Being creative. You wear it on your sleeve and most likely also on your socks and favorite jeans…but it’s important to note, that’s just not enough anymore. If you’re a creative person, which are many of you reading this, there are so many more skills you need to have for what you do. I’m here to help. I’m also here to eat the other half of your sandwich, but pay no attention to that.

So, you’re probably saying to yourself. “Self, why do I have to know anything other then just being creative?” Well, first of all, you should stop talking to yourself like that…but more importantly there are many reasons why you need to know more and I’m here to lay it out.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

You need to look at everything as bigger than yourself. It’s easy to look at any project and think that you just need to concentrate on your job. But, the truth is, if you can think about The Entire Project – The Entire Goal – The Entire Strategy…You will build stronger creative work for all of your projects.

Think of this as an example. You have a project with Yummy Donuts. Maybe your job is a copywriter and you need to write a complete campaign for them, including social media, print, television. That’s a lot of work, and it is, but the truth is, it’s even more than that. How can you know where to go if you don’t know where you’ve been? You have to look at what makes Yummy Donuts tick. What is the strategy that brought them to this particular campaign. What has worked before. What didn’t. Where does this new thing that you’re creating fit in and why. Also, why do I want a donut so bad right now? Anyway, if you ask yourself these hard questions going into it, it makes the process a ton easier. It’s a bit like being lost inside a large complicated maze and not knowing where to go. But, what if you could take a drone and look at the entire maze from hundreds of feet in the air…the path becomes quite clear. Also, covered in powdered sugar, but that’s for another day.

SHOW ME THE MONEY

No, this isn’t about how much money you’re getting paid or how much bread you have to make to buy a Tesla. This is about budget. I know. The B Word. As a creative, you might think you don’t have to worry about money, but you’re wrong. You have to think about what you have and what you don’t. How much you can get and what you can’t. None of these questions, should limit your choices necessarily either way. You always have options. You can always pitch to get more money…Figure out new ways to get the same job accomplished with less…Or just sell one of your kidneys. (It’s none of my business, but maybe try not to sell any organs.) But, regardless, money is not infinite and you need to know that going into it. It will shape some of your decisions, but I’m a big believer in, “Anything Is Possible” if you believe in something enough. Like these jeans I just put on that are two sizes too small. I’m lying. I’m wearing sweatpants.

BE A CHEERLEADER

This really is the most important one. Be a cheerleader for your brand. Be the biggest, brightest and loudest one. You have to believe in not only what you’re doing, but how you tell people about it. Not just in verbatim from a creative strategy brief that fell on your desk, but from deep down in that thing that you crushed on prom night…Your heart. If you can do that and really believe in it, it will show in everything that you do. It’s so important to create a culture within yourself that takes the brand you’re working on and make that part of you.

Remember, that being creative isn’t just an end all to one thing or another. It’s just the beginning to something far greater. You have the capability of being anything and everything to your brand. Just believe in yourself and having a few donuts won’t hurt either.