BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.

Everyone is doing the same thing

Last week a discouraged creative entrepreneur told me that she feels like everyone is doing the same thing. Why bother when there are a million talented creatives already out there?

On days when I’m feeling particularly optimistic I think we’re just lucky to be alive – that our one in a bajillion chance of even being here is our greatest accomplishment and anything else we can make or create is gravy on top. But on days when I’m feeling insecure or discouraged I know exactly how that creative I was talking to last week feels. Why bother?

For example, a couple years ago when I uncovered that I was not just passionate about branding but also coaching other creatives to live what they love, I felt like everyone and their dog was becoming a life coach. I asked myself “How many professional cheerleaders does the world need? “Who’s going to actually do the work and live the dream if everyone is just cheering from the sidelines?”

And then when I decided to launch an ECourse I felt like everyone else was already crushing it with their six-figure B-School online offering. When I fall into a comparison trap it feels like quicksand and I don’t have the energy to hustle - like Atreyu’s horse dying in the Swamp of Sadness in The Neverending Story.

YOU’RE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE
I’m pretty sure that discouraged designer wanted me to tell her the same thing I want to hear when I’m feeling blah about what I do and begin comparing myself to everyone else. What I want to hear is that I’m a unique snowflakes and only I possess the talent to do what I do. I want to believe it, but I just can’t buy it. Because the fact is, there are lots of other people who are successful doing what I do. But what I DO know to be true is that there is enough room for everyone to be great.

enough room for all creatives

If you don’t feel like a special snowflake either, but do want to get out of your comparison trap all you have to do is change your mind. Here are some things that might help shift your perspective:

WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING?
The creative entrepreneur I was talking to is a designer who loves design. It turns out she wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. That realization alone helped her get out of her comparison funk because there was really no alternative. But for others this question may reveal that your path needs to take a bend. When you’re doing what you really want to be doing, it doesn’t matter who else is doing it – or even doing it better.

ACKNOWLEDGE THE MARKET BUT DON’T GET SUCKED IN TO IT
It’s actually a good thing when other people are doing what you’re doing – it means there is a demand for your services. Let’s say you want to be holistic chef for a living – you get some training, you launch a website, and you start sharing your recipes. Then maybe you start following some other holistic chefs on Instagram and sign up for their newsletters. Before you know it you’re bombarded with other chefs’ work and BAM! You fall into the comparison trap. It’s easy to feel like EVERYONE is doing what you’re doing when you follow everyone else that does what you do. My advice is to be aware of the market but maybe pick just one or two of your favorites to follow.

GIVE THE PEOPLE YOU’RE JEALOUS OF A HIGH FIVE
Nothing gets me out of my comparison trap like giving the people I’m sizing myself up against kudos for doing such a damn good job. But even if the compliment isn’t reciprocated that’s okay too. It’s more about me recognizing that other people can do great work and it doesn’t detract from what I’m doing. You can give someone you’re jealous of a “high-five” by giving them a shout-out on your blog, telling them how much you like them on Instagram, or even purchasing one of their products.

TIME IS GOING TO PASS ANYWAY – YOU MIGHT AS WELL MAKE SOMETHING
I mean… let’s say you give up and decide not to be a creative entrepreneur anymore because too many other people already have it covered. Then what? Every time I think about “quitting my job” I imagine hiding under a rock for about 36 hours, brainstorming something I could make, design, create, launch, and ship while I’m under that rock, then crawling out from under my rock so I can get back to work. (This also goes back to asking yourself what you’d rather be doing – the answer to that question will always come to the surface when you’re hiding under a rock).

WHAT IF BEYONCÉ THOUGHT “WHY BOTHER?”
I mean … c’mon. What if Beyoncé was all “Well, I mean… Tina Turner, Britney, Lady Gaga, Pink, and Madonna already have it covered. Why bother?” Enough said.

