There is no doubt that a large chunk of what determines the fortune of a person is rooted in the little things that we as people do every single day. As such, the power that lies in a habit, good or bad, cannot be overlooked as we all find a means to get ahead in this busy world.
Having discovered the functional beauty of using apps (software applications such as ‘Habit Streak’ on Android) to help chart the progress I make with my own habits in improving myself and contributing to the world, I felt it a good moment to turn to a set of habits that can be specifically meaningful to creative professionals reading Red Lemon Club.
The following habits range from daily steps you can take that benefit your creativity, as well as those that will have positive effects on the more technical aspects of your business. Overall, however, I’ve put together what I feel are a set of actions that complement each other very well.
Connect with 5 people
Reach out to five people that serve to gain from your expertise or that simply might gain from knowing you. Connect in some way through a simple greeting or introduction (as long as you are relevant to what they do), or better yet, giving some kind of value.
I talk a lot about this is my small book: ‘Promo 3.0’, which you can download here.
This needn’t take buckets of time. This is a daily thing, and small connections here and there over time is what separates the pros from the amateurs at self-promotion.
Do a self-assessment
Look over your recent work and put that against your older creative endeavours. Realise how much you’ve improved and how you intend to keep your style and craft evolving from this point on. Having a regular overview of where you’re at with your work like this will keep your momentum ticking nicely.
Record all your expenses
Often overlooked, and one of the harder habits to master, but the value that lies in this is huge. Knowing where all of your money is going will help you take charge of your spending and keep you on top of your finances. Being unaware of this is the biggest cause of money that runs away from you.
“Being unaware of your expenses is the biggest cause of money that runs away from you.”
This means writing down every single financial cost to you over the course of a day and recording it in a spreadsheet, app or somewhere else that is easily accessible.
Remind yourself of your personal mission
Read your personal life’s mission or purpose to yourself with gusto. I’ve written more about purpose in ‘Promo 3.0’.
Check your targets
Check in on your year’s and future goals and tweak if required. If you haven’t set any targets or goals, I would highly recommend you do so, and record them somewhere where you can see them every day, such as on Google’s document cloud: ‘Drive’ (previously Docs).
Seeing them every day will keep you focused on where it is you are going, as well as providing you with the opportunity to update them if you feel uncomfortable with what you have set for yourself.
Make a quick earnings assessment
Take a look at how much you have earned this month and how much more you need to earn in order to reach your designated minimum monthly income level (this is a term I just made up right now).
If you haven’t set a minimum amount you need to earn each month, to keep bills paid for, whilst enjoying a reasonable standard of living, you’ll want to get on that.
Checking in like this every day will make it very clear to you what is required in order to reach your threshold, and hopefully blast through it. A great habit to keep!
Clear your brain
Spend some time clearing your head through meditation, exercise, yoga or others. Your brain is like a machine that requires daily care. Caring for your brain involves a lot of things, but especially for the benefit of creative and focused-thinking, diverting your thoughts from unnecessary ones, is one of the best things you can do for yourself each day.
Read a chapter or more of nonfiction that will benefit your career and your craft. Obviously fiction is great for expanding your imagination and unwinding, but there is so much goodness to be gleaned out of teaching ourselves a little bit every day, especially those things that directly benefit our ‘careers’.
Do something nice for someone else
This is simple one, but far too often do we take actions that are aimed at bettering our own lives. Help someone else out, give something to someone and improve the quality of someone else’s life with no strings attached.
Inevitably this will bring about a sense of wellbeing, good karma and even returned favours later on anyway.
Work on your masterpiece
Put away some time, even 5 minutes daily, to work on some personal creative work that you will be immensely proud of looking back over the rest of your life. Pieces of work that you put everything into will continually raise the bar in terms of what you can do, and will change the perspective others (friends, fans and potential clients and customers) have of you and your output.
Even though I’ve provided what I think are 10 self-supporting habits, I’m always interested to hear from you and what other ideas for habits specifically for creative pros you might have, especially those that have worked for you. Do comment below! Thank you!