Monday, 5 September 2016

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad......YOU?!

As a Creative person fervently working away, honing your craft and attempting to make an honest crust in the process, it’s often difficult to find the time or the inclination to pop your head up out of the rabbit hole every once in a while to assess what it is that is making (or indeed breaking!) a success of the career you’re lovingly carving out for yourself.  It’s inevitable you’ll be in a constant state of changing, challenging and tweaking your skills, practice and end product but taking in to consideration what your other selling points are can be a real eye opener….and hopefully, will ultimately involve opening some doors too.  Yes you want to deliver the best possible body of work you can-one that you’re certain your audiences/clients/fans will devour and delight in. However what I personally have found is a real key in the world of freelance and being a Creative is your personality. Credentials and accolades aside, what gets your two feet in the door and under the table is the YOU in it all. Allowing your personality to come through in every aspect of your creative life I think is essential to achieving those successes you aim for. 

People buy people not products’ is a phrase that resonates with me. Yes I can dance, choreograph and teach well but a lot of the feedback I receive is not always focused on the content of my lessons or the work I present but how I was received by others when I was delivering that session or that particular project. If I allow myself to be the truest version of me, even in the most professional of situations or environments and remain confident in who I am, I know I will be better equipped to deliver the goods. This also rings true in scenarios where I haven’t even got the job yet. If I go to a meeting or interview about a potential choreography job, yes my knowledge and prior experience is paramount but of course, they will have been the driving force behind me getting the interview in the first place. The next step is to let my personality and the drive and excitement I have for the work I do shine through. If someone is considering working with or hiring you to do what you do best, they want to feel like YOU are the one they need, as well as your work being the perfect fit.

Now reading this back to myself, I fear it may appear that I'm somehow implying it’s all about charming your way up some career ladder or indeed that I consider myself to have this awe-inspiring, totes amaze-balls personality that folks just can’t resist!. It’s not that at all!  Most Creatives will tell you that they aren't preoccupied with any manner of climbing apparatus, after all what goes up, must come down. There is no ladder, no end point nor final goal for creative types and so, a life’s work is only about new experiences, new information and new connections.  In my experience, in order to take full advantage of one’s ability as a Creative it’s important to play to your strengths and worry less about what you consider to be your weaknesses. YOU are your own unique selling point and not being afraid to allow your personality stretch it’s (fabulous!) legs can be a real barrier between you and your potential. If you’re funny, caring, witty, whatever you feel is you at your best, it’s vital you don’t dull that sparkle for fear of appearing unprofessional or less committed or focused in a work setting. If you are being you, you are relaxed and feel more confident in even the most unfamiliar of settings. In turn, those around you will be motivated, inspired or comforted by how at ease you are and they will feel more able to be themselves. This creates the optimum environment for creativity to flourish! Simples!

We can all think of that one person that, whenever you're with them, they are always the same way. It's refreshing to be in the company of someone who is at ease and is confident that their unique personality will suffice in any situation. They don't feel compelled to mask or alter who they are for each new encounter and that's inspiring stuff right there. In a world that at time feels preoccupied with concealing who we are, in favour of a contoured, enhanced version of the truth, it's empowering to identify and celebrate what makes us the person we are. It isn't about nailing the interview, getting the job and making the big bucks- Que sera sera! Essentially,  if you be you, creatively sparks will fly and we all live for those kind of fireworks!  

Now go DO YOU! x

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