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND DO THE WORK
Finally, if you’re busy doing the work, honing your craft, and making something you’re proud of, you won’t have time to compare yourself to everyone else. Get back to your hands. Put pen to paper. Or mouse to screen. Get into your creative process – go, make, do!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Okay, so while I don’t believe the work we do makes us unique snowflakes, I do think who we are is pretty damn special. And I know that when we show up as ourselves 100% of the time, we attract the dreamiest of clients – the ones who believe we’re the only ones who can really help them and “get” them. That’s what personal branding is all about – being who you are in business. Because the blend of you the person + what you do, isn’t something anyone else can do the same.

Braid ECourse

Our Personal Branding ECourse will be in-session for the last time ever from May 22-31. You have until Thursday, May 21st to register. (And if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet you get a $25 discount to our ECourse when you do.) Learn more and see if it’s a fit here.

SHARE THIS +


13-May-2015

Marfa Texas Prada

Kathleen here. I wasn’t planning on writing a post today. You see, we’ve been crazy busy wildly productive over here at Braid – between deadlines and meetings for our Braid Method clients, finalizing our Braid Method Branding ECourse (launching in June!), recording the Being Boss podcast, and trying to keep my tiny human alive – there just hasn’t been much time for writing or reflection.

But here I am, between presentations and meetings on the busiest day of my week sitting in a cupcake shop drinking a decaf Americano and eating a strawberry cupcake. I had the choice between tackling my inbox or doing something I really love – like writing this post. I chose the latter, because who wants to clear out their inbox while eating a cupcake? I also really want to tell you about a recent trip I took with my sister to Marfa, Texas.

Marfa Corte Del Norte

Marfa

Marfa

I was invited to go to Marfa to speak to a small group of women about designing a dream life and creating an ideal day. The request came at an especially busy time but just like writing this post I decided to say yes. Yes to adventure! Yes to living the dream! And my vision of working for myself includes lots of business travel that feels a little more like vacation, so I made my sister come with me.

Marfa Texas

Marfa

We flew into Midland, Texas and listened to Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing podcast as we made a three hour drive down to Marfa, Texas. Marfa is a teeny-tiny town in the high desert of West Texas where artists and makers go to make art and soap, and tourists come to see them and buy their goods. I best knew of Marfa, Texas from the art installation that looks like a Prada store in the middle of nowhere. Beyoncé took her photo in front of it. So of course, I pretended to be Beyoncé until I had to go to the bathroom – then I pretended to be Jemima Kirke from GIRLS as I peed behind the oh-so-Instagrammable building.

Marfa Texas

Marfa Texas Prada

When we finally got into town we stocked up on snacks, wine, and Topo Chico sparkling water. We made our way to our AirBnB and made fast friends talking shop with Jennifer Elsner, the organizer of the event. The next day we got lost driving around Fort Davis, but you really couldn’t pick a more beautiful place to lose reception. I kind of wanted to pull off the side of the road, bust out an easel, and paint a masterpiece, but instead I took a selfie. Point being, this place truly is inspiring.

That evening, over fried chicken and gluten-free biscuits, we connected with a handful of amazing women including swimsuit designer Malia Mills, Jen Leonard of Brand New Ways, and Tracy Breslin the creative director at Eileen Fisher, just to name drop a few. They challenged us to consider who and where we want to be and go. Each and every one of them became role models in how we want to create and connect with our tribes – the people we already know and the friends we’ve yet to meet.

P.S. Want to say yes to your own adventure? The Being Boss podcast is going to New Orleans for a vacation (but with enough business mixed in that you can write it off on your taxes) and you’re invited.

Our most popular ECourse on Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are with What You Do is now open for registration – and this will be the last time it is ever in-session before we roll out our Braid Method Branding ECourse in June. Learn more and register here – and if you haven’t already, sign-up for our Letters for Creatives newsletter for an ECourse discount!

And as always, if you need more work / life guidance check out DIY Coaching for Creatives. It’s just $40 for 4 weeks of content and worksheets delivered straight to your inbox. You can sign up to get these anytime!

