Creatives are some of the most driven, hardworking people--especially in the wedding industry.
There’s something incredibly unique about being employed thanks to your ability to visualize and design artful elements for an event. However, staying inspired and relying on yourself to produce content and events can admittedly be stressful. It takes major focus to stay on track—especially as a creative entrepreneur—and often, we get too caught up in the details.
Here are some mistakes that creatives are making, and how to fix them:
STOP: Obsessing over your competition.
By nature, most everyone wants to succeed and surpass their competition. Mix in an oversaturated industry and it’s easy to see how an obsession can grow. There can certainly be a healthy amount of competition that keeps you motivated and working towards organic ideas, but there’s also a thin line that borders on dangerous territory.
If you find that you’re constantly stalking your competitors online, or using your work to one-up others, it might be time to take a step back.
Social media can be the spark of inspiration we need, but it can also feel like a place that ignites jealousy. Remember that your work is just that—your work.
Don’t worry so much about what others in your industry are doing, but rather, focus on how you can take bigger strides in your own career. It’s also important to know that your competitors aren’t always showing the real side of being a creative, whether that’s experiencing a creativity writer’s block or running low on stamina.
This mind-set doesn’t change overnight, but taking small steps—such as turning off your phone during creative work hours—can make a huge difference! Removing the distraction entirely will ensure that you aren’t even tempted to take a stroll over to Instagram.
Making a conscious effort to cheer on others can also slowly transform the way you look at those in a similar career path.
STOP: Failing to properly delegate tasks.
I’ve said this before, but creatives are creatures of habit in this aspect—meaning we often want to shoulder everything rather than delegating to others. A lot of this can stem from wanting to uphold your reputation as a self-made brand, and that is completely understandable. After all, we worked hard for this success, and it’s natural to want everything we churn out to remain seamless and consistent.
However, we know better than anyone else that taking on too much can affect productivity, which in turn affects the quality of products and services we offer to clients.
This is where I encourage everyone to invest in a team that they trust, and to carefully vet your employees to ensure that they are both comfortable and competent to take the reins on certain tasks. Consider even relying on technology a bit more by streamlining smaller tasks with new apps or software—that way you won’t be necessarily hung up on the smaller things. Doing so will help you feel equally comfortable in delegating projects to your team, leaving you to focus on the creative side of your business.
STOP: Spreading yourself too thin.
I know that this is a hard lesson to learn, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or finally reaching the peak of your success. This extends far beyond the reach of the creative industry alone, but can be especially tiring to those who put a lot of work into producing art (and allowing themselves to be frequently vulnerable).
Setting your own business hours can be a blessing and a curse—while it allows you to have a flexible schedule, we also find temptation in answering that late-night email that rolls in, or constantly brainstorming when we really should be sleeping!
Something that I’ve found works for me personally is setting boundaries with myself. I give myself a set schedule to work, and self-care is key! Allow yourself some time to relax and push the reset button rather than trying to force yourself to be creative. The greatest ideas pop up when we least expect them, and even more so when we let ourselves get a full night’s sleep, read that book we’ve been meaning to, or spending much-needed time with family.
As a creative-driven professional in the industry, I can say with full transparency that it’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking we can do it all. There’s a great feeling of achievement when we do so, but that feeling isn’t often realistic in terms of longevity.
As we grow, so do our businesses. Keeping yourself in check is one of the best things you can do.
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With seven locations globally, the academy offers an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.