This article was written several years ago so some of the situations have changed, but the teaching behind it is still the same. Enjoy!
For those that know more about me than just the business side of my life, you would know that I have been a musician my entire life. Born into a family that toured as a Christian singing group, I had the love of music and art running through my veins from the get go. Although I had and am still having success in the music industry, I never made it to the Metallica or Taylor Swift status.
This caused the need for me to adapt and find other things in which I could succeed, which is how I landed in sales. Like a lot of people who are in sales or business development, there have been ups and downs throughout my career. I’ve been fired. I’ve quit. I’ve been insanely happy and I’ve been “pulling my hair out” angry. But now being in a position where I feel happily fulfilled yet challenged, I spent some time recently reflecting on the ups and downs of my past sales lives.
When I was fully immersed in doing everything I could to be a rock star, I was introduced to a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The book taught me some unique ways to spark creativity and keep from getting writer’s block. I had not thought about that book in a long time, since my life was now more of a 9-5 than a rock life, until recently. I was in a coffee meeting with a good friend and was asked “why do you think you’ve been successful so far in your new opportunity?” My answer was that there were multiple reasons, but there was a specific one that prompted the writing of this article. It was that my “writer’s block” was gone and I felt free in my expression and thoughts. Let me clarify.
You see, I had become so stressed about prior work because of excessive micro-management and pressure, that my creative side suffered. I had no desire to work on music or art, and that in turn created a vicious cycle that I couldn’t find a way to escape. I had allowed what was happening from 9–5 each day to affect my personal life. I didn’t realize this until I started a new career and no longer had the same type of management I had before. I started working on music again and this gave me more confidence and more creativity during my work day. Another cycle had started, but this time an effective, positive one. My creativity outside of work was now spilling over into my business development role, and it was allowing me to tackle each day and prospect in a new way.
My advice? Don’t ever allow your creative side to be stagnant because of someone else. Whatever it is that sparks creativity in you, do it. I promise you that it will spill over into your career, and at worst case scenario make you a happier person. Just because your creative side may not make Taylor Swift type money, doesn’t mean you should ever stop being creative.