SHARE THIS +


30-Apr-2015

Kathleen here. Yesterday Tara and I were in a meeting with a couple of soulful creatives who are out on a mission to change the world and create community – one person at a time. In fact, most of our dream clients and creative colleagues either want to build, facilitate, or crave a sense of belonging to their tribe. The idea of cultivating community has always been a bit overwhelming to me – until recently. It’s been hard for me to pinpoint what “community” even really means and I wasn’t sure I’d know it if I saw it – until I built a fire pit in my own backyard.

Around this time last year I was just a few months in to my new mom gig and my world had been turned upside down by a new tiny human. One Friday night after work I was hanging out with my sister in her kitchen (yup, we’re business partners and best friends) wearing my sweet happy baby in a sling. My husband texted “where you at?” and when I told him he offered to pick up some pizza and beer. We were all together and for the first time I felt comfortable in my new normal. Everything about that evening was so good, and as we were leaving to head home for a long sleepless night my sister’s neighbor came out wanting to see the baby. In the midst of some neighborly chit-chat she mentioned that the mid-century modern split-level house next to hers was about to go on the market – I said “SOLD!” and just a couple months later my little family was moving into a house practically across the street from my sister.

One of the things that appealed to me most about my new neighborhood were the neighbors. When I signed on the dotted line I also inherited an annual block party – I was happy to oblige. During Christmastime neighbors leave hand-painted ornaments, presents for your kids, and tins filled with cookies and caramel corn “from Santa” on your porch. The whole neighborhood celebrates the 4th of July with our own little parade. Even so, I craved something more… I wanted to get to know my neighbors beyond the holiday bustle. So I built a fire pit. Now almost every weekend around dusk we start a fire and my neighbors bring the beer and marshmallows. Kids run around in my yard while the grown ups exchange candid conversation and big belly laughs. Or sometimes we’ll just quietly stare into the fire together as the night sky around us grows darker.

So back to the other day in this meeting when our clients were talking about building real community … I couldn’t help but ask “What’s your fire pit?” What’s the thing that brings everyone together and invites an exchange of thoughts and ideas? Is it an actual fire pit? Maybe it’s a table at your favorite coffee shop. Maybe it’s a monthly book club or even a Facebook group. What’s your fire pit?

It can be hard to cultivate community, but building a fire pit … that’s easy.


Our most popular ECourse on Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are with What You Do is now open for registration – and this will be the last time it is ever in-session before we roll out our Braid Method Branding ECourse in June. Learn more and register here – and if you haven’t already, sign-up for our Letters for Creatives newsletter for an ECourse discount!

And as always, if you need more work / life guidance check out DIY Coaching for Creatives. It’s just $40 for 4 weeks of content and worksheets delivered straight to your inbox. You can sign up to get these anytime!

SHARE THIS +


THE BRAID BLOG from TARA AND KATHLEEN
Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for creatives.

Learn more about how to work with Braid here >

RECENT POSTS
CATEGORIES

VIEW ALL BLOG ARCHIVES >


blend who you are & what you do,

share & sell your creative expertise,

attract your dream customers,

& make your business vision real

This ecourse is for creative people like designers, photographers, stylists, lifestyle coaches, wellness professionals, yogis, foodies, writers, bloggers, and creative consultants. Whether you’re just starting out, or have lots of experience, our step-by-step guidance will help you create a brand and business vision that feels more clear, confident, and like the true you.




LETTERS for CREATIVES

Want more? Sign up for our exclusive weekly email letters from us, Kathleen and Tara, for insights and advice from our own personal and professional overlap – as sisters, business owners, content sharers, and creative entrepreneurs.

Thank you for signing up for our Braid Letters. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox and in the meantime like us on Facebook.


KATHLEEN'S PERSONAL BLOG

For a more candid, behind-the-scenes look at the work, life, and adventure overlap.

© Braid Creative and Consulting
Website Development by Indie Shopography

AFFILIATE LOGIN