaviors will help you grow. So grow, dear Apples, grow!