Growing up, I had a special bond with my grandfather. One of our cherished rituals was watching the movie “Rudy” together.
For him, it was a timeless story of determination and following your dreams (no matter how crazy they may seem). For me, it continues to be a source of inspiration that transcends the football field and resonates deeply with the world of creative entrepreneurship.
If you’re not familiar, “Rudy” is based on a true story. It tells the tale of a small, “five foot nothing” kid with no one in his corner and not a “speck of athletic ability,” striving to play football for Notre Dame.
Against all odds, he makes it happen, earning his place on the team and eventually making a game-winning play during his senior year.
This underdog story still gives me goosebumps while reminding me of those cherished moments with my grandfather.
But what does this heartwarming story have to do with creative entrepreneurship and your journey as a creative business owner?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
You see, creative entrepreneurs (the writers, designers, makers, and artists of the world) often share a common struggle: maintaining consistency in their creative and professional work.
Often that looks like…
Whether you’ve faced some or all of these challenges in your creative business, boosting your consistency, even just a tiny bit, can have a big effect on where your business is headed and how fulfilled you feel doing the creative work you love.
In this week’s blog, my goal is to offer you 9 actionable ways you can become more consistent in your creative business so you can achieve your creative goals, build a thriving business, and continue to feel fulfilled by the passion-driven work you do without the burnout or overwhelm.
“Consistency” is all the rage these days. Seriously, you can find quotes about it everywhere.
A quick Google search will inundate you with an endless list of quotes.
Even Dwayne (yes… “The Rock”) Johnson has something to say about it:
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
I’m about to frame that one!
And it’s not just quotes; there are entire books dedicated to this idea.
Personally, I’m a big fan of “Atomic Habits.” Sure, it’s a mainstream hit, but it’s popular for a reason—it’s all about the power of being consistent.
But, consistency isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental principle that has the potential to shape your business and life (for better or worse)!
As Tony Robbins puts it,
“Where focus goes, energy flows.”
Your daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual actions compound over time, influencing both your creative business and your life.
In the world of creative entrepreneurship, consistency often outweighs natural talent.
Sure, talent is valuable, but a creative who consistently shows up and puts in the effort day in and day out will likely outperform one with raw talent but no consistency.
So how do you pair your creative skills with your desire to be more consistent?
Let’s jump into the 9 low-lift, high-impact things you can do right NOW to bring more consistency into your schedule, your business, your creative work, and ultimately your life.
One of the biggest killers of consistency is doing too much too fast.
Often it’s best to start small and slowly expand your efforts. In fact, it’s usually best to focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to be more consistent with multiple things all at once.
Keep the long game in mind but make sure your efforts are manageable so you don’t set yourself up for failure or burnout.
It’s all about finding that sweet spot between being practical and aiming for big goals.
For example, if you’re looking to be more consistent with your social media presence, you might start by posting once per week rather than attempting to create daily content from the get-go.
As you become comfortable with this rhythm, you can gradually increase your posting frequency to maintain consistency without feeling overwhelmed.
I firmly believe that to reach your destination, you must first know where you’re headed! Before you make any changes to your routine, clarify your vision for your work and business.
Use this vision as your guiding light to establish clear and aligned goals and parameters. It’s even better if you can make them SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Regularly review these goals to ensure they stay top of mind and aligned with your vision.
For example: Say you’re a graphic designer looking to grow your business and become a trusted name in the field of graphic design for business coaches.
With this vision in mind, you could set some specific, measurable goals, like creating branded logos for 15 coaches in the next year. Estimate how long each project will take and how much you’ll charge.
Finally, remember to carve out time to check on your progress regularly and tweak your plans as needed.
By doing this, you’ll have a roadmap for your journey as a graphic designer in the business coaching niche, and you’ll have a better shot at achieving the success you’re working toward!
COO Tip: If you’re looking for ideas to help you develop the vision for your creative business, a vision board can be a great tool! Here are 5 steps to use vision boards to build your dream business.
You need to fuel your consistency.
By getting INSPIRED.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself,
“What gets me fired up?”
When you reflect on this question it will help you identify your ‘why,’ appreciate the progress you’ve already made, feel inspired by your role models, and stay connected to your mission.
These are your secret weapons to stay on track because, let’s face it, motivation can be a bit wishy-washy and might threaten your consistency as a creative business owner.
Motivation, quite frankly, is not the key to success.
No one is motivated 24/7.
Some days, you’ve got to tackle mundane tasks like taking out the trash, managing your finances, or dealing with that not-so-friendly client email…
…Whether you feel like it or not. Whether you’re motivated or not.
Motivation comes and goes. Some days you’re all pumped up, ready to take on the world, and other days motivation is nowhere to be found and you scroll the day away on Instagram.
But if you only stick to your goals when you’re feeling super motivated, you’ll struggle to make real progress.
That’s where drawing inspiration from your ‘why’ and other sources can be your lifeline. It keeps you going even when motivation decides to take a coffee break.
Make consistency a practice, not a perfect.
Remember, this journey will demand time, effort, and patience. There’s absolutely no need to pile on the unnecessary pressure of striving for perfection.
Instead, focus on continuous improvement and gaining a deeper understanding of how you can best support yourself so you can be consistent in the areas of your life and work that matter to you most.
Imagine you’re a copywriter working to regularly land more high-quality clients. It’s a solid goal, but you’d never expect to land those dream clients right out of the gate.
