So what is success? It looks different to every person, or to a group of people with a common purpose or vision. But what is it personally to you? Is this something that you strive for or are you already living in success? This is a genuine question that a lot of creative people battle with; but why?
I think a lot of people when they first start their creative profession, they regard success as either public recognition or their pay - the way they live. When I first started my creative profession 5 years ago, my dream or idea of “Success” was being able to make a living of what I’m doing creatively. I had a burning desire to work within the creative industry, so the way for me to get “successful” in the industry was by making sure I was making a living for myself in that industry. Now, this is where I start asking the question again in my mind, what is success? Am I doing this for my satisfaction? Am I doing this to entertain and help others? Or am I doing this so I can get paid? Basically : What is success?
To be honest with you, I’m still trying to work this out for myself, I don’t actually know yet, I’m doing what I’m doing now because this is something that I enjoy doing and because it pays the bills. I could regard this as success, or I could look to the future of what I want to achieve and be successful in.
I guess at first, the idea of “success” would be for me to be able to make money from what I’m doing. But since that’s started happening, I now know that that isn’t the type of success that I’m leaning towards, I guess my vision has changed.
Where Is Your Vision?
My favourite band ever in the whole world is For Today, they’re a Christian heavy metal band and they’ve been a blessing to me for the years I’ve listened to their music. They’ve just released a new album called Wake, I would personally encourage you to go and search for the front man / vocalist Mattie Montgomery - he’s a legend. The first song they released on the album is called Broken lens. One of the last lyrics of the song says
“Where is your hope, Where is your vision?”
This has stayed with me for a while now, it’s something that I’ve been constantly questioning about myself over the past few weeks “Where is your vision?” This sometimes forces me to make sure that I have the right intentions of doing what I’m doing when I’m doing something as mundane as book keeping, or organising files on my computer or sending that last email out at the end of the day. I need to know what my vision is - without vision you’re going nowhere.
Vision is a huge part of who we are as creative professionals. Without vision we don’t know what our next move is, we don’t know where we’re going to go next or where to take the next project, without vision we expire - we no longer have a fan-base of our work, we lose followers and we don’t know where success is.
The key to success is knowing where your success is, by having a vision of where you’re going and how you could get there.
I’m a Christian, so I read the Bible - I believe it’s true and relevant - even when we don’t understand, one verse quotes: “Without vision the people perish”
Even if you believe in Jesus or not, this verse is a great principle to hold onto within your business. If you don’t have a vision of where you’re going, you’re not going to be able to get anywhere - you’ll be blind to where you need to go. We’re all like this at some point, unless you’re wizard at knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing. Vision means we can chose which path to take, and vision ultimately lets us see success in it’s fullness.
Maybe success to you is being able pay the bills, maybe it’s doing something that you’re passionate about full time, or maybe you don’t know. Either way, we need vision to know where we’re going, without it we’re going nowhere.
Something that I’ve been learning over these couple months of working is to make sure that I’m setting daily goals that coincide my with the vision I have. Goals can really help you focus on certain tasks that need doing to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps in order to get to your vision - without these goals, we can sometimes act like headless chickens; going anywhere we choose because of the lack of vision we have.
Whether you’re in the creative profession scene or not, it’s so important to have a vision of where’re you’re going. Without it you’ll find yourself somewhere unintended. I don’t personally think money is the biggest factor in success! You could have the biggest pay check at the end of the month, or the most amount of money you’ve ever seen in your bank account but yet still be unsatisfied. Success is so much more than money, it’s more than security - it’s about the freedom to do what you want without the anxiety of having a living wage.
The last thing I want to write is something close to my heart. Don’t base your worth on your “success”. The whole culture around self worth is based around success. That’s so wrong and it really makes me mad. I’ve met people who really believe that if you’re not successful in what you’re doing or in what you’ve done then you must be a failure, you must not be worth the position you’re in to do what you were doing. I want you to know, no matter how many times you fail or how many times you succeed, that you’re worth isn’t and shouldn’t be based in such ideas. You’re worth more - where you’re able to succeed in what you’re doing or not.
I hope this has helped someone! I get really passionate about corruption within the creative business world, because the more you get into the business, the more your eyes open to the elitist corruption out there. Thanks for reading this blog post! Make sure you go ahead and subscribe to my weekly newsletter here on the website for a more in depth knowledge about what I do on a daily basis!