Having spent a few years building up Red Lemon Club, there is so much I’ve learnt and so much that I yet want to explore, learn and share.
The more time I spend researching for posts and thinking about the ideas behind the site and the people that drive it, the clearer an idea is formed in my brain as to what it is that makes up who we are. We, being those people drawn to the ideas discussed here.
Why am I doing this? What is this community? Who does this resource help and resonate with?
Red Lemon Club is a source of guidance for absolutely anyone, but it is also, in my mind, a collection of resources that appeals to a very distinct breed of human being; particularly one with an interest in making the most of their creative craft and seeing real, ongoing success.
I’m going to break this down further, to give greater clarity to the image one might have of Red Lemon Club and the kinds of people that it is directed towards. What I hope this does is create a kind of ‘manifesto’ that will serve to motivate and direct the focus of readers, whilst reminding myself of what Red Lemon Club, and the independent and creative individuals that use it, really represent.
Here are the ten elements* of what I feel it means to be a ‘Red Lemon Creative’…
*Side note: possessing every characteristic is not essential for earning the title…
In striving for success and recognition, people very often create so much work for themselves and so little time, that they sabotage their very efforts of reaching and maintaining a rewarding career.
The Red Lemon Creative (RLC) understands this danger, and knows that becoming indispensable and creating an outstanding product are part of a wider picture that includes making time for other things, including things bigger than ourselves, and living realistically.
This includes dedicating some time to other pursuits, especially those of simply relaxing and recuperating, even if (and I hope it does) the creative work you do is rewarding in itself.
It is through a varied life that keeps what we do as creatives motivating and self-sustaining.
Being flexible means the RLC has choices. A choice of how to work, whether for a company who hires them on a contract, or as a freelancer, for example. We have a choice on where in the world to work, with whom to work with, and when in the day, week and year we want to work.
Flexibility is ours with an understanding of how to create it. Through sharing various ideas on topics that lend themselves to a flexible life, Red Lemon Club will show you how.
3. Seeks to Stand Out
Clearly differentiating oneself within the wide spectrum of others contributing similar products and services is a central element of the way of the Red Lemon Creative, and an aim that involves on-going development, tweaking and self/brand reinvention.
Continually striving for excellence in all that we do is the glue that holds such differentiation together.
4. ‘Gets’ Promotion 3.0
A term I assigned to a more up to date format to distributing an awareness of the work we do and attracting buyers, is ‘Promo 3.0.’ Cheesy-sounding? Perhaps. Important? Definitely.
A more in-depth look into how Promo 3.0 works is found in my book that you can download for Kindle here (use a Kindle reader for other devices). The idea is nothing too radical, but certainly different to how things were (hint: too ‘salesy’).
This includes ideas on bringing value to people and prospects before they have bought from you, being a leader, ‘unselling’, building and maintaining relationships and rapport, serving others without ‘subservience’, collaboration instead of selling, and so on.
5. Dedicated to Craft
The RLC has a central, core skill // craft // talent // ability that we spend time, perhaps a lifetime, developing and honing. We are dedicated to becoming masters at one thing at a time rather than semi-skilled at several at the same time.
We bring magic to the world with our superior skill in this one thing, and we become known for it and make the world a better place using it.
This does not mean that we cannot be good at several things at once (and use this feature to promote ourselves further). You can be dedicated to a craft but still be good at other things. What isn’t good, however, is being semi-skilled at several things at the expense of putting time into a single, identifiable craft.
The RLC prioritizes development of their core craft.
This is the opposite to being dependent, in this sense. We are not dependent on a regular paycheck to survive, though we can choose to work for others if we want to. Our independence allows us to travel, see family and friends and relax, when we choose.
Sound selfish? Having freedom in this way is to give, not to take, because we are responsible for our lives, and thus more in a position to make creative and positive effects in the world.
Independence also means that we are in control of the way we handle our day to day, including knowing how to bring in income, making time, attracting clients, promoting ourselves, staying organized, being self-sufficient and caring for ourselves and others.
7. Financially Set
Ultimately, unless you do not plan on generating income from your art, you are operating as a business entity with a hugely important requirement for a financial structure and system in place.
The RLC not only has a financial system in place that includes backup funds, savings, a set-aside for taxes, a piggy for retirement, and perhaps an expert for help, but actually understands the basics. This includes knowing how to build income and reduce unnecessary expenditure, and business concepts in general.
8. Time Pro
Humans will probably never be masters of managing time, but we can engage with the game that ‘time’ plays with us in such a way that we come out as owners of it.
The RLC does not obsess over making use of time, but has some self-imposed rules in place that make us benefit in a big way. This includes saying no to certain engagements, when required, in prioritising working on craft and building credibility and clout as a creative.
The RLC has firm goals in mind, at micro and macro-levels in time, which allow us to make much more effective use of it without over-analysing and wandering aimlessly.
9. Understands ‘Cool’
Cool gets noticed; cool gets shared; cool excites people; cool does not get ignored.
This isn’t the ‘too cool’: the snobbish, aloof kind. I’m talking about cool as a fascinating quality that encapsulates an up to date awareness of what really interests people (namely, your target market, but as many people as possible beyond that as well), and responding through originality, with honesty and without pretension.
Apple gets it, for the most part; David Fincher and Wes Anderson get it; Andy Warhol, Picasso and Frida Khalo had it, so does James Jean, JK Rowling, Dan Matutina, Zaha Hadid, and the founders of Fab and Tumbleweed Houses.
There’s a ton of it, and different audiences are suited to different forms of ‘cool’. You just need to wedge your piece in there. Like with striving for excellence, finding your cool can be a gradual thing too. It’s certainly not something you are born with.
The Red Lemon Creative possesses such an awareness, and strives to encourage a ‘now that is cool!’ reaction in the people that experience their work and their brand.
The Red Lemon Creative is always working on their own indispensability. Being indispensable means possessing elements and characteristics that make you not only useful, but essential in the eyes of people who could potentially work with and invest in you.
Indispensable people provide an outstanding and original product and service, bringing extra value, positivity and insight to the table. This is you, right?
I left this one till last because most of being indispensable includes the points shared up until now, but is still worth mentioning on its own.
I hope these ideas resonate with some of you and shine a little more light onto what and who it is Red Lemon Club directed towards.
I look forward to reading your comments, ideas, suggestions and general feedback!
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"Your blog inspires me so much, and helps me feel somehow not as insignificant, despite the plethora of artists around the world."Natalie, artist