Thom Bennett - Website and graphic design

Thom
Bennett

Website & graphic design

info@tbgd.co.uk
07875 662 614

 

Have Your Creative Business Take A Break

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

“You can no more force creativity as you can make a baby grow faster.”

My first job out of college in 1988 was as a paralegal for a big New York law firm. Not a fun job (read: mind-numbing busy work). One of my big tasks was comparing changes to a document by hand and marking those changes. The attorney would then mark his changes to those changes, have his secretary type them and send the new document overnight to the other side. Each round of revisions took about two days. Compare that to using Google Docs (or some similar program) where attorneys literally edit the document together anywhere in the world. No down time at all.

As amazing as today’s technology is, the ethos (pathos?) behind ultra-connectivity has a price. In the rush to get to the next place, we often forget to breathe. There is so much to be said for taking time to just think (or not), be still and allow ideas to come in their own time. You can no more force creativity as you can make a baby grow faster. When noise overwhelms intuition and our interior voice we know we have to cut out the noise. Without room for inspiration, we are left only with reaching for the next milestone. Our greatest achievements are what we never see coming. That said, this post is not about everyone’s need to stop, breathe and be present. It is about having your creative business do so.

So many of us are in such a hurry to sign the client that we do not let the relationship develop. We sell when we should be listening, sharing, connecting. The rush to get to the next step makes us ignore the value of being where we are—seeing, feeling, experiencing the human being across from us. It is then impossible to see the gift each of us give the other: from your client, the stage to perform; from you, the translation of a vision, a desire into reality.

We are so afraid of being left behind that we make everything a race. Is it any wonder the stress we all feel to perform? To create magic instantly? I am not saying we should go back, only that real time still requires time. When you build your business on speed of delivery and ultra-responsiveness you ignore the natural flow of creation.

There is theater to creative business. What you sell is as much about artistry as it is about your art. How your client experiences your artistry is what matters. If what you do requires three acts, there is no sense forcing it into one. You rob your creative business of the arcs all great stories are built on. To say that you are not given enough time by your client might be true, but all too often it is self-inflicted. Make no mistake, you, your art, and your creative business are storytellers. Selling the Cliff Notes version only gets you clients that have no appreciation for the nuance and necessity of time.

Take a breath. Have your creative business take a breath. Enjoy the hard conversation with your client. You cannot make it happen yesterday, but tomorrow will be more than worth the wait.

Cover and top image (CC) by John Loo via Flickr

This is a cross-post from The Business of Being Creative.

Sean Low is the Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, a consulting firm focused on providing practical advice to those in the business of being creative. Prior to founding The Business of Being Creative, Sean spent six years as the President of Preston Bailey Design, Inc. representing Preston in his business endeavors around the world. Sean has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his twenty years of business experience ranges from law, investment banking, financial executive to small business owner.

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http://www.designtaxi.com/article/101743/Have-Your-Creative-Business-Take-A-Break/

“You can no more force creativity as you can make a baby grow faster.”

My first job out of college in 1988 was as a paralegal for a big New York law firm. Not a fun job (read: mind-numbing busy work). One of my big tasks was comparing changes to …