How you can beat perfectionism as a creative entrepreneur

According to Forbes, the creator economy is estimated to be at almost one billion dollars in 2021. With the massive growth brought by work from home flexibility, the creator economy has seen an influx of aspiring creators. Many of them fantasize about pursuing their passion and doing something they love while finding financial security. This growing creator economy is estimated to be 50 million strong. It’s an industry built by influencers, bloggers, videographers, and anyone who uses social media to activate and monetize their community. Many, who have started their own businesses, have seen $800 million in venture capital invested since October 2020.

But as creators navigate the creator economy gold rush, many don’t come to light. Many creative entrepreneurs ideate or conceptualize their brands but then fall into a holding pattern. This prevents them from launching or executing. Rates of perfectionism among Millennials and Gen Z are at the highest, studies reported by EAB show. The perfectionism epidemic is the cause of the rise of behaviors such as intrinsic drives to reach a perfectionistic goal. It also tries to meet high expectations of others, and hold others to impossibly high standards. This obsession towards perfection leads to a rut — intervening in a brand launch, new product, or service ever coming to fruition. 

As a co-founder of Faculty, a cosmetics brand for the new wave of masculinity, Fenton Jagdeo understands the highs and lows of launching a business and following through with yourself, your partners, and your community. With the launch of our newest course alongside FIT featuring Beauty Inc, Yellowbrick sits down with Fenton on tips on how a creative entrepreneur can follow through.

Practicing mindfulness as a creative entrepreneur is a way to counter perfectionism.
Practicing mindfulness as a creative entrepreneur allows you to address any ruts.

Practice Mindfulness

“The first thing is recognizing that you are in a blocked situation or in a rut,” says Beauty Business Essentials contributor Fenton Jagdeo. Sometimes it’s about understanding your limitations or areas of improvement. That mindfulness — a self dose of self-awareness, allows you to begin to address the problem. “It’s emotionally and mentally removing yourself from it and saying, ‘I am unable to launch,'” Fenton says. In addition, practicing mindfulness helps with creative problem solving as it can help improve your mental flexibility in approaching issues from every angle, rather than a simple linear, logical approach. 

Tip: Sit down and list out three tactics you’re not able to complete (X, Y, Z) and list the reasons why you’re unable to achieve them. Practicing mindfulness helps counter perfectionism because you’re addressing situations head-on.

Generate Solutions

A part of being an entrepreneur is also being a creative problem solver. Creativity and problem-solving skills are more critical now than they’ve ever been before. After identifying what’s prohibiting you, address ways on how to solve your blockers. Brainstorming on how to generate solutions will have you consider different approaches, practicing a growth mindset. Thinking creatively here or with partners/teammates can help you come up with something you may not have considered. “It’s truly diagnosing your problem and the solutions to that and which one is the easiest for me to go and try,” Fenton shares. Which one is the most effective and most efficient solution to the issue? If option one doesn’t work, then try the next option. 

Example: 

The Problem: You don’t have enough money to buy inventory

Different Solutions: Raise capital, get a loan, or crowdfund 

Look at the problem from a logical perspective. Obsessing over perfectionism is an emotional response from internal or external pressure. But if you can pinpoint your problem and not have an emotional response to it, it can go a long way in solving your block. 

Final Thoughts

Opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and creative businesses have exploded, becoming the fastest-growing type of small business. Still, growing pains from the effects of the perfectionist epidemic and burnout have begun to set in as a result. Although the space can be fast-paced through the medium of social media, creative entrepreneurs can help push through blocks or burnout through practicing mindfulness and embedding creativity in their problem-solving skills. 

Have you identified that you need to raise capital for your new creative start-up? Then, check out our guide on the steps to secure funding.

How To Set Goals as a Creative

Every year we reflect on our accomplishments and aim to seek more for the new year ahead. As creatives, we can’t help but feel an overwhelming surge of inspiration (or sudden drive of competition) during the first weeks of January. 

More goals are set at the start of something anew: the new year, birthday, and even after breakups. And while studies show that about 40% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions every year, 55% of people stick with their goals for only a month. 

Part of the problem is how we set our goals and the lack of strategy when placing them. Unfortunately, most of them use a traditional goal-setting technique — focused on wishful thinking, bucket lists, or broad goals written then abandoned. And while some of us have heard or applied SMART planning before, we tend to “‘go big” or too wide. 

Without having an objective point of view, you’ll experience a lack of progress and will likely give up on your goal.

Goal setting is about positioning yourself for success. So, establishing goals without having a strategy to accomplish them will lead you to feel unmotivated. Without having an objective point of view, you’ll experience a lack of progress and will likely give up on your goal. So, is it worthless to set goals, or do creatives need a different approach?

While not all creatives are built to be planners or have a Type A personality, what we’re driven on is the process. By implementing process goals, you’ll find yourself checking off resolutions and moving towards a runway of success in 2022. 

What are process goals? 

Process goals are milestones you achieve that help you reach your outcome goals. Having process goals makes you feel in control by giving you something to focus on as you work towards bigger goals. In addition, they provide a great personal sense of satisfaction which further sustains a feeling of motivation. Implementing process goals is essential and will help keep a creative inspired and organized. An effective goal-setting process combines a traditional method with SMART planning but hacks its acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound).

Implementing process goals is essential and will help keep a creative inspired and organized.

Read on, then adopt this four-step goal-setting process to set your goals as a creative:

Step One: VISUALIZE

Spend 5 minutes or play your favorite track and visualize what you’d like to achieve this year. Write them down freely.

According to HuffPost, “visualization allows us to remove all the emotion surrounding negativity, and instead, place our attention on actions that will enable us to achieve personal success.” Creative visualization helps you to focus on what you want to achieve.

Step Two: ASSESS

Assess what you’ve written. Do your goals stand alone from each other? If they don’t, identify which ones can be bundled together and rename the goal to reflect the group.

Step Three: BUILD YOUR PROCESS GOALS

Your outcome goals look super exciting! Now what? Work towards an outcome goal by creating process goals or tasks to help you achieve the bigger idea. Try this approach that allows you to act today, next week, and every month:

From your list, think of 2 process goals you would like to tackle —

Today:

Next Week:

Next Month:

For example, one of your 2022 goals may be to secure grant funding. You can approach your process goals in the following:

Today: 

  1. Research what I need in a pitch deck.
  2. Make a list of people in my network who has secured funding or partnerships.

Next Week:

  1. Reach out to my listed network and reach out to ask for advice in the process.
  2. Research grant opportunities.

Next Month:

  1. Build my pitch deck 
  2. Apply to grants

Step Four: EVALUATE 

Dedicate a time every month in which you evaluate your progress and what you accomplished. Give yourself the space to celebrate these milestones! Then, set your next process goals. You may even discover that you’ve crossed off some of your outcome goals. 

We love the repetition of this process because you’ll continually be present in your approach and feed your motivation without feeling burnout.

Ready to visualize and tackle your next outcome goal? Whether you’re a budding creative entrepreneur looking to start your own business or a student passionate about expanding your education, 2022 is the year to learn new skills. Don’t let the demands of everyday life hold you back — whatever your ambitions, check out our courses available so you can learn new skills at home and in your own time.