Making The Decision is What Matters


Kathleen Shannon Circles Talk

Last week I gave a talk at The Circles Conference, a two-day gathering for designers and artists to learn and get inspired.  Because I only work with other working creatives I decided to use this chance to talk about so many of the patterns I see – the struggles but also daydreams we working creatives all seem to share in common no matter what city we live in. Most of us share The Dream of having a job with purpose, creative fulfillment, and control of our own schedules. But we also share The Fear. The fear that keeps us from creating that dream job, from leaving the day job, from owning our expertise, and the fear that has us feeling like frauds. 

These are painful and relatable fears we have as working creatives – but we gotta push through them so we can get back to work, right? So how do you push through the fears? I suggest the following: 

  1. Get specific about the worst case scenario – what does failure actually look like?

  2. Get specific about the ideal day – what do you really want? 

  3. Make a mantra to help remind you of your dreams 

  4. Make a decision and move forward

You can see more by watching the Circles talk I gave here. 

Making decisions as a creative entrepreneur

The questions I got from the crowd were so great. Here was one that really stuck with me:

“How do you know if you’ve made the right decision?”

My answer? Surprise, surprise – it’s get specific. When you set goals, and get really specific about those goals, you’ll know when you’ve achieved them and you can celebrate your success. Whether that’s a certain salary, a dreamy partner-in-crime, the perfect car, or a big vacation. Be clear on what success looks like so that when you get it you don’t move the bar higher without acknowledging your accomplishments first. 

But as I was reflecting on that question on my road trip back home, I think I was being asked: “What if I look back and realize my decision was wrong?” 

So here’s my answer: 
The decision itself doesn’t matter nearly as much as the act of deciding. In other words, I believe that if you really know what you want and make any decision at all it will move you closer to where you need to be. Whereas spinning in your head by weighing out all the pros and cons and possible outcomes of your decisions won’t get you anywhere. 

So the question then becomes: what do you really want? 

I’ll be writing more about pinpointing what it is you really want in this week’s Letters for Creatives – which you can sign up for here.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.



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