Living a creative life is tough. No matter how good you are, or how hard you work, you can be fired simply because the boss has bad taste and doesn’t like your work. I know. I was fired at 36 years old, only to find out the same ideas my old boss hated, were ideas that other organizations loved and were willing to pay much more to get. Plus, while there’s a ton of great leadership teaching out in the world, there’s very little teaching on how to lead creative people. As a result, far too many leaders are simple terrible at inspiring and motivating their creative team.
Which means even more opportunities for creative people to take a beating.
The result is that there are plenty of reasons for creative people to be disappointed and frustrated on a regular basis. But we must be very careful about wallowing in those disappointments and frustrations, because I’ve discovered that negativity can easily build momentum and before long it can snowball into despair.
Just as bad, you’ll end up being known as the negative voice in the room. I’ve worked with creative people who let their problems overwhelm them to the point that they had become negative 24/7. But you can’t live like that. Not only will you stop doing your best work, but people will stop being around you. You can’t live or work side-by-side with people who complain about everything and not have that rub off. People distance themselves, and eventually you get fired. So the cycle of negativity continues.
Break the cycle. Bad things happen in a creative life, but don’t let your frustrations and your complaining take control. Find the positive opportunities, and learn to see the good – even in an ocean of bad. You’ll find your attitude will change, and before long you’ll become the positive voice in the room.
And the world desperately needs more positive creative voices.