About five years ago I attended a party that a friend was throwing in celebration of her new clothing store launch in downtown Los Angeles.
I spotted the host off to one side and walked over to say hello. As I approached, she looked around, then behind me.
“Did you come alone?” She asked in a high pitched voice, the end of the sentence curling up into an extra-squiggly question mark. “Yep,” I cheerfully replied, holding up a pair of neon-yellow drop crotch trousers to my waist. She grinned. “You’re such a lone wolf! I love it.” She touched my arm in a way that maybe she thought to be conspiratorial before turning to walk away.
I’ve been working in digital media for most of my career – building websites, doing marketing, graphic design, and even photography. But there came a time that if I wanted to advance in my career, I had to get out from behind my tantalizingly-oversized Apple monitor and lead actual meetings. It became critical for me to be present in the workplace not only as a project manager, but as someone who was able to successfully lead client meetings as well.
One year ago I hired the talented Harper Spero to help me find the time to complete a creative project. My life was action-packed and I needed to figure out how to make quality time and space for my craft in order to ultimately reach my writing goals for the year.
What Harper helped me to understand was that it was everything around the project that needed to shift first. This shift was necessary to bring my best self to the table as a creative professional and burgeoning business owner.
Let me explain.
The process began by optimizing first for health. Getting the proper nutrition, the right amount of sleep, and regular exercise were key to functioning at a high level.
After that, I needed a support system in place. It was critical to surround myself with a steady stream of quality individuals and communities.
After that, I needed to make sure that all of my work — creative and otherwise — had meaning.