May 3, 2021

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3 Things Every Creative Needs To Know For Career Success


Text overlay reads "how to be successful as a creative entrepreneur" over an image of a leafy plant on a white background

“you know you made the right decision, because you made a decision”

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Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative! I’m pretty stoked ‘cause this is our 99th episode! Holy freakin’ cow!!

I’ve been reflecting on the past 3 years of the podcast and it’s been so incredible to be able to share the little time capsule of my life and my career with you. 

If you’ve been around since the very beginning, you might know that the podcast actually started out as “Overshared in the Salon Chair” and I used to interview my clients. The podcast isn’t the only thing that’s transformed over the last 3 years, my life and business have also drastically transformed (in the best possible way).

So thank you for being a part of my journey, friend, I wouldn’t be here without you!

You’re in for a super special treat today, I’ve got a jam-packed episode all about the 3 most important things creatives need to know in 2021. 

Buckle up and let’s dive in!

Our journey as creative entrepreneurs has changed drastically (particularly over this past year). The pandemic made us realize that we need to create new habits or look at things differently because of how things have affected our careers.

#1: You need to have better boundaries

I’m no stranger to boundaries and I’ve learned a lot about them over the last few years. 

I actually first learned about boundaries in 2011 when I was going through my divorce. My therapist was talking about boundaries and she explained that it’s not about keeping people out, it’s about showing them where the door is. 

After I first learned about boundaries I realized I had exactly ZERO sense of boundaries in my life and business. 

I see it happen a lot with stylists in the industry, we care so deeply and we love really hard and sometimes we think instilling boundaries means that we don’t care and we don’t love them anymore, when in fact, setting boundaries can be the most loving thing to do. 

I spent most of my life thinking the only answer to a question was “yes”. When I finally learned that “no” can be a one-word sentence, it blew my mind. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re being disrespectful or refusing something, it means that you’re honoring yourself. 

As people-pleasers, we tend to abandon ourselves and our identity and we freely hand it over to someone else. And because of that, we have no idea who we are and what we stand for, which means we have no idea where to draw the line or create a boundary. 

Having good boundaries with ourselves helps us create an identity that is uniquely ours, without needing the external validation. When we know who we are it gives us strength and confidence to be able to say “no, that doesn’t serve me” or to simply say “no thank you”. 

The most important thing when enforcing boundaries is recognizing that you’re not doing it to or at people or your clients. You want to show them that you’re doing it for them. I want you to start thinking about how you can communicate to them that you are setting this boundary for them and to help them. 

This is especially hard when we haven’t had boundaries with people before. 

I thought I would be able to move to a new city and start over fresh with people. Until all the crappy stuff started happening again and I had to look internally:

Is there something I can be doing differently?

Remember, people won’t just automatically respect you if you don’t respect yourself. 

I want you to take a moment to think about where you can have boundaries with yourself. Some tough love with Dawn: no one’s going to hold true to your boundaries except for you. 

#2: You need to know how to adapt and evolve

My good friend, Mr. J Ladner talks a lot about this. The world is changing, our careers are changing and if we wanna stay on top of things we need to be able to adapt and evolve quickly. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to add more to your plate or stress yourself out. It means recognizing the movement and flow that needs to happen instead of working against things. 

We’re human, and change is hard for us. A lot of times we’re resistant to change. But I think this past year really showed a lot of us that we can adapt and evolve. 

It was so amazing to see the way the beauty industry got creative during shutdowns to create income. 

The industry is changing quickly, but the faster you adapt and evolve the faster you’ll be able to find more and new success. 

#3: You need to develop agility

I dunno about you, but when I hear the word ‘agility’ I think of those obstacle courses for dogs where they jump through hoops and climb over platforms, but I realized I didn’t really know what the word meant. 

So I did some research and it turns out the definition of agility is “the ability to move quickly and easily” and when I read that I thought “well that’s not the word I’m looking for at all! I’m a slow mover… a dawdler if you will!”

But then I scrolled down to the second definition of the word:

The ability to think and understand quickly. 

Bam! That’s it! Change is hard, and we know that there’s been a lot of changes this last year. Wrenches have been thrown and we’ve had to learn how to adapt and evolve quickly. That can prove to be difficult when you’re suffering from decision paralysis. We’re so scared of making the wrong decision that we don’t make a decision at all. 

My divorce was a huge pivotal moment for my life, I got a card from my cousin and what was written on the card has stuck with me and really impacted me:

“You know you made the right decision… because you made a decision”

That was honestly divine timing, I had been stuck in the “what if” and the “should I have done this?”, weird, irrational thoughts that I hadn’t made the right decision. But getting that card from my cousin after leaving a toxic marriage was exactly what I needed. 

How many of us get stuck in indecisiveness because we’re scared to make the “wrong” decision? But if you don’t choose, then you’ve actually made a choice. 

So I’m giving you permission to do things differently. To work on developing your agility muscle to think and decide quickly what the next step is. 

I know you’re made for big things!

Those are the 3 most important things creatives need to know in 2021!

I hope that’s inspired and encouraged you today. Know that these skills take time to learn and develop, it’s not going to happen overnight and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. 

I wanted to let you know, if you’re feeling scared about raising your prices, I wanna make it super simple for ya! I’ve got a free template that you can download here, it’s the exact script I used when I last raised my prices. 

Maybe you’re not sure if it’s even the right time to raise your prices, I dive deep into that in my online program, Rock Your Business, get on the waitlist for first dibs at the next enrollment. 

Thank you so much for being here, friend! Until next time!

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

Get to know me! :-)

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