We create every day for people, for our people, reaching our audience. The more curious, the more we win. The more angles we seek to attack the problem. The more generous, the more we think, ‘Who can we help?’ And ‘Who’s it for?’ Who would like this?
It is important to note that it is a choice to create, to ship the work. It is a choice to be courageous and to live in the discomfort of creating and connect ng because it is often not comfortable. This does not bode well in a comfortable culture. Most will opt-out, choosing not to create, to be more generous, to connect. The creatives create and shape the culture, a culture, their culture. It can be dangerous work because it demands change, and most people don’t want to have anything to do with that. They like things exactly the way they are, thank you. They didn’t sign up for the new. And here we are, selling them the new with the valor up front. We are selling them on better.
Like Seth says and the Creatives before him, we’re teaching people to see anew. We’re teaching them that there is a better way to get things done. We teach them better through connection, connecting them to things they cannot see. This is a superpower to see things that others don’t, so that we can connect them to things others can’t. Except they might not want to take the ride. That cost is on us, and it is usually worth it. Yet we need to be willing and frequent. We show up. Only how will we choose to show up?
We live and create at the edges because that’s where the new lies. This is where forces come together to push out the boundaries of the possible. And it is really exciting out here! And to some people, to lots of people, it is terrifying! And to others, it is too much. They choose to stay home, never even thinking about entering the studio. It isn’t for them, and that’s ok. It may only be for people seeking the new, the better. For now.
And sometimes it is only for us, our audience of 1 person. We show up for just 1 person. We teach 1 person. We show discipline to 1 person. We build for just 1 person. And we hope that person is so amazed that they show up again tomorrow, desiring more. And we hope that that person tells one other person and has her show up tomorrow, too, to build the audience.
The part that we leave out, the part that most won’t talk about, is showing up for yourself when it is early, when you have no recognition, when you’re unsure. It takes tremendous courage to keep showing up inside the studio to create even when you have no audience. Frequency matters because with frequency you improve. Frequent creating makes things better. Iteration is the mother of innovation. Iteration is exactly how we get to better. v1. v2. v3. Only when you’re early and have a tiny audience, it’s hard to even get to v1. You have to push yourself through the discomfort, and most people are unwilling to go here. To show up ready to serve, it helps to prompt ourselves: who are you showing up for? Who needs you today? How will you show up today? How will you treat people today? How will you help shape culture today? Power prompts of Creativity shape positive affiliation and positive action in spite of fear. These prompts get you out of bed, and into the gym or the studio. If you’re going into the gym or studio, you may as well power your way in.
The cool thing? The cool thing is that both the gym and the studio are open to us all. They are inclusive environments and open spaces. The sad yet kinda cool thing is that they terrify most people! Creatives seem to like hard things that terrify most people. Most people will not enter. Nope. Too hard. They got problems of their own without you powering them into these open spaces. And besides, who has time for them?
Well, we’ll show up for them instead. We’ll do the Creative reps. We’ll do the pushups. We’ll do the kettlebell swings. We’ll do the hard things that others won’t so that we can do what others can’t tomorrow. If they’re amazed we show up with strength, all the better. Why not set the example? People look to us to do and create things that others simply will not. We better be there for them when they show up.
Creative confidence is action + intention + consistency. It is showing up regularly for your audience with connection. Yes, connecting the dots, but also connecting with them, building with them, showing them what’s possible out here on the edges where most will not tread. Out here you learn it and you earn it. You learn and earn through the act, through doing, through ‘failing,’ and then still going again. And again. And thus the Courage.
We can’t help but have our work get better through iteration, through repetition, through making things better for our audience. This is us showing up at the edges, deciding to push through the discomfort to come out on the other end with the creative new.