Being a Creative person sucks sometimes.
“Running a start-up is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss.”
I know Elon was talking about running a start-up there, but I think the same principle can be applied to creatives in general.
I think a lot of us get lost in the tales of massive success from writers like Jeff Goins and Michelle Schroeder.
We get so lost that we never contemplate what life is actually like for THEM.
Do they have any more Security than we do?
Did they hit a point in their career where all they had to do was basically hit a button to create money?
I don’t know, but I do know this…
As Creatives, We’ll Never Be “Secure”
Yesterday I jotted out the timeline for my future.
I wrote down the months of this year, and what I hoped to accomplish during those months.
Now that I’m starting to see some income from my blogging efforts, I can finally get out and explore the world.
But hold on a minute..
There’s still bills to pay. There’s still risks to navigate.
Even though I’ve semi-seen the promised land, I’m still feeling as insecure as ever.
Yes I run an online course. Yes I’m organizing a virtual summit. But what’s next?
As I look out at the horizon, I see a gaping hole the size of my life.
Where do I go from here? Where does anybody go from here?
I wanted this creative lifestyle, but now that I actually have to be a little creative, I’m super stressed out.
We’re Never Going To “Get There”
I must come to terms with the fact that, as a creative, the promised land will never be in one fixated spot. It’s going to keep moving like a nomadic tribe throughout the landscape of my life.
Social media and platforms have changed everything.
Over the past 10 years, they’ve created revenue streams for countless people who felt stuck in their 9–5.
But what happens if all these platforms suddenly went away?
What if something swept in and started diverting people’s attention away from these platforms?
Basically, you got a whole lot of people that are either:
- Going to have to learn a new skill set to re-gain attention and their audience.
You see, it’s a never-ending battle.
It’s never going to stop because the world is never going to stop changing.
The silver lining is coming, I promise.
We’ll Be Ready To Pivot More Than Anybody
Very rarely in human history has a technological advancement changed absolutely EVERYTHING overnight.
To be honest, I don’t know if Amazon is going to create a device that EVERYBODY is going to use like Apple did with the iPhone.
But I do think that if some crazy technological device that’s destined to change the planet does get invented, it’s not going to change everything immediately.
Creatives will be able to see the signs.
We’ll have to be looking for them, though.
We’ll have to learn new things constantly to keep up with these advancements and stay relevant to our audience.
It’s just a fact of life.
The things I teach people how to do now may be irrelevant in 10 years. Therefore I have to constantly pioneer new paths, learn new things, and convert what I’ve learned into something I can monetize to keep this self-employment train rolling.
There’s No Real Security Anyway
Do you think you’ll find more long-term security in a 9–5?
You may, but then again what changes things for creatives will likely change things for everybody else, too.
If a device or technological achievement changes the face of the planet over the next 10 years, it’s going to probably seep into everything everybody is doing.
What if a recession hits?
What if you get laid off?
I think that, overall, folks in the 9–5 do have more security, but damnit security is not what I live my life for anyway.
If You’re A Struggling Creative..
If you’re not at the “promised land” yet..
If you’re just starting out..
If you’re almost there, but not quite..
Just know there’s no going back.
If you’re a creative person/entrepreneur down to your bones, you won’t be able to bring yourself to go back to a regular job.
I’d rather be homeless and work on my laptop 16 hours a day than get a regular job.
That’s just me.
It’s a crazy thing to think about.
But that’s what being a true creative person means, I think.
Creatives value staying true to themselves over physiological or financial needs.
It’s just who we are.
Creatives can push past the boundaries the rest of the world sets — because we’re willing to go where no one else wants to go.
We thrive in situations that would drive others mad.
Don’t get me wrong, though..
It’s a life of struggle, uncertainty, and endless doubts..
But it’s also a life of incredible meaning, fulfillment, and purpose.
And in the end, that’s way more valuable to us than something as fickle as security.
We know in this world there’s no such thing as security anyway.
The Creative Life Is Not For The Faint Of Heart was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.