8 Tips for Creative People: Know Your Strengths and Recognize Your Challenges

Despite the uplifting pictures on Instagram, success is not a one-size-fits-all choice for everyone. Creative choices can lead to a life of freedom, or be like a bad rollercoaster ride. Hopefully, you started out with a big dose of passion, it’s a necessary element and functions like reserve fuel to tap when the going gets rough—and it will. 

Think carefully before jumping into situations that may require traits more common in other personality types. Case in point: I hold a Masters in Business but cannot work at a desk from nine to five--I tried and failed. At first, we may think, “Of course I can do that,”—but can you sustain the effort? Can you do it every day?  

 I see well-meaning salon professionals struggling with skills outside their creative abilities often. Here are my school-of-hard-knocks personal observations:

  1.  Responding emotionally: going with our “gut” feeling on key items. You cannot be funded based on gut feelings. Option: support your gut with some facts. Ask an expert for a reality check.
  2. Giving the benefit of the doubt easily. Dreamers support the dreams of others unquestionably—often at a personal cost. A dose of suspicion is in order. 
 Option: ask for details and pose a few “what ifs.” Agree on a trail period, just in case things go south.
  3. Reactive not proactive: even with the writing on the wall, failing to anticipate realistic outcomes. Be intentional and do not let life just happen. Do not just show up for life. Show up with a daily goal and make it happen.
  4. Not detail oriented: everything will eventually fall into place--most of the time, it does not. Option: Set your daily, week or monthly wins. Have backup options.
  5. Sidestepping “The Talk.” We do not like confrontation. We ignore, wait it out, make ourselves unavailable, maybe it will work itself 
out. Solution: Choose timing and words carefully, but always deal with the issue directly at your earliest opportunity.
  6. Work your talents aggressively--this is what fuels you. Deal with weaker traits with a good plan, teamwork or delegation.
  7. When you spot another creative struggling with the demands of tasks outside their skills, reach out to them with this message.
  8. Finally, the most important item: do not feel inept because you cannot do everything—many cannot handle what you do so well.

     You are unique.


Carlos Valenzuela is a beauty industry consultant, stylist, trainer and author based in Tucson, AZ. For information on seminars and services email: getcarlos@me.com  

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.