A mindset change that can radically shape your career

What if I told you that changing one small thing about your mindset could completely change your creative career?

What if I told you that this small change is the secret to doing work you love everyday?

What if I told you that this small change is the key to generating financial freedom in life?

My goal with this post is to share with you a small mindset change that I have recently made in my life.

While the mindset shift is recent, I truly believe that this change will radically shape my life in the long term.

The Mindset of a Creator

For years, I have been working as a creative professional. I have been using my creative skill sets to produce websites, video, audio, and marketing for clients in exchange for money. I still do this today.

But over the past four months, I had a major change in my mindset. I had a major change in how I viewed my career and my life.

I came to the conclusion that no one ever earns freedom over their time and finances by working for a boss or for clients. Even if you own your own business, clients still have authority over your time and the amount of income you can earn. 

This conclusion lead to this small change in mindset.

If I ever want to have freedom over my time and finances, then I must work everyday on creating things.

  • It is through creating things that we build products that can be sold over and over again.
  • It is through creating things that we can have our work stand for us even when we are not present.
  • It is through creating things that people can purchase our creations, without us being there to exchange our time for their money.

This mindset change may seem obvious to some, although it has completely changed my career path. 

While I still do consulting work for a majority of my days to generate income, I now carve out at minimum two hours every morning to put toward creating my own projects. 

This blog post is an example of a creation. Instead of having to have this conversation with several hundred people who subscribe to my updates, I can simply create this post and distribute it out to everyone.

The dream of the creator

Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do
— Chris Guillebeau

Take a look at that quote and really try to imagine it. This life is only possible through creating on a regular basis. You will never reach that point in life when you are working for clients or bosses. 

By working everyday to create things, we slowly begin to build our own empire, and sooner or later we can begin to profit from that empire. 

With each project that we create, we generate another income stream. While those income streams may be small at first, they grow over time to allow us to fund a life of purely creating.

It doesn’t happen overnight, instead it happens through slow steady progress toward a clearly defined goal.

My road map to becoming a full time creator

I wish I could tell you I am a full time creator and that I have all the answers, but I don’t.

In fact I am in pursuit of this quest right now. I am in pursuit of building my life into a position where I can create full time. 

Over the next few months and years, I will be chronicling my personal journey on my blog as I work to become a full time creator.

To start, I have outlined my strategy below.

Every quarter I am going to create something and ship it. 

That means in the course of a year, I will ship four relatively large projects. 

My Quarter 1 creator project

My Quarter 1 creator project

The first of these projects was my free eBook The Focused Creator where I described the focus and goal setting methods that I use to create each of these projects.

The second project, I will be announcing in the coming week.

My theory is that if I ship one project every quarter it will do the following:

  • Teach me more than any job or client ever could
  • The projects can act as case studies for my consulting work
  • Overtime they will provide additional income streams

My challenge to aspiring creators

Take a look at your last year.
What did you create?
What finished products do you have to show off?

For a lot of people, it isn't as much as they would like to.

Chances are we started projects and didn't finish them, we got distracted mid-idea and jumped to the next one.

We simply didn't follow through, we didn't finish what we started.

I propose a challenge.

A challenge that will help you accomplish more, and have something to show for your time and energy.

Challenge: Create one project every quarter.

Decide what that project is, and focus on it. Don't let any other projects interfere, and don't miss your deadline. 

At the end of those three months, ship your project no matter what.

Three months is enough time to build something substantial, while short enough to not be able to procrastinate.

What are you going to create this quarter? 

What are you going to build in the next three months that you can stand behind and be proud of for years to come?

Each quarter, a new creation.
Each quarter, build something.
Each quarter, ship it.

If you ship a project every three months, you will learn and get better each time. If you stick with this long enough, eventually you will produce something truly amazing. 

It through this practice of regular shipping that we can create, test and perfect our ideas.

It is through this process that we can learn and become a creator. 

Join me in the adventure. What are you going to ship this quarter? Answer in the comments below. 

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