Think of it this way, just like athletes hitting the field or musicians practicing their instruments, you’ll need to show up too.
So, carve out some time regularly for tasks like targeted marketing and networking without expecting that you’ll get it right the first time around.
Every time you put yourself out there, whether it’s a client pitch, a marketing campaign, or just reaching out to potential clients, you’ll learn something new and notice small improvements that compound over time.
By sticking to this routine, you won’t just refine your approach, but you’ll also create a groove that attracts those high-quality clients you’ve been dreaming of.
It’s a slow burn, but the results?
They’re the real deal.
Rhythms are all around us, from the changing of seasons to how often your dentist schedules your annual dental cleanings.
These rhythms ensure that everything stays on track because it’s usually not just about what you do but how consistently you do it.
Some rhythms are spaced out, like teeth cleanings spaced over time to prevent cavities (let’s be honest, getting five teeth cleanings in a row and then waiting decades to go back to the dentist won’t help your oral hygiene situation), while others are more regular, like brushing your teeth every night as maintenance.
The same principle applies to your business tasks.
You’re the only one who knows what needs to be done, whether it’s client-facing tasks, projects, deliverables, or behind-the-scenes business operations.
Finding rhythms that work for you helps keep everything on course, and even if things go a bit off track, it’s easier to get them back in sync.
You can even make PRACTICE itself a rhythm, using supporting rhythms to reinforce your goal of taking imperfect but intentional action.
One effective approach is to allocate CEO Time for managing business-related rhythms such as marketing, finances, and big-picture planning. At the same time, Creative Time can be a valuable rhythm to establish, keeping your creative juices flowing and allowing you time to explore new ideas.
When it comes to consistency in your creative business, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, having a support system can make all the difference when it comes to holding yourself accountable and reaching your consistency goals.
Accountability partners, whether they’re friends, colleagues, coaches, mentors, or part of a like-minded group, can be a game-changer. They’ll be your sounding board when you need it most, helping you refine your goals and providing a fresh perspective.
Sharing your goals with others isn’t just about telling people about your ambitions; it’s about making them tangible. When you put your intentions out into the world you’re more likely to follow through. Your support system can act as a gentle push on days when motivation is running low.
By embracing support and accountability, you’ll not only increase your chances of success but also accelerate your progress toward your goals.
When it comes to nailing consistency, having the right-for-you tools in your arsenal can be a game-changer.
These tools come in all shapes and sizes – some are systems you can set up, while others are tech options like a CRM and/or PM software, that can make your life a whole lot easier.
Let’s dive into some of my all-time favorite tactical tools that have helped me and my clients stay on the consistency train day in and day out:
COO Tip: I dig into designing your ideal day as a creative entrepreneur in this blog!
Remember, your toolkit is your essential resource for building and maintaining consistency. So, gather your favorite tools, put them to good use, and watch as you become more and more consistent in your business.
In your journey towards consistency, resilience and self-compassion are non-negotiables.
Being a business owner means you need to learn to expect the unexpected; be prepared to pivot or hit the occasional speed bump.
Even the best-laid plans can veer off track. Life has a way of unfolding in ways you might not anticipate, and sometimes, opportunities you couldn’t have possibly foreseen will come your way. Those surprises may even be better than what you had wished for in the first place!
There will be moments when you find yourself outside your comfort zone, feeling like you’re in uncharted waters. That’s perfectly okay. Give yourself the gift of grace whenever you can.
Failure is inevitable. But how you fail is up to you.
I urge you to fail fast and fail forward learning from any challenges you confront on your entrepreneurial path. Trust that with every obstacle you encounter, you’re gaining valuable experience and getting one step closer to your destination.
As you work on your consistency game in your creative business, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget one crucial element –
Celebrating your progress and wins along the way.
When you hit milestones, whether big or small, don’t just blow past them. Pause for a moment, revel in your accomplishment, and recognize the effort you’ve put in.
Celebrate those wins, because they signify progress, and they’re proof that your consistency is paying off.
Reflect on what’s working, what you’ve learned, and how far you’ve come. It’s like a mini pep talk for yourself.
And while you’re at it, why not add a little reward to the mix?
Treating yourself for a job well done can be a powerful motivator. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It could be as simple as indulging in your favorite dessert or taking a well-deserved break doing something you enjoy.
When you prioritize celebrating your wins you’ll be better able to maintain your motivation and sustain your momentum.
In the world of creative entrepreneurship, we often encounter challenges that test our commitment to consistency.
But, just like Rudy’s determination to play football for Notre Dame, your journey as a creative business owner is fueled by your unwavering persistence, despite the naysayers, and despite how outlandish your creative dreams may seem to outsiders looking in.
As a creative entrepreneur, you’re no stranger to defying the odds.
You’ve faced moments of doubt, creative blocks, and the ever-present ebb and flow of motivation.
But now you know the secret: consistency is your ally, your game-changer, and your key to success.
Cheering you on!
Feeling inspired to take your consistency game to the next level?
If you’re looking for the accountability and support you need to make it happen, consider booking a 90-minute Clarity Call with yours truly.
During this personalized session, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of your creative business, pinpoint where a dose of consistency can work its magic, and sketch out a plan to make it happen.
I’ll also provide one week of follow-up support to ensure you stay on track and make your goals a reality.