It’s been called many things. Shiny object syndrome. Squirrel! (a reference to the movie UP when the dogs constantly interrupt themselves mid-sentence to hunt down another squirrel), even ADD. The creative thinker’s lack of focus.
While others see a lack of focus, I see a passion for many things. I see opportunity to diversify. An opportunity to leverage the so-called “lack of focus” and create a life that is fulfilling and a business that is profitable. Just as the the header on my blog says, it’s an opportunity to “create with passion, serve with all your might, and be prosperous”. As a creative person myself, it’s hard to not be drawn to all the shiny objects that are so pretty and offer possibilities. We imagine all the incredible things we can create, the possibilities each idea holds, the ways we can make the world a better place and how we can serve others. Yes, it can be a bit overwhelming living inside the head of creative thinkers.
This is a good time to clarify what I mean by a ‘creative thinker’. Not defined by profession, a creative thinker to me is anyone who knows the experience of being overwhelmed by having too many ideas and finds it difficult to choose just one thing to do. This experience is not limited to people in the traditional creative arts. It’s true amongst entrepreneurs, innovators, coaches, and yes, artists, photographers and the like. Typically people who are drawn to their profession from a place of purpose and doing what they believe they are meant to do.
Or at least that’s where the conflict shows up that overwhelms these folks. Why? Because the rest of the world is telling them to focus. Parents and teachers telling children to focus. Traditional business advice telling entrepreneurs to “choose a niche”. As a business coach for creative entrepreneurs, NOTHING drives me more crazy than that! Telling a creative entrepreneur who has so much to offer the world plus some, to “pick one thing” is a strait jacket! That’s not to say I don’t get the advice. It’s just that the advice is going about it all wrong. For a creative thinker, it’s not about choosing one thing to DO. Instead, discover the one thing you stand for and do MANY things with it. Traditional niche marketing may, and I mean may, make some people successful. Although I truly even doubt that moving forward in today’s business world. Even if it did, what I know for certain is a creative entrepreneur will never be successful AND happy doing only one thing.
My suggestion is to look at it as getting to know the one thing you stand for. What you want to mean to the world. Your core purpose and message. Everything you could possibly dream to do with that message is like a different artistic medium. This unleashes possibilities. Allows you to diversify your life and business. Leverages the lack of focus to work for you instead of against you. Opens up a world of possibilities. Grants permission to be more of who you already are.
The response I get from creative entrepreneurs after I have this conversation with them is incredible. They feel free. It’s as if I’ve granted them permission to align with what’s been going on in their head all along. Here are a couple responses after a recent presentation-
“Your stand on diversifying made me breathe a huge sigh of relief. The talk made me realize that yes, I need to market to each genre separately but that I can have more than one business or project that I love. I realized how I can use the strengths I already have in my business life and in the world.”
“So many things and so many of the choices that I have made over the years suddenly began to make sense. All along I have been seeking this balance, and I didn’t even know it was happening. What a beautiful gift you have given me and many others:)”
Seeing the positive impact this has on other creatives, this will be my area of focus as a business coach moving forward. Sounds ironic, right? I mean focus as in my core message but I assure you I have plans for many creative ways to express it and to support others to leverage their lack of focus.
I like to look at this as the new creative renaissance!